John Donne, Dean of St. Paul's, London





At Whitehall. 1st Friday in Lent.

DOTH NOT MAN die even in his birth? The breaking of prison is death, and what is our birth, but a breaking of prison? As soon as we were clothed by God, our very apparell was an Embleme of death. In the skins of dead beasts, he covered the skins of dying men. As soon as God set us on work, our very occupation was an Embleme of death; It was to digge the earth, not to digge pitfals for other men, but graves for our selves. Hath any man here forgot to day, that yesterday is dead? And the Bell tolls for to day, and will ring out anon; and for as much of every one of us, as appertaines to this day. Quotidlič morimur, et tamen nos esse ęternos putamus, sayes S. Hierome; we die every day, and we die all the day long; and because we are not absolutely dead, we call that an eternity, an eternity of dying: And is there comfort in that state? why, that is the state of hell it self, Eternall dying, and not dead.

Death hangs upon the edge of every persecutors sword; and upon the sting of every calumniators, and accusers tongue.

[LXXX, Sermons (15), 1640]

Fr. Lance Mc Adam

The Study has been prepared by Father Lance McAdam

who entered into rest July 14, 2003

May his soul, and the souls of all the departed rest in peace.

And light perpetual shine upon him.

Anglicanism | Ashes to Easter | John Donne