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riness to do the same thing so oft over and over.* It is no less worthy to observe, how little alteration in good spirits the approaches of Death make. For they appear to be the same men, till the last instant. Augustus Cæsar died in a compliment: “Livia, live ever mindful of our marriage, and farewell.” Tiberius in dissimulation, as Tacitus saith of him : “Now the strength of the body left Tiberius, but not his dissimulation.” Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool: “In my opinion I am become God.” Galba with a sentence:
Strike, if it should benefit the Roman people,” holding forth his neck. Septimius Severus in dispatch: “Make haste, if any thing remains for me to do.” And the like. Certainly the Stoics bestowed too much cost upon Death, and by their great preparations made it appear more fearful.“ Better," saith he, “ who considers Death, or the extreme end of life, among the common circumstances or gifts of nature.” It is as natural to die, as to be born ; and to a little infant perhaps the one is as painful as the other. He that dies in an earnest pursuit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood, who for the time scarce feels the hurt; and therefore a
* To illustrate this observation, I remember an anecdote of a man committing suicide, and giving as his reason, that he was tired of daily putting on and pulling off his clothes. This will explain the force of the sentence above. Editor.
mind fixed, and bent upon somewhat that is good, doth avert the dolours of Death. But above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,” when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations. Death hath this also; that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy.
When dead, he shall be equally beloved.
Of Unity in Religion. RELIGION being the chief band of human society, it is a happy thing when itself is well contained within the true band of Unity. The quarrels and divisions about Religion were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was, because the religion of the heathen consisted rather in rites and ceremonies, than in any constant belief. For you may imagine what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief doctors and fathers of their church were poets. But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a jealous God, and therefore his worship and Religion will endure no mixture nor partner. We shall therefore speak a few words concerning the Unity of the Church; what are the fruits thereof, what the bonds, and what the means.
The fruits of Unity (next unto the well-pleasing of God, which is all in all) are two; the one to
wards those that are without the Church, the other
” “ Go not out.” The Doctor of the Gentiles (the propriety of whose vocation drew him to have a special care of those without) saith, " If an heathen come in and hear you speak with several tongues, will he not say that you are mad ?" And certainly it is little better, when atheists and profane persons do hear of so many discordant and contrary opinions in Religion; it doth avert them from the Church, and maketh them to sit down in the chair of the scorners. It is but a light thing to be vouched in so serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity. There is a master of scoffing, that, in his catalogue
of books of a feigned library, sets down the title of a book, “ The Morrice-dance of Heretics.” For indeed every sect of them hath a diverse posture, or cringe by themselves, which cannot but move derision in worldlings, and depraved politics who are apt to contemn holy things.
As for the fruit towards those that are within ; it is peace, which containeth infinite blessings : it establisheth faith; it kindleth charity; the outward peace of the Church distilleth into peace of conscience; and it turneth the labours of writing and reading of controversies, into treatises of mortification and devotion.
Concerning the bonds of Unity; the true placing of them importeth exceedingly. There appear to be two extremes. For to certain zealots all speech of pacification is odious. “ Is it peace, Jehu? what hast thou to do with peace? Turn thee behind me.” Peace is not the matter, but following and party. Contrariwise certain Laodiceans, and luke-warm persons, think they may accommodate points of Religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements; as if they would make an arbitrement between God and man. But these extremes are to be avoided; which will be done, if the league of Christians, penned by our Saviour himself, were in the two cross clauses thereof, soundly and plainly expounded : “ He
that is not with us, is against us :" and again," he that is not against us, is with us :" that is, if the points fundamental, and of substance in Religion, were truly discerned and distinguished from points not merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention. This is a thing may seem to many a matter trivial, and done already; but if it were done less 'partially, it would be embraced more generally.
Of this I may give only this advice, according to my small model: Men ought to take heed of rending God's church by two kinds of controversies : the one is, when the matter of the point controverted is too small and light, not worth the heat and strife about it, kindled only by contradiction. For, as it is noted by one of the Fathers, “ Christ's coat indeed had no seam, but the Church's vesture was of divers colours; whereupon he saith, “ There · may be a variety of colours in the vesture, but let there be no rent;" they be two things, Unity and Uniformity. The other is, when the matter of the point controverted is great, but it is driven to an over-great subtilty and obscurity, so that it becometh a thing rather ingenious than substantial. A man that is of judgment and understanding, shall sometimes hear ignorant men differ, and know well within himself, that those which so differ, mean one thing, and yet they themselves