He is a pious man who, contemplating all things with a serene and quiet soul, conceiveth aright of God, and worshippeth Him in his mind: not induced thereto by hope or reward, but for His supreme nature and excellent majesty.
God hath taken care to anticipate and prevent every man to give piety the prepossession before other competitors should be able to pretend to him; and so to engage him in holiness first, and then in bliss.
If so were it possible that all other ornaments of mind might be had in their full perfection, nevertheless the mind that should possess them, divorced from piety could be but a spectacle of commiseration.
Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man. He that grows old without religious hopes, as he declines into imbecility, and feels pain and sorrows incessantly crowding upon him, falls into a gulf of bottomless misery, in which every reflection must plunge him deeper and deeper, and where he finds only new gradations of anguish and precipices of horror.