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Culpable beginnings have found commendable conclusions, and infamous courses pious retractations. Detestable sinners have proved exemplary converts on earth, and may be glorious in the apartment of Mary Magdalen in heaven. Men are not the same through all the divisions of their ages ; time, experience, selfreflections, and God's mercies, make in some well-tempered minds a kind of translation before death, and men differ from themselves as well as from other persons.” CHARITY IN THE LONG RUN
And thus, alive to the worst of Becket's faults, we are not sorry to quote the words of a great divine, (THOMAS Jackson,) and to conclude, “ To sit as coroners upon the souls of men deceased, is a thing which I have ever misliked, though sometimes practised by men, otherwise of deserved esteem. And whosoever in this case will take upon him to sit as judge, my request shall be not to serve upon the jury.”
“ Tria sunt necessaria puritati : Integritas actionis, simplicitas intentionis, tranquillitas devotionis."
PSEUDO-BERNARD, Lib. Sentent. ii. 778.
" It is not the stubborn letter must govern us, but the divine and softening breath of charity, which turns and winds the dictates of every positive command, and shapes it to the good of mankind.”
Milton, Tetrachordon, P. W. ii. 165.
“ To those men who employ their natural faculties to the glory of God, and their own and others' edification, God shall afford an exaltation of those natural faculties. In those, who use their learning, or their wealth, or their power, well, God shall increase that power, and that wealth, and that learning, even in this world.”
Donne's Sermons, xlvi. p. 464.
“ An easy matter it is to bind heavy burdens for other men's shoulders ; but it is not so easy to persuade the people to take them up to bear them, so long as the binders, like those sees in the Gospel, refuse to touch them with the least of their fingers. If we think to awaken the world out of their dead sleep, it will not be enough to crow unto others, unless withal we shall beat our wings on our own sides."
DEAN RALEIGH's Sermons, p. 50. 4to. 1679.
“ Without the sovereign influence of God's extraordinary and immediate grace, men do very rarely put off all the trappings of their Pride, till they who are about them put on their winding-sheet.”
CLARENDON’s Essay Of Pride, i. 79. “ Policy, the great idol of a carnal reason, is that which insensibly works the soul to a despisal of religion.”
South's Sermons, vi. 76.
&c. &c. &c.
I am sorry to have left you so long to yourself. My wish was to have returned last night, but I could not get the business I was about settled. These Parochial concerns are at times both vexatious and harassing. However, you had the library at your command, and few know how to make use of a library better.
Will you credit me, Eubulus, when I say I have scarcely taken down a book? The truth is, I have devoted myself to your sketch of Becket's life, and have looked only to your authorities. It is deeply interesting, and there are more points than one on which I wish to make some inquiries. And first, are you aware how closely the narrative coincides with that beautiful account in Southey's “ Book of the Church ?”
It is a matter on which I feel the greatest satisfaction ; but on comparing the two sketches together, I doubted much as to the publication of my own. In fact, it seemed needless.
I am well pleased to infer that your doubts are at an end.
On reconsidering the matter in my own mind, it