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breeds great thirst when it is not nourished with devotion, and watered with mercy. 3:
What great pain is taken to get trèafure; what care to preserve it; what fear to lose it, and what sorrow when it is loft! Alas, is there need of fo great covetoufness in life to encounter with fuch extream nakedness in death? We have not the souls of giants, nor the body of a whale. If God will have me poor, muft I endeavour to reverse the decrees of heaven and earth that I may become rich? To whom do we trust the safety of our treasures to ruft, to moths and thieves. Were it not better we fhould in our infirmities depend only on God almighty, and comfort our poverty in him who is only rich; and fo carry our fouls to heaven, where Jesus on the day of his ascension did place our sovereign good ? Only serpents and covetous men defire to leep amongst treasures, as faint Clement faith. But the greateft riches of the world s poverty free from covętousness.
ASPIRATIONS. [Seek thee, O invincible God, within the
abyss of thy brightness, and I see thee throʻ the veil of thy creatures.
Wilt thou be always hidden from me? fhall I never
may so diffuse itself with more authority and profit de mongst those who may be capable to receive it
Your Majesty, having read the original, doth well know that the principal scope of it is to teach the love of God and contempt of this world, with many other principal virtues.
And for the pra&ice of them all, this age could not have hoped for so rare an example to instruct all the great ladies of Christendom, as it hath found in your majesty, as well by your admirable fortitude and perfe&t resignation to God's holy will in all your Majesty's extream affli&tions, dangers and preffures at sea and land, as also by your Majesty's many sacred retirements, in the most holy time of the year, to sprinkle your plea• sures (voluntarily) with fome of that gall which was upon our Saviour's lips when he suffered his bitter passion and death for our fins. Our great divines affirm, that the present sufferings of mount Calvary lead dire&ly to the future glories of mount Tabor,
And therefore, fince your Majesty hath patiently endured so many unjust and rigorous croffes in the mount Calvary of this world, we have reason to hope that our bleffed Saviour hath prepared for your Majesty a most glorious crown in the next, which will never have end. And this shall ever be the inceffant, and fervent Prayer of,
Most humbly devoted beadsman,
For the first day, upon the confideration
of Afbes. Thou art duft, and to dust thou fhalt return.
T is an excellent way to begin Lent with the confderation of dust, whereby nature gives us beginning;
and by the same death shall put an end to all our worldly vanities. There is no better way to abate and humble the proudest of all creatures, than to represent his beginning and end. The middle part of our life, like a kind of Proteus, takes
upon it several shapes not understood by others; but the first and laft parts of it deceive no man; for they do both begin and end in dult. It is a strange thing that man, knowing well what he hath been, and what he must be, is not confounded in himself, by observing the pride of his own life and the great disorder of his passions. The end of all other creatures is less deform'd than that of man. Plants in their death retain some pleasing smell of their bodies : the little rose buries itself in her natural sweetness and carnation colour. Many creatures at their death leave us their teeth, horns, feathers, skins ; of which we make great use : others, after death, are served up in filver and golden dishes, to feed the greatest persons of the world. Only man's dead carcase is good for nothing but to feed worms; and yet he often retains the presumptuous pride of a giant, by the exorbitance of his heart; and the cruel nature of a murderer, by the furious rage of his revenge. Surely that man must either be stupid by nature, or most wicked by his own election, who will not correct and amend himself, having still before his eyes ashes for his glass and death for his mistress.
2. This consideration of dust is an excellent remedy to curevice, and assured part against temptation. St. Paulinus faith excellently well, that holy Job was free from all temptations when he was placed upon the Inoke and duft of his humility. He that lies
upon the ground can fall no lower ; but may contemplate all above him, and meditate how to raise himself by the hand of God, which pulls down the proud and exalts the humble. Is a man tempted with pride ? the consideration of afhes will humble him. Is a man burnt with wanton love ? (which is a direct fire) fire cannot consume ashes. Is he persecuted with covetousness ? alhes make the greatest leeches and bloodsuckers cast their gorges. Every thing gives way to this unvalued thing, because God is pleased to draw the instruments of his power out of the objects of our infirmities.
3. If we knew how to use rightly the meditation of death, we should there find the streams of life. All the world together is of no estimation to him that rightly knows the true value of a just man's death. It would be necessary that they who are taken with the curiosity of tulips, should set in their gardens a plant callid Naple, which carries a flower that perfectly resembles a death's head : and if the other tulips please their senses, that will instruct their reason. Before our last death we should die many other deaths, by forsaking all those creatures and affections which lead us to fin. We Ihould resemble those creatures, facred to