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The Sinner's Guide, Vol. 1 of 2

Excerpt from The Sinner's Guide, Vol. 1 of 2: In Two Books Say to just man, that it is well; Isa. iii. 10. This is a message from God, delivered by the prophet Isaias, to all the just; it is the shortest in words, and the most copious in bounty, that could have been sent. Men are usually free in promising, but slow in performing; God, on the contrary, is so liberal and magnificent in performing, that all the expressions of his promises are infinitely short of his actions. For what could be expressed shorter than the aforesaid sentence, Say to the just man, that it is well? Yet how comprehensive is this word well! which I conceive was, therefore, not enlarged upon or distinguished, that men might be sensible no words were sufficient fully to express it, nor any distinction requisite to declare what sort of blessings were comprehended under this word well, which includes all that can be imagined. So that, as when Moses asked of God what name he had, the answer was, He that is, without adding any other word, to show that his being was not limited and bounded, but that it comprehended every being and perfection which belongs to the said Being, without mixture of imperfection; so here he delivered this short word well, without explaining it, to signify that all the blessings the heart of man is capable of desiring, are contained under this promise God makes to the just man in reward of his virtue, expressed by the single monosyllable well. 2. This is the main subject I design, by the help of God, to treat of in this book, adding such rules and instructions as are proper to make a man virtuous. Accordingly, it shall be divided into two principal parts. The first will show how much it is our duty to follow virtue, and the inestimable benefits and advantages we reap by so doing; the second shall treat of a virtuous life, and prescribe a method and directions for attaining it. For there are two things requisite towards making a man virtuous; the one is, that he really desire to be such; the other, that he know how to compass it. The first book shall answer the end of the former of these two points; the second, the latter; since, as Plutarch very well observes, "those who excite us to virtue, and teach us not the way to it, are like those that light a lamp, but put in no oil to feed the flame." About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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