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"medicine of life, and they that fear the Lord fhall find him." Such a friend will do more than keep you from harm, he will do you great good, and afford you the most solid pleafure, by his advice and counfel, and affistance in all difficulties. But remember if you are not virtuous he will not accept your friendship. Be not hafty in pronouncing judgment, or fixing your choice. The moft perfect have many faults; but think yourself happy to be connected with perfons who have the fewest, and take great care not to forfeit their efteem. There is nothing more engaging than good-nature, with an eafy, placid, obliging deportment : but amiable as thefe qualities are, and useful among good people, they will expose you to danger among the bad, and there is no other remedy than to fhun those who are badly inclined.
3. MAKE it a point, not to accept a great favor of those whom, in your heart, you do not esteem. You must however decline it in fuch a manner as to disguise the real caufe: we may fafely defire to be excufed, without giving a reason for our conduct. We are advifed "to be in peace with many, nevertheless, to have "but one counfeller in a thousand ;" and in another place to live peaceably "with all men." In concerns of an indifferent nature, let the love of peace, and the gratification of the focial affections lead you to confult the bumor of others, rather than to follow your own: but let it be in things which do not affect your virtue, your health, or which tempt you to go beyond the measure of your fortune, or the depth of your pocket, for in these cases good-nature often degenerates into wickednefs or folly. Whether in private, or in public concerns, with refpect to your friend, or your patron, in the future progress of your life, take care not to pay too dear for any thing; I mean, to do nothing which may corrupt your heart, or warp your judgment from its true bias. Your firft confideration ought to be, not what you may gain, or what will please another, or engage his friendship, but what you can do with a fafe confcience. The lefs you find this rule is attended to, in common life, the more watchful you ought to be of yourself to discharge your duty as a good man, a good christian, and a good fubject. Think conftantly of the Short span of life, and the duration of eternity, and let what will happen; let the world burst around you; ftill repose your trust in God!
4. BE FAITRFUL to your MASTER; delight in obeying his commands; make his interest your own; rejoice when you fee him prosper in his trade, and be industrious that he may profper. This is one of the best proofs you can give of the fincerity of your heart towards God.
5. IF your master should unfortunately happen to be morofe, or hafty in you must compassionate him, for all men are frail. Convince him by your conduct, that you are gentle, patient, zealous, and careful of his intereft. Thus you will overcome evil with good, and win his kindness, by fhewing him that you are refolved to deferve it.
6. CONSIDER that you are making great ftrides towards manhood; and the more faithful apprentice you are, the better mafter you will make; and you will be the more able to teach your apprentices to be faithful to you, whenever it shall please God to put any under your care.
7. OBSERVE what it is you BIND yourself to, and the DUTY and service you owe to your master. For this purpose, here is a copy of your indenture (a), you know the time and conditions, I hope you will be very attentive to the obligations contained in it, and difcharge them punctually, for confcience fake. Thus by your labor and ingenuity you will learn, in due time, how to maintain yourself with credit; and by the good character you will acquire, joined to the kindness of your mafter, and the favor of your friends, when you have ferved out your apprenticeship, you will be enabled to get your own bread.
8. Be kind and affectionate to your fellow apprentices; it will give you a habit of friendship and good will to mankind: but take care to fhun all fuch as are vicious, when you find it impracticable to reclaim them. Take pleasure alfo in the acquaintance of these lads, who are placed out the fame year as yourself, whenever you meet them our oldest acquaintance are generally most dear to us. Commend and praise them, if they act well; reproach them, if they are wicked or foolish. To
(a) This is annexed to these instructions
forget God, is to forget themselves. Here is a lift of their names (b), that you may know and remember them the better.
9. BE not only tender hearted but refpectful to all mankind: we are the noblest part of the works of God; and when we behave well are next to angels. Malice and revenge are paffions which no one can harbor in his breast without offending God; and foft words generally turn away wrath; but to give the lie is abominable. It is alfo dangerous to affociate, or keep company with thofe who are brutish in their discourse. But what is dust and afbes, that a man should pretend to be the judge in his own cause, and to punish as his own passions direct? We are admonished by a very wife man, in these most expreffive words. "Remember thy end, and let "enmity ceafe, remember corruption and death, and abide in the commandments." And furely if you do remember this, you will fee the folly, not of malice, revenge, or cruelty only, but even of the resentment of injuries. Remember them only to guard yourself against them upon like occafions. Is it any reafon to do a wrong thing, because another has been guilty of injuftice, ingratitude, or ill manners? Be forry for him, that he forgot himself; and fhew your fuperiority over him, by being the master of your own paffions: confider that these things happen, to some one or other, every day; why fhould you be furprized that they happen to you? — If it was your vice or weakness, which brought this evil upon you, have patience; if virtue occafioned it, look up to heaven, and wait till your caufe is judged. - Were men to execute private, vindictive justice on each other, the world would be a scene of blood. You will often fee that those who do not restrain their wrath, nor appeal to the laws of their country, when such appeals are abfolutely neceffary, often destroy each other, on account of the most trifling incidents.
10. INJURE no perfon by word or deed, and meditate on the golden rule. Do as you would, or in reason think you ought, to be done by. — Neither fuffer any one to be injured by word or deed, when it is in your power to prevent it. Of all the foolish customs of the world, there are none which betray greater foolishness of heart, than
(b) This is either in manuscript or print, and pasted into their book.
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a hafty belief of idle or fcandalous reports of others, whether high or low, rich or poor. To condemn unheard, and to judge of things from reports of ignorant or prejudiced perfons, is unjuft, as well as foolish: to once you receive right information, you will be ten times in a mistake. Befides, credulity, or believing every thing you hear, is an argument of a very weak head, if not a bad heart.
11. Be a DUTIFUL SON; comfort your parents in fickness; and let it be your chief care to cherish them in old age, that they may lay down their hoary heads in peace, and bless you with their last breath. Be careful not to offend them by word or deed. Thus God will undoubtedly bless you, and give you a long life, as is promised in the fifth commandment: be well affured of this, and that no rule of human prudence can be more fafely depended on. It is alfo more than probable, that your fons alfo will be the more dutiful to you, when you have any.
12. Be careful and industrious, and you will be enabled to MARRY at so much an earlier time of life; and as this will the more easily preferve your innocency, which must ever be your first care, you will also become so much the better subject, and the better citizen, and probably live moft comfortably. Idleness, or pride, or wickedness, are generally the cause why fo many marry late, and fo many do not marry at all.
13. LEARN how to exercise the same love and affection to your children, if it fhould please God to bless you with any, as your parents have shown to you, in thus happily fixing you in the world. Be careful of them; it is a scandal for parents to part with their children to a work-house, or an hofpital, and a greater reproach still to breed them up without the fear of God. Whatever your condition may be, your children ought to learn to read: the want of this, is the cause why fo many know fo little of their religion, and fo many, having not the amusement of reading, in their vacant hours, run into wicked courses, particularly in and about London. And if reading were general, it could not create any improper distinctions of poor and rich.
14. As you are under the patronage of the noble lords and gentlemen, who are ftewards of the Stepney-feaft this year, endevor to merit their favor, during the whole courfe of your life, and fignalize yourfelf in such a manner, as to engage their attention. If you excel all other apprentices in your trade or profeffion, and hereafter give proof of any distinguished merit, you may, with the better countenance, afk a favor of your generous benefactors, for the prefervation of whofe lives, and the continuance of whofe profperity, fend up your prayers to heaven. That you may not be at a lofs to know who the ftewards are, here is a lift of their names (c), and alfo a prayer for your benefactors (d).
15. Ir is beyond all dispute, that the providence of God governs the world, and we cannot certainly tell what the event of our actions will be. Upon the whole we know, that bonesty is the best policy, though fome villains thrive, with regard to this world. To be provident or thrifty, and careful of expence, is the readiest way to keep poverty at arm's-length. The generality of men are much more anxious to be rich, with a view to the enjoyments of this world, than to be virtuous in expectation of the happiness of the next. In proportion as our faith in God, and our confidence in his promises are weak, we are apt to indulge ourselves more or lefs in a fondnefs of this world, but those who are moft fond of it, are generally the most wicked or foolish, and you may be fure that the rich have many inquietudes, to which the poor are ftrangers. Spend but little, you can never be in want of much; and, if your defires are moderate, you will never do a bad action for the fake of gain. Remember, that although good men fometimes fuffer inconveniences for want of money, whether the want was occafioned by their own neglect, or from any other caufe, yet bad men, who get it dishonestly, fuffer more either by a bad conscience, or having no confcience at all; for they must give an account of their lives, be they good or evil, and will be punished for offences, of which they never repented; and you may be well affured, that bad habits are not eafily cured. You will fee very few (c) A lift of the stewards, in manuscript or print, is pasted into the book which is given them. (d) This prayer, with some others, such as are least common in books of private prayer, is inferted at the close of these instructions.