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spent unprofitably the night shall teach me what I am; the day, what I should be.
Men make difference betwixt servants, friends, and sons. vants, though near us in place; yet, for their inferiority, are not familiar. Friends, though, by reason of their equality and our love, they are familiar; yet still we conceive of them as others from ourselves. But children we think of, affectionately, as the divided pieces of our own bodies. But all these are one to God: his servants are his friends; his friends are his sons; his sons, his servants. Many claim kindred of God, and profess friendship to him, because these are privileges without difficulty, and not without honour: all the trial is in service: the other are inost in affection, and therefore secret, and so may be dissembled; this, consisting in action, must needs shew itself to the eyes of others. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you: friendship with God is in service, and this service is in action. Many wear God's cloth, that know not their Master; that never did good cheer in his service: so that God hath many retainers, that wear his livery, for a countenance; never wait on him; whom he will never own for servants, either by favour, or wages. Few servants; and, therefore, few sons. It is great favour in God, and great honour to me, that he will vouchsafe to make me the lowest drudge in his family; which place if I had not, and were a monarch of men, I were accursed. I desire no more but to serve; yet, Lord, thou givest me more, to be thy son. I hear David say, Seemeth it a small matter to you, to be the son-in-law to a King? What is it then, oh what is it, to be the true adopted son of the King of Glory! Let me not now say as David of Saul, but as Saul's grand-child to David; oh, what is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
I am a stranger here below: my home is above; yet I can think too well of these foreign vanities, and cannot think enough of my home. Surely, that is not so far above my head, as my thoughts; neither doth so far pass me in distance, as in comprehension: and yet, I would not stand so much upon conceiving, if I could admire it enough; but my strait heart is filled with a little wonder, and hath no room for the greatest part of glory that remaineth. O God, what happiness hast thou prepared for thy chosen! What a purchase was this, worthy of the blood of such a Saviour! As yet I do but look towards it, afar off; but it is easy to see by the outside, how goodly it is within: although, as thy house on earth, so that above, hath more glory within, than can be bewrayed by the outward appearance. The outer part of thy tabernacle here below, is but an earthly and base substance; but within, it is furnished with a living, spiritual, and heavenly guest so the outer heavens, though they be as gold to all other material creatures; yet they are but dross to thee. Yet how are even the outmost walls of that house of thine beautified with glorious lights, whereof
every one is a world for bigness, and as a heaven for goodliness! Oh teach me by this to long after, and wonder at the inner part, before thou lettest me come in to behold it.
Riches, or beauty, or whatever worldly good that hath been, doth but grieve us: that, which is, doth not satisfy us: that, which shall be, is uncertain. What folly is it, to trust to any of them!
Security makes worldlings merry: and, therefore are they secure, because they are ignorant. That is only solid joy, which ariseth from a resolution; when the heart hath cast up a full account of all causes of disquietness, and findeth the causes of his joy more forcible; thereupon settling itself in a stayed course of rejoicing: for, the other, so soon as sorrow makes itself to be seen, especially in an unexpected form, is swallowed up in despair; whereas this can meet with no occurrence, which it hath not prevented in thought. Security and ignorance may scatter some refuse morsels of joy, sauced with much bitterness; or, may be like some boasting housekeeper, which keepeth open doors for one day with much cheer, and lives starvedly all the year after. There is no good Ordinary, but in a good conscience. I pity that unsound joy in others; and will seek for this sound joy in myself. I would rather weep upon a just cause, than rejoice unjustly.
As love keeps the whole Law, so love only is the breaker of it; being the ground, as of all obedience, so of all sin: for, whereas sin hath been commonly accounted to have two roots, Love and Fear, it is plain, that fear hath his original from love; for no man fears to lose ought, but what he loves. Here is sin, and righteousness, brought both into a short sum; depending both, upon one poor affection. It shall be my only care, therefore, to bestow my love well, both for object and measure. All that is good, I may love; but in several degrees: what is simply good, absolutely: what is good by circumstance, only with limitation. There be these three things, that I may love without exception, God, my neighbour, my soul; yet so as each have their due place: my body, goods, fame, &c. as servants to the former. All other things, I will either not care for, or hate.
One would not think, that pride and base-mindedness should so well agree; yea, that they love so together, that they never go asunder. That envy ever proceeds from a base mind, is granted of all. Now the proud man, as he fain would be envied of others, so he envieth all men. His betters he envies, because he is not so good as they: he envies his inferiors, because he fears they should prove as good as he; his equals, because they are as good as he. So, under big looks, he bears a base mind; resembling some Cardinal's mule, which, to make up the train, bears a costly
port-mantle stuffed with trash. On the contrary, who is more proud than the basest, (the Cynick tramples on Plato's pride; but with a worse) especially if he be but a little exalted? wherein we see base men so much more haughty, as they have had less before, what they might be proud of. It is just with God, as the proud man is base in himself, so to make him basely esteemed in the eyes of others; and, at last, to make him base without pride. I will contemn a proud man, because he is base; and pity him, because he is proud.
Let me but have time to my thoughts; but leisure to think of heaven, and grace to my leisure; and I can be happy in spite of the world. Nothing, but God that gives it, can bereave me of grace; and he will not: for his gifts are without repentance. Nothing, but death, can abridge me of time; and, when I begin to want time to think of heaven, I shall have eternal leisure to enjoy it. I shall be both ways happy; not from any virtue of apprehension in me, (which have no peer in worthiness,) but from the glory of that I apprehend; wherein the act and object are from the author of happiness. He gives me this glory: let me give him the glory of his gift. His glory is my happiness: let my glory
God bestows favours upon some, in anger; as he strikes other some, in love: (the Israelites had better have wanted their quails, than to have eaten them with such sauce:) and, sometimes, at our instance removing a lesser punishment, leaves a greater, though insensible, in the room of it. I will not so much strive against affliction, as displeasure. Let me rather be afflicted in love, than prosper without it.
It is strange, that we men, having so continual use of God, and being so perpetually beholding to him, should be so strange to him, and so little acquainted with him: since we account it perverse nature in any man, that, being provoked with many kind offices, refuses the familiarity of a worthy friend, which doth still seek it, and hath deserved it. Whence it comes, that we are so loth to think of our dissolution, and going to God: for, naturally, where we are not acquainted, we list not to hazard our welcome; chusing rather to spend our money at a simple inn, than to turn in for a free lodging to an unknown host, whom we have only heard of, never had friendship with; whereas, to an entire friend, whose nature and welcome we know, and whom we have elsewhere familiarly conversed withal, we go as boldly and willingly as to our home, knowing that no hour can be unseasonable to such a one. While, on the other side, we scrape acquaintance with the world, that never did us good, even after many repulses. I will not live with God, and in God, without his acquaintance; knowing it my happiness to have such a friend. I will not let one day pass, without some act of renewing my familiarity with him; not giving
over, till I have given him some testimony of my love to him, and joy in him; and till he hath left behind him some pledge of his continued favour to me.
Men, for the most part, would neither die nor be old. When we see an aged man, that hath over-lived all the teeth of his gums, the hair of his head, the sight of his eyes, the taste of his palate; we profess, we would not live till such a cumbersome age, wherein we prove burdens to our dearest friends and ourselves: yet, if it be put to our choice what year we would die, we ever shift it off till the next; and want not excuses for this prorogation; rather than fail, alleging, we would live to amend; when yet we do but add more to the heap of our sins by continuance. Nature hath nothing to plead for this folly, but that life is sweet: wherein we give occasion of renewing that ancient check, or one not unlike to it, whereby that primitive vision taxed the timorousness of the shrinking Confessors: "Ye would neither live to be old, nor die ere your age: what should I do with you?" The Christian must not think it enough, to endure the thought of death with patience, when it is obtruded upon him by necessity: but must voluntarily call it into his mind with joy; not only abiding it should come, but wishing that it might come. I will not leave, till I can resolve, if I might die to day, not to live till tomorrow.
As a true friend is the sweetest contentment in the world; so, in his qualities he well resembleth honey, the sweetest of all li quors. Nothing is more sweet to the taste; nothing more sharp and cleansing, when it meets with an exulcerate sore. For myself, I know I must have faults; and, therefore, I care not for that friend, that I shall never smart by. For my friends, I know they cannot be faultless; and, therefore, as they shall find me sweet in their praises and encouragements, so sharp also in their censure. Either let them abide me no friend to their faults, or no friend to themselves.
In all other things, we are led by profit; but, in the main matter of all, we shew ourselves utterly unthrifty: and, while we are wise in making good markets in these base commodities, we shew ourselves foolish in the great match of our souls. God and the world come both to one shop, and make proffers for our souls: the world, like a frank chapman, says, All these will I give thee; shewing us his bags and promotions, and thrusting them into our hands: God offers a crown of glory, which yet he tells us we must give him day to perform; and have nothing in present, but our hope and some small earnest of the bargain: though we know there is no comparison betwixt these two in value, finding these earthly things vain and unable to give any contentment, and those others of invaluable worth and benefit; yet we would rather take these in hand, than trust God on his word for the future, while yet, in the same kind, we chuse rather to take some rich lordship in reversion,
after the long expectation of three lives expired, than a present sum much under foot. As, contrarily, when God and the world are sellers, and we come to the mart, the world offers fine painted wares, but will not part with them under the price of our torment: God proclaims, Come, ye that want; buy for nought: now, we thrifty men, that try all shops for the cheapest pennyworth, refuse God, proffering his precious commodities for nothing; and pay a hard price for that, which is worse than nothing, painful. Surely, we are wise for any thing, but our souls: not so wise for the body, as foolish for them. O Lord, thy payment is sure; and who knows how present? Take the soul, that thou hast both made and bought; and let me rather give my life for thy favour, than take the offers of the world for nothing.
There was never age, that more bragged of knowledge; and yet never any, that had less soundness. He, that knows not God, knoweth nothing; and he, that loves not God, knows him not: for he is so sweet, and infinitely full of delight, that whoever knows him cannot chuse but affect him. The little love of God then argues the great ignorance, even of those, that profess knowledge. I will not suffer my affections to run before my knowledge; for then I shall love fashionably only, because I hear God is worthy of love, and so be subject to relapses: but I will ever lay knowledge as the ground of my love; so, as I grow in divine knowledge, I shall still profit in a heavenly zeal.
Those, that travel in long pilgrimages to the Holy Land, what a number of weary paces they measure! what a number of hard lodgings and known dangers they pass! and, at last, when they are come within view of their journey's end, what a large tribute pay they at the Pisan Castle to the Turks! And, when they are come thither, what see they, but the bare Sepulchre wherein their Saviour lay; and the earth, that he trod upon; to the increase of a carnal devotion? What labour should I willingly undertake, in my journey to the true Land of Promise, the Čelestial Jerusalem, where I shall see and enjoy my Saviour himself! What tribute of pain or death, should I refuse to pay for my entrance, not into his Sepulchre, but his Palace of Glory; and that, not to look upon, but to possess it!
Those, that are all in exhortation, no whit in doctrine, are like to them, that snuff the candle, but pour not in oil. Again, those, that are all in doctrine, nothing in exhortation, drown the wick in oil, but light it not: making it fit for use, if it had fire put to it; but, as it is, rather capable of good, than profitable in present. Doctrine, without exhortation, makes men all brain, no heart: exhortation, without doctrine, makes the heart full, leaves the brain empty. Both together make a man. One makes a man wise;