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objected against him by the Jews, whom to please he had done so much violence to his conscience; and, by Cæsar's sentence, he was banished to Vienna, deprived of all his honours, where he lived ingloriously, till, by impatience of his calamity, he killed himself with his own hand. And thus the blood of Jesus, shed for the salvation of the world, became to them a curse; and that which purifies the saints stuck to them that shed it, and mingled it not with the tears of repentance, to be a leprosy loathsome and incurable. So manna turns to worms, and the wine of angels to vinegar and lees, when it is received into impure vessels, or tasted by wanton palates; and the sun himself produces rats and serpents, when it reflects upon the dirt of Nilus.

THE PRAYER.

O holy and immaculate Lamb of God, who wert pleased to suffer shame and sorrow, to be brought before tribunals, to be accused maliciously, betrayed treacherously, condemned unjustly, and scourged most rudely, suffering the most severe and most unhandsome afflictions which could be procured by potent, subtle, and extremest malice, and didst choose this out of love greater than the love of mothers, more affectionate than the tears of joy and pity dropped from the eyes of most passionate women, by these fontinels of blood issuing forth life, and health, and pardon upon all thine enemies; teach me to apprehend the baseness of sin, in proportion to the greatest of those calamities which my sin made it necessary for thee to suffer, that I may hate the cause of thy sufferings, and adore thy mercy, and imitate thy charity, and copy out thy patience and humility, and love thy person to the uttermost extent and degrees of my affections. Lord, what am I, that the eternal Son of God should suffer one stripe for me? But thy love is infinite: and how great a misery is it to provoke by sin so great a mercy, and despise so miraculous a goodness, and to do fresh despite to the Son of God! But our sins are innumerable, and our infirmities are mighty. Dearest Jesu, pity me, for I am accused by my own conscience, and am found guilty; I am stripped. naked of my innocence, and bound fast by lust, and

tormented with stripes and wounds of enraged appetites. But let thy innocence excuse me, the robes of thy righteousness clothe me, thy bondage set me free, and thy stripes heal me; that thou being my Advocate, my Physician, my Patron, and my Lord, I may be adopted into the union of thy merits, and partake of the efficacy of thy sufferings, and be crowned as thou art, having my sins changed to virtues, and my thorns to rays of glory under thee, our Head, in the participations of eternity, O holy and immaculate Lamb of God. Amen.

DISCOURSE XX.

Of Death, and the due Manner of Preparation to it.

1. THE holy Spirit of God hath in Scripture revealed to us but one way of preparing to death, and that is, by a holy life; and there is nothing in all the book of life concerning this exercise of address to death, but such advices which suppose the dying person in a state of grace. St. James indeed counsels, that in sickness we should send for the ministers ecclesiastical, and that "they pray over us," and that we "confess our sins," and "they shall be forgiven;" that is, those prayers are of great efficacy for the removing the sickness, and taking off that punishment of sin, and healing them in a certain degree, according to the efficacy of the ministry, and the dispositions or capacities of the sick person. But we must know, that oftentimes universal effects are attributed to partial causes; because, by the analogy of Scripture, we are taught, that all the body of holy actions and ministries are to unite in production of the event, and that, without that adunation, one thing alone cannot operate; but because no one alone does the work, but by an united power, therefore indefinitely the effect is ascribed sometimes to one, sometimes to another, meaning, that one as much as the other, that is, all together, are to work the pardon and the grace. But the doctrine of pre

a James, v. 14, &c.

paration to death we are clearest taught in the parable of the ten virgins. Those who were wise stood waiting for the coming of the bridegroom, their lamps burning; only when the lord was at hand, at the notice of his coming published, they trimmed their lamps, and they, so disposed, went forth and met him, and entered with him into his interior and eternal joys. They whose lamps did not stand ready beforehand, expecting the uncertain hour, were shut forth, and bound in darkness. "Watch, therefore," so our Lord applies and expounds the parable, " for ye know not the day, nor the hour, of the coming of the Son of Man." Whenever the arrest of death seizes us, unless before that notice we had oil in our vessels, that is, grace in our hearts, habitual grace, (for nothing else can reside or dwell there, an act cannot inhabit or be in a vessel,) it is too late to make preparation. But they who have it, may, and must prepare, that is, they must stir the fire, trim the vessel, make it more actual in its exercise and productions, full of ornament, advantages, and degrees. And that is all we know from Scripture concerning preparation.

2. And indeed, since all our life we are dying, and this minute in which I now write, death divides with me, and hath got the surer part and more certain possession, it is but reasonable, that we should always be doing the offices of preparation". If to-day we were not dying and passing on to our grave, then we might with more safety defer our work till the morrow: but as fuel in a furnace, in every degree of its heat and reception of the flame, is converting into fire and ashes, and the disposing it to the last mutation, is the same work with the last instance of its change; so is the age of

b Matt. xxv. ̓Αλλ ̓ εὐκλεῶς τοι κατθανεῖν χάρις βροτῷ.--Æschyl. Agamemn. c Matt. xxv. 13.

d

festinat decurrere velox

Flosculus angustæ, miseræque brevissima vitæ
Portio

Τίς δὲ πλὴν θεῶν

̔́Απαντ ̓ ἀπήμων τὸν δι ̓ αἰῶνος χρόνον ;

Τὸ μόρσιμον γὰρ τόν τ ̓ ἐλεύθερον μένει,

Καὶ τὸν πρὸς ἄλλης δεσποτούμενον χερός - Eschyl. Αgam.
Cras hoc fiet, idem cras fiet. Quid quasi magnum
Nempe diem donas? Sed cùm lux altera venit,

Jam cras hesternum cousumpsimus; ecce aliud cras
Egerit hos annos, et semper paulum erit ultrà.-Pers. Sat. 5.

every day a beginning of death, and the night composing us to sleep, bids us go to our lesser rest; because that night, which is the end of the preceding day, is but a lesser death; and whereas now we have died so many days, the last day of our life is but the dying so many more, and when that last day of dying will come, we know not. There is nothing then added but the circumstance of sickness, which also happens many times before; only men are pleased to call that death which is the end of dying, when we cease to die any more: and, therefore, to put off our preparation till that which we call death, is to put off the work of all our life, till the time comes in which it is to cease and determine.

3. But to accelerate our early endeavour, (besides what hath been formerly considered upon the proper grounds of repentance,) I here re-enforce the consideration of death in such circumstances which are apt to engage us upon an early industry. 1. I consider, that no man is sure that he shall not die suddenly; and therefore, if heaven be worth securing, it were fit that we should reckon every day the vespers of death, and therefore that, according to the usual rites of religion, it be begun and spent with religious offices: and let us consider, that those many persons who are remarked in history to have died suddenly, either were happy by an early piety, or miserable by a sudden death. And if uncertainty of condition be an abatement of felicity, and spoils the good we possess, no man can be happy but he that hath lived well, that is, who hath secured his condition by an habitual and living piety. For since God hath not told us. we shall not die suddenly, is it not certain he intended we should prepare for sudden death, as well as against death clothed in any other circumstances? Fabius, surnamed Pictorf, was choked with a hair in a mess of milk, Anacreon with a raisin, Cardinal Colonna with figs crusted with ice,

e Quid quisque vitet, nunquam homini satis
Cantum est in horas. Navita Bosporum
Poenus perhorrescit, neque ultrà

Caca timet aliunde fata:
Miles sagittas et celerem fugam
Parthi; catenas Parthus et Italum

Robur. Sed improvisa lethi

Vis rapuit, rapietque gentes.—Hor. lib. ii. Od. 13. f Cicero in Brut.

Adrian the Fourth with a fly, Drusus Pompeius with a pear, Domitius Afer, Quintilian's tutor, with a full cup, Casimire the Second, king of Polonia, with a little draught of wine, Amurath with a full goblet, Tarquinius Priscus with a fishbone. For as soon as a man is born, that which in nature only remains to him, is to die h; and if we differ in the way or time of our abode, or the manner of our exit, yet we are even at last and since it is not determined by a natural cause which way we shall go, or at what age, a wise man will suppose himself always upon his death-bed; and such supposition is like making of his will, he is not the nearer death for doing it, but he is the readier for it when it

comes.

4. St. Jerome said well, "He deserves not the name of a Christian, who will live in that state of life in which he will not die." And indeed it is a great venture to be in an evil state of life, because every minute of it hath a danger; and therefore a succession of actions, in every one of which he may as well perish as escape, is a boldness that hath no mixture of wisdom or probable venture. How many persons have died in the midst of an act of sport, or at a merry meeting! Grimoaldus, a Lombard king, died with shooting of a pigeon; Thales, the Milesian, in the theatre; Lucia, the sister of Aurelius the emperor, playing with her little son, was wounded in her breast with a needle, and died; Benno, bishop of Adelburg, with great ceremony and joy consecrating St. Michael's church, was crowded to death by the people; so was the duke of Saxony, at the inauguration of Albert the First. The great lawyer, Baldus, playing with a little dog, was bitten upon the lip, instantly grew mad, and perished; Charles the Eighth of France, seeing certain gentle

Mart. Crom. lib. vi.

Volaterran, lib. iv. c. 22.

h Cui nasci contigit, mori restat; intervallis distinguimur, exitu æqua- Quintil.

mur.

Divesne, prisco natus ab Inacho,
Nil interest, an pauper et infima
De gente, sub dio moreris,
Victima nil miserantis Orci.
Omnes eodem cogimur―

Hor. lib. ii. Od. 3.

Βιότης μὲν γὰς χρόνος ἐστὶ βραχύς· Κρυφθεὶς δὲ ὑπὸ γῆς κεῖται θνητὸς τὸν πάντα

χρόνον.

í Crantzius, lib. iii. c. 51. Matthiol. in Dioscor.

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