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(1.) We who by the good Providence of God are here so plentifully maintained, and secured from the Cares and Business of the World, are under a mighty Obligation to a constant and ferious Attendance upon the Worship of God in this Place. This is one of the principal Defigns of all retired and monaftick Societies, and was undoubtedly a main Part of the Intentions of our religious Founders, that being fequeftered from the common Toils and Anxieties of Life, we should with less Interruption and Distraction, every Day, apply ourselves to Devotion; that we should continually own the divine Providence, and implore its Bleffings on our Studies and Enquiries; that we should begin and end every Day with the more immediate Service of God, and attain, by Degrees, that devout and heavenly Temper of Mind, which may direct all our Studies to the Service of Religion, and devote even our profane Learning to the Ministry of the Altar. And it will be worthy our Care to provide, that while we are labouring to improve ourselves in human Sciences, we at the fame time may not neglect what is of much greater Importance, I mean that Heavenly-mindedness, Devotion, Refignation to the Will, and Dependance upon the Goodness of the Almighty: In short, that divine Nature, and God-like Difpofition of Soul which is the Perfection of the Chriftian Life here on Earth; and will make us meet to be Partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light hereafter in Heaven. And give me leave in this Place to fay, that as this Conftant and serious Attendance upon the publick Prayers,

Prayers, is a Duty incumbent upon all who are in any Degree Members of our Society; fo is it most especially fo of thofe who enjoy the greatest Advantages, and have the principal Share in the Government of the fame. It is an Obfervation that is fometimes made, (and I fear me is not always without Truth;) that those who enjoy lefs of the Advantages, and fo are, on that Account, under fmaller Ties to our daily Morning and Evening Sacrifice of Prayer, are yet by fome Motives or other prevailed upon to a more constant and uninterrupted Attendance on the fame, than perhaps fome of those whofe Years and Confideration, to fay nothing of any other Motives, ought to prevail upon them to fet a better Example, and take a better Care of the Conftancy of their Devotions. Nay I doubt some have been fo ready to betray the Imperfection of their Religion in this Point, that they have chose that very Time for the flackening their Attendance on thefe daily Prayers, when by their Admission to the highest Benefits and Advantages of the Society, they were under a new and ftricter Obligation to a greater Conftancy; and when their Example and Authority was likely to have a greater Influence on the rest of the College: Which Obfervations, if in any Cafe true, are fo fhameful, that a juft Indignation will not permit me to wave the taking Notice of them. And I wish that all future Obfervations may fhew, that every one concerned is fo conftant, as well as ferious in the Worship of God in this Place, that no one may be able to make any Reflections of this Nature;

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but that all of us, from the highest to the loweft, as far as our Health, our Age, and our neceffary Engagements will allow, may meet unanimously together, and join univerfally with one Heart and one Voice in the Prayers and Praises which are here offered to the Almighty: It being not fit for us to expect that our Inferiors fhould be by us obliged to a conftant Attendance on those Prayers, which we ourselves but rarely frequent; and our Society never to be fo properly stiled a religious one, as when equal Numbers appear in the Chapel at their Devotion, as do the like in the College upon the other Occafions of Life.

But (2.) befides Devotion towards God, we of these collegiate Societies are under the highest Obligations to Temperance and Sobriety towards ourselves. And indeed this is a Duty that has a very neceffary Dependance on the Nature of our Foundations; which are no other than those of Charity. And fure it is the groffeft Piece of Abuse of the Charity of our Founders, to fpend in Extravagancies that Allowance which was only intended for the Relief of our Neceffities, and the Affistance of our Learning. But to wave that Confideration, there is another which ought to have the greatest Influence upon us in this Cafe; and it is this: That nothing has more contributed to the Dishonour of our Way of Education here; to the Reproach of the best of Churches; and to the rendring its Clergy contemptible, and their Labours. unfuccessful; and to the increafing the unreafonable Divifions and Separations in this Kingdom,


WHISTON. 103 than the general Opinion of the too free and loofe Course of Life which fome amongst us, and that without any effectual Difcouragement, are fuppofed to lead. How far this Opinion or Prejudice taken up against us is false, or at least aggravated by our Enemies, as is too ufual in all fuch Cafes, I fhall not now enquire. But I fhall only fay, God fend our future Reformation in this Point, of fo vaft Importance to the well-being of our whole Community, nay of the whole Church of England, may be remarkable enough to filence even our sharpeft Enemies; and may every one of us in particular, who either have already, or are here defigning to take upon us the holy Office of the Miniftry be fo far from any Inftances of rioting, or excefs, that with the bleffed Apostle St. Paul, we may be temperate in all Things; and be on the other Side difpofed to beat under our Bodies, and bring them into Subjection; left when we have preached to others, we ourselves fhould at laft become Caftaways. 1 Cor. ix. 25, 27.

(3.) Laftly, we who enjoy the Advantages of these generous Foundations are under a mighty Obligation not only to Devotion towards God, and Sobriety towards ourselves, but also to Diligence in our Studies and Learning, in order to the Advantage of others. Since the extraordinary Effufions of the Gifts of the bleffed Spirit are ceased in the Church, thofe Qualifications which are proper to fit us for the understanding the Holy Scriptures, for the Propagation of Chriftianity, for the Converfion of Infidels, for the Edification of Believers,

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and for the Maintenance of true Religion in the World, are to be acquired, under the divine Bleffing, by our own Labour and Diligence; by constant Study and Application. And this Acquifition of folid and useful Learning was generally one principal Intention in all the collegiate Foundations of the Christian World, as well as of ours in particular. So that a diligent Pursuit of useful Knowledge, and found Learning, muft needs be one of the great Duties which is incumbent on us all in this Place; and which no Security of a perpetual Provifion ought to excufe us from, nor any Ability of living without the Dependance on Learning for our Subfiftence, ought to difcourage us in. Let us all then, upon the Confideration of the Bounty of our Benefactors, and that plentiful Provision of Books, the Inftruments of Learning, as well as of a liberal Maintenance, without our own Solicitude about it, which is the great Encouragement to the fame; let us, I fay, look upon ourselves obliged both to a conftant Application to our Studies; and, by all proper Means, to the Affiftance and Encouragement of thofe who do so likewise. That being the true Welfare and Happiness of a Society for Learning, when all the primary Members of it do not only apply themselves to the Improvement of their own Knowledge, but do all they can, that thofe, and only thofe, who to their Piety and good Morals, have added Diligence in their Studies, and made the best Progrefs in Learning, may have Encouragement and Advancement in the Society: And when Desert and Preferment conftantly accom


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