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of peace and contentment; but, when distances and proportions of respects are not mutually observed, when either states or persons will be clashing with each other, the discord is grievous and extremely prejudicial. Such confusion either notifieth a fire already kindled, or portendeth it. Popular states may ring the changes with safety: but the Monarchical government requires a constant and regular course, of the set degrees of rule and inferiority; which cannot be violated, without a sensible discontentment and danger. For me, I do so love the peace of the Church and State, that I cannot but, with the charitable Apostle, say, Would to God, they were cut off that trouble them; and shall ever wish, either no jars, or no clappers.

LXXXI. On the sight of a full table at a feast.

WHAT great variety is here, of flesh, of fish; of both, of either as if both nature and art did strive to pamper us! Yet methinks, enough is better than all this. Excess is but a burden; as to the provider, so to the guest. It pities and grieves me, to think what toil, what charge hath gone, to the gathering of all these dainties together; what pain so many poor creatures have been put to, in dying for a needless sacrifice to the belly; what a penance must be done by every accumbent, in sitting out the passage through all these dishes; what a task the stomach must be put to, in the concoction of so many mixtures. I am not so austerely scrupulous, as to deny the lawfulness of these abundant provisions, upon just occasions: I find my Saviour himself, more than once, at a feast: this is recorded, as well as his one long fast. Doubtless, our bountiful God hath given us his creatures, not for necessity only, but for pleasure: but these exceedings should be both rare and moderate; and, when they must be, require no less patience than temperance.

Might I have my option, O God, give me rather a little, with peace and love. He, whose provision for every day was thirty measures of fine flour and threescore measures of meal, thirty oxen, a hundred sheep, besides venison and fowl, yet can pray, Give me the bread of sufficiency. Let me have no perpetual feast, but a good conscience: and, from these great preparations, for the health both of soul and body, let me rise, rather hungry than surcharged.

LXXXII. On the hearing of a lute well played on. THERE may be, for ought we know, infinite inventions of

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contentationisque harmonia; sed, ubi debita intervalla respectuumque mutuorum proportiones justæ parùm observantur, ubi aut imperia aut personæ discordi quodam sibi clangore intersonant, gravissimæ lites incidunt ac utrisque fortasse perniciosæ. Confusio scilicet hujusmodi incendium commune vel innuit, vel certè portendit. Populares siquæ sint administrationes campanarum seriem facilè ac fortè etiam tutò variare possunt regimen verò Monarchicum, constantem quendam regularemque ordinem, fixosque et dominii et subjectionis gradus efflagitat; qui quidem, absque manifesto præjudicio ac discrimine, violari non possunt. Me quod spectat, ita ego impensè diligo Ecclesiæ ac Reipublicæ pacem, ut non possim, cum plenissimo illo quidem charitatis Apostolo, non optare Utinam exscindantur qui ista mconturbant; campanasque omnes cupiam, vel concordes, vel sanè elingues.

LXXXI. Conspecto benè instructo convivio.

QUANTA istìc varietas est, carnium, piscium; utrorumque, neutrorumque quasi et ars et natura saginationi nostræ ac deliciis conspirarent! Meo certè tamen animo, nimio hoc omni melius est quod est satis. Excessus iste oneri est; et domino, et hospiti. Dolet mihi quidem cogitare, quis labor, qui sumptus conquirendis hisce tot cupediis necessariò insumendi fuerint; quantum cruciatûs subierint tot misera animalcula, moriendo ut superfluo semel sacrificio ventri immolarentur; sed et quanta accumbentibus pœna incumbit, usque sedendi donec per omnia hæc fercula suo quodam ordine transierint; quantum denique stomacho provinciæ demandatur, tot ciborum misturas unà concoquendi. Non ita austerè rigidus sum, ut largos hosce apparatus, ubi res postulat, parùm licere censeam: etiam Servatorem meum, non semel, convivio accumbentem comperio et hoc non minùs, quàm diuturnum illius jejunium { unicum, memoratur. Proculdubio, munificus Deus noster creaturas nobis suas, non necessitatis ergò solum, sed et voluptatis, impertiit: excessus tamen isti, et rari sint oportet, et non nimii; et, ubi sunt, non minus patientiæ profectò, quàm temperantiæ desiderant.

Optio si mihi mea detur, pauxillum mihi sit, cum pace et charitate. Ille, cui quotidianum dimensum erat, triginta cori similæ et sexaginta cori farinæ, boves triginta, centum oves, præter ferinam volucresque saginatas, precatur tamen, Da mihi panem sufficientiæ. Nullum mihi perpetuum convivium sit, præter bonam conscientiam: ab istis verò lautis largisque epulis, liceat mihi, pro et animæ et corporis sanitate, fame potiùs quàm crapulâ laboranti, surgere.

LXXXII. Auditá lyrá benè pulsatâ.

INFINITA fortassis esse possunt artis inventa, quorum possi

VOL. XI.

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art, the possibility whereof we should hardly ever believe, if they were fore-reported to us. Had we lived in some rude and remote part of the world; and should have been told, that it is possible, only by a hollow piece of wood, and the guts of beasts stirred by the fingers of men, to make so sweet and melodious a noise; we should have thought it utterly incredible: yet now, that we see and hear it ordinarily done, we make it no wonder.

It is no marvel, if we cannot fore-imagine what kind and means of harmony, God will have used by his saints and angels in heaven; when these poor matters seem so strange to our conceits, which yet our very senses are convinced of.

O God, thou knowest infinite ways to glorify thyself by thy creatures, which do far transcend our weak and finite capacities. Let me wonder at thy wisdom and power; and be more awful in my adorations, than curious in my inquiries.

LXXXIII. On the sight and noise of a peacock.

I SEE there are many kinds of hypocrites. Of all birds, this makes the fairest shew, and the worst noise: so as this is a hypocrite to the eye. There are others, as the blackbird, that looks foul and sooty; but sings well: this is a hypocrite to the There are others, that please us well, both in their shew and voice; but are cross in their carriage and condition; as the popingay, whose colours are beautiful, and noise delightful, yet is it apt to do mischief, in scratching and biting any hand that comes near it: these are hypocrites both to the eye and ear. Yet there is a degree further, beyond the example of all brute creatures, of them, whose shew, whose words, whose actions are fair; but their hearts are foul and abominable. No outward beauty can make the hypocrite other than odious. For me, let my profession agree with my words, my words with my actions, my actions with my heart; and let all of them be approved of the God of Truth.

LXXXIV. On a penitent malefactor.

I KNOW not whether I should more admire the wisdom or the mercy of God, in his proceedings with men. Had not this man sinned thus notoriously, he had never been thus happy. While his courses were fair and civil; yet he was graceless: now, his miscarriage hath drawn him into a just affliction; his affliction hath humbled him. God hath taken this advantage of his humiliation, for his conversion. Had not one foot slipped into the mouth of hell, he had never been in this forwardness to heaven.

There is no man so weak or foolish, as that he hath not

bilitatem, famæ talia alicubi posse fieri referenti, vix profectò crederemus. Si in rudiore aliquâ remotioreque mundi plagâ vixissemus; audivissemusque, fieri posse, ut ab excavatis dolatisque lignis, bestiarumque illiis motis parumper humanâ manu, tam suavis harmonicusque sonus ederetur; nos planè incredibile putassemus: nunc verò, cùm hoc vulgo fieri et videamus et audiamus quotidie, ne miramur quidem.

Mirum non est, si nos præcogitare nequeamus, sive genera sive modos harmoniæ illius supernæ, quam a sanctis angelisque in cœlo usurpari voluit Deus; cùm minima hæc, quorum sensus noster facilè convincitur, ita nimis admiranda videantur.

Nôsti tu, O Deus, infinitas temetipsum per creaturas tuas te glorificandi rationes, quæ finitum ingenioli nostri captum longissimè transcendunt. Fac sapientiam tuam potentiamque usque stupeam; simque adorando humilior, quàm curiosior inquirendo.

LXXXIII. Viso et audito pavone.

VIDEO hypocritarum non unum esse genus. Inter omnes alitum species, hic, et pulcherrimus videtur, et sonat ingratissimè ita ut hic hypocritam se præstet oculo. Sunt et alii, huic adversi, uti merula, quæ nigra videtur; cantat tamen optimè: hypocrita nempe illa auri est. Sunt et alii, qui, et specie et voce, sat nobis placent; moribus verò ac gestu offendunt; qualis est psittacus, cujus colores venusti sunt, sonus non injucundus; mordere tamen solet ille, proximamque manum quamque unguibus impetere: hic et oculo et auri hypocrita est. Gradus tamen adhuc ulterior, præter irrationalium omnium exemplum, eorum est, scilicet, quorum species, voces, gestus, moresque, non perplacere non possunt; corda tamen fœdissima sint, et horrendâ impietate plena. Externæ venustatis non est, hypocritam facere non verè turpem et odiosum. Quod ad me, curæ mihi sit, ut professio mea cum verbis, verba cum actionibus, actiones cum corde conspirent; utque omnia hæc à Deo Veritatis approbentur.

LXXXIV. De scelerato quodam seriò pænitente.

NESCIO mirernè magis sapientiam an misericordiam Dei, in rebus humanis administrandis. Nisi ita flagitiosè peccâsset hic homo, nunquam tam fœlix fuisset. Dum se inculpatè gesserat priùs; gratiâ interim destituebatur: nunc, illud in quod inciderat crimen gravissimam ipsi calamitatem superintulit; humiliavit eum illa calamitas. Humiliationis istius ansam arripuit Deus, homini opportunè convertendo. Ni pes illi unus in os inferni collapsus fuisset, nunquam profectò ita cœlo appropinquasset.

Nemo hominum ita væcors aut imbecillus est, ut cui parùm

strength or wit enough, to sin, or to make ill use of his sin: it is only the goodness of an Infinite God, that can make our sin good to us, though evil in itself.

O God, it is no thank to ourselves or to our sins, that we are bettered with evil. The work is thine: let thine be the glory.

LXXXV. On the sight of a lily.

THIS must needs be a goodly flower, that our Saviour hath singled out, to compare with Solomon; and that not in his ordinary dress, but in all his royalty. Surely, the earth had never, so glorious a king as he. Nature yielded nothing, that might set forth royal magnificence, that he wanted: yet he, that made both Solomon and this flower, says, that Solomon in all his royalty, was not clad like it.

What a poor thing is this earthly bravery, that is so easily overmatched! How ill judges are we of outward beauties, that contemn these goodly plants, which their Creator thus magnifies; and admire those base metals, which he, in comparison hereof, contemns! If it be their transitoriness, that embaseth them, what are we? All flesh is grass; and all the glory of man, as the flower of grass. As we cannot be so brave, so we cannot be more permanent.

O God, let it be my ambition, to walk with thee hereafter in white. Could I put on a robe of stars here, with proud Herod, that glittering garment could not keep me from lice or worms. Might I sit on a throne of gold within a house of ivory, I see I should not compare with this flower: I might be as transi tory; I should not be so beautiful. What matters it, whether I go for a flower, or a weed, here? Whethersoever, I must wither. O thou, which art greater than Solomon, do thou clothe me with thy perfect righteousness: so shall I flourish for ever, in the courts of the house of my God.

LXXXVI. On the sight of a coffin stuck with flowers.

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Too fair appearance, is never free from just suspicion. While here was nothing but mere wood, no flower was to be seen here now, that this wood is lined with an unsavoury corpse, it is adorned with this sweet variety. The fir, whereof that coffin is made, yields a natural redolence alone: now, that it is stuffed thus noisomely, all helps are too little to countervail that scent of corruption.

Neither is it otherwise in the living: perpetual use of strong perfumes, argues a guiltiness of some unpleasing savour. The case is the same spiritually: an over-glorious outside of profession, implies some inward filthiness, that would fain escape

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