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Next to these, as the soul is still undressing, she shakes off the roughness of her great and little angers and animosities, and receives the oil of mercies and smooth forgiveness, fair interpretations and gentle answers, designs of reconcilement and christian atonement, in their places.

The temptations of this state, such I mean which are proper to it, are little and inconsiderable ; the man is apt to chide a servant too bitterly, and to be discontented with his nurse, or not satisfied with his physician, and he rests uneasily, and (poor man!) nothing can please him: and indeed these little undecencies must be cured and stopped, lest they run into an inconvenience. But sickness is in this particular a little image of the state of blessed souls, or of Adam's early morning in paradise, free from the troubles of lust, and violences of anger, and the intricacies of ambition, or the restlessness of covetousness. For though a man may carry all these along with him into his sickness, yet there he will not find them ; and in despite of all his own malice, his soul shall find some rest from labouring in the galleys and baser captivity of sin.*


I HAVE seen the little purls of a spring sweat through the bottom of a bank, and intenerate the stubborn pavement, till it hath made it fit for the

* Holy Dying, ch. iv. sect. 1. and ch. iii. sect. 6.

impression of a child's foot; and it was despised, like the descending pearls of a misty morning, till it had opened its way and made a stream large enough to carry away the ruins of the undermined strand, and to invade the neighbouring gardens : but then the despised drops were grown into an artificial river, and an intolerable mischief. So are the first entrances of sin, stopped with the antidotes of a hearty prayer, and checked into sobriety by the eye of a reverend man, or the counsels of a single sermon : but when such beginnings are neglected, and our religion hath not in it so much philosophy as to think any thing evil as long as we can endure it, they grow up to ulcers, and pestilential evils : they destroy the sou by their abode, who at their first entry might have been killed with the pressure of a little finger.

He that hath past many stages of a good life, to prevent his being tempted to a single sin, must be

very careful that he never entertain his spirit with the remembrances of his past sin, nor amuse it with the fantastic apprehensions of the present. When the Israelites fancied the sapidness and relish of the flesh-pots, they longed to taste and to return.

So when a Libyan tiger drawn from his wilder foragings is shut up and taught to eat civil meat, and suffer the authority of a man, he sits down tamely in his prison, and pays to his keeper fear and reverence for his meat; but if he chance to come again, and taste a draught of warm blood, he presently leaps into his natural cruelty,


Admonitæque tument gustato sanguine fauces :

Fervet, et à trepido vix abstinet ira magistro. He scarce abstains from eating those hands that brought him discipline and food. So is the nature of a man made tame and gentle by the grace of God, and reduced to reason, and kept in awe by religion and laws, and by an awful virtue is taught to forget those alluring and sottish relishes of sin; but if he diverts from his path, and snatches handfuls from the wanton vineyards, and remembers the lasciviousness of his unwholesome food that pleased his childish palate ; then he grows sick again, and hungry after unwholesome diet, and longs for the apples of Sodom.

The Pannonian bears, when they have clasped a dart in the region of their liver, wheel themselves upon the wound, and with anger

and licious revenge strike the deadly barb deeper, and cannot be quit from that fatal steel, but in flying bear along that which themselves make the instrument of a more hasty death; so is every vicious person struck with a deadly wound, and his own hands force it into the entertainments of the heart; and because it is painful to draw it forth by a sharp and salutary repentance, he still rolls and turns upon his wound, and carries his death in his bowels, where it first entered by choice, and then dwelt by love, and at last shall finish the tragedy by divine judgments and an unalterable decree.*


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Of Growth in Sin ; Serm. xvii. part 2.


FORMIDABLE is the state of an intemperate man, whose sin begins with sensuality and grows up in folly and weak discourses, and is fed by violence, and applauded by fools and parasites, full bellies and empty heads, servants and flatterers, whose hands are full of flesh and blood, and their hearts empty of pity and natural compassion; where religion cannot inhabit, and the love of God must needs be a stranger ; whose talk is loud and trifling, injurious and impertinent, and whose employment is the same with the work of the sheep or the calf, always to eat.


If I shall describe a living man, a man that hath that life that distinguishes him from a fowl or a bird, that which gives him a capacity next to angels; we shall find that even a good man lives not long, because it is long before he is born to this life, and longer yet before he hath a man's growth. Hef that can look upon death, and see its face with the same countenance with which he hears its story; that can endure all the labours !

+ Sermons xv, and xvi.

Seneca, De Vita Beata, cap. 20.

of his life with his soul supporting his body; that can equally despise riches when he hath them, and when he hath them not; that is not sadder if they lie in his neighbour's trunks, nor more brag if they shine round about his own walls; he that is neither moved with good fortune coming to him, nor going from him; that can look upon another man's lands evenly and pleasedly as if they were his own,

and yet


his own and use them too, just as if they were another man's ; that neither spends his goods prodigally, and like a fool, nor yet keeps them avariciously and like a wretch; that weighs not benefits by weight and number, but by the mind and circumstances of him that gives them ; that never thinks his charity expensive if a worthy person be the receiver ; he that does nothing for opinion's sake, but every thing for conscience, being as curious of his thoughts as of his actings in markets and theatres, and is as much in awe of himself as of a whole assembly: he that knows God looks on, and contrives his secret affairs as in the presence of God and his holy angels; that eats and drinks because he needs it, not that he may serve a lust or load his belly; he that is bountiful and cheerful to his friends, and charitable and apt to forgive his enemies; that loves his country and obeys his prince, and desires and endeavours nothing more than that they may do honour to God :" this person may reckon his life to be the life of a man, and compute his months, not by the course of the sun, but the zodiac and circle of his virtues : be

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