William Spurstowe, D.D., sometime minister of the Gospel at Hackney near London, published a book of short meditations in 1666 under the title, The Spiritual Chymist, or Six Decades [tens] of Divine Meditations on Several Subjects. The book has never been republished.
Upon a mote in the eye.
Of what a strange temper is the eye, which a small mote can so extremely trouble and yet a wide world cannot satisfy?
And what a strange vanity is the world: a single mote of dust has more power to afflict and torment, than an entire confluence of all its pleasures can give ease or delight.
For were the globe of the whole earth turned into a delicious Paradise that the eye might behold nothing but a perpetual spring of beauty, and that every sense might be continually sated with the choicest objects that such a Garden could produce; yet alas, a corn of its sand and a stone of its dust put or lodged accidentally in the eye, would create such violent shootings, such keen prickings and burnings, as would soon force a man to send forth complaints that his anguish is far above his pleasure, and that he had much rather forgo the one than undergo the other.
Oh! What a weak and empty bubble is all worldly happiness, which breaks and vanishes into nothing by the power of a small dust. And what a matchless difference is there between heavenly and earthly comforts, when a drop of one can sweeten a briny sea of sorrow, and a world of the other cannot assuage the anguish which arises from a single mote.
Lord, therefore let not me be among the number of those that receive their good things in this life. I ask only for a pittance for my passage, but not an abundance for my portion in them. Yea, though you should give me no kid to make merry with (Luke 15:29), yet will I not murmur at the bounty to prodigals — if you will say, Son, all that is laid up is yours. But I will pray, Turn Lord mine eyes from beholding and my heart from affecting earthly vanities, and fix all my desires upon heaven, that I may look and long for it — in which there is nothing can offend, but everything that will delight and satisfy to eternity.