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tribulation, let us embrace and nurse up this new resurrection of this zeal, which his own Spirit hath begot and produced in us, and return to God with a whole and entire soul, without dividing or scattering our affections upon other objects; and in the sincerity of the true religion, without inclinations in ourselves, to induce, and without inclinableness, from others, upon whom we may depend, to admit, any drams of the dregs of a superstitious religion; for it is a miserable extremity, when we must take a little poison for physic. And so having made the right use of God's corrections, we shall enjoy the comfort of this phrase, in this house, ourselves, our first-born, our zeal was dead; it was, but it is not.
The soul of man is incorporate in his word; as he speaks, we think he thinks. As we believe that to be a free house, where there is an easy entrance; so we doubt the less of a good heart, if we find charitable and courteous language. But yet there is an excess in this too, in this self-effusion, this pouring of a man's self out, in fair, and promising language. Inaccessibleness is the fault, which the apostle aims at here: and truly the most inaccessible man that is, is the over-liberal, and profuse promiser : he is therefore the most inaccessible, because he is absent, when I am come to him, and when I do speak with him. To a retired, to a reserved man, we do not easily get; but when we are there, he is there too: to an open and liberal promiser we get easily; but when we are with him, he is away, because his heart, his purpose is not there.
4. For, where your heart is, there is your treasure also.
LITERALLY, primarily, radically, thesaurus, treasure, is no more but Depositum in crastinum, Provision for to-morrow; to show how little a proportion, a regulated mind, and a contented heart may make a treasure. But we have enlarged the signification of these words, provision, and, to-morrow : for, provision must signify all that can any way be compassed; and to-morrow must signify as long as there shall be a to-morrow, till time shall be no more: but waiving these infinite extensions, and perpetuities, is there any thing of that nature, as, (taking the word treasure in the narrowest signification, to be but provision for to-morrow) we are sure shall last till to-morrow? Sits any man here in an assurance, that he will be the same to-morrow, that he is now? You have your honours, your offices, your possessions, perchance under seal; a seal of wax; wax that hath a tenacity, an adhering, a cleaving nature, to show the royal constancy of his heart, that gives them, and would have them continue with you, and stick to you. But then, wax, if it be heat, hath a melting, a fluid, a running nature too : so have these honours, and offices, and possessions, to them that grow too hot, too confident in them, or too imperious by them. For these honours, and offices, and possessions, you have a seal, a fair and just evidence of assurance; but have they any seal upon you, any assurance of you till to-morrow? blessed Saviour give day, or any hope of a to-morrow, to that man, to whom he said, Fool, this night they fetch away thy soul? Or is there any rf us that can say, Christ sayed not that to him?
JOSEPH HALL, BISHOP OF NORWICH.
JOSEPH HALL was born at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, July 1st, 1574. He was educated at the Grammar School of Ashby, and became Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1598 he published his Satires, and established his fame as a genuine humourist. After holding some small pieces of preferment, he was made Dean of Worcester. He was a deputy at the Synod of Dort, in 1618. In 1627 he was made Bishop of Exeter. In 1641 he was translated to the see of Norwich. Hall was a man of singular moderation, and great sweetness of character, In an age of fierce and truculent controversy, he set a noble example of charity in polemics. The Long Parliament deprived him of the revenue of his bishopric, and he died on the 8th of September, 1656, at Heigham, near Norwich. Bishop Hall did not escape altogether from the literary vice of his age.
His pages are studded with conceits and sententious passages, which are too common, and repel many readers. At times, however, he rises to the very highest eloquence, and all his writings attest the sincerity and piety of his nature. The Contemplations are, perhaps, his most popular work, and display the powers of his thought and style in great perfection,
It is observable that the later writings of Hall are in a simpler and more easy vein. The same progress, which has been noted in Clarendon's later efforts, may be traced in Hall's. During the long struggle of those eventful years, many colloquial expressions, formerly deemed inadmissible, seem to have crept by degrees into ordinary use, and to have found their place in literature. As a controversialist, Bishop Hall won a high place, and his
modest yet manly defence of his own Church, is acknowledged to have had considerable influence with some of his nonconformist adversaries. In times when the pulpit was too often degraded by the sallies and impertinencies of preachers, it is no slight praise to say, as may be said of Hall, that there is hardly a passage in his sermons, which the most fastidious critic would desire to expunge.
1. The Deceit of Appearances. SHOULD appearance be the rule, woe were God's children, happy were his enemies. Who that had seen Cain standing masterly over the bleeding carcass of Abel, Joseph in his bonds, his mistress in her dress, Moses in the flags, Pharaoh in the palace, David sculking in the wilderness, Saul commanding in the court, Elijah fainting under his juniper tree, Jezebel painting in her closet, Micaiah in the prison, Zidkijah in the presence, Jeremiah in the dungeon, Zedekiah in the throne, Daniel trembling among the lions, the Median princes feasting in their bowers, John's head bleeding in the platter, Herod smiling at the revels, Christ at the bar, Pilate on the bench, the disciples scourged, the scribes and elders insulting; would not have said, O happy Cain, Potiphar's wife, Pharaoh, Saul, Jezebel, Zidkijah, Zedekiah, Median princes, Pilate, Herod, elders; miserable Abel, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Micaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, John, Christ, the disciples? Yet we know Cain's victory was as woful as Abel's martyrdom glorious; Joseph's irons were more precious than the golden tire of his mistress : Moses' reeds were sure than Pharaoh's cedars; David's cave in the desert more safe than the towers of Saul; Elijah's raven a more comfortable purveyor than all the officers of Jezebel; Micaiah's prison was the guardchamber of angels, when Ahab's presence was the councilchamber of evil spirits; Jeremiah's dungeon had more true light of comfort than the shining state of Zedekiah ; Daniel was better guarded with the lions than Darius and the Median princes with their janisaries; John's head was more rich with the crown of his martyrdom than Herod's with the diadem of his tetrarchate; Christ at the bar gave life and being to Pilate on the bench, gave motion to those hands than struck him, to that tongue that condemned him, and, in the mean while, gave sentence on his judge: the disciples were better pleased with their stripes and weals than the Jewish elders with their proud phylacteries. After this, who that had seen the primitive Christians; some broiled on gridirons, others boiled in lead; some roasted, others frozen to death ; some flayed, others torn with horses ; some crashed in pieces by the teeth of lions, others cast down from the rocks to the stakes; some smiling on the wheel, others in the flame; all wearying their tormentors, and shaming their tyrants, with their patience: would not have said, 'Of all things I would not be a Christian?' Yet even this while, were these poor torturing-stocks higher, as Marcus Arethusius bragged, than their persecutors: dying victors; yea, victors of death : never so glorious as when they began not to be : in gasping, crowned; in yielding the ghost, more than conquerors: Judge not therefore according to appear
2. The Busybody. His estate is too narrow for his mind, and therefore he is fain to make himself room in others' affairs; yet ever, in pretence of love. No news can stir but by his door; neither can he know that which he must not tell. What every man ventures in Guiana voyage, and what they gained, he knows