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are in devise with those which are in practice: for the imperfections of the one are hid, till by time and trial they be discovered: the others are already manifest and open to all. But last of all,—which is a point in my opinion of great regard, and which I am dosirous to have onlarged, they do not see that for the most part when they strike at the State Ecclesiastical, they secretly wound the Civil State, for personal faults ; “ What can be said against the Church, which may not also agree to the Commonwealth ?" In both, Statesmen have always been, and will be always, men; sometimes blinded with error, most commonly perverted by passions: many unworthy have been and are advanced in both ; many worthy not regarded. And as for abuses, which they pretend to be in the law themselves; when they inveigh against nonresidence, do they take it a matter lawful or expedicnt in the Civil State, for a man to have a great and gainful office in the North, himself continually rr maining in the South ? “ He that hath an office let him attend his office · When they condemn plurality of livings spiritual to the pit of Hell, what think they of the infinity of temporal promotions ? By the great Philosopher, Pol. lib. ii. cap. 9, it is forbidden as a thing most dangerous to Commonwealths, that by the same man many great offices should be exercised. When they deride our ceremonies as vain and frivolous, were it hard to apply their exceptions even to those civil ceremonies, which at the Coronation, in Parliament, and all Courts of Justice, are used ? Were it hard to argue even against Circumcision, the ordinance of God, as being a cruel ceremony ? against the Passover, as being ridiculous—shod, girt, a staff in their hand, to eat a lamb ?
To conclude: you may exhort the Clergy,—or what if you direct your conclusion not to the Clergy in general, but only to the learned in or of both Universities ?—you may exhort them to a due consideration of all things, and to a right esteem and valuing of each thing in that degree wherein it ought to stand. For it oftentimes falleth out, that what men have either devised themselves, or greatly delighted in, the price and the excellency thereof they do admire above desert. The chiefest labour of a Christian should be to know, of a Minister to preach, Christ crucified: in regard whereof, not only worldly things, but things otherwise precious, even the discipline itself is vile and base. Whereas now, by the heat of contention, and violence of affection, the zeal of men towards the one hath greatly decayed their love to the other. Hereunto therefore they are to be exhorted to preach Christ Crucified, the mortification of the flesh, the renewing of the Spirit ; not those things which in time of strife seem precious, but-passions being allayed—are vain and childish.
THE LIFE OF GEORGE HERBERT.
In a late retreat from the business of this world, and those many little cares with which I have too often cumbered myself, I fell into a contemplation of some of those historical passages that are recorded in Sacred Story: and more particularly of what had passed betwixt our blessed Saviour and that wonder of Women, and Sinners, and Mourners, Saint Mary Magdalen. I call her Saint, because I did not then, nor do now consider her, as when she was possessed with seven devils; not as when her wanton eyes and dishevelled hair, were designed and managed to charm and ensnare amorous beholders. But I did then, and do now consider her, as after she had expressed a visible and sacred sorrow for her sensualities; as after those eyes had wept such a flood of penitential tears as did wash, and that hair had wiped, and she most passionately kissed the feet of her's and our blessed Jesus. And I do now consider, that because she loved much, not only much was forgiven her: but that beside that blessed blessing of having her sins pardoned, and the joy of knowing her happy condition, she also had from him a testimony, that her alabaster box of precious ointment poured on his head and feet, and that spikenard, and those spices that were by her dedicated to embalm and preserve his sacred body from putrefaction, should so far preserve her own memory, that these demonstrations of her sanctified love, and of her officious and generous gratitude, should be recorded and mentioned wheresoever his Gospel should be read; intending thereby, that as his, so her name, should also live to succeeding generations even till time itself shall be no more.
Upon occasion of which fair example, I did lately look back, and not without some content,--at least to myself,—that I have endeavoured to deserve the love, and preserve the memory, of my two deceased friends, Dr. Donne, and Sir Henry Wotton, by declaring the several employments and various accidents of their lives. And though Mr. George Herbert—whose Life I now intend to write—were to me a stranger as to his person, for I have only seen him; yet since he was, and was worthy to be, their friend, and very many of his have been mine, I judge it may not be unacceptable to those that knew