More from Ralph Venning’s Orthodox Paradoxes (1650):
He is careful in nothing, yet none so careful as he.
He believes that though he lie in the grave a thousand years, yet he shall be with God as soon as he dies.
He esteems his name a precious ointment, yet cares not who reviles him.
He importunate to prevail with God, yet he think not to prevail for his importunity.
he believes that none know the heart of God, and yet he meets with many saints who can tell him his heart.
He believes ’tis life eternal to know God, and yet he accounts it his happiness to be known of God.
He finds that grace never waxes old, though it be ever growing; but that elder ’tis, the new ’tis.
He believes that a man converted is the same man that he was before; and yet he believes that he is more man and more than man.
He does not know his own wants, and yet he makes them known to God.
He is no prophet and yet his prayers are prophecies.
He is afraid to think of God, least he wrong him; and yet he believes that he should wrong God should not think of him.
He knows that idiots are not fit for counsellors, and yet one of them God takes his sages.
he finds that love of God has height and depth without ends, length without points, breadth, yet no lines, that it is circular (emblem of eternity) and yet fills every angle.
He would be anything rather than nothing, yet he would be nothing if that would exalt his God.
He believes that man’s will does freely turn to God, and yet that man has not freewill to turn to God.
He gives no price for grace, and yet he values it above all price.
He loves the consolations of God; but the God of consolation is his love.
He fears God, and yet is not afraid of God.
He knows that similitude has some loveliness in it; yet he does account hypocrisy the more odious because of its similitude to Religion.
He believes that some have grace who cannot define it; and that some can define it who have it not.
He is always in pilgrimage, and yet he is never from home.
He believes that God tempts no man; and yet believes that God tempted Abraham.
He is very jealous lest God should leave him, and yet he believes God will never do it.
he believes that having made a promise, he ought to be as good as his word, and yet he thinks he may go from his word to go to truth.
He believes that a saint has a vocation on earth, but that earth is his advocation.
God has commanded him to love his neighbor, and yet God requires all his heart for himself.
He seems much folly in the world and much confusion, and yet he sees wisdom and order therein.