« ForrigeFortsæt »
saw a company of frogs more fearfull then they were, they began to take courage and comfort again. Confer thine estate with others.
similes aliorum respice casus;
Mitius ista feres.
Be content, and rest satisfied; for thou art well in respect of.
As threshing separates from straw the corn,
'Tis the very same which Chrysostome comments, hom. 2. in 3. Mat. Corn is not separated but by threshing, nor men from worldly impediments but by tribulation. "Tis that which Cyprian ingeminates, Ser. 4. de immort. 'Tis that which b Hierom, which all the fathers inculcate; so we are catechised for eternity. 'Tis that which the proverb insinuates, Nocumentum documentum; 'tis that which all the world rings into our ears. Deus unicum habet filium sine peccato, nullum sine flagello: God, saith Austin, hath one son with
b Si dormirent semper omnes, nullus alio felicior esset.
• Seneca, de irâ.
h Ad hæreditatem æternam sic erudimur.
out sin, none without correction. * An expert sea-man is tried in a tempest, a runner in a race, a captain in a battle, a valiant man in adversity, a Christian in tentation and misery. (Basil. hom. 8.) We are sent as so many souldiers into this world, to strive with it, the flesh, the devil; our life is a warfare; and who knows it not?
b Non est ad astra mollis e terris via:
and therefore peradventure this world here is made troublesome unto us, that, as Gregory notes, we should not be delighted by the way, and forget whither we are going.
Ite nunc fortes, ubi celsa magni
Go on then merrily to heaven. If the way be troublesome, and you in misery, in many grievances, on the other side you have many pleasant sports, objects, sweet smels, delightsome tastes, musick, meats, herbs, flowers, &c. to recreate your senses. Or put case thou art now forsaken of the world, dejected, contemned; yet comfort thy self, as it was said to Agar in the wildernesse, God sees thee: he takes notice of thee; there is a God above that can vindicate thy cause, that can relieve thee. And surely, Seneca thinks, he takes delight in seeing thee. The gods are well pleased when they see great men contending with adversity, as we are to see men fight, or a man with a beast. But these are toyes in respect: % behold, saith he, a spectacle worthy of God; a good man contented with his estate. A tyrant is the best sacrifice to Jupiter, as the ancients held, and his best object a contented minde. For thy part then, rest satisfied; cast all thy care on him, thy burden on him; rely on him; htrust in him; and he shall nourish thee, care for thee, give thee thine hearts desire: say with David, God is our hope and strength, in troubles ready to be found (Psal. 46. 1.): for they that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Sion, which cannot be removed (Psal. 125. 1, 2): as the mountains are about Jerusalem, so is the Lord about his people, from henceforth and for ever.
a Nauclerum tempestas, athletam stadium, ducem pugna, magnanimum calamitas, Christianum vero tentatio probat et examinat. b Sen. Herc. fur.
e Idco Deus asperum fecit iter, ne, dum delectantur in viâ, obliviscantur eorum quæ sunt in patriâ. d Boëthius, 1. 5. met. ult. e Boëth. pro. ult. Manet spectator cunctorum desuper præscius Deus, bonis præmia, malis supplicia, dispensans. Lib de provid. Voluptatem capiunt Dii, siquando magnos viros colluctantes cum calamitate vident. & Ecce spectaculum Deo dignum, vir fortis malâ fortunâ compositus. h1 Pet. 5. 7. Psal. 55. 22.
Deformity of body, sicknesse, basenesse of birth, peculiar
PARTICULAR discontents and grievances are either of body, minde, or fortune, which, as they wound the soul of man, produce this melancholy, and many great inconveniences, by that antidote of good counsell and perswasion may be eased or expelled. Deformities and imperfections of our bodies, as lamenesse, crookednesse, deafnesse, blindnesse, be they innate or accidentall, torture many men: yet this may comfort them, that those imperfections of the body do not a whit blemish the soul, or hinder the operations of it, but rather help and much increase it. Thou art lame of body, deformed to the eye; yet this hinders not but that thou maist be a good, a wise, upright, honest man. Seldome, saith Plutarch, honesty and beauty dwell together; and oftentimes, under a thread-bare coat, lies an excellent understanding:
Sæpe sub attritâ latitat sapientia veste.
Cornelius Mussus, that famous preacher in Italy, when he came first into the pulpit of Venice, was so much contemned by reason of his outside, a little, lean, poore, dejected person, they were all ready to leave the church; but, when they heard his voice, they did admire him; and happy was that senator could injoy his company, or invite him first to his house. A silly fellow to look to, may have more wit, learning, honesty, then he that struts it out, ampullis jactans, &c. grandia gradiens, and is admired in the worlds opinion.
Vilis sæpe cadus nobile nectar habet: the best wine comes out of an old vessell. How many deformed princes, kings, emperours, could I reckon up, philosophers, orators? Hannibal had one eye, Appius Claudus, Timoleon, blinde, Muleasses king of Tunis, John king of Bohemia, and Tiresias the prophet. d The night hath his pleasure; and, for the losse of that one sense, such men are commonly recompensed in the rest: they have excellent memories, other good parts, musick, and many recreations; much happines, great wisdom, as Tully well discourseth in his Tusculan Questions. Homer was blinde; yet who (saith he) made more accurate, lively, or better descriptions, with both his eyes? Democritus was blinde; yet, as Laërtius writes of him, he saw
a Raro sub eodem lare honestas et forma habitant. ejus.
b Josephus Mussus, vitâ
c Homuncio brevis, macilentus, umbra hominis, &c. Ad stuporem ejus eruditionem et eloquentiam admirati sunt. d Nox habet suas voluptates.
* Lib. 5. ad finem. Cæcus potest esse sapiens et beatus, &c.
more than all Greece besides; as a Plato concludes, tum sane
h Quid nisi pondus iners, stolidæque ferocia mentis? what in Otus and Ephialtes (Neptunes sons in Homer) nine akers long?
Qui, ut magnus Orion,
Cum pedes incedit, medii per maxima Nerei
what in Maximinus, Ajax, Caligula, and the rest of those
a In Convivio, lib. 25.
b Joachimus Camerarius, vit. ejus.
c Riber. vit.
f Lib. 1. Corpore exili et despecto, sed ingenio et prudentiâ longe ante se reges cæteros præveniens. Alexander Gaguinus, hist. Polandiæ. Corpore parvus eram, cubito vix altior uno: Sed tamen in parvo corpore magnus eram.
great Zanzummins, or giganticall Anakims, heavie, vast, barbarous lubbers?
si membra tibi dant grandia Parcæ,
Their body (saith Lemnius) is a burden to them, and their spirits not so lively, nor they so erect and merry:
Non est in magno corpore mica salis.
A little diamond is more worth then a rocky mountain: which made Alexander Aphrodisiæus positively conclude, the lesser, the bwiser, because the soul was much contracted in such a body. Let Bodine (in his 5. c. method. hist.) plead the rest: the lesser they are, as in Asia, Greece, they have generally the finest wits. And for bodily stature, which some so much admire, and goodly presence, 'tis true, to say the best of them, great men are proper and tall, I grant, caput inter nubila condunt; but telli pusilli, little men are pretty:
Sed si bellus homo est Cotta, pusillus homo est.
Sickness, diseases, trouble many, but without a cause. It may be 'tis for the good of their souls: pars fati fuit: the flesh rebels against the spirit; that which hurts the one, must needs help the other. Sicknesse is the mother of modesty, putteth us in minde of our mortality; and, when we are in the full career of worldly pomp and jollity, she pulleth us by the ear, and maketh us know ourselves. Pliny calls it the sum of philosophy, if we could but perform that in our health, which we promise in our sicknesse. Quum infirmi sumus, optimi sumus; for what sick man (as Secundus expostulates with Rufus) was ever lascivious, covetous, or ambitious? he envies no man, admires no man, flatters no man, despiseth no man, listens not after lyes and tales, &c. And, were it not for such gentle remembrances, men would have no moderation of themselves; they would be worse then tigers, wolves, and lions: who should keep them in awe? Princes, masters, parents, magistrates, judges, friends, enemies, fair or foul meanes cannot contain us; but a little sicknes (as Chrysostome observes) will correct and amend us. And therefore, with good
a Lib. 2. cap. 20. Oneri est illis corporis moles, et spiritus minus vividi. b Corpore breves prudentiores, quum coarctata sit anima. Ingenio pollet, cui vim natura negavit. • Multis ad salutem animæ profuit corporis ægritudo. Petrarch. d Lib. 7. Summa est totius philosophiæ, si tales, &c. e Plinius epist. 7. lib. Quem infirmum libido solicitat, aut avaritia, aut honores? nemini invidet, neminem miratur, neminem despicit, sermone maligno non alitur. f Non terret princeps, magister, parens, judex; at ægritudo superveniens omnia correxit.