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more weight trussed and packed up in bundles than when it lies untowardly flapping and hanging about his shoulders. Things orderly fardled? up under heads are most portable.
From Jeremy Taylor-The best use of speech. Our conversation must be “apt to comfort” the disconsolate; and than this, men in present can feel no greater charity. For, since half the duty of a Christian in this life consists in the exercise of passive graces; and the infinite variety of providence and the perpetual adversity of chances and the dissatisfaction and emptiness that is in things them. selves and the weariness and anguish of our spirit call us to the trial and exercise of patience even in the days of sunshine, and much more in the violent storms that shake our dwellings and make our hearts tremble; God hath sent some angels into the world whose office it is to refresh . the sorrows of the poor and to lighten the eyes of the disconsolate. He hath made some creatures whose powers are chiefly ordained to comfort, -wine, and oil, and society, cordials, and variety; and time itself is checkered with black and white; stay but till to-morrow, and
your pres. ent sorrow will be weary and will lie down to rest. '
But this is not all. God glories in the appellative that he is "the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;" and therefore to minister in the office is to become like God and to imitate the charities of Heaven. And God hath fitted mankind for it; man most needs it, and he feels his brother's wants by his own experience; and God hath given us speech, and the endearments of society, and pleasantness of conversation, and powers of seasonable discourse, arguments to allay the sorrow by abating our apprehensions and taking out the sting or telling the periods of comfort or exciting hope or urging a precept and reconciling our affections and reciting promises or telling stories of the Divine mercy or changing it into duty or making the burden less by comparing it with greater or by proving it to be less than we deserve and that it is so intended and may become the instrument of virtue.
And certain it is that, as nothing can better do it, so there is nothing greater for which God made our tongues, next to reciting his praises, than to minister comfort to a weary soul. And what greater measure can we have than that we should bring joy to our brother, who with his dreary eyes looks to heaven and round about, and cannot find so much
rest as to lay his eyelids close together, than that thy tongue should be tuned with heavenly accents, and make the weary soul listen for light and easė: and, when he perceives that there is such a thing in the world and in the order of things as comfort and joy, to begin to break out from the prison of his sorrows at the door of sighs and tears, and by little and little melt into showers of refreshment? This is the glory of thy voice, and employment fit for the brightest angel.
But so have I seen the Sun kiss the frozen earth, which was bound up with the images of death and the colder breath of the north: and then the waters break from their enclosures and melt with joy and run in useful channels; and the flies do rise again from their little graves in walls, and dance awhile in the air, to tell that there is joy within and that the great mother of creatures will open the stock of refreshments, become useful to mankind, and sing praises to her Redeemer. So is the heart of a sorrowful man under the discourses of a wise comforter; he .breaks from the despairs of the grave, and the fetters and chains of sorrow; he blesses God and he blesses thee and he feels his life returning; for to be miserable is death, and nothing is life but to be comforted; and God is pleased with no music from below so much as in the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows, of supported orphans, of rejoicing and comforted and thankful persons. This part of communication does the work of God and of our neighbors, and bears us to Heaven in streams of joy made by the overflowings of our brother's comfort.
It is a fearful thing to see a man despairing; none knows the sorrow and the intolerable anguish but themselves, and they that are damned; and so are all the loads of a wounded spirit, when the staff of a man's broken fortune bows his head to the ground, and sinks like an osier under the violence of a mighty tempest. But therefore, in proportion to this, I may tell the excellency of the employment, and the duty of that charity which bears the dying and languishing soul from the fringes of hell to the seat of the brightest stars, where God's face shines and reflects comforts for ever and ever.
And, though God hath for this especially intrusted his ministers and servants of the Church, and hath put into their hearts and notices great magazines of promises and arguments of hope and arts of the Spirit, yet God does not always send angels on these embassies, but sends a man, that every good man in his season may be to his brother in the place of God, to comfort and restore him. And, that it may appear how much it is the duty of us all to minister comfort to our brother, we may remember that the same words and the same arguments do oftentimes much more prevail upon our spirits when they are applied by the hand
of another than when they dwell in us and come from our own discoursings. This is indeed the greatest and most holy charity.
From Browne's Hydriotaphia-Urn Burial. Now since these dead bones' have already outlasted the living ones of Methuselah, and in a yard underground, and thin walls of clay, outworn all the strong and specious buildings above it, and quietly rested under the drums and tramplings of three conquests,: what prince can promise such diuturnity4 unto his relics? Time, which antiquates antiquities, and hath an art to make dust of all things, hath yet spared these minor monuments.
What time the persons of these ossuaries) entered the famous nations of the dead and slept with princes and counsellors might admit a wide solution. But who were the proprietaries of these bones or what bodies these ashes made up were a question above antiquarism, not to be resolved by man nor easily, perhaps, by spirits, except we consult the provincial guardians, or tutelary observators. Had they made as good provision for their names as they have done for their relics, they had not so grossly erred in the art of perpetuation. But to subsist in bones and be but pyramidally extant is a fallacy in duration.
There is no antidote against the opium of time, which temporally considereth all things; our fathers find their graves in our short memories, and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors. Gravestones tell truth scarce forty years. Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks. To be read by bare inscriptions, like many in Gruter,' to hope for eternity by enigmatical epithets or first letters of our names, to be studied by antiquaries, who we were, and have new names given us, like many of the mummies, are cold consolations unto the students of perpetuity, even by everlasting languages.
To be content that times to come should only know that there was such a man, not caring whether they knew more of him, was a frigid ambition in Cardan,8 disparaging his horoscopal inclination and judgment of himself. Who cares to subsist like Hippocrates's' patients or Achilles's horses in Homer, under naked nominations, 10 without
1 Supposed to be of the Romans that occupied the island. The Romans burned the dead and buried the ashes in urns. Forty or fifty of these were dug up in Norfolk in Browne's time. 2 Showy. 3 Tell what three. 4 Duration. 5 Burial places. 6 Inscriptions wear away. ? Born at Antwerp 1560, he lived awhile at Norwich. Browne's place, graduated at Leyden, became a learned man, a professor, and author of many works, and died 1627. 8 Born at Pavia 1501, died at Rome 1576. Was a noted astrologer. This explains the remainder of the sentence. 9 The father of physic, born about 460 B.C. 10 Merely named.
deserts and noble acts, which are the balsam? of our memories, the entelechia’ and soul of our subsistencies? To be nameless in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous history. The Canaanitish? woman lives more happily without a name than Herodias: with one. And who had not rather have been the good thief? than Pilate?3
But the iniquity4 of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy, and deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit of perpetuity. Who can but pity the founder of the pyramids? Herostratus lives that burnt the temple of Diana, he is almost lost that built it. Time hath spared the epitaph of Adrian’s6 horse, confounded that of himself. In vain we compute our felicities by the advantage of our good names, since bad have equal durations, and Thersites is like to live as long as Agamemnon' without the favor of the everlasting register. Who knows whether the best of men be known, or whether there be not more remarkable persons forgot than any that stand remembered in the known account of time?
Oblivion is not to be hired. The greater part must be content to be as though they had not been, to be found in the register of God, not in the record of man. Twenty-seven names make up the first story, and the recorded names ever since contain not one living century.8 The number of the dead long exceedeth all that shall live. The night of time far surpasseth the day, and who knows when was the equinox ?9 Every hour adds unto that current arithmetic, which scarce stands one moment. And since death must be the Lucinalo of life and even pagans could doubt whether thus to live were to die; since our longest sun sets at right descensions, and makes but winter arches, and therefore it cannot be long before we lie down in darkness, and have our light in ashes; since the brother of deathdaily haunts us with dying mementos, and time, that grows old in itself, bids us hope no long duration ;-diuturnity is a dream and folly of expectation.
There is nothing strictly immortal but immortality. Whatever hath no beginning may be confident of no end—all others have a dependent being and within the reach of destruction—which is the peculiar” of that necessary essence that cannot destroy itself, and the highest strain of omnipotency, to be so powerfully constituted as not to suffer even from
1 Preserver. 2 That by which our existence (subsistences) actually is. 3 See John iv, Matt. xiv, and Mark xxiii. Inequality, partiality. 5 Daughter of Jupiter and Latona, and goddess of the chase. 6 An illustrious Rom. Emperor, the 14th, b. 76 A.D., d. 138. ? Commander of the Greek forces before Troy, and Thersites was a railler in his camp.
& Hundred. 9 When the time past equalled that to come. 10 The goddess of childbirth. 11 Sleep. 12 Peculiarity.
the power of itself. But the sufficiency of Christian immortality frustrates all earthly glory, and the quality of either state after death makes a folly of posthumous' memory. God who can only destroy our souls and hath assured our resurrection, either of our bodies or names hath directly promised no duration. Wherein there is so much of chance that the boldest expectants have found unhappy frustration, and to hold long subsistence seems but a scape in oblivion. But man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave, solemnizing nativities and deaths with equal lustre, nor omitting ceremonies of bravery in the infancy of his nature.
LESSON 30. THE DECLINE OF POETRY.-" The various elements which we have noticed in the poetry of Elizabeth's reign, without the exception, even, of the slight Catholic element, though opposed to each other, were filled with one spirit—the love of England and the Queen. Nor were they ever sharply divided; they are found mixed together and modifying one another in the same poet, as, for instance, Puritanism and Chivalry in Spenser, Catholicism and Love in Constable; and all are mixed together in Shakespeare and the dramatists. This unity of spirit in poetry became less and less after the Queen's death. The elements remained, but they were separated. Poetry was the bundle of sticks with the cord round it in Elizabeth's time; in the time of Charles I. it was the same bundle with the cord removed and the sticks set apart. The cause of this was, that the strife in politics between the Divine Right of Kings and Liberty, and in religion between the Church and the Puritans grew so defined and intense that England ceased to be at one, and the poets, though not so strongly as other classes, were separated into sections.
A certain style, which induced Johnson to call them "metaphysical,' belongs more or less to all these poets. They were those, Hallam says, who labored after conceits, or novel turns
1 After death,