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Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or

Produced by Anna C. Haugen, Frank van Drogen, Victoria Dean-Woosley and PG Distributed Proofreaders.

OCCASIONAL THOUGHTS

In reference to a

Vertuous or Christian

LIFE.

LONDON,

Printed for A. and J. Churchil at the Black Swan in Pater-noster Row. 1705.

THE PREFACE.

_The following discourse was written some Years since, not without the thought that, possibly, it might be of farther use than for the entertainment of the Writer: Yet so little express Intention was there of Publishing the Product of those leisure Hours it employ'd, that these Papers lay by for above two Years unread, and almost forgotten. After which time, being perus'd and Corrected, they were communicated to some Friends of the Authors, who judging them capable to be useful, they are now sent into the World in that Hope.

There is nothing pretended or suppos'd to be in them which is not obvious: but Truths the most evident, are sometimes overlook'd, or not sufficiently and universally attended to: And where these are Truths of moment, it is no ill Service, by frequent representations of them, to procure them attention.

I think there can be few heartily concerned for the Vice and Immorality that abounds amongst us, who have not sometimes reflected upon loose or careless Education, as one cause thereof: But yet the great weight that right Instruction and Discipline of Youth, is of, in respect both of Peoples present and future Felicity, is (as I take it) far from being generally so settl'd in the Minds of Parents, as to be steadily look'd upon by them as the one thing to that degree necessary, that without due care taken thereof, all other indeavours, to render their Children happy, either in this Life, or in that which is to come, are likely to be very inefficacious.

That right Instruction, in regard of Vertue, consists in joining together, inseparably, good Principles with early Habits, either of these being insufficient without the other, is likewise, I presume, no new Thought: But is yet what appears to me to be very little reflected upon. When this is duly consider'd, People cannot, I think, but be soon convinc'd from what Hands the right Instruction spoken of, ought to come; for nothing can, in my Opinion, be more obvious than that is. If these_ OCCASIONAL THOUGHTS _shall produce better digested ones from any other Hand; or shall themselves be any way serviceable to the reducing or directing of one single Soul into the paths of Vertue, I shall not repent the Publishing them: And however useless they may be to this end (sincerely aim'd at) yet the very Design will intitle them to no unfavourable reception: For but to indeavour to contribute, in the least degree, to the Honour of God, or Good of Mankind, can never stand in need of Pardon. And such a Modesty or Fear of displeasing any as withholds Men from enterprising the one, or the other of these, where nothing but their own Credit is hazarded, should the design not succeed, is, on the contrary, very blameable.


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