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hath been already said, that the kings and princes of the world have always laid before them the actions, but not the ends (conclusion of the lives) of those great ones which preceded them. They are always transported with the glory of the one, but they never mind (take heed to) the misery of the other, till they find the experience in themselves
. They neglect the advice of God while they enjoy life, or hope of it, but they follow the counsel' of death upon the first approach. It is he that puts into man all the wisdom of the world without speaking a word, which God, with all the words of his law, promises, or threats, doth not infuse. Death, which hateth and destroyeth man, is believed ; God, which hath made him and loves him, is always deferred: “I have considered,” saith Solomon, "all the works that are under the sun, and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit;" but who believes it, till death tells it us? It was death, which, opening the conscience of Charles V., made him enjoin his son Philip to restore Navarre, and king Francis I. of France to command that justice should be done upon the murderers of the protestants in Merindol and Cabrieres, which till then he neglected. It is therefore death alone that can suddenly make man to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant, makes them cry, complain, and repent; yea, even to hate their forepast happiness. He takes the account (estimates the value) of the rich and proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, which hath interest in nothing but in the gravel that fills his mouth. He holds a glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness, and they acknowledge it.
O eloquent, just and mighty death! [Those] whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded ;3 what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only
(1) Advice, counsel. The distinction here taken agrees with the general idea attached to these words. Counsel is a deliberate, solemn advice, and is founded on the nature, fitness, and necessity of circumstances. “A medical man gives advice to his patients, and a father gives counsel to his children” (Crabbe). We ask for advice in ordinary cases, but for counsel in important crises of our life.
(2) Eloquent, fr. Lat. eloqui, to speak out, speak so as to convince and win over by the power and beauty of language, or, in a figurative sense, as above, with. out actual speech. In this sense we speak even of the eloquence of silence.
(3) Persuade, fr. Lat. persuadere, to prevail upon. Used here in the classical sense, not merely as a synonym of advise. Others advise, death persuades and
hast cast out of the world and despised : thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, hic jacet!
(FROM "THE ART OF DIVINE MEDITATION," PUBLISHED IN 1607.)
Our nature is too ready to abuse familiarity in (of) any kind; and it is with Meditations, as with medicines, which with overordinary (too common) use, lose their “soueraignetie;" and fill, instead of purging. God hath not straited? (straitened, restricted) us for matter, having given us the scope (range) of the whole world; so that there is no creature, event, action, speech, which may not afford a new matter of Meditation. And that which we are wont to say of fine “wittes ” (geniuses) we may as truly affirm of the Christian "hart;" that it can make use of anything. Wherefore, as travellers in a “ forraine" country make every sight a lesson, so ought we in this our pilgrimage. Thou seest the heaven rolling above thine head in a constant and unmoveable (immovable, fixed) motion, the stars so overlooking
(1) “ His (Hall's) • Art of Divine Meditation,' his “Contemplations,' and, indeed, many of his writings, remind us frequently of Taylor. Both had equally pious and devotional tempers, both were full of learning, both fertile of illustration, both may be said to have had strong imagination and poetical genius, though Taylor let his predominate a little more."—Hallam, Lit. of Europe, ii. 360.
“ He was commonly called our English Seneca, for the pureness, plainness, and fulness of his style. Not unhappy at controversies,' more happy at.comments,' very good in his 'char cters,' better in his • sermons,' and best of all in his • Meditations.'"- Thomas Fuller.
(2) Straited, fr. Lat. stringo, p.p. strictus, close drawn; hence strict, severe, as in “ The most straitest (strictest) sect.” But it has also a more literal meaning, narrow, “Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate." In North’s “ Plutarch " we find the verb straight, “He (Crassus) straighted (narrowed) the battell of his footmen (the army of his infantry)."
(3) Unmoveable motion, a motion that is itself immovable, that is, fixed, regular, and determined,
(looking over or above) one another that the greatest “shewe" (show, look) little, the least greatest--all glorious; the air full of the bottles of rain, or fleeces of snow, or divers (different) forms of fiery exhalations (meteors); the sea, under one uniform face (surface), full of strange and monstrous shapes beneath (below the surface); the earth so adorned with variety of plants, that thou can-t not but tread on many at once with every foot (at every footstep); besides the store (multi ude) of creatures that fly above it, walk upon it, live in it. Thou idle truant !3 dost thou learn nothing of so many masters? Hast thou so long read these capital letters of God's great book, and canst thou not yet spell one word of them ? The brute creatures see the same things, with as clear, perhaps better eyes: if thine inward eyes see not their use, as well as thy bodily eyes their shape, I know not whether“ (which of the two) is more reasonable or less brutish.
2. THE ART OF CONTENTMENT.
(FROM “MEDITATIONS AND Vows,” PUBLISHED IN 1607.) I KNOW not how it comes to pass that the mind of man doth naturally both overprize (overvalue) his own in comparison of others (o what belongs to others), and yet contemn and neglect his own in comparison of what he wants (has not). The remedy of this latter evil is to compare the good things we have with the
(1) Exhalations, fr. Lat. erhalare, to breathe out, or rise like a vapour. Shakspere (1st part “ Henry IV.”) has, “ And be no more like an exhaled meteor ;" and again (“: Julius Cæsar ") —
“ The exhalations (meteors) whizzing in the air
Give so much light that I may read by them." (2) Store of creatures. Milton has, in “L'Allegro," "store of ladies," for a great number.
(3) Truant, fr. old Fr. truand, an idle beggar, knave, or rogue; a word of early use, with its derivative, trunndise. Chaucer, speaking of St. Paul, says, “He hem defended (forbade them, i.e. the apostles) truandise," i.e. begging.
(4) Whether, which of two. This is the strictly correct use of the word, fr. A.S. hwæther, with the same meaning. Matt. xxi. 31, “ Whether of these twain did the will of his father?"
(5) Mackintosh says, “It is right to be content with what we have, but never with what we are ; though the exact reverse is the case with most men."
evils which we have not and others “grone ”under. Thou art in health, and regardest it not. Look on the misery of those which, on their bed of sickness, through extremity of pain and anguish, entreat death to release them. Thou hast clear eyesight, sound “lims,” use of reason, and passest these over with slight respect. Think how many there are which in their uncomfortable (distressing) blindness would give all the world îor but one glinipse of light; how many that deformedly' (ignominiously) crawl on all“ foure" (fours), after the “ maner” of the most loathsome creatures; how many that in mad “phrensies” are worse than brutish, worse than dead ;-thus thou mightest be, and art not. If I am not happy for (on account of) the good that I have, I am yet happy for the evils that I might have had, and have escaped. I have deserved the greatest evils. Every evil that I miss is a new mercy.
3. ON A REDBREAST COMING INTO HIS CHAMBER.
(FROM “OCCASIONAL MEDITATIONS."; PRETTY bird, how cheerfully dost thou sit and sing, and yet knowest not where thou art, nor where thou shalt make thy next meal, and at night must shroud thyself in a bush for lodging! What a shame is it 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, unthankful dulness! Had I so little certainty of my harbour (lodging) and purveyance (provision), how heartless (fearful) should I be-how careful (full of anxiety)! how little lista (desire) should I have to make music for thee or myself! Surely thou comest not hither without a providence providential mission). God sent thee not so much to delight as to shame me, but all in a conviction of (in order to overcome) my sullen un
(1) Deformedly. To deform is to destroy the proper form that belongs to a specified object. Chaucer says, “ Deformed is the figure of my face." In a secondary sense, as what is notable for its form is beautiful, deform means to make ugly, unpleasing, or unnatural; hence the meaning above-human beings “deformedly "(i.e. unnaturally) crawl. Leighton speaks of a “limb that moves both deformely and painfully.”
(2) List, fr. A.S. lust, fr, wh. 0.E. lest, desire, pleasure. Shakspere (“Othello") has, “When I have list (desire) to sleep."
belief, who, under more apparent means (under happier circumstances) am less cheerful 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 inappy 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 a holy security and comfortable reliance on thee.
4. BISHOP HALL'S DAILY LIFE.
(FROM " EPISTLES," PUBLISHED IN 1608.)
I WOULD ever awake with God. My first thoughts are for Him who made the night for rest and the day for “ travell” (labour), and as He gives, so blesses both. If my heart be early seasoned with His presence, it will savour (retain the impression) of Him all day after. While my body is dressing, not with an effeminate curiosity? (scrupulosity), nor yet with rude neglectmy mind addresses “it selfe"3 to her 3 (its) ensuing task, bethinking what is to be done, and in what order, and marshalling (arranging), as it may, my hours with my work.
That done, after some while's* (time's) meditation, I walk up to my masters and companions, my books; and, sitting down amongst them with the best contentment, I dare not reach forth my hand to salute any of them till I have first looked up to heaven and craved favour of Him to whom all my studies are duly referred, without whom I can neither profit nor [even] labour. After this, out of no over-great variety, I call forth those which may best fit my occasions ( purpose); wherein I am not too scrupulous of age (i. e. of the age of my authors). Some
(1) Travel, or travaile. See note 4, p. 39. (2) Curiosity. See note 1, p. 109.
(3) Her, its. We may notice in this passage that her is used where we should now use its, and " it self” for its self ; an instance of the same kiud as it own for its own. See also note 1, p. 87.
(4) While, fr. A.S. huil, time, was at that time used as a noun, though the modern compound awhile is an adverb. Shakspere has, "Season your admiration for a while." The old whilom, at whiles, at times, is a relic of the A.S. dat. pl.