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God, they apprehended it not in itself, without dependency upon God; because so long, God must needs seem infinitely better than any thing which they so could apprehend. Things beneath them, could not in such sort be presented unto their eyes, but that therein they must needs see always, how those things did depend on God. It seemeth therefore, that there was no other way for angels to sin, but by reflex of their understanding upon themselves; when being held with admiration of their own sublimity and honour, the memory of their subordination unto God, and their dependency on him, was drowned in this conceit; whereupon their adoration, love, and imitation of God, could not choose but be also interrupted. The fall of angels therefore was pride; since John their fall, their practices have been clean contrary unto those 1 Pet. before mentioned: for being dispersed, some in the air, *.8. some on the earth, some in the water, some amongst the ix. 11. minerals, dens, and caves, that are under the earth; they have, by all means, laboured to effect a universal rebellion 1 Chr. against the laws, and as far as in them lieth, utter destruc- xxi.1; tion of the works, of God. These wicked spirits the hea- and ii. 2. thens honoured instead of gods, both generally under the John name of dii inferië, gods infernal; and particularly, some in Acts oracles, some in idols, some as household gods, some as
Apoc. nymphs: in a word, no foul and wicked spirit which was xx. 8. not one way or other honoured of men as God, till such time as light appeared in the world, and dissolved the works of the devil. Thus much therefore may suffice for angels, the next unto whom in degree are men.
5. God alone excepted, who actually and everlastingly is, The law whatsoever he may be, and which cannot hereafter be, that whereby which now he is not; all other things besides are somewhat his actions in possibility, which as yet they are not in act. And for this directed to cause there is in all things an appetite or desire, whereby tion of they incline to something which they may be; and when they are it, they shall be perfecter than now they are. All which perfections are contained under the general name of goodness. And because there is not in the world any thing whereby another may not some way be made the perfecter, therefore all things that are, are good. a Again, sith there can be no goodness desired, which proceedeth not from God himself, as from the supreme cause of all things; and every
4 Πάντα γάρ εκείνου ορέγεται. Αrist. de An. lib. i.
effect doth after a sort contain, at leastwise resemble, the the cause from which it proceedeth : all things in the world are said in some sort to seek the Highest, and to covet more or less the participation of God himself; yet this doth no where so much appear, as it doth in man, because there are so many kinds of perfections which man seeketh. The first degree of goodness is, that general perfection which all things do seek, in desiring the continuance of their being; all things therefore coveting, as much as may be, to be like unto God in being ever, that which cannot hereunto attain personally, doth seek to continue itself another way; that is, by offspring and propagation. The next degree of goodness is, that which each thing coveteth, by affecting resemblance with God, in the constancy and excellency of those operations which belong unto their kind. The immutability of God they strive unto, by working either always, or for the most part, after one and the same manner; his absolute exactness they imitate, by tending unto that which is most exquisite in every particular. Hence have arisen a number of axioms in philosophy, · shewing, “how the works of nature do always aim at that which cannot be bettered." These two kinds of goodness rehearsed, are so nearly united to the things themselves which desire them, that we scarcely perceive the appetite to stir in reaching forth her hand towards them. But the desire of those perfections which grow externally is more apparent, especially of such as are not expressly desired, unless they be first known, or such as are not for any other cause than for knowledge itself desired. Concerning perfections in this kind, that by proceeding in
the knowledge of truth, and by growing in the exercise of Matt. virtue, man, amongst the creatures of this inferior world, asSap.
pireth to the greatest conformity with God. This is not vii. 27. only known unto us, whom he himself hath so instructed, but
even they do acknowledge, who amongst men are not judged the nearest unto him. With Plato, what one thing more usual, than to excite men unto love of wisdom, by shewing, how much wise men are thereby exalted above men; how knowledge doth raise them up into heaven; how it maketh them, though not gods, yet as gods, high, admirable, and Divine ? And Mercurius Trismegistus speaking of the virtues of a right3 'Εν τούς φύσει δεί το βέλτιον, εάν ενδέχεται υπάρχειν μάλλον ή φύσις αεί ποιεί τών
lévwv vrò Béatis TOY, Arist. 2. de cæl. cap. 5.
eous soul, a “Such spirits (saith he) are never cloyed with praising and speaking well of all men, with doing good unto every one by word and deed, because they study to frame themselves according to the pattern of the Father of spirits.”
6. In the matter of knowledge, there is between the an- Men's first gels of God, and the children of men, this difference ; Angels to grow to already have full and complete knowledge in the highest degree the knowthat can be imparted unto them: men, if we view them in thalian their spring, are at the first without understanding or know- which they ledge at all. Nevertheless, from this utter vacuity they grow serve. Vide by degrees, till they come at length to be even as the angels Isa. vii. 16. themselves are. That which agreeth to the one now, the other shall attain unto in the end ; they are not so far disjoined and severed, but that they come at length to meet. The soul of man being therefore at the first as a book, wherein nothing is, and yet all things may be imprinted; we are to search by what steps and degrees it riseth unto perfection of knowledge. Unto that which hath been already set down concerning natural agents, this we must add, that albeit therein we have comprised, as well creatures living, as void of life, if they be in degree of nature beneath men; nevertheless, a difference we must observe between those natural agents that work altogether unwittingly, and those which have, though weak, yet some understanding what they do, as fishes, fowls, and beasts, have. Beasts are in sensible capacity as ripe even as men themselves, perhaps more ripe. For as stones, though in dignity of nature inferior unto plants, yet exceed them in firmness of strength, or durability of being; and plants, though beneath the excellency of creatures endued with sense, yet exceed them in the faculty of vegetation, and of fertility: so beasts, though otherwise behind men, may notwithstanding in actions of sense and fancy go beyond them; because the endeavours of nature, when it hath a higher perfection to seek, are in lower the more remiss, not esteeming thereof so much as those things do, which have no better proposed unto them. The soul of man therefore, being capable of a more Divine perfection, hath (besides the faculties of growing unto sensible knowledge, which is common unto us with beasts) a farther ability, whereof in them there is no show at all, the ability of reach
a Η δε τοιαύτη ψυχή κόρον ουδέποτε έχει, υμνούσα, ευφημούσά τε πάντας ανθρώπους, και λόγους και έργοις πάντας εύποιούσα, μιμουμένη αυτής τον πατέρα.
ing higher than unto sensible things. Till we grow to some ripeness of years, the soul of man doth only store itself with conceits of things of inferior or more open quality, which afterward do serve as instruments unto that which is greater; in the meanwhile, above the reach of meaner creatures it ascendeth not. When once it comprehendeth any thing above this, as the differences of time, affirmations, negations, and contradiction in speech, we then count it to have some use of natural reason : whereunto, if afterward there might be added the right helps of true art and learning (which helps, I must plainly confess, this age of the world, carrying the name of a learned age, doth neither much know, nor greatly regard) there would undoubtedly be almost as great difference in maturity of judgment between men therewith inured, and that which now men are, as between men that are now, and innocents. Which speech, if any condemn, as being over hyperbolical, let them consider but this one thing: no
art is at the first finding out so perfect as industry may after Aristote- make it; yet the very first man that to any purpose knew lical
the way we speak of, and followed it, hath alone thereby perstration. formed more, very near, in all parts of natural knowledge, Ramistry. than sithence in any one part thereof the whole world besides
hath done. In the poverty of that other new devised aid, two things there are notwithstanding singular. Of marvellous quick dispatch it is, and doth shew them that have it as much almost in three days as if it had dwelt threescore years with them. Again, because the curiosity of man's wit doth many times with peril wade farther in the search of things than were convenient; the same is thereby restrained unto such generalities as every where offering themselves are apparent unto men of the weakest conceit that need be: so as following the rules and precepts thereof, we may find it to be an art which teacheth the way of speedy discourse, and restraineth the mind of man that it may not wax overwise. Education and instruction are the means, the one by use, the other by precept, to make our natural faculty of reason both the better and the sooner able to judge rightly between truth and error, good and evil. But at what time a man may be said to have attained so far forth the use of reason as sufficeth
1 ο δε άνθρωπος εις τον ουρανόν αναβαίνει, και μετρεϊ αυτόν, και οίδε ποία μέν έστιν αυτώ υψηλά, ποία δε ταπεινά, και τα άλλα πάντα ακριβώς μανθάνει. Και το πάντων μείζον, ουδε την γην καταλιπών άνω γίνηται. Μerc. Tris.
to make him capable of those laws whereby he is then bound to guide his actions; this is a great deal more easy for common sense to discern, than for any man by skill and learning to determine ; even as it is not in philosophers, who best know the nature both of fire and gold, to teach what degree of the one will serve to purify the other, so well as the artizan (which doth this by fire) discerneth by sense when the fire hath that degree of heat which sufficeth for his purpose.
7. By reason man attaineth unto the knowledge of things of man's that are, and are not sensible; it resteth therefore, that we is the thing search how man attaineth unto the knowledge of such things that laws unsensible, as are to be known that they may be done. Seeing then that nothing can move unless there be some end, to guide. the desire whereof provoketh unto motion; how should that Divine power of the soul, “that spirit of our mind,” as the Eph. Apostle termeth it, ever stir itself unto action, unless it have also the like spur: The end for which we are moved to work, is sometimes the goodness which we conceive of the very working itself, without any farther respect at all; and the cause that procureth action is the mere desire of action, no other good besides being thereby intended. Of certain turbulent wits it is said, “Illis quieta movere magna merces videba- Sallust. tur :—they thought the very disturbance of things established a hire sufficient to set them on work.” Sometimes that which we do is referred to a farther end, without the desire whereof we would leave the same undone; as in their actions that Matt. gave alms, to purchase thereby the praise of men. Man in perfection of nature being made according to the likeness of his Maker, resembleth him also in the manner of working; so that whatsoever we work as men, the same we do wittingly work and freely: neither are we according to the manner of natural agents any way so tied, but that it is in our power to leave the things we do undone. The good which either is gotten by doing, or which consisteth in the very doing itself, causeth not action, unless apprehending it as good we so like and desire it. That we do unto any such end, the same we choose and prefer before the leaving of it undone. Choice there is not, unless the thing we take be so in our power that we might have refused and left it. If fire consume the stubble, it chooseth not so to do, because the nature thereof is such that it can do no other. To choose, is to will one thing before another; and to will, is to bend our souls to the having
of action are made