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felf-conviction and shame ; but few are so happy to be provoked into felf-reformation by such rare patterns. I see it is much easier to pull up many weeds out of a garden, than one corruption out of the beart; and to procure an hundred fowers to adorn a knot, than one grace to beautify the soul. It is more natural to corrupt man to envy, ihan to imitate the spiritual excellencies of others.
Upon the pulling up of a Leek. A White head and a green tail! How well doth this resemble
an old wanton lover, whose green youthful lufts are not extinguished, though his white head declares that nature is almost so ! Gray hairs should be always matched with grave deportments; and the fins of youth fhould rather be the griefs than pleasures of old age. It is sad when the fins of the foul, like the diseases of the body, grow stronger, as nature grows weaker : and it recals to my mind that ancient obfervation of * Menander:
« It is the worst of evils, to behold
• Strong youthful lusts to rage in one that's old.” It is a thousand pities, that those who have one foot in the grave, thould live as if the other were in hell! that their lusts should be so lively, when their bodies are three parts dead! Such sinful practices bring upon them more contempt and shane, than their hoary heads, and reverend faces can procure them honour.
“ Gray hairs, and aged wrinkles, did of old
« Procure more reverence than bags of gold t.". But alas ! how little respect or reverence can the hoary head obtain amongst wise men, except it be found in the way of righteousness? I think the lowest esteem is too much for an old servant of the devil; and the highest honour little enough for an ancient and faithful fervant of Christ.
* Γερων ερας ης εσχατη κακη τοκη. Senex amore captus, ultimum malum. Menand. ☆ Magna fuit capitis quondam reverentia cani,
Inque suo pretio ruga senilis erat. Ovid. s Falt.
dition, thanhoughtade rentine phylident choice colo
lid but then by tel: Could ica of the in Ortues in its wh
I was very careful to thun those flowers, which indeed had no other worth to commend them, but their exquisite colour ; and unadvisedly trode upon and spoiled an excellent choice herb, which, though it grew obscurely, yet had rare physical virtues in it.
When I was made fenfible of the involuntary trespass I had committed, I thought I could scarcely make the owner a better compensation, than by telling him, that herein (though against my will) I did but tread in the footsteps of the greatest part of the world, who are very careful (as I was) to keep their due distance from splendid, though worthless gallants, mean while trampling upon, and crushing under foot the obscure, but most precious servants of God in the world. As little do they heed these most excellent persons, as I did this precious herb.
Summa ingenia in occiilto sape latent, faith Plautus.
In such blind holes, as one would little think,
T dry and withered flowers, which I suppose to be thrown away
* Are they in honour? Then we fmile like friends;
“ And with their fortunes all our friendship ends." But this loose and deceitful friend stinks so odiously in the very.. nostrils of nature, that a t heathen poet feverely taxes and condemns i as most unworthy of a man.
* Cum fortuna manet vultum fervatis emici,
Cum cecidit turpi vertitis ora fuite Petrionius, † Turpe fequi cafum, et fortuna cedere, amicum
Et niftht felix je negare fuum.
« 'Tis base to change with fortune, and deny
• A faithful friend, because in poverty.” And is this indeed the friendship of the world? Doth it thus ule them whom once it honoured ? Then, Lord ! Let me never feck its friendship. Olet mie esteem the smiles and honours of men lefs, and thy love and favour more! thy love is indeed unchangeable, being pure, free, and built upon nothing that is mutable; ticu never servest tby friends as ihe world doth its darlings.
Upon the sudden withering of a Rofi. D EING with my friend in a garden, we gathered each of us a rose; D he handled his tenderly, smelled to it but seldom, and sparingly; I always kept it to my nose, or squeezed it in my hand, whereby in a very thort time it lost both its colour and sweetness, but his still renained as sweet and fragrant as if it had been growing upon its own root. These roses, said I, are the true emblems of the best and sweetest creature-enjoyments in the world, which, being moderately and cautiously used and enjoyed, may for a long time yield sweetness to the poffeffor of them; but if once the affection seize too greedily upon them, and squeeze them too hard, they quickly wither in our hands, and we lose the comfort of them, and that either through the soul's surfeiting upon them, or the Lord's righteous and just removal of them, because of the excess of our affections to them; earthly comforts, like pictures, shew best at a due distance. It was therefore à good saying of * Homer, Are;o įsicdouw, &c.
" I like him not, who at the rate
vs Of all his night doth love or hate." It is a point of excellent wisdom to keep the golden bridle of moderation upon all the affections we exercise upon earthly things, and never to flip those reins, unless when they move towards God, in whose love there is no danger of excess.
MEDIT. VI. Upon the fudden withering of beautiful Flowers. I TOW fresh and orient did these flowers lately appear, when bein? 01 dalhed over with the morning dew, they stood in all their pride and glory, breathing out their delicious odours, which perfum
med the airround about them, but now are withered and shrivelled up, andhave neither any defirable beauty or favour in them.
So vain a thing is the admired beauty of creatures, which so captivates the hearts, and exercises a pleasing tyranny over the affections of vain man, yet it is as suddenly blasted as the beauty of a flower*.
« How frail is beauty in how short a time
" Yourselves would blush to view it in a glass.” If then thou delightest in beauty, O my soul! chuse that which is lasting. There is a beauty which never fades, even the beauty of holiness upon the inner man; this abides fresh and orient for ever, and sparkles gloriously, when thy face (the seat of natural beauty) is become an abhorrent and loathsome spectacle. Holiness enamels and Sprinkles over the face of the soul with a beauty, upon which Christ himself is enamoured ; even imperfect holiness on earth is a rose that breathes sweetly in the bud ; in heaven it will be full-blown, and abide in its prime to all eternity.
MEDIT. VII. Upon the tenderness of some choice Flowers. I TOW much care is necessary to preserve the life of some flowers! O they must be boxed up in the winter, others must be covered with glasses in their springing up, the finest and richest mould must be fifted about the roots, and assiduously watered, and all this little enough, and sometimes too little to preserve them; whilst other common and worthless flowers grow without any help of ours : Yea, we have no less to do to rid our gardens of them, than we have to make the former grow there.
Thus stands the case with our hearts, in reference to the motions of grace and fin. Holy thoughts of God must be afliduously watered by prayer, earthed up by meditation, and defended by watchfulness; and get all this is sometimes too little to preserve them alive in our souls. Alas! the heart is a soil that agrees not with them, they Vol. V.
* Forma bonum fragile eft, quantumque accedit ad annos,
are tender things, and a small matter will nip and kill them. To this purpose is the complaint of the divine Poet:
Who would have thought ajoy
HERBERT. But vain thoughts, and unholy suggestions, these spread themselves and root deep in the heart; they naturally agree with the soil: So that it is almost impossible, at any time, to be rid of them. It is hard to forget what is our fin to remember.
Upon the strange means of preserving the life of Vegetables.
I and yet without frosts they would neither live nor thrive : They
· Med'cines adieu.
I'll with for you.
I'll wish for you.