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the bowels and compassions
We are bet- of a father are. Why did you Ur at giving not serve your own son so? than taking But it is evident enough, that good counsel, we are better at giving good counsel to others, than we are at taking good counsel ourselves. But mine honest neighbour, suppose that Mr Badman's fa. ther had done as you say, and by so doing had driven his son to ill courses, what had he bettered either himself or his son in so doing?
Atten\ That is true'; but it doth not follow, that if the father had done as I said, the son would have done as you suppose. But if he had done as you have supposed, what had he done worse thanwhat he hathdone already?
Wise. He had done bad enough, that is true. But suppose his father had given him no money, and suppose that young Badman had taken a pet thereat, and in an anger had gone beyond sea, and his father had neither seen him, nor heard of him more: Or suppose that of a mad and headstrong stomach, he had gone to the highway for money, and so had brought himself to the gallows, and his father and family to great contempt; or if by so doing he had not brought himself to that end, yet he had added to all his wickedness such and such evils besides; and what comfort could his father have had in this I
Besides, when his father had done for him what he could, with desire to make him an honest man, he would then, whether his soq
ad proved honest or no, have laid down his head with far more peace, than if he had taken your counsel.
Atten. Nay, I think I should not have been forward to have given advice in the cause; but truly you have given me such an account of his villainies, that the hearing thereof has made me angry with him.
Wise. In an angry mood we may soon outshoot ourselves: but poor wretch as he is, he is gone to his place. But, as I said, when a good father hath done what he can for a bad child, and that child shall prove never the better, he will lie down with far more peace, than if through severity he had driven him, to inconveniencies.
I remember that I have heard of a good woman, that had (as this old man) a bad and ungodly son, and she prayed for him, counselled him, and carried it motherly to him, for several years together; but still he re« mained bad. At last, upon a time, after she had been at prayer, as she was wont, for his conversion, she comes to him, and thus, or to this effect, begins again to admonish him. Son, said she, thou hast been, and art, a wicked child; thou hast cost me many a prayer and tear, and yet thou remainest wicked: Well, I have done my duty, I have done what I can to save thee; now I am satisfied, that if I shall see thee damned at the day of judgment, I shall be so far off from being grieved for thee, that I shall re* joice to hear the sentence of thy damnation
at that day. And it converted him.
I tell you, that if parents carry it lovingly towards their children, mixing their mercies with loving rebukes, and their loving rebukes with fatherly and motherly compassions, they are more likely to save their children, then by being churlish and severe towards them : But if they do not save them, if their mercy do them no good, yet it will greatly ease them at the day of death, to consider, I have done by love as much as I could to save and deliver my child from hell. Atten. Well, I yield. But pray let us return again to Mr Badman. You say that his father gave him a piece of money that h<j might set up for himself.
Wise. Yes, his father did give him a piece of money, and he did set up, and almost as sown set down again: for he Mr Bad- was not long set up, but by man sets up for his ill-managing of his mathimself. ters at home, together with
his extravagant expences abroad, he was got so far in debt, and had so little in his shop to pay, that he was hard put to it to keep himself out of prison. But when his creditors understood that he was a-, bout to marry, and in a far way to get a rich wife, they said, among themselves, We will not be hasty with him; if he gets a rich wife, he will pay us all. . Atten, But how could he so quickly run cut? for I perceive it was in little time, by what you say.
Wise. It was in little time indeed.; I think he was not above two years and a half in doing of it: but the reason is apparent, for he being a The reason wild young man, and now of his running having the bridle loose before out. him, and being wholly subjected to his lusts and vices, he gave himself up to the way of his heart, and to the sight of his eye, forgetting that for all these things God would bring him to judgment: and he that doth thus, you may be sure shall not be able long to stand on his legs.
Besides he had now an addition of new companions; companions, you must think, most like himself in manners, and so such that cared not who sunk, if they themselves might swim. These would often be haunting of him, and of his shop too,, when he was absent. They would commonly egg him to the alehouse, but yet make him Jacjtpay-for-all: They would also be borrowing money of him, but take no care to pay again, except it was with more of their company, which also he liked very well: and so his poverty came "like one that travaileth," and his "want like an armed man."
But all the while they studied his temper; he loved to 'be flattered, praised, and .commended for wit, manhood, and personage; and this was like stroaking him over the face. Thus they colleagued with him, and yet got more and more into him, and so, (like horse leaches) they drew away that little that his father had given him, and brought him quickly down, almost to dwell next door to the beggar.
Atten. Then was the saying of the wise man fulfilled; "He that keepeth company with harlots, and a companion of fools, shall be destroyed."
Wise. Ay, and that too, "A companion of riotous persons shameth his father," for he, poor man, had both grief and shame, to see how his son (now at his own hand) behaved himself in the enjoyment of those good things, in and under the lawful use of which he might have lived to God's glory, his own comfort, and credit among his neighbours. "But he that followeth vain persons, shall have poverty enough." The way that he took led him directly into this condition ; for who can expect other things of one that follows such courses? Besides, when he was in his shop, he could not abide to be doing; he was naturally given to idleness; he loved to live high, but his hands refused to labour: And what else can the end of such an one be, but that which the wise man saith ?" The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."
Attn. But now, methinks, when he was brought thus low, he should have consider