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æquè resilit sanguis noster obrigetque. Unde fieri potest hoc, nisi ex quodam veteris inimicitiæ instinctu? Percussi olim fuimus in paradiso, venenato hujus aculeo; neque non adhuc sentire possumus lethale illud virus. O nostram, tamen, fatuitatem: ipsum serpentis illius corpus nobis nocere non potuerat, absque suggestione peccati; et tamen, peccatum diligimus, odimus serpentem.

Quotidie veteris illius serpentis stimulo vulneramur, et non conquerimur: et aculeus ille tanto magis perimit, quo sentitur minùs. Est aculeus quidam reatûs; est et aculeus doloris: in illo mortiferum virus est, cujus nos quidem sensum habemus minimum; in hoc, minus est periculi. Ab ardentibus illis in deserto serpentibus morsos se deprehenderunt Israelitæ; sensusque doloris eos illico ad quærendum remedium instigavit. Ecce desertum nostrum, mundus est: et, ut stimulus mortis est peccatum; ita et stimulus peccati, mors. Non medelam magis opto, quàm dolorem. Si satis dolere ac queri possim, non sanari quidem non potero.

O tu, qui verus es Serpens ille æneus, palam in deserto elevatus, tolle oculos ad te meos, eosque in te fige. Misericordia tua et animam meam sanam faciet; et vel ipsum vulnus, medicinam.

LXXVI. Visis monasterii cujusdam ruinis.

Non ita facile dictu est, quid parietes istos olim extruxerit; ac quid modò dejecerit: ipsa nempe dominorum nequitia. Unicuique lapidi lingua est, quæ nuperorum possessorum superstitionem, hypocrisin, otium, luxuriam subincuset. Videor mihi, videre in unâquaque harum congerie, majusculis characteribus, inscriptum, Terram frugiferam sterilem reddit, ob iniquitatem incolentium. Non defuit, fortè, aliquod in demolitoribus ædium istarum sacrilegii. In toto quidem negotio hoc, justa quædam manus fuit, quæ mutua hominum peccata ad sanum salubremque usum redigere noverat. Parùm profectò cogitârant vel architecti vel incolæ, tam sumptuosam commodèque constructam fabricam adeò citò violenterque in desertis ruderibus desituram.

Non est quòd nos efferamur animo, sed timeamus. Nullum ita altum tectorium est, nullus paries tam firmus, quem peccatum solo pulverique æquare non possit. Esto moles quæpiam tam accuratè fabricata clausaque, ut ne aerem quidem ipsum admittat; peccatum intromiserit modò, judicium Dei frustra excludere tentaverit. Nequicquam profectò stabilitatem ædibus illis pollicebimur, quas nos turpissimæ immunditiæ nostræ et testes et reas usque fecerimus: ædificii cujusque firmitudo, non tam materiæ adscribenda est, quàm domino. Felix illa casa est, quæ honestum sortita est dominum; væ palatio, cui vitiosus obtigit habitator.

LXXVII. On the discharging of a piece.

GOOD Lord, how witty men are, to kill one another! What fine devices they have found out, to murder afar off; to slay many at once; and so to fetch off lives, that, while a whole lane is made of carcases with one blow, nobody knows who hurt him! And what honour do we place in slaughter! Those arms, wherein we pride ourselves, are such, as which we or our ancestors have purchased with blood: the monuments of our glory, are the spoils of a subdued and slain enemy. Where, contrarily, all the titles of God sound of mercy, and gracious respects to man: God the Father, is the Maker and Preserver of men: God the Son, is the Saviour of mankind: God the Holy Ghost, styles himself the Comforter. Alas, whose image do we bear, in this disposition; but his, whose true title is, The Destroyer? It is easy, to take away the life: it is not easy, to give it. Give me the man, that can devise, how to save troops of men from killing: his name shall have room in my Calendar. There is more true honour in a civic garland, for the preserving of one subject; than in a laurel, for the victory of many enemies.

O God, there are enough, that bend their thoughts, to undo what thou hast made: enable thou me, to bestow my endeavours, in reprieving or rescuing that, which might otherwise perish. O thou, who art our common Saviour, make thou me both ambitious and able, to help to save some, other besides myself.

LXXVIII. On the tolling of a passing bell.

How doleful and heavy is this summons of death! This sound is not for our ears, but for our hearts: it calls us not only to our prayers, but to our preparation; to our prayers, for the departing soul; to our preparation, for our own departing. We have never so much need of prayers, as in our last combat: then is our great Adversary most eager: then are we the weakest then nature is so over laboured, that it gives us not leisure, to make use of gracious motions. There is no preparation, so necessary, as for this conflict: all our life is little enough to make ready for our last hour. What am I better than my neighbours? How oft hath this bell reported to me, the farewell of many more strong and vigorous bodies than my own; of many more cheerful and lively spirits! And now what doth it, but call me to the thought of my parting? Here is no abiding for me: I must away too.

LXXVII. Ad displosionem bombardæ.

DEUS Bone, quàm ingeniosi sunt homines, se trucidandis invicem! Quàm bellas excogitârunt machinas, quibus se à longè possint mutuò occidere; atque ita vitam adimere, ut, dum phalanges totæ uno ictu prosternuntur, nemo nôrit quis se læserit! Quantum verò honoris in cæde mutuâ collocamus! Illa insignia, quibus superbimus, ejusmodi sunt, quæ aut nos aut proavi nostri sanguine comparavimus: gloriæ nostræ monumenta quid aliud sunt, nisi victi occisique hostis spolia. Ubi, è contrà, tituli omnes Divini misericordiam sonant, summamque erga genus humanum benignitatem: Deus Pater, Creator est hominum Conservatorque: Deus Filius, humani generis Servator: Spiritus denique Sanctus, Consolatorem seipsum indigitat. Væ mihi, cujus imago est quam nos, ita ferociter affecti, gestamus; nisi illius, cui verus titulus est, Homicida ab initio? Vitam quidem auferre, facile est: non ita facile, restituere. Cedo mihi hominem, qui rationem adinvenire possit totas hominum cohortes, ab occisione conservandi: sacrum illi erit in Calendario meo ac rubricatum nomen. Plus veri honoris est in coronâ civicâ, unius subditi fidelis servati causâ; quàm in laureâ, plurimis devictis hostibus.

O Deus, satis illorum hominum est, qui animum in id unum intendunt, ut quæ tu fecisti destruant: inde tu mihi, excitaque et animum et operam, ut servare quoquo modo possim ac redimere peritura. O tu, qui communis es nostrûm omnium Servator, indulge mihi et ambitionem et facultatem, alium aliquem, præter meipsum, ad salutem perducendi.

LXXVIII. Audito campana sono moribundi cujusdam obitum præmonentis.

QUAM tristis ac lugubris est hæc mortis summonitio! Sonus iste non aures nostras ferire debet, sed pectora: neque modò preces nostras exigit, sed apparatum; preces quidem, pro decessurâ statim animâ; nostri verò decessûs, apparatum. Nusquam profectò æquè precibus indigemus, ac in ultimo hoc certamine: tunc etenim, et nos ferocissimè aggreditur dirus ille Hostis, et nos illi resistendo maximè impares sumus: tunc ita opprimitur natura, ut parum suppetat otii, sanctos motus aut eliciendi aut revocandi quidem. Nihil quicquam occurrere potest, quod æquè præparationem nostram requirat, atque pugna hæc ultima: tota vita nostra vix sufficit extremæ huic hora. Quis ego sum, aut quò tandem melior vicinis? Quoties retulit mihi campana hæc ipsa, exitum multorum robustiorum magisque vividorum corporum; spirituum alacriorum vivaciorumque! Nunc verò quid, nisi me revocat ad seriam egressûs mei cogitationem? Non est quòd istìc morari sperem: abeundum est mihi quoque.

O thou, that art the God of Comfort, help thy poor servant, that is now struggling with his last enemy. His sad friends stand gazing upon him, and weeping over him; but they cannot succour him: needs must they leave him, to do this great work alone: none, but thou, to whom belong the issues of death, canst relieve his distressed and over-matched soul. And, for me, let no man die without me as I die daily, so teach me to die once: acquaint me beforehand with that messenger, which I must trust to. Oh, teach me so to number my days, that I may apply my heart to true wisdom.


LXXIX. On a defamation dispersed.

WERE I the first or the best, that ever was slandered, perhaps it would be somewhat difficult, to command myself patience. Grief is wont to be abated, either by partners, or precedents: the want whereof dejects us beyond measure, as men singled out for patterns of misery. Now, while I find this the common condition of all, that ever have been reputed virtuous, why am I troubled with the whisperings of false tongues?

O God, the Devil slandered thee in paradise. O Saviour, men slandered thee on earth, more than men or devils can reproach me. Thou art the best, as thou art the best, that ever was smitten by a lying and venomous tongue. It is too much favour, that is done me by malicious lips, that they conform me to thy sufferings: I could not be so happy, if they were not so spiteful. O thou glorious pattern of reproached innocence, if I may not die for thee, yet let me thus bleed with thee.

LXXX. On a ring of bells.

WHILE every bell keeps due time and order, what a sweet and harmonious sound they make! All the neighbour villages are cheered with that common music: but when once they jar and check each other; either jangling together, or striking preposterously; how harsh, and unpleasing is that noise! So that, as we testify our public rejoicing, by an orderly and welltuned peal; so, when we would signify that the town is on fire, we ring confusedly.

It is thus in Church and Commonwealth. When every one knows and keeps their due ranks, there is a melodious concert

e Si Christus Judam passus est, cur non ego patior Birrhichionem? Dial. de S. Martino, Sever. Sulpit.

O tu, qui Miserationum omnium Deus es, propitius esto misello servo tuo, qui jam modò cum novissimo illo hoste conflictatur. Amici ejus mœsti illum circumstant, et intuentur intentiùs, moribundoque allachrymantur; cui succurrere parùm possunt: necesse est eum sibi relinquant, ut magnum hoc opus sibi solus transigat: nemo, præter te solum, penes quem sunt mortis exitus, miseram hanc et tantis hostibus imparem congressam animam relevare potest. Et, quod me attinet, sine me nemo proximorum moriatur : uti ego quotidie morior, ita doce me mori semel: fac me præ manu familiarem illi nuntio, qui mihi necessariò expectandus est. Doce me sic numerare dies meos, ut cor meum veræ addicam sapientiæ.

LXXIX. Defamatione quâdam divulgatâ.

Si vel primus ego vel optimus omnium essem, cui probra immeritò fuissent ingesta, difficilius fortè foret, patientiam mihi imperare. Aut participatione, aut exemplis, imminui solet dolor: quibus utrisque ubi destituimur, supra modum dejici solemus, acsi miseriarum archetypi quidam designaremur. Nunc verò, quandoquidem communem hanc omnium, qui virtutem unquam coluere, conditionem comperio, quorsum ego falsiloquarum linguarum sibilationibus ita nimiùm crucior?

O Deus, ipsum te defamavit, Diabolus in paradiso. Te verò, O Servator, contumeliis magis impetierunt homines in terrâ, quàm nos impetere possunt homines dæmonesve. Tu, qui omnium optimus es, eminentissimus etiam illorum omnium es, qui mendaci venenatâque linguâ unquam fuêre sauciati. Nimiùm mihi favent linguæ hæ maledicæ, quòd me tuis passionibus conformem præstent: nisi illæ ita invidæ ac mordaces essent, ego certè ita fœlix esse non possem. O tu, qui gloriosissimum es innocentiæ contumeliosè exceptæ exemplar, quandoquidem pro te mori non liceat, da mihi saltem tecum vel sic vulnerari.

LXXX. Audito quodam campanarum concentu.

DUм tempus suum atque ordinem servant hæ campanæ, quàm suavem harmonicumque sonum edunt! Villulæ quæque vicinæ communi hoc concentu recreantur: ubi verò discors sonant, alteraque alteri obstrepit; sive coincidente sonitu, sive præposterè se ingerente; quàm injucundus est stridor ille, et haud parùm ingratus! Ita ut, qui gaudium publicum, benè ordinatâ regularique campanarum pulsatione, testari solemus; domorum itidem combustionem, confuso earundem sonitu, significemus.

Et sic quidem in Ecclesiâ ac Republicâ se habet. Ubi unusquisque suum novit locum ordinemque, suavissima est pacis

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