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gross act of sin; for one great stab may as certainly and speedily destroy life as forty lesser wounds. Let him carry a jealous eye over every growing habit of sin; let him keep aloof from all commerce and fellowship with any vicious and base affection, especially from all sensuality; let him keep himself untouched with the hellish, unhallowed heats of lust and the noisome steams and exhalations of intemperance; let him bear himself above that sordid and low thing, that utter contradiction to all greatness of mind-covetousness: let him disenslave himself from the pelf of the world, from that "amor sceleratus habendi ;" lastly, let him learn so to look upon the honours, the pomp, and greatness of the world, as to look through them. Fools indeed are apt to be blown up by them and to sacrifice all for them: sometimes venturing their heads only to get a feather in their caps."



THE wicked and sensual part of the world are only concerned to find scope and room enough to wallow in; if they can but have it, whence they have it troubles not their thoughts; saying grace is no part of their meal; they feed and grovel like swine under an oak, filling themselves with the mast, but never so much as looking up either to the boughs that bore, or the hands that shook it down.

* Vol. iii. 104.

+ See ante, p. 39.


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WHY the prosperity of fools proves destructive to them, is, because prosperity has a peculiar force to abate men's virtues, and to heighten their corruptions. Prosperity and ease upon an unsanctified impure heart, is like the sun-beams upon a dunghill, it raises many filthy, noisome exhalations. The same soldiers, who in hard service and in the battle are in perfect subjection to their leaders, in peace and luxury are apt to mutiny and rebel. That corrupt affection which has lain, as it were dead and frozen in the midst of distracting businesses or under adversity, when the sun of prosperity has shined upon it, then like

* Bacon, in his Essay on Adversity, says,―The virtue of prosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament, adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comfort and hopes. We see in needle works and embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground; judge, therefore, of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed; for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

a snake it presently recovers its former strength

and venom.


GOD is the fountain of honour, and the conduit by which he conveys it to the sons of men, are virtues and generous practices. Some indeed may please and promise themselves high matters from full revenues, stately palaces, court interests, and great dependances. But that which makes the clergy glorious, is to be knowing in their profession, unspotted in their lives, active and laborious in their charges, bold and resolute in opposing seducers, and daring to look vice in the face though never so potent and illustrious. And lastly, to be gentle, courteous, and compassionate to all. These are our robes, and our maces, our escutcheons and highest titles of honour.+

* Mud walls swell when the sun shines upon them.
+ Vol. i. 264.



ALL that I can say for myself, is a desire of doing good; which if it were as fervent in richer hearts, the church, which now we see comely, would then be glorious. This honest ambition hath carried me to neglect the fear of seeming prodigal of my little; and, while I see others' talents rusting in the earth, hath drawn me to traffic with mine in public.


WE pity the folly of the lark, which while it playeth with the feather and stoopeth to the glass is caught in the fowler's net; and yet cannot see ourselves alike made fools by Satan: who, deluding us by the vain feathers and glasses of the world, suddenly enwrappeth us in his snares. We see not the nets indeed: it is too much that we shall feel them, and that they are not so easily escaped after, as before avoided. O Lord keep thou mine eyes from beholding vanity. And, though mine eyes see it, let not my heart stoop to it, but loath it afar off. And, if I stoop at any time and be taken, set thou my soul at liberty, that I may say my soul is escaped, even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken, and I am delivered.*

* Cent. ii. 25.


I WILL account virtue the best riches, knowledge the next, riches the worst: and therefore will labour to be virtuous and learned, without condition; as for riches, if they fall in my way, I fuse them not; but if not, I desire them not.*

Cent. ii. 44.


Lord Bacon says, as for the true marshalling of men's pursuits towards their fortune, as they are more or less material, I hold them to stand thus; first, the amendment of their own minds; for the remove of the impediments of the mind will sooner clear the passages of fortune, than the obtaining fortune will remove the impediments of the mind. In the second place I set down wealth and means; which I know most men would have placed first, because of the general use which it beareth towards all variety of occasions; but that opinion I may condemn with like reason as Machiavel doth that other, that moneys were the sinews of the wars; whereas saith he, the true sinews of the wars are the sinews of men's arms, that is, a valiant, populous, and military nation; and he voucheth aptly the authority of Solon, who, when Croesus showed him his treasury of gold, said to him, that if another came that had better iron, he would be master of his gold. In like manner it may be truly affirmed that it is not moneys that are the sinews of fortune, but it is the sinews and steel of men's minds, wit, courage, audacity, resolution, temper, industry, and the like. In the third place, I set down reputation, because of the peremptory tides and currents it hath; which if they be not taken in their due time, are seldom recovered, it being extreme hard to play an after game of reputation. And lastly, I place honour, which is more easily won by any of the other three, much more by all, than any of them can be purchased by honour.

He, in whom talents, genius, and principle are united,

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