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of some farther improvements : but if your Congregation are disposed to accept it in its present imperfect state, I ought to submit without scruple to their good intentions. On one account, I am pleased with the accident: it gives me a fair opportunity of expressing my regard and affection for you, who serve the Church at large, by dedicating your life, as Mr. Broughton, that eminent example of piety, did before you, to the business of Christianity, as well as to the other common offices of devotion and cha: rity,
In return for the honour your Congregation have done me, I can wish them nothing better, than that they may distinguish wisely, and receive
faithfully, the blessings they may derive from your ministry.
This Epistle is the smallest testimony due to your merits, from,
AND THEY THAT USE THIS WORLD AS NOT ABUS
ING IT. I COR. VII. 31.
To distinguish properly between the use
of this world, and the abuse of it, is the
every wise man; and happy will it be for him, if, when he knows this distinction, he makes it a rule of action, which doing, it will seldom fail to direct him.
How common is it for men to render their lives insignificant to others, and troublesome to themselves, for want of knowing, and observing this plain distinction! The life of man is, and will be, short, when we do our best; and it must be often disturbed, by the ways of other people, over whom we have no power: but after all, most of the evils which man finds in this FF 3
life, are of his own making. Natural and necessary evils
may be great, but artificial evils are much greater : and so true is this, that if the case were properly related, with all circumstances, it would be generally found, that of those unhappy wretches, who drive themselves out of the world, the far greater number are brought to this extremity, by their abuse of it. They first spoil the world by their folly, then dislike it, and at last leave it in despair. Great effects often follow from little causes ; on which account, the nature of effects and causes in human life should be minutely observed, that we may know how to avoid the beginnings of danger: and if we cannot be so great, or so happy, as we may be tempted to wish, we may at least not be the authors of our own misery,
There are so many plain matters of fact to prove what I say, that the subject before us may be seen, and understood, by every person that will cast his eye upon it. It will be therefore profitable for us to survey some of the chief of those things, which this world presents to us; and having considered what their natural and proper use is, according to the intention of Providence; then to compare the conduct of men in respect to them, and