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quidem, nisi egregias illas dotes, quibus creaturas ornavit suas, libenter agnoscamus; nobis, si, dum præcellentes illarum facultates approbamus, unà etiam vitia quæque perniciosissima imbibamus.

XLII. Conspecto morione quodam.

O DEUS, unde fit quòd ego talis non sim? Quid fecit iste homo, quòd tu illi intellectum negaveris? aut, quid feci ego, quòd modum ejus saltem aliquem mihi indulseris? Quid inter nos discriminis est, præter tuam solius bonitatem; qui mihi largitus es, quod mereri nullus poteram; illique denegaveris, quod nullâ potuerat ratione vendicare? Seu dare seu detinere etiam, tui solius, ô Domine, beneplaciti est.

Neque aliter, se habet, in re gratiæ. Irregenitus quisque merus est morio spiritualis: nec quis, præter renatum, verè sapit. Unde fit, quòd, cùm alium aspiciam vanitate pravitateque naturæ suæ prorsùs infatuatum, ipse interim cognitionem Dei magnorumque salutis mysteriorum fuerim assecutus; didicerimque ab illis peccatis, quæ pessimo hominum malorum appetitui perplacere solent, penitùs abhorrere? Quis me tandem discrevit ?

Nihil quicquam, præter tuam unius liberrimam misericordiam, O Deus. Quorsum ego aliàs homo sum; non brutum ? quorsum rectè formatus; et non monstrum potiùs? quare corpore integro; non mancus? quare sensibus ac judicio præditus; non fatuus? quare probè affectus; non destitutus gratiâ? quare vas honoris; non iræ ? Si quid in me non mali sit, tuum est, ô Domine. Tu tibi laudem habe ac gratias; da mihi interim gratitudinem.

XLIII. Viso magnete et gagate.

UT ad humanæ societatis conservationem, civile quoddam est inter homines commercium; ita et naturale commercii genus, inter creaturas reliquas ordinavit Deus, ad communem conservationem universi. Vix quicquam in rerum naturâ est, quod non nativâ quâdam alterius cujuspiam attrahendi potentiâ imbuatur. Ignis vapores ad se trahit; sol, ignem : humiditatem attrahunt plantæ; luna, mare: purgativa quæque proprios sibi attrahunt humores. Naturalis quidam instinctus sensitiva quæque inclinat ad amorem ambitumque generis sui; quin etiam, in ipsis imperfectè mistis, hoc usu venire quotidiè experimur: adeò ut, vel lapides ac metalla, quæ sensu omni carent, activâ tamen hâc virtute neutiquam carere facilè intelligamus: magnes ferrum attrahit; gagates, ne nihil attrahere videretur paleam ac pulverem allicit. Quanto verò impetu, lapidum istorum uterque in proprium sibi quisque objectum operatur! Quicquamne aut gravius est, aut motui minùs aptum, quàm chalybs, aut ferrum? ita tamen ista ad dilectum sibi magnetem accur

as if they had the sense of a desire and delight; and do so cling to the point of it, as if they had forgotten their weight for this adherence. Is there any thing more apt for dispersion, than small straws and dust? yet these gather to the jet, and so sensibly leap up to it, as if they had a kind of ambition to be so preferred.

Methinks I see in these two a mere emblem of the hearts of men, and their spiritual attractives. The grace of God's Spirit, like the true loadstone or adamant, draws up the iron heart of man to it; and holds it in a constant fixedness of holy purposes and good actions: the World, like the jet, draws up the sensual hearts of light and vain men; and holds them fast in the pleasures of sin.

I am thine iron, O Lord; be thou my loadstone. Draw thou me, and I shall run after thee. Knit my heart unto thee, that I may fear thy Name.

XLIV. On hearing of music by night.

How sweetly doth this music sound, in this dead season! In the day-time, it would not,,it could not so much affect the ear. All harmonious sounds are advanced by a silent darkness.

Thus it is with the glad tidings of Salvation. The Gospel never sounds so sweet, as in the night of persecution or of our own private affliction. It is ever the same: the difference is, in our disposition to receive it.

O God, whose praise it is to give Songs in the night, make my prosperity conscionable, and my crosses cheerful.

XLV. On the fanning of corn.

SEE how, in the fanning of this wheat, the fullest and greatest grains lie ever the lowest; and the lightest take up the highest place.

It is no otherwise, in morality: those, which are most humble, are fullest of grace; and, ofttimes, those have most conspicuity, which have the least substance. To affect obscurity or submission, is base and suspicious; but that man, whose modesty presents him mean to his own eyes and lowly to others, is commonly secretly rich in virtue. Give me rather a low fulness, than an empty advancement.

runt, quasi quendam haberent desiderii delectationisque sensum; atque ita extremo illius punctulo arctè adhærent, ac si ponderis sui oblita fuissent præ contactûs hujusce voluptate. Quicquamne dissipationi aptius, quàm palea ac pulvisculus? ita tamen ista ad gagatem colliguntur, atque ita illi palam adsilire cernuntur, quasi ambitione quâdam provectionis hujusce ducerentur.

In duobus hisce videor mihi videre justum emblema cordis humani, virtutisque spiritualis ejusdem utrinque attractivæ. Spiritûs Sancti gratia, instar veri magnetis adamantisve, ferrea hominum pectora ad se trahit; firmâque quâdam sanctarum cogitationum bonarumque actionum constantiâ retinet: Mundus, ad instar gagatis, carnalia levium ac vanorum hominum corda ad se attrahit; vitiosisque peccatorum delinimentis sibi retentat. Tuus suma, ô Deus; esto tu magnes meus. Trahe me, et ego post te curram. Aduni cor meum tibi, ut reverear Nomen

tuum.

XLIV. Ad concentum musicum nocturnum.

QUAM suaviter, intempestâ hâc nocte, sonat concentus iste! De die, sic aurem afficere nec solet, nec potest quidem. Harmonici omnes soni lentæ noctis caligine longè jucundiores haberi solent.

Sic se planè habet cum læto salutis nuncio. Nunquam ita suaviter sonat Evangelium, ac obscurissimâ vel persecutionum publicarum vel propriæ afflictionis nocte. Illud semper idem est in nostrâ, qui tantum beneficium recipimus, dispositione, unicum discrimen est.

O mi Deus, cujus summa laus est dare Cantica de nocte, prosperas res meas facito pias et sanctas, adversas verò alacres.

XLV. Ad conspectum tritici ventilati.

UBI ventilatur triticum hoc, granorum maximum ac solidissimum semper imum petere video; levissimum quodque superiorem locum sortiri.

In re morum, pariter se habet: plenissimi gratiæ, humillimi plerunque sunt; et ii, sæpenumerò, maximè omnium conspicui sunt, quibus minimum suppetit. Obscuritatem quandam dejectionemque, aut ambire aut simulare, sordidum est et suspicione plenissimum; ille verò, cujus modestia mediocrem suis se oculis exhibet, humilem alienis, plerunque virtutum omnium intimè ditissimus est. Humilis mihi plenitudo sit potiùs, quàm elatio

vacua.

Chalybs was probably omitted here, by an error of the press, in the original

edition.-PRATT.

XLVI. On herbs dried.

THEY say those herbs will keep best, and will longer retain both their hue and verdure, which are dried thus in the shade; than those, which are suddenly scorched with fire or sun.

Those wits are like to be most durable, which are closely tutored with a leisurely education: time, and gentle constancy, ripens better, than a sudden violence. Neither is it otherwise, in our spiritual condition: a wilful slackness is not more dangerous, than an over-hastening of our perfection: if I may be every moment drawing nearer to the end of my hope, I shall not wish to precipitate.

XLVII. On the quenching of iron in water.

HARK how that iron, quenched in the water, hisseth; and makes that noise, which, while it was cold or dry, it would never make.

We cannot quench hot and unruly desires in youth without some mutiny and rebellious opposition. Corruptions cannot be subdued, without some reluctation; and that reluctation cannot be, without some tumult: after some short noise, and smoke, and bubbling, the metal is quiet; and holds to the form, whereinto it is beaten.

O God, why should it trouble me, to find my good endeavours resisted, for the little brunt of a change; while I am sure, this insurrection shall end in a happy peace?

XLVIII. On a fair coloured fly.

WHAT a pleasant mixture of colours there is in this fly! and yet, they say, no fly is so venomous as this; which, by the outward touch of the hand, corrodes the inmost passages of the body.

It is no trusting to colours and shapes: we may wonder at their excellency, without dotage upon their beauty. Homeliness makes less shew, and hath less danger. Give me inward virtue and usefulness: let others care for outward glory.

XLIX. On a glow-worm.

WHAT a cold candle is lighted up, in the body of this sorry worm! There needs no other disproof of those, that say there is no light at all without some heat. Yet sure, an outward heat helps on this cool light: never did I see any of these bright

XLVI.

De herbis exiccatis.

Herbas illas aiunt servari commodissimè, longiùsque et colorem et saporem retinere, quæ sub umbrâ paulatim arefiunt; quàm quæ subito sive solis sive ignis calore exiccantur torrenturque.

Firmiora sunt ingenia illa diutiùsque duratura, quæ lentâ quâdam educatione obscurè instituuntur: tempus et facilis quædam studiorum constantia ad maturitatem perducunt longè meliùs, quàm subitus laborum impetus. In spirituali conditione nostrâ, idem planè usuvenit: affectata quædam lentitudo parùm periculosior est, quàm nimia perfectionis acceleratio: ubi me momentis singulis ad spei meæ terminum tantò magis appropinquare sensero, non est quòd præcipitare discupiam.

XLVII. Audito ferri extincti stridore.

AUDI modò quàm ferrum illud, aquâ extinctum, canore sibilat; stridoremque illum edit, quem frigidum priùs siccumque, facere non potuerat.

Fervidos inordinatosque appetitus adolescentiæ, absque querulo quodam murmure rebellique oppositione, extinguere non possumus. Debellari non possunt vitia nostra, absque reluctatione validâ; nec tumultu aliquo, vacare potest illa reluctatio: post tantillum soni, fumi, ebullitionisque, quiescit metallum hoc; formamque, in quam fabri ictibus redigitur, usque servat.

Quorsum ægrè mihi foret, ô Deus, quòd sentiam pios conatus meos, pro minimo mutationis meæ spatiolo, repugnantiam quandam pati; quandoquidem certus sim, seditionem hanc in fœlicissima pace deinceps desituram?

XLVIII. Visis muscis quibusdam pulchrè coloratis, quas cantharidas appellare solemus.

QUAM pulchra colorum mistura in muscâ hâc cernitur! nulla tamen, uti aiunt, in toto muscarum genere æquè venenosa est; ita ut, vel extimo manûs contactu, interna corporis viscera corrodat.

Non est quòd aut coloribus fidamus aut formis: illorum quidem præstantiam ita licet admirari, ut venustate non fascinemur interim. Humilis simplicitas minùs præ se fert, minus tamen habet periculi. Cedo mihi internam virtutem utilitatemque : externum gloriæ splendorem curent alii.

XLIX. Conspectû noctilucâ vel cicindelá.

QUALIS lucerna frigidiuscula quidem illa, in corpore vermiculi hujus accenditur! Non aliâ opus est illorum confutatione, qui nullum omnino lumen absque calore aliquo esse arbitrantur. Certè tamen, externus calor gelidum hoc lumen reddit illustrius: nusquam vidi ego nitedularum istarum aliquam, nisi æstivis

VOL. XI.

H

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