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of this dull Clay, and elevate my Soul above Flesh and Blood; who wilt bestow on me, till my old Tenement the Body be re-edified, a more light and glorious Vehicle; through which I shall more easily see the Beauty and Loveliness of my God, and perceive somewhat of those Joys which I hope for at the Resurrection of the Just. How does these Thoughts, this Glimpse 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 himself? Tho' I have been a great Sinner, and utterly unworthy the least 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 sincere Endeavours of pleasing him, and obeying his holy Commandments ; and that he will not overlook the meanest 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 constant Care to live so 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 Jesus, 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 so to overcome the Temptations of this ensnaring World, that I may not be afraid or ashamed to die, and appear at thy dreadful Tribunal ; ' but may
Wence does every one wait for the least Ho
so watchfully, piously, righteously, soberly, and circumspectly, 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 Rest of holy Souls! Amen, Amen, blessed Je
Feb. 2, 1674
Degree of Batchelor of Arts.
nour or Advantage in this World ! How earnestly does our Soul pant after the least Accommodation which it fancies will please, trim, and adorn it ; and make it look a little considerable in the Eyes of the rest of Mankind ? With what Heat, Passion, and Ardour of Affection, are Honours, Dignities, and Proinotions, fought after ; as if they were an effential Ingredient in Beatitude ; and, as if they would make a mighty Accession to the Heap of those Goods, the Accumulation of which is supposed to contain that which Nature does incline us all to, plenary and perfect Happiness. This is the Case of Mankind when they are in the Pursuit of Honour and Advantage. But when the Desire 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 Desires is to the Wise and Moderate ; it not seldom becomes a vexatious Bur
then; and we have more Reason to wish it off our gall’d Shoulders, than before we had to pursue it so furiously. But here what do Men generally do in this Cafe? Do they renounce, and despise 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 themselves no better, perhaps worse at Ease within, yet to be look'd at, and cring’d to, makes full Amends for all other Things. And such a one doubts not the next Degree, the next Step of Preferment, the next Apartment in the Temple of Honour, will fully satisfy, and recompense his late Disappointment, and so with as swift a Wing he speeds on to the next Stage of Dignity, as he did to that which he is now possessed of, which, when arrived at, in the same Manner pleases and takes him awhile, till at last he is sated, and cloy'd with what he so ambitiously courted: Yet he will not leave his beloved Evil, his tickling Torture ; but insensible 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
All this while I may seem to shoot very wide off the Mark, and not to consider on what Occasion I am meditating. But if it be confidered that small and great Honour differ but in Pegree; and that a Tradesman will be as earnest
for the Mayoralty of a small 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 some 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 Conquest of India; or Cæfar on his Victory over Pompey bis Rival for the Empire of the World. Nay, you shall see a Soph, who never yet saw eighteen, as high and lordly, as hectoring and imperious, as if he was newly made Emperor in Utopia. So much does the Desire of Honour, and the Fancy of being above others, prevail in all Mankind. come close to the Point. When I seriously consider my Degree, and the Duties belonging to it, or that are like to be subsequent of it, such as being at Liberty, and at one's own Dispose ; and more from under the Care of Tutors and Oyerseers ; being thereby obliged to greater Gravity, Seriousness, and to carry one's self like Men and Scholars; the being shortly to be employ'd, if God spare Life and Health, in the sacred, and vastly important Office of the Ministry; and fuch like. These Considerations, I say, 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 several Duties I am, or may hereafter be called to. I have very great Cause I confess of adoring, blessing, and celebrating the Name of my good God, who has kept me hitherto through all the Dangers of Infancy, Child
hood, and Youth, and preserved me untainted from any of those 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 so more immediately committed to the Almighty's Providence; and here indeed I have had various, and great Instances of the tender Care, and Blessing of God, in preserving 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 constant worldly Discourse, and Converse ; and the rare Examples, among my Equals, of a lively Sense of God and Religion ; and with the too formal, though frequent and re-iterated Exercise of publick Devotion: Though I say, from these Things, and my own Backwardness, and Want of serious Insprovement 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 also to me to this very Moment: And in particular, has so far preserved 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 so commit myfelf to some who oft prove, Murderers, if Reports be true, instead of Nurses. This I esteem a very great Favour, for methinks I could be content, if