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VII. ROOT, BRANCH, AND FRUIT.

A POOR man of Seville in Spain, having a fair and fruitful pear-tree, one of the 91fathers of the Inquisition desired (such tyrants’ requests are commands) some of the fruit thereof. The poor man, not out of gladness to gratify, but fear to offend, as if it were a sin for him to have better fruit than his betters, (suspecting on his denial the tree might be made his own rod, if not his gallows,) plucked up tree, roots and all, and gave it unto him.

Allured with love to God, and advised by my own advantage, what he was frighted to do, I will freely perform. God calleth on me to present him with fruits meet for repentance. [Matth. iii. 8.] Yea, let him take all, soul and body, powers and parts, faculties and members of both, I offer a sacrifice unto himself. Good reason; for indeed the tree was his before it was mine, and I give him of his own.

Besides, it was doubtful whether the poor man’s material tree, being removed, would grow again. Some plants transplanted (especially when old) become sullen, and do not enjoy themselves in a soil wherewith they were unacquainted. But sure I am when I have given myself to God, the moving of my soul shall be the mending of it, he will so dress αἴρειν and καθαίρειν, [John xv. 2.] so prune and purge me, that I shall bring forth most fruit in my age.

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