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He that falls into sin is a man; that grieves at it may be a saint; that boasteth of it is a devil.
It is hard for one of base parentage to personate a king without over-acting his part.
Charity's eyes should be open as well as her hands. Surely King Edward the Sixth was as truly charitable in granting Bridewell for the punishment of sturdy rogues, as in giving St. Thomas's Hospital for the relief of the poor.
The Pope knows he can catch no fish if the waters are clear.
best minister to health and societies, to conversation of families, and honour of communities, it teaches men to keep their words, that themselves may be secured in all their just interests, and to do good to others that good may be done to them; it forbids biting one another, that we may not be devoured by one another; and commands obedience to superiors, that we may not be ruined in confusions; it combines governments, and confirms all good laws and makes peace, and opposes and prevents wars where they are not just, and where they are not necessary. It is a religion that is life and spirit, not consisting in ceremonies and external amusements, but in the services of the heart, and the real fruits of lips, and hands, that is, of good words and good deeds, and hath in it both heat and light, and is not more effectual than it is beauteous; it promises every thing that we can desire, and yet promises nothing but what it does effect; it proclaims war against all vices, and generally does command every virtue ; it teaches us with ease to mortify those affections which reason durst scarce reprove, because she hath not strength enough to conquer, and it does create in us those virtues which reason of herself never knew, and after they are known could never approve sufficiently; it is a doctrine in which nothing is superfluous or burdensome, nor yet is there any thing wanting which can procure happiness to mankind, or by which God can be glorified.
in the court of Rome were old and dim; and therefore the glass, wherein they see any thing, must be well silvered.
Many wish that the tree may be felled, who hope to gather chips by the fall.
The Holy Ghost came down, not in the shape of a vulture, but in the form of a dove.
A naked cage of bone, From whence the winged soul long since is flown.
WISDOM IN ITS OWN CONCEIT.
Humility is every where preached, and pride practised; they persuade others to labour for heaven,
and fall out about earth themselves; their lives are contrary to their doctrines, and their doctrines one to another.
THE RELIGION OF MAHOMET.
It may justly seem admirable how that senseless religion should gain so much ground on Christianity; especially having neither real substance in her doctrine, nor winning behaviour in her ceremonies to allure professors.
For what is it but the scum of Judaism and Paganism sod together, and here and there strewed over with a spice of Christianity? As Mahomet's tomb, so many sentences in his Alcoran seem to hang by some secret loadstone, which draweth together their gaping independences with a mystical coherence, or otherwise they are flat nonsense. Yet this wonder of the spreading of this leprosy is lessened, if we consider that besides the general causes of the growing of all errors (namely, the gangrene-like nature of evil, and the justice of God to deliver them over to believe lies who will not obey the truth) Mahometanism hath raised itself to this height by some peculiar advantages; first, by permitting much carnal liberty to the professors (as having many wives) and no wonder if they get fish enough that use that bait; secondly, by promising a paradise of sensual pleasure hereafter, wherewith flesh and blood is more affected (as falling under her experience) than with hope of any spiritual delights; thirdly, by prohibiting of disputes, and suppressing of all learning; and thus Mahomet made his shop dark on purpose, that he might vend any wares : lastly, this religion had never made her own passage so fast and so far, if the sword had not cut the way before her, as commonly the conquered follow for the most part the religion of the conquerors. By this means that cursed doctrine hath so improved itself, that it may outvie with professors the church of Rome, which boasteth so much of her latitude and extent; though from thence to infer that her fára is the best, is falsely to conclude the fineness of the cloth from the largeness of the measure.*
DESTRUCTION OF THE CRUSADERS.
Egypt is a low, level country, except some few advantages which the Egyptians had fortified for themselves. Through the midst of the land ran the river Nilus; whose stream they had so bridled with banks and sluices, that they could keep it to be their own servant, and make it their enemies' master at pleasure. The Christians confidently marched on; and the Turks, perceiving the game was come within the toil, pierced their banks, and unmuzzling the river, let it run open mouth upon them; yet so, that at first they drowned them up but to the middle, reserving their lives for a further purpose, thereby in exchange to recover Damiata and their country's liberty. See here the land of Egypt turned in an instant into the Egyptian sea! see an army of sixty thousand, as the neck of one man, stretched on the block, and waiting the fatal stroke !
HITHERTO (A. D. 1428] the corpse of John Wickliffe had quietly slept in his grave about forty-one years after his death,
till his body was reduced to
bones, and his bones almost to dust. For though the earth in the chancel of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, where he was interred, hath not so quick a digestion with the earth of Aceldama, to consume flesh in twenty-four hours, yet such the appetite thereof, and all other English graves, to leave small reversions of a body after so many years.
But now such the spleen of the council of Constance, as they not only cursed his memory as dying an obstinate heretic, but ordered that his bones (with this charitable caution,-if it may be discerned from the bodies of other faithful people) be taken out of the ground, and thrown far off from any christian burial. In obedience hereunto, Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, Diocesan of Lutterworth, sent his officers (vultures with a quick sight scent, at a dead carcass) to ungrave him. Accordingly to Lutterworth they come; Summer, Commissary, Official, Chancellor, Proctors, Doctors, and their servants (so that the remnant of the body would not hold out a bone amongst so many hands), take what was left out of the grave, and burnt them to ashes, and cast them into Swift, a neighbouring brook, running hard by. Thus this brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean; and thus the ashes of Wickliffe are the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over.