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compensations and satisfactions are good to be | riety of their intelligences, the wisdom of their used, but never good to be purposed. And lastly, observations, and the height of their station where it is not amiss for men, in their race toward their they keep sentinel, in great part clear and transfortune, to cool themselves a little with that con- parent. Wherefore, considering that I write to a ceit which is elegantly expressed by the Emperor king that is a master of this science, and is so well Charles the Fifth, in his instructions to the king, assisted, I think it decent to pass over this part his son, "that fortune hath somewhat of the nature in silence, as willing to obtain the certificate of a woman, that if she be too much wooed, she which one of the ancient philosophers aspired is the farther off." But this last is but a remedy unto; who being silent, when others contended for those whose tastes are corrupted: let men to make demonstration of their abilities by speech, rather build upon that foundation which is as a desired it might be certified for his part, "that corner-stone of divinity and philosophy, wherein there was one that knew how to hold his peace.” they join close, namely, that same "Primum quærite." For divinity saith, "Primum quærite regnum Dei, et ista omnia adjicientur vobis:" and philosophy saith, "Primum quærite bona animi, cætera aut aderunt, aut non oberunt." And although the human foundation hath somewhat of the sands, as we see in M. Brutus, when he brake forth into that speech,
Notwithstanding, for the more public part of government, which is Laws, I think good to note only one deficiency; which is, that all those which have written of laws, have written either as philosophers or as lawyers, and none as statesmen. As for the philosophers, they make imaginary laws for imaginary commonwealths; and their discourses are as the stars, which give little light, because they are so high. For the lawyers, they write according to the states where they live, what is received law, and not what ought to be law for the wisdom of a lawmaker is one, and of a lawyer is another. For there are in nature certain fountains of justice, whence all civil laws take tinctures and tastes from the soils through which they run, so do civil laws vary according to the regions and governments where they are planted, though they proceed from the same fountains. Again, the wisdom of a lawmaker consisteth not only in a platform of justice, but in the application thereof; taking into consideration by what means laws may be made certain, and what are the causes and remedies of the doubtfulness and uncertainty of law; by what means laws may be made apt and easy to be executed, and what are the impediments and remedies in the execution of laws; what influence laws touching
are derived but as streams: and like as waters do
Such is the description of governments. We see the government of God over the world is hidden, insomuch as it seemeth to participate of much irregularity and confusion: the government of the soul in moving the body is inward and profound, and the passages thereof hardly to be reduced to demonstration. Again, the wisdom of antiquity, (the shadows whereof are in the poets,) in the de-private right of meum and tuum have into the scription of torments and pains, next unto the public state, and how they may be made apt and crime of rebellion, which was the giants' offence, agreeable; how laws are to be penned and delidoth detest the offence of futility, as in Sisyphus vered, whether in texts or in acts, brief or large, and Tantalus. But this was meant of particu- with preambles, or without; how they are to be lars: nevertheless even unto the general rules | pruned and reformed from time to time, and what and discourses of policy and government there is is the best means to keep them from being too due a reverent and reserved handling. vast in volumes, or too full of multiplicity and crossness; how they are to be expounded, when upon causes emergent and judicially discussed, and when upon responses and conferences touch
But, contrariwise, in the governors toward the governed, all things ought, as far as the frailty of man permitteth, to be manifest and revealed. For so it is expressed in the Scriptures touching the ing general points or questions; how they are to government of God, that this globe, which seem- | be pressed, rigorously or tenderly; how they are eth to us a dark and shady body, is in the view to be mitigated by equity and good conscience, of God as crystal: "Et in conspectu sedis tan- and whether discretion and strict law are to be quam mare vitreum simile crystallo." So unto mingled in the same courts, or kept apart in seveprinces and states, especially towards wise se-ral courts; again, how the practice, profession, nates and councils, the natures and dispositions and erudition of law is to be censured and goof the people, their conditions and necessities, verned; and many other points touching the adtheir factions and combinations, their animosities ministration, and, as I may term it, animation of and discontents, ought to be, in regard of the va- laws. Upon which I insist the less, because I
"Te colui, virtus, ut rem; ast tu nomen inane es;"
yet the divine foundation is upon the rock. But this may serve for a taste of that knowledge which I noted as deficient.
Concerning Government, it is a part of knowledge secret and retired, in both these respects in which things are deemed secret; for some things are secret because they are hard to know, and some because they are not fit to utter. We see all governments are obscure and invisible :
"Totamque infusa per artus
Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet."
purpose, if God give me leave, (having begun aprehension of them, they shall make that ancient work of this nature in aphorisms,) to propound it and patient request, "Verbera, sed audi;" let hereafter, noting it in the mean time for deficient. men reprehend them, so they observe and weigh And for your majesty's laws of England, I them: for the appeal is lawful, though it may be could say much of their dignity, and somewhat it shall not be needful, from the first cogitations of their defect; but they cannot but excel the of men to their second, and from the nearer times civil laws in fitness for the government: for the to the times farther off. Now let us come to that civil law was "non hos quæsitum munus in learning, which both the former times were not usus;" it was not made for the countries which it so blessed as to know, sacred and inspired Divigoverneth: hereof I cease to speak, because I will nity, the sabbath and port of all men's labours not intermingle matter of action with matter of and peregrinations. general learning.
THE prerogative of God extendeth as well to the reason as to the will of man; so that as we are to obey his law, though we find a reluctation in our will, so we are to believe his word, though For if we we find a reluctation in our reason. believe only that which is agreeable to our sense, we give consent to the matter, and not to the author; which is no more than we would do towards a suspected and discredited witness; but that faith which was accounted to Abraham for righteousness was of such a point as whereat Sarah laughed, who therein was an image of natural reason.
THUS have I concluded this portion of learning touching civil knowedge; and with civil knowledge have concluded human philosophy; and with human philosophy, philosophy in general. And being now at some pause, looking back into that I have passed through, this writing seemeth to me, “si nunquam fallit imago” (as far as a man can judge of his own work,) not much better than that noise or sound which musicians make while they are tuning their instruments; which is nothing pleasant to hear, but yet is a cause why the music is sweeter afterwards: so have I been content to tune the instruments of the muses, that Howbeit, if we will truly consider it, more they may play that have better hands. And sure-worthy it is to believe than to know as we now ly, when I set before me the condition of these know. For in knowledge man's mind suffereth times, in which learning hath made her third | from sense; but in belief it suffereth from spirit, visitation or circuit in all the qualities thereof as such one as it holdeth for more authorized than the excellency and vivacity of the wits of this itself, and so suffereth from the worthier agent. age; the noble helps and lights which we have Otherwise it is of the state of man glorified; for by the travails of ancient writers; the art of print- then faith shall cease, and we shall know as we ing, which communicateth books to men of all are known. fortunes; the openness of the world by navigation, which hath disclosed multitudes of experiments, and a mass of natural history; the leisure wherewith these times abound, not employing men so generally in civil business, as the states of Græcia did, in respect of their popularity, and the states of Rome, in respect of the greatness of their monarchy; the present disposition of these times at this instant to peace; the consumption of all that ever can be said in controversies of religion, which have so much diverted men from other sciences; the perfection of your majesty's learning, which as a phoenix may call whole vollies of wits to follow you; and the inseparable propriety of time, which is ever more and more to disclose truth-I cannot but be raised to this persuasion, that this third period of time will far surpass that of the Grecian and Roman learning: only if men will know their own strength, and their own weakness both; and take one from the other, light of invention, and not fire of contradiction; and esteem of the inquisition of truth as of an enterprise, and not as of a quality or ornament; and employ wit and magnificence to things of worth and excellency, and not to things vulgar and of popular estimation. As for my labours, if any man shall please himself or others in the re
Wherefore we conclude that sacred Theology, (which in our idiom we call Divinity,) is grounded only upon the word and oracle of God, and not upon the light of nature: for it is written, "Cœli enarrant gloriam Dei ;" but it is not written, "Cœli enarrant voluntatem Dei:" but of that it is said, " Ad legem et testimonium : si non fecerint secundum verbum istud," &c. This holdeth not only in those points of faith which concern the great mysteries of the Deity, of the creation, of the redemption, but likewise those which concern the law moral truly interpreted: Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you; be like to your heavenly Father, that suffereth his rain to fall upon the just and unjust. To this it ought to be applauded, "Nec vox hominum sonat:" it is a voice beyond the light of nature. So we see the heathen poets, when they fall upon a libertine passion, do still expostulate with laws and moralities, as if they were opposite and malignant to nature: "Et quod natura remittit, invida jura 99 So said Dendamis the Indian unto negant.' Alexander's messengers, "That he had heard somewhat of Pythagoras, and some other of the wise men of Græcia, and that he held them for excellent men: but that they had a fault, which was, that they had in too great reverence and
veneration a thing they called law and manners." | and exempted from examination of reason, it is So it must be confessed, that a great part of the then permitted unto us to make derivations and law moral is of that perfection, whereunto the inferences from, and according to the analogy of light of nature cannot aspire: how then is it that them, for our better direction. In nature this man is said to have, by the light and law of na- holdeth not; for both the principles are examinature, some notions and conceits of virtue and ble by induction, though not by a medium cr vice, justice and wrong, good and evil? Thus, syllogism; and besides, those principles or first because the light of nature is used in two several positions have no discordance with that reason senses; the one, that which springeth from which draweth down and deduceth the inferior reason, sense, induction, argument, according to positions. But yet it holdeth not in religion. the laws of heaven and earth; the other, that alone, but in many knowledges, both of greater which is imprinted upon the spirit of man by an and smaller nature, namely, wherein there are not inward instinct, according to the law of con- only posita but placita; for in such there can be science, which is a sparkle of the purity of his no use of absolute reason: we see it familiarly in first estate in which latter sense only he is par- games of wit, as chess, or the like: the draughts ticipant of some light and discerning touching and first laws of the game are positive, but how? the perfection of the moral law: but how? suffi- merely ad placitum, and not examinable by reacient to check the vice, but not to inform the duty. son; but then how to direct our play thereupon So then the doctrine of religion, as well moral as with best advantage to win the game, is artificial mystical, is not to be attained but by inspiration and rational. So in human laws, there be many and revelation from God. grounds and maxims which are placita juris, positive upon authority, and not upon reason, and therefore not to be disputed: but what is most just, not absolutely but relatively, and according to those maxims, that affordeth a long field of disputation. Such therefore is that secondary reason, which hath place in divinity, which is grounded upon the placets of God.
Here therefore I note this deficiency, that there hath not been, to my understanding, sufficiently inquired and handled the true limits and use of reason in spiritual things, as a kind of divine dialectic: which for that it is not done, it seemeth to me a thing usual, by pretext of true conceiving that which is revealed, to search and mine into that which is not revealed; and by pretext of enucleating inferences and contradictories, to examine that which is positive: the one sort falling into the error of Nicodemus, demanding to have things made more sensible than it pleaseth God to reveal them, "Quomodo possit homo nasci cum sit senex?" the other sort into the error of the disciples, which were scandalized at a show of contradiction, "Quid est hoc quod dicit nobis? Modicum et non videbitis me; et iterum modicum et videbitis me," &c.
The use, notwithstanding, of reason in spiritual things, and the latitude thereof, is very great and general: for it is not for nothing that the apostle calleth religion our reasonable service of God; insomuch as the very ceremonies and figures of the old law were full of reason and signification, much more than the ceremonies of idolatry and magic, that are full of non-significants and surd characters. But most especially the Christian faith, as in all things, so in this deserveth to be highly magnified; holding and preserving the golden mediocrity in this point between the law of the heathen and the law of Mahomet, which have embraced the two extremes. For the religion of the heathen had no constant belief or confession, but left all to the liberty of argument; and the religion of Mahomet, on the other side, interdicteth argument altogether: the one having the very face of error, and the other of imposture: whereas the faith doth both admit and reject disputation with difference.
Upon this I have insisted the more, in regard of the great and blessed use thereof; for this
The use of human reason in religion is of two sorts: the former, in the conception and apprehension of the mysteries of God to us revealed; the other, in the inferring and deriving of doctrine and direction thereupon. The former extendeth to the mysteries themselves; but how? by way of illustration, and not by way of argu-point, well laboured and defined of, would in my ment: the latter consisteth indeed of probation judgment be an opiate to stay and bridle not only and argument. In the former, we see, God the vanity of curious speculations, wherewith the vouchsafeth to descend to our capacity, in the ex- schools labour, but the fury of controversies, pressing of his mysteries in sort as may be sen- wherewith the church laboureth. For it cannot sible unto us; and doth graft his revelations and but open men's eyes, to see that many controverholy doctrine upon the notions of our reason, and sies do merely pertain to that which is either not applieth his inspirations to open our understand-revealed, or positive; and that many others do ing, as the form of the key to the ward of the grow upon weak and obscure inferences or derilock for the latter, there is allowed us a use of vations: which latter sort, if men would revive reason and argument, secondary and respective, the blessed style of that great doctor of the Genalthough not original and absolute. For after tiles, would be carried thus, "Ego, non Domi- · the articles and principles of religion are placed nus;" and again, "Secundum consilium meum,”
in opinions and counsels, and not in positions and | tures, which are the fountains of the water of life. oppositions. But men are now over-ready to The interpretations of the Scriptures are of two usurp the style, "Non ego, sed Dominus;" and sorts; methodical, and solute or at large. For not so only, but to bind it with the thunder and this divine water, which excelleth so much that denunciation of curses and anathemas, to the ter- of Jacob's well, is drawn forth much in the same ror of those which have not sufficiently learned kind as natural water useth to be out of wells and out of Solomon, that "the causeless curse shall fountains; either it is first to be forced up into ‘a not come." cistern, and from thence fetched and derived for use; or else it is drawn and received in buckets and vessels immediately where it springeth: the former sort whereof, though it seem to be the more ready, yet in my judgment is more subject to corrupt. This is that method which hath exhibited unto us the scholastical divinity; whereby divinity hath been reduced into an art, as into a cistern, and the streams of doctrine or positions fetched and derived from thence.
Divinity hath two principal parts; the matter informed or revealed, and the nature of the information or revelation: and with the latter we will begin, because it hath most coherence with that which we have now last handled. The nature of the information consisteth of three branches; the limits of the information, the sufficiency of the information, and the acquiring or obtaining the information. Unto the limits of the information belong these considerations; how far forth particular persons continue to be inspired; how far forth the church is inspired; how far forth reason may be used: the last point whereof I have noted as deficient. Unto the sufficiency of the information belong two considerations; what points of religion are fundamental, and what perfective, being matter of further building and perfection upon one and the same foundation; and again, how the gradations of light, according to the dispensation of times, are material to the sufficiency of belief.
In this men have sought, three things, a summary brevity, a compacted strength, and a complete perfection; whereof the two first they fail to find, and the last they ought not to seek. For as to brevity, we see, in all summary methods, while men purpose to abridge, they give cause to dilate. For the sum or abridgment by contraction becometh obscure; the obscurity requireth exposition, and the exposition is deduced into large commentaries, or into commonplaces and titles, which grow to be more vast than the original writings, whence the sum was first extracted. So, we see, the volumes of the schoolmen are greater much than the first writings of the fathers, whence the master of the sentences made his sum or collection. So, in like manner, the volumes of the modern doctors of the civil law exceed those of the ancient jurisconsults, of which Tribonian compiled the digest. So as this course of sums and commentaries is that which doth infallibly make the body of sciences more immense in quantity, and more base in substance.
Here again I may rather give it in advice, than note it as deficient, that the points fundamental, and the points of farther perfection only, ought to be with piety and wisdom distinguished; a subject tending to much like end as that I noted before; for as that other were likely to abate the number of controversies, so this is like to abate the heat of many of them. We see Moses when he saw the Israelite and the Ægyptian fight, he did not say, Why strive you? but drew his sword and slew the Egyptian: but when he saw the two Israelites fight, he said, You are brethren, why strive you? If the point of doctrine be an Ægyptian, it must be slain by the sword of the Spirit, and not reconciled; but if it be an Israelite, though in the wrong, then, Why strive you? We see of the fundamental points, our Saviour penneth the league thus, "he that is not with us is against us ;" but of points not fundamental, thus, "He that is not against us, is with us." So we see the coat of our Saviour was entire without seam, and so is the doctrine of the Scripture in itself; but the garment of the church was of divers colours, and yet not divided: we see the chaff may and ought to be severed from the corn in the ear, but the tares may not be pulled up from the corn in the field. So as it is a thing of great use well to define what, and of what latitude those points are, which do make men merely aliens and disincorporate from the church of God.
For the obtaining of the information, it resteth upon the true and sound interpretation of the ScripVOL. I.-31
And for strength, it is true that knowledges reduced into exact methods have a show of strength, in that each part seemeth to support and sustain the other; but this is more satisfactory than substantial: like unto buildings which stand by architecture and compaction, which are more subject to ruin than those which are built more strong in their several parts, though less compacted. But it is plain that the more you recede from your grounds, the weaker do you conclude: and as in nature, the more you remove yourself from particulars, the greater peril of error you do incur; so much more in divinity, the more you recede from the Scriptures by inferences and consequences, the more weak and dilute are your positions.
And as for perfection or completeness in divinity, it is not to be sought; which makes this course of artificial divinity the more suspect. For he that will reduce a knowledge into an art, will make it round and uniform: but in divinity many things must be left abrupt, and concluded with this: "O altitudo sapientiæ et scientiæ Dei! quan
incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus, et non in- | some others, that have pretended to find the truth vestigabiles viæ ejus!" So again the apostle of all natural philosophy in the Scriptures; scandasaith, "Ex parte scimus:" and to have the form lizing and traducing all other philosophy as heaof a total, where there is but matter for a part, thenish and profane. But there is no such enmity cannot be without supplies by supposition and between God's word and his works; neither do presumption. And therefore I conclude, that the they give honour to the Scriptures, as they suptrue use of these sums and methods hath place pose, but much embase them. For to seek heain institutions or introductions preparatory unto ven and earth in the word of God, (whereof it is knowledge; but in them, or by deducement from said "heaven and earth shall pass, but my word them, to handle the main body and substance of shall not pass,") is to seek temporary things a knowledge, is in all sciences prejudicial, and in amongst eternal: and as to seek divinity in phidivinity dangerous. losophy is to seek the living amongst the dead, As to the interpretation of the Scriptures solute so to seek philosophy in divinity is to seek the and at large, there have been divers kinds intro- dead amongst the living; neither are the pots or duced and devised; some of them rather curious lavers, whose place was in the outward part of and unsafe, than sober and warranted. Notwith- the temple, to be sought in the holiest place of standing, thus much must be confessed, that the all, where the ark of the testimony was seated. Scriptures, being given by inspiration, and not by And again, the scope or purpose of the Spirit of human reason, do differ from all other books in God is not to express matters of nature in the the author; which, by consequence, doth draw on Scriptures otherwise than in passage, and for some difference to be used by the expositor. For application to man's capacity, and to matters the inditer of them did know four things which moral or divine. And it is a true rule, "Aucno man attains to know; which are, the mys-toris aliud agentis parva auctoritas ;" for it were teries of the kingdom of glory, the perfection a strange conclusion, if a man should use a simiof the laws of nature, the secrets of the heart of litude for ornament or illustration sake, borrowed man, and the future succession of all ages. For from nature or history according to vulgar conceit, as to the firs it is said, "He that presseth into as of a basilisk, a unicorn, a centaur, a Briareus, the light, shail be oppressed of the glory." And a hydra, or the like, that therefore he must needs again, "No man shall see my face and live." be thought to affirm the matter thereof positively to To the second, "When he prepared the heavens be true. To conclude, therefore, these two interI was present, when by law and compass he en-pretations, the one by reduction or enigmatical, closed the deep." To the third, "Neither was it the other philosophical or physical, which have needful that any should bear witness to him of been received and pursued in imitation of the rabman, for he knew well what was in man." And bins and cabalists, are to be confined with a "noli to the last," From the beginning are known to altum sapere, sed time." the Lord all his works."
From the former of these two have been drawn certain senses and expositions of Scriptures, which had need be contained within the bounds of sobriety; the one anagogical, and the other philosophical. But as to the former, man is not to prevent his time: "Videmus nunc per speculum in ænigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem :" wherein, nevertheless, there seemeth to be a liberty granted, as far forth as the polishing of this glass, or some moderate explication of this enigma. But to press too far into it, cannot but cause a dissolution and overthrow of the spirit of man. For in the body there are three degrees of that we receive into it, aliment, medicine, and poison; whereof aliment is that which the nature of man can perfectly alter and overcome: medicine is that which is partly converted by nature, and partly converteth nature and poison is that which worketh wholly upon nature, without that, that nature can in any part work upon it: so in the mind whatsoever knowledge reason cannot at all work upon and convert, is a mere intoxication, and endangereth a dissolution of the mind and understanding. But for the latter it hath been extremely set on foot of late time by the school of Paracelsus, and
But the two latter points, known to God and unknown to man, touching the secrets of the heart, and the successions of time, do make a just and sound difference between the manner of the exposition of the Scriptures and all other books. For it is an excellent observation which hath been made upon the answers of our Saviour Christ to many of the questions which were propounded to him, how that they are impertinent to the state of the question demanded; the reason whereof is, because, not being like man, which knows man's thoughts by his words, but knowing man's thoughts immediately, he never answered their words, but their thoughts: much in the like manner it is with the Scriptures, which being written to the thoughts of men, and to the succession of all ages, with a foresight of all heresies, contradiction, differing estates of the church, yea and particularly of the elect, are not to be interpreted only according to the latitude of the proper sense of the place, and respectively towards that present occasion whereupon the words were uttered, or in precise congruity or contexture with the words before or after, or in contemplation of the principal scope of the place; but have in themselves, not only totally or collectively, but distributively