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ginantes, reliquas saniores corporis partes ne attingentes quidem !

Sic planè faciunt invidæ detractorum linguæ: si vitiosi quid insit sive personæ cujusquam sive actionibus, istuc illico confluunt, huic insistunt; laude digna si qua sint et benè gesta, tacitè ista omnia negligenterque præterire solent. Invidiosa certè philautia, cum pusillanimi quâdam crudelitate conjuncta, pravam hanc in hominibus dispositionem progignit: hoc, interim, solùm reportant malevoli isti; Non potest non esse animal turpissimum, quod solâ sanie pascitur. XXXII. Ad conspectum laterne secrete quâdam duplicatione

obscuratæ. Lumen inibi est; ita tamen prorsùs occlusum, ac si non omnino esset: ubi verò latus apertum ostenditur, sat luminis exhibetur dirigendo viæ duci qui laternam portat, alii præterea nemini : ipse alium facilè discernit, beneficio illius lucis, quæ sibi projicitur; alius verò illum interea discernere non potest.

Talis omnino est reservata sibi scientia : nec, præter possessorem, quicquam cuiquam prodest. Inter celatam artem et ignorantiam, nullum externum discrimen est : et, ubi abscondita hujusmodi eruditio foras dignatur prospicere, ita parcè lumen emittit suum, quasi publicam utilitatem omnem prorsùs declinaret ; exhiberetque facultatem quandam, absque omni benè agendi voluntate; censuræ ergò, potiùs quàm communis beneficii. Adminicula nempe illa, quæ Deus aliis communicata voluit, nobis suppressa clanculùm ac retenta, quid aliud sunt nisi hæc, quæ furum solet esse propria, laterna, honesti hospitis manu gestata ?

O Deus, cùm à te, Patre Luminum, lux omnis nostra sit; fac ne sim junceæ illius candelulæ, quam in animâ meâ accendisti, avarus dispensator: fac sim aliis impertiendo lumen, quàm recipiendo, fælicior.

XXXIII. Audito hirundinis cantu in camino suo. Et hoc melodiæ quoddam genus est; quamdiu verò duraturum ? Ubi frigescere cæperint matutini rores, abiit illico hospes hic meus, absque omni valedictione aut verò notitia. Jucunda hæc anni tempestas minimùm indiget suavi sonorum modulatione : quam hyems media frustrà desiderabit.

Ita facere solet ingratus parasitus: nemo paratior est res prosperas nobis gratulari, nemo illis fruitur nobiscum lubentiùs ; sed, ubi unà cum temporibus mụtari incipit conditio nostra, hospitem ille saltem rebus se nostris et inquilinum gerit. Cedo mihi avem, quæ durissimâ hyeme cantillat, et constrictissimo gelu petit fenestras meas. Una fornax amicitiæ, adversitas est. Quem non pudet vinculorum meorum, qui immerentis mei nec censuris dejicitur, nec alienatur contumeliis, ille mihi amicus me: one dram of that man's love, is worth a world of false and inconstant formality.

XXXIV. On the sight of a fly burning itself in the candle.

WISE Solomon says, The light is a pleasant thing ; and so, certainly, it is : but there is no true outward light which proceeds not from fire. The light of that fire then is not more pleasing, than the fire of that light is dangerous: and that pleasure doth not more draw on our sight, than that danger forbids our approach. How foolish is this fly, that, in a love and admiration of this light, will know no distance; but puts itself heedlessly into that flame, wherein it perishes! How many bouts it fetched, every one nearer than other, ere it made this last venture! and now that merciless fire, taking no notice of the affection of an over-fond client, hath suddenly consumed it.

Thus do those bold and busy spirits, who will needs draw too near unto that inaccessible light, and look into things too wonderful for them: so long do they hover about the secret counsels of the Almighty, till the wings of their presumptuous conceits be scorched ; and their daring curiosity hath paid them with everlasting destruction.

O Lord, let me be blessed with the knowledge, of what thou hast revealed : let me content myself to adore thy Divine Wisdom, in what thou hast not revealed. So let me enjoy thy light, that I may avoid thy fire.

XXXV. On the sight of a lark flying up. How nimbly doth that little lark mount up, singing towards heaven, in a right line! whereas the hawk, which is stronger of body and swifter of wing, towers up, by many gradual compasses, to his highest pitch. That bulk of body, and length of wing, hinders a direct ascent; and requires the help, both of air and scope, to advance his flight; while that small bird cuts the air without resistance, and needs no outward furtherance of her motion.

It is no otherwise with the souls of men, in flying up to their heaven. Some are hindered by those powers, which would seem helps, to their soaring up thither: great wit, deep judgment, quick apprehension, send men about, with no small labour, for the recovery of their own incumbrance; while the good affections of plain and simple souls raise them up immediately to the fruition of God. Why should we be proud of that, which may slacken our way to glory? Why should we be esto : vel unus scrupulus amoris, quo me iste talis prosequitur, plus apud me valebit, quàm mille pondo inconstantis simulatæque professionis. XXXIV. Conspectâ muscâ quâdam lucernæ flammâ se

comburente. Lux, inquit sapientissimus ille Solomon, jucunda res est; et, certè, sic nos facilè comperimus: attamen externum lumen nullum est, quod non ab igne proficiscitur. Lumen autem illius ignis non magis jucundum est, quàm ignis illius luminis periculosus: neque magis visum nostrum allicit illius voluptas, quàm hujus periculum approximationem vetat. Quàm fatua est musca hæc, quæ, præ lucis amore ac admiratione, distantiæ tutamen nulla vel scire vel servare voluit; sed ingerit se temerè huic, quâ periit, flammæ! Per quot gyros, singulos singulis proximiores, ante ultimum hunc ausum, circuiit! nunc verò immitis fiamma, parùm agnoscens blanduli clientis affectum, subitò illam absumpsit.

Ita faciunt curiosa illa et audacia ingenia, quæ ad lucem Divinæ Majestatis inaccessibilem propiùs quàm par est accedere non verentur, resque nimis altas stupendasque scrutari malunt: tam diu nempe isti secreta Omnipotentis consilia incautè circumvolitant, donec audentes animorum alæ comburantur; et ipsi, æternâ pernicie, insanam curiositatem luant.

Bea me, ô Deus, rerum illarum notitiâ, quæ tu revelare voluisti: contentus sim ego adorare Divinam Sapientiam tuam, in iis quæ parùm revelasti. Ita luce tuâ fruar, ut ignem tuum interea evitem.

XXXV. Conspectâ alaudâ sursum volitante. Quàm agili celerique pennâ pusilla hæc alauda, rectâ quidemlineâ, cælum versus cantillans ascendit ! ubi accipiter, cui robur corporis majus et ala celerior, per multas circumgyrationes, ascensûs sui fastigium gradatim tandem assequitur. Nempe illa corporis moles alarumque longitudo impedimento sunt, quo minùs rectà possit ascendere ; quandoquidem istud, et aliquod aeris adminiculum et idoneum volatui promovendo spatium, requirat; ubi minima illa avicula absque omni reluctatione aerem liberè findit, nec quo indiget externo motûs sui adjumento.

Nec se habet aliter cum hominum animabus, cælum suum repetentibus. Non desunt, quæ suis iisdem facultatibus, quibus accelerari posse videretur foelix hic cursus, haud parùm retardantur: ingenium fortasse igneum, profundum judicium, apprehensio facilis, ita nimis multos præpediit, ut necesse illis fuerit, suam ipsorum remorationem, non parvo labore, redimere; ubi boni adfectus honestas simplicesque animas immediatè evehunt ad suum cælum, Deoque liberè frui jubent. Quorsum verò efferri nos patimur illis dotibus, quæ nostram ad gloriam

disheartened with the small measure of that, the very want whereof may (as the heart may be affected) facilitate our way to happiness?

XXXVI. On the singing of the birds in a spring morning.

How cheerfully do these little birds chirp and sing, out of the natural joy they conceive, at the approach of the sun and entrance of the spring; as if their life had departed, and returned with those glorious and comfortable beams!

No otherwise is the penitent and faithful soul affected to the true Sun of Righteousness, the Father of Lights. When he hides his face, it is troubled, and silently mourns away that sad winter of affliction: when he returns, in his presence is the fulness of joy; no song is cheerful enough, to welcome him.

O thou, who art the God of all Consolation, make my heart sensible of the sweet comforts of thy gracious presence; and let my mouth ever shew forth thy praise.

XXXVII. On a coal corered with ashes. Nothing appears in this heap, but dead ashes: here is neither light, nor smoke, nor heat; and yet, when I stir up these embers to the bottom, there are found some living gleeds, which do both contain fire, and are apt to propagate it.

Many a Christian's breast is like this hearth. No life of grace appears there, for the time ; either to his own sense, or to the apprehension of others: while the season of temptation lasteth, all seems cold and dead : yet still, at the worst, there is a secret coal from the altar of heaven raked up in their bosom; which upon the gracious motions of the Almighty, doth both bewray some remainders of that divine fire, and is easily raised to a perfect flame. Nothing is more dangerous, than to judge by appearances. Why should I deject myself, or censure others, for the utter extinction of that Spirit ; which doth but hide itself in the soul, for a glorious advantage ?

XXXVIII. On the sight of a Blackmoor. Lo, there is a man, whose hue shews him to be far from home: his very skin bewrays his climate. It is night in his face, while it is day in ours. What a difference there is in men, both in their fashion and colour; and yet all children of one Father! Neither is there less variety in their insides: their dispositions, judgments, opinions differ as much, as their shapes and complexions. 1 hat, which is beauty to one, is

iter retardare possunt ? Quorsum, è contrà, dejicimur tenuitate aut paucitate donorum illorum, quorum absentia (quæ cordis nostri esse potest affectio ad beatitudinem facilitare nobis viam potest? XXXVI. Auditis aviculis verno quodam mane cantillantibus.

Quàm alacriter modulantur hæ aviculæ ac cantillant, præ nativo quodam gaudio, quod, appropinquante jam sole vereque novo intrante, conceperunt; quasi vita ipsarum et discessisset unà, et unà etiam cum beneficiis illis radiis rediisset!

Vero Justitiæ Sole, Patre Luminum, non aliter afficitur anima fidelis pænitensque. Ubi ille faciem suam abscondit, gravissimè perturbatur, tristemque afflictionis tantæ hyemen silenti quodam planctu consumit: ubi ille tandem redierit, in presentiâ ejus plenitudo est gaudii; nulla satis alacris est cantilena, quâ illi reduci gratulemur.

O tu, qui Consolationis omnis Deus es, inde cordi meo sensum suavissimarum delectationum dulcissimæ præsentiæ tuæ; facitoque ut os meum laudem tuam canorè eloquatur.

XXXVII. Ad conspectum prunæ cineribus coopertæ. In cumulo hoc toto nihil quicquam apparet, præter meras favillas: neque lux istic est, neque fumus, nec calor; et tamen, ubi excito hosce cineres, vivi quidam carbones inibi reperiuntur, qui ignem et continent, et propagare apti sunt.

Non pauca Christianorum pectora instar foci hujusce sunt. Nulla, pro tempore, in illis gratiæ vita apparet; sive sensui suo, sive judicio aliorum: durante tentationis impetu, frigida videntur omnia planèque emortua : adhuc tamen, ubi pessimo in statu res ipsorum sunt, prunæ quædam secretæ ac altari cælesti accensæ in illorum sinu absconditæ latent; quæ, salutaribus Spiritûs Sancti motibus, erutæ et afflatæ, reliquias quasdam præ se ferunt divini ignis, tandemque facilè ad perfectam usque flammam excitantur. Nihil periculosius est, quàm ex specie externâ judicare. Quare aut me dejicerem ipse, aut alios censurâ notarem, quasi Spiritum omnino extinxissent; ubi ille retraxerit se modò aliquantisper, inque pectore intimo abdiderit, ut se tandem magis gloriosum præsentemque exhibeat.

XXXVIII. Conspecto Æthiope. Ecce homo, cujus color satis indicat eum longè abesse domo: ex ipsâ cute regionem ipsius facilè intelligimus. In illius facie nox est, ubi in nostrâ dies. Quantum homo homini distat, et formis et coloribus; omnes tamen interea ejusdem Patris filii sumus! Neque minor animorum varietas est: dispositiones, judicia, opiniones hominum non minùs profectò distant, quàm figuræ ac temperamenta. Quod huic pulchrum, illi videtur de

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