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fool to himself and the world: none happy, but he, whom the world pities. Let me be free, noble, rich, wise, happy to God; I pass not what I am to the world.
LVIII. When the mouth praiseth, man heareth; when the heart, God heareth. Every good prayer knocketh at heaven, for a blessing: but an importunate prayer pierceth it, though as hard as brass; and makes way for itself, into the ears of the Almighty. And, as it ascends lightly up, carried with the wings of faith; so it comes ever laden down again, upon our heads. În my prayers, my thoughts shall not be guided by my words; but my words shall follow my thoughts.
LIX. If that servant were condemned for evil, that gave God no more than his own, which he had received; what shall become of them, that rob God of his own? If God gain a little glory by me, I shall gain more by him. I will labour so to husband the stock, that God hath left in my hands, that I may return my soul better than I received it; and that he may make it better than I return it.
LX. Heaven is compared to a hill: and therefore is figured by Olympus, among the heathen; by Mount Sion, in God's Book: Hell, contrariwise, to a Pit. The ascent to the one is hard, therefore; and the descent of the other, easy and headlong: and so, as if we once begin to fall, the recovery is most difficult; and not one, of many, stays, till he comes to the bottom. I will be content, to pant, and blow, and sweat in climbing up to Heaven: as, contrarily, I will be wary of setting the first step downward, towards the Pit. For, as there is a Jacob's Ladder into heaven; so there are blind stairs, that go winding down into death, whereof each makes way for other. From the object is raised an ill suggestion : suggestion draws on delight; delight, consent; consent, endeavour; endeavour, practice; practice, custom; custom, excuse; excuse, defence; defence, obstinacy; obstinacy, boasting of sin; boasting, a reprobate sense. I will watch over my ways: and do thou, Lord, watch over me, that I may avoid the first degrees of sin. And, if those overtake my frailty, yet keep me, that presumptuous sivs prevail not over me. Beginnings are with more ease and safety declined, when we are free; than proceedings, when we have begun.
LXI. It is fitter for youth, to learn than teach; and for age, to teach than learn: and yet fitter for an old man to learn, than to be ignorant. I know, I shall never know so much, that I cannot learn more: and I hope I shall never live so long, as till I be too old to learn.
LXII. I never loved those Salamanders, that are never well, but when they are in the fire of contention. I will rather suffer a thousand wrongs, than offer one: I will suffer a hundred, rather than return one: I will suffer many, ere I will complain of one, and endeavour to right it by contending. I have ever found, that, to strive with my superior, is furious; with my equal, doubtful; with my inferior, sordid and base; with any, full of unquietness.
LXIII. The praise of a good speech standeth in words and matter: mat. ter, which is as a fair and well-featured body; elegance of words, which is as a neat and well-fashioned garment. Good matter, slubbered up in rude and careless words, is made loathsome to the hearer; as a good body, mis-shapen with unbandsome clothes. Elegancy, without soundness, is no better than a nice vanity. Although, therefore, the most hearers are like bees, that go all to the flowers; never regarding the good herbs, that are of as whole. some use, as the other of fair shew: yet, let my speech strive to be profitable; plausible, as it happens. Better the coat be mis-shapen, than the body.
LXIV. I see, that, as black and white colours, to the eyes; so is the vice and virtue of others, to the judgment of men. Vice gathers the beams of the sight in one; that the eye may see it, and be intent upon it: virtue scatters them abroad; and therefore hardly adinits of a perfect apprehension. Whence it comes to pass, that, as judgment is according to sense, we do so soon espy, and so earnestly censure a man for, one vice: letting pass many laudable
qualities undiscerned; or, at least, unacknowledged. Yea, whereas every man is once a fool
, and doeth that perhaps in one fit of his folly, which he shall at leisure repent of (as Noah, in one hour's drunkenness, uncovered those secrets, which were hid six hundred years before,) the world is hereupon ready to call in question all his former integrity, and to exclude bim from the hope of any future amendment. Since God hath given me two eyes; the one shall be busied about the present fault that I see, with a detesting commiseration; the other, about the commendable qualities of the offend. er, not without an unpartial approbation of them. So shall I do God no wrong, in robbing him of the glory of his gifts, mixed with infirmities: nor yet, in the mean time, encourage vice; while I do distinctly reserve for it, a due portion of hatred.
LXV. God is above man; the brute creatures, under him; he, set in the midst. Lest he should be proud that he had infinite creatures under him, that one is infinite degrees above him. I do, therefore, owe awe unto God; mercy, to the inferior creatures : knowing, that they are my fellows, in respect of creation; whereas there is no proportion betwixt me and my Maker.
LXVI. One said, “It is good to inure the mouth to speak well; for good speech is many times drawn into the affection:" but I would
fear, that, speaking well without feeling, were the next way to procure a habitual hypocrisy. Let my good words follow good affections; not go before them. I will therefore speak as I think: but, withal, I will labour to think well; and then, I know, I cannot but
LXVII. When I consider my soul, I could be proud, to think of how divine a nature and quality it is: but when I cast down mine eyes to my body, as the swan to her black legs; and see what loathsome matter issues from the mouth, nostrils, ears, pores, and other passages, and bow most carrion-like of all other creatures it is after death; I am justly ashamed, to think that so excellent a guest dwells not in a more cleanly dunghill.
LXVIII. Every worldling is a madman: for, besides that he preferreth profit and pleasure to virtue, the world to God, earth to heaven, time to eternity; he pampers the body, and starves the soul. He feeds one fowl a hundred times, that it may feed him but once: and seeks all lands and seas for dainties; not caring whether what repast, he provideth for his soul. He clothes the body with all rich ornaments; that it may be as fair without, as it is filthy within : while his soul goes bare and naked, having not a rag of knowledge to cover it. Yea, he cares not to destroy his soul, to please the body; when, for the salvation of the soul, he will not so much as hold the body short of the least pleasure. What is, if this be not, a reasonable kind of madness ? Let me enjoy my soul no longer, than I prefer it to my body. Let me have a deformed, lean, crooked, unhealthful, neglected body; so that I may find my soul sound, strong, well furnished, well disposed both for earth and heaven.
LXIX. Asa was sick but of his feet, far from the heart : yet, because he sought to the physicians, not to God, he escaped not. Hezekiah was sick to die: yet, because he trusted to God, not to physicians, he was restored. Means, without God, cannot help: God, without means, can; and often doth. I will use good means; not rest in them.
LXX. A man's best monument is his virtuous actions. Foolish is the hope of immortality and future praise, by the cost of senseless stone; when the passenger shall only say, “Here lies a fair stone and a filthy carcase.” That only can report thee rich: but, for other praises, thyself must build thy monument, alive; and write thy own epitaph, in honest and honourable actions: which are so much more noble than the other, as living men are better than dead stones. Nay, I know not if the other be not the way to work a perpetual succession of infamy; while the censorious reader, upon occasion thereof, shall comment upon thy bad life: whereas, in this, every man's heart is a tomb; and every man's tongue writeth an epitaph upon the well behaved. Either I will procure me such a monument, to be remembered by; or else, it is better to be inglorious, than infamous.
LXXI. The basest things are ever most plentiful. History and experience tell us, that some kind of mouse breedeth one hundred and twenty young ones in one nest; whereas the lion, or elephant, beareth but one at once. I have ever found, The least wit yieldeth the most words. It is both the surest and wisest way, to speak little, and think more.
LXXII. An evil man is clay to God; wax to the Devil. God may stamp him into powder, or temper him anew; but none of his means can melt him. Contrariwise, a good man is God's wax; and Satan's clay: he relents at every look of God; but is not stirred at any temptation. I would rather bow than break, to God: but, for Sa. tan, or the world, I would rather be broken in pieces with their vio. lence, then suffer myself to be bowed unto their obedience.
LXXIII. It is an easy matter, for a man to be careless of himself; and yet much easier to be enamoured of himself: for, if he be a Christian; while he contemneth the world perfectly, it is hard for him to reserve a competent measure of love to himself: if a worldling, it is not possible but he must over-love himself. I will strive for the mean of both: and so hate the world, that I may care for myself; and so care for myself, that I be not in love with the world.
LXXIV, I will hate popularity and ostentation; as ever dangerous, but most of all in God's business: which whoso aifect, do as ill spokesmen; who, when they are sent to woo for God, speak for them. selves. I know how dangerous it is to have God my rival.
LXXV, Earth affords no sound contentment: for, what is there under heaven not troublesome, besides that which is called pleasure ? and, that, in the end, I find most irksome of all other. My soul shall ever look upward, for joy; and downward, for penitence.
LXXVI. God is ever with me, ever before me. I know, he cannot but over-see me always; though my eyes be held, that I see bim not: yea, he is still within me; though I feel him not: neither is there any moment, that I can live without God. Why do I not, therefore, always live with him? Why do I not account all hours lost, wherein I enjoy him not?
LXXVII, There is no man so happy as the Christian. When he looks up unto heaven, he thinks, " That is my home: the God, that made it and owns it, is my Father: the angels, more glorious in nature than myself, are my attendants: mine enemies are my vassals.” Yea, those things, which are the terriblest of all to the wicked, are most pleasant to him. When he hears God thunder above his head, he thinks, “ This is the voice of my Father.” When he remembereth the Tribunal of the Last Judgment, he thinks, “ It is my Saviour, that sits in it:” when death, he esteems it but as the angel set before Paradise; which, with one blow, admits him to eternal joy. And, which is most of all, nothing in earth or hell can make him miserable. There is nothing in the world, worth envying, but a Christian.
LXXVIII. As man is a little world; so every Christian is a little Church, within himself. As the Church, therefore, is sometimes in the wane, through persecution; other times, in her full glory and brightness: so let me expect myself sometimes drooping under temptations, and sadly hanging down the head for the want of the feeling of God's presence; at other times, carried with the full sail of a resolute assurance to heaven: knowing, that, as it is a Church at the weakest stay ; so shall I, in my greatest dejection, hold the child of God.
LXXIX. Temptations, on the right hand, are more perilous, than those on the left; and destroy a thousand, to the others' ten: as the
sun, more usually, causeth the traveller to cast off his cloak, than the wind. For, those on the left hand miscarry men but two ways: to distrust, and denial of God; more rare sins: but the other, to all the rest, wherewith men's lives are so commonly defiled. The spirit of Christians is like the English jet, whereof we read, that it is fired with water, quenched with oil. And these two, prosperity and adversity, are like heat and cold: the one gathers the powers of the soul together, and makes them able to resist, by uniting them; the other diffuses them, and, by such separation, makes them easier to conquer. I hold it, therefore, as praise-worthy with God, for a man to contemn a proffered honour or pleasure, for conscience, sake; as, on the rack, not to deny his profession. When these are offered, I will not nibble at the bait; that I be not taken with the hook.
LXXX. God is Lord of my body also: and therefore challengeth as well reverent gesture, as inward devotion. I will ever, in my prayers, either stand, as a servant, before my Master; or kneel, as a sub ject, to my Prince.
LXXXI. I have not been in others' breasts; but, for my own part, I never tasted of ought, that might deserve the name of pleasure. And, if I could, yet a thousand pleasures cannot countervail one torment; because the one may be exquisite; the other, not without composition. And, if not one torment, much less a thousand. And if not for a moment, much less for eternity. And if not the torment of