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got free from under the Discipline of others, is presently to forget all they have learned, and to erase out of their Minds all the fober Counsels and useful Rules they had before receiv'd; huffing at all Instruction as a piece of Pedantry, fit only for Children in Coats, or Fools ; and freely revenging themselves on their Schoolmasters and Tutors, for arrempting to make them wise and good against their Wills.
But notwithstanding this, I must say that by our thus meeting together, we do but little credit either to our selyes or the School where we were brought up, or the Persons under whose Feet we lat, unless we also clearly discover to the World in our Temper and Conversation something excellent and singular, that may distinguish us from the rude untutored Vulgar, the ignorant and illiterate Rout.
Were that only good Breeding which is now most falhionable, and doth in ordinary account pass among us for such, I should very freely acknowledg it a Blessing not much to be valued or regarded. To move one's Leg and Body gracefully and in time ; to bow and cringe in Mood and Figure; to wear Clothes most exactly made according to the newest Mode ; to be able to speak of the French. Court, and to repeat the witty part of a Play, and to talk finely of Love and Honour, and make smart Repartees ; and to give every one good words, without meaning any thing at all by them; to know how to embroider a Dif
courfe with many Oaths and a little Atheisin; to be able to drink high, and hector loudly ; to abuse a Parson, and to dare to kill a Man : these and luch others, not worth naming, are too often now-a-days reputed the only genteel Accomplishments of a well-bred Person.
But these are not the things we learn’d at St. Paul's School, nor is this the Education which we now assemble in God's House to bless his Name for. Those are truly well-bred, not only whose Understandings and discerning Faculties are improved and enlarged, but elpecially whose natural Rudenels and Stubborness is broken, and wild and unruly Pafsions tamed; whose Affections and Desires are made governable and orderly ; who are become manageable and flexible, calm and tractable, willing to endure Restraints, and to live according to the best Rules. By good Education, we are as it were made over again, the
Roughness of our natural Tempers is filed off, and all their Defects fupply'd ; and by prudent Discipline, good Example, and wife Counsel, our Manners are so formed, that by the Benefit of a happy Education we come almost as much to excel other Men, as they do the brute Beasts that have no Understanding.
How much therefore we are obliged to our School, we can no better way shew than by our civil and comely Demeanour, by our compliant and inoffensive Conversation, by our courteous and affable, sweet and benign
Disposition, by our kind, useful and sociable
If we consult the fober Judgments of all Men, we shall foon find that there is nothing renders a Man more respected, his Company more pleafaut, and delightful, and desirable'; nothing procures greater Credit and Reputation, and sooner obtains the good word of every one, than a free, ingenuous, candid and condescending Temper, that studies to oblige, and rejoices to do good; that there is nothing more noble and generous than a universal Love and Good-will to all Men; nothing more amiable than Mildness, Peaceableness, and Gentleness of Spirit; nothing more graceful and genteel than Kindness and Benignity; nothing more honourable and manly than being useful and beneficial to all round about us.
And these are indeed Qualities and Perfections hardly attainable (as a wife Man expresfes it) by those who hold the Plough, and glory
in the Goad; who drive Oxen, and are occupied in their Labours; and whose talk is of their Bullocks ; who give their Mind to make Furrows, and are diligent to give the Kite Fodder. These are above the reach of the Smith who fitteth by the Anvil, and considereth the Iron work; the Vapour of the Fire wasteth his Flesh, and he fighteth with the Heat of the Furnace : the Noife of the Hammer and the Anvil is ever in his Ears, and his Eyes look fiill upon the Pattern of the thing he maketh. Vulgar and undisciplin'd
Minds are not capable of such noble Principles; and worthy Inclinations.
If we indulge our furious and intemperate Appetites, and blind and impotent Passions; if we are apt to pick Quarrels, and delight in Feuds and Broils; if we allow our felves to rail and give ill Language; if we are rude and faucy in our Behaviour towards others, or practise any of the mean Arts and Methods of Detraction, we basely unman and degrade our selves, and offer an Affront to that liberal Education which hath been bestow'd upon us, and equal our felves to the vulgar Rout. For where are such Qualities as these to be found but among Clowns and Beggars, among the Savage and Unbred ? Such Accomplishments as these befit only Hoftlers and Porters: they are most highly distasteful to all Company; and productive of Aversation and Difrefpect. In a word, if you would excel others in point of true Worth and Excellency, endeavour to get your Souls possessed with this Divine Grace of Charity, which is the only thing that dotặtruly ennoble a Man, that doth exalt and dignify his Nature, and raise him above the rest of his Fellow-Creatures.
The SEVENTH SERMON.
NUMB. XXIII. 10. - Let me die the Death of the Righteous, and let my last End be like bis.
Shall not now trouble you with enquiring into the strict meaning of these words as
utter'd by the Prophet Balaam ; but I shall consider them only as they are commonly understood, viz. as containing in them the secret Wish and Desire of most wicked and ungodly Men: who, tho they are loth to be at the pains of living the Life, yet would fain die the Death of the Righteous, and would gladly that their latter End should be like his. As well as Men love their Sins, yet they would not willingly be damned for them. They can't