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Many things know we that we seldom think on: and in the things of the soul, the knowledge without the remembrance little profiteth. What availeth it to know that there is a God, which thou not only believest by faith but also knowest by reason, what availeth that thou knowest Him, if thou think little on Him? The busy minding of thy four last things [death, judgment, heaven, and hell], and the deep consideration thereof, is the thing that shall keep thee from sin. And if thou put it in essay and make a proof, thou shall well find, by that thou shalt have no lust to sin for the time that thou deeply thinkest on them, that if our frailty could endure never to remit or slacken in the deep devising of them, we should never have delight or pleasure in any sinful thing. — from The Four Last Things


Sir Thomas More (1478–1535) was an English lawyer, philosopher, statesman, and a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. A close friend and confidant of Henry VIII until the nearly bankrupt king renounced his Catholic faith in an attempt to grab property from the Church — an attempt put in the guise of insisting the pope grant him an annulment from his first wife after he found she was unable to bear him a male heir. After refusing to accept the king as head of the Church of England, More was imprisoned, charged with treason, given a farcical trial, and lost his head on the chopping block.

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