Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Cristian life

Lady Damaris Cudworth (1659-1708) Masham
뗰Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Cristian life

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Vertuous or Christian life, by Lady Damaris Masham This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian life
Author: Lady Damaris Masham
Release Date: August 25, 2004 [EBook #13285]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

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

In reference to a
Vertuous or Christian

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


_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.
Besides these two Motives, could I need any other to ingage me in the defence of Vertue, I should find yet a very powerful one in that dutiful Affection which I pay, and which every Subject ows to a_ GOOD PRINCE: Since the QUEEN, _I am fully perswaded, would not so much rejoyce in the Accession of great Kingdoms to her Dominions, as to see the People, already happy in Her Government over them, indeavouring to make themselves and one another so, in following the great Example which She sets them of Vertue and Piety._
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In reference to a
Vertuous or Christian

There is no so constant and satisfactory a Pleasure, to those who are capable of it, as Rational Conversation gives: And to me, depriv'd of that Enjoyment, the remembrance thereof, is, in my present Solitude, the most delightful Entertainment: Wherein some of my leisure hours will not, I hope, be mispent, should this engage me to prosecute such Thoughts as were lately suggested to me by others. The which taking their rise from a particular Enquiry, and thence proceeding to a general Consideration of the Folly and Madness of Rational Creature's acting, as if they
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