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OH, what a thing is man! how far from power,
From settled


and rest! He is some twenty sev'ral men, at least,

Each sev’ral hour.
One while he counts of heaven, as of his treasure ;

But then a thought creeps in,
And calls him coward, who, for fear of sin,

Will lose a pleasure.
Now he will fight it out, and to the wars ;

Now eat his bread in peace,
And snudge in quiet. Now he scorns increase ;

Now all day spares. He builds a house : which quickly down must go,

As if a whirlwind blew
And crush'd the building: and, it's partly true ;

His mind is so.
Oh, what a sight were man, if his attires

Did alter with his mind; - And, like a dolphin's skin, his clothes combin'd

With his desires !
Surely, if each one saw another's heart,

There would be no commerce,
No sale or bargain pass; all would disperse,

And live apart.
Lord, mend, or rather make, us! One creation

Will not suffice our turn.
Except thou make us daily, we shall spurn

Our own salvation.

Milton. .


When I consider how my light is spent,

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,

Lodg’d with me useless; though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He, returning, chide ;

Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd ?” I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies :-“God doth not need

Either man's work, or his own gifts: who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his 'state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,

And post o’er land and ocean, without rest :
They also serve, who only stand and wait.”


Sir Matthew Wale.


OF THE REDEMPTION OF TIME. I would consider, first, How time is to be redeemed; and, secondly, Why time is to be thus redeemed.

On the manner of redeeming the time, I shall set down only these generals :

1. We are to neglect no opportunity that occurs, to do good; but, (1.) To watch all opportunities, that offer themselves thereunto. (2.) To seek for them, if they offer not themselves. (3.) To use them; and not to let them slip.

2. In the co-incidence of opportunities of several kinds, and suiting to several actions, to give those the prelation that correspond to the most worthy actions ; and, in the co-incidence of opportunities for actions of equal moment, to prefer such as are most rare, and probably of unlikelihood to occur again, before those that are under a probability of frequent occurrence.

3. We are to be very careful to leave no baulks or interspersions of idleness in our lives.

Those men that have most employment, and of the most constant nature, cannot choose but have certain interstitia


nesses, that

between the varieties of business, which may be fitted with employments suitable to their length or qualities; and it becomes a good husband of his time, to have some designations and destinations of busi


be suited to the nature, quality, seasons, and more of those vacant interstitia. An industrious husbandman, tradesman, scholar, will never want business fitted for occasional vacancies and horæ subsicivæ [the parings of time]. Gellius, in his Noctes Attice, hath left us an experiment of it: and a Christian, even as such, hath ready employment for occasional interstices—reading, praying : the crumbs and fragments of time should be furnished with their suitable employments: it is precious ; and therefore let none of it be lost.

4. Much time might be saved and redeemed, in retrenching the unnecessary expenses thereof, in our ordinary sleep, attiring and dressing ourselves, and the length of our meals; as, breakfasts, dinners, suppers; which, especially in this latter age, and among people of the better sort, are protracted to an immoderate and excessive length: there is little less than ten or twelve hours, every day, spent in these refections and appendancies, which might be fairly reduced to much less.

5. Take heed of entertaining vain thoughts, which are a very great consumption of time, and are very incident to melancholy and fanciful persons, whom I have known to sit the greatest part of several days in projecting what they would do, if they had such

estates, honours, or places, and such kind of unprofitable and vain meditations ; - which humour is much improved in them that lie long in bed, in a morning.

6. Beware of too much recreation. Some bodily exercise is necessary, for sedentary men especially ; but let it not be too frequent, nor too long. Gaming, taverns, and plays, as they are pernicious, and corrupt youth ; so, if they had no other fault, yet they are justly to be declined, in respect of their excessive expense of time, and habituating men to idleness and vain thoughts, and disturbing passions and symptoms, when they are past, as well as while they are used. Let no recreations, of any long continuance, be used in the morning ; for they hazard the lo or discomposure of the whole day after.

7. Visits made, or received, are, for the most part, an intolerable consumption of time, unless prudently ordered; and they are, for the most part, spent in vain and impertinent discourses. (1.) Let them not be used in the morning. (2.) Let the visits made to, or by, persons of impertinence, be short, and at such times as may be best spared from what is more useful or necessary; viz. at meals, or presently after. (3.) But, if the persons to be visited are men of wisdom, learning, or eminence of parts, the visits may be longer; but yet, so as the time may be profitably spent in useful discourse; which carries in it as well profit and advantage, as civility and respect.

8. Be obstinately constant to your devotions at certain set times; and be sure to spend the Lord's

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