Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

thing as seasonable in grief as in joy; as decent being added unto actions of greatest weight and solemnity, as being used when men most sequester themselves from action. The reason hereof is an admirable facility which Music hath to express and represent to the mind, more inwardly than any other sensible mean, the very standing, rising, and falling, the very steps and inflections every way, the turns and varieties of all passions whereunto the mind is subject; yea, so to imitate them, that, whether it resemble unto us the same state wherein our minds already are, or a clean contrary, we are not more contentedly by the one confirmed, than changed and led away. by the other. In harmony the very image and character even of virtue and vice is perceived, the mind delighted with their resemblances, and brought by having them often iterated into a love of the things themselves. For which cause there is nothing more contagious and pestilent than some kinds of harmony; than some, nothing more strong and potent unto good. And that there is such a difference of one kind from another, we need no proof but our own experience, inasmuch as we are at the hearing of some more inclined unto sorrow and heaviness, of some more mollified and softened in mind; one kind apter to

1 stay and settle us, another to move and stir our affections, there is that draweth to a marvellous grave and sober mediocrity, there is also that

carrieth as it were into ecstasies, filling the mind with an heavenly joy, and for the time in a manner severing it from the body: so that, although we lay altogether aside the consideration of ditty or matter, the very harmony of sounds being framed in due sort, and carried from the ear to the spiritual faculties of our souls, is, by a native puissance and efficacy, greatly available to bring to a perfect temper whatsoever is there troubled, apt as well to quicken the spirits as to allay that which is too eager, sovereign against melancholy and despair, forcible to draw forth tears of devotion if the mind be such as can yield them, able both to move and to moderate all affections. Hooker, Eccl. Pol. b. v. §. 38,

Lastly: there is a sort of God's dear servants who walk in perfectness, who “perfect holiness in the fear of God;' and they have a degree of clarity and divine knowledge more than we can discourse of, and more certain than the demonstrations of geometry, brighter than the sun, and indeficient as the light of heaven. This is called by the apostle the απαύγασμα του Θεού: Christ is this brightness of God,' manifested in the hearts of his dearest servants.

[ocr errors]

'Αλλ' εγώ ές καθαρών μερόπων φρένα πυρσον ανάπτω
Especebins:

But I shall say no more of this at this time, for this is to be felt, and not to be talked of; and they that never touched it with their finger, may secretly, perhaps, laugh at it in their heart, and be never the wiser. All that I shall now say of it is, that a good man is united unto God, κέντρον κέντρω σύναψας, as a fame touches a fame, and combines into splendour and to glory: so is the spirit of a man united unto Christ by the Spirit of God. Jeremy Taylor's Works, vi. 395. Heber's ed.

A good life is the best way to understand wisdom and religion, because, by the experiences and relishes of religion, there is conveyed to them such a sweetness, to which all wicked men are strangers: there is in the things of God, to them which practise them, a deliciousness that makes us love them, and that love admits us into God's cabinet, and strangely clarifies the understanding by the purification of the heart. For when our reason is raised

up by the Spirit of Christ, it is turned quickly into experience; when our faith relies upon the principles of Christ, it is changed into vision and so long as we know God only in the ways of man, by contentious learning, by arguing and dispute,—we see nothing but the shadow of him; and in that shadow we meet with many dark appearances, little certainty, and much conjecture: but when we know him nóyo atoφαντικό, γαλήνη νοερά, with the eyes of holiness,

ܪܐ

and the intuition of gracious experiences, with a quiet spirit and the peace of enjoyment; then we shall hear what we never heard, and see what our eyes never saw; then the mysteries of godliness shall be opened unto us, and clear as the windows of the morning: and this is rarely well expressed by the Apostle, “ If we stand up from the dead, and awake from sleep, then Christ shall give us light.” Jeremy Taylor's Works, vi. 393. Heber's ed.

Translate into English the following

passage. O quam fragilem, quam inanem virtutem induxisti, si spoliari præmio suo potest ! Quæ si bona sua divina judicat, ut aiebas, qui possunt existere tam ingrati, tam invidi, tam potentes, qui virtutem spoliare valeant iis bonis, quæ fuerint in eam collata divinitus ? Næ illa se, inquit, multis solatiis oblectat; maximeque suo decore seipsam sustentat. Quibus solatiis ? quo decore? cum in crimen sæpe veniat, et in pænam decor ille vertatur. Quid enim, si (ut Furius dicebat) rapiatur, vexetur, exterminetur, egeat, auferantur ei manus, effodiantur ei oculi, damnetur, vinciatur, uratur, miseris etiam modis necetur; perdetne suum præmium virtus ? An potius peribit ipsa ? Minime. Sed

ܪ

et mercedem suam Deo judice accipiet, et vivet, et semper vigebit. Quæ si tollas ; nihil potest in vita hominum tam inutile, tam stultum videri esse, quam virtus; cujus naturalis bonitas et honestas, docere nos potest, animam non esse mortalem ; divinumque illi à Deo præmium constitutum. Sed idcirco virtutem ipsam Deus sub persona stultitiæ voluit esse celatam, ut mysterium veritatis ac religionis suæ esset arcanum ; ut has religiones, sapientiamque terrenam extollentem se altius sibique multum placentem, vanitatis errorisque damnaret ; ut proposita denique difficultate, angustissimus trames ad immortalitatis præmium sublime perduceret. Docui, ut opinor, cur populus noster apud stultos stultus habeatur. Nam cruciari atque interfici malle, quum thura tribus digitis comprehensa in focum jactare, tam ineptum videtur, quam in periculo viæ, alterius animam magis curare, quam Nesciunt enim, quantum sit nefas, adorare aliud præterquam Deum, qui condidit coelum atque terram; qui humanum genus finxit, inspiravit, luce donavit. Quod si servorum nequissimus habetur, qui dominum suum fuga deserit ; isque verberibus, et vinculis, et ergastulo, et cruce, et omni malo dignissimus judicatur; et si filius eodem modo perditur, atque impius existimatur, qui patrem suum derelinquit, ne illi obsequatur; ob eamque causam dignus putatur, qui sit exhæres; et

suam.

« AnteriorContinua »