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he will soon judge, that keeping itself of the greatest felicity, in this world, is full of unhappiness and infelicity.

We may well conclude, then, that childhood is but a foolish simplicity; youth, a vain heat; manhood, a painful carefulness; • and old age, an uneasy languishing: that our plays are but tears; our pleasures, fevers of the mind; our goods, racks and torments; our honours, gilded vanities; our rest, inquietude: that passing fioni age to age is but passing from evil to evil, and from the less unto the greater; and that always it is but one wave driving on another, unt l we be arrived at the haven of death.

In short, life is but a wishing for the future, and a bewailing of what is past; a loathing of what we have tasted, and a longing for what is yet to taste; a vain memory of the state past, and a doubtful expectation of the state to come: and to conclude, in all our life, there is nothing certain, but the certainty and uncertainty of death.

And now we are come to the end of all the living, even to the house of death: behold this king of terrors, O my soul, and see, whether or no, he be so terrible, as he is represented : it is high time, methinks, for death and I to be acquainted, since I expect in

very few days, not to say hours, to be taken into his arms, and Cunducted by himn to the bright mansions of eternity.

Let us now consider, then, whether death be such as we are generally made to believe ; and whether we ought to fly from him as we do. We are afraid of death, like little children of a rizard, or of the images of Hecate. We have a horror for death, because we conceive him not such as he is, but ugly, terrible, and hideous; such as the painters please to represent him. We fly before him, because prepossessed with such vain imaginations, and care not to inform ourselves better. But, if we dare stand and look death in the face, we shall find him quite another thing, than he is represented to us, and aliogether of a more amiable countenance than our miserable life. Death makes an end of this life, and this life is nothing but a perpetual scene of misery and trouble. Death, then, is the period of our miseries, and sate conduct into that desired haven where we shall ride in safety from all winds and storms. And shall we be afraid of that, which delivers us from all our fears, and bums us safe into the port of happiness?

But, you will say, it is a prin to die. Admit it be, and so there is pain in coring of a wonind. Such is the world, that one evil cannot be cured but by another; to heal a contusion, niust be made an incision.

You will say, there is difficulty in the passage. But, if this be an objection, the mariner must always keep at sea, and not come intu port, because there is no harbour whose entrance is not strait and difñ'ult. There is nothing of value or worth to be had in this world, wis bort the coin of labour and pain. The entrance may indeed be hard, but then it is ourselves that make it so, by carrying thiti er se!f-tormenting spirits, anxious ininds, accusing consciences, and fearful expectations of meeting with the just reward of a de

bauched and vicious life. But let us carry with us calmness and serenity of mind, with the comfortable remembrance of a virtuous and well-spent life, and the lively hope and expectation of approaching happiness, and we shall find no danger nor difficulty at all.

But what are the pains that death brings us? And why should death be charged with those pains we feel, when we come to die? We accuse death of all the evils we suffer in ending our lives, and consider not, how many more grievous and cruciating pains and sicknesses we have suffered in this life, in which we have eveni called upon death to deliver us; and yet all the pains of our life, to our last moinent, we impute to death, whereas it ought to be ascr:bed to life ; for it is but reasonable to believe that á life, begun and continued in all sorts of pain, must of necessity end so: and, therefore, it is only the remainder of our life thät pains us; and not death; the end of our navigation that troubles us, and not the haven that we are to enler, which is nothing else but a safe-guard ägainst all winds. We complain of death, when we should complain of life, just as if one that had been long sick, and beginning to be well, should accuse his health of his last pains, and not the relicks of his disease.

Tell me then, what is it else to be dead, but to be no more living in the world | And is it any pain not to be in the world? Did we then feel pain, when as yet we were not? Have we ever more resem lance of death, than when we are asleep? Or ever more rest; than at that time? Now, if this be no pain, why accuse we death of the pains our lives give us at our departure? Unless also we will fondly accuse the time wherein we were not, of the pains we felt at our birth. If our coming iñ be with tears, what wonder is it that our going out be such ? If the beginning of our being be the beginning of our pain, no marvel that such is the ending. But if our not being, in limes past, hath been without pain, and all our being here full of pain; whom ought we in reason to accuse of our last pains, the not being to come, or the remnatit of the present being ?

We generally think we die niot, until we fetch our last gasp; but, if we mind it well, we shall find that we die every day, every hout, every moment. We apprehend death as a thing unusual to us, and yet have nothing so common in us. Our living is but a continual dying; and look how much we live, so much we die; how much we increase, our life decreases. We cannot enter a step into life, but we are upon the borders of death. Who has lived, a third part of his years, is a third part dead, who, half bis years, is already half dead. Of our life, all the time past is dead, the present lives and dies at once, and the future likewise shall die.

The past time of our lives is no more, the future is not yet, the present is, and no more is.

Briefly, this whole life is birt a death. It is as a candle lighted in our bodies; in one, the wind makes it melt away; in another, it blows it quite out, many times, before it be half burned ; in others,

it endures to the end. Howsoever it be, look how much the candle shines, so much it burns; for its shining is its burning, its light is but a vanishing smoke, and its last fire but its last wick, and its last drop of moisture.

So is it in the life of man. Life and death, in man, is all one. If we call the last breath by the name of death, so we must all the rest; all proceeding from one place, and all in the same manner.

One only difference there is between this life and that which we call death : that, during the one, we are always dying, but, after the other, we shall always live.

In short, as he, that thinketh death, simply, to be the end of man, ought not to fear it, inasmuch as he, who desires to live Jong, desires to die longer; and so he, who fears to die quickl does, to speak properly, fear lest he may not die longer.

But to us who profess the Christian religion, and are brought up in a more holy school, death is a far other thing. Neither do we need (as heretofore the Pagans did) consolations against death : for death itself ought to be, to us, a consolation against other afflictions ; so that we must not only strengthen ourselves, as they did, not to fear it, but we ought also to hope for it; for, unto us, it is not only a departing from pain and evil, but an access unto all good; not the end of life, but the end of death, pain, and sorrow, and the beginning of a life that shall never have an end.

• Better, saith Solomon, is the day of death, than the day of birth.' But for what reason? Why because it is not to us a last day, but the dawning of an everlasting day.

No more shall we have, in that glorious light, either sorrow for the past, or expectation for the future; for all shall be there present to us, and that present shall be present for ever. No more shall we spend our strength in seeking after vajn and painful pleasures, for there we shall be filled with true and substantial delights. No more shall we weary ourselves in heaping together these shining exhalations of the earth, for the inexpressible glory of heaven shall be ours; and this mass of earth, which ever draws us towards the earth, shall be then buried in it, and consumed with it.

No more shall we then be votaries to that gaudy idol, honour, nor put our wits upon the rack, that so we may be decked with finer feathers than our neighbours. Ambition will have there no place; for we shall there be raised to that excelling glory, and be possessed of all those heights of greatness, that we shall look with scorn and with contempt upon an earthly diadem, and smile at all the follies of poor groveling mortals, who fight and quarrel with each other for a small spot of earth, like children for an apple.

And, which is better still, no more shall we have combates in ourselves. Our sinful flesh, that, here, was our worst enemy, will cease from troubling, there ; and our renewed spirits shall be filled with life and vigour: our passion shall be buried, and our reason be restored to perfect libérty. The soul, delivered out of this foul and filthy prison, where, by its long continuing, it is grown into a habit of crookedness, shall again draw its own breath, recognise its ancient dwelling, and again remember its former glory and dig. nity.

This flesh which thou feelest, this body which thou touchest, is not man. Man is a spark of the divinity shot down from heaven; heaven is his country, and his native air; that he is in this body, is but by way of exile and confinement.",

Man, indeed, is soul and spirit, and is of a divine and heavenly quality, wherein there is nothing gross, nothing material. This body, such as now it is, is but the bark and shell of the soul, which must necessarily be broke, before we can be hatched, before we can live and see the light.

We have, it seems, some life and some sense in us, but are so very crooked and contracted, that we cannot so much as stretch out our wings, much less take our flight towards heaven, until we be disburthened and separated from this lump of earth. We look, but it is through false spectacles. We have eyes, but they are overgrown with pearls. We think we see, but it is but in a dream, wherein all that we see is nothing but a vain illusion. All that we seem to have, and all that we seem to know, is but deceit and vanity.

Death only can awake us from our dream, and restore us to true life and light; and yet we think, so blockish are we! that he comes to rob us of them.

We profess ourselves Christians, and that we believe, after this mortal life, a life of immortality; that death is nothing but a sepa-, ration of soul and body, and that the soul returns to its former happy abode, there to joy in, and enjoy the fountain of all bliss ; and that, at the last day, it shall re-assume its body, which shall no more be subject to corruption. With these goodly discourses we fill our books; and, in the mean while, when it comes to the point, and that we are ready to enter in at this portcullis of seraphical glory, the very name of death, as of some dreadful Gorgon, makes us quake and tremble.

If we believe as we speak, pray what is it that we fear? To be happy? To be perfectly at ease? To enjoy more content, in one moment, than ever was enjoyed, even by Methuselah himself

, in all bis nine hundred and sixty-nine years; which was the longest mortal life I ever read of?" If this be nothing that we fear, then, we must of necessity confess, that we believe it but in part; that all, that we have said, are only words; that all our discourses, as of those hardy trencher-knights, are nothing but vaunting and vanity.

Some there are, that will confidently tell you, I know very well that I shall pass out of this life into a better; I make no doubt of that, only I fear the mid-way step.

Weak-hearted creatures! They will kill themselves to get their miserable living; they willingly suffer almost infinite pains, and infinite wounds, at another man's pleasure; and, fearless, go through infinite deaths without dying, and all this for things of nought, for things that perish, and that, oft-times, cause them to perish with them. But, when they have but one step to make to be at rest, and that not for a day, but for ever; and not barely rest, but a rest of that exalted nature, that man's natural mind can never comprehend, they tremble, their hearts fail thein, they are afraid; and yet it is nothing but fear that hurts them. Let them never tell me they apprehend the pain; it is but an abuse, on purpose to conceal the little faith they have. No, no; they would rather languish of the gout, the sciatica, or any disease whatsoever, than die one sweet death with the least pain possible; rather piningly die, limb after limb; outliving; as it were, all their senses, motions, and actions, than speedily die, though immediately to live for ever. Let then tell me no more, that they would, in this world, learn to live; for every one is thereunto sufficiently instructed in himself, and not one but is cunning in the trade. Nay, rather they should learn, in this world, to die, and, that they may once die well; to die daily in themselves, so prepared, as if the end of every day's work were the end of our life.

Now, contrariwise, there is nothing, to their ears, more offensivé, than to hear of death. Senseless people! we abandon our life to the ordinary hazards of war for six-pence a day *, and are foremost in assaults, for a little booty; go into places, whence there is no hope of returning, with danger, many times, both of bodies and souls. But, to free us from all hazards, to win the precious prize of things inestimable, to enter into eternal life, we faint iti the passage of one pace, wherein is no difficulty but in opinion; yêa, we so faint, that were it not of necessity that we must pass, and that God's ordination, that all must die, compels us, hardly should we find in all the world one, how unhappy or wretched soever, that would ever shoot that gulph. Another will say, “ Had I lived till fifty or sixty years, I should have been contented; I should not have cared to live longer; but to die so young is that which trou,

I would willingly have known the world, before I had left it.' Simple soul! In this world there is neither young for old. The longest age, in comparison of all that is past, or all that is to come, is nothing; and, when thou hast lived to the age thon now desirest, all that is past will be nothing ; thou wilt still gape for that which is to come. The past will yield thee but sorrow, the future but expectation, the present no conteñitment; and thou wilt be as unwilling to die then, as ever thou wast. Thou fliest thy creditor from month to month, and time to time, as unwilling to pay the last day, as the first; thou seekest but to be acquitted. Thou hast tasted all which the world esteemeth pleasures, not one of them is new unto thee. By drinking oftener, thou shalt be never a whit the more satisfied; for the body thou carriest, like the pail of Danaus's daughter, which was bored full of holes, will never be full. Thou mayest sooner wear it out, than weary thyself with using, or rather abusing it. Thou desirest long life to cast it away, to spend it on worthless delights, to mis-spend it on vanities. Thou art covetous in desiring, and prodigal in spending. Say not

bles me:

• The

pay of a common soldier.

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