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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Remedies against Impatience
By Jeremy Taylor (1613–1667)
 
From ‘Rules and Exercises of Holy Dying’

CERTAIN it is, reason was as well given us to harden our spirits, and stiffen them in passions and sad accidents, as to make us bending and apt for action: and if in men God hath heightened the faculties of apprehension, he hath increased the auxiliaries of reasonable strengths, that God’s rod and God’s staff might go together; and the beam of God’s countenance may as well refresh us with its light as scorch us with its heat. But poor children that endure so much, have not inward supports and refreshments to bear them through it: they never heard the sayings of old men, nor have been taught the principles of severe philosophy, nor are assisted with the results of a long experience, nor know they how to turn a sickness into virtue and a fever into a reward; nor have they any sense of favors, the remembrance of which may alleviate their burden: and yet nature hath in them teeth and nails enough to scratch and fight against their sickness; and by such aids as God is pleased to give them, they wade through the storm, and murmur not. And besides this, yet although infants have not such brisk perceptions upon the stock of reason, they have a more tender feeling upon the accounts of sense; and their flesh is as uneasy by their unnatural softness and weak shoulders as ours by our too forward apprehensions. Therefore bear up: either you or I, or some man wiser, and many a woman weaker, than us both, or the very children, have endured worse evil than this that is upon thee now.  1
  That sorrow is hugely tolerable which gives its smart but by instants and smallest proportions of time. No man at once feels the sickness of a week, or of a whole day, but the smart of an instant; and still every portion of a minute feels but its proper share, and the last groan ended all the sorrow of its peculiar burden. And what minute can that be which can pretend to be intolerable? and the next minute is but the same as the last, and the pain flows like the drops of a river, or the little shreds of time: and if we do but take care of the present minute, it cannot seem a great charge or a great burden; but that care will secure one duty, if we still but secure the present minute.  2
 
 
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