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of no discourse. Take away but the pomps of death, the disguises and solemn bugbears, the tinsel, and the actings by candle-light, and proper and fantastic ceremonies, the minstrels and the noise-makers, the women and the weepers, the swoonings and the shriekings, the nurses and the physicians, the dark room and the ministers, the kindred and the watchers; and then to die is easy, ready and quitted from its troublesome circumstances. It is the same harmless thing, that a poor shepherd suffered yesterday, or a maid-servant to-day; and at the same time in which you die, in that very night a thousand creatures die with you”, some wise men,

and

many fools; and the wisdom of the first will not quit him, and the folly of the latter does not make him unable to die.

5. Of all the evils of the world which are reproached with an evil character, death is the most innocent of its accusation. For when it is present, it hurts nobody?; and when it is absent, it is indeed troublesome, but the trouble is owing to our fears, not to the affrighting and mistaken object: and besides this, if it were an evil, it is so transient, that it

passes like the instant or undiscerned portion of the present time; and either it is past, or it is not yet“; for just when it is, no man hath reason to complain of so insensible, so sudden, so undiscerned a change.

6. It is so harmless a thing, that no good man was ever. thought the more miserable for dying, but much the happier. When men saw the graves of Calatinus, of the Servilii, the Scipios, the Metelli, did ever any man among the wisest Romans think them unhappy? And when St. Paul fell under the sword of Nero, and St. Peter died upon the cross, and St. Stephen from a heap of stones was carried into an easier grave, they that made great lamentation over them, wept for their own interest, and after the manner of men; but the martyrs were accounted happy, and their days kept solemnly, and their memories preserved in never-dying honours. When St. Hilary, bishop of Poictiers in France, went into the East

y Vitæ est avidus, quisquis non vult Mundo secum pereunte mori.-Seneca. 1 Τους γαρ θανόντας ουχ ορώ λυσουμένους. Par est moriri: neque est melias morte in malis rebus miseris.--Plant, Rud.

a Aut fail, ant veniet; nihil cst præsentis in illa :

Mórsque mipus pænæ quàm mora mortis habet.,

to reprove the Arian heresy, he heard, that a young noble gentleman treated with his daughter Abra for marriage. The Bishop wrote to his daughter, that she should not engage her promise, nor do countenance to that request, because he had provided for her a husband fair, rich, wise, and noble, far beyond her present offer. The event of which was this: she obeyed: and when her father returned from his eastern triumph to his western charge, he prayed to God that his daughter might die quickly: and God heard his prayers, and Christ took her into his bosom, entertaining her with antepasts and caresses of holy love, till the day of the marriage-supper of the Lamb shall come. But when the Bishop's wife observed this event, and understood of the good man her husband what was done, and why, she never let him alone, till he obtained the same favour for her; and she also, at the prayers of St. Hilary, went into a more early grave and a bed of joys.

7. It is a sottish and an unlearned thing to reckon the time of our life, as it is short or long, to be good or evil fortune; life in itself being neither good nor bad, but just as we make it; and therefore so is death.

8. But when we consider, death is not only better than a miserable life, not only an easy and innocent thing in itself, but also that it is a state of advantage, we shall have reason not to double the sharpnesses of our sickness by our fear of death. Certain it is, death hath some good upon its proper stock; praise, and a fair memory, a reverence and religion towards them so great, that it is counted dishonest to speak evil of the dead 6; then they rest in peace, and are quiet from their labours, and are designed to immortality: Cleobis and Biton, Trophorius and Agamedes, had an early death sent them as a reward; to the former, for their piety to their mother; to the latter, for building of a temple. To this all those arguments will minister, which relate the advantages of the state of separation and resurrection.

b Virtutem incolumem odimus,

Sublatam ex oculis quærimus invidi.— Horat.
Et landas nallos nisi mortuos poetas.- Mart.

SECTION VIII.

Remedies against Fear of Death, by way of Exercise.

1, HE that would willingly be fearless of death, must learn to despise the world; he must neither love any thing passionately, nor be proud of any circumstance of his life. O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man, that liveth at rest in his possessions, to a man, that hath nothing to vex him, and that hath prosperity in all things ; yea, unto him that is yet able to receive meat!" said the son of Sirach. But the parts of this exercise help each other. If a man be not incorporated in all his passions to the things of this world, he will less fear to be divorced from them by a supervening death; and yet because he must part with them all in death, it is but reasonable, he should not be passionate for so fugitive and transient interest. But if any man thinks well of himself for being a handsome person, or if he be stronger and wiser than his neighbours, he must remember", that what he boasts of, will decline into weakness and dishonour; but that very boasting and complacency will make death keener and more unwelcome, because it comes to take him from his confidences and pleasures, making his beauty equal to those ladies, that have slept some years in charnel-houses, and their strength not so stubborn as the breath of an infant, and their wisdom such, which can be looked for in the land, where all things are forgotten.

2. He that would not fear death, must strengthen his spirits with the proper instruments of Christian fortitude. All men are resolved upon this, that to bear grief honestly and temperately, and to die willingly and nobly, is the duty of a good and valiant mand: and they that are not so, are vicious, and fools, and cowards. All men praise the valiant

• Ει δέ τις όλβον έχων Mορφα παραμεύσεται άλλων,
'Εν τ' αέθλoισιν άρι-στεύων επέδειξεν Gίαν»
Θνατά μεμνάσθω περιστέλλον μέλη, ,
Και τελευτάν απάντων γάν επιεσσόμενος.-Pindar. Nem. 10.
Dic, homo, vas cineruni, quid confert flos facierum?
Copia quid rerum? mors ultima meta dierum.
& Amittenda fortitudo est, aut sepeliendas dolor.--Cicero.
Fortem posce animum mortis terrore carentem,
Qui spatium vitæ extremum inter munera podat.

and honest; and that, which the very heathen admired in their noblest examples, is especially patience and contempt of death. Zeno Eleates endured torments rather than discover his friends, or betray them to the danger of the tyrant: and Calanus, the barbarous and unlearned Indian, willingly suffered himself to be burnt alive: and all the women did so, to do honour to their husbands' funeral, and to represent and prove their affections great to their lords. The religion of a Christian does more command fortitude, than ever did

any institution; for we are commanded to be willing to die for Christ, to die for the brethren, to die rather than to give offence or scandal : the effect of which is this, that he, that is instructed to do the necessary parts of his duty, is, by the same instrument, fortified against death: as he that does his duty, need not fear death, so neither shall he; the parts of his duty are parts of his security. It is certainly a great baseness and pusillanimity of spirit, that makes death terrible, and extremely to be avoided.

3. Christian prudence is a great security against the fear of death. For if we be afraid of death, it is but reasonable to use all spiritual arts to take off the apprehension of the evil: but therefore we ought to remove our fear, because fear gives to death wings, and spurs, and darts. · Death hastens to a fearful man: if therefore you would make death harmless and slow, to throw off fear is the way to do it; and prayer is the way to do that. If therefore you be afraid of death, consider you will have less need to fear it, by how much the less you do fear it: and so cure your direct fear by a reflex act of prudence and consideration. Fannius had not died so soone, if he had not feared death : and when Cneius Carbo begged the respite of a little time for a base employment of the soldiers of Pompey, he got nothing, but that the baseness of his fear dishonoured the dignity of his third consulship; and he chose to die in a place, where none but his meanest servants should have seen him. I remember a story of the wrestler Polydamas, that, running into a cave to avoid the storm, the water at last swelled so high, that it began to press that hollowness to a ruin: which when his fellows espied, they chose to enter into the common fate of all men, and went abroad: but Polydamas thought

e Hostem cùm fageret, se Fannius ipse peremit.-Mart

VOL. IV.

2 F

by his strength to support the earth, till its intolerable weight crushed him into flatness and a grave. Many men run for a -shelter to a place, and they only find a remedy for their fears by feeling the worst of evils : fear itself finds no sanctuary but the worst of sufferance: and they, that fly from a battle, are exposed to the mercy and fury of the pursuers, who, if they faced about, were as well disposed to give laws of life and death as to take them, and at worst can but die nobly; but now, even at the very best, they live shamefully, or die timorously. Courage is the greatest security; for it does most commonly safeguard the man, but always rescues the condition from an intolerable evil.

4. If thou wilt be fearless of death, endeavour to be in love with the felicities of saints and angels, and be once persuaded to believe, that there is a condition of living better than this; that there are creatures more noble than we; that above there is a country better than ours; that the inhabitants know more and know better, and are in places of rest and desire; and first learn to value it, and then learn to purchase it, and death cannot be a formidable thing, which lets ‘us into so much joy and so much felicity. And indeed who would not think his condition mended, if he passed from conversing with dull mortals, with ignorant and foolish persons, with tyrants and enemies of learning, to converse with

Homer and Plato, with Socrates and Cicero, with Plutarch and Fabricius? So the heathens speculated, but we consider higher. ." The dead that die in the Lord,” shall converse with St. Paul, and all the college of the apostles, and all the saints and martyrs, with all the good men, whose memory we pre- serve in honour, with excellent kings and holy bishops, and with the great shepherd and bishop of our souls Jesus Christ, and with God himself. For “ Christ died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we might live together with him." Then we shall be free from lust and envy', from fear and - rage, from covetousness and sorrow, from tears and cowardice: and these indeed properly are the only evils, that are contrary to felicity and wisdom. Then we shall see strange things, and know new propositions, and all things in another

* Beati erimus, cùm, corporibus relictis, et cupiditatum et æmulationam erimus expertes, quódque nunc facimus, cùm laxati curis sumus, ut speclare aliquid velimus et visere.— Tuscul. Q.

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