of the Goths, and that led by so-called Romans in the fear

time:2023-11-29 03:42:51 source:Heartbreaker author:system

Although he attained not unto the years of his prede- cessors, yet he wanted not those preserving virtues which confirm the thread of weaker constitutions. Cau- telous chastity and crafty sobriety were far from him; those jewels were paragon, without flaw, hair, ice, or cloud in him; which affords me a hint to proceed in these good wishes, and few mementoes unto you.

of the Goths, and that led by so-called Romans in the fear

Tread softly and circumspectly in this funambulous<13> track and narrow path of goodness; pursue virtue virtuously, be sober and temperate, not to preserve your body in a sufficiency for wanton ends, not to spare your purse, not to be free from the infamy of common trans- gressors that way, and thereby to balance or palliate obscure and closer vices, nor simply to enjoy health, by all of which you may leaven good actions, and render virtues disputable, but, in one word, that you may truly serve God, which every sickness will tell you you cannot well do without health. The sick man's sacrifice is but a lame oblation. Pious treasures, laid up in healthful days, excuse the defect of sick non-performance; without which we must needs look back with anxiety upon the last opportunities of health; and may have cause rather to envy than pity the ends of penitent malefactors, who go with clear parts unto the last act of their lives, and in the integrity of their faculties return their spirit unto God that gave it.

of the Goths, and that led by so-called Romans in the fear

Consider whereabouts thou art in Cebe's<14> table, or that old philosophical pinax<15> of the life of man; whether thou art still in the road of uncertainties; whether thou hast yet entered the narrow gate, got up the hill and asperous way which leadeth unto the house of sanity; or taken that purifying potion from the hand of sincere erudition, which may send thee clear and pure away unto a virtuous and happy life.

of the Goths, and that led by so-called Romans in the fear

In this virtuous voyage let no disappointment cause despondency, nor difficulty despair. Think not that you are sailing from Lima to Manilla,* <16> wherein thou mayest tie up the rudder, and sleep before the wind, but expect rough seas, flaws and contrary blasts;

* Through the Pacifick Sea with a constant gale from the east.

and 'tis well if by many cross tacks and veerings thou arrivest at the port. Sit not down in the popular seats and common level of virtues, but endeavour to make them heroical. Offer not only peace-offerings but holocausts unto God. To serve him singly to serve our- selves were too partial a piece of piety, not like to place us in the highest mansions of glory.

He that is chaste and continent not to impair his strength or terrified by contagion will hardly be heroically virtuous. Adjourn not that virtue until those years when Cato could lend out his wife, and impotent satyrs write satires against lust, but be chaste in thy flaming days when Alexander dared not trust his eyes upon the fair sisters of Darius, and when so many think that there is no other way but Origen's.


Be charitable before wealth make thee covetous, and lose not the glory of the mitre. If riches increase, let thy mind hold pace with them, and think it is not enough to be liberal but munificent. Though a cup of cold water from some hand may not be without its reward, yet stick not thou for wine and oil for the wounds of the distressed, and treat the poor as our Saviour did the multitude to the reliques of some baskets.


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