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Q. Whether doth it wax old or not ?
A. All Writers do agree, and one Age teftifieth unto another, that it waxeth old as doth a Garment : And Experience itself finds, that in the Fruitfulness and Operation of Herbs, Plants, and Vegetables, the Defect and Decay thereof is daily seen ; and this lessening of the Operation and Vir, tue most sensibly perceived in the languishing Dolour of many incurable Diseases in these Times. Job xxxviii. 4. Where waft thou when I laid the Foundations of the Earth, declare, if thou haft Understanding? Who hath laid the Measures thereof, if thou knoweft, or who hath stretched the Line upon it ?
Q. Is the Life of a rich covetous Citizen, better than that of a rich country Farmer?
A. No; for it is better to be a Man among Beasts of the Field, than in the midst of a peopled City to be a Beast among Men. In the homely Village thou art more safe than in a fortified Castle'; the Stings of Envy, or the Bullets of Treason are never shot through those thin Walls. Sound Health is drank out of the wooden Dish, when the golden Cup boils over with Poison. The country Cottage is neither battered down in Time of War, nor pestered with clamorous Suits in Time of Peace; the Fall of Cedars, that tumble from the Top of Kingdoms, and the Ruin of great Houses that bury Families in their overthrow, and the Noise of Shipwrecks, that beget even Shrieks in the Hearts of Cities, seldom send their Terrors there. The Countryman is thrice happy in this, that he plays not with his Wings in the golden Flames of the Court, nor putteth his foot in the busy throng of the City; but resting contented in Winter to fit by a Country Fire, and in Summer to lay his Head on the green Pillows of the Earth, where his Sleep is soft Slumbers, and his waking, pleasant as golden Dreams ;his highest Ambition is to get up to the Mountains,
where he thinks himself a petty King; the greatest Trees bow to do him Reverence, and the Willows that bend at every Blait he may count his Flatterers, and the Valleys humbled at his Feet, his Slaveș ; no Prince keeps more skilful Musicians, the Birds are his Concerts, and their Inftruments yield ten thousand several sorts of Tunes. As the Poet farther writeth,
If Heaven the grateful Liberty would give,
Nor should the Sons of Poverty repine,
Law-Suits I'd fun with as much studious Care;
Happiness consists not in Sovereignty, or Power, or in great Riches, but in a right Composure of your. Affections, and in directing all your Actions according to right Reason. What are Riches ? Riches are but Cyphers, it's the Mind that makes the Sum. What am I the better for a great Eftate if I am not content with it ? for the Desire of having, will quickly take away all the Delights and Comforts in poffesfing. Alexander upon his Imperial Throne, with a restless and an ambitious Mind, is in a worse Condition than Diogenes in his Tub. What are Crowns and Scepters but gulden Fetters and splendid Miseries, which if Men did but truly understand, there would be more King-, doms than Kings to govern them; look not on the Splendor of a Crown, but upon the many Cares which accompany it; fix not your Eyes on the Purple, but upon the Mind of the King, more fad and dark than the Purple itself: Look not at the Squadrons of his Guards, but at the Armies E
of his Molestations that disturb him. Fortune is a great Slavery, and Thrones are but uneafy Seats. A contented Mind is of more Worth than all the Spice and Treasure in both the Indies; and he that enjoys himself in an innocent and homely Retreat, enjoys all the Wealth and Curiofaties in the Universe. It is the Mind, not the Place, nor any outward Circumstance, that makes os happy ; a Man must find Content in his own Borom or no where, for without Content the greatest Poffessions are no Satisfaction, and the Way to Heaven is as rear from a Cottage as a palace. Think Contentment the greatest Riches, and Covetousness the greatest Poverty. He is not rich that has much, but he that has enough. That Man is poor who covets more, and yet wants a Heart to enjoy what he has already. A wise Man will be happy in all Conditions, because he subjects all Things to himself; for he submits himself to Reason, and governs himself by Widom, not Paffion ; he is never troubled for what he has not, but rejoices, and is thankful to God, from the Bottom of his Heart, for what he at present posseffes. He is richest who is contented, for Content is, the Riches of Nature. When the Report came to Galicnus the Emperor, that Egypt was lost, what then said he? “ Cannot I live without the Flax of Egypt?!? And when he had Notice that a great Part of his Dominions in Asia were waited, what then said he? “ Cannot I live without the “ Delicacies of Afra?”It is an excellent Thing for Christians to speak thus of their Losses, from a Principle of true Resignation and Dependance upon God. Habakkuk 3. 17. 18. Verses. Alho' the Fig-tree shall not blossom, neither Mall Fruit be in the Vines, the Labour of the Olive fhall fail, and the Fields shall yield no Meat, the Flock thall be cut off from the Fold, and there shall be no