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Our fond preferments are but childish toys,
CHRIST THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE.
Oh, what a melting consideration is this: that out of his agony conies our victory; out of his condemnation, our justification; out of his pain, our ease; out of his stripes, our healing; out of his gall and vinegar, our honey; out of his curse, our blessing; out of his crown of thorns, our crown of glory; out of his death, our life. If he could not be released, it was that you might. If Pilate gave sentence against him, it was that the great God might not give sentence against you. If he yielded that it should be with Christ as they required, it was that it might be with our souls as well as we can desire.
THE COMMON OF LITERATURE.
How large a portion of the material that books are made of, is destitute of any peculiar distinction. "It has," as Pope said of women, just "no character at all.” An accumulation of sentences and pages of vulgar truisms and candlelight sense, which any one was competent to write, and which no one is interested in reading, or cares to remember, or could remember if he cared. This is the common of literature—of space wide enough, of indifferent production, and open to all. The pages of some authors, on the contrary, give one the idea of enclosed gardens and orchards, and one says, Ha! that is the man's own.”
THE MONARCH OF THE MICROCOSM.
Man in himself a little world doth bear,
We often indulge a melancholy pleasure in thinking that we shall be remembered and regretted after our death. How little is to be built on such imaginations, we may learn from the example of Queen Elizabeth, who, when she had closed a long and glorious reign with her life, " was, in four days' time, as much forgotten as if she had never existed, by all the world, and even by her own servants."
I made a posy while the day ran by:
My life within this band.
And wither in my hand.
Time's gentle admonition; Who did so sweetly death's sad taste convey, Making my mind to smell my fatal day,
Yet sugaring the suspicion.
And after death, for cures.
THE MERRIMENT OF A DAY.
Alas, to be merry for a day, and then to lie in misery for ever, is a thing deserving no encouragement. We see it's a merry world with many that have least cause of mirth; but how long will they continue it? To see a man laugh, and play, and feast in a chariot that drives on so fast to death, in a vessel that is on so swift a stream that ends in the gulf of endless horror, is a doleful sight. Oh, how quickly will that merry countenance turn sad; and those proud looks be turned to unearthly paleness, and those wanton eyes be mouldered to dust, and leave the empty holes to warn the next spectator to use his eyes more wisely while he hath them? How quickly will these same sensual persons exchange their mirth for sighs, and groans, and endless torments, and fruitless lamentations, when they shall have everlasting leisure to peruse their lives, and to consider of their ways, which now there is no persuading them to consider of.
UPON THE IMAGE OF DEATH.
Before my face the picture hangs
That daily should put me in mind
But yet, alas ! full little I
Do think hereon, that I must die.
I often look upon the face
Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin;
I see the bones across that lie,
I read the label underneath,
That telleth me whereto I must: I see the sentence eke, that saith, "Remember, man, that thou art dust.”
But yet, alas! but seldom I
Continually at my bed's head
An hearse doth hang, which doth me te'l
But yet, alas ! for all this I
which I do use to wear,
All these do tell me I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.