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Family; and therefore you will not bring down your Heart to your present Condition. But what follows from this ? Only that struggling under the Yoke makes it gall you the more ; and you are ten Times uneasier, than

you

need to be: whereas would

you

but accommodate your Spirit to your Station ; you would soon be sensible, that with Men as well as God, he that humbleth himself shall be exaltedo: You would enjoy, in this World, a peaceful Composure of Soul ; and in the next, that Blessedness, which is reserved for the Meek and Lowly.

But of all Sorts of Pride in the Poor, the strangest and most pernicious is that, which tempts not a few of them to imagine, they are of too much Consequence to do any Thing for their own Maintenance. Indeed when they have formerly been of good Rank and lived in Plenty, especially when their Fall from it is not owing to wilful Sins or Follies, it should be the Endeavour of their Relations and Friends to provide for them, in some Degree, suitably to what they once were.

But if such as are especially concerned, either cannot or will not do this, there is little Room to expect, that

b Matth. xxiii. 12. Q:

others

a

others should contribute enough towards it to be effectual. 'And therefore the unhappy Perfons whose Case it is, unless Providence raise them up some unlooked-for Support, fink down of Course to the Level of the common Poor: and it cannot be more the Duty of the Charitable to help them, than it is theirs to help themselves by any Sort of honest Employment, for which they are qualified. Once Heaven had placed you in a higher Sphere; now it hath reduced

you to a lower: the Occupations of the latter are as much incumbent upon you at present, as those of the former were before : and your Attention to them will be as

: amply rewarded by the Disposer of all Things. You must support yourself, either by virtuous Diligence, or by vicious Courses. The latter nothing can justify: the former, in whatever Way you are 'called to exercise it, will be no Reproach, but an Honour to you. .

And the Rich and Great, far from rejecting and disowning their poor Kindred or Acquaintance, for condescending to any useful Business, when Necessity requires, ought to encourage and applaud them. For it is an excellent Mark of a right and good Mind, that they rather chuse to work with Quietness, and eat their

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own Bread", than importune others, or lead themselves into Temptation. And indeed the Temptations, arising from Poverty and Diftress, are so very dangerous to those who have lived in Affluence and Credit ; that as soon as ever they find Difficulties coming upon them, (if they have any Regard to a good Conscience) they must immediately reduce their own Expences,

lower the Appearance and Expectations of those who depend on them, and so conduct every Thing, as may least expose them to the Hazard of acting amiss, and best secure them an honest Subsistence. For, whatever a false Honour may suggest to the contrary, Better is he that laboureth, and aboundeth in all Things, than he that boasteth himself and wanteth Bread". The Mention of this Matter hath led me insensibly to a

3d Duty of the Poor, and a very important one, that of Industry; to which Humility will greatly incline them, nor will Contentment be at all inconsistent with it. For a principal Reason why the Poor may be justly contented, is, that by Diligence they may go on very comfortably; and their being well enough fatisfied with their present Situation is no Manner ç 2 Theff. iii. 12.

d Ecclus X. 27.

of Objection against endeavouring to better it, when Opportunity offers. Every one indeed is bound to be industrious, in a Way suitable to his Rank, and contribute his Proportion to the common Good, in which he shares. Those of high Degree are able to do much Good singly; the Poor have each of them

little separate Power: but, considered as a collective Body, it is on their Application and Labour that the Wealth and Strength of Nations, all the Conveniences and Elegances of Life, indeed the Peace and good Order of Societies depend; for nothing but right Employment will keep them out of wrong. These Considerations make their Diligence of infinite Importance to the Public; and there are others, besides their Interest in the Public, that make it of equal Importance to themselves. It is true, in point of Conscience, the Rich are no less obliged to it than you ; but in point of worldly Necessity, the Difference is very wide. Nor yet is it any Disadvantage to you on the whole, that in this Particular you cannot well avoid acting as you ought. For to how many of your Superiors is it the greatest Unhappiness, that their Circumstances enable them to lead the Lives they do!

very

But,

But, in your Situation, indulging Idleness

, and its Companions can last but a very short Time;

and then will bring after it such dreadful Consequences, of Distress and Reproach, and Temptation to every Thing bad, (extending not only to you, but to all who belong to you) that you must resolve to follow some honest Employment clofely. Be it ever so much against your Liking at first, you will certainly come in Time to be

very

well pleased with it. Every one, that hath perfevered, hath found it so. And then, you will spend the rest of your Days in Satisfaction and Comfort ; you will be at Peace within, and respected both by your Equals and your Betters: if you have Children, you

will look

upon

them with Delight, and they upon you with Gratitude;

; you will make a Provision against Sickness and

. Accidents; and when you come to old Age, you will be able to afford yourself the Rest and Quiet you want, because you were willing to

, take Pains before: whereas they, who make Ease and Pleasure the Business of their early Years, will find Shame and Sorrow the Portion of the Remainder. They wickedly neglect the appointed Way of supporting themselves; and such as do, will commonly have bitter

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