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excite us, moving in an inferiour Capacity, to a noble Emulation of fo great an Original, and to copy after fo glorious an Example of Wif dom; in Order to be like him in a lower Sphere of Life and Happiness, by our good Behaviour. Such a laudable Imitation of his Virtues, it is to be hop'd, will prove the current Felicity of our Lives ever after, without any Danger of a Fall, or relapfing into the contrary Vices; efpecially upon confidering the Caution given us of Solomon's Vanities, Frailties, and "Sins he had " been drawn into by the Snares of ftrange Women, "in his Juvenile Years: Who had made this "admirable Perfon as great an Example of Folly
afterwards, as he had been before of Wisdom: But his hearty Repentance falv'd all; heal'd his Sores, cur'd the Evil, and render'd him the great Ecclefiaftes of the World.
II. HOW well does her Royal Majefty, as a moft exemplary loving Mother, here discover her good Nature and Tenderness, by discharging her bounden Duty and Confcience to her dear Son in this Leffon of Virtue! How is fhe wrapt up in his Welfare and Wifdom! The Inftruction of her beloved Darling Prince, the growing Hopes of her noble Family, is the great Concern of her Life. Nothing comes in Competition with it, but God and her Spouse; by the strictest Obligation of facred Worship, divine Reverence, and humane Honour, in the first Place. But when they are both duly ferved, her next Care is to cultivate the natural Endowments of his Mind, with the utmoft Satisfaction and Pleasure of her own Soul. And, Thanks be to God! we have many good indulgent Mothers at this Time of Day; who, out of natural Affection as well as Duty, follow her B 3
glorious Example in the early Tuition of their Children; who take the greatest Care of their Well-doing, and are generally folicitous for the Improvement of their Understandings, by inftructing them in the Principles both of Morrality and Religion, as well as cultivating both their Bodies and their Minds with good Education in their tender Years. Careful Mothers! who never leave their Children wholly to their own Evil Geniuses, wild Inclinations, or the Liberties of the wide World. Who never abandon them to fhift for themselves, and to choose what Perfwafion, or what Way of Living they pleafe, that moft ftrikes their fond Fancies, or gratifies their giddy Brains; untaught, unadvis'd, and perhaps undone at laft for Want of fuch wholefome Counfels and Qualifications of Virtue, as their negligent Parents ought to have given them in their Infancy, and inculcated when they came to Maturity of Reafon.
TO keep good Company ought to be the first establish'd Principle and ftanding Precept of all youthful Inftruction. Civil Conversation is certainly the juft Delight of the wifer Part of the World. But then our common Chat in Private requires, either the ftrictest Regulation of Thought, and exacteft. Government of the Tongue, or the earliest Reformation of Manners, and Averfion of Libertinifm; for fear of publick Cenfure, Reflection or Scandal. Giving Offence by loofe, Table-Talk will always be accounted a Breach of humane Society and familiar Friendship; as well as the Diffolution of Virtue and Honour, off the Lip of an immodeft Mouth. Wo be to the Offender! For what can be the End of his ludicrous Fooleries, lufcious
lufcious Difcourfes, or vain Babblings in Company? Let himfelf judge, if any Good can come on't; if any Applaufe; if any Approbation; if any Intereft, either Temporal or Spiritual, can accrue from fuch vile Talking, of immoral Smut, Bawdry and Prophanenefs, by whole-fale, among virtuous Hearers. 'Tis nothing but vending of bad Air; fpreading an infectious Breath, or at leaft retailing of Smoak and Afhes, Froth and Vapours. Let his own Confcience be the Court, and his laft Appeal made to common Modesty for Conviction. Howeyer furely no young Stripling, how guilty or gallant foever, can pretend, that either his Mother or his Mafter ever taught him fuch licentious Leffons. But the Degeneracy must proceed rather from evil Communication, or the Corruption of a deprav'd Nature. And yet nothing exceeds, or comes up to Burlesquing of Scripture, fporting with Blafphemy, and ridiculing Religion, for Wickedness among fome modifh Gentlemen. When Mysteries of Faith are made a Banter; and Miracles, a Mockery : Woe betide the merry Jefter, the miserable Blafphemer, the diffolute Tranfgreffor of common Senfe, Law and Reafon! But a Perfon that is foul at Heart, will ever be as foul in the Mouth; and deserves the feverest Sarcasm of the Pfalmift for his Pains: For who but a Fool would have faid in his Heart, There is no God? Let the most harden'd Atheist make the Refle&tion, and seriously confider, that if there be none, we are all in as good a Condition as himfelf; but and if there be one, (as undoubt edly there is, and he must believe it, if he will fairly give himself leave to look out of his Eye-Lids) What a dangerous Condition is he in? Natural Reason fhould induce him to chew B 4 the
the Cud upon this Argument for his Conver fion. However, my Bufinefs is with Believers, not Infidels. Give me Leave then to recommend the whole Book of Proverbs, as the best Summary of Inftruction, that Parents can give their Children from their Cradles; either for the Study of Wisdom, the Prolongation of their Lives in Peace and Profperity, or the Keeping of better Company and Converfation, than that of profligate Atheists, foolish Deifts, or lewd Libertines. Nothing ought to be more abhorr'd, than irreligious Buffoonry; or more defpis'd, than fpiritual Merry- Andrews. Let their dutiful Children rather learn thofe incomparable Leffons of Virtue, often read and revolve them, till they have made the deepest Impreffion in their tender Hearts, Minds and Memories. They will accomplish them, by the Grace of God, in their Manhood with inexpreffible Glories, of Underftanding, Knowledge and Difcretion; of Justice, Judgment and Equity; of Chastity, Charity and Temperance; of Protection, Safety and Succefs; of Piety, Patience and Preferverance to Eternity, in Purfuit ftill of a more bleffed State of Life towards the Confummation of all Happiness.
ON the contrary, alas! there are fome Mothers now-a-days, that would fain be thought careful and indulgent Parents; and yet rarely fend their Children abroad to any School, (except that of Dancing) either for Writing, Reading, or Accounts; for good Breeding, or more neceffary Needle-Work; to learn the Rudiments of Religion, or to be inftructed in the Fundamentals of Christianity, by practising upon the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, rather than the Antick Gefticulations
of the Body: Which fhews, that they have a greater Value for the Education of their Heels, than the Inftruction of their Heads. I am not Speaking against the Genteelnefs of that Profeffion, or the Lawfulness of that Practice; but it would move any good Man's Indignation to confider, that the bleffed St. John Baptift loft his Head by a Dancing-Bout. However, fuch careless Mothers as thefe, often teach both their Sons and Daughters a viler Leffon of Life at Home; a falfe Leffon of Folly and Vanity; of Pride, Luxury and Liberty; of dreffing fine alamode, to the Prejudice of their nobler Parts, or the Disadvantage of their Devotion; and of mifpending their Time in going too much to Balls, Plays and Masquerades; or of frequenting the Theatre of Sin, and the Anti-Chamber of Iniquity, oftener than pioufly reforting to the Houfe of God, to deprecate all Temptations of Levity, Incontinency and Debauchery: Which portends nothing but a total Diffolution of good Manners, and prophefies little elfe, than an impending Ruin, or Danger both of Body and Soul, by the licentious Practice. The moft Angelick Fopperies ought to be fhunn'd, and alluring Appearances abridg'd; which only fet forward People a Satanizing in their juvenile Years.
BUT what shall we fay of another fort of indolent, idle Mothers, if there can be any fuch, as it is commonly reported, with as much Credit as Reproach: Thofe that actually infufe ill Principles into their Children, instead of Virtues; and bring them up to nothing but fome jejune, barren, or base Obfervations of the Tea-Table, by their bad Examples? There they are oftentimes golfiping, back-biting and di