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The other appendage of her religion, which also was a great ornament to all the parts of her life, was a rare modesty and humility of spirit, a confident despising and undervaluing of herself. For though she had the greatest judgment, and the greatest experience of things and persons that I ever yet knew in a person of her youth, and circumstances; yet, as if she knew nothing of it, she had the meanest opinion of herself; and
the squalid poverty of him who is bereft of fortune and disowned by friends? The industrious shun him, for he has no industry: the virtuous stand afar off, for he is convicted of crime: and piety, fulfilling all other christian precepts, may forget that he has a brother sick and in prison, and visit him not. A. M.
To this general apathy our country affords one glorious exception. Hearing the cry of the miserable,” says Howard, “I devoted my time to their relief, and, in order to
procure it, I made it my business to collect materials, the authenticity of which could not be doubted. I hope not
to be entirely deserted in the conflict: if I am the means “ of exciting the attention of my countrymen to this impor“ tant national concern, of alleviating the distress of pri
soners : of procuring them cleanly and wholesome abodes : “ of exterminating the gaol fever; of introducing a habit of
industry ; of restraining the shocking debauchery and immorality which prevail in our gaols and other prisons ; if like a fair taper, when she shined to all the room, yet round about her own station she had cast a shadow and a cloud, and she shined to every body but herself.*
any of these beneficial consequences shall accrue, I shall “ be happy in the pleasing reflection, that I have not lived “ without doing some good to my fellow creatures; and I “shall think myself abundantly repaid for all the pains 1 “have taken, the time I have spent, and the hazards I have
It is in some circumstances and from some persons more secure to conceal visions, and those heavenly gifts which create estimations among men, than to publish them, which may possibly minister to vanity; and those exterior graces may do God's work, though no observer note them but the
person for whose sake they are sent: like rain falling in uninhabited valleys, where no eye observes showers; yet the valleys laugh and sing to God in their refreshment without a witness.t
All the world, all that we are, and all that we have, our bodies and our souls, our actions and our sufferings, our conditions at home, our accidents abroad, our many sins, and our seldom virtues, are as so many arguments to make our souls dwell low in the deep valleys of humility. I
* Sermon on the Death of Lady Carbery.
Bishop Taylor, in his preface to Holy Dying, says“I shall measure the success of my labours, not by popular noises, or the sentences of curious persons, but by the advantage which good people may receive. My work here is not to please the speculative part of men, but to minister to practice, to preach to the weary, to comfort the sick, to assist the penitent, to reprove the confident, to strengthen weak hands and feeble knees, having scarce any other possibilities left me of doing alms, or exercising that charity by which we shall be judged at doomsday. It is enough for me to be an
FROM SERMON ENTITLED THE GOOD AND
under-builder in the house of God, and I glory in the employe
Sermon xxii. p. 161.
By the use of the tongue, God hath distinguished us from beasts, and by the well or ill using it we are distinguished from one another; and therefore though silence be innocent as death, harmless as a rose's breath to a distant passenger, yet it is rather the state of death than life. By voices and homilies, by questions and answers, by narratives and invectives, by counsel and reproof, by praises and hymns, by prayers and glorifications, we serve God's glory, and the necessities of men; and by the tongue our tables are made to differ from mangers, our cities from deserts, our churches from herds of beasts, and flocks of sheep.
TALKING TOO MUCH.
I Have heard that all the noises and prating of the pool, the croaking of frogs and toads, is hushed
and removing some of the rubbish that lies in the way to knowledge.” And to the same effect Dr. Rawley, speaking of Lord Bacon, in the preface to the Sylva Sylvarum, says
“ I have heard his Lordship speak complainingly ; that his Lordship (who thinketh he deserveth to be an architect in this building), should be forced to be a workman and a labourer; and to dig the clay and burn the brick; and more than that (according to the hard condition of the Israelites at the latter end) to gather the straw and stubble, over all the fields, to burn the bricks withal. For he knoweth that unless he do it nothing will be done; men are so set to despise the means of their own good.”
and appeased upon the instant of bringing upon them the light of a candle or torch.
Every beam of reason and ray of knowledge checks the dissolutions of the tongue. But, ut quisque contemptissimus et maxime ludibrio est, ita solutissima linguæ est, said Seneca: Every man as he is a fool and contemptible, so his tongue is hanged loose, being like a bell, in which there is nothing but tongue and noise.
No prudence is a sufficient guard, or can always stand in excubiis still watching, when a man is in perpetual floods of talk; for prudence attends after the manner of an angel’s ministry; it is dispatched on messages from God, and drives away enemies, and places guards, and calls upon the man to awake, and bids him send out spies and observers, and then goes about his own ministries above : but an angel does not sit by a man as a nurse by the baby's cradle, watching every motion and the lighting of a fly upon the child's lip: and so is prudence; it gives rules, and proportions out our measures, and prescribes us cautions, and by general influences orders our particulars : but he that is given to talk cannot be secured by all this; the emissions of his tongue are beyond the general figures and lines of rule; and he can no more be wise in every period of a long and running talk, than a lutenist can deliberate and make every mo