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or violence of an enemy. One of the chief cares of men is, to dwell well. Some build for themselves; fair, but not strong: others build for posterity; strong, but not fair, not high: but happy is that man, that builds for eternity; as strong, as fair, as high as the glorious contignations of heaven.

CXI. On the sight of a fair pearl.

WHAT a pure and precious creature is this; which yet is taken out of the mud of the sea! Who can complain of a base original, when he sees such excellencies so descended? These shell-fishes, that have no sexes, and therefore are made out of corruption, what glorious things they yield, to adorn and make proud the greatest princesses!

God's great works go not by likelihoods. How easily can he fetch glory out of obscurity, who brought all out of nothing!

CXII. On a screen.

METHINKS this screen, that stands betwixt me and the fire, is like some good friend at the court; which keeps me from the heat of the unjust displeasure of the great, wherewith I might perhaps otherwise be causelessly scorched.

But how happy am I, if the interposition of my Saviour, my best Friend in Heaven, may screen me from the deserved wrath of that great God, who is a consuming fire.

CXIII. On a bur-leaf.

NEITHER the vine, nor the oak, nor the cedar, nor any tree that I know within our climate, yields so great a leaf, as this weed; which yet, after all expectation, brings forth nothing but a bur, unprofitable, troublesome.

So have I seen none make greater profession of religion, than an ignorant man; whose indiscreet forwardness yields no fruit, but a factious disturbance to the Church, wherein he lives. Too much shew is not so much better than none at all, as an ill fruit is worse than none at all.

CXIV. On the singing of a bird.

It is probable, that none of those creatures that want reason, delight so much in pleasant sounds as a bird: whence it is, that both it spends so much time in singing, and is more apt to imitate those modulations which it hears from men.

Frequent practice, if it be voluntary, argues a delight in that

violentâ impetitione citiùs corruet. Hoc sibi imprimis curandum homines proponere solent, ut benè habitent. Alii quidem sibimet ædificant; splendidè fortè satis, at parùm solidè stabiliterque: alii posteris; firmiter satis, at non altè, nitidèque : fœlicem verò illum, qui ædificat æternitati; firmitudine, splendore, ac sublimitate nihil infra cœli supremi contignationem æmulatus.

CXI. Conspectâ quâdam gemmâ luculentâ.

QUAM puri verèque preciosi sunt uniones isti; ex imâ tamen maris fæce deprompti! Ecquis vel vilissimâ se natum origine conqueritur, qui eximias hasce naturæ delicias sic conspicatur oriundas? Conchylia hæc, quæ sexu carent, atque ideo ex merâ putredine ortum deducunt, quàm gloriosas edunt gemmas, quibus et ornare se solent et superbire maximæ orbis dominæ !

Non externâ quâdam specie, ac eventûs probabilitate æstimanda sunt, magna Dei opificia. Qui omnia è nihilo eduxit, quàm facili negotio eruit ex obscuritate gloriam!

CXII. Visâ quâdam antepyrâ.

QUAM similis mihi videtur antepyra hæc, inter me et ignem tam commodè interjecta, fido cuidam patrono aulico; cujus intercessio me ab ardore injustæ potentum iræ, quo immeritò forsan, absque hoc foret, mihi torreri contingat, tutò servat protegitque.

Quòd si interpositio benignissimi Servatoris mei, Unici mihi in cœlis Patroni, tueri me velit à meritissimâ excandescentiâ magni illius Dei, qui ignis consumens est, quàm ego verè beatus fuero!

CXIII. Viso petasite, vel bardanæ quam vocant, folio largiore.

NEQUE vitis, nec quercus, nec cedrus, nec quæ alia quam novi arbor in totâ hac mundi plagâ, æquè amplum edit folium, ac herbula hæc; quæ tamen, post satis longam expectationem, nihil quicquam profert præter lappam, inutilem, molestamque.

Ita neminem omnium plus religiosæ professionis ostentare vidi, quàm hominem ignarum; cujus malèfervidum ingenium nihil fructus edit, præter seditiosam quandam Ecclesiæ, in quâ degit, perturbationem. Nimia boni species non tanto melior est omnino nullam, quanto fractus malus est nullo deterior.

CXIV. Audito aviculæ cantu.

NIMIO quàm probabile est, inter animalia omnia, rationis expertia, aves sonorum dulcedine maximè delectari: quo fit, ut et istæ tantum temporis cantando deterant, et imitandis hominum modulationibus haud parùm sint aptiores.

Actionum frequentia, modò voluntaria fuerit, arguit volupta

which we do; and delight makes us more apt to practise, and more capable of perfection in that we practise.

O God, if I take pleasure in thy Law, I shall meditate of it with comfort, speak of it with boldness, and practise it with cheerfulness.

CXV. On the sight of a man yawning.

It is a marvellous thing, to see the real effects and strong operation of consent or sympathy, even where there is no bodily touch. So, one sad man puts the whole company into dumps : so, one man's yawning affects and stretches the jaws of many beholders: so, the looking upon blear eyes taints the eye with blearness.

From hence it is easy to see the ground of our Saviour's expostulation with his persecutor, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? The Church is persecuted below: he feels it above; and complains. So much as the person is more apprehensive, must he needs be more affected.

O Saviour, thou canst not but be deeply sensible of all our miseries and necessities: if we do not feel thy wrongs, and the wants of our brethren, we have no part in thee.

CXVI. On the sight of a tree lopped.

IN the lopping of these trees, experience, and good husbandry, hath taught men, to leave one bough still growing in the top; the better to draw up the sap from the root.

The like wisdom is fit to be observed in censures; which are intended altogether for reformation, not for destruction. So must they be inflicted, that the patient be not utterly discouraged, and stript of hope and comfort: but that, while he suffereth, he may feel his good tendered; and his amendment both aimed at, and expected.

O God, if thou shouldest deal with me as I deserve, thou shouldest not only shred my boughs, but cut down my stock, and stock up my root; and yet thou dost but prune my superfluous branches, and cherishest the rest. How unworthy am I of this mercy; if, while thou art thus indulgent unto me, I be severe and cruel to others, perhaps less ill-deserving than myself!

CXVII. On a scholar that offered violence to himself.

HAD this man lain long under some eminent discontentment, it had been easy to find out the motive of his miscarriage. Weak nature is easily over-laid with impatience: it must be only the power of grace, that can grapple with vehement evi's,

tem quandam complacentiamque in iis quæ facimus; voluptas verò illa nos reddit et agendi peritiores, et magis capaces perfectionis cujusdam in iis quibus jugiter exercemur.

O Deus, si in Lege tuâ delectationem meam omnem locavero, hanc unam meditabor alacer, audax eloquar, præstabo sedulus fœlixque.

CXV. Conspecto quodam oscitante.

Si quis realem effectum fortemque operationem sympathiæ, etiam ubi nullus intercedit contactus corporeus, sedulò observaverit, haud parùm sanè mirabitur. Ita, unius mæstitia totum conventum tristitiâ quâdam afficit: ita, unius oscitatio aperit distenditque plurimorum aspectantium fauces: ita, lipporum intuitus oculum inficit pari lippitudine.

Facilè hinc videmus, quâ fretus ratione, Servator noster cum insectatore suo tam vehementer expostulaverit, Saule, Saule, quid me persequeris? Ecclesia patitur in terrâ: is sentit in colo; quiritaturque. Quanto magis persona sensu valet et apprehensione, tanto acriùs afficiatur necesse est.

Non potes tu, O Servator Benignissime, non exquisitissimè sentire miserias infirmitatesque nostras: ni nos itidem illatas tibi injurias, fratrumque nostrorum necessitates senserimus, nihil sanè nobis tecum fuerit commercii.

CXVI. Visa arbore quâdam resectâ.

IN frondatione hâc, experientia, reique rusticæ peritia, homines edocuit, ramum saltem unum in arboris summitate relinquere; quo succus ab imâ radice attrahatur retineaturque.

Eadem planè prudentia in censuris observanda est; iis nimirum quæ corrigendis moribus, non personis destruendis inserviunt. Ita nempe infligendæ sunt illæ, ut non animum prorsùs despondeat reus, speque omni ac solatio destituatur: sed ut sentiat quas patitur poenas, ad animæ suæ bonum intendi universas; reformationemque suam et unicè propositam agnoscat, et exinde expectatam.

O Deus, si sic mecum agere velles ac ipse merui, non solùm ramos mihi omnes resecares, sed stirpem etiam ipsum rescinderes, penitùsve eradicares; tu verò superfluos mihi quosdam ramusculos amputare miserecors voluisti, stolones reliquos fovere. Quàm indignus fuero ego hâc gratiâ; si, dum tua sic mihi favet indulgentia, ipse aliis, minùs fortasse malè meritis, severum me crudelemque præstitero!

CXVII. De studioso quodam qui vim sibi intulerat.

Si gravi aliquâ insignique ægritudine laborâsset iste, tanti hujusce mali causam adinvenire haud difficile fuisset. Imbellis natura hæc facilè quidem obruitur impatientiâ: unica sit oportet vis divinæ gratiæ, quæ cum maximis malis confligere possit, de

VOL. XI.

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and master them. But here, the world cannot say, what could be guilty of occasioning this violence. This man's hand was full; his fame untainted; his body no burden; his disposition, for ought we saw, fair; his life guiltless: yet something did the Tempter find, to aggravate unto his feeble thoughts, and to represent worthy of a dispatch.

What a poor thing is life, whereof so slight occasions can make us weary! What impotent wretches are we, when we are not sustained! One would think this the most impossible of all motions. Naturally, every man loves himself: and life is sweet; death abhorred. What is it, that Satan can despair to persuade men unto, if he can draw them, to an unnatural abandoning of life, and pursuit of death? Why should I doubt of prevailing with my own heart, by the powerful over-ruling of God's Spirit, to contemn life and to affect death, for the sake of my Saviour, in exchange of a few miserable moments for eternity of joy when I see men, upon an unreasonable suggestion of that Evil Spirit, cast away their lives for nothing; and so hastening their temporal death, that they hazard an eternal?

CXVIII. On the coming in of the judge.

THE Construction of men and their actions, is altogether according to the disposition of the lookers on. The same face of the Judge, without any inward alteration, is seen, with terror by the guilty, with joy and confidence by the oppressed innocent: like as the same lips of the Bridegroom drop both myrrh and honey at once; honey to the well-disposed heart, myrrh to the rebellious: and the same cup relishes well to the healthful, and distastes the feverous: the same word is, though a sweet, yet a contrary, savour to the different receivers: and the same sun comforts the strong sight, dazzles the weak.

For a man to affect, either to do or speak that which may be pleasing to all men, is but a weak and idle ambition; when we see him, that is infinitely good, appear terrible to more than he appears lovely. Goodness is itself, with whatever eyes it is looked upon. There can be no safety for that man, that regards more the censure of men, than the truth of being. He, that seeks to win all hearts, hath lost his own.

CXIX. On the sight of a heap of stones.

UNDER such a pile it was, that the first martyr was buried: none of all the ancient kings had so glorious a tomb: there were many stones, and every one precious. Jacob leaned his

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