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sent to know if our Friends (he not being of our profession) would make a contribution for me, in consideration of my lossés. He said he would contribute as much as any, although he had heard me only that one time; but he was informed that we received no money nor pay for our preaching ; yet his good-will I acknowledged.
The 4th of the Third month I was at a meeting at the Spring, where I met with Joseph Gamble, and John Oxley and his wife, and several others, not belonging to this particular meeting, and we were edified together in the love and life of Christ. I was concerned to speak of the divers visitations and speakings of God to the people since the world began, quoting the words of holy Writ, that God who spake to the fathers by the prophets, speaks now in these last days by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things : and that this dispensation is the last and brightest dispensation of all, and is the greatest and most glorious mani. festation of God's love to mankind; and that besides this vocal speaking of Christ, when in the body on earth, he now speaks spiritually, which spiritual speaking of Christ, in and to the true church, and true believers, will out-last time, and endure to all eternity; the great Lord of all, for his unspeakable benefit therein, was praised and glorified, as being alone worthy.
I had divers other meetings on the island, which I pass by, not being willing to be prolix. After a stay of about nine weeks, we proposed sailing.
Judge Gray, a very noted man, and much esteemed among the people, took passage with us; also Joshua Byrch, of Bridge-Town, for his health, and William Callender, and several others, as merchants. Though I canne on account of trade, our friends gave me a certificate that I had good service amony them, and in my outward affairs had gained esteem among the people, as well as in my service in preaching Christ; all which I acknowledge to be the effects of Divine grace. Divers friends and acquaintance came to the seashore at Speight's Town, and in a great deal of tender Christian love, and good desires, we took leave, and committed one another to the protec. tion of the Almighty. We had a comfortable passage, and arrived at Philadelphia, where I was lovingly received by my wife and friends.
In this voyage a great and weighty concern came on my mind, on account of the
and rising generation, desiring they might be happy in world, and in that which is to come. And first, as to this world, I have taken notice, that divers of the youth are too apt to waste their outward substance, which often is given to them (for when they get it themselves, they are for the most part more saving of it) and this wasting and spending, those sparks call generosity, liberality, good-nature, gentility, fine breeding, and abundance of other fine names, not considering the labour and industry, frugality, care and watchings of their parents or ancestors, to get what they
have. May parents note this well, and not be anxiously concerned to get much wealth, which may be a means to ruin their posterity! and truly most of these spending, drinking, company-keeping, gaming, chatting, tippling youngsters, take a great deal more care, how they may get money from others, that they may spend it, than how to earn it, or faithfully labour for it themselves; they will beg or borrow, and run in debt, but take little or no solid thoughts to pay; by which means divers of those topping, beggarly beaus, and spenders, have brought both themselves and relations, parents and friends, to shame and disgrace, and sometimes to poverty, where their relations and parents have been too liberal. Let all indul. gent parents note this also.
And if any concerned person should advise those inconsiderate youths of their evils, it is much if they gain not their lasting ill-will, and the epi. thets of niggards and covetous, ill-natured, censorious, sour, morose, &c. However, I shall venture to stand the shock of their displeasure, and in as moving terms as I can, consistent with the matter on my mind, entreat them to consider the end of their spending, slothful, idle life, which if continued in, must needs end in their ruin, and they may repent when it is too late, crying out, Oh! that I had hearkened to the advice of
my father, and my indulgent, mother! Oh! that I had taken the counsel of my good friends in time, then I had not been in this condition, nor in those
straits I am now in. This, or worse, must at last inevitably be the condition of those unthinking, time-wasting, and money-spending, evil-companykeeping young people, of both sexes. Some of whom, if they can get it, will spend more in a few hours, than their parents can get in so many days, which is very unreasonable, as well as unthinking; for if the indulgent parents do not hold their hands, truly they must all sink together; and where the parents have been, what these sorts of youths call liberal, whole families have by such liberality been undone, which is a case to be lamented by all sober people.
I pray our spending youths to consider, how many brave, fine young men and women, whose parents have left them estates and handsome in-; comes, have by such extravagances soon spent all, and sometimes more than all, and disgrace and a gaol have been their portion ; and how many, by living too fast, have died too soon, much sooner than might be expected, according to the course of nature.
Wherefore I would advise them to regard what the wise king Solomon said, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise ; she provideth her meat in the summer,” (i. e. she prepares against the winter.) Though this may be despicable in the eyes of our fine gentlemen, and learned spending wits, yet there appears more wisdom in these little industrious animals, than in those great spenders, who, in the spring and
summer of their years, take so little thought of saving what hath been with so much care gotten for them; or of getting more against their winter or old age, which, if they live, will certainly overtake them, when their youth or summer is gone.
But many youths object against this advice, crying out, as I have often heard, “ The aged give this advice when they are old, but did as we do when they were young as we are. Although this may be true in some, yet it will not hold good in the general, and if it do in some, is not that maxim good, Let others harms learn us to beware, before it be too late, that we fall not into the same snare, which hath entangled or caught thousands, to their great shame and reproach ? Again, those who have been so overtaken in their youth, and are escaped out of the snare, are more fit to caution or advise how to escape it, or to show those parts which led them into that labyrinth of woe and misery.
The author of all evil useth his utmost skill and power to promote the practices of excessive drinking, &c. among mankind, it being a mighty support to his kingdom; for when the nobility of the understanding is clouded thereby, then oh! how many wicked oaths, oh! what corrupt language, what unhandsome, unbecoming words and actions, are brought forth ! How are good manners corrupted! How is the sober, chaste soul offended, and above all other considerations, how is God