1632 By George Herbert

The Parson in Gods stead.

He Countrey Parson is in Gods stead to his Parish,
and dischargeth God what he can of his promises.
Wherefore there is nothing done either wel or ill, whereof
he is not the rewarder, or punisher. If he chance to finde any
reading in anothers Bible, he provides him one of his own.
If he finde another giving a poor man a penny, he gives him
a tester for it, if the giver be fit to receive it; or if he be of a
condition above such gifts, he sends him a good book, or
easeth him in his Tithes, telling him when he hath forgotten
it, This I do, because at such, and such a time you were
charitable. This is in some sort a discharging of God; as
concerning this life, who hath promised, that Godlinesse
shall be gainfull: but in the other God is his own immediate
paymaster, rewarding all good deeds to their full proportion.
The Parsons punishing of sin and vice, is rather by withdrawing
his bounty and courtesie from the parties offending, or by private,
or publick reproof, as the case requires, then by causing them to be
presented, or otherwise complained of. And yet as the malice of
the person, or hainousness of the crime may be, he is carefull to see
condign punishment inflicted, and with truly godly zeal, without
hatred to the person, hungreth and thirsteth after righteous punish-
ment of unrighteousnesse. Thus both in rewarding vertue, and in
punishing vice, the Parson endeavoureth to be in Gods stead,
knowing that Countrey people are drawne, or led by sense, more
then by faith, by present rewards, or punishments, more then by

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