A Hermit’s Exordium

14 08 2013

Here look, my son, for no vainglorious shows
Of royal apparition for the eye,
Humble and meek befitteth men of years;
Behold my cell built in a silent shade,
Holding content for poverty and peace,
And in my lodge is fealty and faith,
Labour and love, united in one league;
I want not, for my mind affordeth wealth,
I know not envy, for I climb not high,
Thus do I live, and thus I mean to die.

If that the world presents illusions,
Or Satan seeks to puff me up with pomp,
As man is frail and apt to follow pride,
Then see, my son, where I have in my cell
A dead man’s skull, which calls this straight to mind,
That as this is, so must my ending be;
When then I see that earth to earth must pass,
I sigh and say all flesh is like to grass.

If care to live, or sweet delight in life,
As man desires to see out many days,
Draws me to listen to the flattering world,
Then see my glass which swiftly out doth run,
Compared to man, who dies ere he begins;
This tells me time slacks not his posting course,
But as the glass runs out with every hour,
Some in their youth, some in their weakest age,
All sure to die, but no man knows his time;
By this I think how vain a thing is man,
Whose longest life is likened to a span.

When Satan seeks to sift me with his wiles,
Or proudly dares to give a fierce assault
To make a shipwreck of my faith with fears,
Then armed at all points to withstand the foe
With holy armour, here’s the martial sword,
This book, this Bible, this two-edged blade,
Whose sweet content pierceth the gates of hell,
Deciphering laws and discipline of war
To overthrow the strength of Satan’s jar.

Robert Greene

 Therefore, when you have prepared your minds for action by being self-controlled, put your hope completely in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former desires you used to conform to in your ignorance  but as the one who called you is holy, you yourselves be holy in all your conduct, for it is written, “You will be holy, because I am holy.”  And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves with fear during the time of your temporary residence, because you know that you were redeemed from your futile way of life inherited from your ancestors not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb who was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has been revealed in these last times for you who through him are believing in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love, love one another fervently from the heart, because you have been born again, not from perishable seed but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For

“all flesh is like grass,
    and all its glory like the flower of the grass.
The grass withers and the flower falls off,”

And this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.

1 Peter 1:13-25 (LEB)




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