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er our hferior world
heaven no less glorious above the visible, than those above the earth. Oh how miserable is the place of our pilgrimage, in re. spect of our home! Let my soul tread awhile in the steps of thine own proceedings; and so think, as thou wroughtest: when we would describe a man, we begin not at the feet but the head : the head of thy creation is the heaven; how high! how spacious! how glorious! It is a wonder that we can look up to so admirable a height, and that the very eye is not tired in the way. If this ascending line could be drawn right forwards, some, that have calculated curiously, have found it five hundred years' journey unto the starry heaven. I do not examine their art; O Lord, I wonder rather at thine, which hast drawn so large a line about this little, point of earth : for in the plainest rules of art and experience, the compass must needs be six times as much as half the height. We think one island great, but the earth unmeasurable. If we were in that heaven with these eyes, the whole earth, were it equal. ly enlightened, would seem as little to us, as now the least star in the firmament seems to us upon earth: and, indeed, how few stars are so little as it! And yet how many void and ample spaces are there beside all the stars! The hugeness of thy work, O God, is little inferior for admiration to the majesty of it. . But, oh! what a glorious heaven is this, which thou hast spread Over our heads! With how precious a vault hast thou walled in this our inferior world! What worlds of light hast thou set above us! Those things, which we see, are wondrous: but those, which we believe and see not, are yet more. Thou dost but set out these unto view, to shew us what there is within. How proportionable are thy works to thyself! Kings erect not cottages, but set forth their magnificence in sumptuous buildings : so hast thou done, O King of Glory. If the lowest pavement of that heaven of thine be so glorious, what shall we think of the better parts yet unseen? And if this sun of thine be of such brightness and majesty, oh what is the glory of the maker of it? And yet if some other of thy stars were let down as low as it, those other stars would be suns to us; which now thou wouldst rather have admired in their distance. And if such a sky be prepared for the use and benefit even of thine enemies also upon earth, how happy shall those eternal tabernacles be, which thou hast sequestered for thine own!
Behold then in this high and stately building of thine, I see three stages; this lowest heaven for fowls, for vapour, for meteors: the second, for the stars: the third, for thine angels and saints. The first is thine outward court, open for all: the second is the body of thy covered temple, wherein are those candles of heaven perpe, tually burning: the third is thy holy of holies. In the first is tu. mult and vanity: in the second, immutability and rest : in the third, glory and blessedness. The first we feel; the second we see; the third we believe. In these two lower is no felicity; for neither the fowls nor stars are happy. It is in the third heaven alone, where thou, O blessed Trinity, enjoyest thyself, and thy glorified spirits enjoy thee. It is the manifestation of thy glorious presence,
we see, are wond Thou
glory and bece. In these two It is in the thand thy glorifie
that makes Heaven to be itself. This is the privilege of thy chil. dren: that they here seeing thee, which art invisible, by the eye of faith, have already begun that heaven, which the perfect sight of thee shall make perfect above..
Let my soul then let these heavens alone, till it may see, as it is seen: that we may descend to this lowest and meanest region of heaven, wherewith our senses are more acquainted. What marvels do even here meet with us! There are thy clouds, thy bottles of rain ; vessels as thin as the liquor which is contained in them : there they hang, and move, though weighty with their burden: how they are upheld, and why they fall, here and now, we know not, and wonder. These thou makest one while as some airy seas to hold water: another while, as some airy furnaces whence thou scatterest the sudden fires unto all parts of the earth, astonishing the world with the fearful noise of that eruption'; out of the midst of water thou fetchest fire, and hard stones out of the midst of thin vapours : another while, as some steel-glasses, wherein the sun looks and shews his face in the variety of those colours which he hath not. There are thy streams of light, blazing and falling stars, fires darted up and down in many forms, hollow openings, and, as it were, gulphs in the sky, bright circles about the moon and other planets, snows, hail: in all which it is enough to admire thy hand, though we cannot search qut thine action. There are thy subtle winds, which we hear and feel, yet neither can see their substance, nor know their causes: whence and whither they pass, and what they are, thou knowest. There are thy fowls of all shapes, colours, notes, and natures : whilst I compare these with the inhabitants of that other heaven, I find those stars, and spirits like one another; those meteors and fowls, in as many varieties, as there are several creatures. Why is this? Is it because man, for whose sake these are made, delights in change; thou in constancy? Or is it, that in these thou mayest shew thine own skill, and their imperfection ? There is no variety in that which is perfect, because there is but one perfection; and so much shall we grow nearer to perfectness, by how much we drąw nearer to unity, and uniformity.
From thence, if we go down to the great deep, the womb of moisture, the well of fountains, the great pond of the world; we know not whether to wonder at the element itself, or the guests which it contains. How doth that sea of thine roar, and foam, and swell, as if it would swallow up the earth! Thou stayest the rage of it by an insensible violence; and by a natural miracle confinest his waves; why it moves, and why it stays, it is to us equally won. derful. What living mountains (such are thy whales) roll up and down in those fearful billows: for greatness of number, hugeness of quantity, strangeness of shapes, variety of fashions, neither air nor earth can compare with the waters. .
I say nothing of thy hid treasures, which thy wisdom hath reposed, in the bowels of the earth and sea; how secretly, and how basely are they laid up! secretly, that we might not seek them; basely, that we might not over-esteem them: I need not dig so low
know not the well of to down unity, and uniterer to perfecis but
uin What liv moves, and ; and by a ha, Thou sta
of earth can compeness of shapes, greatness of numes) roll up
as these metals, mineries, quarties which yield riches enough of observation to the soul; how many millions of wonders doth the very face of the earth offer me; which of these herbs, flowers, trees, leaves, seeds, fruits, is there; what beast, what worm, wherein we may not see the footsteps of a Deity? wherein we may not read infiniteness of power, of skill : and must be forced to confess, that he, which made the angels and stars of heaven, made also the vermin on the earth? O God, the heart of man is too strait to admirė enough, even that which he treads upon. What shall we say to thee, the Maker of all these? O Lord, how wonderful are thy works in all the world ! in wisdom hast thou made them all. And in all these thou spakest, and they were done. Thy will is thy word, and thy word is thy deed. Our tongüe, and hand, and heart áre different : all are one in thee; which art simply one, and infinite. Here needed no helps, no instruments; what could be present with the Eternal ? what needed, or what could be added to the Infinite? Thy hand is not shortened, thy word is still equally effectual; say thou the word, and my soul shall be made new again : say thou the word, and my body shall be repaired from his dust. For all things obey thee, O Lord ! 'why do I not yield to the word of thy counsel; since I must yield, as all thy creatures, to the word of thy command ?
. Gen. i.
OF MAN. BUT, O God, what a little Lord hast thou made over this great world! The least corn of sand is not so small to the whole earth, as man is to the heaven: when I see the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars; () God, what is man! who would think thou shouldst make all these creatures for one? and that one well near the least of all ? Yet none but he can see what thou hast done; none but he can admire and adore thee in what he seeth; how had he need to do nothing but this, since he alone must do it! Certainly, the price and virtue of things consist not in the quantity: one diamond is more worth than many quarries of stone, one loadstone hath more virtue than mountains of earth : It is lawful for us to praise thee in ourselves,. . All thy creation hath not more wonder in it, than one of us : other creatures thou madest by a simple command; man, not with. out a divine consultation : others at once; man thou didst first form, then inspire : others in several shapes like to none but themselves; man, after thine own image: others with qualities fit for service; man, for dominion. Man had his name from thee; they had their names from man. How should we be consecrated to thee above all others, since thou hast bestowed more cost on us than others! • What shall I ad nire first? thy providence in the time of our creation?: or thy power and wisdom in the act? First, thou madest the great house of the world, and furnishedst it: then thou broughtest in thy tenant to possess it. The bare walls had been too good for
us, but thy love was above our desert. Thou, that madest the earth ready for us before we were, hast by the same mercy prepared a place in heaven for us while we are on earth. The stage was first fully prepared, then was man brought forth thither, as an actor or spectator : that he might neither be idle nor discontent; behold, thou hadst addressed an earth for use, and heaven for contemplation.
After thou hadst drawn that large real map of the world, thou didst thus abridge it into this little table of man ; he alone consists of heaven and earth, soul and body. Even this earthly part, which iš vile in comparison of the other; as it is thine, O God, I dare admire it, though I can neglect it as mine own; for lo, this heap of earth hath an outward referenoe to heaven: other creatures grovel down to their earth, and have all their senses intent upon it; this is reared up towards heaven, and hath no more power to look beside heaven, than to tread beside the earth. : Unto this, every part hath his wonder. The head is nearest to heaven, as in place, so in res semblance; both for roundness of figure, and for those divine guests which have their seat in it; there dwell those majestical powers of reason, which makes a man; all the senses as they have their origi. nal from thence, so they do all agree there to manifest their virtue: how goodly proportions bast thou set in the face ! such as though oft-times we can give no reason when they please, yet transport us to admiration, What living glasses are those which thou hast placed in the midst of this visage, whereby all objects from far are clearly represented to the mind? and because their tenderness, lies open to dangers, how hast thou defended them with hollow bones, and with prominent brows, and lids! And lest they should be too much bent on what they ought not, thou hast given them peculiar nerves to pull them up towards the seat of their rest. What a tongue hast thou given him, the instrument not of taste only, but of speech! How sweet and excellent voices are formed by that little loose film of flesh! What an incredible strength hast thou given to the weak bones of the jaws! What a comely and tower like neck; therefore most sinewy, because smallest! And lest I be infinite, what able arms and active hands hast thou framed him, whereby he can frame all things to his own conceit! In every part, beauty, strength, convenience meet together, Neither is there, any whereof our weakness cannot give reason, why it should be no otherwise. How hast thou disposed of all the inward ves. sels, for all offices of life, nourishment, egestion, generation! No vein, sinew, artery is idle. There is no piece in this exquisite frame, whereof the place, use, form, doth not adınit wonder, and exceed it,
Yet this body if it be compared to the soul, what is it, but as a clay wall that encompasses a treasure; as a wooden box of a jew. eller; as a coarse case to a rich instrument; or as a mask to a beautiful face! Man was made last, because he was worthiest The soul was inspired last, because yet more noble; if the body have this honour to be the companion of the soul, yet withal it is the drudge. If it be the instrument, yet also the clog of that di. vine part : the companion for life, the drudge for, service, the instrument for action, the clog in respect of contemplation. These external works are effected by it, the internal which are more non ble, hindered ; contrary to the bird which sings most in her cage, but flies most and highest at liberty. This my soul teaches me of itself, that itself cannot conceive how capable, how active it is. It can pass by her nimble thoughts from heaven to earth in a moment: it can be all things, can comprehend all things; know that which is; and conceive that which never was, never shall be : non thing can fill it, but thou which art infinite: nothing can limit it, but thou which art everywhere. O God, which madest it, re. plenish it, possess it, dwell thou in it, which hast appointed it to dwell in clay. The body was made of earth common to his fellows, the soul inspired immediately from God. The body lay senseless upon the earth like itself: the breath of life gave it what it is; and that breath was from thee. Sense, motion, reason, are infused into it, at once. From whence then was this quickening breath? No air, no earth, no water was here used to give help to this work : thou, that breathedst upon man and gavest him the Holy Spirit, didst also breathe upon the body and gavest it a living spirit; we are beholden to nothing but thee for our soul. Our fesh is from flesh, our spirit is from the God of Spiritş. How should our souls rise up to thee, and fix themselves in their thoughts upon thee, whoalone createdst them in their infusion, and infusedst them in their creation! How should they long to return back to the Fountain of their being, and Author of being glorious! Why may we not say, that this soul, as it came from thee, so it is like thee as thou, so it, is one, immaterial, immortal, understanding spirit, distinguished into three powers which all make up one spirit. So thou, the wise Creator of all things, wouldst have some things to resemble their Creator. These other creatures are all body; man is body and spirit; the angels are all spirit not without a kind of spi. ritual composition; thou art alone after thine own manner, simple, glorious, infinite; no creature can be like thee in thy proper being, because it is a creature; how should our finite, weak, compounded nature give any perfect resemblance of thine? Yet of all visible creatures thou vouchsafest man the nearest correspondence to thee: not so much in the natural faculties, as in those divine graces, wherewith thou beautifiest his soul.
Our knowledge, holiness, righteousness, was like the first copy from which they were drawn. Behold, we were not more like thee in these, than now we are unlike ourselves in their loss. O God, we now praise ourselves to our shame; for the better we were, we are the worse'; as the sons of some prodigal or tainted ancestors, tell of the lands and lordships which were once theirs. Only do thou whet our desires answerably to the readiness of thy mercies, that we may redeem what we have lost; that we may recover in thee what we have lost in ourselves. The fault shall be ours, if our damage prove not beneficial. .