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ing well what he hath been, and what he muft be, is not confounded in himself, by obferving the pride of his own life and the great diforder of his paffions. The end of all other creatures is lefs deform'd than that of man. Plants in their death retain fome pleafing smell of their bodies: the little rose buries itself in her natural sweetness and carnation colour. Many creatures at their death leave us their teeth, horns, feathers, skins; of which we make great use: others, after death, are ferved up in filver and golden dishes, to feed the greatest persons of the world. Only man's dead carcafe is good for nothing but to feed worms; and yet he often retains the prefumptuous pride of a giant, by the exorbitance of his heart; and the cruel nature of a murderer, by the furious rage of his revenge. Surely that man muft either be ftupid by nature, or most wicked by his own election, who will not correct and amend himself, having ftill before his eyes afhes for his glass and death for his mistress.

2. This confideration of duft is an excellent remedy to curevice, and an affured rampart against temptation. St. Paulinus faith excellently well, that holy Job was free from all temptations when he was placed upon the fmoke and duft of his humility. He that lies


upon the ground can fall no lower; but may contemplate all above him, and meditate how to raise himself by the hand of God, which pulls down the proud and exalts the humble. Is a man tempted with pride? the confideration of ashes will humble him. Is a man burnt with wanton love? (which is a direct fire) fire cannot confume ashes. Is he perfecuted with covetoufness? afhes make the greatest leeches and bloodfuckers caft their gorges. Every thing gives way to this unvalued thing, because God is pleased to draw the inftruments of his power out of the objects of our infirmities.

3. If we knew how to use rightly the meditation of death, we should there find the ftreams of life. All the world together is of no estimation to him that rightly knows the true value of a juft man's death. It would be neceffary that they who are taken with the curiofity of tulips, fhould fet in their gardens a plant call'd Naple, which carries a flower that perfectly resembles a death's head and if the other tulips please their fenfes, that will inftruct their reason. Before our last death we should die many other deaths, by forfaking all thofe creatures and affections which lead us to fin. We fhould refemble those creatures, facred to


the Ægyptians, call'd Cynocephales, that died piece-meal, and were buried long before their death: fo fhould we bury all our concupifcences before we go to the grave, and ftrive to live fo that when death comes he should find very little business with us.


O Father of all effences, who giveft beginning to all things and art without end, this day I take afhes upon my head, thereby profeffing, before thee, my being nothing; and to do thee homage for that which I am, and for that I ought to be, by thy great bounties. Alafs! O Lord, my poor foul is confounded to fee so many sparkles of pride and covetoufness arise from this caitiff duft, which I am; fo little do I yet learn how to live, and fo late do I know how to die. O God of my life and death, I moft humbly beseech thee fo to govern the first in me, and fo to fweeten the laft for me, that, if I live, I may live only for thee; and if I muft die, that I may enter into everlasting blifs, by dying in thy bleffed love and favour.


The Gofpel for Afh-Wednesday, St. Matthew vi.

Of hypocritical fasting.

HEN you faft, be not, as the hypocrites, fad: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen, I fay unto you, that they have received their


But thou, when thou doft faft, anoint thy bead, and wash thy face; that thou appear not to men to faft, but to thy father which is in fecret: and thy father which feeth in fecret will repay thee.

Heap not up to yourselves treasures on the earth; where the ruft and moth do corrupt, and where thieves dig through and fteal: but heap up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither ruft nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not dig through nor fteal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.


man goes to hell

the of Paradife who fafts and afflicts his body to draw the praife of men. Sorrow and vanity together are not able to make one chriftian act. He deferves everlasting hunger

ger who ftarves himself that he may fwell and burst with vain-glory. He stands for a Spectacle for others, being the murderer of himself; and by fowing vanity, reaps nothing but the wind. Our intentions must be wholly directed to God, and our examples for our neighbour. The father of all virtues is not to be ferved with counterfeit devotions; fuch lies are abominable in his fight; and Tertullian faith, they are as many adulteries.

2. It imports us much to begin Lent well, entering those lifts in which so many Souls have run their courfe with fo great ftrictness; having been glorious before God, and honourable before men. The difficulty of it is apprehended only by those who have their understandings obfcured by a violent affection to kitchen-ftuff. It is no more burdenfome to a couragious fpirit, than feathers are to a bird. The chearfulness which a man brings to a good action in the beginning, does half the work. Let us wash our faces by confeffion; let us perfume our head, who is Jefus Chrift, by alms deeds. Fafting is a moft delicious feast to the conscience, when it is accompanied with pureness and charity; but it breeds

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