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IV. I shall now farther only briefly propose some considerations inducing to quietness, and dissuasive from pragmaticalness; such as arise from the nature, properties, causes,
and effects of each ; serving to commend the one, and disparage the other.
1. Consider that quietness is just and equal, pragmaticalness is injurious. When we contain ourselves quiet, and mind only our own business, we allow every man his right, we harm no man's repute ; we keep ourselves within our bounds, and trespass not on the place or interest of our neighbor ; we disturb not the right order and course of things: but in being pragmatical we do wrongfully deprive others of their right and liberty to manage their business; we prejudice their credit, implicitly charging them with weakness and incapacity to dispatch their affairs without our direction ; we therefore, on our own unequal and partial judgment, do prefer and advance ourselves above them; we assume to ourselves in many respects more than our due, withdrawing it from others. In fine, no man loveth that others should invade his office, or intrude into his business; therefore in justice every man should forbear doing so toward others.
2. Quietness signifieth humility, modesty, and sobriety of mind; that we conceit not ourselves more wise than our neighbor; that we allow every man his share of discretion ; that we take others for able and skilful enough to understand and manage their own affairs : but pragmaticalness argueth much overweening and arrogance; that we take ourselves for the only men of wisdom, at least for more wise than those into whose business we thrust ourselves.
3. Quietness is beneficial to the world, preserving the general order of things, disposing men to keep within their rank and station, and within the sphere of their power and ability, regularly attending to the work and business proper to them; whereby as themselves do well, so the public doth thrive : but pragmaticalness disturbeth the world, confounding things, removing the distinction between superior, inferior, and equal, rendering each man's business uncertain ; while some undertake that which belongeth not to them: one busy-body often, as
we find by experience, is able to disturb and pester a whole society.
4. Quietness preserveth concord and amity : for no man is thereby provoked, being suffered undisturbedly to proceed in his course, according to his mind and pleasure : but pragmaticalness breedeth dissensions and feuds : for all men are ready to quarrel with those who offer to control them, or cross them in their way; every man will be zealous in maintaining his privilege of choosing, and acting according to his choice; and cannot but oppose those who attempt to bereave him of it; whence between the busy-body assailing, and others defending their liberty, combustions must arise.
5. Quietness, to the person endued with it, or practising it, begetteth tranquillity and peace; for he that letteth others alone, and cometh in no man's way, no man will be apt to disquiet or cross him; he keepeth himself out of broils and factions : but the busy-body createth vexation and trouble to himself; others will be ready to molest him in his proceedings, because he disturbeth them in theirs : he that will have a sickle in another's corn, or an oar in every man's boat, no wonder if his fingers be rapped; men do not more naturally brush off fies which buzz about their ears, sit on their faces or hands, and sting or tickle them, than they strive to drive away clamorous and incroaching busy-bodies. Let,' saith St. Peter, none of you suffer as a busy-body in other men's matters ;' it is, he intimateth, a practice whereby a man becometh liable to suffer, or which men are apt to punish soundly: and so the wise man, implying the fondness and danger of it,' He,' saith he, that passeth by, and meddleth with strife not belonging to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears;' that is, without any probable good effect, he provoketh a creature that will snarl at him and bite him.
6. Quietness is a decent and lovely thing, as signifying good disposition, and producing good effects; but pragmaticalness is ugly and odious. Every man gladly would be a neighbor to a quiet person, as who by the steady calmness and smoothness of his humor, the inoffensive stillness and sweetness of his demeanor, doth afford all the pleasure of conversation, without
any cross or trouble. But no man willingly would dwell by him, who is apt ever to be infesting him by his turbulent humor, his obstreperous talk, his tumultuous and furious carriage; who, on all occasions, without invitation or consent, will be thrusting in his eyes, his tongue, his hand; prying into all that is done, dictating this or that course, taxing all proceeding, usurping a kind of jurisdiction over him and his actions; no man will like, or can well endure such a neighbor. It is commonly observed that pride is not only abominable to God, but loathsome to man; and of all prides, this is the most offensive and odious : for the pride which keepeth at home, within a man's heart or fancy, not issuing forth to trouble others, may indeed well be despised, as hugely silly and vain ; but that which breaketh out to the disturbance and vexation of others, is hated as molestful and mischievous.
7. Quietness adorneth any profession, bringing credit, respect, and love thereto; but pragmaticalness is scandalous, and procureth odium to any party or cause : men usually do cloak their pragmatical behavior with pretences of zeal for public good, or of kindness to some party which they have espoused; but thereby they do really cast reproach, and draw prejudice on their side: if it be a good cause, they do thereby wrong it, making it to partake of the blame incident to such carriage, as if it did produce or allow disorder; if it be a bad cause, they wrong themselves, aggravating the guilt of their adherence thereto; for it is a less fault to be calm and remiss in an ill way, than busy or violent in promoting it. Nothing hath wrought more prejudice to religion, or hath brought more disparagement on truth, than boisterous and unseasonable zeal; pretending in ways of passion, of fierceness, of rudeness to advance them: a quiet sectary doth to most men's fancy appear more lovely, than he that is furiously and factiously orthodox : the ornament of 'a meek and quiet spirit is,' saith St. Peter,' in God's sight, of great price;' and it is also very estimable in the opinion of men.
8. Quiet is a safe practice, keeping men not only from needless incumbrances of business, but from the hazards of it; or being charged with its bad success : but pragmaticalness is dangerous ; for if things go ill, the meddler surely will be loaded with the blame; the profit and commendation of prosperities will accrue to the persons immediately concerned; but the disaster and damage will be imputed to those who meddled in the business; to excuse or ease themselves, men will cast the disgrace on those who did project or further the undertaking: he therefore that would be secure, let him be quiet; he that loveth peril and trouble, let him be pragmatical.
9. It is consequently a great point of discretion to be quiet, it yielding a man peace and safety without any trouble; and it is a manifest folly to be pragmatical, it being only with care, pains, and trouble, to seek dissatisfaction to others, and danger to himself; it being also to affect many not only inconveniences, but impossibilities.
Is it possible for any man to grasp or compass an infinity of business? Yet this the pragmatical man seemeth to drive at; for the businesses of other men are infinite, and into that abyss he plungeth himself, who passeth beyond his own bounds; by the same reason that he meddleth with any beside his own, he may undertake all the affairs in the world; so he is sure to have work enough, but fruit surely little enough of his pains.
Is it imaginable that we can easily bring others to our bent, or induce men to submit their business to our judgment and humor? Will not he that attempteth such things assuredly expose himself to disappointment and regret ? Is it not therefore wisdom to let every man have his own way, and pursue his concernments without any check or control from us?
10. We may also consider that every man hath business of his own sufficient to employ him ; to exercise his mind, to exnaust his care and pains to take up all his time and leisure. To study his own near concernments, to provide for the necessities and conveniences of his life, 'to look to the interests of his soul, to be diligent in his calling, to discharge faithfully and carefully all his duties relating to God and man, will abundantly employ a man; well it is if some of them do not incumber and distract him : he that will set himself with all his might to perform these things, will find enough to do; he need not seek farther for work, he need not draw more trouble on him.
Seeing then every man bath burden enough on his shoulders, imposed by God and nature, it is vain to take on him more load,
by engaging himself in the affairs of others ; he will thence be forced, either to shake off his own business, or to become overburdened and oppressed with more than he can bear. It is indeed hence observable, and it needs must happen, that those who meddle with the business of others are wont to neglect their own ; they that are much abroad can seldom be at home; they that know others most are least acquainted with themselves : and the wise Hebrew, · The wisdom of a learned man comes by opportunity of leisure, (σοφία σοφιστού εν ευκαιρία σχολής,) and he that hath little business shall be wise ;' (ο έλασσούμενος πράξει avroū godioBhoetan.) Whence it is scarce possible that a pragmatical man should be a good man ; that is, such an one who honestly and carefully performeth the duties incumbent on him.
Philosophers therefore generally have advised men to shun needless occupations, as the certain impediments of a good and happy life; they bid us endeavor årloūv eaurous, 'to simplify ourselves,' or to get into a condition requiring of us the least that can be to do. St. Paul intended the same when he advised us, μη εμπλέκεσθαι ταϊς του βίου πραγματείαις, “not to be entangled in the negociations of life :' and our Saviour, when he touched Martha for being troubled about many things. So far therefore we should be from taking in hand the affairs of other men, that we should labor to contract our own, and reduce them to the fewest that we can; otherwise we shall hardly attain wisdom, or be able to perform our duty.
11. But suppose us to have much spare time, and to want business, so that we are to seek for divertisement, and must for relief fly to curiosity; yet it is not advisable to meddle with the affairs of other men; there are divers other ways more innocent, more safe, more pleasant, more advantageous to divert ourselves, and satisfy curiosity.
Nature offereth herself, and her inexhaustible store of appearances to our contemplation ; we may, without any harm, and with much delight, survey her rich varieties, examine her proceedings, pierce into her secrets. Every kind of animals, of plants, of minerals, of meteors presenteth matter wherewith innocently, pleasantly, and profitably to entertain our minds. There are many noble sciences, by applying our minds to the