« ÖncekiDevam »
ance, deep in contemplation, and not inclinable to discourse ; which gave the Doctor occasion to require his present thoughts. To which he replied, “That he was meditating the number and nature of angels, and their blessed obedience and order, without which peace could not be in heaven: and oh, that it might be so on earth!” After which words, he said, “ I have lived to see this world is made up of perturbations; and I have been long preparing to leave it, and gathering comfort for the dreadful hour of making my account with God, which I now apprehend to be near : and though I have, by his grace, loved him in my youth, and feared him in' mine age, and laboured to have a conscience void of offence to him, and to al yet, if thou, O Lord, be extreme to mark what I have done amiss, who can abide it ? and therefore, where I have failed, Lord, show mercy unto me; for I plead not my righteousness, but the forgiveness of my unrighteousness, for His merits who died to purchase pardon for penitent sinners : and since I owe thee a death, Lord, let it not be terrible ; and then take thine own time, I submit to it: let not mine, O Lord, but let Thy will be done!" with which expression he fell into a dangerous slumber; dangerous as to his recovery; yet recover he did but it was to speak only these few words: “Good Doctor, God hath heard my daily petitions; for I am at peace with all men, and he is at peace with me; and from that blessed assurance I feel that inward joy, which this world can neia ther give nor take from me: my conscience beareth
me this witness, and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful. I could wish to live to do the Church more service, but cannot hope it; for my days are past as a shadow that returns not.” More he would have spoken, but his spirits failed him; and, after a short conflict betwixt nature and death, a quiet sigh put a period to his last breath, and so he fell asleep.
And here I draw his curtain, till, with the most glorious company of the Patriarchs and Apostles, and the most noble army of Martyrs and Confessors, this most learned, most humble, holy man, shall also awake to receive an eternal tranquillity; and with it a greater degree of glory than common Christians shall be made partakers of. In the mean time, bless, O Lord ! Lord, bless his brethren, the clergy of this nation, with effectual endeavours to attain, if not to his great learning, yet to his remarkable meekness, his godly simplicity, and his Christian moderation! for these will bring peace at the last: and, Lord! let his most excellent writings be blessed with what lie designed, when he undertook them ; which was, glory to thee, O God on high! peace in thy Church, and good will to mankind. Amen, Amen.
(ESSAYS XXVI. XXXIX. XLIII. AND LI.)
AFFECTED dispatch is one of the most dangerous things to business that can be. It is like that which the physicians call pre-digestion, or hasty digestion, which is sure to fill the body full of crudities and secret seeds of diseases. Therefore measure not dispatch by the times of sitting, but by the advancement of the business. And, as in races, it is not the large stride, or high lift, that makes the speed; so in business, the keeping close to the matter, and not taking of it too much at once, procureth dispatch. It is the care of some only to come off speedily for the time, or to contrive some false periods of business, because they may seem menof dispatch. But it is one thing to abbreviate by contracting, another by cutting off; and business so handled, at several sittings or meetings, goeth commonly backward and forward, in an unsteady manner. I knew a wise man that had it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to a conclusion, Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner.”
On the other side, true dispatch is a rich thing. For time is the measure of business, as money is of wares; and business is bought at a dear hand, where there is small dispatch. The Spartans and Spaniards have been noted to be of small dispatch: Mi venga la muerte de Spagna, “Let my death come from Spain;" for then it will be sure to be long in coming.
Give good hearing to those that give the first information in business; and rather direct them in the beginning, than interrupt them in the continuance of their speeches : for he that is put out of his own order will go forward and backward, and be more tedious while he waits upon his memory, than he could have been if he had gone on in his own course.
But sometimes it is seen, that the moderator is more troublesome than the actor.
Iterations are commonly loss of time ; but there is no such gain of time as to iterate often the state of the question; for it chaseth away many a frivolous speech, as it is coming forth. Long and curious speeches are as fit for dispatch, as a robe or mantle with a long train is for race.
Prefaces, and passages, and excusations, and other speeches of reference to the person, are great wastes of time; and though they seem to proceed of modesty, they are bravery. Yet beware of being too material, when there is any impediment or obstruction in men's wills; for pre-occupation of mind ever requireth preface of speech, like a fomentation to make the ungüent enter.
Above all things, order, and distribution, and singling out of parts, is the life of dispatch, so as the distribution be not too subtile: for he that doth not divide will never enter well into business : and he that divideth too much will never come out of it clearly. To choose time is to save time, and an unreasonable motion is but beating the air. There be three parts of business—the preparation, the debate or examination, and the perfection; whereof, if you look for dispatch, let the middle only be the work of many, and the first and last the work of few. The proceeding upon somewhat conceived in writing doth, for the most part, facilitate dispatch; for, though it should be wholly rejected, yet that negative is more pregnant of direction than an indefinite; as ashes are more generative than dust.
OF NATURE IN MEN.
NATURE is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished. Force maketh nature violent in the return; doctrine and discourse maketh nature less importune; but custom only doth alter and subdue nature. He that seeketh victory over his nature, let him not set himself too great nor too small tasks; for the first will make him dejected, by often failing; and the second will make him a small proceeder, though by often prevailings. And, at the first, let him practise with helps, as swimmers do with