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to all those pleasures, and to that life, in a year, in a week, in a day, in an hour, in an unthought moment, before a man hath opportunity to consider, to bethink himself, or to repent, and then the door of life and happiness is shut...
Again, there are a sort of men that consider this great proposal, and choose the fear of almighty God, and with it eternal life, and are content to deny themselves in things unlawful, to obey almighty God, to keep his favour, to walk humbly with him, to accept of the tender of life and salvation upon the terms propounded by almighty God: and in the practice of this fear, they enjoy his favour, and presence, and love, and after this life spent, whether it be long or short, and whether their death be lingering or sudden, are sure, the next moment after death, to enjoy an immortal life of glory and happiness. Judge then, which of these is the truly wise man, whether this be not a truth beyond dispute, The fear of God, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding?
Sin Matthew HALE.
A WISE man should never resolve upon any thing, at least never let the world know his resolution, for if he cannot arrive at that, he is ashamed. How many things did the king resolve in his dea claration concerning Scotland, never to do, and
yet did them all?-A man must do according to accidents and emergencies.
WISE men say nothing in dangerous times. The lion, you know, called the sheep to ask her if his breath smelt? she said Aye; he bit off her head for a fool: he called the wolf, and asked him; he said No; he tore him in pieces for a flatterer : at last he called the fox, and asked him, truly he had got a cold, and could not smell.
WIT and wisdom differ; wit is upon the sudden turn; wisdom is in bringing about ends.
NO man is the wiser for his learning; it may administer matter to work in, or objects to work upon, but wit and wisdom are born with a man.
When I consider life, 't is all a cheat;
IF we could afford ourselves but so much leisure as to consider that he which hath most in the world, hath, in respect of the world, nothing in it: and that he which hath the longest time lent him to live in it, hath yet no proportion at all therein, setting it either by that which is past when we were not, or by that which is to come, in which we shall abide for ever : I say, if both, to wit, our proportion in the world, and our time in the world, differ not much from that which is nothing; it is not out of any excellency of understanding, that we so much prize the one which hath in effect no being, and so much neglect the other, which hath no ending, coveting those mortal things of the world, as if our souls were therein immortal, and neglecting those things which are immortal, as if ourselves, after the world, were but mortal.
Sın WALTER RALEGI.
IN all thy designs of temporal advantages, keep thy expectations and hopes low; clog them with suspicions, and abatements, and allays; other. wise thy expectations will cheat thee; and not only so, but render that good that thou shalt attain (even upon honest designs) insipid and flat, because less than what thou expectest; whereas, a low expectation gives a relish to a low enjoyment. Secondly, Set not thy heart upon an earnest prosecution of temporal advantages: For, if they do not vex thee by disappointment, or some thorn or gall that doth adhere to them, yet it is ten to one they will cheat thee; appear more glorious at distance and in expectation, than nearer hand, and in fruition. They are trimmed up with report and expectation ; but in reality and in themselves, are like the apples of Sodom, beautiful to the eye, but vanish into dust when touched. Solomon was certainly the wisest, and externally happiest king that ever the world knew: he had the greatest opportunity that ever any man had, to take a full estimate of the world in its choicest enjoyments, by reason of his wealth, and peace, and power, and interest, almost with all the princes and potentates that then reigned. He had a vast judgment and understanding of all things in nature, and could, with exquisite skill and relish, search into and attain all that was externally good and desirable in this world. And besides all this, he made it his chief business to search out what was that good for the sons of men, under the sun, and this he did neither brutishly, or led thereunto by sensuality, nor superficially, or barely by speculation; but he made it his business, not only strictly to inquire into it by his reason and judgment, but also really to experiment and try the matter he thus sought after: and having, with much industry and observation, climbed, as it were, to the top of all worldly felicity and enjoyment, and beholding the rest of mankind, as well as they were able, reaching and clambering, as it were, towards this precipice of worldly felicity,
Dum monte potitus,
From this high mountain he bespeaks mankind, in his critical book of Ecclesiastes, as it were in this manner: “Ye children of men, I see ye are “full of great expectations of and by worldly “ contentments, and you take much pains for the “ acquest of them : listen awhile what I shall “ say to you; I have had those opportunities “ of a full discovery of the best that this world “ can afford, wealth, honour, pleasures of all sorts “ and kinds, and such opportunities as none of “ you ever had or can expect, to make the like dis“covery: and I have denied myself nothing that " this world can afford, to give me content, and “ the most exquisite taste and relish of them, and “I have now arrived at the very fastigium, the “ very highest point of this mountain of pleasure