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quadrate to blast us more sharply in the last. And since in the highest felicities there lieth a capacity of the lowest miseries, she hath this advantage from our hap piness to make us truly miserable. For to become acutely miserable we are to be first happy. Affliction smarts most in the most happy state, as having somewhat in it of Belisarius at beggars' bush, or Bajazet in the grate. And this the fallen angels severely understand, who having acted their first part in heaven, are made sharply miserable by transition, and more afflictively feel the contrary state of hell.

XI. Carry no careless eye upon the unexpected scenes of things; but ponder the acts of Providence in the publick ends of great and notable men, set out unto the view of all for no common memorandums. The tragical exits and unexpected periods of some eminent persons cannot but amuse considerate observators; wherein notwithstanding, most men seem to see by extramission, without reception or self-reflection, and conceive themselves unconcerned by the fallacy of their own exemption: whereas the mercy of God hath singled out but few to be the signals of his justice, leaving the generality of mankind to the pedagogy of example. But the inadvertency of our natures not well apprehending this favourable method and merciful decimation, and that he sheweth in some what others also deserve, they entertain no sense of his hand beyond the stroke of themselves. Whereupon the whole becomes necessarily punished, and the contracted hand of God extended unto universal judgments; from whence nevertheless, the stupidity of our tempers receives but faint impressions, and in the most tragical state of times holds but starts of good motions. So that to continue us in goodness there must be iterated returns

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of misery, and a circulation in afflictions is necessary. And since we cannot be wise by warnings, since plagues are insignificant, except we be personally plagued, since also we cannot be punished unto amendment by proxy or commutation, nor by vicinity, but contaction; there is an unhappy necessity that we must smart in our own skins, and the provoked arm of the Almighty must fall upon ourselves. The capital sufferings of others are rather our monitions than acquitments. There is but one who died salvifically for us, and able to say unto death, hitherto shalt thou go and no further; only one enlivening death, which makes gardens of graves, and that which was sowed in corruption to arise and flourish in glory; when death itself shall die, and living shall have no period, when the damned shall mourn at the funeral of death, when life not death shall be the wages of sin, when the second death shall prove a miserable life, and destruction shall be courted.

XII. Although their thoughts may seem too severe, who think that few ill-natured men go to heaven; yet it may be acknowledged that good-natured persons are best founded for that place; who enter the world with good dispositions, and natural graces, more ready to be advanced by impressions from above, and christianized unto pieties; who carry about them plain and downright-dealing minds, humility, mercy, charity, and virtues acceptable to God and man. But whatever success they may have as to heaven, they are the acceptable men on earth, and happy is he who hath his quiver full of them for his friends. These are not the dens wherein falsehood lurks, and hypocrisy hides its head, wherein frowardness makes its nest, or where malice, hardheartedness, and oppression love to dwell; not those by

whom the poor get little, and the rich sometime lose all; men not of retracted looks, but who carry their hearts in their faces, and need not to be looked upon with per spectives; not sordidly or mischievously ingrateful; who cannot learn to ride upon the neck of the afflicted, nor load the heavy laden, but who keep the temple of Janus shut by peaceable and quiet tempers; who make not only the best friends, but the best enemies as easier to forgive than offend, and ready to pass by the second offence before they avenge the first; who make natural royalists, obedient subjects, kind and merciful princes, verified in our own, one of the best-natured kings of this throne. Of the old Roman emperours the best were the best natured; though they made but a small number, and might be writ in a ring. Many of the rest were as bad men as princes; humourists rather than of good humours; and of good natural parts rather than of good natures; which did but arm their bad inclinations, and make them wittily wicked.

XIII. With what shift and pains we come into the world, we remember not; but 'tis commonly found no easy matter to get out of it. Many have studied to exasperate the ways of death, but fewer hours have been spent to soften that necessity. That the smoothest way unto the grave is made by bleeding, as common opinion presumeth, beside the sick and fainting languors, which accompany that effusion, the experiment in Lucan and Seneca will make us doubt; under which the noble stoick so deeply laboured, that to conceal his affliction he was fain to retire from the sight of his wife, and not ashamed to implore the merciful hand of his physician to shorten his misery therein. Ovid,* the old heroes,

* Demito naufragium, mors mihi munus erit.

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and the stoicks, who were so afraid of drowning, as dreading thereby the extinction of their soul, which they conceived to be a fire, stood probably in fear of an easier way of death; wherein the water, entering the possessions of air, makes a temperate suffocation, and kills as it were without a fever. Surely many, who have had the spirit to destroy themselves, have not been ingenious in the contrivance thereof. 'Twas a dull way practised by Themistocles to overwhelm himself with bulls-blood, who, being an Athenian, might have held an easier theory of death from the state-potion of his country; from which Socrates in Plato seemed not to suffer much more than from the fit of an ague. Cato is much to be pitied, who mangled himself with poniards; and Hannibal seems more subtle, who carried his delivery not in the point, but the pummel of his sword.t

The Egyptians were merciful contrivers, who destroyed their malefactors by asps, charming their senses into an invincible sleep, and killing as it were with Hermes his rod. The Turkish emperourt odious for other cruelty, was herein a remarkable master of mercy, killing his favourite in his sleep, and sending him from the shade into the house of darkness. He who had been thus destroyed would hardly have bled at the presence of his destroyer; when men are already dead by metaphor, and pass but from one sleep unto another, wanting herein the eminent part of severity, to feel themselves to die, and escaping the sharpest attendant of death, the lively apprehension thereof. But to learn to die, is better

* Plutarch.

+ Pummel, wherein he is said to have carried something whereby upon a struggle or despair he might deliver himself from all misfortunes. + Solyman.-Turkish History.

than to study the ways of dying. Death will find some ways to untie or cut the most gordian knots of life, and make men's miseries as mortal as themselves: whereas evil spirits, as undying substances, are unseparable from their calamities; and therefore they everlastingly strug gle under their angustias, and bound up with immortality can never get out of themselves.

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