As trade and commerce employ a very considerable part of mankind an attempt to render the conduct of osc who are engaged in it more happy and successful will appear to be at least a benevolent undertaking and to this end it is evident that moral as well as prudential directions may contribute Certainly to discharge in a proper manner the respective duties of the common callings of life which take up fix parts of our time in seven requires greater attention of mind than is usually paid to them for the regular discharge of their respective duties and may admit of more assistance than has been yet offered to the world in any treatise now extant There is indeed an excellent piece which has met with considerable and deserved acceptance called the Complete English Trade man which I could wish were in the hands of all that are concerned to appear in that character with honor or success but as it is chiefly employed in considerations of a prudential nature it leaves room for an attempt of the present kind.
Instead therefore os useless speculations or perplexing controversies in religion which neither enrich the mind, nor reform the manners of men I filial endeavor ter direct the conscientious tradesman in the duties of his daily calling wherein he is surrounded with manifold temptations and difficulties and stands in need of all the assistance he can obtain from God or man He hath the fame depraved nature to bias him and the fame malicious spirit to tempt him as others and he hath a much greater variety of trials and temptations from the world than either the husbandman scholar or gentle S man The particular circumstances of trade and the duties flowing from thence are indeed too numerous to be contained in so small a tract as this yet I doubt not but the principles and rules here laid down being faithfully applied to particular cafes will generally be found sufficient for his direction though after all it must be owned that the religious fear of God and a sincere love to our neighbor will do more to direst us in many doubtful and critical cafes than can be expected from any treatise whatsoever.
Let me beg that the reader would take into serious and mature consideration the hints that are here suggested and if he meets with any thing which recommends itself to his conscience as agreeable to the laws of God and the nature and reason of things that he would not fail immediately to put it in Paraclete Surely no one can be so absurd as to think It sufficient to appear religious on the Lord's day or to be serious in the devotions of the closet and then leave conscience asteep all the intermediate time since these religious duties were designed as the means of producing and maintaining those principles of wisdom and justice virtue and goodness which are to be in continual exercise and the infinite Creator and Proprietor of the universe claims our constant obedience to his laws as well as our devout ascription of worship and adoration.
It may be fit to acquaint the world that the substance of this piece is taken from a book entitled The Trades j man's Calling which though it has lain some time in I obscurity is thought by many judicious persons to be very deserving of the public regard The publisher could have wished it had been revised and sent into the World by a more able hand and the sense he had of its deficiency was the chief cause of its lying so long unpublished but he does not absolutely despair of its being in some degree useful since as a learned writer observes Trudy influences the mind of man more by its own authority evidence and excellency than by any ornaments of wit and eloquence in which it may be deft. And such ornaments are in this cafe the less needful as the subjects are chiefly addressed to persons of plain fenfe and understanding if the God of the spirits of all flesh is pleased to smile upon it so far as to render it effectual to reform the practices and improve the tempers of those that read it the Publisher will have the full reward he hopes for, from this essay of benevolence to his fellow beings and a thousand encomiums on the elegance of the composition without these effects would afford him little satisfaction He has added some passages of scripture at the conclusion of each subject that they might have the sanction of divine authority to enforce them firmly believing that however men may despise it if ever the blessed God is pleased to reform a sinful world He will honor His o won word as the instrument of producing such an happy event.