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cause these are such things which fools and children, and bird, and beasts, cannot have: these are therefore the actions of life, because they are the seeds of immortality. That day in which we have done some excellent thing, we may as truly reckon to be added to our life, as were the fifteen years to the days of Hezekiah.*
* Holy Dying, ch. 1.
I add the following extract from the Epistles of Seneca :-“I have applied myself to liberal studies, though both the poverty of my condition, and my own reason, might rather have put me upon the making of my fortune. I have given proof that all minds are capable of goodness; and I have illustrated the obscurity of my family by the eminency of my virtue. I have preserved my faith in all extremities, and I have ventured my life for it. I have never spoken one word contrary to my conscience, and I have been more solicitous for my friend, than for myself: I never made any base submission to any man; and I have never done any thing unworthy of a resolute and of an honest man. My mind is raised so much above all dangers, that I have mastered all hazards; and I bless myself in the providence which gave me that experiment of my virtue : for it was not fit, methought, that so great glory should come cheap. Nay, I did not so much as deliberate, whether good faith should suffer for me, or I for it. I stood my ground without, laying violent hands upon myself to escape the rage of the powerful; though under Caligula I saw cruelties, to such a degree, that to be killed outright was accounted a mercy. And yet I persisted in my honesty, to shew that I was ready to do more than die for it. My mind was never corrupted with gifts; and when the humour of avarice was at the height, I never laid my hand upon any unlawful gain ; I have been temperate in my diet ; modest in my discourse; courteous and affable to my inferiors; and have ever paid a respect, and reverence to my betters."
I HAVE seen a fair structure begun with art and care, and raised to half its stature, and then it stood still by the misfortune or negligence of the owner ;
and the rain descended and dwelt in its joints, and supplanted the contexture of its pillars, and, having stood awhile, like the antiquated temple of a deceased oracle, it fell into a hasty age, and sunk upon its own knees, and so descended into ruin : so is the imperfect, unfinished spirit of man; it lays the foundation of a holy resolution, and strengthens it with vows and arts of prosecution! it raises up the walls, sacraments, and prayers, reading, and holy ordinances; and holy actions begin with a slow motion, and the building stays, and the spirit is weary, and the soul is naked and exposed to temptation, and in the days of storm takes in every thing that can do it mischief; and it is faint and sick, listless and tired, and it stands till its own weight wearies the foundation, and then declines to death and sad disorder.
PLEASURES OF UNDERSTANDING.t
It is not the eye that sees the beauties of the heaven, nor the ear that hears the sweetness of music, or
* Sermon on Lukewarmness and Zeal; Serm. xiii. part 2. + See note (I.) at the end.
the glad tidings of a prosperous accident, but the soul that perceives all the relishes of sensual and intellectual perfections ; and the more noble and excellent the soul is, the greater and more savory are its perceptions. And if a child beholds the rich ermine, or the diamonds of a starry night, or the order of the world, or hears the discourses of an apostle, he makes no reflex acts
It is a great disreputation to the understanding of a man, to be so cozened and deceived, as to choose money before a moral virtue ; to please that which is common to him and beasts, rather than that part which is a communication of the divine nature; to see him run after a bubble which himself hath made, and the sun hath particoloured, and to despise a treasure which is offered to him to call him off from pursuing that emptiness and nothing But so does every vicious person, feeds upon husks, and loaths manna.
ON THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
God is every where present by his power. He rolls the orbs of heaven with his hand, he fixes the earth with his foot, he guides all the creatures with his eye,
and refreshes them with his influence : he makes the powers of hell to shake with his
* Holy Living, chap. i. sec. 3.
terrors, and binds the devils with his word, and throws them out with his command, and sends the angels on embassies with his decrees: he hardens the joints of infants, and confirms the bones when they are fashioned beneath secretly in the earth. He it is that assists at the numerous productions of fishes, and there is not one hollowness in the bottom of the sea, but he shews himself to be lord of it, by sustaining there the creatures that come to dwell in it: and in the wilderness the bittern and the stork, the dragon and the satyr, the unicorn and the elk, live upon his provisions, and revere his power, and feel the force of his almightiness.
Let every thing you see represent to your spirit the presence, the excellency, and the power of God, and let your conversation with the creatures lead you unto the Creator, for so shall your
actions be done more frequently with an actual eye to God's presence, by your often seeing him in the glass of the creation. In the face of the sun you may see God's beauty ; in the fire you may his heat warming ; in the water his gentleness to refresh
it is the dew of heaven that makes your field give you bread. *
* Holy Living, chap. i. § 3. See Psalm.--Whither shall I
go from thy presence, &c.
THE RESURRECTION OF SINNERS.
So have we seen a poor condemned criminal, the . weight of whose sorrows sitting heavily upon his soul, hath benumbed him into a deep sleep till he hath forgotten bis groans, and laid aside his deep sighings; but on a sudden comes the messenger of death, and unbinds the poppy garland, scatters the heavy cloud that encircled his miserable head, and makes him return to acts of life, that he may quickly descend into death, and be
So is every sinner that lies down in shame, and makes his grave with the wicked; he shall indeed rise again, and be called upon by the voice of the archangel; but then he shall descend into sorrows greater than the reason and the patience of a man, weeping and shrieking louder than the groans of the miserable children in the valley of Hinnom.t
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
2 Cor. v. 10.
“For we must all appear before the Judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Virtue and vice are so essentially distinguished, and the distinction is so necessary to be observed
+ Sermon preached at the funeral of the Lord Primate.