(from Thomas Reade's, "On Peace")
The world may appear smiling and happy,
but its appearances are deceitful.
This is a world of sin and trouble.
Here, thorns and thistles grow around us; painful
emblems of the human heart, and of the sad
change which passed on Adam at the fall.
Everything here in this world is fickle and changing.
If I rest my hopes upon an earthly friend, death
removes the prop, and I fall, and mourn, and weep.
If I place my confidence on riches, they fly
away as an eagle towards heaven, and leave
me to regret the folly of my covetous desires.
If I build upon the breath of fame, it dies
away, or changes into scorn or slander.
If I repose upon the rosy couch of earthly comforts,
however lawful and endearing, these lovely flowers
will quickly fade, and leave me nothing but the thorns.
Jesus is the only source of comfort; the only spring of joy.