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CH A P. I.
A General Preparation towards a Holy and

Blessed Death, by way of Consideration.



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Consideration of the Vanity and Shortness of
Man's Life

Man is a Bubble (faid the Greek Proverb) toucón de ó
which Lucian represents with Advantages and organisa,
its proper Circumstances, to this purpose,

Saying ; All the World is a Storm, and Men rise up in their several Generations like Bubbles de scending à Fove pluvio, from God and the Dew of Heaven, from a tear and drop of Man, from Nature and Providence : And some of these instantly link into the Deluge of their first Parent, and are hidden in a Sheet of Water; having had no other Business in the World but to be born, that they might be able to die: Others float up and down two or three Turns, and suddenly disappear and give their Place to others : And they that live longest upon the Face of the Waters, are in perpetual Motion, restless and unealy, and being crusi’d with a great drop of a Cloud, fink inco fatness and a froth: the Change not being great, ir being hardly possible it tould be more a nothing, than it was before. So is every Man: He is born in Vanity and Sin; he comes into the World like Morning-Muthrooms, Toon thrusting up their Heads into the Air, and converfing with their Kindred of the fame Production, and as soon they turn into Dust and Forgetfulness : Tome of them without any other Interests in the Affairs of the World, but that they made their Parents a



little glad, and very sorrowful : Others ride longer in the Storm; it may be until feven Years of Vanity be expired, and then peradventure the Sun shines hot upon their heads, and they fall into the Dades below, into the Cover of Death, and Darkness of the Grave to hide them. But if the Bubble Itands the fhock of a bigger drop, and out-lives the chances of a Child, of a careless Nurse, of drowning in a Pail of water, of being overlaid by a fleepy Servant, or such little Accidents, then the young Man dances like a bubble, empty and gay, and shines like a Dove's neck, or the image of a Rainbow, which hath no substance, and whose very imagery and colours are phantastical; and so he dances out the Gaiety of his Youth, and is all the while in a storm, and endures, only because he is not knocked on the head by a drop of bigger rain, or crufhed by the pressure of a load of indigested meat, or quenched by the disorder of an ill placed humour : and to preferve a Man alive in the midst of so many chances and hoftilities, is as great a miracle as to create him; to preserve him from rufhing into nothing, and at first to draw him up from nothing, were equally the issues of an Almighty Power. And therefore the wife Men of the World have contended, who shall best fit Mans condition with words signifying his vanity and fort abode. Homer calls a Man a leaf, the smallest, the weakest piece of a short-liv’d, unsteady plant. Pindar calls him, the dream of a shadow : Another, the dream

of the shadow of Smoak. But St. James (pake by a more Jan. 4. 14. excellent Spirit, saying, [Our life is but a vapour,] viz. ατμίς.

drawn from the earth by a celeltial influence, made of smoak, or the lighter parts of water, toffed with every wind, moved by the motion of a superior body, without virtue in itself, lifted up on high, or

left below, according as it pleases the Son its Fosteruvo ukr. Father. But it is lighter yet. It is but appear

ing; a phantastick vapour, an apparition, nothing real: It is not so much as a mist, not the matter of a shower, nor substantial enough to make a cloud; but it is like Calopeia's chair, or Pelops's shoulder, or



the circles of Heaven, Dervófe, for which you cannot have a word that can fignify a verier nothing. And yet the expression is one degree more made diminutive : A vapour, and phantastical, or a mere appearance, and this but for a little while neither; the very dream, the phantasm disappears in a small time, like the badow that ares's oxia departetb, or like a tale that is told, or as a dream when 30v. one awaketh. A Man is so vain, so unfixed, so perishing a Creature, that he cannot long last in the sense of fancy : a Man goes off and is forgotten like the dream of a distracted person. The sum of all is this; That thou art a Man, than whom there is not in the

Το ό κεφάλαιον τη λόγων, άνθρωπG 6, & world any greater Instance

μεταβολίω θάττον σejς ύψη, και πάλιν τα

πεινότηλα, ζώον δεν λαμβάνει. of height and declensions, of lights and shadows, of misery and folly, of laughter and tears; of groans and death.

And because this Confideration is of great Usefulness and great Necessity to many purposes of Wifdom and the Spirit ; all the Succeflion of Time, all the Changes in Natuce, all the Varieties of Light and Darkness, the Thousand-thousands of Accidents in the World, and every Contingency to every Man, and to every Creature, doth preach our Funeral Sermon, and calls us to look and see how the old Sexton Time throws up the Earth, and digs a Grave, where we must lay our Sins or our Sorrows, and sow our Bodies cili they arise again in a fair or in an intolerable Eternity. Every Revolution which the Sun makes about the World,

Nihil fibi quisquam de futuro debet prodivides between Life and mittere, id quoq; quod tenetur per manus Death ; and Death poffef- fus incidit. Volvitur tempus ratâ quidem

exit, & ipsam quam premimus horam cases both those Portions by lege, fed per obscuram. Seneia. the next Morrow; and we are dead to all those Months which we have already lived, and we shall never live them over again : And still God makes little Periods of our Age. First we change our World, when we come from the Womb to feel the Warmth of the Sun. Then we Sleep and enter into the Image of Death, in which State we are unconcerned in all the Changes of the World ; And if our Mothers

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