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regretfully behold, have not their Eyes closed PART III. with the like content ; while they cannot avoid the thoughts of proceeding or growing enormities, displeasing unto that Spirit unto whom they are then going, whose honour they desire in all times and throughout all generations. If Lucifer could be freed from his dismal place, he would little care though the rest were left behind. Too many there may be of Nero's mind, who, if their own turn were served, would not regard what became of others, and, when they dye themselves, care not if all perish. But good Mens wishes extend beyond their lives, for the happiness of times to come, and never to be known unto them. And therefore while so many question prayers for the dead, they charitably pray for those who are not yet alive ; they are not so enviously ambitious to go to Heaven by themselves ; they cannot but humbly wish, that the little Flock might be St. Luke xii. greater, the narrow Gate wider, and that, as many are called, so not a few might be chosen.
That a greater number of Angels remained sect. XXVIII. in Heaven, than fell from it, the School-men will tell us ; that the number of blessed Souls will not come short of that vast number of fallen Spirits, we have the favorable calculation of others. What Age or Century hath sent most Souls unto Heaven, He can tell who vouchsafeth that honour unto them. Though the Number of the blessed must be compleat before the World can pass away, yet since the
seems in its wane.
PART III. World it self seems in the wane, and we have The world no such comfortable prognosticks of latter times, since a greater part of time is spun
than is to come, and the blessed Roll already much replenished; happy are those pieties, which solicitously look about, and hasten to make one of that already much filled and abbreviated List to come.
Think not thy time short in this World since The world a the World it self is not long. The created World in eternity. is but a small Parenthesis in Eternity, and
a short interposition for a time between such a state of duration, as was before it and may
be after it. And if we should allow of the See above,
old Tradition that the World should last six thousand years, it could scarce have the name of old, since the first Man lived near a sixth part thereof, and seven Methusela's would exceed its whole duration. However to palliate the shortness of our Lives, and somewhat to compensate our brief term in this World, it's good to know as much as we can of it, and also so far as possibly in us lieth to hold such a Theory of times past, as though we had seen
the same. He who hath thus considered the See above, World, as also how therein things long past
have been answered by things present, how Parallelisms
matters in one Age have been acted over in another, and how there is nothing new under the Sun, may conceive himself in some manner to have lived from the beginning, and to be as old as the World ; and if he should still live on, 'twould be but the same thing.
Gen. v. 5,
in different ages.
Eccl. i. 9.
Lastly, if length of Days be thy Portion, PART III. make it not thy Expectation. Reckon not upon
See above, long Life : think every day the last, and live always beyond thy account. He that so often surviveth his Expectation lives many Lives, and will scarce complain of the shortness of his days. Time past is gone like a Shadow; make time to come present. Approximate thy latter times by present apprehensions of them : be like a neighbour unto the Grave, and think there is but little to come. And since there is Join both something of us that will still live on, join both lives toge: lives together, and live in one but for the other. live in one
but for the He who thus ordereth the purposes of this Life will never be far from the next, and is in some manner already in it, by a happy conformity, and close apprehension of it. And if (as we have elsewhere declared) any have been so happy as personally to understand Christian Annihilation, Extasy, Exolution, Transformation, the Kiss of the Spouse, and Ingression into the
Divine Shadow, according to Mystical
CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY.
The two following letters, and also the admonition from “A. B.,” To such as have or shall peruse, &c., are found in C (1643) and in most of the old editions, and also in several modern ones.
A Letter sent upon the Information of Animadversions to come
forth, upon the imperfect and surreptitious Copy of Religio
Medici, whilst this true* one was going to the Press. + Ilonourable I Sir,
your Servant, who hath ever honour'd you, leave to take notice of a Book at present in the Press, intituled (as I am informed) Animadversions upon a Treatise lately printed under the Name of “Religio Medici ;” hereof I am advertised you have descended to be the Author. Worthy Sir; permit your Servant to affirme there is contain'd therein nothing that can deserve the Reason of your Contradictions, much less the Candor of your Animadversions : and to certifie the truth thereof, that Book (whereof I do acknowledge my selfe the Author) was penn'd many yeares past, and (what cannot escape your apprehension) with no intention for the Press, or the least desire to oblige the Faith of any man to its assertions. But what hath more especially emboldened my Pen unto you at present, is, that the same
* this true one) viz. ed. 1643.