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best capacities, and communicates with the soundest judgments, dwells with the divinest natures, and loves the most patient dispositions. Her hope is a kind of assurance, her faith a continual expectation, her love an apprehension of joy, and her life the light of eternity: her labours are infinite, her ways are unsearchable, her graces incomparable, and her excellencies inexplicable. And therefore, being so little acquainted with her worth, as makes me blush at my unworthiness to speak in the least of her praise, I will only leave her advancement to virtue, her honour to wisdom, her grace to truth, and to eternity her glory.
PRACTICE is the motion of the spirit, where the senses are all set to work in their natures; where, in the fittest employment of time, reason maketh the best use of understanding. She is the continuance of knowledge in the ease of memory, and the honour of resolution in the effect of judgment. She plants the spring, and reaps the harvest, makes labour sweet, and patience comfortable: she hath a foot on the earth, but an eye at heaven, where the prayer of faith finds the felicity of the soul: in the fruit of charity she shews the nature of devotion, and in the mercy of justice the glory of government. She gives time honour in the fruit of action, and reason grace in the application of knowledge: she takes the height of the sun, walks about the world, sounds the depth of the sea, and makes her passage through the waters. She is ready for all occasions, attendeth all persons, works with all instruments, and finisheth all actions: she takes invention for her teacher, makes time her servant, method her direction, and place her habitation: she hath a wakeful eye, and a working brain, which fits the members of the body to the service of the spirit. She is the physician's agent, and the apothecary's benefactor, the chirurgeon's wealth, and the patient's patience: she brings time to labour, and care to contentment, learning to knowledge, and virtue to honour: in idleness she hath no pleasure, nor acquaintance with ignorance, but in industry is her delight, and in understanding her grace. She hath a passage through all the predicaments, she hath a hand in all the arts, a property in all professions, and a quality in all conditions. In brief, so many are the varieties of the manners of her proceedings, as makes me fearful to follow her too far in observation, lest, being never able to come near the height of her commendation, I be enforced, as I am, to leave her wholly to admiration.
Patience is a kind of heavenly tenure, whereby the soul is held in possession, and a sweet temper in the spirit, which restraineth nature from exceeding reason in passion. Her hand keeps time in his right course, and her eye pierceth into the depth of understanding: she attendeth wisdom in all her works, and
proportioneth time to the necessity of matter: she is the poison of sorrow in the hope of comfort, and the paradise of conceit in the joy of peace: her tongue speaks seldom, but to purpose, and her foot goeth slowly, but surely. She is the imitator of the Incomprehensible in his passage to perfection, and a servant of his will in the map
of his workmanship: in confusion she hath no operation, while she only carrieth her conceit with the consideration of experience: she travels far and is never weary, and gives over no work but to better a beginning: she makes the king merciful, and the subject loyal, honour gracious, and wisdom glorious : she pacifieth wrath, and puts off
' revenge, and, in the humility of charity, shews the nature of grace. She is beloved of the Highest, and embraced of the wisest, honoured with the worthiest, and graced with the best: she makes imprisonment liberty, when the mind goeth through the world; and in sickness finds health, where death is the way to life: she is an enemy to passion, and knows no purgatory; thinks fortune a fiction, and builds only upon Providence: she is the sick man's salve, and the whole man's preserver; the wise man's staff, and the good man's guide. In sum, not to wade too far in her worthiness, lest I be drowned in the depth of wonder, I will thus end in her endless honour,—she is the grace of Christ, and the virtue of Christianity, the praise of goodness, and the preserver of the world.
Love is the life of nature, and the joy of reason, in the spirit of grace, where virtue, drawing affection, the concord of sense, makes an union unseparable in the divine apprehension of the joy of Election: it is a ravishment of the soul in the delight of the spirit, which, being carried above itself into inexplicable comfort, feels that heavenly sickness that is better than the world's health, when the wisest of men, in the swounding delight of his sacred inspiration, could thus utter the sweetness of his passion, My soul is sick of love. It is a healthful sickness in the soul, a pleasing passion in the heart, a contentive labour in the mind, and a peaceful trouble of the senses: it alters natures in contrarieties, when difficulty is made easy, pain made a pleasure, poverty riches, and imprisonment liberty; for the content of conceit, which regards not to be an abject, in being subject, but to an object: it rejoiceth in truth, and knows no inconstancy: it is free from jealousy, and feareth no fortune: it breaks the rule of arithmetic by confounding of number, where the conjunction of thoughts make one mind in two bodies, where neither figure nor cipher can make division of union: it sympathies with life, and participates with light, when the eye of the mind sees the joy of the heart: it is a predominant power, which endures no equality, and yet communicates with reason in the rules of concord: it breeds safety in a king, and peace in a kingdom, nation's unity, and nature's gladness: it sings in labour in the joy of hope, and makes a paradise in reward of desert: it pleads but mercy in the justice of the Almighty, and but mutual amity in the nature of humanity. In sum, having no eagle's eye to look upon the sun, and fearing to look too high for fear of a chip
I will in these few words speak in praise of this peerless virtue,-Love is the grace of nature, and the glory of reason, the blessing of God, and the comfort of the world.
in mine eye,
Peace is a balm in conceit, where the senses take pleasure in the rest of the spirit. It is nature's holiday after reason's labour, and wisdom's music in the concords of the mind: it is a blessing of grace, a bounty of mercy, a proof of love, and a preserver of life: it holds no arguments, knows no quarrels, is an enemy to sedition, and a continuance of amity: it is the root of plenty, the tree of pleasure, the fruit of love, and the sweetness of life: it is like the still night, where all things are at rest, and the quiet sleep, where dreams are not troublesome; or the resolved point, in the perfection of knowledge, where no cares nor doubts make controversies in opinion: it needs no watch where is no fear of enemy, nor Solicitor of causes where agreements are concluded : it is the intent of law, and the fruit of justice; the end of war, and the beginning of wealth: it is a grace in a court, and a glory in a kingdom; a blessing in a family, and a happiness in a commonwealth : it fills the
rich man's coffers, and feeds the poor man's labour; it is the wise man's study, and the good man's joy : who love it are gracious, who make it are blessed, who keep it are happy, and who break it are miserable: it hath no dwelling with idolatry, nor friendship with falshood; for her life is in truth, and in her, all is amen. But lest in the justice of peace I may rather be reproved for my ignorance of her worth, than thought worthy to speak in her praise, with this only conclusion in the commendation of peace, I will draw to an end, and hold my peace:-it was a message of joy at the birth of Christ, a song of joy at the embracement of Christ, an assurance of joy at the death of Christ, and shall be the fulness of joy at the coming of Christ.
War is a scourge of the wrath of God, which, by famine, fire, or sword, humbleth the spirits of the repentant, trieth the patience of the faithful, and hardeneth the hearts of the ungodly ; it is the misery of Time, and the terror of Nature; the dispeopling of the earth, and the ruin of her beauty : her life is action, her food blood, her honour valour, and her joy conquest. She is valour's exercise, and honour's adventure; reason’s trouble, and peace's enemy: she is the stout man's love, and the weak man's fear; the poor man's toil, and the rich man's plague: she is the armourer's benefactor, and the chirurgeon's agent; the coward's ague, and the desperate's overthrow.' She is the wish of envy, the plague of them that wish her, the shipwreck of life, and the agent of death. The best of her is, that she is the seasoner of the body, and the manager of the mind, for the enduring of labour, in the resolution of action: she thunders in the air, rips up the earth, cuts through the seas, and consumes with the fire: she is indeed the invention of malice, the work of mischief, the music of hell, and the dance of the devil: she