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EN feare Death, as Children feare to goe
in Children, is increased with Tales, so is the other. Certainly, the Contemplation of Death, as the wages of sinne, and Passage to another world, is Holy, and Religious; But the Feare of it, as a Tribute due unto Nature, is weake, Yet in Religious Meditations, there is sometimes, Mixture of Vanitie, and of Superstition. You shal reade, in some of the Friars Books of Mortification, that a man should thinke with himselfe, what the Paine is, if he have but his Fingers end Pressed, or Tortured; And thereby imagine, what the Paines of Death are, when the whole Body, is corrupted and dissolved; when many times, Death passeth with lesse paine, then the Torture of a Limme: For the most vitall parts, are not the quickest of Sense. And by him, that spake onely as a Philosopher, and Naturall Man, it was well said; Pompa Mortis magis terret, quàm Mors ipsa. Groanes and Convulsions, and a disco
loured Face, and Friends weeping, and Blackes, and Obsequies, and the like, shew Death Terrible. It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the minde of man, so weake, but it Mates, and Masters, the Feare of Death : And therefore Death, is no such terrible Enemie, when a man hath so many Attendants, about him, that can winne the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over Death; Love slights it; Honour aspireth to it; Griefe flieth to it; Fearé pre-occupateth it; Nay we reade, after Otho the Emperour had slaine himselfe, Pitty (which is the tenderest of Affections) provoked many to die, out of meere compassion to their Soveraigne, and as the truest sort of Followers. Nay Seneca addes Nicenesse & Saciety; Cogita quam diii eadem feceris; Mori velle, non tantùm Fortis, aut Miser, sed etiàm Fastidiosus potest. A man would die, though he were neither valiant, nor miserable, onely upon a wearinesse to doe the same thing, so oft over and over. It is no lesse worthy to observe, how little Alteration, in good Spirits, the Approaches of Death make; For they appeare, to be the same Men, till the last Instant. Augustus Cæsar died in a Complement; Livia, Coniugij nostri memor, vive Evo vale. Tiberius in dissimulation; As Tacitus saith of him; Iam Tiberium Vires, & Corpus, non Dissimulatio, deserebant. Vespasian in a Iest; Sitting upon the Stoole, Ut puto Deus fio. Galba with a Sentence; Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani; Holding forth his Necke. Septimius Severus in dispatch; Adeste, si quid mihi restat agendum. And the like. Certainly, the
Stoikes bestowed too much cost upon Death, and by their great preparations, made it appeare more fearefull. Better saith he, Qui Finem Vitæ extremum inter Munera ponat Natura. It is as Naturall to die, as to be borne; And to a little Infant, perhaps, the one, painfull, as the other. He that dies in an earnest Pursuit, is like one that is wounded in hot Bloud; who, for the time, scarce feeles the Hurt; And therefore, a Minde fixt, and bent upon somewhat, that is good, doth avert the Dolors of Death: But above all, beleeve it, the sweetest Canticle is, Nunc dimittis; when a Man hath obtained worthy Ends, and Expectations. Death hath this also; That it openeth the Gate, to good Fame, and extinguisheth Envie.
Extinétus amabitur idem.
Of Wnity in Religion
RELIGION being the chiefe Band of hu
mane Society, it is a happy thing, when it selfe, is well contained, within the true Band of Unity. The Quarrels, and Divisions about Religion, were Evils unknowne to the Heathen. The Reason was, because the Religion of the Heathen, consisted rather in Rites and Ceremonies; then in any constant Beleefe. For you may imagine, what kinde of Faith theirs was, when the chiefe Doctors, and Fathers of their Church, were the Poets. But the true God hath this Attribute, That he is a lealous God; And therefore, his worship and Religion, will endure no Mixture, nor Partner. We shall therefore speake, a few words, concerning the Unity of the Church; What are the Fruits thereof; what the Bounds; And what the Meanes?
The Fruits of Unity (next unto the well Pleasing of God, which is All in All) are two; The One, towards those, that are without the Church; The Other, towards those, that are within. For the Former; It is certaine, that Heresies, and Schismes, are of all others, the greatest Scandals; yea more then Corruption of
Manners. For as in the Naturall Body, a Wound or Solution of Continuity, is worse then a Corrupt Humor; So in the Spirituall. So that nothing, doth so much keepe Men out of the Church, and drive Men out of the Church, as Breach of Unity: And therefore, whensoever it commeth to that passe, that one saith, Ecce in Deserto; Another saith, Ecce in penetralibus; That is, when some Men seeke Christ, in the Conventicles of Heretikes, and others, in an Outward Face of a Church, that voice had need continually to sound in Mens Eares, Nolite exire, Goe not out. The Doctor of the Gentiles (the Propriety of whose Vocation, drew him to have a speciall care of those without) saith; If an Heathen come in, and heare you speake with severall Tongues, Will he not say that you are mad? And certainly, it is little better, when Atheists, and prophane Persons, do heare of so many Discordant, and Contrary Opinions in Religion; It doth avert them from the Church, and maketh them, To sit downe in the chaire 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 faigned Library, sets Downe this Title of a Booke; The morris daunce of Heretikes. For indeed, every Sect of them, hath a Divers Posture, or Cringe by themselves, which cannot but Move Derision, in Worldlings, and Depraved Politickes, who are apt to contemne Holy Things.
As for the Fruit towards those that are within; It is Peace; which containeth infinite