Upon a Crumb Going the Wrong Way
What more mean and contemptible thing can there be than a single crumb, either in regard of its doing the least hurt or effecting the least good. And yet (like the tongue of which St. James say is a little member yet boasts of great matters) the crumb it is true has scarce substance enough to be felt, but in the throat it is such as can be hardly endured. If it descend into the stomach, it can contribute nothing to support of life; but it miss the passage to it, how often does it threaten death — and sometimes even effect it.
O how frail and mutable is the life of man, which is not only in jeopardy from instruments of war and slaughter — which are made to destroy, but even by a hair, a raisin stone, a feather, a crumb, and a thousand such inconsiderable things which have the power to extinguish life, but no power to preserve it?
How necessary then is it to get grace into the heart, when the life that we have hangs thus continually in suspense before us. And how circumspect should we be of small sins, which create as a great a danger to the soul as the other things can to the body?
They that live in the pale of the church perish more by silent and whispering sins, in which though there be less infamy, there is oftentimes the greatest danger (since they are most easily fallen into, and least repented of). Like knots in fine silk, which are sooner made in a cord or cable, but with far more difficulty unloosed again.
Let us therefore (who often say that a man live on a little) think also of how easily a man may die and miscarry, not in his body only, but in his soul, also.