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means of knowledge, that it should make us rather long for the world of glorious light, that we might get out of this darkness, and know all that with an easy look, to our joy and satisfaction, which here we know with troublesome doubtings, or not at all. Shall we be afraid of darkness in the heavenly light, or of ignorance, when we see the Lord of glory?
And as for our friends, and our converse with them as relations, or as wise, religious, and faithful to us, he that believeth not that there are far more and far better in heaven than are on earth, doth not believe as he ought that there is a heaven. Our friends here are wise, but they are unwise also; they are faithful, but partly unfaithful; they are holy, but also, alas ! too sinful; they have the image of God, but blotted and dishonoured by their faults; they do God and his church much service, but they also do too much against him, and too much for Satan, even when they intend „the honour of God; they promote the gospel, but they also hinder it; their weakness, ignorance, error, selfishness, pride, passion, division, contention, scandals, and remission, do oft so much hurt that it is hard to discern whether it be not greater than their good to the church or to their neighbours. Our friends are our helpers and comforters; but how oft, also, are they our hinderers, troubles, and grief? But in heaven they are altogether wise, and holy, and faithful, and concordant, and have nothing in them, nor is there ought done by them there, but what is amiable to God
And with our faithful friends we have here a mixture, partly of useless and burdensome persons, and partly of unfaithful hypocrites, and partly of self-conceited factious wranglers, and partly of malicious envious underminers, and partly of implacable enemies. And how many of all these set together is there for one worthy faithful friend ? And how great a number is there to trouble you, for one that will indeed comfort you? Bụt in heaven there are none but the wise and holy; no hypocrites, no burdensome neighbours, no treacherous, or oppressing, or persecuting enemies are there. And is not all good and amiable better than a little good with so troublesome a mixture of poisome evils ?
Christ loved his disciples, his kindred, yea, and all mankind, and took pleasure in doing good to all; and so did his apostles ; but how poor a requital had he or they from any but from God! Christ's own
brethren believed not in him, but wrangled with him; almost like those that said to him on the cross, “ If thou be the Son of God, come down and we will believe.” Peter himself was once a Satan to him, and after, with cursing and swearing, denied him; and all his disciples forsook him and fled; and what, then, from others could be expected ?
No friends have a perfect suitableness to each other; and roughness and inequalities that are nearest us are most troublesome. derful variety and contrariety of apprehension, interest, educations, temperaments, and occasions, and temptations, &c., are such, that whilst we are scandalized at the discord and confusions of the world, we must recall ourselves, and admire that all-ruling Providence which keepeth up so much order and concord as there is. We are, indeed, like people in crowded streets, who, going several ways, molest each other with their justling oppositions; or like boys at foot-ball, striving to overthrow each other for the ball. But it is a wonder of divine power and wisdom that all the world is not continually in mortal war.
And of all things, surely a departing soul hath least cause to fear the losing of its notice of the affairs of the world; of peace or wars, or church or kingdoms. For, if the sun can send forth its material beams, and operate by motion, light, and heat, at such a distance as this earth, why should I think that blessed spirits are such local, confined, and impotent substances, as not to have notice of the things of earth ? Had I but bodily eyes, I could see more from the top of a tower or hill, than any one that is below can do. And shall I know less of earth from heaven, than I do now? It is unlike that my capacity will be so little : and if it were, it is unlike that Christ and all the angels will be so strange to me, as to give me no notice of things that so much concern my God and my Redeemer, (to whom I am united,) and of the holy society of which I am a part, and myself as a member of Christ and that society! I do not think that the communion of the celestial inhabitants is so narrow and slow, as it is of walking clods of earth, and of souls that are confined to such dark lanterns as this body is. Stars can shine one to another; and we on earth can see them so far off in their heaven; and sure, then, if they have a seeing faculty, each of them can see many of us; even the kingdoms of the world. Spirits are most active, and of powerful and
quick communication. They need not send letters, nor write books to one another, nor lift up a voice to make each other hear; nor is there any unkindness, division, or unsociable selfishness among them, which may cause them to conceal their notices or their joys; but as activity, s0 unity is greatest where there is most perfection; they will so be many as yet to be one; and their knowledge will be one knowledge, and their love one love, and their joy one joy; not by so rfect a unity as in God himself, who is one, and but one; but such as is suitable to created imperfection, which participates of the perfection of the Creator, as the effect doth of the virtue of the cause, and therefore hath some participation of his unity. O, foolish soul! if I shall fear this unity with God, Christ, and all the holy spirits, lest I should lose my present separate individuation, when perfection and union are so pear akin. In a word, I have no cause to think that my celestial advancement will be a diminution of any desirable knowledge, even of things on earth; but contrarily, that it will be inconceivably increased.
107.-PREFACE TO THE SCHOOLMASTER.
ASCHAM. [Roger Ascham was born in 1515. His father was a house steward in a wealthy family. By the patronage of Sir Anthony Wingfield he was placed at St. John's College, Cambridge. The Greek language had only been recently taught at the Universities, and Ascham devoted himself to its study with great ardour, applying himself with the utmost diligence to the instruction of others. In 1548, he was appointed instructor in the learned languages to the Lady Elizabeth, afterwards Queen; and, with the interval of three years, during which he travelled through Italy and Germany, he held offices at Court during the reigns of Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. He died in 1568. When Queen Elizabeth heard the news of his death she exclaimed, “ she would rather have thrown ten thousand pounds into the sea than have lost her Ascham."]
When the great plague was at London, the year 1563, the Queen's Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, lay at her Castle of Windsor : whereupon, the 10th day of December, it fortuned that in Sir William Cecil's chamber, her Highness's Principal Secretary, there dined together these personages, Mr. Secretary himself, Sir William Peter, Sir I. Mason, Dr. Wotton, Sir Richard Sackville, Treasurer of the Exchequer, Sir Walter Mildmar, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Haddon, Master of Requests, Mr. John Asteley, Master of the Jewel House, Mr. Bernard Hampton, Mr. Nicasius, and I. Of which number, the most part were of her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, and the rest serving her in very good place. I was glad then, and do rejoice yet to remember, that my chance was so happy, to be there that day, in the company of so many wise and good men together, as hardly there could have been picked out again, out of all England beside.
Mr. Secretary hath this accustomed manner, though his head be never so full of most weighty affairs of the realm, yet at dinner-time he doth seem to lay them always aside : and finding ever fit occasion to talk pleasantly of other matters, but most gladly of some matter of learning; wherein he will courteously hear the mind of the meanest at his table.
Not long after our sitting down, I have strange news brought me, saith Mr. Secretary, this morning, that divers scholars of Eton be run away from the school, for fear of beating. Whereupon Mr. Secretary took occasion to wish, that some more discretion were in many
schoolmasters, in using correction, than commonly there is. Who many times punish rather the weakness of nature than the fault of the scholar. Whereby many scholars that might else prove well be driven to hate learning, before they know what learning meaneth; and so are made willing to forsake their book, and be glad to be put to any
other kind of living
Mr. Peter, as one somewhat severe of nature, said plainly, that the rod only was the sword that must keep the school in obedience, and the scholar in good order. Mr. Wotton, a man mild of nature, with soft voice, and few words, inclined to Mr. Secretary's judgment, and said, in mine opinion the schoolhouse should be in deed, as it is called by name, the house of play and pleasure, and not of fear and bondage; and as I do remember, so saith Socrates in one place of Plato. And therefore, if a rod carry the fear of a sword it is no marvel if those that be fearful of nature choose rather to forsake the play, than to stand alwavs within the fear of a sword in a fond man's handling. Mr. Mason, after his manner, was very merry with both parties, pleasantly playing, both with shrewd touches of many courste boys, and with the
small discretion of many lewd schoolmasters. Mr. Haddon was fully of Mr. Peter's opinion, and said that the best schoolmaster of our time was the greatest beater, and named the person. Though, quoth I, it was his good fortune to send from his school unto the University one of the best scholars indeed of all our time, yet wise men do think that that came so to pass rather by the great towardness of the scholar, than by the great beating of the master; and whether this be true or no, you yourself are best witness. I said somewhat farther in the matter, how and why young children were sooner allured by love than driven by beating, to attain good learning ; wherein I was the bolder to say my mind, because Mr. Secretary courteously provoked me thereunto; or else, in such a company, and namely in his presence, my wont is to be more willing to use mine ears than to occupy my tongue.
Sir Walter Mildmay, Mr. Astley, and the rest said very little ; only Sir Richard Sackville said nothing at all. After dinner I went up to read with the Queen's Majesty. We read then together in the Greek tongue, as I well remember, that noble oration of Demosthenes against Æschines, for his false dealing in his ambassage to King Philip of Macedonia. Sir Richard Sackville came up soon after, and finding me in her Majesty's privy chamber, he took me by the hand, and carrying me to a window, said, Mr. Ascham, I would not, for a good deal of money, have been, this day, absent from dinner, where, though I said nothing, yet I gave as good ear, and do consider as well the talk that passed, as any one did there. Mr. Secretary said, very wisely, and most truly, that many young wits be driven to hate learning, before they know what learning is. I can be good witness to this myself; for a fond schoolmaster, before I was fully fourteen years old, drove me so, with fear of beating, from all love of learning, as now, when I know what difference it is to have learning and to have little or none at all, I feel it my greatest grief, and find it my greatest hurt that ever came to me, that it was my so ill chance to light upon so lewd a schoolmaster. But seeing it is but in vain to lament things past, and also wisdom to look to things to come, surely, God willing, if God lend me life, I will make this, my mishap, some occasion of good hap to little Robert Sackville, my son's son. For whose bringing up I would gladly, if it so please you, use specially your good advice. I hcar say you have a son much of
age : : we will deal thus together. Point you out a schoolmaster, who, by your order, shall teach my son and yours, and for all the rest