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nimirum hoc violentum quendam passionis impetum arguit, quo recta ratio à suâ sede disturbatur: in rebus, verò, civilibus ac communi famâ, uti auribus licet, certè fidere auribus parùm expedit.

XI. Ad conspectum arboris nimiùm efflorescentis.

ECCE istic arborem flosculis nimio quàm onustam. Fieri non potest, ut flores hi omnes adolescant, et spem fructûs edant: unus alterum et humore spoliat et incremento.

Non equidem nimis mihi gestit animus videre infantiam plus æquo feracem in præcocibus hisce initiis, una facultas detrahit alteri; tandemque, animum succi expertem sterilemque prorsùs relinquit. Ut, ergo, in more nobis est quosdam ex superfluis hisce ac nimiùm numerosis floribus avellere, ut eo magis crescant reliqui; ita, non minimæ prudentiæ est, moderari primos hosce præmaturæ pueritiæ excessus.

Neque aliter profectò se habet in re professionis Christianæ. Subita ac prodiga gratiæ ostentatio facilè implere potest et oculos vanâ admiratione, et os futili elogio; vix unquam sero fructu gremium, tandem, impletura. Quod ad me; stet mihi, neque nimium promittere, neque majorem quàm par est de me expectationem aliorum ciere. Malo de me conquerantur homines quòd minus pollicear, quàm quòd parum præstem.

XII. De quodam subitâ morte, in actu peccati, abrepto.

NON possum non Dei justitiam summâ laude prosequi; ita, tamen, ut non minùs interea laudem ejus misericordiam. Miserrimè nobis cederet, si Deus omnem de nobis vindictæ ansam arriperet. Væ mihi! quis nostrûm non æquè commisit peccata, præsentaneâ ultione dignissima? Si in malorum illorum actuum flagrantiâ subitò nos surripuisset vindex Deus, ubi fuissemus?

O Deus, plus est quàm nobis misellis debes, quòd pœnitentiam nostram usque expectasti: non minus est quàm nobis debes, quòd peccata nostra graviter ulcisceris. Stipendium peccati mors est; stipendium verò merenti rependere, justitiæ est. Benedicta sit semper justitia tua, qui mihi feceris alios justæ severitatis exempla: benedicta sit misericordia tua, qui me aliis exemplum propinare gratiosissimè distuleris.

XIII. Ad conspectum cœli et terræ.

O STUPENDAM Contrarietatem! Perpetuò movetur cœlum; et tamen, solus est quieti locus: terra è contrà semper quiescit; et tamen, nihil ibi est præter molestas agitationes, motus irrequietos. Certè, finis illius cœlestis circumvolutionis unicum est terræ beneficium; terrenarum verò istarum concitationum constantisque vexationis finis unicus est quies in cœlis. Ii, qui imaginati sunt terram circumvolvi cœlumque immotum con

yet supposed, that we may stand or sit still on that whirling globe of earth: how much more may we be persuaded of our perfect rest, above those moving spheres!

It matters not, O God, how I am vexed here below, a while; if, ere long, I may repose with thee above, for ever.

XIV. On occasion of a red-breast coming into his chamber, and singing.

PRETTY bird, how cheerfully dost thou sit and sing; and yet knowest not where thou art, nor where thou shalt make thy next meal, and at night must shroud thyself in a bush for lodging! What a shame is it for me, that see before me so liberal provisions of my God, and find myself set warm under my own roof; yet am ready to droop under a distrustful and unthankful dulness! Had I so little certainty of my harbour and purveyance, how heartless should I be, how careful! how little list should I have, to make music to thee or myself! Surely, thou camest not hither without a Providence. God sent thee, not so much to delight, as to shame me; but all in a conviction of my sullen unbelief, who, under more apparent means, am less cheerful and confident. Reason and faith have not done so much in me, as in thee mere instinct of nature. Want of foresight makes thee more merry, if not more happy, here, than the foresight of better things maketh me.

O God, thy Providence is not impaired by those powers, thou hast given me, above these brute things: let not my greater helps hinder me, from a holy security and comfortable reliance upon thee.

XV. On occasion of a spider in his window.

THERE is no vice in man, whereof there is not some analogy in the brute creatures. As amongst us men, there are thieves by land, and pirates by sea, that live by spoil and blood: so is there in every kind amongst them variety of natural sharkers; the hawk, in the air; the pike, in the river; the whale, in the sea; the lion, and tiger, and wolf, in the desert; the wasp, in the hive; the spider, in our window.

Amongst the rest, see how cunningly this little Arabian hath spread out his tent for a prey; how heedfully he watches for a passenger. So soon as ever he hears the noise of a fly afar off, how he hastens to his door! and if that silly heedless traveller do but touch upon the verge of that unsuspected

sistere, supposuerunt hoc tamen fieri, ut nobis in hoc circumquaque rapto terræ globo quietis sive stare sive sedere interim liceret: quantò magis suaderi nobis potest, perfectam beatis omnibus requiem, super mobiles hasce sphæras repositam esse! Parùm refert, ô Deus, quibus me, breviculo hoc spatio, curarum motibus agi contigerit; dummodò, certum mihi sit, non multo post tempore, æternam tecum in cœlis requiem indubiò reponi.

XIV. Ad conspectum erithaci cubiculum suum intrantis,


BELLA avicula, quàm tu alacris istìc sedes et cantillas; et tamen nescis aut ubi sis, aut unde tibi cœnam comparare possis, aut in quo demum arbusculo tibi licebit postmodò pernoctari! Quàm me jam pudet mei, qui, ubi tam largam mihi alimoniam munifică Dei manu parari videam, meque sentiam ædibus hisce meis tutò ac commodè insidentem; tristi tamen quâdam et ingratâ diffidentiâ languescere videor! Ego verò si æquè incertus essem aut domicilii aut alimenti, quàm moestus essem, quàm solicitus! quantilla mihi lubido foret, aut tibi cantandi aut mihi ipsi! Certè, non sine Providentiâ quâdam venisti tu huc. Misit nempe te huc Deus, non tam ut delectares mihi animum, quàm ut me pudore justo suffunderes; convinceresque tetricæ cujusdam infidelitatis, qui, cum media palam abundè suppetant, minùs tamen aut gestiam aut confidam. Ratio ac fides non tantum apud me valuerunt, quantum merus apud te naturæ instinctus. Ipsa hæc futuri nescientia hilariorem te præstat foelicioremque, quàm me certa conditionis melioris præscientia.

O Deus, non minuitur Providentia tua donis illis, quæ mihi, super bruta hæc animalia, benignus indulsisti: noli sinere, ut majora hæc adminicula impedimento mihi sint, quò minùs et sanctè securus sim et fidenter alacris.

XV. Ad conspectum araneæ in fenestra latitantis.

NULLUM in homine vitium est, cujus imago quædam et analogia in brutis animalibus reperiri non possit. Ut inter nos, suos habet terra latrones, mare piratas, qui spoliis vivunt ac sanguine: ita et nullum non genus animalium nativos quosdam habet speciei suæ grassatores; in aere, accipiter est; lupus piscis, in fluvio; in oceano, cete; leo, tigris, lupus, in deserto; in apum præsepibus, vespæ; araneæ, in fenestris.

Inter reliqua, vide mihi ut pusillus iste Arabs subdolè tentorium suum extendit prædæque inhiat; quàm studiosè insidiatur viatori. Quam primùm audit à longè vel minimum advolantis muscæ sonitum, quàm festinat illico ad antri sui ostiolum, curiosè speculaturus! quòd si incautus ille hospes vel extimum tenuissimæ telæ ambitum semel tetigerit, quàm subitò



walk, how suddenly doth he seize upon the miserable booty; and, after some strife, binding him fast with those subtle cords, drags the helpless captive after him into his cave!

What is this, but an emblem of those spiritual freebooters, that lie in wait for our souls? They are the spiders; we, the flies: they have spread their nets of sin; if we be once caught, they bind us fast, and hale us into hell.

Ŏ Lord, deliver thou my soul from their crafty ambushes: their poison is greater; their webs both more strong and more insensibly woven. Either teach me to avoid temptation; or make me to break through it, by repentance: oh, let me not be a prey to those fiends, that lie in wait for my destruction.

XVI. On the sight of a rain, in the sunshine.

SUCH is my best condition in this life. If the sun of God's countenance shine upon me, I may well be content to be wet with some rain of affliction. How oft have I seen the heaven overcast with clouds and tempest; no sun appearing to comfort me! yet even those gloomy and stormy seasons have I rid out patiently, only with the help of the common light of the day at last, those beams have broken forth happily, and cheered my soul. It is well for my ordinary state, if, through the mists of mine own dulness and Satan's temptations, I can descry some glimpse of heavenly comfort: let me never hope, while I am in this vale, to see the clear face of that sun, without a shower. Such happiness is reserved for above: that upper region of glory is free from these doubtful and miserable vicissitudes.

There, O God, we shall see as we are seen. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.

XVII. On the length of the way.

How far off is yonder great mountain! My very eye is weary with the foresight of so great a distance; yet time and patience shall overcome it: this night we shall hope to lodge beyond it. Some things are more tedious in their expectation, than in their performance. The comfort is, that every step I take sets me nearer to my end: when I once come there, I shall both forget how long it now seems, and please myself to look back upon the way that I have measured.

It is thus in our passage to heaven. My weak nature is ready to faint, under the very conceit of the length and difficulty of this journey: my eye doth not more guide than

accurrit insilitque miserrimo captivo; et, post quandam luctæ speciem, arctè illum vinciens subtilioribus suis funiculis, misellam post se prædam in antrum trabit!

Quid hoc aliud est, nisi emblema latronum illorum spiritualium, qui perpetuas animis nostris insidias struunt? Illi araneæ sunt; nos, musca: illi peccatorum retia nobis capiendis quàm latissimè extenderunt; in quæ ubi semel inciderimus, ligamur illico, et in gehennam rapimur. Libera animam meam, ô Deus, ab astutis secretisque istorum machinationibus: nempe et horum venenum longè magis mortiferum est; et telæ robustiores textæque subtiliùs. Aut doce me, quæso, tentationem evadere; aut, vi pœnitentiæ, laqueos iniquitatum perrumpere: faxisque, ne prædæ sim malis illis spiritibus, qui animæ meæ perniciem insidiosè moliuntur.

XVI. Ad conspectum pluviæ, sole interim splendente.

TALIS est vel optima vitæ hujus conditio. Si sol divini vultûs mihi tantillùm affulserit, non est quòd ægrè mihi fuerit afflictionum pluviis interea madefieri. Quoties vidi ego cœli faciem nubibus et tempestatibus obvolutam; nullo interim splendescente sole! tristia tamen illa et nebulosa tempora patienter evici, solo fretus communis lucis solatio : tandem verò, radii illi fœliciter emicuerunt, animamque mihi exhilarârunt. Benè mecum actum erit, si, quoad ordinarium vitæ statum, licuerit mihi, per innatæ cujusdam tristitia nebulas Satanæque tentationes, vel minimo cœlestis consolationis obtutu frui: non est quòd sperem, dum in hâc valle sum, claram solis faciem, absque omni sive imbre sive nubeculâ, contueri. Uni cœlo reservatur hæc tanta beatitudo: suprema illa regio gloriæ ab his dubiis miserisque vicissitudinum turbis immunis est.

Ibi, ô Deus, videbimus uti videmur ipsi. Lux sata est justis, et rectis corde gaudium.

XVII. De viæ longitudine.

HEU, quantum distat mons ille, quem à longè conspicor! Ipse mihi oculus tantæ intercapedinis merâ prævisione fatigatur; tempus tamen et patientia intervallum illud facilè superabunt: hâc nocte sperabo fore ut nos ultra fastigia illa pernoctemur. Sunt quædam quorum expectatio plus in se tædii habet, quàm executio. Illud me solatur interim, nullum posse vestigium metiri quo non accedam propiùs ad viæ terminum: quem ubi semel fuero assecutus, facilè quidem et itineris longitudinem obliviscar, et refocillabo mihi animum retrospectando in immensum hunc terræ tractum, quem ita tempestivè licuit pedibus commensurari.

Non aliter se habet in nostro cœlum versus itinere. Natura hæc, imbecillitatis suæ conscia, merâ et longitudinis et difficultatis præcogitatione languere incipit: oculus non magis ducit,

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