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This article is taken from PN Review 86, Volume 18 Number 6, July - August 1992.

(1637-1674) Commentaries of Heaven Abridgement Thomas Traherne

Concerning Abridgement I shall speak but little: Observing in it only the Glory of the Soul, that can frame an Abridgement; and instructing men how to use it. That the Soul can extend the Rays of its understanding to all Objects in Heaven and Earth is as Specious a Wonder, as infinit. But that it can draw all these into a little Abstract, and lodg them in fit and convenient Repositories, even in a Centre, containing in it self Rooms enough wherin to Dispose them, in Clear Light, in fair Treasuries, in Distinct Accessible Orders, so that it can Approach and make a familiar use of them, intimats to us a far more Glorious Art then his was, that Enclosed Homers Iliads in a Nut-Shell: And opens the Meaning of that Philosopher, who said, All my Riches I carry with me. for the Heavens and the Heaven of Heavens, the Earth and the Sea, with all that is therin, a Wise Man without Burden carries as it were in a little Cabinet, along with him, whithersoever he goeth. Yea it is so far from loading him, that it maketh him Angelical, and to go [l]ighter.

Words are many times made Use[less] by being applied to vile or insignificant Objects. But if you will Draw an Abstract of all Beings Possible or Imagninable [sic], and see the Confines of all Existence, penetrat the Centre and survey the Excellencies of Things; Discern your Interest and the Beauty of them; ...


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