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CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
} Sir W. HERSCHEL
HART'S LIFE OF GUS-
RICHARD DE BURY , 582
THE BEST AUTHORS.
1.-A Good Man's Day.
BISHOP HALL. (JOSEPH HALL, Bishop of Norwich, was born at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in Leicestershire, on the 1st July, 1574. He received his academical education at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1597, he published a volume of Satires, which gave great offence, but which remain to the student of English poetry as amongst the most masterly productions of their class. Pope held them to be the best poetry and the truest satire in the English language. In 1617, he was preferred to the Deanery of Worcester; in 1627, was made Bishop of Exeter; and in 1641 was translated to Norwich. His earnest piety and professional zeal rendered him obnoxious to the charge of puritanism ; but he was a vigorous defender of the Church in its times of tribulation and danger, and was a sufferer for his conscientious opinions. The revenues of his bishopric were sequestrated in 1642, and he spent the remainder of his life in great poverty, residing at Higham, near Norwich, where he died in 1656. His theological works are very numerous; and though many of them are controversial, others will remain as durable monuments of masterly reasoning, eloquent persuasion, and touching devotion. The piece which we first select, as an opening to this book, is from an Epistle to Lord Denny.]
Every day is a little life: and our whole life is but a day repeated : whence it is that old Jacob numbers his life by days; and Moses desires to be taught this point of holy arithmetic, to number not his years, but his days. Those, therefore, that dare lose a day, are dan
gerously prodigal; those that dare mis-spend it, desperate. We can best teach others by ourselves; let me tell your lordship. how I would pass my days, whether common or sacred, that you (or whosoever others, overhearing me,) may either approve my thriftiness, or correct my errors: to whom is the account of my hours either more due, or more known. All days are His, who gave time a beginning and continuance; yet some He hath made ours, not to command, but to use.
In none may we forget Him; in some we must forget all, besides Him. First, therefore, I desire to awake at those hours, not when I will, but when I must; pleasure is not a fit rule for rest, but health ; neither do I consult so much with the sun, as mine own necessity, whether of body or in that of the mind. If this vassal could well serve me waking, it should never sleep; but now it must be pleased, that it may be serviceable. Now when sleep is rather driven away than 'leaves me, I would ever awake with God; my first thoughts are for Him, who hath made the night for rest, and the day for travel ; and as He gives, so blesses both. If my heart be early seasoned with His presence, it will savour of Him all day after. While my body is dressing, not with an effeminate curiosity, nor yet with rude neglect, my mind addresses itself to her ensuing task, bethinking what is to be done, and in what order, and marshalling (as it may) my hours with my work; that done, after some whiles meditation, I walk up to my masters and companions, my books, and, sitting down amongst them with the best contentment, I dare not reach forth my hand to salute any of them, till I have first looked up to heaven, and craved favour of Him to whom all my studies are duly referred: without whom, I can neither profit nor labour. After this, out of no over great variety, I call forth those which may best fit my occasions, wherein I am not too scrupulous of age ; sometimes I put myself to school to one of those ancients whom the Church hath honoured with the name of Fathers; whose volumes I confess not to open without a secret reverence of their holiness and gravity; sometimes to those later doctors, which want nothing but age to make them classical ; always to God's Book. That day is lost, whereof some hours are not improved in those divine monuments : others I turn over out of choice; these out of duty. Ere I can have sat unto weariness, my family, having now overcome all household distractions, invites me to our common devotions; not without some short preparation. These, heartily performed, send me up