« PreviousContinue »
ing, “ Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you,” &c. So that the great are not (with the Leviathan in the deep) to prey upon the small, much less to make a sport of the lives and labours of the lesser ones, to gratify their inordinate senses".
$. XI. I therefore humbly offer an address to the serious consideration of the civil magistrate, That if the money which is expended in every parish in such vain fashions, as wearing of laces, jewels, embroideries, unnecessary ribbons, trimming, costly furniture, and attendance, together. with what is commonly consumed in taverns, feasts, gaming, &c. could be collected into a public stock, or something in lieu of this extravagant and fruitless expense, there might be reparation to the broken tenants, workhouses for the able, and alms-houses for the aged and impotent". Then should we have no beggars in the land, the cry of the widow and the orphan would cease, and charitable reliefs might easily be afforded towards the redemption of poor captives, and refreshment of such distressed Protestants as labour under the miseries of persecution in other countries : nay, the exchequer's needs, on just emergencies, might be supplied by such a bank : this sacrifice and service would please the just and merciful God: it would be a noble example of gravity and temperance to foreign states, and an unspeakable benefit to ourselves at home.
Alas! why should men need persuasions to what their own felicity so necessarily leads them to? had those vitiosos of the times but a sense of heathen Cato's generosity, they would rather deny their carnal appetites, than leave such noble enterprizes unattempted. But that they should eat, drink, play, game, and sport away their health, estates, and above all, their irrevocable precious time, which should be dedicated to the Lord, as a necessary introduction to a blessed eternity, and with wbich (did they but know it) no worldly solace could come in competition; I say, that they should be continually employed about these poor, low things, is to have the Heathens judge them in God's day, as well as Christian precepts and examples condemn them. And their final doom will prove the more astonishing, in that this vanity and excess are acted under a profession of the self-denying religion of Jesus, whose life and doctrine are a perpetual reproach to the most of Christians. For he (bles.
w Eccl. xii. 1. Psal. xxxvi. 21. Psal. x. 2. Psal. iv. 2. Psal. Ixxix. 12. Psal. lxxxii. 3, 4. Prov. xxij. 7. Isa. iii. 14, 15. Ezek. xxii. 29. 12. ch. viii. 4,7,8. Isa. i. 16, 17, 18. Jer. vii. 6. Rom. xii. 20. 2 Cor.ix. 7. Psal. xl. 4. Acis X. 34. Rom. ii. 11. Eph. vi. 9. Col. ij. 25. 1 Pet. i. 17. Jam. v.4, 5. Psal. xli. I, Mat. xxv. 34, 35, 35. Jam. ii. 15, 16. Psal. exii. 9. * Prov. xiv. 21. Mat. xix. 21.
Amos v. IL
sed man) was humble, but they are proud ; he forgiving, they revengeful; he meek, they fierce; he .plain, they gaudy; he abstemious, they luxurious; he chaste, they lascivious; he a pilgrim on earth, they citizens of the world: in fine, he was meanly born, poorly attended, and obscurely brought up: he lived despised, and died hated of the men of his own nation. O you pretended followers of this crucified Jesus! "examine yourselves, try yourselves; know you not your own selves, if he dwell not (if he rule not) in you, that you are reprobates" ? be ye not deceived, for God will not be mockcd (at last with forced repentances); such as you sow, such (such you must) reap in God's day?." I beseech you
hear me, and remember you were invited and intreated to the salvation of God. I say, as you sow you reap: if you are enemies to the cross of Christ, (and you are so, if you will not bear it, but do as you list, and not as you ought) if you are uncircumcised in heart and ear (and you are so, if you will not hear and open to him that knocks at the door within), and if you resist and quench the Spirit in yourselves, that strives with you to bring you to God (and that you certainly do, who rebel against its motions, reproofs, and instructions) then you sow to the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, and of the flesh will you reap the fruits of corruption, woe, anguish, and tribulation, from God the judge of quick and dead, by Jesus Christa.” But if you will daily bear the holy cross of Christ, and sow to the Spirit; if you will listen to the light and grace that comes by Jesus, and which he has given to all people for salvation, and square your thoughts, words, and deeds thereby (which leads and teaches the lovers of it, to deny all ungodliness, and the world's lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world) then may you with confidence look for the “blessed hope, and joyful coming, and glorious appearance of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christb.” Let it be so, O you Christians, and escape the wrath to come! why will you die ? let the time past suffice: remember, that No Cross, No Crown. “Redeem then the time, for the days are evil, and yours but very few, Therefore gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, fear, watch, pray, and endure to the ende :" calling to mind, for your encouragement and consolation : that all such, as through patience, and well-doing wait for immortality, shall reap glory, honour, and eternal life, in the kingdom of the Father, whose is the kingdom, the power; and the glory for everd.” Amen. 2 Cor. xüïi. 5. z Gal. vi. 7, 8. . Rom. ii. 8. Tit. ii, 11, 12, 13.
* Eph. v. 16.
a Rom. ii. 7, 9.
Containing an account of the living and dying sayings of
men eminent for their greatness, learning, or virtue ;-und that of divers periods of time, and nations of the world. All concurring in this one testimony, “ That a life of strict virtue, viz. To do well, and bear ill, is the way to everlasting happiness.”. Collected in favour of the truth delivered in the First Part.
BY WILLIAM PENN.
No Cross, No Crown should have ended here; but that the power, which examples and authorities have upon the minds of people, above the most reasonable and pressing arguments, inclined me to present my readers with some of those many instances that might be given, in favour of the virtuous life recommended in our discourse. I chose to cast them into three sorts of testimonies (not after the threefold subject of the book, but) suitable to the times, qualities, and circumstances of the persons that gave them forth; whose divers excellencies and stations have transmitted their names with reputation to our own times. The first testimony comes from those called heathens, the second from professed Christians, and the last from retired, aged, and dying men; being their last and serious reflections, to which no ostentation or worldly interests could induce them. Where it will be easy for the considerate reader to observe how much the pride, avarice, and luxury of the world stood reprehended in the judgments of persons of great credit amongst men; and what was that life and conduct, that in their most retired meditations, when their sight was clearest, and judgment most free and disabused, they thought would give peace here, and lay foundations of eternal blessedness.
The testimonies of several great, learned, and virtuous per
sonages among the Gentiles, urged against the excesses of the age, in favour of the self-denial, temperance, and piely
herein recommended. I. Among the Greeks, vis. $. 1. Of Cyrus. $. 2. Artar
erxes. $. 3. Agathocles. §. 4. Philip. §.5. Alexander. §. 6. Plolomy. $. 7. Xenophanes. $. 8. Antigonus. $.9. Themistocles. $. 10. Aristides. $. 11. Pericles. S. 12. Phocion. §. 13. Clitomachus. $. 14. Epaminondas. §. 15. Demosthenes. §. 16. Agasicles. $. 17. Agesilaus. $. 18. Agis. §. 19. Alcamenes. $. 20. Alexandridas. 4.21. Anarilas. $. 22. Ariston. $. 23. Archidamus. $. 24. Cleo
§. 25. Dersyllidas. §. 26. Hippodamus. $.27. Leonidas. §. 28. Lysander. $. 29, Pausanias. $. 30.
Theopompus, &c. $. 31. The manner of life and government of the Lacedæmonians in general. $. 32. Lycurgus their lawgiver. (II.) Among the Romans, vis. $. 33. Of Cato. $. 34. Scipio Africanus. $. 35. Augustus. $. 36. Tiberius. §. 37. Vespasian. §. 38. Trajan. $. 39. Adrian. 9. 40. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. $.41. Pertinar. $.42. Pescennius. 5. 43. Alexander Severus. §. 44. Aureli
$. 45. Dioclesian. §. 46. Julian. 5. 47. Theodosius. (III.) The lives and doctrines of some of the Heathen philosophers among the Greeks and Romans, vis. §. 48. Thales. $. 49. Pythagoras. $. 50. Solon. $. 5i. Chilon. 5. 52. Periander. $. 53. Bias. S. 54. Cleobulus. $. 55. Pittacus. $. 56. Hippias. $. 57. The Gymnosophistæ. $.58. The Bamburacii. $. 59. The Gynæcosmi. g. 60. Anacharsis. $.61. Anaxagoras. $. 62. Xeraclitus. g. 63. Democritus. $. 64. Socrates. $.65. Plato. $. 66. Antisthenes. $. 67. Xenocrates. $. 68. Bion. $. 69. Demonax. $. 70. Diogenes. $. 71. Crates. $. 72. Aristotle. $. 73. Mandanis. $. 74. Zeno. §. 75. Quintilian. $. 76. Seneca. $. 77. Epictetus. (IV.) Of virtuous Heathen women, viz. $. 78. Penelope. $. 79. Theoxena. $. 80. Pandora and Prolagenia. . 81. Hipparchia. §. 82. Lucretia. $. 83. Cornelia, $. 84. Pontia. $. 85. Arria. §. 86. Pompeja Plautina. $. 87. Plotina. $. 88. Pompeja Paulina. $. 89. A reproof lo voluptuous women of the times.
§. I. CYRUS (than whom a greater monarch we hardly find in story) is more famous for his virtue, than his power; and indeed it was that which gave him power. God calls bim
his shepherd : now let us see the principles of his conduct and life. So temperate was he in his youth, that when Astyages urged him to drink wine, he answered, I am afraid test there should be poison in it; having seen thee reel and sottish after having drunk thereof. And so careful was he to keep the Persians from corruption of manners, that he would not suffer them to leave their rude and mountainous country, for one more pleasant and fruitful, lest through plenty and ease, luxury at last might debase their spirits. And so very chaste was he, that having taken a lady of quality, a most beautiful woman, his prisoner, he refused to see her, saying, I have no mind to be a captive to my captive. It seems, he claimed no such propriety; but shunned the occasion of evil. The comptroller of his houshold asking him one day, what he would please to have for his dinner>
Bread, said he; for I intend to encamp vigh the water : a short and easy bill of fare : but this shews the power, he had over his appetite as well as his soldiers; and that he was fit to command others, that could command him. self; according to another saying of his, No man (saith he) is worthy to command, who is not better than those who are to obey : and when he came to die, he gave this reason of his belief of immortality, I cannot, said he, persuade my, self to think, that the soul of man, after having sustained itself in a mortal body, should perish when delivered out of it, for want of it ; a saying of perhaps as great weight, as may be advanced against atheism from more enlightened times. • $. II. ARTAXERXES MNEMON, being upon an extraordinary occasion reduced to eat barley bread and dried figs, and drink water; What pleasure (saith he) have I lost till now through my delicacies and excess !
§. III. AGATHOCLes becoming king of Sicily, from being the son of a potter, always, to humble bis mind to his original, would be daily served in earthen vessels upon his table : an example of humility and plainness.
§. IV. Philip king of Macedon, upon three sorts of good news arriving in one day, feared too much success might transport him immoderately; and therefore prayed for some disappointments to season his prosperity, and caution his mind under the enjoyment of it. He refused to oppress the Greeks with his garrisons, saying, I had rather retain them by kindness, than fear; and to be always beloved, than for a while terrible. One of his minions persuading him to decline hearing of a cause, wherein a particular friend was interested; I had much rather, says he, thy friend should lose his cause, than I my reputation. See-,