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the same Laws and Rules of Life, the fame Terms and Conditions of obtaining his Love and Favour here, and Eternal Salvation hereafter, from the Performance of which there can be no Exemption or Dispensation for anyone of us. 'The Sons and Daughters of Nobles , and the Children of Mechanicks and Peasants, are under the fame Obligation to consecrate the Prime of their Days to the Author of their Being- If there be any Difference , those that are born to Wealth and Honour are upon that very Account so much the more obliged to be mindful of God, and their Duty to Him, by how much a larger Share of the Divine Beneficence has been imparted to them. The Arguments therefore which are used in the fore-mentioned Book .to persuade Young People, without Delay, to apply themselves in their tender Years to the Remembrance of their Creator, and the Care of their Souls, may be as needful to be considered by 'she noble and honourable as by the meanest Readers. And the Counsels, Cautions, Exhortations and Directions there given, being useful and pertinent to be laid before them, as well as any that are of an inferior Rank, some of them I know have afforded them their serious Perusal. But yet for the further and more particular Instruction of those among them who shall be pleafed to read what is here offered I purpose, with God's Help, to consider,
I. The Difficulties and Temptations to which in their State and Condition of Life they are usually exposed more than others.
JI. The Possibility of overcoming those Difficulties, and obtaining a glorious Victory over all those Temptations.
III. The Means by which (if rightly used) they may be, not only possibly or probably but most certainly overcome.
IV. The Advantages which those that are in the upper part of the World enjoy above others, and the way to make an early and happy Improvement of them.
My attempting to give Advice to Persons whose Birth or Fortunes have placed them above the rest of Mankind, may perhaps be look'd upon by some as a confident Undertaking. But I have not adventured upon it without imploring his Leave and Assistance who is infinitely higher than the highest upon Earth, by whose Blessing, if these my well meant Endeavours shall do any good, (as I hope they will) tho' it be but to a few, 1 shall not be much concern'd for the Censure of others.
Gratitude also, as well as Hope of Success, has excited me to make this Ejsaj. For having in my younger Time been Domestick Chaplain first to a Knight, then to a Baronet, who was
, . the the only Son os a Peer and Privy-Counsellor, and afterwards for several Years to another Baronet, all which were of considerable Eminency for their Piety and Virtue as well as their Honour and Estates, and having by this means had the Opportunity of receiving many favours, both from themselves and from their noble and honourable Relations, this has made me desirous to do some Service, if I can, to the Posterity of those by whom I have been so much obliged.
I have no more to add by way of Preface, but only to let the Reader understand', that when I had almost finished what I have here written I met with that pleasant and pious Book, A Gentlemm inftrttffed in the Conduff of a, virtuous and happy Life, at the first Sight of which I had some Thoughts of not suffering my own to appear in publick. But after I had observed how much they differed from each other in Matter, Method, and Stile, I was of Opinion that mine also might be of use towards promoting the fame good Design which that aims at. God grant that by his benign Influence the one as well as the other may be attended with the most desirable Effect.
ERR.AT A. . pAge 9. Line 11. read specious, p. 16. 1. 15, '• of muchA p. 21. I. 10. blot out that. p. 22. I. 29. blot out ofp. 25- I. 29. r. Ill-nurture, p. 40. J. 27. r. as well as hisp. 43. I. 22. r. will be a lasting, p. 98. 1. 6. r. those, p. 104. I. 32. r. in my former Book. p. 114. 1. 12. T. faltering. p. 115. I. 35. r. my former Book,, p, 124. 1. 4., r. Exinanition. p. a 29. 1. 35. r. different.
Of the Difficulties and Temptations to which the Toetng Gentry may be expos'd more thin others.
Ealth and Honour ate great Theatres for the Exercise and Try al of Human Life, to (hew what Temper a Person is of: And tho' they are earnestly desir'd, and vehemently pursu'd, and may with good Conduct be excellently employ'd, yet the early possession of them in the rawness of younger Years, generally proves an impediment to early Piety, where1 due Precautions are not observed* 'Tis rio easy thing to command and manage a high rising and flowing Fortune. The fuller our Sails are, and the wider they spread, the more hazardous will our Voyage be, through the blustering Winds and Storms, and all the variable Weather of an uncertain World.
The Splendor of Dignity, and the Affluence of Prosperity, do indeed Smile upon us, and seem to look very pleasantly; b»t*las, tbek-glitteriag Allurements, intoxicating Delicacies, and treacherous Inchantments,* are very apt to dazle the Eyes .of the Mind ; corrupt the Judgment; captivate the Affections, effeminate the Spirit, and weaken good Resolution. 1 hjis they dijaw Men aside fron) the tegular and* steads coarse of Wisdom and Virtue, unfess there be a djU.ige.nt Circumspection to avoid their Snares.
This, is a Matter which ought, to be truly and faithfully represented to Young Persons of Quality and Estate, not to discourage and dishhearteo the.m from attempting that which is of absolute Necessity towards their present and eternal Happiness; but by shewing them the Difficulties which those of their Rank may meet with in a Holy and Religious Life, to arm them against the Assaults of strong Temptations, to prepare them for the noblest Conflicts, and to animate them against all their Spiritual Enemies: Over whom by the Divine Grace and Assistance, they (hall certainly obtain a glorious Victory, is they Strive Sincerely, Fight Manfully, and persevere in this Christian Warfare ; as I shall afterwards more fully fliew\
It has been an old Question, Whether a Rich,, Henowrable, and Prosperous, or a Poor and Mean Condition., be most exposed to Dangers and Temptations f And„ccrtain it is, that both the one, and, the other, have Perils and Difficulties enough. Upon which account, a middle State between the two Extreams, seems most desirable; according to the Prayer of Agur, who begged that he might have no more than a competent Livelyhood, lest Superfluity mould tempt him to Carnal Confidence, Profaneness, and Irreligion ; or Penury and Want, draw him to Theft and Perjury. Give me, fays he, neither Poverty nor Riches; feed me with Food convenient for me; test I be full and deny thee,and fay Who is the Lord j Ot lest I be Peor and Steal, and take the Name of my Cod in vain, Prov. 30. 8, p. The Poor