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Our fond preferments are but childish toys,
And as a shadow all our pleasures pass!
As years increase, so waning are our joys,
And beauty crazed like a broken glass,
A pretty tale of that which never was.

Drayton.

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.

Flavel.

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.”

Foster.

THE MONARCH OF THE MICROCOSM.

Man in himself a little world doth bear,
His soul the monarch ever ruling there;
Wherever then his body doth remain,
He is a king that in himself doth reign,
And never feareth fortune's hot'st alarms,
That bears against her patience for her arms.

Drayton.

POSTHUMOUS FAME.

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."

Bishop Horne.

LIFE.

I made a posy while the day ran by:
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie

My life within this band.
But tiine did beckon to the flow'rs, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,

And wither in my hand.
My hand was next to them, and then my heart;
I took, without more thinking, in good part,

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.
Farewell, dear flow'rs! sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye liv’d, for smell and ornament,

And after death, for cures.
I follow straight, without complaints or grief,
Since, if my scent be good, I care not if
It be as short as yours.

Herbert.

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.

Baxter.

UPON THE IMAGE OF DEATH.

Before my face the picture hangs

That daily should put me in mind
Of those cold qualms and bitter pangs
That shortly I am like to find.

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 often view the hollow place
Where eyes and nose had sometime been;

I see the bones across that lie,
Yet little think that I must die.

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
Do think, indeed, that I must die.

Continually at my bed's head

An hearse doth hang, which doth me te'l
That I, ere morning, may be dead,
Though now I feel myself full well:

But yet, alas ! for all this I
Have little mind that I must die.

The
gown

which I do use to wear,
The knife wherewith I cut my meat,
And eke that old and ancient chair,
Which is my only usual seat,

All these do tell me I must die,

And yet my life amend not I.

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