If the men in Turkey should use in their religion of Mahomet* to sell, as our patrons commonly sell benefices here, the office of preaching, the office of salvation, it would be taken as an intolerable thing; the Turk would not suffer it in his commonwealth. Patrons be charged to see the office done, and not to seek lucre and gain by their patronship. There was a patron in England, when it was, that had a benefice fallen into his hand, and a good brother of mine came unto him, and brought him thirty apples in a dish, and gave them to his man to carry them to his master : and it is like he gave one to his man for his labour, to make up the game,

and so there was thirty-one. This man cometh to his master, and presenteth him with the dish of apples, saying, sir, such a man hath sent you a dish of fruit, and desireth you to be good unto him for such a benefice. Tush, tush, quoth he, this is no apple matter: I will have none of his apples, I have as good as these, or as any he hath, in my own orchard. The man came to the priest again, and told him what his master said : then quoth the priest, desire him yet to prove

* Ricaut says, The Turks have a great regard to truth in all their dealings; and that they detest lying and deceit. The Mufti of Constantinople keep no office for the sale of dispensations, pardons, indulgences, the purchase of livings in proviso, the praying of souls out of purgatory, and the canonization of saints.

one of them for my sake, he shall find them much better than they look for. He cut one of them, and found ten pieces of gold in it. Marry, quoth he, this is a good apple: the priest standing not far off, hearing what the gentleman said, cried out and answered, they are all one fruit, I warrant you, sir : they grew all on one tree, and have all one taste. Well, he is a good fellow, let him have it, said the patron, &c. Get you a graft of this tree, and I warrant you it will stand you in better stead than all St. Paul's learning. *


We read a pretty story of St. Anthony, who being in the wilderness, led there a very hard and strict life, insomuch as none at that time did the like, to whom came a voice from heaven, saying, Anthony, thou art not so perfect as is a cobbler that

* Serm. ix. vol. 1, 165. ed. 1758.

+ Lord Bacon is constant in his admonition of the wisdom of uniting contemplation and action ; “ that,” he says, indeed dignify and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and action may be more nearly and strongly conjoined and united together, than they have been; a conjunction like unto that of the two highest planets, Saturn the planet of rest and contemplation, and Jupiter the planet of civil society and action :” and speaking of himself, Lord Bacon says, “ we judge also that mankind may conceive some hopes from our example, which we offer, not by way of ostentation, but because it may be useful. If any one therefore should despair, let him consider a man as much employed in civil affairs as any other of

“ will

age, a man of no great sha of health, who must

none, for


dwelleth at Alexandria. Anthony hearing this, rose up forth with, and took his staff and travelled till he came to Alexandria, where he found the cobbler. The cobbler was astonished to see so reverend a father come to his house. Then Anthony said unto him, Come and tell me thy whole conversation, and how thou spendest thy time? Sir, said the cobbler, as for me, good works have I

life is but simple and slender; I am but a poor cobbler: in the morning when I rise, I pray for the whole city wherein I dwell, especially for all such neighbours and poor friends as I have : after, I set me at my labour, where I spend the whole day in getting my living, and I keep me from all falsehood, for I hate nothing so much as I do deceitfulness; wherefore, when I make any man a promise, I keep it, and perform it truly; and thus I spend my time poorly, with my wife and children, whom I teach and instruct, as far as my wit will serve me, to fear and dread God. And this is the sum of my simple life. *

therefore have lost much time, and yet, in this undertaking, he is the first that leads the way, unassisted by any mortal, and steadfastly entering the true path, that was absolutely untrod before, and submitting his mind to things, may somewhat have advanced the design.”

* Serm. xxxiii. vol. 2, p. 737. ed. 1758.

Amongst the reasons which Sir Thomas More assigns for not having sooner published his Utopia, he has transmitted to us the following family picture :-Dum foris totum ferme diem aliis impertior, reliquum meis : relinquo mihi, hoc est, literis nihil. Nempe reverso domum, cum uxore fabulandum est, garriendum cum liberis, colloquendum cum ministris. Quæ ego omnia inter negotia numero, quando fieri


The Nativity was revealed first to the shepherds, and it was revealed unto them in the night time, when every body was at rest, then they heard the joyful tidings of the Saviour of the world : for these shepherds were keeping their sheep in the night season from the wolf or other beasts, and from the fox.

By these shepherds all men may learn to attend upon their offices, and callings: I would wish that all clergymen, the curates, parsons, and vicars, the bishops, and all other spiritual persons, would learn this lesson by these poor shepherds; which is this, to abide by their flocks and by their sheep, to tarry amongst them, to be careful over them, not to run hither and thither after their own pleasure, but to tarry by their benefices and feed their sheep with the food of God's word, and to keep

necesse est (necesse est autem, nisi velis esse domi tua peregrinus) et danda, omnino opera est, ut quos vitæ tuæ comites, aut natura providit, aut fecit casus, aut ipse delegisti, his ut te quam jucundissimum compares.—Mori Utopia, præfatio, pagina, 4, 5.

He devoted the little time which he could spare from his avocations abroad to his family, and spent it in little innocent and endearing conversations with his wife and children : which, though some might think them triling amusements, he placed among the necessary duties and business of life; it being incumbent on every one to make himself as agreeable as possible to those whom nature has made, or he himself has singled out for his companions in life.

hospitality, and so to feed them both soul and body."

And now I would ask a strange question ; who is the most diligent bishop and prelate in all England, and passeth all the rest in doing his office ? I can tell, for I know him who he is; I know him well: but now methinks I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will

ye know who it is? I will tell you: It is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other; he is never out of his diocess; he is never from his cure ; ye shall never find him unoccupied ; he is ever in his parish ; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way, call for him when ye will; he is ever at home; the most diligent preacher in all the realm. He is ever at his plough; no lording nor loitering may hinder him; he is ever applying to his business ; ye

shall never find him idle, I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of popery. He is as ready as can be wished for to set forth his plough; to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory. Where the devil is resident, and hath his plough going, there away with books and up with candles ; away with Bibles and up with beads; away with the light of the gospel, and up with the light of candles, yea, at

* Serm. xxxv. vol. 2, p. 769, ed. 1758.


« ForrigeFortsett »