« НазадПродовжити »
for me, that see before me so liberal provisions of my God, and find myself sit warm under my own roof, yet am ready to droop under a distrustful and unthankful dulness. Had I so little certainty of my harbour and purveyance, how heartless should I be, how careful; how little list should I have to make music to thee or myself. Surely thou comest not hither without a Providence. God sent thee not so much to delight, as to shame me, but all in a conviction of my sullen unbelief, who, under more apparent means, am less chearful and confident; reason and faith have not done so much in me, as in thee mere instinct of nature; want of foresight makes thee more merry, if not more happy here, than the foresight of better things maketh me.'
O God, thy providence is not impaired by those powers thou hast given me above these brute things; let not my greater helps hinder me from an holy security, and comfortable reliance on thee.
Upon the kindling of a Charcoal Fire.
There are not many creatures but do naturally affect to diffuse and enlarge themselves ; fire and water will neither of them rest contented with their own bounds; those little sparks that I see in those coals, how they spread and enkindle their next brands,
It is thus morally both in good and evil; either of them dilates itself to their neighbourhood ; but especially this is so much more apparent in evil, by how much we are more apt to take it. Let but some spark of heretical opinion be let fall upon some unstable, proud, busy spirit, it catcheth instantly; and fires the next capable subject; they two have easily inflamed a third; and now the more society the more speed and advantage of a public combustion. When we see the church on a flame, it is too late to complain of the flint and steel ; it is the holy wisdom of superiors to prevent the dangerous attritions of stubbörn and wrangling spirits; or to quench their first sparks in the tinder.
But, why should not grace and truth be as successful in dilating itself to the gaining of many hearts ? Certainly these are in themselves more winning, if our corruption had not made us indisposed to good: 0 God, out of an holy envy and emulation at the speed of evil, I shall labour to enkindle others with these heavenly Names; it shall not be my fault if they sprcad not.
Upon the Sight of two Snails, There is much variety even in creatures of the same kind. See there, two snails; one hath an house, the other wants it; yet both are snails, and it is a question whether case is the better : that which hath an house hath more shelter, but that which wants it hath more freedom; the privilege of that cover is but a burthen ; you see if it hath but a stone to climb over, with what stress it draws up that beneficial load; and if the passage prove strait, finds no entrance; whereas the empty snail makes no difference of way. Surely, it is always an ease and sometimes an happiness to have nothing ; no man is so worthy of envy as he that can be cheerful in want,
Upon hearing of Music by Night..
How sweetly doth this music sound in this dead season! In the day time it would not, it could not so much affect the ear, All harmonious sounds are ada vanced by a silent darkness ; thus it is with the glad tidings of salvation; the gospel never sounds so sweet as in the night of preservation, or of our own private affliction; it is ever the same, the difference is in our disposition to receive it. O God, whose praise it is to give songs in the night, make my prosperity çonscionable, and my crosses cheerful,
soul; the agitation whereof cannot but through time and experience work out many hidden truths ; to suppress these would be no other than injurious to man. kied; whose minds, like unto so many candles, should be kindled by each other: the thoughts of our deliberation are most accurate; these we vent into our papers; what an happiness is it, that, without all offence of necromancy, I may here call up any of the ancient worthies of learning, whether human or divine, and confer with them of all my doubts ! that I can at pleasure summon whole synods of reverend fathers, and acute doctors from all the coasts of the earth, to give their well-studied judgments in all points of question which I propose! Neither can I cast my eye casually upon any of these silent masters, but I must learn somewhat: it is a wantonness to complain of choice.
No law binds me to read all ; but the more we can take in and digest, the better-liking must the mind's needs be ; blessed be God that hath set up so many clear lamps in bis church.
Now none but the wilfully blind can plead darkness; and blessed be the memory of those his faithful servants, that have left their blood, their spirits, their lives in these precious papers; and have willingly wasted themselves into these during monuments, to give light unto others.
How these little moats move up and down in the sun, and never rest, whereas the great mountains stand ever still, and move not but with an earthquake; even so light and busy spirits are in continual agitation, to little purpose ; while great deep wits sit still, and stir not, but upon extreme ocgasions : were the motion of these little atoms as useful as it is restless, I had rather be a moat than a mountain.
Upon a Man sleeping.
I do not more wonder at any man's art than at his, who professes to think of nothing to do nothing: and I do not a little marvel at that man who says he can sleep without a dream ; for the mind of man is a restless thing; and though it give the body leave to repose itself, as knowing it is a mortal and earthly piece, yet itself being a spirit, and therefore active, and indefatigable, is ever in motion : give me a sea that moves not, a sun that shines not, an open eye that sees not; and I shall yield there may be a reasonable soul that works not. It is possible that through a natural or accidental stupidity, a man may not perceive his own thoughts; (as sometimes the