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XXIX. The best qualities do so cleave to their subjects, that they cannot be communicated to others : for, whereas patrimony and vulgar account of honour follow the blood, in many generations ; virtue is not traduced in propagation, nor learning bequeathed by our Will to our heirs ; lest the givers should wax proud, and the receivers negligent. I will account nothing my own, but what I have gotten; nor that my own, because it is more of gift than desert.
XXX. Then only is the Church most happy, when Truth and Peace kiss each other; and then miserable, when either of them halk the way, or when they meet and kiss not: for, truth without peace, is turbulent; and peace without truth, is secure injustice. Though I love peace well; yet I love main truths better : and, though I love all truths well ; yet I would rather conceal a small truth, than disturb a common peace.
XXXI. An indiscreet good action, is little better than a discreet mischief. For, in this, the doer wrongs only the patient : but, in that other, the wrong is done to the good action; for both it makes a good thing odious (as many good tales are marred in telling) and, besides, it prejudices a future opportunity. I will rather let pass a good gale of wind, and stay on the shore ; than launch forth, when I know the wind will be contrary,
XXXII, The World teacheth me, that it is madness to leave behind me those goods, that I may carry with me: Christianity teacheth me, that what I charitably give alive, I carry with me dead : and Experience teacheth me, that what I leave behind, I lose. I will carry that treasure with me by giving it, which the worldling loseth by keeping it : so, while his corpse shall carry nothing but a winding cloth to his grave, I shall be richer under the earth, than I was above it.
XXXIII. Every worldling is a hypocrite; for, while his face naturally looks upward to heaven, his heart grovels beneath on the earth : yet, if I would admit of any discord in the inward and outward parts ; I would have a heart that should look up to heaven in a holy contemplation of the things above, and a countenance cast down to the earth in humiliation. This only dissimilitude is pleasing to God.
XXXIV. The heart of man is a short word, a small substance, scarce enough to give a kite one meal; yet great in capacity : yea, so infinite in desire, that the round globe of the world cannot fill the three corners of it. When it desires more, and cries, “ Give, give," I will set it over to that Infinite Good, where, the more it hath, it may desire more, and see more to be desired. When it desires but what it needeth, my hands shall soon satisfy it : for, if either of them may contain it, when it is without the body; much more may both of them fill it, while it is within,
XXXV. With men it is a good rule; to try first, and then to trust : with God it is contrary. I will first trust him, as most wise, omnipotent, merciful; and try him afterwards. I know it is as impossible for him to deceive me, as not to be.
XXXVI. As Christ was both a Lamb and a Lion; so is every Christian : a Lamb, for patience in suffering, and innocence of life; a Lion, for boldness in his innocency. I would so order my courage and mildness, that I may be neither lion-like, in my conversation ; nor sheepish, in the defence of a good cause.
XXXVII. The godly sow in tears, and reap in joy. The seed-time is commonly waterish and lowering. I will be content with a wet spring, so I may be sure of a clear and joyful harvest,
XXXVIII. Every man hath a heaven and a hell. Earth is the wicked man's heaven; his hell is to come: on the contrary, the godly have their hell upon earth, where they are vexed with temptations and afflictions, by Satan and his complices; their heaven is above, in endless happiness. If it be ill with me on earth, it is well my torment is so short, and so easy: I will not be so covetous, to hope for two heavens.
XXXIX. Man, on his deathbed, hath a double prospect; which, in his lifetime, the interposition of pleasure and miseries debarred him from. The good man looks upward, and sees Heaven open, with Stephen ; and the glorious Angels, ready to carry up his soul: the wicked man looks downward, and sees three terrible spectacles ; Death, Judgment, Hell, one beyond another; and all to be passed through, by his soul. I marvel not, that the godly have been so cheerful in death, that those torments, whose very sight hath overcome the beholders, have seemed easy to them, I marvel not, that a wicked man is so loth to hear of death; so dejected, when he feeleth sickness; and so desperate, when he feeleth the pangs of death: nor that every Balaam would fain die the death of the righteous. Henceforth, I will envy none, but a good man: I will pity nothing so much, as the prosperity of the wicked.
XL. Not to be afflicted, is a sign of weakness : for, therefore God imposeth no more on me, because he sees I can bear no more, God will not make choice of a weak champion. When I am stronger, I will look for more: and when I sustain morė, it shall more comfort me, that God finds me strong; than it shall grieve me, to be pressed with a heavy affliction.
XLI. That the wicked have peace in themselves, is no wonder: they are as sure, as temptation can make them. No prince makes war with his own subjects. The godly are still enemies: therefore, they must look to be assaulted both by stratagems and violence. Nothing shall more joy me, than my inward unquietness. A just war is a thousand times more happy, than an ill-conditioned peace.
XLII. Goodness is so powerful, that it can make things simply evil (namely, our sins) good to us : not good in nature, but good in the event; good, when they are done, not good to be done. Sin is so powerful, that it can turn the holiest ordinances of God into itself. But herein our sin goes beyond our goodness; That sin defiles a man or action otherwise good, but all the goodness of the world cannot justify one sin : as the holy fesh in the skirt, makes not the bread holy that toucheth it; but the unclean, touching a holy thing, defileth it. I will loath every evil for its own sake: I will do good; but not trust to it.
XLIII. Fools measure good actions, by the event after they are done: wise men beforehand, by judgment, upon the rules of reason and faith. Let me do well ; let God take charge of the success. If it be well accepted, it is well : if not, my thank is with God.
XLIV. He was never good man, that amends not: for, if he were good, he must needs desire to be better. Grace is so sweet, that whoever tastes of it must needs long after more: and, if he desire it, he will endeavour it; and, if he do but endeavour, God will crown it with success. God's family admitteth of no Dwarfs, which are unthriving, and stand at a stay; but men of measures. Whatever become of my body or my estate, I will ever labour, to find some. what added to the stature of my soul.
XLV. Pride is the most dangerous of all sins : for, both it is most insinuative, having crept into Heaven and Paradise; and most dangerous, where it is : for, where all other temptations are about evil, this alone is conversant only about good things; and one dram of it poisons many measures of grace. I will not be more afraid of doing good things amiss, than of being proud when I have well performed them.
XLVI. Not only commission makes a sin. A man is guilty of all those sins he hateth not. If I cannot avoid all, yet I will hate all.
XLVII. Prejudice is so great an enemy to truth, that it makes the mind incapable of it. In matters of faith, I will first lay a sure ground, and then believe, though I cannot argue; holding the conclusion, in spite of the premises : but, in other less matters, I will not so forestall my mind with resolution, as that I will not be willing to be better informed. Neither will I say in myself, “ I will hold it, therefore it shall be truth;” but, “ This is truth, therefore I will hold it.” I will not strive for victory; but for truth.
XLVIII. Drunkenness and Covetousness do much resemble one another: for, the more a man drinks, the more he thirsteth; and the more he hath, still the more he coveteth. And, for their effects, besides. other, both of them have the power of transforming a man into a beast; and, of all other beasts, into a Swine. The former is evident to sense : the other, though more obscure, is no more questionable. The covetous man, in two things, plainly resembleth a Swine; That he ever roots in the earth, not so much as looking towards heaven; That he never doth good, till his death. In desiring, my rule shall be, necessity of nature or estate: in having, I will account that my good, which doeth me good.
XLIX I acknowledge no Master of Requests in heaven, but one; Christ, my Mediator. I know I cannot be so happy, as not to need him ; nor so miserable, that he should contemn me.
I will always ask; and that of none, but where I am sure to speed; but where there is so much store, that when I have had the most, I shall leave no less behind. Though numberless drops be in the sea ; yet, if one be taken out of it, it hath so much the less, though insensibly : but God, because he is infinite, can admit of no diminution. Therefore are men niggardly, because the more they give, the less they have; but thou, Lord, mayest give what thou wilt, without abatement of thy store. Good prayers never came weeping home: I am sure I shall receive, either what I ask, or what I should ask.
L. I see, that a fit booty, many times, makes a thief: and many would be proud, if they had but the common causes of theii neighbours. I account this none of the least favours of God, that the world goes no better forward with me: for, I fear, if my estate were better to the world, it might be worse to God. As it is a happy necessity that enforceth to good; so is that next happy, that hinders from evil.
LI. It is the basest love of all others, that is for a benefit: for, herein we love not another, so much as ourselves. Though there were no Heaven, O Lord, I would love thee : now there is one, I will esteem it, I will desire it; yet still I will love thee, for thy goodness' sake. Thyself is reward enough, though thou broughtest no
LII. I see men point the field; and desperately jeopard their lives, as prodigal of their blood, in the revenge of a disgraceful word, against themselves; while they can be content to hear God pulled out of heaven with blasphemy, and not feel so much as a rising of their blood: which argues our cold love to God, and our over fervent affection to ourselves. In mine own wrongs, I will hold patience laudable; but, in God's injuries, impious.
LIII. It is a hard thing, to speak well: but it is harder, to be well silent; so as it may be free from suspicion of affectation, or sullenness, or ignorance: else, loquacity, and not silence, would be a note of wisdom. Herein I will not care how little, but how well. He said well for this, “ Not that, which is much, is well; but that, which is well, is much."
LIV. There is nothing more odious, than fruitless old age. Now, for that no tree bears fruit in Autumn unless it blossom in the Spring, to the end that my age may be profitable and laden with ripe fruit, I will endeavour, that my youth may be studious and flowered with the blossoms of learning and observation.
LV. Revenge commonly hurts both the offerer and sufferer: as we see in the foolish Bee (though in all other things commendable; yet herein the pattern of fond spitefulness), which, in her anger, envenometh the flesh, and loseth her sting; and so lives a Drone ever after. I account it the only valour, to remit a wrong; and will applaud it to myself, as right noble and Christian, that I might huit and will not.
LVI. He, that lives well, cannot choose but die well: for, if he die suddenly, yet he dies not unpreparedly; if, by leisure, the conscience of his well-led life makes his death more comfortable. But it is seldom seen, that he, which liveth ill, dieth well: for the conscience of his former evils, his present pain, and the expectation and fear of
his heart, that he cannot seek God. And now it is just with God, not to be sought, or not to be found because he sought to him in his life-time, and was repulsed. Whereas, therefore, there are usually two main cares of good men; to Live well, and Die well: I will have but this one; to Live well.
LVII. With God there is no free man, but his servant; though in the gallies: no slave, but the sinner; though in a palace: none noble, but the virtuous; if never so basely descended: none rich, but he that possesseth God; even in rags: none wise, but he, that is a
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