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commanded, and where the air is always clear « and serene), and to see the errors and wan“ derings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale “ below:” so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon earth to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the truth of civil business, it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear and round dealing is the honour of man's nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like allay in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it: for these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious: and therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge, “ If it be well weigh
ed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as “ to say that he is brave towards God, and a
“ coward towards men: for a lie faces God, and “ shrinks from man.” Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men : it being foretold, that when“ Christ cometh,” he shall not “find faith
Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin and passage to another world, is holy and religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes mixture of vanity and of superstition. You shall read in some of the friars books of mortification, that a man should think with himself what the pain is, if he have but his finger's end pressed, or tortured, and thereby imagine what the pains of death are when the whole body is corrupted
and dissolved; when many times death passeth with less pain than the torture of a limb; for the most vital parts are not the quickest of sense: and by him that spake only as a philosopher and natural man, it was well said, “ Pompa mortis magis terret, quam mors ipsa.” Groans, and convulsions, and a discoloured face, and friends weeping, and blacks, and obsequies, and the like, shew death terrible. It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man so weak, but it mates and masters the fear of death; and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when a man hath so many attendants about him that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death ; love slights it; honour aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear pre-occupieth it; nay, we read, after Otho the emperor had slain himself, pity (which is the tenderest of affections) provoked many to die out of mere compassion to their sovereign, and as the truest sort of followers. Nay, Seneca adds, niceness and satiety; “ Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris; “ mori velle, non tantum fortis, aut miser, sed " etiam fastidiosus potest.” A man would die, though he were neither valiant nor miserable,
only upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over and over. It is no less worthy to observe how little alteration in good spirits the approaches of death make; for they appear to be the same men till the last instant. Augustus Cæsar died in a compliment: “Livia, conjugii “ nostri memor, vive et vale:" Tiberius in dissimulation, as Tacitus saith of him, “ Jam Ti“ berium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, dese“ rebant:" Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool, “ Ut puto Deus fio:” Galba with a sentence, “Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani," holding forth his neck : Septimias Severus in dispatch, “Adeste, si quid mihi restat agendum," and the like. Certainly the Stoics bestowed too much cost upon death, and by their great preparations made it appear more fearful. Better, saith he, qui finem vitæ extremum inter
munera, ponat naturæ.” It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other. He that dies in an earnest pursuit is like one that is wounded in hot blood; who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt; and therefore a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat that is good, doth avert the dolours of death: but, above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is, “ Nunc dimit
tis," when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations. Death hath this also, that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguish
“ Extinctus amabitur idem.”
OF UNITY IN RELIGION.
Religion being the chief band of human society, it is a happy thing when itself is well contained within the true bond of unity. The quarrels and divisions about religion were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was, because the religion of the heathen consisted rather in rites and ceremonies, than in any constant belief: for you may imagine what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief doctors and fathers of their church were the poets. But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a jealous God; and therefore his worship and religion will endure no mixture, nor partner. We shall therefore speak a few words concerning the unity of the church; what are the fruits thereof; what the bonds; and what the