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of this dull Clay, and elevate my Soul above Flesh and Blood; who wilt beftow on me, till my old Tenement the Body be re-edified, a more light and glorious Vehicle; through which I fhall more eafily fee the Beauty and Lovelinefs of my God, and perceive somewhat of thofe Joys which I hope for at the Refurrection of the Juft. How does thefe Thoughts, this Glimpfe of my future Happiness, enliven my decaying Habitation? How does it enfpirit my flying Soul? and make it expect, with Impatience, the Minute when my Lord will come, and take me to himfelf? Tho' I have been a great Sinner, and utterly unworthy the leaft Mercy, yet my humble Hope is, that through my dear Redeemer's precious Merits and Mediation, my heavenly Father will graciously accept of my hearty and fincere Endeavours of pleasing him, and obeying his holy Commandments; and that he will not overlook the meaneft Integrity of Heart.

Farewel all ye my weeping Friends; lament not my Death, but prepare for your own. Farewel my dear Relations, and make it your conflant Care to live fo that we may meet again in Heaven. I commend you all into God's Hands, and my departing Soul to the Grace and Mercy of my Redeemer. Come Lord Jefus, come quickly!

And, O my God! let me die the Death of the Righteous, and let my laft End be like his. Let thy Grace enable me fo to overcome the Temptations of this enfnaring World, that I may not be afraid or afhamed to die, and appear at thy dreadful Tribunal, but may lead my Life in this World

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fo watchfully, piously, righteously, foberly, and circumfpectly, that Death may waft me over to the Joys of a better Life; and when I leave this World I may go to thee the Fountain of Goodness, and Reft of holy Souls! Amen, Amen, bleffed Jefus.

Feb. 2, 1018.

VIII. Upon Occafion of just having taken my Degree of Batchelor of Arts.

ITH how great Defire, and even Impati


ence does every one wait for the leaft Honour or Advantage in this World! How earneftly does our Soul pant after the leaft Accommodation which it fancies will pleafe, trim, and adorn it; and make it look a little confiderable in the Eyes of the rest of Mankind? With what Heat, Paffion, and Ardour of Affection, are Honours, Dignities, and Promotions, fought after; as if they were an effential Ingredient in Beatitude; and, as if they would make a mighty Acceffion to the Heap of thofe Goods, the Accumulation of which is fuppofed to contain that which Nature does incline us all to, plenary and perfect Happiness. This is the Cafe of Mankind when they are in the Purfuit of Honour and Advantage. But when the Defire is accomplished, the Dignity arrived at, instead of proving a Tree of Life (the Emblem of compleat Beatitude, and perfect Contentment) as the Satiffaction of reasonable Defires is to the Wife and Moderate; it not seldom becomes a vexatious Bur

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then; and we have more Reafon to wish it off our gall'd Shoulders, than before we had to purfue it fo furiously. But here what do Men generally do in this Cafe? Do they renounce, and defpife the gaudy Happiness with which they are adorned? Do they quietly return to their former Condition? No such Matter: The guilded, and varnished Trouble pleases awhile, and tho' they feel themfelves no better, perhaps worfe at Ease within, yet to be look'd at, and cring'd to, makes full Amends for all other Things. And fuch a one doubts not the next Degree, the next Step of Preferment, the next Apartment in the Temple of Honour, will fully fatisfy, and recompenfe his late Difappointment, and fo with as swift a Wing he speeds on to the next Stage of Dignity, as he did to that which he is now poffeffed of, which, when arrived at, in the fame Manner pleases and takes him awhile, till at last he is fated, and cloy'd with what he so ambitiously courted: Yet he will not leave his beloved Evil, his tickling Torture; but infenfible of his redoubled Experience, vainly promises to himself Peace, Comfort, and full Satisfaction, if he may be allowed to climb one Degree higher, till at last, when he has this his ultimate Wish, he grows giddy with the Height, and falls lower than ever he was before, the Example of the Prudent, and Laughter of Fools. All this while I may feem to fhoot very wide off the Mark, and not to confider on what Occafion I am meditating. But if it be confidered that small and great Honour differ but in Degree; and that a Tradefman will be as earnest


for the Mayoralty of a fmall Town, as a Duke for a Kingdom proportionably; it will appear I have not wholly deviated from my proposed Subject. For at Cambridge I will maintain fome will look as big, and be as proud, and conceited upon the Change of a Year, or the obtaining the Degree of Batchelor, as Alexander on the Conqueft of India; or Cæfar on his Victory over Pompey his Rival for the Empire of the World. Nay, you shall see a Soph, who never yet faw eighteen, as high and lordly, as hectoring and imperious, as if he was newly made Emperor in Utopia. So much does the Defire of Honour, and the Fancy of being above others, prevail in all Mankind. But to come close to the Point. When I seriously confider my Degree, and the Duties belonging to it, or that are like to be fubfequent of it, fuch as being at Liberty, and at one's own Dispose; and more from under the Care of Tutors and Overfeers; being thereby obliged to greater Gravity, Serioufness, and to carry one's felf like Men and Scholars; the being shortly to be employ'd, if God spare Life and Health, in the facred, and vastly important Office of the Miniftry; and fuch like. These Confiderations, I fay, rather induce me to Sollicitude, and fervent Prayer to God Almighty, that he would be pleased to take care of me, and enable me to discharge faithfully the feveral Duties I am, or may hereafter be called to. I have very great Cause I confefs of adoring, bleffing, and celebrating the Name of my good God, who has kept me hitherto through all the Dangers of Infancy, Child


hood, and Youth, and preferved me untainted from any of thofe notorious Vices which abound every where, and especially who has been my Guide, Helper and Father at Cambridge, where I have been far from my dear Mother, and kind Relations, and fo more immediately committed to the Almighty's Providence; and here indeed I have had various, and great Inftances of the tender Care, and Bleffing of God, in preferving my Soul free from those infectious Vices which the University too much abounds withall; though I must acknowledge, with Shame and Regret, that I have often been chill'd and cool'd in my Religion, with the conftant worldly Difcourfe, and Converse; and the rare Examples, among my Equals, of a lively Senfe of God and Religion; and with the too formal, though frequent and re-iterated Exercife of publick Devotion: Though I fay, from these Things, and my own Backwardness, and Want of ferious Improvement of Sacraments, Sabbaths, and thofe many excellent Sermons I have heard here, I cannot brag of much Improvement as to my fpiritual Concerns; yet God has by no means been wanting with his Grace, both preventing and assisting to me, and has continued his Mercy alfo to me to this very Moment: And in particular, has fo far preferved my Health, under a weak Frame of Body, that I have never been fo ill for any Time as not to be able to help myself, and fo commit myfelf to some who oft prove, Murderers, if Reports be true, instead of Nurfes. This I esteem a very great Favour, for methinks I could be content, if


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