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XCIV. Ad conspectum syngrapha lucerata et irritæ.

QUAMDIU valebat illud chirographum, ego membranulæ meæ servus eram duplex erat obligatio mea; solutioni una, altera verò pœnæ nunc verò, ubi adimpletur conditio solviturque debitum, quid aliud est nisi irrita quædam chartula; nulli usui idonea, nisi forsan ut testis sit suæ frustrationis nullitatisque ? Neque se habet aliter severa lex Creatoris mei. Extra Christum, perfectè valet vigetque: meque vel adjabsolutam, quam præstare nequeo obedientiam; vel ad cruciatum exquisitissimum mortemque æternam, quam subire nequeo; necessariò obligat. Nunc verò cùm illam Servator meus cassatam penitùs, quoad rigorem maledictionemque, Cruci suæ affixerit, respicio quidem hanc, ut prioris periculi et servitutis monumentum : hinc probè novi, quantum debuerim; quantum nomine meo solutum fuerit. Directio ejus perpetua est: obligatio ad mortem evanuit. Immunis sum à maledicto, qui ab obedientiâ meâ nunquam ero immunis.

O`Servator, tu tibi sume gloriam; da mihi pacem.

XCV. Audito naufragio quodam.

TERRA et aqua, uti benefici largitores sunt, ita et voracissimi etiam receptatores: ut materiam sustentationemque sublunaribus quibusque suppeditant, ita et eandem totam non multò post resumunt; fructum uteri sui, tandem, avidè insatiabiliterque deglutientes. Ex his tamen duobus, terra magis munifica est, et crudelis minùs: hæc etenim, ut plusculum alimoniæ, opum, supportationisque subministrat; ita vix quid unquam à nobis recipit, quod nos ipsi non lubentes ei resignaverimus, quodque in eam, vi quâdam naturæ, non sponte recidat. Ubi aqua, ut non multum nutrimenti, præter paucula quædam ad ornatum, confert; ita nos nostraque violentâ manu rapere parata est; quæque nunquam dederat, desubitò auferre: nulla nobis metalla preciosa elargitur; et tamen, momento temporis, multos auri argentique acervos unà diripit. Nihilominùs tamen, non obstante quotidianæ hujusce rapinæ tristi experientiâ, quàm multos videmus indies, quibus firmam pedibus calcare terram satis liceat, misericordiæ maris confidere etiamnum ausos! Imò, quot ubique occurrunt, qui cùm vix dum periculosissimum naufragium evaserint, fidei tamen instabilis illius et malè-fidi elementi se adhuc concredere non dubitant!

O Deus, quàm nos audaces sumus, ubi meritò diffidere deberemus! quàm diffidenter timidi, ubi certissima obvenit causa fiduciæ! Quis unquam, O Domine, in benignissimam providentiam tuam firmissimaque promissa recubuit perperàm? Istìc tamen, fidem nostram anxiè retrahimus, excusationesque cudimus incredulitatis. Quòd si Petrus undas illas solidum sub pedibus suis pavimentum senserit, dum confidenter calcaverat

a billow and a wind agree to threaten him, his faith flags, and he begins to sink.

O Lord, teach me to doubt, where I am sure to find nothing but uncertainty; and, to be assuredly confident, where there can be no possibility of any cause of doubting.

XCVI. On sight of a bright sky full of stars.

I CANNOT blame Empedocles, if he professed a desire to live upon earth, only that he might behold the face of the heavens: surely, if there were no other, this were a sufficient errand, for a man's being here below, to see and observe these goodly spangles of light above our heads; their places, their quantities, their motions.

But the employment of a Christian is far more noble and excellent. Heaven is open to him; and he can look beyond the veil; and see further above those stars, than it is thither; and there discern those glories, that may answer so rich a pavement upon the clear sight whereof, I cannot wonder, if the Chosen Vessel desired to leave the earth, in so happy an exchange.

O God, I bless thine infiniteness for what I see with these bodily eyes: but, if thou shalt but draw the curtain, and let me by the eye of faith see the inside of that thy glorious frame, I shall need no other happiness here. My soul cannot be capable of more favour, than sight here, and fruition hereafter.

XCVII. On the rumours of wars.

GOOD Lord, what a shambles is Christendom become of late! How are men killed, like flies; and blood poured out, like water! Surely, the cruelty and ambition of the great have a heavy reckoning to make, for so many thousand souls. I condemn not just arms: those are as necessary, as the unjust are hateful. Even Michael and his Angels fight; and the style of God is, The Lord of Hosts: But, woe be to the man, by whom the offence cometh. Usurpation of other's rights, violation of oaths and contracts, and lastly erroneous zeal, are guilty of all these public murders. Private men's injuries are washed off with tears; but wrongs done to princes and public states, are hardly wiped off but with blood. Doubtless, that fearful comet did not more certainly portend these wars; than these wars presage the approach of the end of the world. The earth was never without some broils, since it was peopled but with three men; but so universal a combustion was never in the Christian world, since it was.

illius anima; ubi tamen fluctus decumanus flatusque paulò violentior hominem unà adoriri consentiunt, languescere jam fides ejus, ipse verò subsidere statim incipit.

O Deus, doce me illîc dubitare, ubi nihil præter incertitudinem comperire certus sum; et, ubi nulla potest subesse dubitationis causa, securè semper confidere.

XCVI. Viso cœlo sereno stellis referto.

EMPEDOCLEM profectò culpare nequeo, qui vitam in terrâ traducere se velle professus est, solùm ut cœli faciem intueretur: certè, si nihil nobis præterea negotii foret, satis hoc pensi esset, in hâc infimâ mundi parte, adspicere et observare scintillantia illa cœli luminaria super capita nostra regulariter circumvolventia; eorumque situs, molem, motus.

Christiani verò opus longè nobilius excellentiusque est. Apertum est illi cœlum; is ultra velum cernere potest; altiùsque supra has stellas, quàm distant a nobis stellæ, prospicere; ibique tantum gloriæ notare, quantum tam specioso ac magnifico pavimento respondere possit: quo quidem conspecto, mirari non possum, si Vas illud Electum, tam fœlicis mutationis gloriam ambiens, terram hanc derelinquere vehementer cupîerit.

O Deus, ego, ob hæc quæ oculis usurpo meis, Infinitatem tuam summopere laudo: sed, si velum tibi placuerit retrahere tantillum, fideique meæ oculo intimam gloriosæ fabricæ tuæ partem repræsentare, non aliam quidem istîc beatitudinem desiderabo. Neque majoris favoris capax esse potest anima mea, quàm ut heic videat, fruaturque postmodò.

XCVII. Audito rumore belli.

DEUS Bone, qualis laniena jam pridem factus est orbis Christianus! Quàm mactantur homines, ut muscæ; sanguisque, instar aquæ, effunditur? Certè quidem, crudelitas et ambitio magnatum tot millium pereuntiam animarum rationem, diram illam quidem tristissimamque, olim redditura est. Justa equidem arma nullus damno: illa non minùs necessaria sunt, quàm injusta sunt humano generi infesta. Etiam Michael et Angeli ejus pugnant; sed et titulus est ipsius Dei, Dominus Exercituum: Sed, væ homini illi, quisquis demum fuerit, per quem scandalum hoc venit. Juris alieni usurpatio, juramentorum contractuumque violatio, zelusque malè-sanus, rei sunt publicæ hujus internecionis. Privatorum hominum injuriæ lachrymis facile lavantur; principibus verò rerumque publicarum administratoribus illatæ, vix quidem sanguine diluuntur. Sine dubio, horrendus ille cometa non certiùs portendebat bella hæc, tam fera ac diuturna; quàm bella hæc mundi finem præsagiunt. Nunquam lite quâdam vacabat terra, ex quo tres tulit incolas; sed tam universales discordiarum flammæ, ex quo Christianus orbis extitit, nunquam profectò




O Saviour, what can I think of this, but that, as thou wouldest have a general peace, upon thy first coming into the world; so, upon thy second coming, thou meanest there shall be a no less general war upon earth? That peace made way for thy meek appearance: this war, for thy dreadful and terrible.

XCVIII. On a child crying.


It was upon great reason, that the Apostle charges us, not to be children in Understanding. What fools we all once are! Even at first we cry and smile, we know not wherefore we have not wit enough, to make signs, what hurts us, or where we complain: we can wry the mouth; but not seek the breast; and if we want help, we can only lament, and sprawl, and die. After, when some months have taught us, to distinguish a little betwixt things and persons, we cry for every toy, even that which may most hurt us; and, when there is no other cause, we cry only to hear our own noise; and are straight stilled with a greater and if it be but upon the breeding of a tooth, we are so wayward, that nothing will please us; and if some formerlyliked knack be given to quiet us, we cast away that which we have, if we have not what we would seem to like. We fear neither fire, nor water: nothing scares us, but either a rod or a feigned bug-bear. We misknow our parents: not acknowledging any friend, but the tailor, that brings us a fine coat; or the nurse, that dresses us gay. The more that our riper years resemble these dispositions, the more childish we are; and more worthy, both of our own and other's censure.

But again, it was upon no less reason, that the Apostle charges us, to be children in Maliciousness. Those little innocents bear no grudge: they are sooner pleased than angry: and if any man have wronged them, let them but have given a stroke unto the nurse, to beat the offender, it is enough; at the same instant, they put forth their hand for reconcilement, and offer themselves unto those arms that trespassed. And when they are most froward, they are stilled with a pleasant song. The old word is, that "An old man is twice a child ;" but 1 say, happy is he, that is thus a child always. It is a great imperfection to want knowledge; but, of the two, it is better to be a child in understanding, than a man in maliciousness.

XCIX. On the beginning of a sickness.

It was my own fault, if I looked not for this. All things must undergo their changes. I have enjoyed many fair days: there was no reason, I should not at last make account of clouds and storms. Could I have done well, without any mixtures of

O Servator, quid mihi aliud, ista seriò cogitanti, occurrit, nisi te, qui universalem pacem per orbem totum in priore adventu tuo, obtinere voluisti; statuisse etiam, ut, in secundo, adventu tuo, bellum non minùs universale terram exerceret? Pax illa mitissimæ præsentiæ tuæ sternebat viam: bellum verò istud, formidandæ ac terribili.

XCVIII. Puero ejulante.

NoN sine justâ ratione, jubet Apostolus, ne quoad intelligentiam pueri simus. Quàm fatui semel sumus omnes! Lachrymamur primulùm ridemusque, quorsum verò utrumque facimus planè nescimus: non sat nobis ingenii suppetit, ut indicio aliquo innuamus, quid nos lædat, aut de quo conqueramur: os quidem detorquere possumus, hàc illàc; ubera verò quæritare parùm novimus: quòd si præstò fortè non sit adjutrix quæpiam, tantùm plorare, motitari, mori deinceps possumus. Postea verò, ubi menses aliquot nos docuerint forsan, inter res personasque aliquantulum distinguere, tricas quasque, etiam maximè nocivas, stridulo fletu prosequimur ; et, ubi nulla subest causa alia, ejulamus modò ut nosmet ejulantes audiamus; et sono majore victi, conticescimus: quin et solo dentitionis dolore ita morosi sumus, ut nihil quicquam nos placare possit; quòd si qua priorum, quæ olim placuerunt, næniarum, nobis sedandis porrigatur, abjicimus quæ habemus, si quæ cupimus habere parùm suppetant. Nec ignem metuimus, nec aquam: nihil nos terret, præter aut virgam, aut spectrum aliquod fictitium. Fallit nos parentum nostrorum notitia: nec quem agnoscimus amicum, præter sutorem vestiarium, qui novam adduxerit tunicam; aut nutricem, quæ nos ornaverit bellulè. Quo propiùs accedit ad dispositionem hanc maturior ætas nostra, eo magis pueriles sumus; nostrâque et aliorum censurâ digniores.

Rursum verò, non minore de causâ, præcipit Apostolus, ut, quoad malitiam, pueri simus. Parvuli isti verè innocentes nullâ secretâ laborant malevolentiâ: placantur ferè citiùs quàm irritantur: quòd si quis injuriam illis intulisse visus fuerit, ubi alapa nutrici porrigitur, quâ offendentem cædat, sedantur illico; eodemque momento, manum exerunt reconciliationis ergò, seque in provocantis brachia dedunt ultrò. Ubi autem vel morosissimi sunt, cantilenâ aliquâ suaviore ad priscam quietem reducuntur. Vetus verbum est, "Senem bis puerum esse;" fœlix verò est, inquam ego, qui sic semper puer manet. Magnæ imperfectionis est, scientiâ destitui; è duobus, tamen, minus malum est ut quis intelligentiâ puer sit, quàm vir malitiâ.

XCIX. Ineunte morbo.

MEA quidem unius culpâ fit, quòd ego istud non expectaverim. Omnia suas vicissitudines subeant necesse est. Multos ego serenos detrivi dies: non erat, quòd non aliquando nubes et turbines præsentirem. Si modò potuissem ego semper benè

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