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is rent”, and the prison-doors are open at the presence of God's angel, the soul goes forth full of hope, sometimes with evidence, but always with certainty in the thing, and instantly it passes into the throngs of spirits, where angels meet it singing, and the devils flock with malicious and vile purposes, desiring to lead it away with them into their houses of sorrow: there they see things which they never saw, and hear voices which they never heard. There the devils charge them with many sins, and the angels remember, that themselves rejoiced, when they were repented of. Then the devils aggravate and describe all the circumstances of the sin, and add calumnies; and the angels bear the sword forward still, because their Lord doth answer for them. Then the devils rage and gnash their teetho; they see the soul chaste and pure, and they are ashamed; they see it penitent, and they despair ; they perceive, that the tongue was refrained and sanctified, and then hold their peace. Then the soul passes forth and rejoices, passing by the devils in scorn and triumph, being securely carried into the bosom of the Lord, where they shall rest, till their crowns are finished, and their mansions are prepared; and then they shall feast and sing, rejoice and worship, for ever and everP. Fearful and formidable to unholy persons is the first meeting with spirits in their separation. But the victory, which holy souls receive by the mercies of Jesus Christ and the conduct of angels, is a joy; that we must not understand, till we feel it: and yet such which by an early and a persevering piety we may secure: but let us inquire after it no further, because it is secret.
» S. Martyrius S. Eastratius Martyr.
• S. Chrysostomus. Ρ Μεγίστη των αιρετών θεοσέβεια, δι' ής αθανατίζεται ήψυχή.-Philo.
OF THE STATE OF SICKNESS, AND THE TEMPTATIONS
INCIDENT TO IT, WITH THEIR PROPER REMEDIES.
Of the state of Sickness. Adam's sin brought death into the world, and man did die the same day in which he sinned, according as God had threatened. He did not die, as death is taken for a separa-' tion of soul and body; that is not death properly, but the ending of the last act of death; just as a man is said to be born, when he ceases any longer to be born in his mother's womb: but whereas to man was intended a life long and happy, without sickness, sorrow, or infelicity, and this life should be lived here or in a better place, and the passage from one to the other should have been easy, safe, and pleasant, now that man sinned, he fell from that state to a contrary.
If Adam had stood, he should not always have lived in this world; for this world was not a place capable of giving a dwelling to all those myriads of men and women, which should have been born in all the generations of infinite and eternal ages; for so it must have been, if man had not died at all, nor yet have removed hence at all. Neither is it likely that man's innocence should have lost to him all possibility of going thither, where the duration is better, measured by a better time, subject to fewer changes, and which is now the reward of a returning virtue, which in all natural senses is less than innocence, save that it is heightened by Christ to an equality of acceptation with the state of innocence: but so it must have been, that his innocence should have been punished with an eternal confinement to this state, which in all reason is the less perfect, the state of a traveller, not of one possessed of his inheritance. It is therefore certain, man should have changed his abode: for so did Enoch, and so did Elias, and so shall all the world, that shall be alive at the day of judgment; they shall not die, but they shall
change their place and their abode, their duration and their state, and all this without death.
That death therefore, which God threatened to Adam, and which passed upon his posterity, is not the going out of this world, but the manner of going. If he had stayed in innocence, he should have gone from hence placidly and fairly, without vexations and afflictive circumstances; he should not have died by sickness, misfortune, defect, or unwillingness: but when he fell, then he began to die; the same day (so said God): and that must needs be true: and therefore it must mean,
that very day, he fell into an evil and dangerous condition, a state of change and affliction?; then death began, that is, the man began to die by a natural diminution, and aptness to disease and misery. His first state was, and should have been (so long as it lasted) a happy duration; his second, was a daily and miserable change: and this was the dying properly.
This appears in the great instance of damnation, which, in the style of Scripture, is called eternal death: not because it kills or ends the duration; it hath not so much good in it; but because it is a perpetual in felicity. Change or separation of soul and body is but accidental to death; death may be with or without either: but the formality, the curse and the sting of death, that is, misery, sorrow, fear, diminution, defect, anguish, dishonour, and whatsoever is miserable and afflictive in nature, that is death. Death is not an action, but a whole state and condition; and this was first brought in
upon us by the offence of one man.
But this went no farther than thus to subject us to temporal infelicity. If it had proceeded so far as was supposed, man had been much more miserable ; for man had more than one original sin, in this sense: and though this death entered first upon us by Adam's fault, yet it came nearer unto us and increased upon us by the sins of more of our forefathers. For Adam's sin left us in strength enough to contend with human calamities for almost a thousand years together. But the sins of his children, our forefathers, took off from us half the strength about the time of the flood; and then from five hundred to two hundred and fifty, and from thence to
,, Prima quæ vitam dedit hora carpsit.--Hercul. Fur. Nascentes morimur, finisque ab origine pendet.-Manil.
one hundred and twenty, and from thence to threescore and ten; so often halving it, till it is almost come to nothing. But by the sins of men in the several generations of the world, death, that is, misery and disease, is hastened so upon us, that we are of a contemptible age: and because we are to die by suffering evils, and by the daily lessening of our strength and health ; this death is so long a doing, that it makes so great a part of our short life useless and unserviceable, that we have not time enough to get the perfection of a single manufacture, but ten or twelve generations of the world must go to the making up of one wise man, or one excellent art: and in the succession of those ages there happen so many changes and interruptions, so many wars and violences, that seven years' fighting sets a whole kingdom back in learning and virtue, to which they were creeping, it may be, a whole age.
And thus also we do evil to our posterity, as Adam did to his, and Cham did to his, and Eli to his, and all they to theirs, who by sins caused God to shorten the life and multiply the evils of mankind : and for this reason it is, the world grows worse and worse, because so many original sins are multiplied, and so many evils from parents descend upon the succeeding generations of men, that they derive nothing from us but original misery.
But he who restored the law of nature, did also restore, us to the condition of nature; which, being violated by the introduction of death, Christ then repaired, when he suffered and overcame death for us; that is, he hath taken away the unhappiness of sickness, and the sting of death, and the dishonours of the grave, of dissolution and weakness, of decay and change, and hath turned them into acts of favour, into instances of comfort, into opportunities of virtue ; Christ hath now knit them into rosaries and coronets; he hath put them into promises and rewards; he hath made them part of the portion of his elect: they are instruments, and earnests, and securities, and passages, to the greatest perfection of human nature, and the Divine promises. So that it is possible for us now to be reconciled to sickness; it came in by sin, and therefore is cured, when it is turned into virtue; and although it may have in it the uneasiness of labour, yet it will not be uneasy as sin, or the restlessness of a discomposed
conscience. If, therefore, we can well manage our state of sickness, that we may not fall by pain, as we usually do by pleasure, we need not fear; for no evil shall happen to us.
Of the first Temptation proper to the state of Sickness,
Impatience. Men, that are in health, are severe exactors of patience at the hands of them, that are sick; and they usually judge it not by terms of relation between God and the suffering man, but between him and the friends, that stand by the bedside. It will be therefore necessary, that we truly understand, to what duties and actions the patience of a sick man ought to extend.
1. Sighs and groans, sorrow and prayers, humble complaints and dolorous' expressions, are the sad accents of a sick man's language: for it is not to be expected, that a sick man should act a part of patience with a countenance like an orator, or grave like a dramatic person: it were well, if all men could bear an exterior decency in their sickness, and regulate their voice, their face, their discourse, and all their circumstances, by the measures and proportions of comeliness, and satisfaction to all the standers by. But this would better please them, than assist him; the sick man would do more good to others, than he would receive to himself.
2. Therefore, silence and still composures, and not complaining, are no parts of a sick man's duty; they are not necessary parts of patiences. We find, that David roared for the very disquietness of his sickness: and he lay chattering like a swallow, and his throat was dry with calling for help upon his God. That's the proper voice of sickness: and certain it is, that the proper voices of sickness are expressly vocal and petitory in the ears of God, and call for pity in the same accent, as the cries and oppressions of widows and orphans do for vengeance upon their persecutors, though " Ejalatu, questa, gemitu, fremitibas,
Resonando multùm flebiles voces refert.-Cic. Tusc. ii. 13.