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E HARRIS 



RELIGIO MEDICI 



I 




SIR THOMAS BROWNE. Kt, M. D. 
From the original in the Hall of the College of Physicians. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 
BY SIR THOMAS 
BROWNE 



NEW YORK 

THOMAS Y. CROWELL 

AND COMPANY 

PUBLISHERS 




THE RELIGIO MEDICI 

LETTER TO A FRIEND 

AND 

CHRISTIAN MORALS 



BY 



SIR THOMAS BROWNE 



WITH INTRODUCTION BY C. H. HERFORD 



NEW YORK 

THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO. 
PUBLISHERS 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION vn 

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE xix 

To THE READER 3 

RELIGIO MEDICI 7 

A LETTER TO A FRIEND UPON OCCASION OF THE DEATH 

OF HIS INTIMATE FRIEND 129 

CHRISTIAN MORALS 159 

GLOSSARY 235 



INTRODUCTION 

THE modern visitor to Norwich who has found his 
way through steep, winding streets or staircased 
alleys into the most romantic of English market-places 
is within a stone's throw of the spot in which the famous 
physician whose tercentenary East Anglia was cele 
brating lately spent the greater part of his long and 
fortunate life. A very ordinary house, distinguished, 
however, with a memorial tablet, occupies the site. 
The garden, too, with its rarities, which Evelyn, when 
he visited Browne in 1671, thought "a paradise," has 
long since disappeared. But close at hand towers the 
great east window of St. Peter Mancroft, the mag 
nificent church in which the medicus religiosus wor 
shipped ; and Old Norwich affords not a few glimpses 
from crowded streets into venerable courtyards with 
vistas of greenery beyond, which make it easy to im 
agine the circumstances of his abode. 

Although Norwich took the lead in commemorating 
his birth, he was not, as is often imagined, born there. 
His father, also a Thomas, came of a stock of Cheshire 
squires. He was a younger son, and had gone up to 
London to push his fortune in trade. At the begin 
ning of the century we find him settled in or near 
vii 



viii INTRODUCTION 

Cheapside as a mercer. Here on October 19, 1605, 
the author of the Religio Medici was born. Of his early 
years almost nothing is known, beyond the fact that 
he passed his schooldays at Winchester, and thence, 
in 1623, entered as a fellow-commoner at Pembroke 
(then known as Broadgates Hall), Oxford the col 
lege in which, a hundred years later, his great eigh 
teenth-century devotee, Samuel Johnson, passed four 
teen months of proudly concealed poverty. Browne's 
means appear to have been at this, as at all other 
times, ample, and he was able to gratify, as Johnson 
never could, the varied thirst of an intellect yet more 
encyclopaedic than his, and far more adventurous in 
the temper of its curiosity. At Oxford, indeed, in 
those, as in Johnson's and in Shelley's, days a mind of 
this type found less than no help from the studies of 
the place. The great naturalists of the Restoration 
period were infants or unborn ; even the " universally 
curious " Doctor Wilkins and his like-minded friend, 
John Evelyn, the diarist, were boys at school ; and 
Francis Bacon had only just sounded, in the Novum 
Organum, the summons to the methodic interpretation 
of Nature. Browne, whose sympathetic imagination 
assimilated so much, never comprehended Bacon; 
but he was not untouched by the Baconian ardour of 
discovery, and it was scientific enthusiasm more than 
professional ambition which sent the young Oxford 
graduate abroad in 1630 to pursue the study of medi 
cine and natural history in the three foreign universi- 



INTRODUCTION ix 

ties Montpellier, Padua, and Leyden which were 
then the focuses of advanced research. 

The greater part of the following three years was 
thus spent. Of the details of his life in France, Italy, 
and Flanders we have little knowledge ; but the Religio 
permits us one or two significant glimpses. We see 
the English Protestant student of medicine as he paces 
the streets of Montpellier or Padua with a crowd of 
companions even now, in the very heyday of dogmatic 
youth, listening, with lifted heart, to the Ave Mary bell, 
and moved, even to the point of " weeping abun 
dantly," as some solemn procession passes by, " while 
my consorts, blind with opposition and prejudice, have 
fallen into an excess of scorn and laughter." Or we 
find him arguing with an Italian physician " who could 
not believe perfectly the immortality of the soul, be 
cause Galen seemed to make a doubt thereof." 

These glimpses indicate, in the zealous student who 
took his doctor's degree at Leyden, a temperament of 
decided originality ; they also make it easy to under 
stand the mood in which, a year or two after his return 
to England, Browne composed, as a sort of private 
confession, for his own behoof, the Religio Medici. 
According to the most authentic tradition it was writ 
ten at Shipden Hall, Halifax an old house and park, 
since somewhat rudely encroached upon by industry. 
Its date is fixed with some precision in the year 1635 
by one of the spacious stellar similitudes its author 
loves. "As yet," he remarks incidentally, "I have 



X INTRODUCTION 

not seen one revolution of Saturn, nor hath my pulse 
beat thirty years; " a double mode of reckoning in 
which we seem to catch the far-off murmur of genera 
tions of mediaeval doctors, prescribing for the unhappy 
patient with their eyes on the midnight horizon, and 
cupping him at the bidding of the stars. But the 
mediaeval chord vibrates incessantly in Browne, by 
whatever richer and rarer notes it be accompanied 
and outsung. 

The Religio Medici was not designed for publication ; 
and it had been read with delight in MS. by a steadily 
enlarging circle of friends for several years before the 
indiscretion of one of them gave the eager printer his 
chance. A pirated edition appeared in December, 
1642, followed, early in 1643, by the appearance of the 
authentic text, which Browne in alarm had hastened to 
supply, characteristically enough, to no other than the 
erring but scarcely penitent pirate himself. The book's 
fame spread with a rapidity then almost unexampled. 
Sir Kenelm Digby's account of how he sent his man 
out to buy a copy, received it at bed-time, read it in 
rapt excitement through the night-watches, and rose 
early to write his hundred and more pages of Observa 
tions, takes us across two centuries to the days when 
people fought for Old Mortality and the Heart of Mid 
lothian. A Latin translation, made in Holland, gave 
the Religio the franchise of the Continent. 

The harsher dogmatisms of the age did not fail to 
resent Browne's sweet reasonableness to heretics and 



INTRODUCTION xi 

papists ; and the formidable Alexander Ross, in the 
Medicus Medicatus, drove his heavy bludgeon this way 
and that through the tenuous fabric of the Religio with 
out damaging a whit its spiritual substance : 

* For it was as the air invulnerable, 
And these vain blows malicious mockery." 

When the Religio was thus at length tardily sent 
forth, Browne had been for some years established as 
a physician at Norwich, with a thriving practice and 
considerable private means. He had also married, in 
1641, and the mild scorn expressed in the Religio for 
" that trivial and vulgar way of union " does not ap 
pear to have prevented Thomas and Dorothy Browne 
from enjoying an exceedingly happy married life. 
Browne's view of woman and her place was, indeed, 
as uncompromisingly masculine as Milton's, if more 
quaintly and pleasantly expressed. For him, too, Man 
was " the whole World, and the Breath of God ; Wo 
man the Rib and crooked piece of man." He wrote 
this while still a bachelor, but even after four years of 
marriage we find him, in the Vulgar Errors, speculat 
ing curiously on God's purpose in creating Eve " as a 
helpmeet" to Adam. It can only have been, he opines, 
in view of their function as the future parents of man 
kind ; " for as for any other help, it had been better to 
to have made another man." It is clear that Browne, 
who showed in his speculative enterprises so much of 
the temper of romance, was not dangerously romantic 



xii INTRODUCTION 

in private life. He loved to feed his imagination on 
mysteries, and brood ecstatically in a Platonic page of 
the Religio (ii. 6) over the mystery of friendship, two 
bodies and one soul. But one suspects that love and 
friendship alike were in him only specialised varieties 
of that diffused kindliness which he extended to all 
forms of sentient life except " the Devil " and " the 
Multitude," embracing in his sympathy the Spaniard 
and the Jew, and owning a benign fellowship with the 
Viper and the Toad. Such a temperament promised 
a life not very rich in the drama of conflict which for 
many men makes three-fourths of its interest, but one 
securely and serenely harmonious. And such was, in 
fact, the subsequent life of Browne, cast though it was 
in a stormy time. 

The civil troubles did not disturb his tranquil la 
bours ; amid the "drums and tramplings of conquest," 
to apply his own famous phrase, he had his " quiet 
rest " ; for the Parliament was from the first securely 
established in Norfolk, and Browne, though a con 
vinced Royalist, was the most practicable of partisans. 
Hardly an allusion to politics crosses his page. Dur 
ing the first fury of the struggle he offered the world, 
in the Religio, his serene exposition of a religious faith 
utterly remote in temper, if not in substance, from any 
of the contending creeds. When the Royal cause was 
tottering towards its final fall he came forward again 
to make known the results of his inquiries into the 
reality of the phoenix and the griffin, whether swans 



INTRODUCTION 



xiii 



sing before they die, and whether the right and the 
left legs of badgers are equally long. When the death 
of Cromwell at length opened a prospect of the "joy 
ful Restoration," Browne, silent through the whole 
Commonwealth period, found his voice again in a med 
itation upon the cinerary urns and the "elegant co 
ordination of vegetables," as majestically irrelevant as 
Paradise Lost itself to the passions and policies of the 
hour. For twenty-four years after the publication of 
the Hydriotaphia and the Garden of Cyrus Browne 
lived on, famous, wealthy, indisputably the first man 
in Norwich, bringing up a large family of sons who 
distinguished themselves, and daughters who married 
well. He died on his seventy-seventh birthday, Octo 
ber 19, 1682. To the last he occasionally wrote. But 
it was not until 1 690 that the world read his Letter to 
a Friend, and not until the lapse of a generation that his 
Christian Morals was at length (in 1716) made known. 
Men whose lives pass in such complete and un 
broken harmony are not often so detached and lonely 
in their thought. There is no work of Browne's which 
can be said to reflect, or to stand in any direct relation 
with, any dominant body of opinion, any prevailing 
method of speculation, or any defined literary tradition. 
Even his enthusiastic Anglicanism was, like Hobbes's 
theory of absolute monarchy, too deeply dyed in the 
curious idiosyncrasy of the thinker's brain to be con 
genial to plain-minded adherents. In the very title of 
his first book, The Religion of a Physician, there lay, 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

for contemporary ears, a certain element of paradox ; 
for the profession was commonly reputed to have no 
religion. A course of medical study, he himself hints, 
furnished a presumption of Atheism. " In despite of 
which," he adds, " I dare without usurpation assume 
the honourable style of a Christian." Our interest, as 
Blougram says, is "on the dangerous edge of things" : 

" The honest thief, the tender murderer, 
The superstitious Atheist." 

And the seventeenth century would have added, " the 
devout physician." Browne affords this piquant inter 
est in rich measure. Two great intellectual traditions 
which had for the most part run counter met in his 
mind in a curious, unexpected harmony a harmony 
obtained without apparent commotion or forced diver 
sion of either from its course ; as if the contending 
streams which in other intellects jostled each other 
aside or settled their differences by compromise and 
subterfuge had in his been transmuted into a warp 
and woof of differently- coloured threads, whose cross 
ing only evolved a brilliant pattern. 

Browne does, no doubt, recognise distinct provinces 
and procedures for his "religion" and his "philoso 
phy," but it is misleading to class him with the " water 
tight compartment " theorists, more common in the 
Catholic Church than in Protestantism, who allow their 
" reason " to have no dealings with their " faith," nor 
their " faith " with their " reason." The " water-tight 



INTRODUCTION XV 

compartments" with him have many valves and sluices, 
and the sustaining water flows readily to and fro. 
What was most vital both in his religion and in his 
speculation sprang from the same root an imagina 
tive sympathy with every form of existence, allured by 
the remote, arrested by the singular, fascinated by the 
marvellous. " I am of a constitution so general," he 
tells us in one of the famous opening sentences of the 
second part of the Religio, " that it consorts and sym- 
pathizeth with all things. ... I was born in the eighth 
Climate, but seem for to be framed and constellated 
unto all. ... All places, all airs, make unto me one 
Country ; I am in England everywhere and under any 
Meridian." 

This is not the temperament of a keen critic, and 
Browne's intellect was always rather the servant and 
minister of his temperamental needs and impulses than 
their controller and curb. A useful and efficient ser 
vant, inexhaustible in the quest of curious learning, 
posting over land and ocean without rest at the bid 
ding of that lordly and eager imagination, and always 
ready, when its superior needed exhilarating exercise, 
to take the foils and be discreetly overcome. " Tis my 
solitary recreation," cries Browne, in a sort of epicu 
rean rapture, " to pose my apprehension with those 
involved Enigmas and riddles of the Trinity. ... I 
can answer all the Objections of Satan and my rebel 
lious reason with that odd resolution I learned of Ter- 
tullian, ' Certum est, quia impossibile est.' " It might 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

be said of Browne that he thought with his imagination, 
so potent are its intuitions in determining the texture 
of his faith. A suggestive similitude will at any time 
more than half capture his assent. The allegorical 
description of God as a circle whose centre is every 
where and its circumference nowhere " pleaseth me be 
yond all the Metaphysical definitions of Divines." And 
no visionary speculation of mystic or Platonist appealed 
in vain to Sir Thomas Browne. Man was the micro 
cosm of the universe ; the visible world a picture of the 
invisible; and in "that vulgar and Tavern musick, 
which makes one man merry, another mad," he dis 
covered, with awed rapture, "an Hieroglyphical and 
shadowed lesson of the whole World. . . . Such a 
melody to the ear as the whole World, well understood, 
would afford the understanding ; in brief, a sensible fit 
of that harmony which intellectually sounds in the ears 
of God." 

To say that Browne "thought with his imagination" 
is only to say that his supreme merit belongs to litera 
ture, not to philosophy. Still less did it belong to 
science. If the author of the Religio Medici stood 
aloof from his age, the laborious inquirer into "Vulgar 
Errors " stood far behind it. The lofty assumption, in 
the preface, of Baconian phrases about the need of 
first-hand experience and the fallacies of tradition and 
authority, is in piquant contrast with the meanderings 
of Browne's inquiring intellect, just one step more 
emancipated than the "vulgar," whose erroneous be- 



INTRODUCTION 



XV11 



liefs about phoenixes and griffins, after anxiously weigh 
ing all the possibilities, he decides, as it were by the 
turning of a hair, to be wrong. It is the old story of 
Apollo leaving his Parnassian haunts to stray across the 
severe threshold of Academe, insufficiently equipped 
with the geometry requisite there. And the sages of 
the English Academe did not hesitate to make the re 
spected intruder understand that he was out of place. 
In an interesting section of his admirable life of Browne, 
just published, Mr. Gosse has plausibly surmised that 
his absence from the roll of members of the Royal 
Society was due to a deliberate determination of the 
committee to exclude him. 

The line between literature and science was then in 
decisively drawn, and Browne's letters to the secretary 
make it tolerably evident that he would have liked to 
join a body few of whom could rival the natural history 
collections of his Norwich home, while still fewer prob 
ably could claim, as he could, to have dared dyspep 
sia or worse, for Science's sake, by experimental meals 
upon spiders and bees. A distinguished son of his 
own was, moreover, a member. But it may be that the 
real rock of offence was just that which has become the 
corner-stone of his fame his style. It is well known 
how peremptorily the newly-founded Royal Society set 
its face against the old sumptuous and elaborate prose, 
with its "amplifications, digressions, and swellings of 
style," and did its best to recover "the primitive pur 
ity and shortness, when men delivered so many things 



Xviii INTRODUCTION 

almost in an equal number of words." It accordingly 
"exacted from all its members a close, naked, natural 
way of speaking ; positive expressions . . . bringing all 
things as near the mathematical plainness as they can." 
So writes Sprat, the historian of the Society, and one of 
its earliest Fellows. It is hard to believe that Browne's 
splendour of apparel was not expressly glanced at by 
this advocate of nakedness. But we are not further 
concerned with his criticism. For Browne's ends and 
aims his writing is incomparable. It is not a cumbrous 
and artificial way of conveying facts, any more than a 
symphony is a vague and equivocal way of telling a 
story. Like music, it creates and suggests more than 
it articulately expresses. 

C. H. H. 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF DATES 
CONNECTED WITH SIR THOMAS BROWNE 



SIR THOMAS BROWNE'S 
LIFE 



CONTEMPORARY PERSONS AND 
EVENTS* 

5. Rudolph II., Emperor of Germany. 
5. Christian I V., King of Denmark. 





1509- 
1603. 
1603. 


ncnry i v., ning 01 rrancc. 
James I., King of Great Britain. 
Sir Kenelm Digby born. 




1604. 


Ahmed I., Sultan. 




1605. 


April i, Leo XL, Pope. 




1605*. 


May 16, Paul V., Pope. 


Born in London, Oct 19 


1605. 


Davenant born. 




1608. 


Milton born. 




1609. 
1 6 10. 


J. J. Scalieer died; Suckling born. 
Louis XIII., King of France. 




1612. 
1612. 


Matthias, Emperor of Germany. 
Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden. 




1613. 


La Rochefoucauld born. 




1614. 


Dr. Henry More born. 


Admitted to a Scholarship at 
Winchester, August 20.... 


[ 1616. 


Shakspeare and Cervantes died. 




1617. 


Mustafa I., Sultan. 




1618. 


Othman II., ditto; Cowley born. 




1619. 


Ferdinand II., Emperor of Germany. 




6121. 
1622. 


Gregory XV., Pope. 
Mustafa I. restored ; Moliere born. 


Matriculated at Broadgate 






Hall, (afterwards Pembroke ' 


1623. 


Urban VIII., Pope; Pascal born. 


College ) Oxford 








1623. 


Murad IV., Sultan. 




162}. 


Sydenham born. 


B A June 30 


1625. 
1626. 
1628. 


Charles I., King of Great Britain. 
Bacon died; Boyle born. 
SirWm. Temple born. 




M.A., June ix 


1629. 






1630. 


Barrow born. 




1631. 


Dryden born. 




1632. 


j Christina^ Queen of Sweden; Spino- 

) 7a. Sir f^hri^t ^^r^n anH T.nrkeKnrn. 



1 The names of contemporary sovereigns are introduced in reference to 
p. 69, 11. 16-18. 

xix 



XX 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 



Sir Thomas Browne's Life 
M D at Leyden 


Contemporary Persons and Events. 

i6 33 '> 
1636. 
1637. Ferdinand III., Emperor of Germany. 
1637. Ben Jonson died. 
1 640. M assinger died . 
1641. Sir John Suckling died. 
* j Galileo died; Newton born; CiviJ 
10421 I War began in England. 
1643. Louis XIV., King of France. 
1644. Chillingworth died. 
1645. Grotius died. 

1646. 

1648. Frederick III., King of Denmark. 
1649. Charles I .beheaded; Drummond died. 
1650. Descartes died. 
1651. Fe"nelon born. 
1653. Inigo Jones died. 
1655. Archbishop Usher died. 

1658. Harvey died. 

1660. Restoration of Charles II. 
1662. Pascal died ; Royal Society institut'd. 

1664. 

1665. Great Plague in London; Sir Ken- 
elm Digby died. 
1666. Great Fire of London. 
1667. Cowley died. 
1668. Davenant died. 

1671. 

1673. Moliere died. 
1674. Milton died. 
1677. Spinoza died. 
1678. Barrow died. 
1680. La Rouchefoucauld. 

1682. 
1684-5 




Settled at Norwich 
M.D. at Oxford, July. 10 

Married Dorothy Mileham . . 
Unauthorised edition of Re- ( 


First authorised edition of do. 

Pseudodoxia Epidemic a \ 
published J 


Hydriotaphia and Garden \ 
of Cyrus published j 

Elected Hon. Fellow of Col- \ 
lege of Physicians, Dec.... j 
Received Diploma, June 24 I 
(vi Kal Julii) ) 


Knighted by Charles II., 
Sept 28 


Died at Norwich, Oct. 19, 


His widow died, Feb. 24, in 



RELIGIO 

MEDICI. 

The Eighth Edition, 

Corrected and Amended. 
WITH 

ANNOTATIONS 

Never before Publifhed, 
Upon all the obfcure paflages therein. 

ALSO ; 

OBSERVATIONS 

By Sir KENELM DIGBY, 
Now newly addedo 

LONDON, 

Printed for R. Scot, T. Ba/et, J. Wright , 
R. Chifwell, 1682. 



TO THE READER 

CERTAINLY that man were greedy of Life, who 
should desire to live when all the world were at 
an end ; and he must needs be very impatient, who 
would repine at death in the society of all things that 
suffer under it. Had not almost every man suffered 
by the Press, or were not the tyranny thereof become 
universal, I had not wanted reason for complaint : but 
in times wherein I have lived to behold the highest 
perversion of that excellent invention, the name of his 
Majesty defamed, the Honour of Parliament depraved, 
the Writings of both depravedly, anticipatively, coun- 
terfeitly imprinted ; complaints may seem ridiculous 
in private persons ; and men of my condition may be 
as incapable of affronts, as hopeless of their reparations. 
And truely, had not the duty I owe unto the importunity 
of friends, and the allegiance I must ever acknowledge 
unto truth, prevailed with me, the inactivity of my dis 
position might have made these sufferings continual, 
and time, that brings other things to light, should have 
satisfied me in the remedy of its oblivion. But because 
things evidently false are not onely printed, but many 
things of truth most falsly set forth, in this latter I 
could not but think my self engaged : for, though we 
5 



6 TO THE READER 

have no power to redress the former, yet in the other 
the reparation being within our selves, I have at present 
represented unto the world a full and intended Copy 
of that Piece, which was most imperfectly and surrep 
titiously published before. 

This, I confess, about seven years past, with some 
others of affinity thereto, for my private exercise and 
satisfaction, I had at leisurable hours composed ; which 
being communicated unto one, it became common unto 
many, and was by Transcription successively corrupted, 
untill it arrived in a most depraved Copy at the Press. 
He that shall peruse that work, and shall take notice 
of sundry particularities and personal expressions 
therein, will easily discern the intention was not pub- 
lick ; and, being a private Exercise directed to my self, 
what is delivered therein, was rather a memorial unto 
me, than an Example or Rule unto any other; and 
therefore, if there be any singularity therein correspond 
ent unto the private conceptions of any man, it doth 
not advantage them ; or if dissentaneous thereunto, it 
no way overthrows them. It was penned in such a 
place, and with such disadvantage, that, (I protest,) 
from the first setting of pen unto paper, I had not the 
assistance of any good Book whereby to promote my 
invention or relieve my memory ; and therefore there 
might be many real lapses therein, which others might 
take notice of, and more that I suspected my self. It 
was set down many years past, and was the sense of 
my conceptions at that time, not an immutable Law 



TO THE READER 7 

unto my advancing judgement at all times ; and there 
fore there might be many things therein plausible unto 
my passed apprehension, which are not agreeable unto 
my present self. There are many things delivered 
Rhetorically, many expressions therein meerly Tropi 
cal, and as they best illustrate my intention ; and there 
fore also there are many things to be taken in a soft 
and flexible sense, and not to be called unto the rigid 
test of Reason. Lastly, all that is contained therein is 
in submission unto maturer discernments ; and, as I 
have declared, shall no further father them than the 
best and learned judgments shall authorize them : 
under favour of which considerations I have made its 
secrecy publick, and committed the truth thereof to 
every Ingenuous Reader. 

THO. BROWNE. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 



THE FIRST PART 

FOR my Religion, though there be several Circum 
stances that might perswade the World I have 
none at all, (as the general scandal of my Profession, 
the natural course of my Studies, the indifferency of 
my Behaviour and Discourse in matters of Religion, 
neither violently Defending one, nor with that com 
mon ardour and contention Opposing another ;) yet, 
in despight hereof, I dare without usurpation assume 
the honourable Stile of a Christian. Not that I 
meerly owe this Title to the Font, my Education, or 
the clime wherein I was born, (as being bred up 
either to confirm those Principles my Parents instilled 
into my unwary Understanding, or by a general con 
sent proceed in the Religion of my Country ;) but 
having in my riper years and confirmed Judgment 
seen and examined all, I find my self obliged by the 
Principles of Grace, and the Law of mine own Reason, 
to embrace no other Name but this. Neither doth 
herein my zeal so far make me forget the general 
Charity I owe unto Humanity, as rather to hate than 
pity Turks, Infidels, and (what is worse,) Jews ; 
9 



IO RELIGIO MEDICI 

rather contenting my self to enjoy that happy Stile, 
than maligning those who refuse so glorious a Title. 

But, because the Name of a Christian is becfome too 
general to express our Faith, (there being a Geog 
raphy of Religions as well as Lands, and every Clime 
distinguished not only by their Laws and Limits, but 
circumscribed by their Doctrines and Rules of Faith ;) 
to be particular, I am of that Reformed new-cast 
Religion, wherein I dislike nothing but the Name ; 
of the same belief our Saviour taught, the Apostles 
disseminated, the Fathers authorized, and the Martyrs 
confirmed ; but by the sinister ends of Princes, the 
ambition and avarice of Prelates, and the fatal corrup 
tion of times, so decayed, impaired, and fallen from 
its native Beauty, that it required the careful and 
charitable hands of these times to restore it to its 
primitive Integrity. Now the accidental occasion 
whereupon, the slender means whereby, the low and 
abject condition of the Person by whom so good a 
work was set on foot, which in our Adversaries beget 
contempt and scorn, fills me with wonder, and is the 
very same Objection the insolent Pagans first cast at 
CHRIST and His Disciples. 

Yet have I not so shaken hands with those desper 
ate Resolutions, (who had rather venture at large their 
decayed bottom, than bring her in to be new trimm'd 
in the Dock ; who had rather promiscuously retain 
all, than abridge any, and obstinately be what they 
are, than what they have been,) as to stand in Diame- 



RELIGIO MEDICI II 

ter and Swords point with them. We have reformed 
from them, not against them ; for (omitting those 
Improperations and Terms of Scurrility betwixt us, 
which only difference our Affections, and not our 
Cause,) there is between us one common Name and 
Appellation, one Faith and necessary body of Princi 
ples common to us both ; and therefore I am not 
scrupulous to converse and live with them, to enter 
their Churches in defect of ours, and either pray with 
them, or for them. I could never perceive any ra 
tional Consequence from those many Texts which 
prohibit the Children of Israel to pollute themselves 
with the Temples of the Heathens ; we being all 
Christians, and not divided by such detested impieties 
as might prophane our Prayers, or the place wherein 
we make them ; or that a resolved Conscience may 
not adore her Creator any where, especially in places 
devoted to His Service ; where, if their Devotions 
offend Him, mine may please Him ; if theirs pro 
phane it, mine may hallow it. Holy- water and Cruci- . 
fix (dangerous to the common people,) deceive notV\ 
my judgment, nor abuse my devotion at all. I am, I | 
confess, naturally inclined to that which misguided / 
Zeal terms Superstition. My common conversation I 
do acknowledge austere, my behaviour full of rigour, 
sometimes not without morosity ; yet at my Devotion 
I love to use the civility of my knee, my hat, and 
hand, with all those outward and sensible motions 
which may express or promote my invisible Devotion. 



12 RELIGIO MEDICI 

I should violate my own arm rather than a Church ; 
nor willingly deface the name of Saint or Martyr. At 
the sight of a Cross or Crucifix I can dispense with 
my hat, but scarce with the thought or memory of my 
Saviour. I cannot laugh at, but rather pity, the fruit 
less journeys of Pilgrims, or contemn the miserable 
condition of Fryars ; for, though misplaced in Circum 
stances, there is something in it of Devotion. I could 
never hear the Ave-Mary Bell without an elevation ; 
or think it a sufficient warrant, because they erred in 
one circumstance, for me to err in all, that is, in 
silence and dumb contempt. Whilst, therefore, they 
directed their Devotions to Her, I offered mine to 
GOD, and rectified the Errors of their Prayers by 
rightly ordering mine own. At a solemn Procession 
I have wept abundantly, while my consorts, blind with 
opposition and prejudice, have fallen into an excess 
of scorn and laughter. There are, questionless, both 
in Greek, Roman, and African Churches, Solemnities 
and Ceremonies, whereof the wiser Zeals do make a 
Christian use, and stand condemned by us, not as 
evil in themselves, but as allurements and baits of 
superstition to those vulgar heads that look asquint on 
the face of Truth, and those unstable Judgments that 
cannot consist in the narrow point and centre of 
Virtue without a reel or stagger to the Circumference. 
As there were many Reformers, so likewise many 
Reformations ; every Country proceeding in a particular 
way and method, according as their national Interest, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 13 

together with their Constitution and Clime, inclined 
them ; some angrily, and with extremity ; others 
calmly, and with mediocrity ; not rending, but easily 
dividing the community, and leaving an honest possi 
bility of a reconciliation; which though peaceable 
Spirits do desire, and may conceive that revolution of 
time and the mercies of GOD may effect, yet that 
judgment that shall consider the present antipathies 
between, the two extreams, their contrarieties in con 
dition, affection, and opinion, may with the same 
hopes expect an union in the Poles of Heaven. 

But (to difference my self nearer, and draw into a 
lesser Circle,) there is no Church whose every part so 
squares unto my Conscience; whose Articles, Con 
stitutions, and Customs seem so consonant unto reason, 
and as it were framed to my particular Devotion, as 
this whereof I hold my Belief, the Church of England ; 
to whose Faith I am a sworn Subject, and therefore in 
a double Obligation subscribe unto her Articles, and 
endeavour to observe her Constitutions. Whatsoever 
is beyond, as points indifferent, I observe according 
to the rules of my private reason, or the humour and 
fashion of my Devotion ; neither believing this, because 
Luther affirmed it, or disproving that, because Calvin 
hath disavouched it. I condemn not all things in the 
Council of Trent, nor approve all in the Synod of 
Dort. In brief, where the Scripture is silent, the 
Church is my Text ; where that speaks, 'tis but my 
Comment : where there is a joynt silence of both, I 



14 RELIGIO MEDICI 

borrow not the rules of my Religion from Rome or 
Geneva, but the dictates of my own reason. It is an 
unjust scandal of our adversaries, and a gross errour 
in our selves, to compute the Nativity of our Religion 
from Henry the Eighth, who, though he rejected the 
Pope, refus'd not the faith of Rome, and effected no 
more than what his own Predecessors desired and 
assayed in Ages past, and was conceived the State of 
Venice would have attempted in our days. It is as 
uncharitable a point in us to fall upon those popular 
scurrilities and opprobrious scoffs of the Bishop of 
Rome, to whom, as a temporal Prince, we owe the 
duty of good language. I confess there is cause of 
passion between us : by his sentence I stand ex 
communicated ; Heretick is the best language he 
affords me ; yet can no ear witness I ever returned 
him the name of Antichrist, Man of Sin, or Whore of 
Babylon. It is the method of Charity to suffer without 
reaction : those usual Satyrs and invectives of the 
Pulpit may perchance produce a good effect on the 
vulgar, whose ears are opener to Rhetorick than 
Logick ; yet do they in no wise confirm the faith of 
wiser Believers, who know that a good cause needs 
not to be patron'd by passion, but can sustain it self 
upon a temperate dispute. 

I could never divide my self from any man upon 
the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judg 
ment for not agreeing with me in that from which 
perhaps within a few days I should dissent my self. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 15 

I have no Genius to disputes in Religion, and have 
often thought it wisdom to decline them, especially 
upon a disadvantage, or when the cause of Truth 
might suffer in the weakness of my patronage. Where 
we desire to be informed, 'tis good to contest with men 
above our selves ; but to confirm and establish our 
opinions, 'tis best to argue with judgments below our 
own, that the frequent spoils and Victories over their 
reasons may settle in ourselves an esteem and confirmed 
Opinion of our own. Every man is not a proper 
Champion for Truth, nor fit to take up the Gauntlet 
in the cause of Verity : many, from the ignorance of 
these Maximes, and an inconsiderate Zeal unto Truth, 
have too rashly charged the Troops of Error, and re 
main as Trophies unto the enemies of Truth. A man 
may be in as just possession of Truth as of a City, 
and yet be forced to surrender; 'tis therefore far 
better to enjoy her with peace, than to hazzard her 
on a battle. If, therefore, there rise any doubts in 
my way, I do forget them, or at least defer them till 
my better setled judgement and more manly reason 
be able to resolve them ; for I perceive every man's 
own reason is his best QEdipus, and will, upon a 
reasonable truce, find a way to loose those bonds 
wherewith the subtleties of error have enchained our 
more flexible and tender judgements. In Philosophy, 
where Truth seems double-fac'd, there is no man 
more Paradoxical than my self : but in Divinity I love 
to keep the Road ; and, though not in an implicite, 



16 RELIGIO MEDICI 

yet an humble faith, follow the great wheel of the 
Church, by which I move, not reserving any proper 
Poles or motion from the Epicycle of my own brain. 
By this means I leave no gap for Heresies, Schismes, 
or Errors, of which at present I hope I shall not in 
jure Truth to say I have no taint or tincture. I must 
confess my greener studies have been polluted with 
two or three ; not any begotten in the latter Centuries, 
but old and obsolete, such as could never have been 
revived, but by such extravagant and irregular heads 
as mine : for indeed Heresies perish not with their 
Authors, but, like the river Arethusa, though they lose 
their currents in one place, they rise up again in 
another. One General Council is not able to extirpate 
one single Heresie : it may be cancelPd for the present ; 
but revolution of time, and the like aspects from 
Heaven, will restore it, when it will flourish till it be 
condemned again. For as though there were a 
Metempsuchosis, and the soul of one man passed into 
another, Opinions do find, after certain Revolutions, 
men and minds like those that first begat them. To 
see our selves again, we need not look for Plato's year : 
every man is not only himself; there hath been many 
Diogenes, and as many Timons, though but few of 
that name : men are liv'd over again, the world is 
now as it was in Ages past ; there was none then, but 
there hath been some one since that parallels him, and 
is, as it were, his revived self. 

Now the first of mine was that of the Arabians, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 17 

That the Souls of men perished with their Bodies, 
but should yet be raised again at the last day. Not 
that I did absolutely conceive a mortality of the Soul ; 
but if that were, (which Faith or Philosophy, hath yet 
throughly disproved,) and that both entred the grave 
together, yet I held the same conceit thereof that we 
all do of the body, that it should rise again. Surely it 
is but the merits of our unworthy Natures, if we sleep 
in darkness until the last Alarum. A serious reflex 
upon my own unworthiness did make me backward 
from challenging this prerogative of my Soul : so that 
I might enjoy my Saviour at the last, I could with 
patience be nothing almost unto Eternity. 

The second was that of Origen, That GOD would 
not persist in His vengeance for ever, but after a 
definite time of His wrath, He would release the 
damned Souls from torture. Which error I fell into 
upon a serious contemplation of the great Attribute 
of God, His Mercy ; and did a little cherish it in my 
self, because I found therein no malice, and a ready 
weight to sway me from the other extream of despair, 
whereunto Melancholy and Contemplative Natures are 
too easily disposed. 

A third there is, which I did never positively main 
tain or practise, but have often wished it had been 
consonant to Truth, and not offensive to my Religion, 
and that is, the Prayer for the Dead; whereunto I 
was inclin'd from some charitable inducements, 
whereby I could scarce contain my Prayers for a 



1 8 RELIGIO MEDICI 

friend at the ringing of a Bell, or behold his Corps 
without an Orison for his Soul. 'Twas a good way, 
methought, to be remembred by posterity, and far 
more noble than an History. 

These opinions I never maintained with pertinacy, 
or endeavoured to enveagle any mans belief unto 
mine, nor so much as ever revealed or disputed them 
with my dearest friends; by which means I neither 
propagated them in others, nor confirmed them in 
my self; but suffering them to flame upon their own 
substance, without addition of new fuel, they went out 
insensibly of themselves. Therefore these Opinions, 
though condemned by lawful Councels, were not Here 
sies in me, but bare Errors, and single Lapses of my un 
derstanding, without a joynt depravity of my will. Those 
have not onely depraved understandings, but diseased 
affections, which cannot enjoy a singularity without an 
Heresie, or be the Author of an Opinion without they 
be of a Sect also. This was the villany of the first 
Schism of Lucifer, who was not content to err alone, 
but drew into his Faction many Legions of Spirits ; and 
upon this experience he tempted only Eve, as well 
understanding the Communicable nature of Sin, and 
that to deceive but one, was tacitely and upon con 
sequence to delude them both. 

That Heresies should arise, we have the Prophesie 
of CHRIST ; but that old ones should be abolished, we 
hold no prediction. That there must be Heresies, 



RELIGIO MEDICI IQ 

is true, not only in our Church, but also in any other : 
even in doctrines heretical, there will be super-heresies ; 
and Arians not only divided from their Church, but 
also among themselves. For heads that are disposed 
unto Schism and complexionally propense to innova 
tion, are naturally indisposed for a community, nor 
will be ever confined unto the order or ceconomy of 
one body; and therefore, when they separate from 
others, they knit but loosely among themselves ; nor 
contented with a general breach of dichotomy with 
their Church do subdivide and mince themselves 
almost into Atoms. Tis true, that men of singular 
parts and humours have not been free from singular 
opinions and conceits in all Ages ; retaining some 
thing, not only beside the opinion of his own Church 
or any other, but also any particular Author ; which, 
notwithstanding, a sober Judgment may do without 
offence or heresie; for there is yet, after all the 
Decrees of Councils and the niceties of the Schools, 
many things untouch'd, unimagin'd, wherein the 
liberty of an honest reason may play and expatiate 
with security, and far without the circle of an 
Heresie. 

As for those wingy Mysteries in Divinity, and airy 
subtleties in Religion, which have unhing'd the brains 
of better heads, they never stretched the Pia Mater 
of mine. Methinks there be not impossibilities 
enough in Religion for an active faith ; the deepest 
Mysteries ours contains have not only been illustrated, 



2O RELIGIO MEDICI 

but maintained, by Syllogism and the rule of Reason. 
I love to lose my self in a mystery, to pursue my 
Reason to an O altitude ! Tis my solitary recreation 
to pose my apprehension with those involved ./Enigmas 
and riddles of the Trinity, with Incarnation, and 
Resurrection. I can answer all the Objections of 
Satan and my rebellious reason with that odd reso 
lution I learned of Tertullian, Certum est, quia im- 
possibile est. I desire to exercise my faith in the 
difficultest point; for to credit ordinary and visible 
objects is not faith, but perswasion. Some believe 
the better for seeing CHRIST'S Sepulchre ; and, when 
they have seen the Red Sea, doubt not of the Miracle. 
Now, contrarily, I bless my self and am thankful that 
I lived not in the days of Miracles, that I never saw 
CHRIST nor His Disciples. I would not have been 
one of those Israelites that pass'd the Red Sea, nor 
one of CHRIST'S patients on whom He wrought His 
wonders; then had my faith been thrust upon me, 
nor should I enjoy that greater blessing pronounced 
to all that believe and saw not. 'Tis an easie and 
necessary belief, to credit what our eye and sense hath 
examined. 1 believe He was dead, and buried, and 
rose again; and desire to see Him in His glory, 
rather than to contemplate Hirn in His Cenotaphe or 
Sepulchre. Nor is this much to believe ; as we have 
reason, we owe this faith unto History : they only had 
the advantage of a bold and noble Faith, who lived 
before His coming, who upon obscure prophesies and 



RELIGIO MEDICI 21 

mystical Types could raise a belief, and expect ap 
parent impossibilities. 

'Tis true, there is an edge in all firm belief, and 
with an easie Metaphor we may say, the Sword of 
Faith ; but in these obscurities I rather use it in the 
adjunct the Apostle gives it, a Buckler ; under which 
I conceive a wary combatant may lye invulnerable. 
Since I was of understanding to know we knew 
nothing, my reason hath been more pliable to the will 
of Faith ; I am now content to understand a mystery 
without a rigid definition, in an easie and Platonick 
description. That allegorical description of Hermes 
pleaseth me beyond all the Metaphysical definitions 
of Divines. Where I cannot satisfy my reason, I love 
to humour my fancy : I had as live you tell me that 
anima est angelus hominis, est Corpus DEI, as En- 
telechia; Lux est umbra DEI, as actus perspicui. 
Where there is an obscurity too deep for our Reason, 
'tis good to sit down with a description, periphrasis, 
or adumbration ; for by acquainting our Reason how 
unable it is to display the visible and obvious effects 
of Nature, it becomes more humble and submissive 
unto the subtleties of Faith; and thus I teach my 
haggard and unreclaimed Reason to stoop unto the 
lure of Faith. I believe there was already a tree 
whose fruit our unhappy Parents tasted, though, in 
the same Chapter when GOD forbids it, 'tis positively 
said, the plants of the field were not yet grown, for 
GOD had not caused it to rain upon the earth. I believe 



22 RELIGIO MEDICI 

that the Serpent, (if we shall literally understand it,) 
from his proper form and figure, made his motion on 
his belly before the curse. I find the tryal of the 
Pucellage and virginity of Women, which GOD or 
dained the Jews, is very fallible. Experience and 
History informs me, that not onely many particular 
Women, but likewise whole Nations, have escaped the 
curse of Childbirth, which GOD seems to pronounce 
upon the whole Sex. Yet do I believe that all this is 
true, which indeed my Reason would perswade me to 
be false ; and this I think is no vulgar part of Faith, 
to believe a thing not only above but contrary to 
Reason, and against the Arguments of our proper 
Senses. 

In my solitary and retired imagination 

(neque enim cum porticus aut me 
Lectulus accepit, desum mihi,} 

I remember I am not alone, and therefore forget not 
to contemplate Him and His Attributes Who is ever 
with me, especially those two mighty ones, His Wis 
dom and Eternity. With the one I recreate, with the 
other I confound, my understanding; for who can 
speak of Eternity without a solcecism, or think thereof 
without an Extasie? Time we may comprehend ; 'tis 
but five days elder then our selves, and hath the same 
Horoscope with the World; but to retire so far back as 
to apprehend a beginning, to give such an infinite start 
forwards as to conceive an end, in an essence that we 



RELIGIO MEDICI 23 

affirm hath neither the one nor the other, it puts my 
Reason to St. Paul's Sanctuary. My Philosophy dares 
not say the Angels can do it. GOD hath not made 
a Creature that can comprehend Him ; 'tis a privilege 
of His own nature. I AM THAT I AM, was His own 
definition unto Moses ; and 'twas a short one, to con 
found mortality, that durst question GOD, or ask Him 
what He was. Indeed, He onely is ; all others have 
and shall be. But in Eternity there is no distinction 
of Tenses; and therefore that terrible term Predes 
tination, which hath troubled so many weak heads 
to conceive, and the wisest to explain, is in respect 
to GOD no prescious determination of our Estates to 
come, but a definitive blast of His Will already ful 
filled, and at the instant that He first decreed it ; for 
to His Eternity, which is indivisible and all together, 
the last Trump is already sounded, the reprobates in 
the flame, and the blessed in Abraham's bosome. 
St. Peter speaks modestly, when he saith, a thousand 
years to GOD are but as one day ; for, to speak like a 
Philosopher, those continued instances of time which 
flow into a thousand years, make not to Him one 
moment : what to us is to come, to His Eternity is 
present, His whole duration being but one permanent 
point, without Succession, Parts, Flux, or Division. 

There is no Attribute that adds more difficulty to 
the mystery of the Trinity, where, though in a rela 
tive way of Father and Son, we must deny a priority. 
I wonder how Aristotle could conceive the World 



24 RELIGIO MEDICI 

eternal, or how he could make good two Eternities. 
His similitude of a Triangle comprehended in a 
square doth somewhat illustrate the Trinity of our 
Souls, and that the Triple Unity of GOD; for there 
is in us not three, but a Trinity of Souls; because 
there is in us, if not three distinct Souls, yet differing 
faculties, that can and do subsist apart in different 
Subjects, and yet in us are so united as to make but 
one Soul and substance. If one Soul were so perfect 
as to inform three distinct Bodies, that were a petty 
Trinity : conceive the distinct number of three, not 
divided nor separated by the intellect, but actually 
comprehended in its Unity, and that is a perfect 
Trinity. I have often admired the mystical way of 
Pythagoras, and the secret Magick of numbers. Be 
ware of Philosophy, is a precept not to be received in 
too large a sense ; for in this Mass of Nature there is 
a set of things that carry in their Front (though not 
in Capital Letters, yet in Stenography and short Char 
acters), something of Divinity, which to wiser Reasons 
serve as Luminaries in the Abyss of Knowledge, and 
to judicious beliefs as Scales and Roundles to mount 
the Pinacles and highest pieces of Divinity. The 
severe Schools shall never laugh me out of the Philos 
ophy of Hermes, that this visible World is but a Pic 
ture of the invisible, wherein, as in a Pourtraict, things 
are not truely, but in equivocal shapes, and as they 
counterfeit some more real substance in that invisible 
fabrick. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 25 

That other Attribute wherewith I recreate my devo 
tion, is His Wisdom, in which I am happy ; and for 
the contemplation of this only, do not repent me that 
I was bred in the way of Study : the advantage I have 
of the vulgar, with the content and happiness I con 
ceive therein, is an ample recompence for all my en 
deavours, in what part of knowledge soever. Wisdom 
is His most beauteous Attribute ; no man can attain 
unto it, yet Solomon pleased GOD when he desired it. 
He is wise, because He knows all things ; and He 
knoweth all things, because He made them all : but 
His greatest knowledge is in comprehending that He 
made not, that is, Himself. And this is also the 
greatest knowledge in man. For this do I honour 
my own profession, and embrace the Counsel even of 
the Devil himself: had he read such a Lecture in 
Paradise as he did at Delphos, we had better known 
our selves, nor had we stood in fear to know him. 
I know He is wise in all, wonderful in what we con 
ceive, but far more in what we comprehend not ; for 
we behold Him but asquint, upon reflex or shadow ; 
our understanding is dimmer than Moses Eye; we 
are ignorant of the back-parts or lower side of His 
Divinity; therefore to prie into the maze of His 
Counsels is not only folly in man, but presumption 
even in Angels. Like us, they are His Servants, not 
His Senators ; He holds no Counsel, but that mystical 
one of the Trinity, wherein, though there be three 
Persons, there is but one mind that decrees without 



26 RELIGIO MEDICI 

contradiction. Nor needs He any : His actions are 
not begot with deliberation, His Wisdom naturally 
knows what's best ; His intellect stands ready fraught 
with the superlative and purest Ideas of goodness; 
consultation and election, which are two motions in 
us, make but one in Him, His actions springing from 
His power at the first touch of His will. These are 
Contemplations metaphysical : my humble specula 
tions have another Method, and are content to trace 
and discover those expressions He hath left in His 
Creatures, and the obvious effects of Nature. There 
is no danger to profound these mysteries, no sanctum 
sanctorum in Philosophy. The World was made to 
be inhabited by Beasts, but studied and contemplated 
by Man : 'tis the Debt of our Reason we owe unto 
GOD, and the homage we pay for not being Beasts. 
Without this, the World is still as though it had not 
been, or as it was before the sixth day, when as yet 
there was not a Creature that could conceive or 
say there was a World. The Wisdom of GOD re 
ceives small honour from those vulgar Heads that 
rudely stare about, and with a gross rusticity admire 
His works : those highly magnifie Him, whose judi 
cious inquiry into His Acts, and deliberate research 
into His Creatures, return the duty of a devout and 
learned admiration. Therefore, 

Search while thou wilt, and let thy Reason go, 
To ransome Truth, even to th' Abyss below ; 
Rally the scattered Causes ; and that line, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 2/ 

Which Nature twists, be able to untwine. 

It is thy Makers will, for unto none 

But unto Reason can He e'er be known. 

The Devils do know Thee, but those damned Meteors 

Build not Thy Glory, but confound Thy Creatures. 

Teach my indeavours so Thy works to read, 

That learning them in Thee, I may proceed. 

Give Thou my reason that instructive flight, 

Whose weary wings may on Thy hands still light. 

Teach me to soar aloft, yet ever so, 

When neer the Sun, to stoop again below. 

Thus shall my humble Feathers safely hover, 

And, though near Earth, more than the Heavens discover. 

And then at last, when homeward I shall drive, 

Rich with the Spoils of Nature, to my Hive, 

There will I sit like that industrious Flie, 

Buzzing Thy praises, which shall never die, 

Till Death abrupts them, and succeeding Glory 

Bid me go on in a more lasting story. 

And this is almost all wherein an humble Creature 
may endeavour to requite and some way to retribute 
unto his Creator : for \inothe that saith, " Lord, Lord," 
but he that doth the will of his Father, shall be saved ; 
certainly our wills must be our performances, and our 
intents make out our Actions; otherwise our pious 
labours shall find anxiety in our Graves, and our 
best endeavours not hope, but fear, a resurrection. 

There is but one first cause, and four second causes 
of all things. Some are without efficient, as GOD; 
others without matter, as Angels ; some without form, 
as the first matter : but every Essence, created or un- 



28 RELIGIO MEDICI 

created, hath its final cause, and some positive end 
both of its Essence and Operation. This is the cause 
I grope after in the works of Nature ; on this hangs the 
Providence of GOD. To raise so beauteous a structure 
as the World and the Creatures thereof, was but His 
Art ; but their sundry and divided operations, with 
their predestinated ends, are from the Treasure of His 
Wisdom. In the causes, nature, and affections of the 
Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, there is most excellent 
speculation ; but to profound farther, and to contem 
plate a reason why His Providence hath so disposed 
and ordered their motions in that vast circle as to 
conjoyn and obscure each other, is a sweeter piece of 
Reason, and a diviner point of Philosophy. There 
fore sometimes, and in some things, there appears to 
me as much Divinity in Galen his books De Usu 
Partium, as in Suarez Metaphy sicks. Had Aristotle 
been as curious in the enquiry of this cause as he was 
of the other, he had not left behind him an imperfect 
piece of Philosophy, but an absolute tract of Divinity. 
Natura nihil agit frustra, is the only indisputed Ax- 
iome in Philosophy. There are no Grotesques in Na 
ture ; not anything framed to fill up empty Cantons, and 
unnecessary spaces. In the most imperfect Creatures, 
and such as were not preserved in the Ark, but, hav 
ing their Seeds and Principles in the womb of Nature, 
are every where, where the power of the Sun is, in 
these is the Wisdom of His hand discovered. Out of 
this rank Solomon chose the object of his admiration. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 29 

Indeed what Reason may not go to School to the wis 
dom of Bees, Ants, and Spiders ? what wise hand teach- 
eth them to do what Reason cannot teach us ? Ruder 
heads stand amazed at those prodigious pieces of Na 
ture, Whales, Elephants, Dromidaries and Camels; 
these, I confess, are the Colossus and majestick pieces 
of her hand : but in these narrow Engines there is more 
curious mathematicks ; and the civility of these little 
Citizens more neatly sets forth the Wisdom of their 
Maker. Who admires not Regio-Montanus his Fly 
beyond his Eagle, or wonders not more at the opera 
tion of two Souls in those little Bodies, than but one 
in the Trunk of a Cedar ? I could never content my 
contemplation with those general pieces of wonder, 
the Flux and Reflux of the Sea, the increase of Nile, 
the conversion of the Needle to the North ; and have 
studied to match and parallel those in the more ob 
vious and neglected pieces of Nature, which without 
further travel I can do in the Cosmography of my self. 
We carry with us the wonders we seek without us : 
there is all Africa and her prodigies in us; we are 
that bold and adventurous piece of Nature, which he 
that studies wisely learns in a compendium what others 
labour at in a divided piece and endless volume. 

Thus there are two Books from whence I collect my 
Divinity ; besides that written one of GOD, another of 
His servant Nature, that universal and publick Manu 
script, that lies expans'd unto the Eyes of all : those 
that never saw Him in the one, have discovered Him 



3<D RELIGIO MEDICI 

in the other. This was the Scripture and Theology 
of the Heathens : the natural motion of the Sun made 
them more admire Him than its supernatural station did 
the Children of Israel ; the ordinary effects of Nature 
wrought more admiration in them than in the other all 
His Miracles. Surely the Heathens knew better how 
to joyn and read these mystical Letters than we Chris 
tians, who cast a more careless Eye on these common 
Hieroglyphicks, and disdain to suck Divinity from the 
flowers of Nature. Nor do I so forget GOD as to 
adore the name of Nature ; which I define not, with 
the Schools, to be the principle of motion and rest, 
but that streight and regular line, that settled and con 
stant course the Wisdom of GOD hath ordained the 
actions of His creatures, according to their several 
kinds. To make a revolution every day is the Nature 
of the Sun, because of that necessary course which 
GOD hath ordained it, from which it cannot swerve 
but by a faculty from that voice which first did give it 
motion. Now this course of Nature GOD seldome 
alters or perverts, but, like an excellent Artist, hath so 
contrived His work, that with the self same instrument, 
without a new creation, He may effect His obscurest 
designs. Thus He sweetneth the Water with a Wood, 
preserveth the Creatures in the Ark, which the blast of 
His mouth might have as easily created ; for GOD is 
like a skilful Geometrician, who, when more easily and 
with one stroak of his Compass he might describe or 
divide a right line, had yet rather do this in a circle 



RELIGIO MEDICI 3! 

or longer way, according to the constituted and fore- 
laid principles of his Art. Yet this rule of His He 
doth sometimes pervert, to acquaint the World with 
His Prerogative, lest the arrogancy of our reason should 
question His power, and conclude He could not. And 
thus I call the effects of Nature the works of GOD, 
Whose hand and instrument she only is ; and therefore 
to ascribe His actions unto her, is to devolve the honour 
of the principal agent upon the instrument ; which if 
with reason we may do, then let our hammers rise up 
and boast they have built our houses, and our pens 
receive the honour of our writings. I hold there is a 
general beauty in the works of GOD, and therefore no 
deformity in any kind or species of creature whatsoever. 
I cannot tell by what Logick we call a Toad, a Bear, or 
an Elephant ugly ; they being created in those outward 
shapes and figures which best express the actions of 
their inward forms, and having past that general Visi 
tation of GOD, Who saw that all that He had made was 
good, that is, conformable to His Will, which abhors de 
formity, and is the rule of order and beauty. There is 
no deformity but in Monstrosity; wherein, notwith 
standing, there is a kind of Beauty ; Nature so ingen 
iously contriving the irregular parts, as they become 
sometimes more remarkable than the principal Fabrick. 
To speak yet more narrowly, there was never any thing 
ugly or mis-shapen, but the Chaos ; wherein, notwith 
standing, (to speak strictly,) there was no deformity, 
because no form ; nor was it yet impregnant by the 



32 RELIGIO MEDICI 

voice of GOD. Now Nature is not at variance with Art, 
nor Art with Nature, they being both servants of His 
Providence. Art is the perfection of Nature. Were 
the World now as it was the sixth day, there were yet a 
Chaos. Nature hath made one World, and Art another. 
In brief, all things are artificial ; for Nature is the Art 
of GOD. 

This is the ordinary and open way of His Provi 
dence, which Art and Industry have in a good part 
discovered ; whose effects we may foretel without an 
Oracle : to foreshew these, is not Prophesie, but Prog 
nostication. There is another way, full of Meanders 
and Labyrinths, whereof the Devil and Spirits have no 
exact Ephemerides ; and that is a more particular and 
obscure method of His Providence, directing the oper 
ations of individuals and single Essences : this we call 
Fortune, that serpentine and crooked line, whereby He 
draws those actions His Wisdom intends, in a more 
unknown and secret way. This cryptick and involved 
method of His Providence have I ever admired ; nor 
can I relate the History of my life, the occurrences of 
my days, the escapes of dangers, and hits of chance, 
with a Bezo las Manos to Fortune, or a bare Gramercy 
to my good Stars. Abraham might have thought the 
Ram in the thicket came thither by accident; humane 
reason would have said that meer chance conveyed 
Moses in the Ark to the sight of Pharaoh's Daughter : 
what a Labyrinth is there in the story of Joseph, able 
to convert a Stoick ! Surely there are in every man's 



RELIGIO MEDICI 33 

Life certain rubs, doublings, and wrenches, which pass 
a while under the effects of chance, but at the last, 
well examined, prove the meer hand of GOD. Twas 
not dumb chance, that, to discover the Fougade or 
Powder-plot, contrived a miscarriage in the Letter. I 
like the Victory of '88 the better for that one occur 
rence, which our enemies imputed to our dishonour 
and the partiality of Fortune, to wit, the tempests and 
contrariety of Winds. King Philip did not detract 
from the Nation, when he said, he sent his Armado 
to fight with men, and not to combate with the Winds. 
Where there is a manifest disproportion between the 
powers and forces of two several agents, upon a Max- 
ime of reason we may promise the Victory to the Su- 
periour ; but when unexpected accidents slip in, and 
unthought of occurrences intervene, these must pro 
ceed from a power that owes no obedience to those 
Axioms ; where, as in the writing upon the wall, we 
may behold the hand, but see not the spring that moves 
it. The success of that petty Province of Holland (of 
which the Grand Seignour proudly said, if they should 
trouble him as they did the Spaniard, he would send 
his men with shovels and pick-axes, and throw it into 
the Sea,) I cannot altogether ascribe to the ingenuity 
and industry of the people, but the mercy of GOD, 
that hath disposed them to such a thriving Genius ; 
and to the will of His Providence, that disposeth her 
favour to each Country in their pre-ordinate season. 
All cannot be happy at once ; for, because the glory 



34 RELIGIO MEDICI 

of one State depends upon the mine of another, there 
is a revolution and vicissitude of their greatness, and 
must obey the swing of that wheel, not moved by In 
telligences, but by the hand of GOD, whereby all Es 
tates arise to their Zenith and Vertical points according 
to their predestinated periods. For the lives, not only 
of men, but of Commonwealths, and the whole World, 
run not upon an Helix that still enlargeth, but on a 
Circle, where, arriving to their Meridian, they decline 
in obscurity, and fall under the Horizon again. 

These must not therefore be named the effects of 
Fortune, but in a relative way, and as we term the 
works of Nature. It was the ignorance of mans reason 
that begat this very name, and by a careless term mis 
called the Providence of GOD ; for there is no liberty 
for causes to operate in a loose and stragling way ; nor 
any effect whatsoever, but hath its warrant from some 
universal or superiour Cause. Tis not' a ridiculous 
devotion to say a prayer before a game at Tables ; for 
even in sortilegies and matters of greatest uncertainty, 
there is a setled and pre-ordered course of effects. It 
is we that are blind, not Fortune : because our Eye is 
too dim to discover the mystery of her effects, we 
foolishly paint her blind, and hoodwink the Providence 
of the Almighty. I cannot justifie that contemptible 
Proverb, That fools only are Fortunate, or that insolent 
Paradox, That a wise man is out of the reach of For 
tune ; much less those opprobrious epithets of Poets, 
Whore, Bawd, and Strumpet. Tis, I confess, the 



RELIGIO MEDICI 35 

common fate of men of singular gifts of mind to be 
destitute of those of Fortune, which doth not any way 
deject the Spirit of wiser judgements, who throughly 
understand the justice of this proceeding ; and being 
inriched with higher donatives, cast a more careless 
eye on these vulgar parts of felicity. It is a most 
unjust ambition to desire to engross the mercies ot 
the Almighty, not to be content with the goods of 
mind, without a possession of those of body or For 
tune ; and it is an error worse than heresie, to adore 
these complemental and circumstantial pieces of felicity, 
and undervalue those perfections and essential points 
of happiness wherein we resemble our Maker. To 
wiser desires it is satisfaction enough to deserve, though 
not to enjoy, the favours of Fortune : let Providence 
provide for Fools. Tis not partiality, but equity in 
GOD, Who deals with us but as our natural Parents : 
those that are able of Body and Mind He leaves to 
their deserts ; to those of weaker merits He imparts a 
larger portion, and pieces out the defect of one by the 
excess of the other. Thus have we no just quarrel 
with Nature for leaving us naked; or to envy the 
Horns, Hoofs, Skins, and Furs of other Creatures, 
being provided with Reason, that can supply them all. 
We need not labour with so many Arguments to con 
fute Judicial Astrology ; for, if there be a truth therein, 
it doth not injure Divinity. If to be born under 
Mercury disposeth us to be witty, under Jupiter to be 
wealthy ; I do not owe a Knee unto these, but unto 



36 RELIGIO MEDICI 

that merciful Hand that hath ordered my indifferent 
and uncertain nativity unto such benevolous Aspects. 
Those that hold that all things are governed by For 
tune, had not erred, had they not persisted there. 
The Romans, that erected a Temple to Fortune, 
acknowledged therein, though in a blinder way, some 
what of Divinity ; for, in a wise supputation, all things 
begin and end in the Almighty. There is a nearer 
way to Heaven than Homer's Chain ; an easie Logic 
may conjoyn Heaven and Earth in one Argument, and 
with less than .a Sorites resolve all things into GOD. 
For though we christen effects by their most sensible 
and nearest Causes, yet is GOD the true and infallible 
Cause of all ; whose concourse, though it be general, 
yet doth it subdivide it self into the particular Actions 
of every thing, and is that Spirit, by which each 
singular Essence not only subsists, but performs its 
operation. 

The bad construction and perverse comment on 
these pair of second Causes, or visible hands of GOD, 
have perverted the Devotion of many unto Atheism ; 
who, forgetting the honest Advisoes of Faith, have 
listened unto the conspiracy of Passion and Reason. 
I have therefore always endeavoured to compose those 
Feuds and angry Dissentions between Affection, Faith, 
and Reason ; for there is in our Soul a kind of Trium 
virate, or triple Government of three Competitors, 
which distract the Peace of this our Commonwealth, 
not less than did that other the State of Rome. 






RELIGIO MEDICI 37 

As Reason is a Rebel unto Faith, so Passion unto 
Reason : as the propositions of Faith seem absurd unto 
Reason, so the Theorems of Reason unto Passion, and 
both unto Reason. 'Yet a moderate and peaceable 
discretion may so state and order the matter, that they 
may be all Kings, and yet make but one Monarchy, 
every one exercising his Soveraignty and Prerogative 
in a due time and place, according to the restraint and 
limit of circumstance. There is, as in Philosophy, so 
in Divinity, sturdy doubts and boisterous Objections, 
wherewith the unhappiness of our knowledge too 
nearly acquainteth us. More of these no man hath 
known than myself, which I confess I conquered, not 
in a martial posture, but on my Knees. For our en 
deavours are not only to combat with doubts, but 
always to dispute with the Devil. The villany of that 
Spirit takes a hint of Infidelity from our Studies, and, 
by demonstrating a naturality in one way, makes us 
mistrust a miracle in another. Thus, having perused 
the Archidoxis and read the secret Sympathies of 
things, he would disswade my belief from the miracle 
of the Brazen Serpent, make me conceit that Image 
worked by Sympathy, and was but an ^Egyptian trick 
to cure their Diseases without a miracle. Again, hav 
ing seen some experiments of Bitumen, and having 
read far more of Naphtha, he whispered to my curios 
ity the fire of the Altar might be natural ; and bid me 
mistrust a miracle in Elias, when he entrenched the 
Altar round with Water ; for that inflamable substance 



38 RELIGIO MEDICI 

yields not easily unto Water, but flames in the Arms of 
its Antagonist. And thus would he inveagle my belief 
to think the combustion of Sodom might be natural, 
and that there was an Asphal'tick and Bituminous 
nature in that Lake before the Fire of Gomorrah. I 
know that Manna is now plentifully gathered in Cala 
bria; and Josephus tells me, in his days it was as 
plentiful in Arabia; the Devil therefore made the 
quare, Where was then the miracle in the days of 
Moses? the Israelites saw but that in his time, the 
Natives of those Countries behold in ours. Thus the 
Devil played at Chess with me, and yielding a Pawn, 
thought to gain a Queen of me, taking advantage of my 
honest endeavours ; and whilst I laboured to raise the 
structure of my Reason, he strived to undermine 
the edifice of my Faith. 

Neither had these or any other ever such advantage 
of me, as to incline me to any point of Infidelity or 
desperate positions of Atheism ; for I have been these 
many years of opinion there was never any. Those 
that held Religion was the difference of Man from 
Beasts, have spoken probably, and proceed upon a 
principle as inductive as the other. That doctrine of 
Epicurus, that denied the Providence of GOD, was no 
Atheism, but a magnificent and high strained conceit 
of His Majesty, which he deemed too sublime to mind 
the trivial Actions of those inferiour Creatures. That 
fatal Necessity of the Stoicks is nothing but the im 
mutable Law of His Will. Those that heretofore 



RELIGIO MEDICI 39 

denied the Divinity of the HOLY GHOST, have been 
condemned but as Hereticks; and those that now 
deny our Saviour, (though more than Hereticks,) are 
not so much as Atheists ; for, though they deny two 
persons in the Trinity, they hold, as we do, there is 
but one GOD. 

That Villain and Secretary of Hell, that composed 
that miscreant piece Of the Three Impostors, though 
divided from all Religions, and was neither Jew, Turk, 
nor Christian, was not a positive Atheist. I confess 
every Country hath its Machiavel, every Age its Lu- 
cian, whereof common Heads must not hear, nor more 
advanced Judgments too rashly venture on : it is the 
Rhetorick of Satan, and may pervert a loose or pre- 
judicate belief. 

I confess I have perused them all, and can discover 
nothing that may startle a discreet belief; yet are 
there heads carried off with the Wind and breath of 
such motives. I remember a Doctor in Physick, of 
Italy, who could not perfectly believe the immortality 
of the Soul, because Galen seemed to make a doubt 
thereof. With another I was familiarly acquainted in 
France, a Divine, and a man of singular parts, that on 
the same point was so plunged and gravelled with three 
lines of Seneca, that all our Antidotes, drawn from 
both Scripture and Philosophy, could not expel the 
poyson of his errour. There are a set of Heads, that 
can credit the relations of Mariners, yet question the 
Testimonies of St. Paul ; and peremptorily maintain the 



40 RELIGIO MEDICI 

traditions of ^EHan or Pliny, yet in Histories of Scrip 
ture raise Queries and Objections, believing no more 
than they can parallel in humane Authors. I confess 
there are in Scripture Stories that do exceed the Fa 
bles of Poets, and to a captious Reader sound like 
Garagantua or Bevis. Search all the Legends of 
times past, and the fabulous conceits of these present, 
and 'twill be hard to find one that deserves to carry 
the Buckler unto Sampson ; yet is all this of an easie 
possibility, if we conceive a Divine concourse, or an 
influence but from the little Finger of the Almighty. 
It is impossible that either in the discourse of man, or 
in the infallible Voice of GOD, to the weakness of 
our apprehensions, there should not appear irregulari 
ties, contradictions, and antinomies : my self could 
shew a Catalogue of doubts, never yet imagined nor 
questioned, as I know, which are not resolved at the 
first hearing ; not fantastick Queries or Objections of 
Air ; for I cannot hear of Atoms in Divinity. I can 
read the History of the Pigeon that was sent out of 
the Ark, and returned no more, yet not ques 
tion how she found out her Mate that was left behind : 
that Lazarus was raised from the dead, yet not demand 
where in the interim his Soul awaited ; or raise a Law- 
case, whether his Heir might lawfully detain his inheri 
tance bequeathed unto him by his death, and he, 
though restored to life, have no Plea or Title unto his 
former possessions. Whether Eve was framed out of 
the left side of Adam, I dispute not ; because I stand 



RELIGIO MEDICI 41 

not yet assured which is the right side of a man, or 
whether there be any such distinction in Nature : that 
she was edified out of the Rib of Adam I believe, yet 
raise no question who shall arise with that Rib at the 
Resurrection. Whether Adam was an Hermaphrodite, 
as the Rabbins contend upon the Letter of the Text, 
because it is contrary to reason, there should be an 
Hermaphrodite before there was a Woman, or a com 
position of two Natures before there was a second 
composed. Likewise, whether the World was created 
in Autumn, Summer, or the Spring, because it was 
created in them all; for whatsoever Sign the Sun 
possesseth, those four Seasons are actually existent. 
It is the nature of this Luminary to distinguish the 
several Seasons of the year, all which it makes at one 
time in the whole Earth, and successive in any part ' 
thereof. There are a bundle of curiosities, not only in 
Philosophy, but in Divinity, proposed and discussed 
by men of most supposed abilities, which indeed are 
not worthy our vacant hours, much less our serious 
Studies : Pieces only fit to be placed in PantagrueVs 
Library, or bound up with Tartaretus De modo Ca- 
candi. 

These are niceties that become not those that 
peruse so serious a Mystery. There are others more 
generally questioned and called to the Bar, yet me- 
thinks of an easie and possible truth. 

Tis ridiculous to put off or drown the general 
Flood of Noah in that particular inundation of Deuca- 



42 RELIGIO MEDICI 

lion. That there was a Deluge once, seems not to 
me so great a Miracle, as that there is not one always. 
How all the kinds of Creatures, not only in their own 
bulks, but with a competency of food and sustenance, 
might be preserved in one Ark, and within the extent 
of three hundred Cubits, to a reason that rightly ex 
amines it, will appear very feasible. There is another 
secret, not contained in the Scripture, which is more 
hard to comprehend, and put the honest Father to 
the refuge of a Miracle ; and that is, not only how 
the distinct pieces of the World, and divided Islands, 
should be first planted by men, but inhabited by 
Tigers, Panthers, and Bears. How America abounded 
with Beasts of prey and noxious Animals, yet con 
tained not in it that necessary Creature, a Horse, is 
very strange. By what passage those, not only Birds, 
but dangerous and unwelcome Beasts, came over; 
how there be Creatures there, which are not found 
in this Triple Continent; (all which must needs be 
strange unto us, that hold but one Ark, and that the 
Creatures began their progress from the Mountains 
of Ararat :) they who, to salve this, would make the 
Deluge particular, proceed upon a principle that I 
can no way grant; not only upon the negative of 
Holy Scriptures, but of mine own Reason, whereby I 
can make it probable, that the World was as well 
peopled in the time of Noah as in ours ; and fifteen 
hundred years to people the World, as full a time for 
them, as four thousand years since have been to us. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 43 

There are other assertions and common Tenents 
drawn from Scripture, and generally believed as 
Scripture, whereunto, notwithstanding, I would never 
betray the liberty of my Reason. Tis a Postulate 
to me, that Methusalem was the longest liv'd of all 
the Children of Adam ; and no man will be able to 
prove it, when, from the process of the Text, I can 
manifest it may be otherwise. That Judas perished 
by hanging himself, there is no certainty in Scripture : 
though in one place it seems to affirm it, and by a 
doubtful word hath given occasion to translate it; 
yet in another place, in a more punctual description, 
it makes it improbable, and seems to overthrow it. 
That our Fathers, after the Flood, erected the Tower 
of Babel to preserve themselves against a second 
Deluge, is generally opinioned and believed ; yet is there 
another intention of theirs expressed in Scripture : 
besides, it is improbable from the circumstance of the 
place, that is, a plain in the Land of Shinar. These 
are no points of Faith, and therefore may admit a free 
dispute. 

There are yet others, and those familiarly con 
cluded from the Text, wherein (under favour), I see 
no consequence. The Church of Rome confidently 
proves the opinion of Tutelary Angels from that 
Answer, when Peter knockt at the Door, 'Tis not he, 
but his Angel; that is, (might some say,) his Mes 
senger, or some body from him ; for so the Original 
signifies, and is as likely to be the doubtful Families 



44 RELIGIO MEDICI 

meaning. This exposition I once suggested to a 
young Divine, that answered upon this point; to 
which I remember the Franciscan Opponent replyed 
no more, but That it was a new, and no authentick 
interpretation. 

These are but the conclusions and fallible discourses 
of man upon the Word of GOD, for such I do believe 
the Holy Scriptures : yet, were it of man, I could not 
chuse but say, it was the singularest and superlative 
piece that hath been extant since the Creation. Were 
I a Pagan, I should not refrain the Lecture of it; 
and cannot but commend the judgment of Ptolomy, 
that thought not his Library compleat without it. 
The Alcoran of the Turks (I speak without prejudice,) 
is an ill composed Piece, containing in it vain and 
ridiculous Errors in Philosophy, impossibilities, fictions, 
and vanities beyond laughter, maintained by evident 
and open Sophisms, the Policy of Ignorance, deposi 
tion of Universities, and banishment of Learning, that 
hath gotten Foot by Arms and violence : this without 
a blow hath disseminated it self through the whole 
Earth. It is not unremarkable what Philo first ob 
served, that the Law of Moses continued two thousand 
years without the least alteration; whereas, we see 
the Laws of other Common-weals do alter with oc 
casions ; and even those that pretended their original 
from some Divinity, to have vanished without trace or 
memory. I believe, besides Zoroaster, there were 
divers that writ before Moses, who, notwithstanding, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 45 

have suffered the common fate of time. Mens Works 
have an age like themselves; and though they out 
live their Authors, yet have they a stint and period 
to their duration : this only is a work too hard for 
the teeth of time, and cannot perish but in the gen 
eral Flames, when all things shall confess their 
Ashes. 

I have heard some with deep sighs lament the lost 
lines of Cicero ; others with as many groans deplore 
the combustion of the Library of Alexandria : for my 
own part, I think there be too many in the World, and 
could with patience behold the urn and ashes of the 
Vatican, could I, with a few others, recover the 
perished leaves of Solomon. I would not omit a 
Copy of Enoch's Pillars, had they many nearer Authors 
than Josephus, or did not relish somewhat of the 
Fable. Some men have written more than others 
have spoken; Pineda quotes more Authors in one 
work, than are necessary in a whole World. Of those 
three great inventions in Germany, there are two 
which are not without their incommodities, and 'tis 
disputable whether they exceed not their use and 
commodities. 'Tis not a melancholy Utinam of my 
own, but the desires of better heads, that there were 
a general Synod ; not to unite the incompatible dif 
ference of Religion, but for the benefit of learning, 
to reduce it as it lay at first, in a few and solid Authors ; 
and to condemn to the fire those swarms and millions 
of Rhapsodies, begotten only to distract and abuse the 



46 RELIGIO MEDICI 

weaker judgements of Scholars, and to maintain the 
trade and mystery of Typographers. 

I cannot but wonder with what exception the Sa 
maritans could confine their belief to the Pentateuch, or 
five Books of Moses. I am ashamed at the Rabbinical 
Interpretation of the Jews upon the Old Testament, as 
much as their defection from the New : and truly it is 
beyond wonder, how that contemptible and degenerate 
issue of Jacob, once so devoted to Ethnick Superstition, 
and so easily seduced to the Idolatry of their Neigh 
bours, should now in such an obstinate and peremptory 
belief adhere unto their own Doctrine, expect impossi 
bilities, and, in the face and eye of the Church, persist 
without the least hope of Conversion. This is a vice 
in them, that were a vertue in us ; for obstinacy in a 
bad Cause is but constancy in a good. And herein I 
must accuse those of my own Religion, for there is not 
any of such a fugitive Faith, such an unstable belief, 
as a Christian ; none that do so oft transform them 
selves, not unto several shapes of Christianity and of 
the same Species, but unto more unnatural and con 
trary Forms of Jew and Mahometan ; that, from the 
name of Saviour, can condescend to the bare term of 
Prophet; and, from an old belief that He is come, fall 
to a new expectation of His coming. It is the promise 
of CHRIST to make us all one Flock ; but how and when 
this Union shall be, is as obscure to me as the last day. 
Of those four Members of Religion we hold a slender 
proportion. There are, I confess, some new additions, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 47 

yet small to those which accrew to our Adversaries, 
and those only drawn from the revolt of Pagans, men 
but of negative Impieties, and such as deny CHRIST, 
but because they never heard of Him. But the Re 
ligion of the Jew is expresly against the Christian, and 
the Mahometan against both. For the Turk, in the 
bulk he now stands, he is beyond all hope of conversion ; 
if he fall asunder, there may be conceived hopes, but 
not without strong improbabilities. The Jew is obsti 
nate in all fortunes ; the persecution of fifteen hundred 
years hath but confirmed them in their Errour : they 
have already endured whatsoever may be inflicted, and 
have suffered in a bad cause, even to the condemnation 
of their enemies. Persecution is a bad and indirect 
way to plant Religion : it hath been the unhappy 
method of angry Devotions, not only to confirm 
honest Religion, but wicked Heresies, and extravagant 
Opinions. It was the first stone and Basis of our 
Faith ; none can more justly boast of Persecutions, and 
glory in the number and valour of Martyrs. For, to 
speak properly, those are true and almost only examples 
of fortitude : those that are fetch'd from the field, or 
drawn from the actions of the Camp, are not oft-times 
so truely precedents of valour as audacity, and at the 
best attain but to some bastard piece of fortitude. If 
we shall strictly examine the circumstances and requi 
sites which Aristotle requires to true and perfect valour, 
we shall find the name only in his Master, Alexander, 
and as little in that Roman Worthy, Julius Caesar; 



48 RELIGIO MEDICI 

and if any in that easie and active way have done so 
nobly as to deserve that name, yet in the passive and 
more terrible piece these have surpassed, and in a 
more heroical way may claim the honour of that 
Title. Tis not in the power of every honest Faith to 
proceed thus far, or pass to Heaven through the 
flames. Every one hath it not in that full measure, 
nor in so audacious and resolute a temper, as to 
endure those terrible tests and trials; who, notwith 
standing, in a peaceable way, do truely adore their 
Saviour, and have (no doubt,) a Faith acceptable in 
the eyes of GOD. 

Now, as all that dye in the War are not termed 
Souldiers; so neither can I properly term all those 
that suffer in matters of Religion, Martyrs. The 
Council of Constance condemns John Huss for an 
Heretick; the Stories of his own Party stile him a 
Martyr : he must needs offend the Divinity of both, 
that says he was neither the one nor the other. There 
are many (questionless,) canonized on earth, that 
shall never be Saints in Heaven ; and have their 
names in Histories and Martyrologies, who in the eyes 
of GOD are not so perfect Martyrs as was that wise 
Heathen, Socrates, that suffered on a fundamental 
point of Religion, the Unity of GOD. I have often 
pitied the miserable Bishop that suffered in the cause 
of Antipodes ; yet cannot chuse but accuse him of as 
much madness, for exposing his living on such a trifle, 
as those of ignorance and folly, that condemned him. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 49 

I think my conscience will not give me the lye, if I 
say there are not many extant that in a noble way 
fear the face of death less than myself; yet, from the 
moral duty I owe to the Commandment of GOD, and 
the natural respects that I tender unto the conserva 
tion of my essence and being, I would not perish 
upon a Ceremony, Politick points, or indifferency : 
nor is my belief of that untractible temper, as not to 
bow at their obstacles, or connive at matters wherein 
there are not manifest impieties. The leaven, there 
fore, and ferment of all, not only civil but Religious 
actions, is Wisdom; without which, to commit our 
selves to the flames is Homicide, and (I fear,) but to 
pass through one fire into another. 

That Miracles are ceased, I can neither prove, nor 
absolutely deny, much less define the time and period 
of their cessation. That they survived CHRIST, is 
manifest upon the Record of Scripture; that they 
out-lived the Apostles also, and were revived at the 
Conversion of Nations many years after, we cannot 
deny, if we shall not question those Writers whose 
testimonies we do not controvert in points that make 
for our own opinions. Therefore that may have 
some truth in it that is reported by the Jesuites of 
their Miracles in the Indies; I could wish it were 
true, or had any other testimony than their own Pens. 
They may easily believe those Miracles abroad, who 
daily conceive a greater at home, the transmutation 
of those visible elements into the Body and Blood of 



50 RELIGIO MEDICI 

our Saviour. For the conversion of Water into Wine, 
which He wrought in Cana, or, what the Devil would 
have had Him done in the Wilderness, of Stones into 
Bread, compared to this, will scarce deserve the name 
of a Miracle : though indeed, to speak properly, there 
is not one Miracle greater than another, they being the 
extraordinary effects of the Hand of GOD, to which 
all things are of an equal facility ; and to create the 
World, as easie as one single Creature. For this is also 
a Miracle, not onely to produce effects against or 
above Nature, but before Nature ; and to create 
Nature, as great a Miracle as to contradict or tran 
scend her. We do too narrowly define the Power of 
GOD, restraining it to our capacities. I hold that 
GOD can do all things; how He should work con 
tradictions, I do not understand, yet dare not there 
fore deny. I cannot see why the Angel of GOD 
should question Esdras to recal the time past, if it 
were beyond His own power ; or that GOD should pose 
mortality in that which He was not able to perform 
Himself. I will not say GOD cannot, but He will not, 
perform many things, which we plainly affirm He 
cannot. This, I am sure, is the mannerliest proposi 
tion, wherein, notwithstanding, I hold no Paradox; 
for, strictly, His power is the same with His will, and 
they both, with all the rest, do make but one GOD. 

Therefore that Miracles have been, I do believe ; 
that they may yet be wrought by the living, I do not 
deny ; but have no confidence in. those which are 



RELIGIO MEDICI 51 

fathered on the dead. And this hath ever made me 
suspect the efficacy of reliques, to examine the bones, 
question the habits and appurtenances of Saints, and 
even of CHRIST Himself. I cannot conceive why the 
Cross that Helena found, and whereon CHRIST Himself 
dyed, should have power to restore others unto life. 
I excuse not Constantine from a fall off his Horse, or 
a mischief from his enemies, upon the wearing those 
nails on his bridle, which our Saviour bore upon the 
Cross in His Hands. I compute among your PICK 
fraudes, nor many degrees before consecrated Swords 
and Roses, that which Baldwyn, King of Jerusalem, 
returned the Genovese for their cost and pains in his 
War, to wit, the ashes of John the Baptist. Those 
that hold the sanctity of their Souls doth leave 
behind a tincture and sacred faculty on their bodies, 
speak naturally of Miracles, and do not salve the 
doubt. Now one reason I tender so little Devotion 
unto Reliques, is, I think, the slender and doubtful re 
spect I have always held unto Antiquities. For that 
indeed which I admire, is far before Antiquity, that is, 
Eternity ; and that is, GOD Himself; Who, though He be 
styled the Ancient of Days, cannot receive the adjunct of 
Antiquity ; Who was before the World, and shall be 
after it, yet is not older than it ; for in His years there 
is no Climacter ; His duration is Eternity, and far more 
venerable than Antiquity. 

But above all things I wonder how the curiosity of 
wiser heads could pass that great and indisputable 



52 RELIGIO MEDICI 

Miracle, the cessation of Oracles ; and in what swoun 
their Reasons lay, to content themselves and sit down 
with such a far-fetch'd and ridiculous reason as Plutarch 
alleadgeth tor it. The Jews, that can believe the super 
natural Solstice of the Sun in the days of Joshua, have 
yet the impudence to deny the Eclipse, which every 
Pagan confessed, at His death : but for this, it is evident 
beyond all contradiction, the Devil himself confessed 
it. Certainly it is not a warrantable curiosity, to ex 
amine the verity of Scripture by the concordance of 
humane history, or seek to confirm the Chronicle of 
Hester or Daniel, by the authority of Megasthenes or 
Herodotus. I confess, I have had an unhappy curiosity 
this way, till I laughed my self out of it with a piece 
of Justine, where he delivers that the Children of Israel 
for being scabbed were banished out of Egypt. And 
truely since I have understood the occurrences of the 
World, and know in what counterfeit shapes and de 
ceitful vizards times present represent on the stage 
things past, I do believe them little more then things 
to come. Some have been of my opinion, and en 
deavoured to write the History of their own lives ; 
wherein Moses hath outgone them all, and left not 
onely the story of his life, but (as some will have it,) 
of his death also. 

It is a riddle to me, how this story of Oracles hath 
not worm'd out of the World that doubtful conceit 
of Spirits and Witches ; how so many learned heads 
should so far forget their Metaphysicks, and destroy 



RELIGIO MEDICI 53 

the ladder and scale of creatures, as to question the 
existence of Spirits. For my part, I have ever believed, 
and do now know, that there are Witches : they that 
doubt of these, do not onely deny them, but Spirits ; 
and are obliquely and upon consequence a sort not of 
Infidels, but Atheists. Those that to confute their 
incredulity desire to see apparitions, shall questionless 
never behold any, nor have the power to be so much 
as Witches ; the Devil hath them already in a heresie 
as capital as Witchcraft ; and to appear to them, 
were but to convert them. Of all the delusions 
wherewith he deceives mortality, there is not any 
that puzzleth me more than the Legerdemain of 
Changelings. I do not credit those transformations 
of reasonable creatures into beasts, or that the Devil 
hath a power to transpeciate a man into a Horse, 
who tempted CHRIST (as a trial of His Divinity,) to 
convert but stones into bread. I could believe that 
Spirits use with man the act of carnality, and that in 
both sexes; I conceive they may assume, steal, or 
contrive a body, wherein there may be action enough 
to content decrepit lust, or passion to satisfie more 
active veneries ; yet, in both, without a possibility of 
generation : and therefore that opinion that Antichrist 
should be born of the Tribe of Dan by conjunction 
with the Divil, is ridiculous, and a conceit fitter for a 
Rabbin than a Christian. I hold that the Devil doth 
really possess some men, the spirit of Melancholly 
others, the spirit of Delusion others; that, as the 



54 RELIGIO MEDICI 

Devil is concealed and denyed by some, so GOD and 
good Angels are pretended by others, whereof the 
late defection of the Maid of Germany hath left a 
pregnant example. 

Again, I believe that all that use sorceries, incanta 
tions, and spells, are not Witches, or, as we term them, 
Magicians. I conceive there is a traditional Magick, 
not learned immediately from the Devil, but at second 
hand from his Scholars, who, having once the secret 
betrayed, are able, and do emperically practise without 
his advice, they both proceeding upon the principles 
of Nature ; where actives, aptly conjoyned to disposed 
passives, will under any Master produce their effects. 
Thus I think at first a great part of Philosophy was 
Witchcraft; which, being afterward derived to one 
another, proved but Philosophy, and was indeed no 
more but the honest effects of Nature : what, invented 
by us, is Philosophy, learned from him, is Magick. 
We do surely owe the discovery of many secrets to the 
discovery of good and bad Angels. I could never pass 
that sentence of Paracelsus without an asterisk or 
annotation; Ascendens constellatum miilta revelat 
qucerentibus magnalia natures, (i.e. opera DEI.) I do 
think that many mysteries ascribed to our own inven 
tions have been the courteous revelations of Spirits ; 
(for those noble essences in Heaven bear a friendly 
regard unto their fellow Natures on Earth;) and there 
fore believe that those many prodigies and ominous 
prognosticks, which fore-run the ruines of States, Princes, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 55 

and private persons, are the charitable premonitions 
of good Angels, which more careless enquiries term 
but the effects of chance and nature. 

Now, besides these particular and divided Spirits, 
there may be (for ought I know,) an universal and 
common Spirit to the whole World. It was the opinion 
of Plato, and it is yet of the Hermetical Philosophers. 
If there be a common nature that unites and tyes the 
scattered and divided individuals into one species, why 
may there not be one that unites them all? However, 
I am sure there is a common Spirit that plays within 
us, yet makes no part of us ; and that is, the Spirit of 
GOD, the fire and scintillation of that noble and mighty 
Essence, which is the life and radical heat of Spirits, 
and those essences that know not the vertue of the Sun ; 
a fire quite contrary to the fire of Hell. This is that 
gentle heat that brooded on the waters, and in six days 
hatched the World ; this is that irradiation that dispels 
the mists of Hell, the clouds of horrour, fear, sorrow, 
despair; and preserves the region of the mind in 
serenity. Whosoever feels not the warm gale and 
gentle ventilation of this Spirit, though I feel his pulse, 
I dare not say he lives : for truely, without this, to me 
there is no heat under the Tropick ; nor any light, 
though I dwelt in the body of the Sun. 

As, when the labouring Sun hath wrought his track 
Up to the top of lofty Cancers back, 
The ycie Ocean cracks, the frozen pole 
Thaws with the heat of the Celestial coale; 



56 RELIGIO MEDICI 

So, when Thy absent beams begin t' impart 

Again a Solstice on my frozen heart, 

My winter's ov'r, my drooping spirits sing, 

And every part revives into a Spring. 

But if Thy quickning beams a while decline, 

And with their light bless not this Orb of mine, 

A chilly frost surpriseth every member, 

And in the midst of June I feel December. 

O how this earthly temper doth debase 

The noble Soul, in this her humble place; 

Whose wingy nature ever doth aspire 

To reach that place whence first it took its fire. 

These flames I feel, which in my heart do dwell, 

Are not Thy beams, but take their fire from Hell : 

O quench them all, and let Thy Light divine 

Be as the Sun to this poor Orb of mine; 

And to Thy sacred Spirit convert those fires, 

Whose earthly fumes choak my devout aspires. 

Therefore for Spirits, I am so far from denying their 
existence, that I could easily believe, that not onely 
whole Countries, but particular persons, have their 
Tutelary and Guardian Angels. It is not a new opin 
ion of the Church of Rome, but an old one of Pythag 
oras and Plato ; there is no heresie in it ; and if not 
manifestly defin'd in Scripture, yet is it an opinion of 
a good and wholesome use in the course and actions 
of a mans life, and would serve as an Hypothesis to 
salve many doubts, whereof common Philosophy afford- 
eth no solution. Now, if you demand my opinion and 
Metaphysicks of their natures, I confess them very 
shallow ; most of them in a negative way, like that of 



RELIGIO MEDICI 57 

GOD ; or in a comparative, between ourselves and 
fellow-creatures ; for there is in this Universe a Stair, 
or manifest Scale of creatures, rising not disorderly, or 
in confusion, but with a comely method and proportion. 
Between creatures of meer existence, and things of life, 
there is a large disproportion of nature ; between plants, 
and animals or creatures of sense, a wider difference ; 
between them and Man, a far greater : and if the pro 
portion hold one, between Man and Angels there 
should be yet a greater. We do not comprehend their 
natures, who retain the first definition of Porphyry, 
and distinguish them from our selves by immortality ; 
for before his Fall, 'tis thought, Man also was Immor 
tal ; yet must we needs affirm that he had a different 
essence from the Angels. Having therefore no certain 
knowledge of their Natures, 'tis no bad method of the 
Schools, whatsoever perfection we find obscurely in 
our selves, in a more compleat and absolute way to 
ascribe unto them. I believe they have an extempo 
rary knowledge, and upon the first motion of their 
reason do what we cannot without study or delibera 
tion ; that they know things by their forms, and define 
by specifical difference what we describe by accidents 
and properties ; and therefore probabilities to us may 
be demonstrations unto them : that they have know 
ledge not onely of the specifical, but numerical forms 
of individuals, and understand by what reserved differ 
ence each single Hypostasis (besides the relation to its 
species,) becomes its numerical self : that, as the Soul 



58 RELIGIO MEDICI 

hath a power to move the body it informs, so there's a 
faculty to move any, though inform none : ours upon 
restraint of time, place, and distance ; but that invisible 
hand that conveyed Habakkuk to the Lyons Den, or 
Philip to Azotus, infringeth this rule, and hath a secret 
conveyance, wherewith mortality is not acquainted. 
If they have that intuitive knowledge, whereby as in 
reflexion they behold the thoughts of one another, I 
cannot peremptorily deny but they know a great part 
of ours. They that, to refute the Invocation of Saints, 
have denied that they have any knowledge of our affairs 
below, have proceeded too far, and must pardon my 
opinion, till I can throughly answer that piece of Scrip 
ture, At the conversion of a sinner the Angels in Heaven 
rejoyce. I cannot, with those in that great Father, 
securely interpret the work of the first day, Fiat /ux, 
to the creation of Angels ; though I confess, there is 
not any creature that hath so neer a glympse of their 
nature as light in the Sun and Elements. We stile it 
a bare accident ; but, where it subsists alone, 'tis a 
spiritual Substance, and may be an Angel : in brief, 
conceive light invisible, and that is a Spirit. 

These are certainly the Magisterial and masterpieces 
of the Creator, the Flower, or (as we may say,) the 
best part of nothing ; actually existing, what we are 
but in hopes and probability. We are onely that 
amphibious piece between a corporal and spiritual 
Essence, that middle form that links those two to 
gether, and makes good the Method of GOD and 



RELIGIO MEDICI 59 

Nature, that jumps not from extreams, but unites the 
incompatible distances by some middle and participat 
ing natures. That we are the breath and similitude of 
GOD, it is indisputable, and upon record of Holy 
Scripture ; but to call ourselves a Microcosm, or little 
World, I thought it only a pleasant trope of Rhetorick, 
till my neer judgement and second thoughts told me 
there was a real truth therein. For first we are a rude 
mass, and in the rank of creatures which onely are, and 
have a dull kind of being, not yet priviledged with life, 
or preferred to sense or reason ; next we live the life of 
Plants, the life of Animals, the life of Men, and at last 
the life of Spirits, running on in one mysterious nature 
those five kinds of existences, which comprehend the 
creatures, not onely of the World, but of the Universe. 
Thus is Man that great and true Amphibium, whose 
nature is disposed to live, not onely like other creatures 
in divers elements, but in divided and distinguished 
worlds : for though there be but one to sense, there 
are two to reason, the one visible, the other invisible ; 
whereof Moses seems to have left description, and of 
the other so obscurely, that some parts thereof are yet 
in controversie. And truely, for the first chapters of 
Genesis, I must confess a great deal of obscurity ; 
though Divines have to the power of humane reason 
endeavoured to make all go in a literal meaning, yet 
those allegorical interpretations are also probable, and 
perhaps the mystical method of Moses bred up in the 
Hieroglyphical Schools of the Egyptians. 



6O RELIGIO MEDICI 

Now for that immaterial world, methinks we need 
not wander so far as beyond the first moveable ; for 
even in this material Fabrick the Spirits walk as freely 
exempt from the affection of time, place, and motion, 
as beyond the extreamest circumference. Do but ex 
tract from the corpulency of bodies, orresolve things be 
yond their first matter, and you discover the habitation 
of Angels, which if I call the ubiquitary and omnipres 
ent Essence of GOD, I hope I shall not offend Divinity : 
for before the Creation of the World GOD was really 
all things. For the Angels He created no new World, 
or determinate mansion, and therefore they are every 
where where is His Essence, and do live at a distance 
even in Himself. That GOD made all things for Man, 
is in some sense true, yet not so far as to subordinate the 
Creation of those purer Creatures unto ours, though as 
ministring Spirits they do, and are willing to fulfil the 
will of GOD in these lower and sublunary affairs of 
Man. GOD made all things for Himself, and it is im 
possible He should make them for any other end than 
His own Glory ; it is all He can receive, and all that 
is without Himself. For, honour being an external 
adjunct, and in the honourer rather than in the person 
honoured, it was necessary to make a Creature, from 
whom He might receive this homage ; and that is, in 
the other world, Angels, in this, Man ; which when we 
neglect, we forget the very end of our Creation, and 
may justly provoke GOD, not onely to repent that He 
hath made the World, but that He hath sworn He 



RELIGIO MEDICI 6 1 

would not destroy it. That there is but one World, 
is a conclusion of Faith : Aristotle with all his Phi 
losophy hath not been able to prove it, and as weakly 
that the World was eternal. That dispute much 
troubled the Pen of the ancient Philosophers, but 
Moses decided that question, and all is salved with 
the new term of a Creation, that is, a production of 
something out of nothing. And what is that? what 
soever is opposite to something; or more exactly, 
that which is truely contrary unto GOD : for He 
onely is, all others have an existence with depend 
ency, and are something but by a distinction. And 
herein is Divinity conformant unto Philosophy, and 
generation not onely founded on contrarieties, but 
also creation ; GOD, being all things, is contrary unto 
nothing, out of which were made all things, and so 
nothing became something, and Omneity informed 
Nullity into an Essence. 

The whole Creation is a Mystery, and particularly that 
of Man. At the blast of His mouth were the rest of 
the Creatures made, and at His bare word they started 
out of nothing : but in the frame of Man (as the Text 
describes it,) He played the sensible operator, and 
seemed not so much to create, as make him. When 
He had separated the materials of other creatures, 
there consequently resulted a form and soul; but, 
having raised the walls of Man, He was driven to a 
second and harder creation of a substance like Himself, 
an incorruptible and immortal Soul. For these two 



62 RELIGIO MEDICI 

affections we have the Philosophy and opinion of the 
Heathens, the flat affirmative of Plato, and not a nega 
tive from Aristotle. There is another scruple cast in 
by Divinity concerning its production, much disputed 
in the Germane auditories, and with that indifferency 
and equality of arguments, as leave the controversie 
undetermined. I am not of Paracelsus mind, that 
boldly delivers a receipt to make a man without con 
junction ; yet cannot but wonder at the multitude of 
heads that do deny traduction, having no other argu 
ment to confirm their belief than that Rhetorical sen 
tence and Antimetathesis of Augustine, Creando infun- 
ditur, infundendo creatur. Either opinion will consist 
well enough with Religion : yet I should rather incline 
to this, did not one objection haunt me, (not wrung 
from speculations and subtilties, but from common 
sense and observation ; not pickt from the leaves of 
any Author, but bred amongst the weeds and tares of 
mine own brain ;) and this is a conclusion from the 
equivocal and monstrous productions in the conjunc 
tion of Man with Beast : for if the Soul of man be not 
transmitted and transfused in the seed of the Parents, 
why are not those productions meerly beasts, but have 
also an impression and tincture of reason in as high a 
measure as it can evidence it self in those improper 
Organs ? Nor, truely, can I peremptorily deny that 
the Soul, in this her sublunary estate, is wholly and in 
all acceptions inorganical; but that for the perform 
ance of her ordinary actions there is required not onely 



REL1GIO MEDICI 63 

a symmetry and proper disposition of Organs, but a 
Crasis and temper correspondent to its operations : yet 
is not this mass of flesh and visible structure the instru 
ment and proper corps of the Soul, but rather of Sense, 
and that the hand of Reason. In our study of Anatomy 
there is a mass of mysterious Philosophy, and such as 
reduced the very Heathens to Divinity : yet, amongst 
all those rare discoveries and curious pieces I find in 
the Fabrick of Man, I do not so much content my self, 
as in that I find not, there is no Organ or Instrument 
for the rational Soul ; for in the brain, which we term 
the seat of Reason, there is not any thing of moment 
more than I can discover in the crany of a beast : and 
this is a sensible and no inconsiderable argument of 
the inorganity of the Soul, at least in that sense we 
usually so receive it. Thus we are men, and we know 
not how : there is something in us that can be without 
us, and will be after us ; though it is strange that it 
hath no history what it was before us, nor cannot tell 
how it entred in us. 

Now, for these walls of flesh, wherein the Soul doth 
seem to be immured before the Resurrection, it is noth 
ing but an elemental composition, and a Fabrick that 
must fall to ashes. All flesh is grass, is not onely meta 
phorically, but litterally, true ; for all those creatures we 
behold are but the herbs of the field, digested into flesh 
in them, or more remotely carnified in ourselves. Nay 
further, we are what we all abhor, Anthropophagi and 
Cannibals, devourers not onely of men, but of our 



64 RELIGIO MEDICI 

selves; and that not in an allegory, but a positive 
truth : for all this mass of flesh which we behold, came 
in at our mouths ; this frame we look upon, hath been 
upon our trenchers ; in brief, we have devour'd our 
selves. I cannot believe the wisdom of Pythagoras 
did ever positively, and in a literal sense, affirm his 
Metempsychosis, or impossible transmigration of the 
Souls of men into beasts. Of all Metamorphoses or 
transmigrations, I believe only one, that is of Lots 
wife ; for that of Nebuchodonosor proceeded not so far : 
in all others I conceive there is no further verity than 
is contained in their implicite sense and morality. I 
believe that the whole frame of a beast doth perish, 
and is left in the same state after death as before it 
was materialled unto life : that the Souls of men know 
neither contrary nor corruption ; that they subsist be 
yond the body, and outlive death by the priviledge of 
their proper natures, and without a Miracle ; that the 
Souls of the faithful, as they leave Earth, take posses 
sion of Heaven : that those apparitions and ghosts of 
departed persons are not the wandring souls of men, 
but the unquiet walks of Devils, prompting and sug 
gesting us unto mischief, blood, and villany ; instilling 
and stealing into our hearts that the blessed Spirits are 
not at rest in their graves, but wander sollicitous of the 
affairs of the World. But that those phantasms appear 
often, and do frequent Ccemeteries, Charnel-houses, 
and Churches, it is because those are the domitories 
of the dead, where the Devil, like an insolent Champion, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 65 

beholds with pride the spoils and Trophies of his Vic 
tory over Adam. 

This is that dismal conquest we all deplore, that 
makes us so often cry, O Adam, quidfecisti ? I thank 
GOD I have not those strait ligaments, or narrow obli 
gations to the World, as to dote on life, or be convulst 
and tremble at the name of death. Not that I am 
insensible of the dread and horrour thereof; or by 
raking into the bowels of the deceased, continual 
sight of Anatomies, Skeletons, or Cadaverous reliques, 
like Vespilloes, or Grave-makers, I am become stupid, 
or have forgot the apprehension of Mortality; but 
that, marshalling all the horrours, and contemplating 
the extremities thereof, I find not any thing therein 
able to daunt the courage of a man, much less a well- 
resolved Christian ; and therefore am not angry at the 
errour of our first Parents, or unwilling to bear a part 
of this common fate, and like the best of them to dye, 
that is, to cease to breathe, to take a farewel of the 
elements, to be a kind of nothing for a moment, to be 
within one instant of the Spirit. When I take a full 
view and circle of my self without this reasonable 
moderator, and equal piece of Justice, Death, I do 
conceive my self the miserablest person extant. Were 
there not another life that I hope for, all the vanities 
of this World should not intreat a moments breath 
from me ; could the Devil work my belief to imagine 
I could never dye, I would not outlive that very 
thought. I have so abject a conceit of this common 



66 RELIGIO MEDICI 

way of existence, this retaining to the Sun and Ele 
ments, I cannot think this is to be a Man, or to live 
according to the dignity of humanity. In expectation 
of a better, I can with patience embrace this life, yet 
in my best meditations do often defie death ; I honour 
any man that contemns it, nor can I highly love any 
that is afraid of it : this makes me naturally love a 
Souldier, and honour those tattered and contemptible 
Regiments that will die at the command of a Sergeant. 
For a Pagan there may be some motives to be in love 
with life ; but for a Christian to be amazed at death, I 
see not how he can escape this Dilemma, that he is 
too sensible of this life, or hopeless of the life to 
come. 

Some Divines count Adam thirty years old at his 
Creation, because they suppose him created in the 
perfect age and stature of man. And surely we are all 
out of the computation of our age, and every man is 
some months elder than he bethinks him ; for we live, 
move, have a being, and are subject to the actions of 
the elements, and the malice of diseases, in that other 
World, the truest Microcosm, the Womb of our Mother. 
For besides that general and common existence we are 
conceived to hold in our Chaos, and whilst we sleep 
within the bosome of our causes, we enjoy a being and 
life in three distinct worlds, wherein we receive most 
manifest graduations. In that obscure World and 
Womb of our Mother, our time is short, computed by 
the Moon, yet longer than the days of many creatures 



RELIGIO MEDICI 67 

that behold the Sun ; our selves being not yet without 
life, sense, and reason ; though for the manifestation 
of its actions, it awaits the opportunity of objects, and 
seems to live there but in its root and soul of vegetation. 
Entring afterwards upon the scene of the World, we 
arise up and become another creature, performing the 
reasonable actions of man, and obscurely manifesting 
that part of Divinity in us ; but not in complement and 
perfection, till we have once more cast our secondine, 
that is, this slough of flesh, and are delivered into the 
last World, that is, that ineffable place of Paul, that 
proper ubi of Spirits. The smattering I have of the 
Philosophers Stone (which is something more then the 
perfect exaltation of gold,) hath taught me a great deal 
of Divinity, and instructed my belief, how that immortal 
spirit and incorruptible substance of my Soul may lye 
obscure, and sleep a while within this house of flesh. 
Those strange and mystical transmigrations that I have 
observed in Silk-worms, turned my Philosophy into 
Divinity. There is in these works of nature, which 
seem to puzzle reason, something Divine, and hath 
more in it then the eye of a common spectator doth 
discover. 

I am naturally bashful ; nor hath conversation, age, 
or travel, been able to effront or enharden me ; yet I 
have one part of modesty which I have seldom dis 
covered in another, that is, (to speak truely,) I am not 
so much afraid of death, as ashamed thereof. 'Tis the 
very disgrace and ignominy of our natures, that in a 



68 RELIGIO MEDICI 

moment can so disfigure us, that our nearest friends, 
Wife, and Children, stand afraid and start at us : the 
Birds and Beasts of the field, that before in a natural 
fear obeyed us, forgetting all allegiance, begin to prey 
upon us. This very conceit hath in a tempest disposed 
and left me willing to be swallowed up in the abyss of 
waters, wherein I had perished unseen, unpityed, with 
out wondering eyes, tears of pity, Lectures of mortality, 
and none had said, 

Quantum mutatus ab illo ! 

Not that I am ashamed of the Anatomy of my parts, or 
can accuse Nature for playing the bungler in any part 
of me, or my own vitious life for contracting any 
shameful disease upon me, whereby I might not call my 
self as wholesome a morsel for the worms as any. 

Some, upon the courage of a fruitful issue, wherein, 
as in the truest Chronicle, they seem to outlive them 
selves, can with greater patience away with death. 
This conceit and counterfeit subsisting in our prog 
enies seems to me a meer fallacy, unworthy the 
desires of a man that can but conceive a thought of 
the next World; who, in a nobler ambition, should 
desire to live in his substance in Heaven, rather than 
his name and shadow in the earth. And therefore at 
my death I mean to take a total adieu of the World, 
not caring for a Monument, History, or Epitaph, not 
so much as the bare memory of my name to be found 
any where but in the universal Register of GOD. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 69 

I am not yet so Cynical as to approve the Testament 
of Diogenes ; nor do I altogether allow that Rodomon 
tade of Lucan, 

Ccelo tegitur, qui non habet urnam. 

He that unburied lies wants not his Herse, 
For unto him a Tomb's the Universe. 

but commend in my calmer judgement those ingenu 
ous intentions that desire to sleep by the urns of their 
Fathers, and strive to go the neatest way unto corrup 
tion. I do not envy the temper of Crows and Daws, 
nor the numerous and weary days of our Fathers 
before the Flood. If there be any truth in Astrology, 
I may outlive a Jubilee : as yet I have not seen one 
revolution of Saturn, nor hath my pulse beat thirty 
years; and yet, excepting one, have seen the Ashes 
and left under ground all the Kings of Europe ; have 
been contemporary to three Emperours, four Grand 
Signiours, and as many Popes. Methinks I have out 
lived my self, and begin to be weary of the Sun ; I 
have shaken hands with delight, in my warm blood 
and Canicular days, I perceive I do anticipate the 
vices of age ; the World to me is but a dream or 
mock-show, and we all therein but Pantalones and 
Anticks, to my severer contemplations. 

It is not, I confess, an unlawful Prayer to desire to 
surpass the days of our Saviour, or wish to outlive 
that age wherein He thought fittest to dye ; yet if 
(as Divinity affirms), there shall be no gray hairs in 



7O RELIGIO MEDICI 

Heaven, but all shall rise in the perfect state of men, 
we do but outlive those perfections in this World, to 
be recalled unto them by a greater Miracle in the 
next, and run on here but to be retrograde hereafter. 
Were there any hopes to outlive vice, or a point to be 
super-annuated from sin, it were worthy our knees to 
implore the days of Methuselah. But age doth not 
rectify, but incurvate our natures, turning bad disposi 
tions into worser habits, and (like diseases), brings on 
incurable vices ; for every day as we grow weaker in 
age, we grow stronger in sin, and the number of our 
days doth but make our sins innumerable. The same 
vice committed at sixteen, is not the same, though it 
agree in all other circumstances, at forty, but swells 
and doubles from the circumstance of our ages ; 
wherein, besides the constant and inexcusable habit 
of transgressing, the maturity of our judgement cuts 
off pretence unto excuse or pardon. Every sin, the 
oftner it is committed, the more it acquireth in the 
quality of evil ; as it succeeds in time, so it proceeds 
in degrees of badness ; for as they proceed they ever 
multiply, and, like figures in Arithmetick, the last 
stands for more than all that went before it. And 
though I think no man can live well once, but he that 
could live twice, yet for my own part I would not live 
over my hours past, or begin again the thread of my 
days : not upon Cicero's ground, because I have lived 
them well, but for fear I should live them worse. I 
find my growing Judgment daily instruct me how to 



RELIGIO MEDICI /I 

be better, but my untamed affections and confirmed 
vitiosity makes me daily do worse. I find in my con 
firmed age the same sins I discovered in my youth ; 
I committed many then, because I was a Child ; and 
because I commit them still, I am yet an infant. 
Therefore I perceive a man may be twice a Child, 
before the days of dotage; and stand in need of 
^sons Bath before threescore. 

And truly there goes a great deal of providence to 
produce a mans life unto threescore : there is more 
required than an able temper for those years ; though 
the radical humour contain in it sufficient oyl for 
seventy, yet I perceive in some it gives no light past 
thirty : men assign not all the causes of long life, that 
write whole Books thereof. They that found them 
selves on the radical balsome, or vital sulphur of the 
parts, determine not why Abel lived not so long as 
Adam. There is therefore a secret glome or bottome 
of our days : 'twas His wisdom to determine them, 
but His perpetual and waking providence that fulfils 
and accomplisheth them, wherein the spirits, ourselves, 
and all the creatures of GOD in a secret and disputed 
way do execute His will. Let them not therefore 
complain of immaturity that die about thirty ; they 
fall but like the whole World, whose solid and well- 
composed substance must not expect the duration and 
period of its constitution : when all things are com 
pleted in it, its age is accomplished ; and the last and 
general fever may as naturally destroy it before six 



72 RELIGIO MEDICI 

thousand, as me before forty. There is therefore 
some other hand that twines the thread of life than 
that of Nature : we are not onely ignorant in Antipa 
thies and occult qualities ; our ends are as obscure as 
our beginnings ; the line of our days is drawn by 
night, and the various effects therein by a pensil that 
is invisible ; wherein though we confess our ignorance, 
I am sure we do not err if we say it is the hand of 
GOD. 

I am much taken with two verses of Lucan, since 
I have been able not onely, as we do at School, to 
construe, but understand : 

Victurosque Dei celant, ut mvere durent, 
Felix esse mori. 

We're all deluded, vainly searching ways 
To make us happy by the length of days; 
For cunningly to make 's protract this breath. 
The Gods conceal the happiness of Death. 

There be many excellent strains in that Poet, where 
with his Stoical Genius hath liberally supplied him ; 
and truely there are singular pieces in the Philosophy 
of Zeno, and doctrine of the Stoicks, which I perceive, 
delivered in a Pulpit, pass for current Divinity : yet 
herein are they in extreams, that can allow a man to 
be his own Assassine, and so highly extol the end and 
suicide of Cato. This is indeed not to fear death, but 
yet to be afraid of life. It is a brave act of valour to 
contemn death ; but where life is more terrible than 
death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live. And 



RELIGIO MEDICI 73 

herein Religion hath taught us a noble example ; for 
all the valiant acts of Curtius, Scevola, or Codrus, do 
not parallel or match that one of Job ; and sure there is 
no torture to the rack of a disease, nor any Ponyards 
in death it self like those in the way or prologue to it. 

Emori nolo, sed me esse mortuum nihil euro. 
I would not die, but care not to be dead. 

Were I of Caesar's Religion, I should be of his desires, 
and wish rather to go off at one blow, then to be sawed 
in pieces by the grating torture of a disease. Men 
that look no farther than their outsides, think health 
an appurtenance unto life, and quarrel with their con 
stitutions for being sick ; but I, that have examined 
the parts of man, and know upon what tender filaments 
that Fabrick hangs, do wonder that we are not always 
so ; and, considering the thousand doors that lead to 
death, do thank my GOD that we can die but once. 
Tis not onely the mischief of diseases, and the villany 
of poysons, that make an end of us ; we vainly accuse 
the fury of Guns, and the new inventions of death ; it 
is in the power of every hand to destroy us, and we are 
beholding unto every one we meet, he doth not kill 
us. There is therefore but one comfort left, that, 
though it be in the power of the weakest arm to take 
away life, it is not in the strongest to deprive us of 
death : GOD would not exempt Himself from that, the 
misery of immortality in the flesh, He undertook not 
that was immortal. Certainly there is no happiness 



74 RELIGIO MEDICI 

within this circle of flesh, nor is it in the Opticks of 
these eyes to behold felicity. The first day of our Ju 
bilee is Death ; the Devil hath therefore failed of his 
desires : we are happier with death than we should 
have been without it : there is no misery but in him 
self, where there is no end of misery ; and so indeed, 
in his own sense, the Stoick is in the right. He for 
gets that he can dye who complains of misery ; we are 
in the power of no calamity while death is in our own. 
Now, besides this literal and positive kind of death, 
there are others whereof Divines make mention, and 
those, I think, not meerly Metaphorical, as mortifi 
cation, dying unto sin and the World. Therefore, I 
say, every man hath a double Horoscope, one of his 
humanity, his birth ; another of his Christianity, his 
baptism ; and from this do I compute or calculate my 
Nativity, not reckoning those Hora combustcz and odd 
days, or esteeming my self any thing, before I was my 
Saviours, and inrolled in the Register of CHRIST. 
Whosoever enjoys not this life, I count him but an ap 
parition, though he wear about him the sensible affec 
tions of flesh. In these moral acceptions, the way to 
be immortal is to dye daily : nor can I think I have 
the true Theory of death, when I contemplate a skull, 
or behold a Skeleton, with those vulgar imaginations 
it casts upon us ; I have therefore enlarged that com 
mon Memento mori, into a more Christian memoran 
dum, Memento quatuor Novissima, those four inevitable 
points of us all, Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell. 






RELIGIO MEDICI 75 

Neither did the contemplations of the Heathens rest 
in their graves, without a further thought of Rhada- 
manth, or some judicial proceeding after death, though 
in another way, and upon suggestion of their natural 
reasons. I cannot but marvail from what Sibyl or 
Oracle they stole the Prophesie of the Worlds destruc 
tion by fire or whence Lucan learned to say, 

Communis mundo superest rogus, ossibus astra 

Misturus. 

There yet remains to th' World one common Fire, 
Wherein our bones with stars shall make one Pyre. 

I believe the World grows near its end, yet is neither 
old nor decayed, nor shall ever perish upon the mines 
of its own Principles. As the work of Creation was 
above Nature, so is its adversary, annihilation ; with 
out which the World hath not its end, but its mutation. 
Now what force should be able to consume it thus far, 
without the breath of GOD, which is the truest con 
suming flame, my Philosophy cannot inform me. 
Some believe there went not a minute to the Worlds 
creation, nor shall there go to its destruction ; those 
six days, so punctually described, make not to them 
one moment, but rather seem to manifest the method 
and Idea of the great work of the intellect of GOD, 
than the manner how He proceeded in its operation. 
I cannot dream that there should be at the last day 
any such Judicial proceeding, or calling to the Bar, as 
indeed the Scripture seems to imply, and the literal 
Commentators do conceive : for unspeakable mysteries 



76 RELIGIO MEDICI 

in the Scriptures are often delivered in a vulgar and 
illustrative way; and, being written unto man, are 
delivered, not as they truely are, but as they may be 
understood ; wherein, notwithstanding, the different 
interpretations according to different capacities may 
stand firm with our devotion, nor be any way prejudi 
cial to each single edification. 

Now to determine the day and year of this inevita 
ble time, is not onely convincible and statute-madness, 
but also manifest impiety. How shall we interpret 
Elias six thousand years, or imagine the secret com 
municated to a Rabbi, which GOD hath denyed unto 
His Angels? It had been an excellent Quaere to 
have posed the Devil of Delphos, and must needs have 
forced him to some strange amphibology. It hath 
not onely mocked the predictions of sundry Astrologers 
in Ages past, but the prophesies of many melancholy 
heads in these present ; who, neither understanding 
reasonably things past or present, pretend a knowledge 
of things to come : heads ordained onely to manifest 
the incredible effects of melancholy, and to fulfil old 
prophecies rather than be the authors of new. In 
those days there shall come Wars and rumours of 
Wars, to me seems no prophecy, but a constant truth, 
in all times verified since it was pronounced. There 
shall be signs in the Moon and Stars ; how comes He 
then like a Thief in the night t when He gives an item 
of His coming? That common sign drawn from 
the revelation of Antichrist, is as obscure as any : 






REL1GIO MEDICI 



77 



in our common compute He hath been come these 
many years : but for my own part, (to speak freely,) 
I am half of opinion that Antichrist is the Philosopher's 
stone in Divinity, for the discovery and invention 
whereof, though there be prescribed rules and prob 
able inductions, yet hath hardly any man attained the 
perfect discovery thereof. That general opinion that 
the World grows near its end, hath possessed all ages 
past as nearly as ours. I am afraid that the Souls that 
now depart, cannot escape that lingring expostulation 
of the Saints under the Altar, Quousque, DOMINE? 
How long, O LORD? and groan in the expectation of 
that great Jubilee. 

This is the day that must make good that great at 
tribute of GOD, His Justice ; that must reconcile those 
unanswerable doubts that torment the wisest under 
standings ; and reduce those seeming inequalities and 
respective distributions in this world, to an equality and 
recompensive Justice in the next. This is that one 
day, that shall include and comprehend all that went 
before it ; wherein, as in the last scene, all the Actors 
must enter, to compleat and make up the Catastrophe 
of this great piece. This is the day whose memory 
hath onely power to make us honest in the dark, and to 
be vertuous without a witness. 

Ipsa sui pretium virtus sibi, 

that Vertue is her own reward, is but a cold principle, 
and not able to maintain our variable resolutions in a 



78 RELIGIO MEDICI 

constant and setled way of goodness. I have practised 
that honest artifice of Seneca, and in my retired and 
solitary imaginations, to detain me from the foulness of 
vice, have fancied to my self the presence of my dear 
and worthiest friends, before whom I should lose my 
head, rather than be vitious : yet herein I found that 
there was nought but moral honesty, and this was not 
to be vertuous for His sake Who must reward us at the 
last. I have tryed if I could reach that great resolution 
of his, to be honest without a thought of Heaven or 
Hell : and indeed I found, upon a natural inclination 
and inbred loyalty unto virtue, that I could serve her 
without a livery ; yet not in that resolved and venerable 
way, but that the frailty of my nature, upon an easie 
temptation, might be induced to forget her. The life, 
therefore, and spirit of all our actions is the resurrection, 
and a stable apprehension that our ashes shall enjoy 
the fruit of our pious endeavours : without this, all Re 
ligion is a Fallacy, and those impieties of Lucian, 
Euripides, and Julian, are no blasphemies, but subtle 
verities, and Atheists have been the onely Philosophers. 
How shall the dead arise, is no question of my Faith ; 
to believe only possibilities, is not Faith, but meer 
Philosophy. Many things are true in Divinity, which 
are neither inducible by reason, nor confirmable by 
sense ; and many things in Philosophy confirmable by 
sense, yet not inducible by reason. Thus it is im 
possible by any solid or demonstrative reasons to per- 
swade a man to believe the conversion of the Needle 
to the North; though this be possible, and true, 



RELIGIO MEDICI 79 

and easily credible, upon a single experiment unto the 
sense. I believe that our estranged and divided ashes 
shall unite again ; that our separated dust, after so 
many Pilgrimages and transformations into the parts 
of Minerals, Plants, Animals, Elements, shall at the 
Voice of GOD return into their primitive shapes, and 
joyn again to make up their primary and predestinate 
forms. As at the Creation there was a separation of 
that confused mass into its species ; so at the destruc 
tion thereof there shall be a separation into its distinct 
individuals. As at the Creation of the World, all the 
distinct species that we behold lay involved in one 
mass, till the fruitful Voice of GOD separated this united 
multitude into its several species ; so at the last day, 
when those corrupted reliques shall be scattered in 
the Wilderness of forms, and seem to have forgot their 
proper habits, GOD by a powerful Voice shall command 
them back into their proper shapes, and call them out 
by their single individuals. Then shall appear the fer 
tility of Adam, and the magick of that sperm that hath 
dilated into so many millions. I have often beheld as 
a miracle, that artificial resurrection and revivification 
of Mercury, how being modified into a thousand shapes, 
it assumes again its own, and returns into its numerical 
self. Let us speak naturally and like Philosophers, the 
forms of alterable bodies in these sensible corruptions 
perish not ; nor, as we imagine, wholly quit their man 
sions, but retire and contract themselves into their 
secret and unaccessible parts, where they may best 



80 RELIGIO MEDICI 

protect themselves from the action of their Antagonist. 
A plant or vegetable consumed to ashes to a contem 
plative and school- Philosopher seems utterly destroyed, 
and the form to have taken his leave for ever ; but to 
a sensible Artist the forms are not perished, but with 
drawn into their incombustible part, where they lie 
secure from the action of that devouring element. 
This is made good by experience, which can from the 
Ashes of a Plant revive the plant, and from its cinders 
recall it into its stalk and leaves again. What the 
Art of man can do in these inferiour pieces, what 
blasphemy is it to affirm the finger of GOD cannot do in 
these more perfect and sensible structures ! This is 
that mystical Philosophy, from whence no true Scholar 
becomes an Atheist, but from the visible effects of na 
ture grows up a real Divine, and beholds not in a 
dream, as Ezekiel, but in an ocular and visible ob 
ject, the types of his resurrection. 

Now, the necessary Mansions of our restored selves 
are those two contrary and incompatible places we 
call Heaven and Hell. To define them, or strictly to 
determine what and where these are, surpasseth my 
Divinity. That ejegant Apostle, which seemed to 
have a glimpse" of Heaven, hath left but a negative 
description thereof; which neither eye hath seen, nor 
ear hath heard, nor can enter into the heart of man : 
he was translated out of himself to behold it ; but, 
being returned into himself, could not express it. St. 
John's description by Emerals, Chrysolites, and 



RELIGIO MEDICI 



8l 



precious Stones, is too weak to express the material 
Heaven we behold. Briefly therefore, where the Soul 
hath the full measure and complement of happiness ; 
where the boundless appetite of that spirit remains com- 
pleatly satisfied, that it can neither desire addition nor 
alteration ; that, I think, is truly Heaven : and this can 
onely be in the injoyment of that essence whose infinite 
goodness is able to terminate the desires of it self, and 
the unsatiable wishes of ours : wherever GOD will thus 
manifest Himself, there is Heaven, though within the 
circle of this sensible world. Thus the Soul of man 
may be in Heaven any where, even within the limits 
of his own proper body ; and when it ceaseth to live 
in the body, it may remain in its own soul, that is, its 
Creator : and thus we may say that St. Paul, whether 
in the body, or out of the body, was yet in Heaven. 
To place it in the Empyreal, or beyond the tenth 
sphear, is to forget the world's destruction ; for, when 
this sensible world shall be destroyed, all shall then 
be here as it is now there, an Empyreal Heaven, a 
quasi vacuity ; when to ask where Heaven is, is to 
demand where the Presence of GOD is, or where we 
have the glory of that happy vision. Moses, that 
was bred up in all the learning of the Egyptians, com 
mitted a gross absurdity in Philosophy, when with these 
eyes of flesh he desired to see GOD, and petitioned 
his Maker, that is, Truth it self, to a contradiction. 
Those that imagine Heaven and Hell neighbours, and 
conceive a vicinity between those two extreams, upon 



82 RELIGIO MEDICI 

consequence of the Parable, where Dives discoursed 
with Lazarus in Abraham's bosome, do too grosly con 
ceive of those glorified creatures, whose eyes shall 
easily out-see the Sun, and behold without a perspec 
tive the extreamest distances : for if there shall be in 
our glorified eyes, the faculty of sight and reception 
of objects, I could think the visible species there to 
be in as unlimitable a way as now the intellectual. I 
grant that two bodies placed beyond the tenth sphear, or 
in a vacuity, according to Aristotle's Philosophy, could 
not behold each other, because there wants a body or 
Medium to hand and transport the visible rays of the 
object unto the sense ; but when there shall be a 
general defect of either Medium to convey, or light to 
prepare and dispose that Medium, and yet a perfect 
vision, we must suspend the rules of our Philosophy, 
and make all good by a more absolute piece of opticks. 
I cannot tell how to say that fire is the essence of 
Hell : I know not what to make of Purgatory, or 
conceive a flame that can either prey upon, or purifie 
the substance of a Soul. Those flames of sulphur men- 
tion'd in the Scriptures, I take not to be understood of 
this present Hell, but of that to come, where fire shall 
make up the complement of our tortures, and have a 
body or subject wherein to manifest its tyranny. Some, 
who have had the honour to be textuary in Divinity, 
are of opinion it shall be the same specifical fire with 
ours. This is hard to conceive ; yet can I make good 
how even that may prey upon our bodies, and yet not 



RELIGIO MEDICI 83 

consume us : for in this material World there are 
bodies that persist invincible in the powerfullest 
flames ; and though by the action of fire they fall into 
ignition and liquation, yet will they never suffer a 
destruction. I would gladly know how Moses with 
an actual fire calcined or burnt the Golden Calf unto 
powder : for that mystical metal of Gold, whose solary 
and celestial nature I admire, exposed unto the violence 
of fire, grows onely hot, and liquifies, but consumeth 
not ; so, when the consumable and volatile pieces of 
our bodies shall be refined into a more impregnable 
and fixed temper like Gold, though they suffer from 
the action of flames, they shall never perish, but lye 
immortal in the arms of fire. And surely, if this 
frame must suffer onely by the action of this element, 
there will many bodies escape ; and not onely Heaven, 
but Earth will not be at an end, but rather a begin 
ning. For at present it is not earth, but a composition 
of fire, water, earth, and air ; but at that time, spoiled 
of these ingredients, it shall appear in a substance 
more like it self, its ashes. Philosophers that opinioned 
the worlds destruction by fire, did never dream of 
annihilation, which is beyond the power of sublunary 
causes ; for the last and proper action of that element 
is but vitrification, or a reduction of a body into glass ; 
and therefore some of our Chymicks facetiously affirm, 
that at the last fire all shall be christallized and rever 
berated into glass, which is the utmost action of that 
element. Nor need we fear this term, annihilation, 



84 RELIGIO MEDICI 

or wonder that GOD will destroy the works of His 
Creation ; for man subsisting, who is, and will then 
truely appear, a Microcosm, the world cannot be said 
to be destroyed. For the eyes of GOD, and perhaps 
also of our glorified selves, shall as really behold and 
contemplate the World in its Epitome or contracted 
essence, as now it doth at large and in its dilated 
substance. In the seed of a Plant to the eyes of GOD, 
and to the understanding of man, there exists, though 
in an invisible way, the perfect leaves, flowers, and 
fruit thereof; for things that are in posse to the sense, 
are actually existent to the understanding. Thus GOD 
beholds all things, Who contemplates as fully His 
works in their Epitome, as in their full volume ; and 
beheld as amply the whole world in that little com 
pendium of the sixth day, as in the scattered and di 
lated pieces of those five before. 

Men commonly set forth the torments of Hell by 
fire, and the extremity of corporal afflictions, and 
describe Hell in the same method that Mahomet doth 
Heaven. This indeed makes a noise, and drums in 
popular ears : but if this be the terrible piece thereof, 
it is not worthy to stand in diameter with Heaven, 
whose happiness consists in that part that is best able 
to comprehend it, that immortal essence, that translated 
divinity and colony of GOD, the Soul. Surely, though 
we place Hell under Earth, the Devil's walk and 
purlue is about it : men speak too popularly who place 
it in those flaming mountains, which to grosser appre- 



RELIGIO MEDICI 85 

hensions represent Hell. The heart of man is the 
place the Devils dwell in : I feel sometimes a Hell 
within my self; Lucifer keeps his Court in my breast, 
Legion is revived in me. There are as many Hells, 
as Anaxagoras conceited worlds. There was more 
than one Hell in Magdalene, when there were seven 
Devils, for every Devil is an Hell unto himself; he 
holds enough of torture in his own ubi, and needs not 
the misery of circumference to afflict him : and thus 
a distracted Concience here, is a shadow or introduction 
unto Hell hereafter. Who can but pity the merciful 
intention of those hands that do destroy themselves ? 
the Devil, were it in his power, would do the like; 
which being impossible, his miseries are endless, and 
he suffers most in that attribute wherein he is impas 
sible, his immortality. 

I thank GOD, and with joy I mention it, I was 
never afraid of Hell, nor never grew pale at the 
description of that place. I have so fixed my con 
templations on Heaven, that I have almost forgot 
the Idea of Hell, and am afraid rather to lose the 
Joys of the one, than endure the misery of the 
other: to be deprived of them is a perfect Hell, 
and needs, methinks, no addition to compleat our 
afflictions. That terrible term hath never detained 
me from sin, nor do I owe any good action to the 
name thereof. I fear GOD, yet am not afraid of Him : 
His Mercies make me ashamed of my sins, before 
His Judgements afraid thereof. These are the forced 
and secondary method of His wisdom, which He 



86 RELIGIO MEDICI 

useth but as the last remedy, and upon provocation ; 
a course rather to deter the wicked, than incite the 
virtuous to His worship. I can hardly think there 
was ever any scared into Heaven ; they go the fairest 
way to Heaven that would serve GOD without a Hell ; 
other Mercenaries, that crouch into Him in fear of 
Hell, though they term themselves the servants, are 
indeed but the slaves, of the Almighty. 

And to be true, and speak my soul, when I survey 
the occurrences of my life, and call into account the 
Finger of GOD, I can perceive nothing but an abyss 
and mass of mercies, either in general to mankind, or 
in particular to my self. And (whether out of the 
prejudice of my affection, or an inverting and partial 
conceit of His mercies, I know not ; but) those which 
others term crosses, afflictions, judgements, mis 
fortunes, to me, who inquire farther into them then 
their visible effects, they both appear, and in event 
have ever proved, the secret and dissembled favours 
of His affection. It is a singular piece of Wisdom to 
apprehend truly, and without passion, the Works of 
GOD, and so well to distinguish His Justice from His 
Mercy, as not to miscall those noble Attributes : yet 
it is likewise an honest piece of Logick, so to dispute 
and argue the proceedings of GOD, as to distinguish 
even His judgments into mercies. For GOD is 
merciful unto all, because better to the worst than the 
best deserve ; and to say He punisheth none in this 
World, though it be a Paradox, is no absurdity. To 



RELIGIO MEDICI 87 

one that hath committed Murther, if the Judge should 
only ordain a Fine, it were a madness to call this a 
punishment, and to repine at the sentence, rather 
than admire the clemency of the Judge. Thus, our 
offences being mortal, and deserving not only Death, 
but Damnation, if the goodness of GOD be content to 
traverse and pass them over with a loss, misfortune, 
or disease, what frensie were it to term this a punish 
ment, rather than an extremity of mercy, and to 
groan under the rod of His Judgements, rather than 
admire the Scepter of His Mercies ! Therefore to 
adore, honour, and admire Him, is a debt of gratitude 
due from the obligation of our nature, states, and 
conditions ; and with these thoughts, He that knows 
them best, will not deny that I adore Him. That I 
obtain Heaven, and the bliss thereof, is accidental, 
and not the intended work of my devotion ; it being a 
felicity I can neither think to deserve, nor scarce in 
modesty to expect. For these two ends of us all, 
either as rewards or punishments, are mercifully or 
dained and disproportionably disposed unto our 
actions; the one being so far beyond our deserts, 
the other so infinitely below our demerits. 

There is no Salvation to those that believe not in 
CHRIST, that is, say some, since His Nativity, and, 
as Divinity affirmeth, before also ; which makes me 
much apprehend the ends of those honest Worthies 
and Philosophers which dyed before His Incarnation. 
It is hard to place those Souls in Hell, whose worthy 



88 RELIGIO MEDICI 

lives do teach us Virtue on Earth ; methinks, amongst 
those many subdivisions of Hell, there might have 
been one Limbo left for these. What a strange 
vision will it be to see their Poetical fictions con 
verted into Verities, and their imagined and fancied 
Furies into real Devils ! How strange to them will 
sound the History of Adam, when they shall suffer for 
him they never heard of ! when they who derive their 
genealogy from the Gods, shall know they are the un 
happy issue of sinful man ! It is an insolent part of 
reason, to controvert the Works of GOD, or question 
the Justice of His proceedings. Could Humility 
teach others, as it hath instructed me, to contemplate 
the infinite and incomprehensible distance betwixt 
the Creator and the Creature; or did we seriously 
perpend that one simile of St. Paul, Shall the Vessel 
say to the Potter, " Why hast thou made me thus? " it 
would prevent these arrogant disputes of reason ; nor 
would we argue the definitive sentence of GOD, either 
to Heaven or Hell. Men that live according to the 
right rule and law of reason, live but in their own kind, 
as beasts do in theirs ; who justly obey the prescript 
of their natures, and therefore cannot reasonably de 
mand a reward of their actions, as onely obeying the 
natural dictates of their reason. It will, therefore, 
and must at last appear, that all salvation is through 
CHRIST ; which verity, I fear, these great examples of 
virtue must confirm, and make it good how the perfect- 
est actions of earth have no title or claim unto Heaven. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 89 

Nor truely do I think the lives of these, or of any 
other, were ever correspondent, or in all points com- 
formable, unto their doctrines. It is evident that Aris 
totle transgressed the rule of his own Ethicks. The 
Stoicks that condemn passion, and command a man to 
laugh in Phalaris his Bull, could not endure without a 
groan a fit of the Stone or Colick. The Scepticks that 
affirmed they knew nothing, even in that opinion confute 
themselves, and thought they knew more than all the 
World beside. Diogenes I hold to be the most vain 
glorious man of his time, and more ambitious in refus 
ing all Honours, than Alexander in rejecting none. 
Vice and the Devil put a Fallacy upon our Reasons, 
and, provoking us too hastily to run from it, entangle 
and profound us deeper in it. The Duke of Venice, 
that wed shimself unto the Sea by a Ring of Gold, I 
will not argue of prodigality, because it is a solemnity 
of good use and consequence in the State : but the 
Philosopher that threw his money into the Sea to avoid 
Avarice, was a notorious prodigal. There is no road 
or ready way to virtue : it is not an easie point of art 
to disentangle our selves from this riddle, or web of 
Sin. To perfect virtue, as to Religion, there is required 
a Panoplia, or compleat armour ; that, whilst we lye at 
close ward against one Vice, we lye not open to the 
venny of another. And indeed wiser discretions that 
have the thred of reason to conduct them, offend with 
out pardon ; whereas under-heads may stumble without 
dishonour. There go so many circumstances to piece 



9O RELIGIO MEDICI 

up one good action, that it is a lesson to be good, and 
we are forced to be virtuous by the book. Again, the 
Practice of men holds not an equal pace, yea, and often 
runs counter to their Theory : we naturally know what 
is good, but naturally pursue what is evil : the Rheto- 
rick wherewith I perswade another, cannot perswade 
my self. There is a depraved appetite in us, that will 
with patience hear the learned instructions of Reason, 
but yet perform no farther than agrees to its own 
irregular humour. In brief, we all are monsters, that 
is, a composition of Man and Beast, wherein we must 
endeavour to be as the Poets fancy that wise man 
Chiron, that is, to have the Region of Man above that 
of Beast, and Sense to sit but at the feet of Reason. 
Lastly, I do desire with GOD that all, but yet affirm 
with men that few, shall know Salvation; that the bridge 
is narrow, the passage strait, unto life : yet those who 
do confine the Church of GOD, either to particular 
Nations, Churches, or Families, have made it far nar 
rower than our Saviour ever meant it. 

The vulgarity of those judgements that wrap the 
Church of GOD in Strabo's cloak, and restrain it unto 
Europe, seem to me as bad Geographers as Alexander, 
who thought he had Conquer'd all the World, when he 
had not subdued the half of any part thereof. For we 
cannot deny the Church of GOD both in Asia and Africa, 
if we do not forget the Peregrinations of the Apostles, 
the deaths of the Martyrs, the Sessions of many and 
(even in our reformed judgement) lawful Councils, held 



RELIGIO MEDICI 91 

in those parts in the minority and nonage of ours. Nor 
must a few differences, more remarkable in the eyes of 
man than perhaps in the judgement of GOD, excom 
municate from Heaven one another ; much less those 
Christians who are in a manner all Martyrs, maintain 
ing their Faith in the noble way of persecution, and 
serving GOD in the Fire, whereas we honour him but in 
the Sunshine. 'Tis true we all hold there is a number 
of Elect, and many to be saved ; yet, take our Opinions 
together, and from the confusion thereof there will be 
no such thing as salvation, nor shall any one be saved. 
For first, the Church of Rome condemneth us, we like 
wise them ; the Sub-reformists and Sectaries sentence 
the Doctrine of our Church as damnable ; the Atomist, 
or Familist, reprobates all these ; and all these, them 
again. Thus, whilst the Mercies of GOD do promise us 
Heaven, our conceits and opinions exclude us from 
that place. There must be, therefore, more than one 
St. Peter : particular Churches and Sects usurp the 
gates of Heaven, and turn the key against each other ; 
and thus we go to Heaven against each others wills, 
conceits, and opinions, and, with as much uncharity as 
ignorance, do err, I fear, in points not only of our own, 
but one anothers salvation. 

I believe many are saved, who to man seem repro 
bated ; and many are reprobated, who, in the opinion 
and sentence of man, stand elected. There will ap 
pear at the Last day strange and unexpected examples 
both of His Justice and His Mercy ; and therefore to 



92 RELIGIO MEDICI 

define either, is folly in man, and insolency even in the 
Devils. Those acute and subtil spirits, in all their 
sagacity, can hardly divine who shall be saved ; which 
if they could Prognostick, their labour were at an end, 
nor need they compass the earth seeking whom they 
may devour. Those who, upon a rigid application of 
the Law, sentence Solomon unto damnation, condemn 
not onely him, but themselves, and the whole World : 
for, by the Letter and written Word of GOD, we are 
without exception in the state of Death ; but there is 
a prerogative of GOD, and an arbitrary pleasure above 
the Letter of His own Law, by which alone we can pre 
tend unto Salvation, and through which Solomon might 
be as easily saved as those who condemn him. 
/'The number of those who pretend unto Salvation, 
and those infinite swarms who think to pass through 
/ the eye of this Needle, have much amazed me. That 
name and compellation of little Flock, doth not com 
fort, but deject, my Devotion ; especially when I reflect 
upon mine own unworthiness, wherein, according to my 
humble apprehensions, I am below them all. I be 
lieve there shall never be an Anarchy in Heaven ; but, 
as there are Hierarchies amongst the Angels, so shall 
, there be degrees of priority amongst the Saints. Yet 
is it (I protest,) beyond my ambition to aspire unto 
the first ranks ; my desires onely are (and I shall be 
happy therein,) to be but the last man, and bring up 
the Rere in Heaven. 

Again, I am confident and fully perswaded, yet dare 



RELIGIO MEDICI 93 

not take my oath, of my Salvation. I am as it were 
sure, and do believe without all doubt, that there is 
such a City as Constantinople ; yet for me to take my 
Oath thereon were a kind of Perjury, because I hold 
no infallible warrant from my own sense to confirm me 
in the certainty thereof. And truly, though many 
pretend an absolute certainty of their Salvation, yet, 
when an humble Soul shall contemplate her own un- 
worthiness, she shall meet with many doubts, and 
suddenly find how little we stand in need of the Pre 
cept of St. Paul, Work out your salvation with fear 
and trembling. That which is the cause of my Elec 
tion, I hold to be the cause of my Salvation, which 
was the mercy and beneplacit of GOD, before I was, or 
the foundation of the World. Before Abraham was, 
I am y is the saying of CHRIST; yet is it true in some 
sense, if I say it of my self; for I was not onely before 
my self, but Adam, that is, the Idea of GOD, and the 
decree of that Synod held from all Eternity. And in 
this sense, I say, the World was before the Creation, 
and at an end before it had a beginning ; and thus was 
I dead before I was alive : though my grave be Eng 
land, my dying place was Paradise : and Eve miscarried 
of me before she conceiv'd of Cain. 

Insolent zeals, that do decry good Works and rely 
onely upon Faith, take not away merit : for, depend 
ing upon the efficacy of their Faith, they enforce the 
condition of GOD, and in a more sophistical way do 
seem to challenge Heaven. It was jecreed by GOD, 



94 RELIGIO MEDICI 

that only those that lapt in the water like Dogs, 
should have the honour to destroy the Midianites ; yet 
could none of those justly challenge, or imagine he 
deserved, that honour thereupon. I do not deny but 
that true Faith, and such as GOD requires, is not onely 
a mark or token, but also a means, of our Salvation ; 
but where to find this, is as obscure to me as my last 
end. And if our Saviour could object unto His own 
Disciples and Favourites, a Faith, that, to the quantity 
of a grain of Mustard-seed, is able to remove Moun 
tains ; surely, that which we boast of, is not any thing, 
or at the most, but a remove from nothing. This is 
the Tenor of my belief; wherein though there be many 
things singular, and to the humour of my irregular self, 
yet, if they square not with maturer Judgements, I 
disclaim them, and do no further father them, than 
the learned and best judgements shall authorize them. 



RELIGIO MEDICI 



THE SECOND PART 

NOW for that other Virtue of Charity, without 
which Faith is a meer notion, and of no exist 
ence, I have ever endeavoured to nourish the merciful 
disposition and humane inclination I borrowed from 
my Parents, and regulate it to the written and pre 
scribed Laws of Charity. And if I hold the true 
Anatomy of my self, I am delineated and naturally 
framed to such a piece of virtue ; for I am of a con 
stitution so general, that it consorts and sympathiseth 
with all things. I have no antipathy, or rather Idio- 
syncrasie, in dyet, humour, air, any thing. I wonder 
not at the French for their dishes of Frogs, Snails and 
Toadstools, nor at the Jews for Locusts and Grass 
hoppers ; but being amongst them, make them my 
common Viands, and I find they agree with my Stom 
ach as well as theirs. I could digest a Salad gathered 
in a Church-yard, as well as in a Garden. I cannot 
start at the presence of a Serpent, Scorpion, Lizard, or 
Salamander : at the sight of a Toad or Viper, I find 
in me no desire to take up a stone to destroy them. 
I feel not in my self those common Antipathies that I 
95 



96 RELIGIO MEDICI 

can discover in others : those National repugnances do 
not touch me, nor do I behold with prejudice the 
French, Italian, Spaniard, or Dutch : but where I find 
their actions in balance with my Country-men's, I 
honour, love, and embrace them in the same degree. 
I was born in the eighth Climate, but seem for to be 
framed and constellated unto all. I am no Plant that 
will not prosper out of a Garden. All places, all airs, 
make unto me one Countrey ; I am in England every 
where, and under any Meridian. I have been ship- 
wrackt, yet am not enemy with the Sea or Winds ; I 
can study, play, or sleep in a Tempest. In brief, I am 
averse from nothing : my Conscience would give me 
the lye if I should say I absolutely detest or hate any 
essence but the Devil ; or so at least abhor any thing, 
but that we might come to composition. If there be 
any among those common objects of hatred I do con 
temn and laugh at, it is that great enemy of Reason, 
Virtue and Religion, the Multitude : that numerous 
piece of monstrosity, which, taken asunder, seem men, 
and the reasonable creatures of GOD ; but, confused 
together, make but one great beast, and a monstrosity 
more prodigious than Hydra. It is no breach of 
Charity to call these Fools ; it is the style all holy 
Writers have afforded them, set down by Solomon in 
Canonical Scripture, and a point of our Faith to believe 
so. Neither in the name of Multitude do I onely 
include the base and minor sort of people ; there is a 
rabble even amongst the Gentry, a sort of Plebeian 



RELIGIO MEDICI 97 

heads, whose fancy moves with the same wheel as these ; 
men in the same Level with Mechanicks, though their 
fortunes do somewhat guild their infirmities, and their 
purses compound for their follies. But as, in casting 
account, three or four men together come short in 
account of one man placed by himself below them ; 
so neither are a troop of these ignorant Doradoes of 
that true esteem and value, as many a forlorn person, 
whose condition doth place him below their feet. Let 
us speak like Politicians : there is a Nobility without 
Heraldry, a natural dignity, whereby one man is ranked 
with another, another filed before him, according to 
the quality of his Desert, and preheminence of his 
good parts. Though the corruption of these times and 
the byas of present practice wheel another way, thus 
it was in the first and primitive Commonwealths, and 
is yet in the integrity and Cradle of well-order'd 
Polities, till Corruption getteth ground; ruder de 
sires labouring after that which wiser considerations 
contemn, every one having a liberty to amass and 
heap up riches, and they a licence or faculty to do or 
purchase any thing. 

This general and indifferent temper of mine doth 
more needy dispose me to this noble virtue. It is a 
happiness to be born and framed unto virtue, and to 
grow up from the seeds of nature, rather than the inoc 
ulation and forced graffs of education : yet if we are 
directed only by our particular Natures, and regulate 
our inclinations by no higher rule than that of our rea- 



98 RELIGIO MEDICI 

sons, we are but Moralists ; Divinity will still call us 
Heathens. Therefore this great work of charity must 
have other motives, ends, and impulsions. I give no 
alms only to satisfie the hunger of my Brother, but to 
fulfil and accomplish the Will and Command of my 
GOD : I draw not my purse for his sake that demands 
it, but His That enjoyned it : I relieve no man upon 
the Rhetorick of his miseries, nor to content mine own 
commiserating disposition; for this is still but moral 
charity, and an act that oweth more to passion than 
reason. He that relieves another upon the bare sug 
gestion and bowels of pity, doth not this, so much for 
his sake as for his own ; for by compassion we make 
others misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we 
relieve our selves also. It is as erroneous a conceit to 
redress other Mens misfortunes upon the common 
considerations of merciful natures, that it may be one 
day our own case ; for this is a sinister and politick 
kind of charity, whereby we seem to bespeak the pities 
of men in the like occasions. And truly I have ob 
served that those professed Eleemosynaries, though in 
a croud or multitude, do yet direct and place their pe 
titions on a few and selected persons : there is surely a 
Physiognomy, which those experienced and Master 
Mendicants observe, whereby they instantly discover a 
merciful aspect, and will single out a face wherein they 
spy the signatures and marks of Mercy. For there are 
mystically in our faces certain Characters which carry 
in them the motto of our Souls, wherein he that can- 



RELIGIO MEDICI 



99 






not read A. B. C. may read our natures. I hold more 
over that there is a Phytognomy, or Physiognomy, not 
only of Men, but of Plants and Vegetables ; and in 
every one of them some outward figures which hang as 
signs or bushes of their inward forms. The Finger of 
GOD hath left an Inscription upon all His works, not 
graphical or composed of Letters, but of their several 
forms, constitutions, parts, and operations, which, aptly 
joyned together, do make one word that doth express 
their natures. By these Letters GOD calls the Stars by 
their names; and by this Alphabet Adam assigned to 
every creature a name peculiar to its Nature. Now 
there are, besides these Characters in our Faces, cer 
tain mystical figures in our Hands, which I dare not 
call meer dashes, strokes a la volee, or at random, be 
cause delineated by a Pencil that never works in vain ; 
and hereof I take more particular notice, because I 
carry that in mine own hand which I could never read 
of nor discover in another. Aristotle, I confess, in his 
acute and singular Book of Physiognomy, hath made no 
mention of Chiromancy ; yet I believe the Egyptians, 
who were neerer addicted to those abstruse and mysti 
cal sciences, had a knowledge therein, to which those 
vagabond and counterfeit Egyptians did after pretend, 
and perhaps retained a few corrupted principles, which 
sometimes might verifie their prognosticks. 

It is the common wonder of all men, how among 
so many millions of faces, there should be none alike : 
now contrary, I wonder as much how there should be 



100 RELIGIO MEDICI 

any. He that shall consider how many thousand 
several words have been carelesly and without study 
composed out of twenty-four Letters ; withal, how 
many hundred lines there are to be drawn in the 
Fabrick of one Man, shall easily find that this variety 
is necessary ; and it will be very hard that they shall 
so concur as to make one portract like another. Let 
a Painter carelesly limb out a million of Faces, and 
you shall find them all different ; yea, let him have his 
Copy before him, yet after all his art there will remain 
a sensible distinction ; for the pattern or example of 
every thing is the perfectest in that kind, whereof we 
still come short, though we transcend or go beyond it, 
because herein it is wide, and agrees not in all points 
unto the copy. Nor doth the similitude of Creatures 
disparage the variety of Nature, nor any way confound 
the Works of GOD. For even in things alike there is 
diversity ; and those that do seem to accord do mani 
festly disagree. And thus is man like GOD; for in 
the same things that we resemble Him, we are utterly 
different from Him. There was never anything so 
like another as in all points to concur : there will ever 
some reserved difference slip in, to prevent the iden 
tity ; without which, two several things would not be 
alike, but the same, which is impossible. 

But to return from Philosophy to Charity : I hold 
not so narrow a conceit of this virtue, as to conceive 
that to give Alms is onely to be Charitable, or think 
a piece of Liberality can comprehend the Total of 



RELIGIO MEDICI IOI 

Charity. Divinity hath wisely divided the act thereof 
into many branches, and hath taught us in this narrow 
way many paths unto goodness ; as many ways as we 
may do good, so many ways we may be charitable. 
There are infirmities not onely of Body, but of Soul, 
and Fortunes, which do require the merciful hand of 
our abilities. I cannot contemn a man for ignorance, 
but behold him with as much pity as I do Lazarus. 
It is no greater Charity to cloath his body, than ap 
parel the nakedness of his Soul. It is an honourable 
object to see the reasons of other men wear our 
Liveries, and their borrowed understandings do hom 
age to the bounty of ours : it is the cheapest way of 
beneficence, and, like the natural charity of the Sun, 
illuminates another without obscuring itself. To be 
reserved and caitiff in this part of goodness, is the 
sordidest piece of covetousness, and more contemp 
tible than pecuniary Avarice. To this (as calling my 
self a Scholar), I am obliged by the duty of my con 
dition : I make not therefore my head a grave, but a 
treasure, of knowledge ; I intend no Monopoly, but a 
community, in learning ; I study not for my own sake 
only, but for theirs that study not for themselves. I 
envy no man that knows more than my self, but pity 
them that know less. I instruct no man as an exer 
cise of my knowledge, or with an intent rather to 
nourish and keep it alive in mine own head then be 
get and propagate it in his : and in the midst of all 
my endeavours there is but one thought that dejects 



102 RELIGIO MEDICI 

me, that my acquired parts must perish with my self, 
nor can be Legacied among my honoured Friends. I 
cannot fall out or contemn a man for an errour, or 
conceive why a difference in Opinion should divide 
an affection ; for Controversies, Disputes, and Argu 
mentations, both in Philosophy and in Divinity, if they 
meet with discreet and peaceable natures, do not in 
fringe the Laws of Charity. In all disputes, so much 
as there is of passion, so much there is of nothing to 
the purpose; for then Reason, like a bad Hound, 
spends upon a false Scent, and forsakes the question 
first started. And this is one reason why Controver 
sies are never determined ; for, though they be amply 
proposed, they are scarce at all handled, they do so 
swell with unnecessary Digressions ; and the Paren 
thesis on the party is often as large as the main dis 
course upon the subject. The Foundations of Religion 
are already established, and the Principles of Salvation 
subscribed unto by all : there remains not many con 
troversies worth a Passion ; and yet never any disputed 
without, not only in Divinity, but inferiour Arts. What 
a ftarpaxofJivofjiaxioL and hot skirmish is betwixt S. and 
T. in Lucian ! How do Grammarians hack and slash 
for the Genitive case mjupiter! How do they break 
their own pates to salve that of Priscian ! 

Si foret in terris, rideret Democritus. 

Yea, even amongst wiser militants, how many wounds 
have been given, and credits slain, for the poor victory 



RELIGIO MEDICI 1 03 

of an opinion, or beggarly conquest of a distinction ! 
Scholars are men of Peace, they bear no Arms, but 
their tongues are sharper than Actius his razor ; their 
Pens carry farther, and give a louder report than 
Thunder : I had rather stand the shock of a Basilisco, 
than the fury of a merciless Pen. It is not meer Zeal 
to Learning, or Devotion to the Muses, that wiser 
Princes Patron the Arts, and carry an indulgent aspect 
unto Scholars ; but a desire to have their names eter 
nized by the memory of their writings, and a fear of 
the revengeful Pen of succeeding ages ; for these are 
the men, that, when they have played their parts, and 
had their exits, must step out and give the moral of 
their Scenes, and deliver unto Posterity an Inventory 
of their Virtues and Vices. And surely there goes a 
great deal of Conscience to the compiling of an His 
tory : there is no reproach to the scandal of a Story ; 
it is such an authentick kind of falsehood that with 
authority belies our good names to all Nations and 
Posterity. 

There is another offence unto Charity, which no 
Author hath ever written of, and few take notice of; 
and that's the reproach, not of whole professions, 
mysteries, and conditions, but of whole Nations, 
wherein by opprobrious Epithets we miscall each 
other, and by an uncharitable Logick, from a disposi 
tion in a few, conclude a habit in all. 

Le mutin Anglois, et le bravachc Escossois, 
Et le fol frartfois, 



104 RELIGIO MEDICI 

Le poultron Remain, le larron de Gascongne, 
L? Espagnol superbe, et T Aleman yvrongne. 

St. Paul, that calls the Cretians tyars, doth it but in 
directly, and upon quotation of their own Poet. It is 
as bloody a thought in one way, as Nero's was in an 
other; for by a word we wound a thousand, and at 
one blow assassine the honour of a nation. It is as 
compleat a piece of madness to miscal and rave 
against the times, or think to recal men to reason by 
a fit of passion. Democritus, that thought to laugh 
the times into goodness, seems to me as deeply 
Hypochondriack as Heraclitus, that bewailed them. 
It moves not my spleen to behold the multitude in 
their proper humours, that is, in their fits of folly and 
madness ; as well understanding that wisdom is not 
prophan'd unto the World, and 'tis the priviledge of a 
few to be Vertuous. They that endeavour to abolish 
Vice, destroy also Virtue ; for contraries, though they 
destroy one another, are yet the life of one another. 
Thus Virtue (abolish vice,) is an Idea. Again, the 
community of sin doth not disparage goodness ; for 
when Vice gains upon the major part, Virtue, in whom 
it remains, becomes more excellent ; and being lost in 
some, multiplies its goodness in others which remain 
untouched and persist intire in the general inundation. 
I can therefore behold Vice without a Satyr, content 
only with an admonition, or instructive reprehension ; 
for Noble Natures, and such as are capable of good 
ness, are railed into Vice, that might as easily be ad- 



RELIGIO MEDICI 105 

monished into virtue ; and we should be all so far the 
Orators of goodness, as to protect her from the power 
of Vice, and maintain the cause of injured truth. No\ 
man can justly censure or condemn another, because I 
indeed no man truly knows another. This I perceive 
in my self; for I am in the dark to all the world, and 
my nearest friends behold me but in a cloud. Those 
that know me but superficially, think less of me than I 
do of my self; those of my neer acquaintance think 
more ; GOD, Who truly knows me, knows that I am 
nothing ; for He only beholds me and all the world, 
Who looks on us through a derived ray, or a trajection 
of a sensible species, but beholds the substance with 
out the helps of accidents, and the forms of things as 
we their operations. Further, no man can judge an 
other, because no man knows himself : for we censure 
others but as they disagree from that humour which 
we fancy laudable in our selves, and commend others 
but for that wherein they seem to quadrate and con 
sent with us. So that, in conclusion, all is but that we 
all condemn, Self-love. Tis the general complaint of 
these times, and perhaps of those past, that charity 
grows cold; which I perceive most verified in those 
which most do manifest the fires and flames of zeal ; 
for it is a virtue that best agrees with coldest natures, 
and such as are complexioned for humility. But how 
shall we expect Charity towards others, when we are 
uncharitable to our selves ? Charity begins at home, is 
the voice of the World ; yet is every man his greatest 



106 RELIGIO MEDICI 

enemy, and, as it were, his own Executioner. Non 
occides, is the Commandment of GOD, yet scarce 
observed by any man ; for I perceive every man is his 
own Atropos, and lends a hand to cut the thred of 
his own days. Cain was not therefore the first Mur- 
therer, but Adam, who brought in death ; whereof he 
beheld the practice and example in his own son Abel, 
and saw that verified in the experience of another, 
which faith could not perswade him in the Theory of 
himself. 

There is, I think, no man that apprehends his own 
miseries less than my self, and no man that so neerly 
apprehends anothers. I could lose an arm without a 
tear, and with few groans, methinks, be quartered 
into pieces ; yet can I weep most seriously at a Play, 
and receive with true passion the counterfeit grief of 
those known and professed Impostures. It is a bar 
barous part of inhumanity to add unto any afflicted 
parties misery, or indeavour to multiply in any man a 
passion whose single nature is already above his pa 
tience. This was the greatest affliction of Job, and 
those oblique expostulations of his Friends a deeper 
injury than the down-right blows of the Devil. It is 
not the tears of our own eyes only, but of our friends 
also, that do exhaust the current of our sorrows ; 
which, falling into many streams, runs more peace 
ably, and is contented with a narrower channel. It is 
an act within the power of charity, to translate a pas 
sion out of one breast into another, and to divide a 



RELIGIO MEDICI 1 07 

sorrow almost out of it self; for an affliction, like 
a dimension, may be so divided, as, if not indivisible, at 
least to become insensible. Now with my friend I 
desire not to share or participate, but to engross, his 
sorrows ; that, by making them mine own, I may more 
easily discuss them ; for in mine own reason, and 
within my self, I can command that which I cannot 
intreat without my self, and within the circle of an 
other. I have often thought those noble pairs and 
examples of friendship not so truly Histories of what 
had been, as fictions of what should be ; but I now 
perceive nothing in them but possibilities, nor any 
thing in the Heroick examples of Damon and Pythias, 
Achilles and Patroclus, which methinks upon some 
grounds I could not perform within the narrow com 
pass of my self. That a man should lay down his life 
for his Friend, seems strange to vulgar affections, and 
such as confine themselves within that Worldly prin 
ciple, Charity begins at home. For mine own part I 
could never remember the relations that I held unto 
my self, nor the respect that I owe unto my own 
nature, in the cause of GOD, my Country, and my 
Friends. Next to these three, I do embrace my self. 
I confess I do not observe that order that the Schools 
ordain our affections, to love our Parents, Wives, 
Children, and then our Friends ; for, excepting the 
injunctions of Religion, I do not find in my self such a 
necessary and indissoluble Sympathy to all those of 
my blood. I hope I do not break the fifth Com- 



108 RELIGIO MEDICI 

mandment, if I conceive I may love my friend before 
the nearest of my blood, even those to whom I owe 
the principles of life. I never yet cast a true affection 
on a woman ; but I have loved my friend as I do vir 
tue, my soul, my GOD. From hence me thinks I do 
conceive how GOD loves man, what happiness there is 
in the love of GOD. Omitting all other, there are 
three most mystical unions: i. two natures in one 
person ; 2. three persons in one nature ; 3. one soul 
in two bodies ; for though indeed they be really di 
vided, yet are they so united, as they seem but one, 
and make rather a duality than two distinct souls. 

There are wonders in true affection : it is a body of 
Enigma 's, mysteries, and riddles ; wherein two so be 
come one, as they both become two. I love my 
friend before my self, and yet methinks I do not love 
him enough : some few months hence my multiplied 
affection will make me believe I have not loved him 
at all. When I am from him, I am dead till I be 
with him ; when I am with him, I am not satisfied, 
but would still be nearer him. United souls are not 
satisfied with imbraces, but desire to be truly each 
other; which being impossible, their desires are in 
finite, and must proceed without a possibility of satis 
faction. Another misery there is in affection, that 
whom we truly love like our own selves, we forget 
their looks, nor can our memory retain the Idea of 
their faces : and it is no wonder, for they are our 
selves, and our affection makes their looks our own. 



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109 



This noble affection falls not on vulgar and common 
constitutions, but on such as are mark'd for virtue : he 
that can love his friend with this noble ardour, will 
in a competent degree affect all. Now, if we can 
bring our affections to look beyond the body, and 
cast an eye upon the soul, we have found out the true 
object, not only of friendship, but Charity; and the 
greatest happiness that we can bequeath the soul, is 
that wherein we all do place our last felicity, Salva 
tion ; which though it be not in our power to bestow, 
it is in our charity and pious invocations to desire, if 
not procure and further. I cannot contentedly frame a 
prayer for my self in particular, without a catalogue 
for my friends ; nor request a happiness, wherein my 
sociable disposition doth not desire the fellowship of 
my neighbour. I never hear the Toll of a passing 
Bell, though in my mirth, without my prayers and 
best wishes for the departing spirit ; I cannot go to 
cure the body of my patient, but I forget my pro 
fession, and call unto GOD for his soul ; I cannot see 
one say his prayers, but, in stead of imitating him, I 
fall into a supplication for him, who perhaps is no 
more to me than a common nature : and if GOD hath 
vouchsafed an ear to my supplications, there are 
surely many happy that never saw me, and enjoy the 
blessing of mine unknown devotions. To pray for 
Enemies, that is, for their salvation, is no harsh pre 
cept, but the practice of our daily and ordinary 
devotions. I cannot believe the story of the Italian : 



IIO RELIGIO MEDICI 

our bad wishes and uncharitable desires proceed no 
further than this life; it is the Devil, and the un 
charitable votes, of Hell, that desire our misery in the 
World to come. 

To do no injury, nor take none, was a principle, 
which to my former years and impatient affections 
seemed to contain enough of Morality ; but my more 
setled years and Christian constitution have fallen 
upon severer resolutions. I can hold there is no such 
thing as injury; that, if there be, there is no such 
injury as revenge, and no such revenge as the con 
tempt of an injury; that to hate another, is to 
malign himself; that the truest way to love another, is 
to despise our selves. I were unjust unto mine own 
Conscience, if I should say I am at variance with any 
thing like my self. I find there are many pieces in 
this one fabrick of man ; this frame is raised upon a 
mass of Antipathies. I am one methinks, but as the 
World ; wherein notwithstanding there are a swarm of 
distinct essences, and in them another World of con 
trarieties ; we carry private and domestick enemies 
within, publick and more hostile adversaries without. 
The Devil, that did but buffet St. Paul, plays methinks 
at sharp with me. Let me be nothing, if within the 
compass of my self I do not find the battail of 
Lepanto, Passion against Reason, Reason against 
Faith, Faith against the Devil, and my Conscience 
against all. There is another man within me, that's 
angry with me, rebukes, commands, and dastards me. 



RELIGIO MEDICI III 

I have no Conscience of Marble to resist the hammer 
of more heavy offences; nor yet so soft and waxen, as 
to take the impression of each single peccadillo 
or scape of infirmity. I am of a strange belief, that it 
is as easie to be forgiven some sins, as to commit some 
others. For my Original sin, I hold it to be washed 
away in my Baptism : for my actual transgressions, I 
compute and reckon with GOD but from my last re 
pentance, Sacrament, or general absolution ; and there 
fore am not terrified with the sins or madness of my 
youth. I thank the goodness of GOD, I have no sins 
that want a name ; I am not singular in offences ; my 
trangressions are Epidemical, and from the common 
breath of our corruption. For there are certain tempers 
of body, which, matcht with an humorous depravity of 
mind, do hatch and produce vitiosities, whose newness 
and monstrosity of nature admits no name : this was 
the temper of that Lecher that fell in love with a Statua, 
and the constitution of Nero in his Spintrian recreations. 
For the Heavens are not only fruitful in new and unheard- 
of stars, the Earth in plants and animals, but men's 
minds also in villany and vices. Now the dulness of 
my reason, and the vulgarity of my disposition, never 
prompted my invention, nor solicited my affection 
unto any of these ; yet even those common and quotid 
ian infirmities that so necessarily attend me, and do 
seem to be my very nature, have so dejected me, so 
broken the estimation that I should have otherwise of 
my self, that I repute my self the most abjectest piece 



112 RELIGIO MEDICI 

of mortality. Divines prescribe a fit of sorrow to re 
pentance : there goes indignation, anger, sorrow, hatred, 
into mine ; passions of a contrary nature, which neither 
seem to sute with this action, nor my proper constitution. 
It is no breach of charity to our selves, to be at variance 
with our Vices, nor to abhor that part of us which is 
an enemy to the ground of charity, our GOD ; wherein 
we do but imitate our great selves, the world, whose 
divided Antipathies and contrary faces do yet carry a 
charitable regard unto the whole, by their particular 
discords preserving the common harmony, and keep 
ing in fetters those powers, whose rebellions, once 
Masters, might be the ruine of all. 

I thank GOD, amongst those millions of Vices I do 
inherit and hold from Adam, I have escaped one, and 
that a mortal enemy to Charity, the first and father-sin, 
not onely of man, but of the devil, Pride : a vice whose 
name is comprehended in a Monosyllable, but in its 
nature not circumscribed with a World. I have es 
caped it in a condition that can hardly avoid it. Those 
petty acquisitions and reputed perfections that advance 
and elevate the conceits of other men, add no feathers 
unto mine. I have seen a Grammarian towr and plume 
himself over a single line in Horace, and shew more 
pride in the construction of one Ode, than the Author 
in the composure of the whole book. For my own 
part, besides the Jargon and Patois of several Prov 
inces, I understand no less than six Languages ; yet I 
protest I have no higher conceit of my self, than had 



RELIGIO MEDICI 113 

our Fathers before the confusion of Babel, when there 
was but one Language in the World, and none to boast 
himself either Linguist or Critick. I have not onely 
seen several Countries, beheld the nature of their 
Climes, the Chorography of their Provinces, Topog 
raphy of their Cities, but understood their several 
Laws, Customs, and Policies ; yet cannot all this per- 
swade the dulness of my spirit unto such an opinion of 
my self, as I behold in nimbler and conceited heads, 
that never looked a degree beyond their Nests. I 
know the names, and somewhat more, of all the con 
stellations in my Horizon ; yet I have seen a prating 
Mariner, that could onely name the pointers and the 
North Star, out-talk me, and conceit himself a whole 
Sphere above me. I know most of the Plants of my 
Countrey, and of those about me ; yet methinks I do 
not know so many as when I did but know a hundred, 
and had scarcely ever Simpled further than Cheap-side. 
For, indeed, heads of capacity, and such as are not 
full with a handful or easie measure of knowledge, think 
they know nothing till they know all ; which being im 
possible, they fall upon the opinion of Socrates, and 
only know they know not any thing. I cannot think 
that Homer pin'd away upon the riddle of the fisher 
men; or that Aristotle, who understood the uncertainty 
of knowledge, and confessed so often the reason of man 
too weak for the works of nature, did ever drown him 
self upon the flux and reflux of Euripus. We do but 
learn to-day what our better advanced judgements will 



114 RELIGIO MEDICI 

unteach to morrow ; and Aristotle doth but instruct us, 
as Plato did him ; that is, to confute himself. I have 
run through all sorts, yet find no rest in any : though 
our first studies and junior endeavours may style us 
Peripateticks, Stoicks, or Acadernicks ; yet I perceive 
the wisest heads prove, at last, almost all Scepticks, 
and stand like Janus in the field of knowledge. I have 
therefore one common and authentick Philosophy I 
learned in the Schools, whereby I discourse and satisfy 
the reason of other men ; another more reserved, and 
drawn from experience, whereby I content mine own. 
Solomon, that complained of ignorance in the height 
of knowledge, hath not only humbled my conceits, but 
discouraged my endeavours. There is yet another 
conceit that hath sometimes made me shut my books, 
which tells me it is a vanity to waste our days in the 
blind pursuit of knowledge ; it is but attending a little 
longer, and we shall enjoy that by instinct and infusion, 
which we endeavour at here by labour and inquisition. 
It is better to sit down in a modest ignorance, and rest 
contented with the natural blessing of our own reasons, 
than buy the uncertain knowledge of this life with sweat 
and vexation, which Death gives every fool gratis, and 
is an accessary of our glorification. 

I was never yet once, and commend their resolu 
tions who never marry twice : not that I disallow of 
second marriage ; as neither, in all cases, of Polygamy, 
which, considering some times, and the unequal 
number of both sexes, may be also necessary. The 



RELIGIO MEDICI 4 115 

whole World was made for man, but the twelfth part 
of man for woman : Man is the whole World, and the 
Breath of GOD ; Woman the Rib and crooked piece 
of man. I could be content that we might procreate 
like trees, without conjunction, or that there were any 
way to perpetuate the World without this trivial and 
vulgar way of union : it is the foolishest act a wise 
man commits in all his life ; nor is there any thing 
that will more deject his cool'd imagination, when he 
shall consider what an odd and unworthy piece of 
folly he hath committed. I speak not in prejudice, 
nor am averse from that sweet Sex, but naturally 
amorous of all that is beautiful. I can look a whole 
day with delight upon a handsome Picture, though it 
be but of an Horse. It is my temper, and I like it 
the better, to affect all harmony ; and sure there is 
musick even in the beauty, and the silent note which 
Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an in 
strument. For there is a musick where ever there is 
a harmony, order, or proportion : and thus far we 
may maintain the music of the Sphears ; for those 
well-ordered motions, and regular paces, though they 
give no sound unto the ear, yet to the understanding 
they strike a note most full of harmony. Whosoever 
is harmonically composed delights in harmony; which 
makes me much distrust the symmetry of those heads 
which declaim against all Church-Musick. For my 
self, not only from my obedience, but my particular 
Genius, I do embrace it : for even that vulgar and 



Il6 RELIGIO MEDICI 

Tavern-Musick, which makes one man merry, another 
mad, strikes in me a deep fit of devotion, and a pro 
found contemplation of the First Composer. There 
is something in it of Divinity more than the ear dis 
covers : it is an Hieroglyphical and shadowed lesson 
of the whole World, and creatures of GOD; such a 
melody to the ear, as the whole World, well under 
stood, would afford the understanding. In brief, it is 
a sensible fit of that harmony which intellectually 
sounds in the ears of GOD. I will not say, with 
Plato, the soul is an harmony, but harmonical, and 
hath its nearest sympathy unto Musick : thus some, 
whose temper of body agrees, and humours the con 
stitution of their souls, are born Poets, though indeed 
all are naturally inclined unto Rhythme. This made 
Tacitus, in the very first line of his Story, fall upon a 
verse ; and Cicero, the worst of Poets, but declaiming 
for a Poet, falls in the very first sentence upon a 
perfect Hexameter. I feel not in me those sordid 
and unchristian desires of my profession; I do not 
secretly implore and wish for Plagues, rejoyce at 
Famines, revolve Ephemerides and Almanacks in 
expectation of malignant Aspects, fatal Conjunctions, 
and Eclipses. I rejoyce not at unwholesome Springs, 
nor unseasonable Winters : my Prayer goes with the 
Husbandman's ; I desire every thing in its proper 
season, that neither men nor the times be put out of 
temper. Let me be sick my self, if sometimes the mal 
ady of my patient be not a disease unto me. I desire 



RELIGIO MEDICI 1 1/ 

rather to cure his infirmities than my own necessities. 
Where I do him no good, methinks it is scarce honest 
gain ; though I confess 'tis but the worthy salary of 
our well-intended endeavours. I am not only ashamed, 
but heartily sorry, that, besides death, there are 
diseases incurable : yet not for my own sake, or that 
they be beyond my Art, but for the general cause and 
sake of humanity, whose common cause I apprehend 
as mine own. And to speak more generally, those 
three Noble Professions which all civil Common 
wealths do honour, are raised upon the fall of Adam, 
and are not any way exempt from their infirmities ; there 
are not only diseases incurable in Physick, but cases 
indissolvable in Laws, Vices incorrigible in Divinity. 
If General Councils may err, I do not see why 
particular Courts should be infallible : their perfectest 
rules are raised upon the erroneous reasons of Man, 
and the Laws of one do but condemn the rules of 
another; as Aristotle oft-times the opinions of his 
Predecessours, because, though agreeable to reason, 
yet were not consonant to his own rules, and the 
Logick of his proper Principles. Again, (to speak 
nothing of the Sin against the HOLY GHOST, whose 
cure not onely, but whose nature is unknown,) I can 
cure the Gout or Stone in some, sooner than Divinity, 
Pride or Avarice in others. I can cure Vices by 
Physick when they remain incurable by Divinity, and 
shall obey my Pills when they contemn their precepts. 
I boast nothing, but plainly say, we all labour against 



Il8 RELIGIO MEDICI 

our own cure ; for death is the cure of all diseases. 
There is no Catholicon or universal remedy I know, 
but this ; which, though nauseous to queasie stomachs, 
yet to prepared appetites is Nectar, and a pleasant 
potion of immortality. 

For my Conversation, it is like the Sun's, with all 
men, and with a friendly aspect to good and bad. Me- 
thinks there is no man bad, and the worst, best ; that 
is, while they are kept within the circle of those quali 
ties wherein they are good : there is no man's mind of 
such discordant and jarring a temper, to which a tuna 
ble disposition may not strike a harmony. Magncz 
virtutes,nec minora vitia; it is the posie of the best 
natures, and may be inverted on the worst ; there are 
in the most depraved and venemous dispositions, cer 
tain pieces that remain untoucht, which by an Antiper- 
istasis become more excellent, or by the excellency of 
their antipathies are able to preserve themselves from 
the contagion of their enemy vices, and persist intire 
beyond the general corruption. For it is also thus in 
nature : the greatest Balsomes do lie enveloped in the 
bodies of most powerful Corrosives. I say, more 
over, and I ground upon experience, that poisons con 
tain within themselves their own Antidote, and that 
which preserves them from the venome of themselves, 
without which they were not deleterious to others onely, 
but to themselves also. But it is the corruption that I 
fear within me, not the contagion of commerce without 
me. 'Tis that unruly regiment within me, that will 



RELIGIO MEDICI 



destroy me; 'tis I that do infect my self; the man 
without a Navel yet lives in me ; I feel that original 
canker corrode and devour me ; and therefore De- 
fenda me DIGS de me, " LORD deliver me from my 
self," is a part of my Letany, and the first voice of my 
retired imaginations. There is no man alone, because 
every man is a Microcosm, and carries the whole World 
about him. Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus, 
though it be the Apothegme of a wise man, is yet true 
in the mouth of a fool. Indeed, though in a Wilder 
ness, a man is never alone, not only because he is with 
himself and his own thoughts, but because he is with 
the Devil, who ever consorts with our solitude, and is 
that unruly rebel that musters up those disordered 
motions which accompany our sequestred imaginations. 
And to speak more narrowly, there is no such thing as 
solitude, nor any thing that can be said to be alone and 
by itself, but GOD, Who is His own circle, and can sub 
sist by Himself; all others, besides their dissimilary 
and Heterogeneous parts, which in a manner multiply 
their natures, cannot subsist without the concourse of 
GOD, and the society of that hand which doth uphold 
their natures. In brief, there can be nothing truly 
alone and by it self, which is not truly one ; and such 
is only GOD : all others do transcend an unity, and so 
by consequence are many. 

Now for my life, it is a miracle of thirty years, which 
to relate, were not a History, but a piece of Poetry, 
and would sound to common ears like a Fable. For 



120 RELIGIO MEDICI 

the World, I count it not an Inn, but an Hospital ; and 
a place not to live, but to dye in. The world that I 
regard is my self; it is the Microcosm of my own 
frame that I cast mine eye on ; for the other, I use it 
but like my Globe, and turn it round sometimes for 
my recreation. Men that look upon my outside, pe 
rusing only my condition and Fortunes, do err in my 
Altitude; for I am above Atlas his shoulders. The 
earth is a point not only in respect of the Heavens 
above us, but of that heavenly and celestial part within 
us : that mass of Flesh that circumscribes me, limits 
not my mind : that surface that tells the Heavens it 
hath an end, cannot persuade me I have any : I take 
my circle to be above three hundred and sixty ; though 
the number of the Ark do measure my body, it com- 
prehendeth not my mind : whilst I study to find how 
I am a Microcosm, or little world, I find my self some 
thing more than the great. There is surely a piece of 
Divinity in us, something that was before the Elements, 
and owes no homage unto the Sun. Nature tells me 
I am the Image of GOD, as well as Scripture : he that 
understands not thus much, hath not his introduction 
or first lesson, and is yet to begin the Alphabet of man. 
Let me not injure the felicity of others, if I say I am 
as happy as any : Ruat ccelum, fiat voluntas Tua, 
salveth all ; so that whatsoever happens, it is but what 
our daily prayers desire. In brief, I am content ; and 
what should Providence add more? Surely this is 
it we call Happiness, and this do I enjoy ; with this I 



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121 



am happy in a dream, and as content to enjoy a hap 
piness in a fancy, as others in a more apparent truth 
and realty. There is surely a neerer apprehension of 
any thing that delights us in our dreams, than in our 
waked senses : without this I were unhappy ; for my 
awaked judgment discontents me, ever whispering unto 
me, that I am from my friend ; but my friendly dreams 
in the night requite me, and make me think I am 
within his arms. I thank GOD for my happy dreams, 
as I do for my good rest ; for there is a satisfaction 
in them unto reasonable desires, and such as can be 
content with a fit of happiness : and surely it is not a 
melancholy conceit to think we are all asleep in this 
World, and that the conceits of this life are as meer 
dreams to those of the next ; as the Phantasms of the 
night, to the conceits of the day. There is an equal 
delusion in both, and the one doth but seem to be the 
embleme or picture of the other : we are somewhat 
more than our selves in our sleeps, and the slumber of 
the body seems to be but the waking of the soul. It 
is the ligation of sense, but the liberty of reason ; and 
our waking conceptions do not match the Fancies of 
our sleeps. At my Nativity my Ascendant was the 
watery sign of Scorpius ; I was born in the Planetary 
hour of Saturn, and I think I have a piece of that Leaden 
Planet in me. I am no way facetious, nor disposed 
for the mirth and galliardize of company ; yet in one 
dream I can compose a whole Comedy, behold the 
action, apprehend the jests, and laugh my self awake at 



122 RELIGIO MEDICI 

the conceits thereof. Were my memory as faithful as 
my reason is then fruitful, I would never study but in 
my dreams ; and this time also would I chuse for my 
devotions : but our grosser memories have then so little 
hold of our abstracted understandings, that they forget 
the story, and can only relate to our awaked souls, a 
confused and broken tale of that that hath passed. 
Aristotle, who hath written a singular Tract Of Sleep, 
hath not, methinks, throughly defined it ; nor yet Galen, 
though he seem to have corrected it ; for those Noc- 
tambuloes and night-walkers, though in their sleep, do 
yet enjoy the action of their senses. We must there 
fore say that there is something in us that is not in 
the jurisdiction of Morpheus; and that those ab 
stracted and ecstatick souls do walk about in their 
own corps, as spirits with the bodies they assume, 
wherein they seem to hear, see and feel, though in 
deed the Organs are destitute of sense, and their 
natures of those faculties that should inform them. 
Thus it is observed, that men sometimes, upon the 
hour of their departure, do speak and reason above 
themselves ; for then the soul, beginning to be freed 
from the ligaments of the body, begins to reason like 
her self, and to discourse in a strain above mortality. 

We term sleep a death ; and yet it is waking that 
kills us, and destroys those spirits that are the house 
of life. 'Tis indeed a part of life that best expresseth 
death ; for every man truely lives, so long as he acts 
his nature, or some way makes good the faculties of 



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123 



himself. Themistocles, therefore, that slew his Soldier 
in his sleep, was a merciful Executioner : 'tis a kind 
of punishment the mildness of no laws hath invented : 
I wonder the fancy of Lucan and Seneca did not dis 
cover it. It is that death by which we may be liter 
ally said to dye daily ; a death which Adam dyed be 
fore his mortality ; a death whereby we live a middle 
and moderating point between life and death : in fine, 
so like death, I dare not trust it without my prayers, 
and an half adieu unto the World, and take my fare- 
wel in a Colloquy with GOD. 

The night is come, like to the day, 
Depart not Thou, great GOD, away. 
Let not my sins, black as the night, 
Eclipse the lustre of Thy light : 
Keep still in my Horizon ; for to me 
The Sun makes not the day, but Thee. 
Thou, Whose nature cannot sleep, 
On my temples Gentry keep ; 
Guard me 'gainst those watchful foes, 
Whose eyes are open while mine close. 
Let no dreams my head infest, 
But such as Jacob's temples blest 
While I do rest, my Soul advance ; 
Make my sleep a holy trance ; 
That I may, my rest being wrought, 
Awake into some holy thought ; 
And with as active vigour run 
My course, as doth the nimble Sun. 
Sleep is a death ; O make me try, 
By sleeping, what it is to die ; 
And as gently lay my head 



124 RELIGIO MEDICI 

On my grave, as now my bed. 
Howere I rest, great GOD, let me 
Awake again at last with Thee ; 
And thus assur'd, behold I lie 
Securely, or to awake or die. 
These are my drowsie days ; in vain 
I do now wake to sleep again : 
O come that hour, when I shall never 
Sleep again, but wake for ever. 

This is the Dormative I take to bedward ; I need no 
other Laudanum than this to make me sleep ; after 
which I close mine eyes in security, content to take 
my leave of the Sun, and sleep unto the Resurrection. 
The method I should use in distributive Justice, I 
often observe in commutative ; and keep a Geomet 
rical proportion in both, whereby becoming equable 
to others, I become unjust to my self, and superero- 
gate in that common principle, Do unto others as thou 
vuouldst be done unto thy self. I was not born unto 
riches, neither is it, I think, my Star to be wealthy ; or, 
if it were, the freedom of my mind, and frankness of my 
disposition, were able to contradict and cross my 
fates : for to me, avarice seems not so much a vice, 
as a deplorable piece of madness ; to conceive our 
selves pipkins, or be perswaded that we are dead, is 
not so ridiculous, nor so many degrees beyond the 
power of Hellebore, as this. The opinions of Theory, 
and positions of men, are not so void of reason as their 
practised conclusions. Some have held that Snow is 
black, that the earth moves, that the Soul is air, fire, 



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125 



water ; but all this is Philosophy, and there is no de 
lirium, if we do but speculate the folly and indispu 
table dotage of avarice to that subterraneous Idol, 
and God of the Earth. I do confess I am an Atheist ; 
I cannot perswade myself to honour that the World 
adores ; whatsoever virtue its prepared substance may 
have within my body, it hath no influence nor opera 
tion without. I would not entertain a base design, or 
an action that should call me villain, for the Indies ; 
and for this only do I love and honour my own soul, 
and have methinks two arms too few to embrace my 
self. Aristotle is too severe, that will not allow us to 
be truely liberal without wealth, and the bountiful hand 
of Fortune. If this be true, I must confess I am 
charitable only in my liberal intentions, and bountiful 
well-wishes ; but if the example of the Mite be not 
only an act of wonder, but an example of the noblest 
Charity, surely poor men may also build Hospitals, 
and the rich alone have not erected Cathedrals. I 
have a private method which others observe not; I 
take the opportunity of my self to do good ; I borrow 
occasion of Charity from mine own necessities, and 
supply the wants of others, when I am in most need 
my self : for it is an honest stratagem to take advantage 
of our selves, and so to husband the acts of vertue, 
that, where they are defective in one circumstance, 
they may repay their want and multiply their good 
ness in another. I have not Peru in my desires, 
but a competence, and ability to perform those good 



126 RELIGIO MEDICI 

works to which He hath inclined my nature. He is 
rich, who hath enough to be charitable ; and it is hard 
to be so poor, that a noble mind may not find a way 
to this piece of goodness. He that give th to the poor, 
lendeth to the LORD : there is more Rhetorick in that 
one sentence, than in a Library of Sermons ; and 
indeed, if those Sentences were understood by the 
Reader, with the same Emphasis as they are delivered 
by the Author, we needed not those Volumes of in 
structions, but might be honest by an Epitome. Upon 
this motive only I cannot behold a Beggar without 
relieving his Necessities with my Purse, or his Soul 
with my Prayers ; these scenical and accidental differ 
ences between us, cannot make me forget that com 
mon and untoucht part of us both : there is under 
these Centoes and miserable outsides, these mutilate 
and semi-bodies, a soul of the same alloy with our 
own, whose Genealogy is GOD as well as ours, and in 
as fair a way to Salvation as our selves. Statists that 
labour to contrive a Common-wealth without poverty, 
take away the object of charity, not understanding 
only the Common-wealth of a Christian, but forgetting 
the prophecie of CHRIST. 

Now, there is another part of charity, which is the 
Basis and Pillar of this, and that is the love of GOD, 
for Whom we love our neighbour; for this I think 
charity, to love GOD for Himself, and our neighbour 
for GOD. All that is truly amiable is GOD, or as it 
were a divided piece of Him, that retains a reflex or 



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127 



shadow of Himself. Nor is it strange that we should 
place affection on that which is invisible : all that we 
truly love is thus ; what we adore under affection of 
our senses, deserves not the honour of so pure a title. 
Thus we adore Virtue, though to the eyes of sense she 
be invisible : thus that part of our noble friends that 
we love, is not that part that we imbrace, but that in 
sensible part that our arms cannot embrace. GOD, 
being all goodness, can love nothing but Himself; He 
loves us but for that part which is as it were Himself, 
and the traduction of His Holy Spirit. Let us call to 
assize the loves of our parents, the affection of our wives 
and children, and they are all dumb shows and dreams, 
without reality, truth, or constancy. For first there is 
a strong bond of affection between us and our Parents ; 
yet how easily dissolved ! We betake our selves to a 
woman, forget our mother in a wife, and the womb 
that bare us, in that that shall bear our Image. This 
woman blessing us with children, our affection leaves 
the level it held before, and sinks from our bed unto 
our issue and picture of Posterity, where affection 
holds no steady mansion. They, growing up in years, 
desire our ends ; or applying themselves to a woman, 
take a lawful way to love another better than our selves. 
Thus I perceive a man may be buried alive, and behold 
his grave in his own issue. 

I conclude therefore, and say, there is no happiness 
under (or, as Copernicus will have it, above) the Sun, 
nor any Crambe in that repeated verity and burthen 



128 RELIGIO MEDICI 

of all the wisdom of Solomon, All is vanity and vexa 
tion of Spirit. There is no felicity in that the World 
adores. Aristotle, whilst he labours to refute the 
Idea's of Plato, falls upon one himself; for his sum- 
mum bonum is a Chimaera, and there is no such thing 
as his Felicity. That wherein GOD Himself is happy, 
the holy Angels are happy, in whose defect the Devils 
are unhappy, that dare I call happiness : whatsoever 
conduceth unto this, may with an easy Metaphor 
deserve that name ; whatsoever else the World terms 
Happiness, is to me a story out of Pliny, a tale of 
Boccace or Malizspini, an apparition, or neat delusion, 
wherein there is no more of Happiness than the name. 
Bless me in this life with but peace of my Conscience, 
command of my affections, the love of Thy self and 
my dearest friends, and I shall be happy enough to 
pity Caesar. These are, O LORD, the humble desires 
of my most reasonable ambition, and all I dare call 
happiness on earth ; wherein I set no rule or limit to 
Thy Hand or Providence. Dispose of me according 
to the wisdom of Thy pleasure : Thy will be done, 
though in my own undoing. 



LETTER 



TO A 



FRIEND, 

Upon occafion of the 

DEATH 



OF HIS 



Intimate Friend. 



By the Learned 
Sir THOMAS BROWN, Knight, 

Doctor of Phyfick, late of Norwich. 



L O ND O N: 

Printed for Charles Brome at the Gun at the West- End 
of S. Pau^s Church -yard. 1690. 

129 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 



GIVE me leave to wonder that News of this nature 
should have such heavy Wings, that you should 
hear so little concerning your dearest Friend, and that 
I must make that unwilling Repetition to tell you, 

Ad portam rigidos calces extcndit, 

that he is Dead and Buried, and by this time no Puny 
among the mighty Nations of the Dead ; for tho he 
left this World not very many days past, yet every 
hour you know largely addeth unto that dark Society ; 
and considering the incessant Mortality of Mankind, 
you cannot conceive there dieth in the whole Earth 
so few as a thousand an hour. 

Altho at this distance you had no early Account or 
Particular of his Death, yet your Affection may cease 
to wonder that you had not some secret Sense or Inti 
mation thereof by Dreams, thoughtful Whisperings, 
Mercurisms, Airy Nuncio's, or sympathetical Insinua 
tions, which many seem to have had at the Death of 
their dearest Friends ; for since we find in that famous 
Story, that Spirits themselves were fain to tell their 
Fellows at a distance that the great Antonio was dead, 



132 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

we have a sufficient Excuse for our Ignorance in such 
Particulars, and must rest content with the common 
Road and Appian Way of Knowledge by Information. 
Tho the uncertainty of the End of this World hath 
confounded all Humane Predictions, yet they who 
shall live to see the Sun and Moon darkned, and the 
Stars to fall from Heaven, will hardly be deceived in 
the Advent of the last Day ; and therefore strange it 
is, that the common Fallacy of consumptive Persons, 
who feel not themselves dying, and therefore still hope 
to live, should also reach their Friends in perfect 
Health and Judgment that you should be so little 
acquainted with Plautus's sick Complexion, or that 
almost an Hippocratical Face should not alarum you 
to higher fears, or rather despair of his Continuation 
in such an emaciated State, wherein medical Predic 
tions fail not, as sometimes in acute Diseases, and 
wherein 'tis as dangerous to be sentenced by a Physi 
cian as a Judge. 

Upon my first Visit I was bold to tell them who had 
not let fall all hopes of his Recovery, That in my sad 
Opinion he was not like to behold a Grashopper, 
much less to pluck another Fig ; and in no long time 
after, seemed to discover that odd mortal Symptom in 
him not mention'd by Hippocrates, that is, to lose his 
own Face, and look like some of his near Relations ; 
for he maintained not his proper Countenance, but 
looked like his Uncle, the Lines of whose Face lay 
deep and invisible in his healthful Visage before : for 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 133 

as from our beginning we run through variety of Looks, 
before we come to consistent and settled Faces ; so 
before our End, by sick and languishing Alterations, 
we put on new Visages ; and in our Retreat to Earth, 
may fall upon such Looks, which, from community of 
seminal Originals, were before latent in us. 

He was fruitlessly put in hope of advantage by 
change of Air, and imbibing the pure Aerial Nitre of 
these Parts ; and therefore, being so far spent, he 
quickly found Sardinia in Tivoli, and the most health 
ful Air of little effect, where Death had set her Broad 
Arrow ; for he lived not unto the middle of May, and 
confirmed the Observation of Hippocrates of that 
mortal time of the Year when the Leaves of the Fig- 
tree resemble a Daw's Claw. He is happily seated 
who lives in Places whose Air, Earth, and Water, pro 
mote not the Infirmities of his weaker Parts, or is early 
removed into Regions that correct them. He that is 
tabidly inclined were unwise to pass his days in Portu 
gal, Cholical Persons will find little Comfort in Austria 
or Vienna, He that is Weak-legg'd must not be in 
Love with Rome, nor an infirm Head with Venice or 
Paris. Death hath not only particular Stars in Heaven, 
but malevolent Places on Earth, which single out our 
Infirmities, and strike at our weaker Parts ; in which 
Concern, passager and migrant Birds have the great 
Advantages ; who are naturally constituted for distant 
Habitations, whom no Seas nor Places limit, but in 
their appointed Seasons will visit us from Greenland 



134 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

and Mount Atlas, and as some think, even from the 
Antipodes. 

Tho we could not have his Life, yet we missed not 
our desires in his soft Departure, which was scarce an 
Expiration; and his End not unlike his Beginning, 
when the salient Point scarce affords a sensible mo 
tion; and his Departure so like unto Sleep, that he 
scarce needed the civil Ceremony of closing his Eyes ; 
contrary unto the common way, wherein Death draws 
up, Sleep lets fall the Eye-lids. With what strift and 
pains we came into the World we know not ; but 'tis 
commonly no easie matter to get out of it : yet, if it 
could be made out that such who have easie Nativities 
have commonly hard Deaths, and contrarily, his De 
parture was so easie, that we might justly suspect his 
Birth was of another nature, and that some Juno sat 
cross-legg'd at his Nativity. 

Besides his soft Death, the incurable state of his 
Disease might somewhat extenuate your Sorrow, who 
know that Monsters but seldom happen, Miracles more 
rarely, in Physick. Angelus Victorius gives a serious 
Account of a Consumptive, Hectical, Pthysical Woman, 
who was suddenly cured by the Intercession of Igna 
tius. We read not of any in Scripture who in this 
case applied unto our Saviour, tho some may be con 
tained in that large Expression, that He went about 
Galilee, healing all manner of Sickness and all manner 
of Diseases. Amulets, Spells, Sigils, and Incantations, 
practised in other Diseases, are seldom pretended in 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 135 

this ; and we find no Sigil in the Archidoxis of Para 
celsus to cure an extreme Consumption or Marasmus, 
which, if other Diseases fail, will put a period unto 
long Livers, and at last make dust of all. And there 
fore the Stoicks could not but think that the firy Prin 
ciple would wear out all the rest, and at last make an 
end of the world ; which notwithstanding, without such 
a lingring period, the Creator may effect at His Pleas 
ure : and to make an end of all things on Earth, and 
our Planetical System of the World, He need but put 
out the Sun. 

I was not so curious to entitle the Stars unto any con 
cern of his Death, yet could not but take notice that 
he died when the Moon was in motion from the Merid 
ian, at which time an old Italian long ago would persuade 
me that the greatest part of Men died : but herein I 
confess I could never satisfie my Curiosity, altho from 
the time of Tides in Places upon or near the Sea there 
may be considerable Deductions, and Pliny hath an 
odd and remarkable Passage concerning the Death of 
Men and Animals upon the Recess or Ebb of the Sea. 
However, certain it is he died in the dead and deep 
part of the Night, when Nox might be most appre 
hensibly said to be the Daughter of Chaos, the Mother 
of Sleep and Death, according to old Genealogy ; and so 
went out of this World about that hour when our blessed 
Saviour entred it, and about what time many conceive 
He will return again unto it. Cardan hath a peculiar 
and no hard Observation from a Man's Hand, to know 



136 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

whether he was born in the day or night, which I con 
fess holdeth in my own ; and Scaliger to that purpose 
hath another from the tip of the Ear. Most Men are 
begotten in the Night, most Animals in the Day ; but 
whether more Persons have been born in the Night or 
the Day, were a Curiosity undecidable ; tho more 
have perished by violent Deaths in the Day, yet in 
natural Dissolutions both Times may hold an Indif- 
ferency, at least but contingent Inequality. The 
whole course of Time runs out in the Nativity and 
Death of Things; which whether they happen by 
Succession or Coincidence, are best computed by the 
natural, not artificial, Day. 

That Charles the Fifth was Crowned upon the day 
of his Nativity, it being in his own power so to order 
it, makes no singular Animadversion; but that he 
should also take King Francis Prisoner upon that day, 
was an unexpected Coincidence, which made the same 
remarkable. Antipater, who had an Anniversary 
Fever every Year upon his Birth-day, needed no 
Astrological Revolution to know what day he should 
dye on. When the fixed Stars have made a Revolu 
tion unto the points from whence they first set out, 
some of the Ancients thought the World would have 
an end ; which was a kind of dying upon the day of 
its Nativity. Now the Disease prevailing and swiftly 
advancing about the time of his Nativity, some were 
of Opinion, that he would leave the World on the day 
he entred into it : but this being a -lingring Disease, 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 137 

and creeping softly on, nothing critical was found or 
expected, and he died not before fifteen days after. 
Nothing is more common with Infants than to dye on 
the day of their Nativity, to behold the worldly Hours 
and but the Fractions thereof; and even to perish 
before their Nativity in the hidden World of the 
Womb, and before their good Angel is conceived to 
undertake them. But in Persons who out-live many 
Years, and when there are no less than three hundred 
sixty-five days to determine their Lives in every Year, 
that the first day should make the last, that the 
Tail of the Snake should return into its Mouth pre 
cisely at that time, and they should wind up upon the 
day of their Nativity, is indeed a remarkable Coinci 
dence, which tho Astrology hath taken witty pains to 
salve, yet hath it been very wary in making Predictions 
of it. 

In this consumptive Condition and remarkable Ex 
tenuation, he came to be almost half himself, and left 
a great part behind him which he carried not to the 
Grave. And tho that Story of Duke John Ernestus 
Mansfield be not so easily swallowed, that at his Death 
his Heart was found not to be so big as a Nut ; yet, 
if the Bones of a good Sceleton weigh little more than 
twenty pounds, his Inwards and Flesh remaining could 
make no Bouffage, but a light bit for the Grave. I 
never more lively beheld the starved Characters of 
Dante in any living Face ; an Aruspex might have 
read a Lecture upon him without Exenteration, his 



138 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

Flesh being so consumed, that he might, in a manner, 
have discerned his Bowels without opening of him : so 
that to be carried, sextd cervice, to the Grave, was but 
a civil unnecessity ; and the Complements of the coffin 
might out-weigh the Subject of it. 

Omnibonus Ferrarius in mortal Dysenteries of 
Children looks for a Spot behind the Ear ; in con 
sumptive Diseases some eye the complexion of Moals ; 
Cardan eagerly views the Nails, some the lines of the 
Hand, the Thenar or Muscle of the Thumb ; some 
are so curious as to observe the depth of the Throat- 
pit, how the proportion varieth of the Small of the 
Legs unto the Calf, or the compass of the Neck unto 
the Circumference of the Head : but all these, with 
many more, were so drowned in a mortal Visage and 
last Face of Hippocrates, that a weak physiognomist 
might say at first eye, This was a Face of Earth, and 
that Morta had set her Hard-Seal upon his Temples, 
easily perceiving what Caricatura Draughts Death 
makes upon pined Faces, and unto what an unknown 
degree a Man may live backward 

Tho the Beard be only made a distinction of Sex 
and sign of Masculine heat by Ulmus, yet the Pre 
cocity and early growth thereof in him was not to be 
liked in reference unto long Life. Lewis, that virtuous 
but unfortunate King of Hungary, who lost his Life at 
the Battel of Mohacz, was said to be born without a 
Skin, to have bearded at Fifteen, and to have shewn 
some gray Hairs about Twenty;- from whence the 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 139 

Diviners conjectured, that he would be spoiled of his 
Kingdom, and have but a short Life : But Hairs 
make fallible Predictions, and many Temples early 
gray have out-lived the Psalmist's Period. Hairs 
which have most amused me have not been in the 
Face, or Head, but on the Back, and not in Men 
but Children, as I long ago observed in that en- 
demial Distemper of little Children in Languedock, 
called the Morgellons, wherein they critically break 
out with harsh Hairs on their Backs, which takes off 
the unquiet Symptoms of the Disease, and delivers 
them from Coughs and Convulsions. 

The Egyptian Mummies that I have seen, have 
had their Mouths open, and somewhat gaping, which 
afforded a good opportunity to view and observe their 
Teeth, wherein 'tis not easie to find any wanting or 
decayed : and therefore in Egypt, where one Man 
practised but one Operation, or the Diseases but of 
single Parts, it must needs be a barren Profession to 
confine unto that of drawing of teeth, and little better 
than to have been Tooth- drawer unto King Pyrrhus, 
who had but two in his Head. How the Bannyans 
of India maintain the Integrity of those Parts, I find 
not particularly observed ; who notwithstanding have 
an Advantage of their Preservation by abstaining 
from all Flesh, and employing their Teeth in such 
Food unto which they may seem at first framed, 
from their Figure and Conformation : but sharp and 
corroding Rheums had so early mouldred those 



140 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

Rocks and hardest parts of his Fabrick, that a Man 
might well conceive that his Years were never like to 
double or twice tell over his Teeth. Corruption had 
dealt more severely with them than sepulchral Fires 
and smart Flames with those of burnt Bodies of old ; 
for in the burnt Fragments of Urns which I have 
enquired into, altho I seem to find few Incisors or 
Shearers, yet the Dog Teeth and Grinders do notably 
resist those Fires. 

In the Years of his Childhood he had languished 
under the Disease of his Country, the Rickets ; after 
which notwithstanding many have been become strong 
and active Men ; but whether any have attained unto 
very great Years, the Disease is scarce so old as to 
afford good Observation. Whether the Children of 
the English Plantations be subject unto the same 
Infirmity, may be worth the observing. Whether 
Lameness and Halting do still encrease among the In 
habitants of Rovigno in Istria, I know not ; yet scarce 
twenty Years ago Monsieur du Loyr observed, that a 
third part of that People halted : but too certain it is, 
that the Rickets encreaseth among us ; the Small- 
Pox grows more pernicious than the Great : the Kings 
Purse knows that the King's Evil grows more common. 
Quartan Agues are become no Strangers in Ireland ; 
more common and mortal in England : and tho the 
Ancients gave that Disease very good Words, yet now 
that Bell makes no strange sound which rings out for 
the Effects thereof. 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 141 

Some think there were few Consumptions in the Old 
World, when Men lived much upon Milk ; and that the 
ancient Inhabitants of this Island were less troubled 
with Coughs when they went naked, and slept in 
Caves and Woods, than Men now in Chambers and 
Feather-beds. Plato will tell us that there was no 
such Disease as a Catarrh in Homer's time, and that 
it was but new in Greece in his Age. Polydore Virgil 
delivereth that Pleurisies were rare in England, who 
lived but in the days of Henry the Eighth. Some will 
allow no Diseases to be new, others think that many 
old ones are ceased, and that such which are esteemed 
new, will have but their time. However, the Mercy 
of GOD hath scattered the great heap of Diseases, and 
not loaded any one Country with all : some may be 
new in one Country which have been old in another. 
New Discoveries of the Earth discover new Diseases : 
for besides the common swarm, there are endemial 
and local Infirmities proper unto certain Regions, 
which in the whole Earth make no small number : 
and if Asia, Africa, and America should bring in their 
List, Pandoras Box would swell, and there must be a 
strange Pathology. 

Most Men expected to find a consumed Kell, empty 
and bladder-like Guts, livid and marbled Lungs, and 
a withered Pericardium in this exuccous Corps : but 
some seemed too much to wonder that two Lobes of 
his Lungs adhered unto his side ; for the like I had 
often found in Bodies of no suspected Consumptions 



142 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

or difficulty of Respiration. And the same more 
often happeneth in Men and other Animals, and some 
think in Women than in Men : but the most remark 
able I have met with, was in a Man, after a Cough of 
almost fifty Years, in whom all the Lobes adhered unto 
the Pleura, and each Lobe unto another ; who having 
also been much troubled with the Gout, brake the rule 
of Cardan, and died of the Stone in the Bladder. 
Aristotle makes a Query, Why some Animals cough, 
as Man ; some not, as Oxen. If coughing be taken 
as it consisteth of a natural and voluntary motion, in 
cluding Expectoration and spitting out, it may be as 
proper unto Man as bleeding at the Nose ; otherwise 
we find that Vegetius and Rural writers have not left 
so many Medicines in vain against the Coughs of 
Cattel ; and Men who perish by Coughs dye the Death 
of Sheep, Cats, and Lyons : and tho Birds have no 
Midriff, yet we meet with divers Remedies in Arrianus 
against the Coughs of Hawks. And tho it might be 
thought that all Animals who have Lungs do cough, 
yet in cetaceous Fishes, who have large and strong 
Lungs, the same is not observed ; nor yet in oviparous 
Quadrupeds : and in the greatest thereof, the Crocodile, 
altho we read much of their Tears, we find nothing of 
that motion. 

From the Thoughts of Sleep, when the Soul was 
conceived nearest unto Divinity, the Ancients erected 
an Art of Divination, wherein while they too widely 
expatiated in loose and inconsequent Conjectures, 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 143 

Hippocrates wisely considered Dreams as they pre 
saged Alterations in the Body, and so afforded hints 
toward the preservation of Health, and prevention 
of Diseases ; and therein was so serious as to advise 
Alteration of Diet, Exercise, Sweating, Bathing, and 
Vomiting ; and also so religious, as to order Prayers 
and Supplications unto respective Deities; in good 
Dreams unto Sol, Jupiter ccelestis, Jupiter opulentus, 
Minerva, Mercurius, and Apollo ; in bad unto Tellus, 
and the Heroes. 

And therefore I could not but take notice how his 
Female Friends were irrationally curious so strictly to 
examine his Dreams, and in this low state to hope for 
the Fantasms of Health. He was now past the health 
ful Dreams of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, in their 
Clarity and proper Courses. Twas too late to dream 
of Flying, of Limpid Fountains, smooth Waters, white 
Vestments, and fruitful green Trees, which are the 
Visions of healthful Sleeps, and at good distance from 
the Grave. 

And they were also too deeply dejected that he 
should dream of his dead Friends, inconsequently 
divining that he would not be long from them; for 
strange it was not that he should sometimes dream of 
the dead, whose Thoughts run always upon Death : 
beside, to dream of the dead, so they appear not in 
dark Habits, and take nothing away from us, in Hippoc 
rates his sense was of good signification ; for we live 
by the dead, and every thing is or must be so before 



144 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

it becomes our Nourishment. And Cardan, who 
dream'd that he discoursed with his dead Father in 
the Moon, made thereof no mortal Interpretation : and 
even to dream that we are dead, was no condemnable 
Fantasm in old Oneirocriticism, as having a significa 
tion of Liberty, vacuity from Cares, exemption and 
freedom from Troubles, unknown unto the dead. 

Some Dreams I confess may admit of easie and 
feminine Exposition : he who dream'd that he could 
not see his right Shoulder, might easily fear to lose the 
sight of his right Eye ; he that before a Journey 
dream'd that his Feet were cut off, had a plain warn 
ing not to undertake his intended Journey. But why to 
dream of Lettuce should presage some ensuing Disease, 
why to eat Figs should signifie foolish Talk, why to eat 
Eggs great Trouble, and to dream of Blindness should 
be so highly commended, according to the Oneirocriti- 
cal Verses of Astrampsychus and Nicephorus, I shall 
leave unto your Divination. 

He was willing to quit the World alone and altogether, 
leaving no Earnest behind him for Corruption or After- 
grave, having small content in that common satisfaction 
to survive or live in another, but amply satisfied that 
his Disease should dye with himself, nor revive in a 
Posterity to puzzle Physick, and make sad Memento's 
of their Parent hereditary. Leprosie awakes not some 
times before Forty, the Gout and Stone often later ; 
but consumptive and tabid Roots sprout more early, 
and at the fairest make seventeen Years of our Life 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 145 

doubtful before that Age. They that enter the World 
with original Diseases as well as Sin, have not only 
common Mortality but sick Traductions to destroy them, 
make commonly short Courses, and live not at length 
but in Figures ; so that a sound Caesarean Nativity may 
out-last a natural Birth, and a Knife may sometimes 
make way for a more lasting fruit than a Midwife; 
which makes so few Infants now able to endure the old 
Test of the River, and many to have feeble Children 
who could scarce have been married at Sparta and 
those provident States who studied strong and health 
ful Generations ; which happen but contingently in 
mere pecuniary Matches, or Marriages made by the 
Candle, wherein notwithstanding there is little redress 
to be hoped from an Astrologer or a Lawyer, and a 
good discerning Physician were like to prove the most 
successful Counsellor. 

Julius Scaliger, who in a sleepless Fit of the Gout 
could make two hundred Verses in a Night, would 
have but five plain Words upon his Tomb. And this 
serious Person, though no minor Wit, left the Poetry of 
his Epitaph unto others ; either unwilling to commend 
himself, or to be judged by a Distich, and perhaps con 
sidering how unhappy great Poets have been in versify 
ing their own Epitaphs ; wherein Petrarcha, Dante, and 
Ariosto have so unhappily failed, that if their Tombs 
should out-last their Works, Posterity would find so little 
of Apollo on them, as to mistake them for Ciceronian 
Poets. 



146 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

In this deliberate and creeping progress unto the 
Grave, he was somewhat too young, and of too noble 
a mind, to fall upon that stupid Symptom observable 
in divers Persons near their Journeys end, and which 
may be reckoned among the mortal Symptoms of their 
last Disease ; that is, to become more narrow-minded, 
miserable, and tenacious, unready to part with any 
thing when they are ready to part with all, and afraid 
to want when they have no time to spend. Mean while 
Physicians (who know that many are mad but in a 
single depraved Imagination, and one prevalent Desipi- 
ency, and that beside and out of such single Deliriums 
a Man may meet with sober Actions and good Sense 
in Bedlam,) cannot but smile to see the Heirs and con 
cerned Relations gratulating themselves in the sober 
departure of their Friends ; and tho they behold such 
mad covetous Passages, content to think they dye in 
good Understanding, and in their sober Senses. 

Avarice, which is not only Infidelity but Idolatry, 
either from covetous Progeny or questuary Education, 
had no Root in his Breast, who made good Works the 
Expression of his Faith, and was big with desires unto 
publick and lasting Charities ; and surely where good 
Wishes and charitable Intentions exceed Abilities, 
Theorical Beneficency may be more than a Dream. 
They build not Castles in the Air who would build 
Churches on Earth ; and tho they leave no such Struc 
tures here, may lay good Foundations in Heaven. In 
brief, his Life and Death were such, that I could not 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 147 

blame them who wished the like, and almost to have 
been himself : almost, I say ; for tho we may wish the 
prosperous appurtenances of others, or to be an other 
in his happy Accidents, yet so intrinsecal is every Man 
unto himself, that some doubt may be made, whether 
any would exchange his Being, or substantially become 
another Man. 

He had wisely seen the World at home and abroad, 
and thereby observed under what variety Men are 
deluded in the pursuit of that which is not here to be 
found. And altho he had no Opinion of reputed Fe 
licities below, and apprehended Men widely out in the 
estimate of such Happiness, yet his sober contempt of 
the World wrought no Democritism or Cynicism, no 
laughing or snarling at it, as well understanding there are 
not Felicities in this World to satisfie a serious Mind ; 
and therefore to soften the stream of our Lives, we are 
fain to take in the reputed Contentations of this World, 
to unite with the Crowd in their Beatitudes, and to 
make our selves happy by Consortion, Opinion, or 
Co-existimation : for strictly to separate from received 
and customary Felicities, and to confine unto the rigor 
of Realities, were to contract the Consolation of our 
Beings unto too uncomfortable Circumscriptions. 

Not to fear Death, nor desire it, was short of his 
Resolution : to be dissolved, and be with CHRIST, was 
his dying ditty. He conceived his Thred long, in no 
long course of Years, and when he had scarce out-lived 
the second Life of Lazarus ; esteeming it enough to 



148 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

approach the Years of his Saviour, Who so ordered 
His own humane State, as not to be old upon Earth. 
But to be content with Death may be better than to 
desire it : a miserable Life may make us wish for Death, 
but a virtuous one to rest in it ; which is the Advan 
tage of those resolved Christians, who, looking on 
Death not only as the sting, but the period and end 
of Sin, the Horizon and Isthmus between this Life and 
a better, and the Death of this World but as a Nativity 
of another, do contentedly submit unto the common 
Necessity, and envy not Enoch or Elias. 

Not to be content with Life is the unsatisfactory 
state of those which destroy themselves ; who being 
afraid to live, run blindly upon their own Death, which 
no Man fears by Experience : and the Stoicks had a 
notable Doctrine to take away the fear thereof; that 
is, In such Extremities to desire that which is not to 
be avoided, and wish what might be feared ; and so 
made Evils voluntary and to suit with their own De 
sires, which took off the terror of them. But the an 
cient Martyrs were not encouraged by such Fallacies ; 
who, tho they feared not Death, were afraid to be their 
own Executioners ; and therefore thought it more 
Wisdom to crucifie their Lusts than their Bodies, to 
circumcise than stab their Hearts, and to mortifie than 
kill themselves. 

His willingness to leave this World about that Age 
when most Men think they may best enjoy it, tho para 
doxical unto worldly Ears, was not strange unto mine, 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 



149 



who have so often observed that many, tho old, oft 
stick fast unto the World, and seem to be drawn like 
Cacus's Oxen, backward, with great strugling and 
reluctancy unto the Grave. The long habit of Living 
makes meer Men more hardly to part with Life, and 
all to be nothing but what is to come. To live at the 
rate of the old World, when some could scarce remem 
ber themselves young, may afford no better digested 
Death than a more moderate period. Many would 
have thought it an Happiness to have had their lot of 
Life in some notable Conjunctures of Ages past ; but 
the uncertainty of future Times hath tempted few to 
make a part in Ages to come. And surely, he that 
hath taken the true Altitude of Things, and rightly 
calculated the degenerate state of this Age, is not like 
to envy those that shall live in the next, much less three 
or four hundred years hence, when no Man can com 
fortably imagine what Face this World will carry : and 
therefore, since every Age makes a step unto the end 
of all things, and the Scripture affords so hard a Char 
acter of the last Times, quiet Minds will be content 
with their Generations, and rather bless Ages past, 
than be ambitious of those to come. 

Tho Age had set no Seal upon his Face, yet a dim 
Eye might clearly discover Fifty in his Actions ; and 
therefore, since Wisdom is the gray Hair, and an un 
spotted Life old Age, altho his Years came short, he 
might have been said to have held up with longer 
Livers, and to have been Solomon's Old Man. And 



I5O A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

surely, if we deduct all those days of our Life which 
we might wish unlived, and which abate the comfort 
of those we now live ; if we reckon up only those days 
which GOD hath accepted of our Lives, a Life of good 
Years will hardly be a span long : the Son in this sense 
may out-live the Father, and none be climacterically 
old. He that early arriveth unto the Parts and Pru 
dence of Age, is happily old without the uncomfortable 
Attendants of it ; and 'tis superfluous to live unto gray 
Hairs, when in a precocious Temper we anticipate the 
Virtues of them. In brief, he cannot be accounted 
young who out-liveth the old Man. He that hath early 
arrived unto the measure of a perfect Stature in 
CHRIST, hath already fulfilled the prime and longest 
Intention of his Being : and one day lived after the 
perfect Rule of Piety, is to be preferred before sinning 
Immortality. 

Altho he attained not unto the Years of his Prede 
cessors, yet he wanted not those preserving Virtues 
which confirm the thread of weaker Constitutions. 
Cautelous Chastity and crafty Sobriety were far from 
him ; those Jewels were Paragon, without Flaw, Hair, 
Ice, or Cloud in him, which affords me an hint to pro 
ceed in these good Wishes and few Memento's unto 
you. 

Tread softly and circumspectly in this funambulous 
Track and narrow Path of Goodness : pursue Virtue 
virtuously : be sober and temperate ; not to preserve 
your Body in a sufficiency to wanton Ends; not to 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 1 5 I 

spare your Purse ; not to be free from the Infamy of 
common Transgressors that way, and thereby toballance 
or palliate obscure and closer Vices ; nor simply to 
enjoy Health; (by all which you may leaven good 
Actions, and render Virtues disputable ;) but in one 
Word, that you may truly serve GOD, which every 
Sickness will tell you you cannot well do without 
Health. The sick man's Sacrifice is but a lame 
Oblation. Pious Treasures laid up in healthful days 
excuse the defect of sick Non-performances; with 
out which we must needs look back with Anxiety up 
on the lost opportunities of Health; and may have 
cause rather to envy than pity the Ends of penitent 
Malefactors, who go with clear parts unto the last Act 
of their Lives, and in the integrity of their Faculties 
return their Spirit unto GOD That gave it. 

Consider whereabout thou art in Cebes his Table, 
or that old philosophical Pinax of the Life of Man : 
whether thou art still in the Road of Uncertainties ; 
whether thou hast yet entred the narrow Gate, got up 
the Hill and asperous way, which leadeth unto the 
House of Sanity, or taken that purifying Potion from 
the hand of sincere Erudition, which may send thee 
clear and pure away unto a virtuous and happy Life. 

In this virtuous Voyage let not disappointment 
cause Despondency, nor difficulty Despair. Think 
not that you are sailing from Lima to Manillia, wherein 
thou may'st tye up the Rudder, and sleep before 
the Wind ; but expect rough Seas, Flaws, and contrary 



152 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

Blasts ; and 'tis well if by many cross Tacks and Ver- 
ings thou arrivest at thy Port. Sit not down in the 
popular Seats and common Level of Virtues, but en 
deavour to make them Heroical. Offer not only Peace- 
Offerings but Holocausts unto GOD. To serve Him 
singly to serve our selves, were too partial a piece of Piety 
nor likely to place us in the highest Mansions of Glory. 

He that is chaste and continent, not to impare his 
Strength, or terrified by Contagion, will hardly be 
heroically virtuous. Adjourn not that Virtue unto those 
Years when Cato could lend out his Wife, and im 
potent Satyrs write Satyrs against Lust : but be chaste 
in thy flaming days, when Alexander dared not trust 
his Eyes upon the fair Daughters of Darius, and when 
so many Men think there is no other way but Origen's. 

Be charitable before Wealth makes thee covetous, 
and lose not the Glory of the Mite. If Riches in 
crease, let thy Mind hold pace with them ; and think 
it not enough to be liberal, but munificent. Tho a 
Cup of cold Water from some hand may not be with 
out its Reward, yet stick not thou for Wine and Oyl 
for the Wounds of the distressed ; and treat the Poor, 
as our Saviour did the Multitude, to the Relicks of 
some Baskets. 

Trust not to the Omnipotency of Gold, or say unto 
it, Thou art my Confidence. Kiss not thy Hand when 
thou beholdest that terrestrial Sun, nor bore thy Ear 
unto its Servitude. A Slave unto Mammon makes no 
Servant unto GOD. Covetousness cracks the Sinews 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 153 

of Faith, numbs the Apprehension of any thing above 
Sense, and only affected with the certainty of things 
present, makes a peradventure of Things to come ; 
lives but unto one World, nor hopes but fears another ; 
makes our own Death sweet unto others, bitter unto 
our selves ; gives a dry Funeral, Scenical Mourning, 
and no wet Eyes at the Grave. 

If Avarice be thy Vice, yet make it not thy Punish 
ment. Miserable Men commiserate not themselves, 
bowelless unto themselves, and merciless unto their 
own Bowels. Let the fruition of Things bless the 
possession of them, and take no satisfaction in 
dying but living rich. For since thy good Works, not 
thy Goods, will follow thee ; since Riches are an Appur 
tenance of Life, and no dead Man is rich ; to famish in 
Plenty, and live poorly to dye rich, were a multiplying 
improvement in Madness, and Use upon Use in Folly. 

Persons lightly dip'd, not grain'd in generous 
Honesty, are but pale in Goodness, and faint hued 
in Sincerity. But be thou what thou virtuously art, 
and let not the Ocean wash away thy Tincture. 
Stand magnetically upon that Axis where prudent 
Simplicity hath fix'd thee ; and let no Temptation 
invert the Poles of thy Honesty : and that Vice may 
be uneasie and even monstrous unto thee, let iterated 
good Acts and long confirmed Habits make Vertue 
natural, or a second Nature in thee. And since few 
or none prove eminently vertuous but from some 
advantageous Foundations in their Temper and natural 



154 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

Inclinations, study thy self betimes, and early find 
what Nature bids thee to be, or tells thee what thou 
may'st be. They who thus timely descend into them 
selves, cultivating the good Seeds which Nature hath 
set in them, and improving their prevalent Inclinations 
to Perfection, become not Shrubs but Cedars in their 
Generations ; and to be in the form of the best of the 
Bad, or the worst of the Good, will be no satisfaction 
unto them. 

Let not the Law of thy Country be the non ultra 
of thy Honesty ; nor think that always good enough 
which the Law will make good. Narrow not the Law 
of Charity, Equity, Mercy; joyn Gospel Righteous 
ness with Legal Right ; be not a meer Gamaliel in 
the Faith, but let the Sermon in the Mount be thy 
Targum unto the Law of Sinai. 

Make not the Consequences of Vertue the Ends 
thereof. Be not beneficent for a Name or Cymbal 
of Applause, nor exact and punctual in Commerce, 
for the Advantages of Trust and Credit, which attend 
the Reputation of just and true Dealing ; for such 
Rewards, tho unsought for, plain Virtue will bring 
with her, whom all Men honour, tho they pursue not. 
To have other bye ends in good Actions sowers 
laudable Performances, which must have deeper 
Roots, Motions, and Instigations, to give them the 
Stamp of Vertues. 

Tho humane Infirmity may betray thy heedless days 
into the popular ways of Extravagancy, yet let not thine 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 155 

own depravity, or the torrent of vicious Times, carry 
thee into desperate Enormities in Opinions, Manners, 
or Actions. If thou hast dip'd thy foot in the River, yet 
venture not over Rubicon : run not into Extremities 
from whence there is no Regression, nor be ever so 
closely shut up within the holds of Vice and Iniquity, 
as not to find some escape by a Postern of Resipiscency. 
Owe not thy Humility unto Humiliation by Adversity, 
but look humbly down in that State when others look 
upward upon thee. Be patient in the Age of Pride and 
days of Will and Impatiency, when Men live but by 
Intervals of Reason under the Sovereignty of Humor 
and Passion, when 'tis in the Power of every one to 
transform thee out of thy self, and put thee into the 
short Madness. If you cannot imitate Job, yet come 
not short of Socrates, and those patient Pagans who 
tired the tongues of their Enemies, while they perceiv'd 
they spet their Malice at brazen Walls and Statues. 

Let Age, not Envy, draw Wrinkles on thy Cheeks ; 
be content to be envied, but envy not. Emulation 
may be plausible, and Indignation allowable ; but ad 
mit no Treaty with that Passion which no Circum 
stance can make good. A Displacency at the good 
of others because they enjoy it, altho we do not want 
it, is an absurd Depravity, sticking fast unto humane 
Nature from its primitive Corruption ; which he that 
can well subdue, were a Christian of the first Magni 
tude, and for ought I know, may have one foot already 
in Heaven. 



156 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

While thou so hotly disclaimst the Devil, be not 
guilty of Diabolism. Fall not into one Name with that 
unclean Spirit, nor act his Nature whom thou so much 
abhorrest; that is, to accuse, calumniate, backbite, 
whisper, detract, or sinistrously interpret others ; de- 
generous Depravities and narrow-minded Vices, not 
only below S. Paul's noble Christian, but Aristotle's 
true Gentleman. Trust not with some that the Epistle 
of S. James is Apocryphal, and so read with less fear 
that stabbing truth, that in company with this Vice 
thy Religion is in vain. Moses broke the Tables with 
out breaking of the Law ; but where Charity is broke, 
the Law it self is shattered, which cannot be whole 
without Love, that is the fulfilling of it. Look humbly 
upon thy Virtues, and tho thou art rich in some, yet 
think thy self poor and naked without that crowning 
Grace, which thinketh no Evil, which envieth not, 
which beareth, believeth, hopeth, endureth all things. 
With these sure Graces, while busie Tongues are crying 
out for a drop of cold water, Mutes may be in Happi 
ness, and sing the Trisagium in Heaven. 

Let not the Sun in Capricorn go down upon thy Wrath, 
but write thy Wrongs in Water. Draw the Curtain of 
Night upon Injuries, shut them up in the Tower of 
Oblivion, and let them be as tho they had not been. 
Forgive thine Enemies totally, and without any Reserve 
of hope, that however GOD will revenge thee. 

Be substantially great in thy self, and more than 
thou appearest unto others; and let the World be 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND 157 

deceived in thee, as they are in the Lights of Heaven. 
Hang early Plummets upon the Heels of Pride, and 
let Ambition have but an Epicycle or narrow Circuit 
in thee. Measure not thy self by thy Morning shadow, 
but by the Extent of thy Grave ; and reckon thy self 
above the Earth by the Line thou must be contented 
with under it. Spread not into boundless Expansions 
either of Designs or Desires. Think not that Man 
kind liveth but for a few, and that the rest are born 
but to serve the Ambition of those who make but Flies 
of Men, and Wildernesses of whole Nations. Swell 
not into Actions which embroil and confound the 
Earth ; but be one of those violent ones which 
force the Kingdom of Heaven. If thou must needs 
reign, be Zeno's King, and enjoy that Empire which 
every Man gives himself. Certainly the iterated 
Injunctions of CHRIST unto Humility, Meekness, 
Patience, and that despised Train of Virtues, cannot 
but make pathetical Impressions upon those who 
have well considered the Affairs of all Ages, wherein 
Pride, Ambition, and Vain-glory have led up the 
worst of Actions, and whereunto Confusion, Tragedies, 
and Acts denying all Religion, do owe their Originals. 

Rest not in an Ovation, but a Triumph over thy 
Passions ; chain up the unruly Legion of thy Breast ; 
behold thy Trophies within thee, not without thee. Lead 
thine own Captivity captive, and be Ccesar unto thyself. 

Give no quarter unto those Vices which are of 
thine inward Family, and having a Root in thy 



158 A LETTER TO A FRIEND 

Temper, plead a Right and Propriety in thee. Ex 
amine well thy complexional Inclinations. Raise early 
Batteries against those strongholds built upon the 
Rock of Nature, and make this a great part of the 
Militia of thy Life. The politick Nature of Vice 
must be opposed by Policy, and therefore wiser 
Honesties project and plot against Sin ; wherein not 
withstanding we are not to rest in Generals, or the 
trite Stratagems of Art. That may succeed with one 
Temper which may prove successless with another : 
there is no Community or Commonwealth of Virtue ; 
every Man must study his own CEconomy, and erect 
these Rules unto the Figure of himself. 

Lastly, If length of Days be thy Portion, make it 
not thy Expectation. Reckon not upon long Life, 
but live always beyond thy Account. He that so 
often surviveth his Expectation, lives many Lives, and 
will hardly complain of the shortness of his Days. 
Time past is gone like a shadow; make Times to 
come present. Conceive that near which may be far 
off; approximate thy last Times by present Appre 
hensions of them : live like a Neighbour unto Death, 
and think there is but little to come. And since 
there is something in us that must still live on, 
joyn both Lives together ; unite them in thy Thoughts 
and Actions, and live in one but for the other. He 
who thus ordereth the Purposes of this Life, will never 
be far from the next ; and is in some manner already 
in it, by an happy Conformity, and close Apprehen 
sion of it. 



CHRISTIAN 

MORALS, 

B Y 

S r THOMAS BROWN, 

Of NORWICH, M.D. 
And AUTHOR of 

RELIGIO MEDICI. 



Publifhed from the Original and Cor- 
redl Manufcript of the Author ; 
by JOHN JEFFERT, D. D. 
ARCH-DEACON of NORWICH. 



C A MB R ID G E: 
Printed at the UNIVERSITY-PRESS, 

For Cornelius Crownfield Printer to the UNIVERSITY; 
And are to be Sold by Mr. Knapton at the Crown 
in St. Pau?s Church-yard ; and Mr. Morphew near 
Stationers- Hall, LONDON, 1716. 

'59 



TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

DAVID, EARL OF BUCHAN, 

VISCOUNT AUCHTERHOUSE, 
LORD CARDROSS AND GLENDOVACHIE, 

ONE OF THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS 

OF POLICE, 

AND LORD LIEUTENANT OF THE COUNTIES 

OF. STIRLING AND CLACKMANNAN 

IN NORTH-BRITTAIN. 

MY LORD, 

The Honour you have done our Family obligeth us 
to make all just Acknowledgments of it; and there is 
no Form of Acknowledgment in our power more worthy 
of Your Lordship's Acceptance than this Dedication of 
the Last Work of our Honoured and Learned Father. 
Encouraged hereunto by the Knowledge we have of 
Your Lordship's Judicious Relish of universal Learning 
and sublime Virtue, we beg the Favour of Your Ac 
ceptance of it, which will very much oblige our Family 
in general, and her in particular, who is, 

My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most humble Servant, 

ELIZABETH LITTELTON. 

[1716.] 



161 



THE PREFACE 

IF any One, after he has read Religio Media and the 
ensuing Discourse, can make Doubt whether the same 
Person was the Author of them both, he may be 
assured by the Testimony of Mrs. LITTELTON, Sr 
THOMAS BROWN'S Daughter, who lived with her Father 
when it was composed by Him, and who at the time 
read it written by his own Hand; and also by the 
Testimony of Others, (of whom I am One,) who read 
the MS. of the Author immediately after his Death, 
and who have since read the same ; from which it hath 
been faithfully and exactly transcribed for the Press. 
The Reason why it was not printed sooner is, because 
it was unhappily lost, by being mislay'd among other 
MSS. for which Search was lately made in the Presence 
of the Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, of which his 
Grace by Letter informed Mrs. LITTELTON, when he 
sent the MS. to her. There is nothing printed in the 
Discourse, or in the short notes, but what is found in 
the Original MS. of the Author, except only where an 
Oversight had made the Addition or Transposition of 
some words necessary. 

JOHN JEFFERY, 
ARCH-DEACON of NORWICH. 



162 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 



PART I 

TREAD softly and circumspectly in this funambu- 
latory Track and narrow Path of Goodness : 
pursue Virtue virtuously : leven not good Actions nor 
render Virtues disputable. Stain not fair Acts with 
foul Intentions : maim not Uprightness by halting Con 
comitances, nor circumstantially deprave substantial 
Goodness. 

Consider whereabout thou art in Cebes's Table, or 
that old Philosophical Pinax of the Life of Man: 
whether thou art yet in the Road of uncertainties; 
whether thou hast yet entred the narrow Gate, got up 
the Hill and asperous way, which leadeth unto the 
House of Sanity, or taken that purifying Potion from 
the hand of sincere Erudition, which may send thee 
clear and pure away unto a virtuous and happy Life. 

In this virtuous Voyage of thy Life hull not about like 
the Ark without the use of Rudder, Mast, or Sail, and 
bound for no Port. Let not disappointment cause 
Despondency, nor difficulty Despair. Think not that 
you are Sailing from Lima to Manillia, when you may 
fasten up the Rudder, and sleep before the Wind ; but 
163 



164 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

expect rough Seas, Flaws, and contrary Blasts ; and 'tis 
well if by many cross Tacks and Veerings you arrive 
at the Port ; for we sleep in Lyons Skins in our Prog 
ress unto Virtue, and we slide not, but climb unto it. 

Sit not down in the popular Forms and common 
Level of Virtues. Offer not only Peace- Offerings but 
Holocausts unto God : where all is due make no re 
serve, and cut not a Cummin Seed with the Almighty. 
To serve Him singly to serve our selves, were too 
partial a piece of Piety, not like to place us in the illus 
trious Mansions of Glory. 

Rest not in an Ovation, but a Triumph over thy 
Passions : let Anger walk hanging down the head ; let 
Malice go manicled, and Envy fetter'd after thee. 
Behold within thee the long train of thy Trophies, not 
without thee. Make the quarrelling Lapithytes sleep, 
and Centaurs within lye quiet. Chain up the unruly 
Legion of thy breast ; lead thine own captivity captive, 
and be Casar within thyself. 

He that is Chast and Continent not to impair his 
strength, or honest for fear of Contagion, will hardly be 
heroically virtuous. Adjourn not this virtue untill that 
temper, when Cato could lend out his Wife, and impo 
tent Satyrs write Satyrs upon Lust : But be chast in thy 
flaming Days, when Alexander dar'd not trust his eyes 
upon the fair Sisters of Darius, and when so many 
think there is no other way but Origen's. 

Show thy Art in Honesty, and loose not thy Virtue 
by the bad Managery of it. Be temperate and sober ; 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 165 

not to preserve your body in an ability for wanton 
ends ; not to avoid the infamy of common transgress 
ors that way, and thereby to hope to expiate or 
palliate obscure and closer vices ; not to spare your 
purse, nor simply to enjoy health ; but in one word, 
that thereby you may truly serve GOD, which every 
sickness will tell you you cannot well do without 
health. The sick Man's Sacrifice is but a lame Obla 
tion. Pious Treasures lay'd up in healthful days plead 
for sick non-performances; without which we must 
needs look back with anxiety upon the lost opportuni 
ties of health ; and may have cause rather to envy 
than pity the ends of penitent publick Sufferers, who 
go with healthful prayers unto the last Scene of their 
lives, and in the Integrity of their faculties return their 
Spirit unto GOD That gave it. 

Be Charitable before wealth make thee covetous, 
and loose not the glory of the Mite. If Riches en- 
crease, let thy mind hold pace with them ; and think 
it not enough to be Liberal, but Munificent. Though 
a Cup of cold water from some hand may not be with 
out it's reward, yet stick not thou for Wine and Oyl 
for the Wounds of the Distressed ; and treat the poor, 
as our Saviour did the Multitude, to the reliques of 
some baskets. Diffuse thy beneficence early, and 
while thy Treasures call thee Master : there may be 
an Atropos of thy Fortunes before that of thy Life, 
and thy wealth cut off before that hour, when all Men 
shall be poor ; for the Justice of Death looks equally 



1 66 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

upon the dead, and Charon expects no more from 
Alexander than from Irus. 

Give not only unto seven, but also unto eight, that 
is, unto more than many. Though to give unto every, 
one that asketh may seem severe advice, yet give thou 
also before asking, that is, where want is silently 
clamorous, and mens Necessities, not their Tongues, 
do loudly call for thy Mercies. For though some 
times necessitousness be dumb, or misery speak 
not out, yet true Charity is sagacious, and will find 
out hints for beneficence. Acquaint thy self with the 
Physiognomy of Want, and let the dead colours and 
first lines of necessity suffise to tell thee there is an 
object for thy bounty. Spare not where thou canst 
not easily be prodigal, and fear not to be undone by 
mercy. For since he who hath pity on the poor lend- 
eth unto the Almighty Rewarder, Who observes no 
Ides but every day for His payments, Charity becomes 
pious Usury, Christian Liberality the most thriving 
industry, and what we adventure in a Cockboat may 
return in a Carrack unto us. He who thus casts his 
bread upon the Water shall surely find it again ; for 
though it falleth to the bottom, it sinks but like the 
Ax of the Prophet, to arise again unto him. 

If Avarice be thy Vice, yet make it not thy Punish 
ment. Miserable men commiserate not themselves, 
bowelless unto others, and merciless unto their own 
bowels. Let the fruition of things bless the possession 
of them, and think it more satisfaction to live richly 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 167 

than dye rich. For since thy good works, not thy 
goods, will follow thee ; since wealth is an apperti- 
nance of life, and no dead Man is Rich ; to famish in 
Plenty, and live poorly to dye Rich, were a multiply 
ing improvement in Madness, and use upon use in 
Folly. 

Trust not to the Omnipotency of Gold, and say not 
unto it, Thou art my Confidence. Kiss not thy hand 
to that Terrestrial Sun, nor bore thy ear unto its ser 
vitude. A Slave unto Mammon makes no servant 
unto GOD. Covetousness cracks the sinews of Faith ; 
numbs the apprehension of any thing above sense, and 
only affected with the certainty of things present, 
makes a peradventure of things to come; lives but 
unto one World, nor hopes but fears another ; makes 
their own death sweet unto others, bitter unto them 
selves ; brings formal sadness, scenical mourning, and 
no wet eyes at the grave. 

Persons lightly dipt, not grain'd in generous Hon 
esty, are but pale in Goodness, and faint hued in 
Integrity. But be thou what thou vertuously art, and 
let not the Ocean wash away thy Tincture. Stand 
magnetically upon that Axis, where prudent simplicity 
hath fixt thee ; and let no attraction invert the Poles 
of thy Honesty. That Vice may be uneasy and even 
monstrous unto thee, let iterated good Acts and long 
confirmed habits make Virtue almost natural, or a sec 
ond nature in thee. Since virtuous superstructions 
have commonly generous foundations, dive into thy 



1 68 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

inclinations, and early discover what nature bids thee 
to be, or tells thee thou may'st be. They who thus 
timely descend into themselves, and cultivate the 
good seeds which nature hath set in them, prove not 
shrubs but Cedars in their generation ; and to be in 
the form of the best of the Bad, or the worst of the 
Good, will be no satisfaction unto them. 

Make not the consequence of Virtue the ends 
thereof. Be not beneficent for a name or Cymbal 
of applause, nor exact and just in Commerce for the 
advantages of Trust and Credit, which attend the 
reputation of true and punctual dealing; for these 
Rewards, though unsought for, plain Virtue will bring 
with her. To have other by-ends in good actions 
sowers Laudable performances, which must have 
deeper roots, motives, and instigations, to give them 
the stamp of Virtues. 

Let not the Law of thy Country be the non ultra of 
thy Honesty ; nor think that always good enough 
which the Law will make good. Narrow not the Law 
of Charity, Equity, Mercy; joyn Gospel Righteous 
ness with Legal Right ; be not a mere Gamaliel in the 
Faith, but let the Sermon in the Mount be thy Targum 
unto the Law of Sinah. 

Live by old Ethicks and the classical Rules of 
Honesty. Put no new names or notions upon 
Authentick Virtues and Vices. Think not that Mo 
rality is Ambulatory; that Vices in one age are not 
Vices in another; or that Virtues, which are under 






CHRISTIAN MORALS 169 

the everlasting Seal of right Reason, may be Stamped 
by Opinion. And therefore, though vicious times in 
vert the opinions of things, and set up a new Ethicks 
against Virtue, yet hold thou unto old Morality ; and 
rather than follow a multitude to do evil, stand like 
Pompey's Pillar conspicuous by thy self, and single in 
Integrity. And since the worst of times afford imi- 
table Examples of Virtue, since no Deluge of Vice is 
like to be so general but more than eight will escape ; 
eye well those Heroes who have held their Heads 
above Water, who have touched Pitch and not been 
defiled, and in the common Contagion have remained 
uncorrupted. 

Let Age, not Envy, draw wrinkles on thy cheeks ; 
be content to be envy'd, but envy not. Emulation 
may be plausible, and Indignation allowable ; but ad 
mit no treaty with that passion which no circumstance 
can make good. A displacency at the good of others 
because they enjoy it, though not unworthy of it, is an 
absurd depravity, sticking fast unto corrupted nature, 
and often too hard for Humility and Charity, the great 
Suppressors of Envy. This surely is a Lyon not to be 
strangled but by Hercules himself, or the highest stress 
of our minds, and an Atom of that power which sub- 
dueth all things unto it self. 

Owe not thy Humility unto humiliation from ad 
versity, but look humbly down in that State when 
others look upwards upon thee. Think not thy own 
shadow longer than that of others, nor delight to take 



I/O CHRISTIAN MORALS 

the Altitude of thy self. Be patient in the age of 
Pride, when Men live by short intervals of Reason 
under the dominion of Humor and Passion, when it's 
in the Power of every one to transform thee out of thy 
self, and run thee into the short madness. If you can 
not imitate Job, yet come not short of Socrates, and 
those patient Pagans who tired the Tongues of their 
Enemies, while they perceived they spit their malice 
at brazen Walls and Statues. 

Let not the Sun in Capricorn go down upon thy 
wrath, but write thy wrongs in Ashes. Draw the 
Curtain of night upon injuries, shut them up in the 
Tower of Oblivion, and let them be as though they 
had not been. To forgive our Enemies, yet hope that 
GOD will punish them, is not to forgive enough ; to for 
give them our selves, and not to pray GOD to forgive 
them, is a partial piece of Charity : forgive thine en 
emies totally, and without any reserve, that however 
GOD will revenge thee. 

While thou so hotly disclaimest the Devil, be not 
guilty of Diabolism. Fall not into one name with 
that unclean Spirit, nor act his nature whom thou so 
much abhorrest ; that is to accuse, calumniate, back 
bite, whisper, detract, or sinistrously interpret others ; 
degenerous depravities, and narrow minded vices, not 
only below St. Paul's noble Christian, but Aristotle's 
true Gentleman. Trust not with some that the 
Epistle of St. James is Apocryphal, and so read with 
less fear that Stabbing Truth, that in company with 



CHRISTIAN MORALS i;i 

this vice thy Religion is in vain. Moses broke the 
Tables without breaking of the Law ; but where Char 
ity is broke, the Law it self is shattered, which cannot 
be whole without Love, which is the fulfilling of it. 
Look humbly upon thy Virtues, and though thou art 
Rich in some, yet think thy self Poor and Naked 
without that Crowning Grace, which thinketh no evil, 
which envieth not, which beareth, hopeth, believeth, 
endureth all things. With these sure Graces, while 
busy Tongues are crying out for a drop of cold Water, 
mutes may be in happiness, and sing the Trisagion in 
Heaven. 

However thy understanding may waver in the 
Theories of True and False, yet fasten the Rudder of 
thy Will, steer strait unto good, and fall not foul on 
evil. Imagination is apt to rove, and conjecture to 
keep no bounds. Some have run out so far, as to 
fancy the Stars might be but the light of the Crystal 
line Heaven shot through perforations on the bodies 
of the Orbs. Others more ingeniously doubt whether 
there hath not been a vast tract of land in the Atlan- 
tick Ocean, which Earthquakes and violent causes 
have long ago devoured. Speculative Misapprehen 
sions may be innocuous, but immorality pernicious : 
Theorical mistakes and Physical Deviations may con 
demn our Judgments, not lead us into Judgment ; but 
perversity of Will, immoral and sinfull enormities walk 
with Adraste and Nemesis at their Backs, pursue us 
unto Judgment, and leave us viciously miserable. 



i;2 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

Bid early defiance unto those Vices which are of 
thine inward Family, and having a root in thy Temper 
plead a right and propriety in thee. Raise timely 
batteries against those strong holds built upon the 
Rock of Nature, and make this a great part of the 
Militia of thy life. Delude not thy self into iniquities 
from participation or community, which abate the 
sense but not the obliquity of them. To conceive 
sins less, or less of sins, because others also transgress, 
were morally to commit that natural fallacy of Man, to 
take comfort from Society, and think adversities less, 
because others also suffer them. The politick nature 
of Vice must be opposed by Policy, and therefore 
wiser Honesties project and plot against it ; wherein 
notwithstanding we are not to rest in generals, or the 
trite Stratagems of Art. That may succeed with one 
which may prove successless with another: there is 
no community or common-weal of Virtue ; every man 
must study his own oeconomy, and adapt such rules 
unto the figure of himself. 

Be substantially great in thy self, and more than 
thou appearest unto others; and let the World be 
deceived in thee, as they are in the Lights of Heaven. 
Hang early plummets upon the heels of Pride, and let 
Ambition have but an Epicycle and narrow circuit in 
thee. Measure not thy self by thy morning shadow, 
but by the extent of thy grave ; and Reckon thy self 
above the Earth by the line thou must be contented 
with under it. Spread not into boundless Expansions 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 173 

either of designs or desires. Think not that mankind 
liveth but for a few, and that the rest are born but to 
serve those Ambitions, which make but flies of Men 
and wildernesses of whole Nations. Swell not into 
vehement actions which imbroil and confound the 
Earth ; but be one of those violent ones which force 
the Kingdom of Heaven. If thou must needs rule, 
be Zeno's King, and enjoy that Empire which every 
Man gives himself. He who is thus his own Monarch 
contentedly sways the Scepter of himself, not envying 
the Glory of Crowned Heads and Elohims of the 
Earth. Could the World unite in the practise of that 
despised train of Virtues, which the Divine Ethicks of 
our Saviour hath so inculcated unto us, the furious 
face of things must disappear, Eden would be yet to 
be found, and the Angels might look down not with 
pity, but Joy upon us. 

Though the Quickness of thine Ear were able to 
reach the noise of the Moon, which some think it 
maketh in it's rapid revolution ; though the number of 
thy Ears should equal Argus his Eyes ; yet stop them 
all with the wise man's wax, and be deaf unto the sug 
gestions of Tale-bearers, Calumniators, Pickthank or 
Malevolent Delators, who, while quiet Men sleep, sowing 
the Tares of discord and division, distract the tranquil 
lity of Charity and all friendly Society. These are the 
Tongues that set the world on fire, cankers of reputa 
tion, and, like that of Jonas his Gourd, wither a good 
name in a night. Evil Spirits may sit still while these 



1/4 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

Spirits walk about, and perform the business of Hell. 
To speak more strictly, our corrupted hearts are the 
Factories of the Devil, which may be at work without 
his presence. For when that circumventing Spirit 
hath drawn Malice, Envy, and all unrighteousness unto 
well rooted habits in his disciples, iniquity then goes 
on upon its own legs, and if the gate of Hell were 
shut up for a time, Vice would still be fertile and pro 
duce the fruits of Hell. Thus when GOD forsakes us, 
Satan also leaves us : for such offenders he looks upon 
as sure and sealed up, and his temptations then need 
less unto them. 

Annihilate not the Mercies of GOD by the Oblivion 
of Ingratitude. For Oblivion is a kind of Annihila 
tion, and for things to be as though they had not been 
is like unto never being. Make not thy Head a Grave, 
but a Repository of GOD'S mercies. Though thou 
hadst the Memory of Seneca, or Simonides, and Con 
science the punctual Memorist within us, yet trust not 
to thy Remembrance in things which need Phylacte 
ries. Register not only strange, but merciful occur 
rences. Let Ephemerides not Olympiads give thee 
account of His mercies. Let thy Diaries stand thick 
with dutiful Mementos and Asterisks of acknowledg 
ment. And to be compleat and forget nothing, date 
not His mercy from thy nativity; look beyond the 
World, and before the ^Era of Adam. 

Paint not the Sepulcher of thy self, and strive not to 
beautify thy corruption. Be not an Advocate for thy 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 175 

Vices, nor call for many Hour-Glasses to justify thy 
imperfections. Think not that always good which 
thou thinkest thou canst always make good, nor that 
concealed which the Sun doth not behold. That which 
the Sun doth not now see will be visible when the Sun 
is out, and the Stars are fallen from Heaven. Mean 
while there is no darkness unto Conscience, which can 
see without Light, and in the deepest obscurity give a 
clear Draught of things, which the Cloud of dissimu 
lation hath conceal'd from all eyes. There is a natural 
standing Court within us, examining, acquitting, and 
condemning at the Tribunal of our selves, wherein in 
iquities have their natural Theta's, and no nocent is 
absolved by the verdict of himself. And therefore, al 
though our transgressions shall be tryed at the last bar, 
the process need not be long ; for the Judge of all 
knoweth all, and every Man will nakedly know himself; 
and when so few are like to plead not Guilty, the As 
size must soon have an end. 

Comply with some humors, bear with others, but 
serve none. Civil complacency consists with decent 
honesty : Flattery is a Juggler, and no kin unto Sin 
cerity. But while thou maintainest the plain path, 
and scornest to flatter others, fall not into self Adula 
tion, and become not thine own Parasite. Be deaf 
unto thy self, and be not betrayed at home. Self- 
credulity, pride, and levity lead unto self-Idolatry. 
There is no Damocles like unto self opinion, nor any 
Siren to our own fawning Conceptions. To magnify our 



1/6 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

minor things, or hug our selves in our apparitions ; to 
afford a credulous Ear unto the clawing suggestions of 
fancy; to pass our days in painted mistakes of our 
selves ; and though we behold our own blood, to think 
our selves the Sons of Jupiter ; are blandishments of 
self love, worse than outward delusion. By this Im 
posture Wise Men sometimes are mistaken in their 
Elevation, and look above themselves ; and Fools, 
which are Antipodes unto the Wise, conceive them 
selves to be but their Perioeci, and in the same parallel 
with them. 

Be not a Hercules furens abroad, and a Poltron 
within thy self. To chase our enemies out of the Field, 
and be led captive by our Vices ; to beat down our 
Foes, and fall down to our Concupiscences ; are Sole 
cisms in Moral Schools, and no Laurel attends them. 
To well manage our Affections and wild Horses of 
Plato, are the highest Circenses ; and the noblest 
Digladiation is in the Theatre of our selves : for therein 
our inward Antagonists, not only like common Gladia 
tors, with ordinary Weapons and down right Blows 
make at us, but also like Retiary and Laqueary Comba 
tants, with Nets, Frauds, and Entanglements fall upon 
us. Weapons for such combats are not to be forged 
at Lipara : Vulcan's Art doth nothing in this internal 
Militia ; wherein not the Armour of Achilles, but the 
Armature of St. Paul, gives the Glorious day, and Tri 
umphs not Leading up into Capitols, but up into 
the highest Heavens. And therefore, while so many 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 



think it the only valour to command and master others, 
study thou the Dominion of thy self, and quiet thine 
own Commotions. Let Right Reason be thy Lycur- 
gus, and lift up thy hand unto the Law of it ; move by 
the Intelligences of the superiour Faculties, not by the 
Rapt of Passion, nor merely by that of Temper and 
Constitution. They who are merely carried on by the 
Wheel of such Inclinations, without the Hand and 
Guidance of Sovereign Reason, are but the Automatous 
part of mankind, rather lived than living, or at least 
underliving themselves. 

Let not Fortune, which hath no name in Scripture, 
have any in thy Divinity. Let Providence, not Chance, 
have the honour of thy acknowledgments, and be thy 
Oedipus in Contingences. Mark well the Paths and 
winding Ways thereof ; but be not too wise in the Con 
struction, or sudden in the Application. The Hand of 
Providence writes often by Abbreviatures, Hierogly- 
phicks or short Characters, which, like the Laconism 
on the Wall, are not to be made out but by a Hint or 
Key from that Spirit which indited them. Leave future 
occurrences to their uncertainties, think that which is 
present thy own ; and since 'tis easier to foretell an 
Eclipse, than a foul Day at some distance, look for 
little regular below. Attend with patience the uncer 
tainty of Things, and what lieth yet unexerted in the 
Chaos of Futurity. The uncertainty and ignorance of 
Things to come makes the World new unto us by un 
expected Emergences, whereby we pass not our days 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 



in the trite road of affairs affording no Novity ; for the 
novellizing Spirit of Man lives by variety and the new 
Faces of Things. 

Though a contented Mind enlargeth the dimension 
of little things, and unto some 'tis Wealth enough not 
to be Poor, and others are well content, if they be but 
Rich enough to be Honest, and to give every Man his 
due ; yet fall not into that obsolete Affectation of Bra 
very to throw away thy Money, and to reject all Hon 
ours or honourable stations in this courtly and splendid 
World. Old Generosity is superannuated, and such con 
tempt of the World out of date. No Man is now like 
to refuse the favour of great ones, or be content to say 
unto Princes, Standout of my Sun. And if any there 
be of such antiquated Resolutions, they are not like 
to be tempted out of them by great ones ; and 'tis fair 
if they escape the name of Hypocondriacks from the 
Genius of latter times, unto whom contempt of the 
World is the most contemptible opinion, and to be able, 
like Bias, to carry all they have about them were to be 
the eighth Wise-man. However, the old tetrick Phi 
losophers look'd always with Indignation upon such a 
Face of Things, and observing the unnatural current of 
Riches, Power, and Honour in the World, and withall 
the imperfection and demerit of persons often advanced 
unto them, were tempted unto angry Opinions, that 
Affairs were ordered more by Stars than Reason, and 
that things went on rather by Lottery than Election. 

If thy Vessel be but small in the Ocean of this 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 179 

World, if Meanness of Possessions be thy allotment 
upon Earth, forget not those Virtues which the great 
Disposer of all bids thee to entertain from thy Quality 
and Condition, that is, Submission, Humility, Content 
of mind, and Industry. Content may dwell in all 
Stations. To be low, but above contempt, may be 
high enough to be Happy. But many of low Degree 
may be higher than computed, and some Cubits above 
the common Commensuration ; for in all States Virtue 
gives Qualifications and Allowances, which make out 
defects. Rough Diamonds are sometimes mistaken 
for Pebbles, and Meanness may be Rich in Accomplish 
ments, which Riches in vain desire. If our merits be 
above our Stations, if our intrinsecal Value be greater 
than what we go for, or our Value than our Valuation, 
and if we stand higher in GOD'S, than in the Censor's 
Book; it may make some equitable balance in the 
inequalities of this World, and there may be no such 
vast Chasm or Gulph between disparities as common 
Measures determine. The Divine Eye looks upon high 
and low differently from that of Man. They who seem 
to stand upon Olympus, and high mounted unto our 
eyes, may be but in the Valleys and low Ground unto 
His ; for He looks upon those as highest who nearest 
approach His Divinity, and upon those as lowest who 
are farthest from it. 

When thou lookest upon the Imperfections of others, 
allow one Eye for what is Laudable in them, and the 
balance they have from some excellency, which may 



ISO CHRISTIAN MORALS 

render them considerable. While we look with fear or 
hatred upon the Teeth of the Viper, we may behold his 
Eye with love. In venemous Natures something may 
be amiable : Poysons afford Antipoysons : nothing is 
totally, or altogether uselesly bad. Notable Virtues 
are sometimes dashed with notorious Vices, and in 
some vicious tempers have been found illustrious Acts 
of Virtue ; which makes such observable worth in some 
actions of King Demetrius, Antonius, and Ahab, as 
are not to be found in the same kind in Aristides, 
Numa, or David. Constancy, Generosity, Clemency, 
and Liberality have been highly conspicuous in some 
Persons not markt out in other concerns for Example 
or Imitation. But since Goodness is exemplary in all, 
if others have not our Virtues, let us not be wanting in 
theirs, nor, scorning them for their Vices whereof we 
are free, be condemned by their Virtues wherein we 
are deficient. There is Dross, Alloy, and Embasement 
in all human Temper ; and he flieth without Wings, 
who thinks to find Ophyr or pure Metal in any. For 
perfection is not, like Light, center'd in any one Body ; 
but, like the dispersed Seminalities of Vegetables at 
the Creation, scattered through the whole Mass of the 
Earth, no place producing all, and almost all some. 
So that 'tis well, if a perfect Man can be made out of 
many Men, and, to the perfect Eye of GOD, even out 
of Mankind. Time, which perfects some Things, im 
perfects also others. Could we intimately apprehend 
the Ideated Man, and as he stood in the intellect of 



CHRISTIAN MORALS l8l 

GOD upon the first exertion by Creation, we might 
more narrowly comprehend our present Degeneration, 
and how widely we are fallen from the pure Exemplar 
and Idea of our Nature : for after this corruptive Elon 
gation from a primitive and pure Creation, we are 
almost lost in Degeneration ; and Adam hath not only 
fallen from his Creator, but we our selves from Adam, 
our Tycho and primary Generator. 

Quarrel not rashly with Adversities not yet under 
stood, and overlook not the Mercies often bound up in 
them; for we consider not sufficiently the good of 
Evils, nor fairly compute the Mercies of Providence in 
things afflictive at first hand. The famous Andreas 
Doria being invited to a Feast by Aloysio Fieschi with 
design to Kill him, just the night before fell mercifully 
into a fit of the Gout, and so escaped that mischief. 
When Cato intended to kill himself, from a blow which 
he gave his servant, who would not reach his Sword 
unto him, his Hand so swell'd that he had much ado 
to effect his design. Hereby any one but a resolved 
Stoick might have taken a fair hint of consideration, 
and that some mercifull Genius would have contrived 
his preservation. To be sagacious in such intercur- 
rences is not Superstition, but wary and pious Discre 
tion : and to contemn such hints were to be deaf unto 
the speaking hand of GOD, wherein Socrates and Car 
dan would hardly have been mistaken. 

Break not open the gate of Destruction, and make 
no haste or bustle unto Ruin. Post not heedlesly on 



182 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

unto the non ultra of Folly, or precipice of Perdition. 
Let vicious ways have their Tropicks and Deflexions, 
and swim in the Waters of Sin but as in the Asphaltick 
Lake, though smeared and defiled, not to sink to the 
bottom. If thou hast dipt thy foot in the Brink, yet 
venture not over Rubicon : run not into Extremities 
from whence there is no regression. In the vicious 
ways of the World it mercifully falleth out that we 
become not extempore wicked, but it taketh some time 
and pains to undo ourselves. We fall not from Virtue, 
like Vulcan from Heaven, in a day. Bad Dispositions 
require some time to grow into bad Habits, bad Habits 
must undermine good, and often repeated acts make 
us habitually evil : so that by gradual depravations, and 
while we are but staggeringly evil, we are not left with 
out Parentheses of considerations, thoughtful rebukes, 
and merciful interventions, to recal us unto our selves. 
For the Wisdom of GOD hath methodiz'd the course of 
things unto the best advantage of goodness, and think 
ing Considerators overlook not the tract thereof. 

Since Men and Women have their proper Virtues 
and Vices, and even Twins of different sexes have not 
only distinct coverings in the Womb, but different 
qualities and virtuous Habits after; transplace not 
their Proprieties and confound not their Distinctions. 
Let Masculine and feminine accomplishments shine in 
their proper Orbs, and adorn their respective subjects. 
However unite not the Vices of both Sexes in one ; be not 
Monstrous in Iniquity, nor Hermaphroditically Vitious. 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 183 

If generous Honesty, Valour, and plain Dealing, be 
the Cognisance of thy Family or Characteristick of thy 
Country, hold fast such inclinations suckt in with thy 
first Breath, and which lay in the Cradle with thee. 
Fall not into transforming degenerations, which under 
the old name create a new Nation. Be not an Alien 
in thine own Nation ; bring not Orontes into Tiber ; 
learn the Virtues not the Vices of thy foreign Neigh 
bours, and make thy imitation by discretion not 
contagion. Feel something of thy self in the noble 
Acts of thy Ancestors, and find in thine own Genius 
that of thy Predecessors. Rest not under the Expired 
merits of others, shine by those of thy own. Flame 
not like the central fire which enlightneth no Eyes, 
which no Man seeth, and most men think there's no 
such thing to be seen. Add one Ray unto the com 
mon Lustre; add not only to the Number but the 
Note of thy Generation ; and prove not a Cloud but 
an Asterisk in thy Region. 

Since thou hast an Alarum in thy Breast, which 
tells thee thou hast a Living Spirit in thee above two 
thousand times in an hour ; dull not away thy Days 
in sloathful supinity and the tediousnesss of doing 
nothing. To strenuous Minds there is an inquietude 
in overquietness, and no laboriousness in labour ; and 
to tread a mile after the slow pace of a Snail, or the 
heavy measures of the Lazy of Brazilia, were a most 
tiring Pennance, and worse than a Race of some fur 
longs at the Olympicks. The rapid courses of the 



1 84 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

heavenly bodies are rather imitable by our Thoughts 
than our corporeal Motions ; yet the solemn motions 
of our lives amount unto a greater measure than is 
commonly apprehended. Some few men have sur 
rounded the Globe of the Earth ; yet many in the set 
Locomotions and movements of their days have 
measured the circuit of it, and twenty thousand miles 
have been exceeded by them. Move circumspectly 
not meticulously, and rather carefully sollicitous than 
anxiously sollicitudinous. Think not there is a Lyon 
in the way, nor walk with Leaden Sandals in the paths 
of Goodness ; but in all Virtuous motions let Prudence 
determine thy measures. Strive not to run like Her 
cules, a furlong in a breath : Festination may prove 
Precipitation ; deliberating delay may be wise cuncta- 
tion, and slowness no sloathfulness. 

Since Virtuous Actions have their own Trumpets, 
and without any noise from thy self will have their 
resound abroad, busy not thy best Member in the 
Encomium of thy self. Praise is a debt we owe unto 
the Virtues of others, and due unto our own from all, 
whom Malice hath not made Mutes, or Envy struck 
Dumb. Fall not however into the common prevari 
cating way of self commendation and boasting, by 
denoting the imperfections of others. He who dis- 
commendeth others obliquely commendeth himself. 
He who whispers their infirmities proclaims his own 
Exemption from them, and consequently says, / am 
not as this Publican, or Hie niger, whom I talk of. 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 185 

Open ostentation and loud vainglory is more tolerable 
than this obliquity, as but containing some Froath no 
Ink ; as but consisting of a personal piece of folly, 
nor complicated with uncharitableness. Superfluously 
we seek a precarious applause abroad : every good 
Man hath his pla udite within himself; and though his 
Tongue be silent, is not without loud Cymbals in his 
Breast. Conscience will become his Panegyrist, and 
never forget to crown and extol him unto himself. 

Bless not thy self only that thou wert born in 
Athens ; but among thy multiplyed acknowledgments 
lift up one hand unto Heaven, that thou wert born of 
Honest Parents, that Modesty, Humility, Patience, 
and Veracity lay in the same Egg, and came into the 
World with thee. From such foundations thou may'st 
be Happy in a Virtuous precocity, and make an early 
and long walk in Goodness; so may'st thou more 
naturally feel the contrariety of Vice unto Nature, and 
resist some by the Antidote of thy Temper. As 
Charity covers, so Modesty preventeth, a multitude of 
sins ; withholding from noon-day Vices and brazen- 
brow'd Iniquities, from sinning on the house top, and 
painting our follies with the rays of the Sun. Where 
this Virtue reigneth, though Vice may show its Head, 
it cannot be in its Glory : where shame of sin sets, 
look not for Virtue to arise ; for when Modesty taketh 
Wing, Astraea goes soon after. 

The Heroical vein of Mankind runs much in the 
Souldiery, and couragious part of the World ; and in 



1 86 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

that form we oftenest find Men above Men. History 
is full of the gallantry of that Tribe ; and when we 
read their notable Acts, we easily find what a differ 
ence there is between a Life in Plutarch and in Laer- 
tius. Where true Fortitude dwells, Loyalty, Bounty, 
Friendship, and Fidelity may be found. A man may 
confide in persons constituted for noble ends, who 
dare do and suffer, and who have a Hand to burn for 
their Country and their Friend. Small and creeping 
things are the product of petty Souls. He is like to 
be mistaken, who makes choice of a covetous Man 
for a Friend, or relieth upon the Reed of narrow and 
poltron Friendship. Pityful things are only to be 
found in the cottages of such Breasts; but bright 
Thoughts, clear Deeds, Constancy, Fidelity, Bounty, 
and generous Honesty are the Gems of noble Minds ; 
wherein (to derogate from none,) the true Heroick 
English Gentleman hath no Peer. 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 



PART II 

PUNISH not thy self with Pleasure ; glut not thy 
sense with palative Delights; nor revenge the 
contempt of Temperance by the penalty of Satiety. 
Were there an Age of delight or any pleasure durable, 
who would not honour Volupia ? but the Race of De 
light is short, and Pleasures have mutable faces. The 
pleasures of one age are not pleasures in another, and 
their Lives fall short of our own. Even in our sensual 
days the strength of delight is in its seldomness or 
rarity, and sting in its satiety : Mediocrity is its Life, 
and immoderacy its Confusion. The luxurious Em 
perors of old inconsiderately satiated themselves with 
the Dainties of Sea and Land, till, wearied through all 
varieties, their refections became a study unto them, 
and they were fain to feed by Invention : Novices in 
true Epicurism ! which by mediocrity, paucity, quick 
and healthful Appetite, makes delights smartly accept 
able ; whereby Epicurus himself found Jupiter's brain 
in a piece of Cytheridian Cheese, and the Tongues of 
Nightingals in a dish of Onyons. Hereby healthful 
and temperate poverty hath the start of nauseating 
187 



1 88 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

Luxury ; unto whose clear and naked appetite every 
meal is a feast, and in one single dish the first course 
of Metellus ; who are cheaply hungry, and never loose 
their hunger, or advantage of a craving appetite, be 
cause obvious food contents it ; while Nero half fam- 
ish'd could not feed upon a piece of Bread, and lingring 
after his snowed water, hardly got down an ordinary 
cup of Calda. By such circumscriptions of pleasure 
the contemned Philosophers reserved unto themselves 
the secret of Delight, which the Hellud 1 ?, of those days 
lost in their exorbitances. In vain we study Delight : 
it is at the command of every sober Mind, and in 
every sense born with us ; but Nature, who teacheth 
us the rule of pleasure, instructeth also in the bounds 
thereof, and where its line expireth. And therefore 
temperate Minds, not pressing their pleasures until the 
sting appeareth, enjoy their contentations contentedly 
and without regret, and so escape the folly of excess, 
to be pleased unto displacency. 

Bring candid Eyes unto the perusal of mens works, 
and let not Zoilism or Detraction blast well-intended 
labours. He that endureth no faults in mens writings 
must only read his own, wherein for the most part all 
appeareth white. Quotation mistakes, inadvertency, 
expedition, and human Lapses, may make not only 
Moles but Warts in learned Authors, who notwith 
standing, being judged by the capital matter, admit 
not of disparagement. I should unwillingly affirm that 
Cicero was but slightly versed in Homer, because in 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 189 

his Work De Gloria he ascribed those verses unto 
Ajax, which were delivered by Hector. What if Plau- 
tus in the account of Hercules mistaketh nativity for 
conception? Who would have mean thoughts of 
Apollinaris Sidonius, who seems to mistake the River 
Tigris for Euphrates ; and, though a good Historian 
and learned Bishop of Auvergne, had the misfortune 
to be out in the Story of David, making mention of 
him when the Ark was sent back by the Philistins 
upon a Cart ; which was before his time ? Though I 
have no great opinion of Machiavel's Learning, yet I 
shall not presently say, that he was but a Novice in 
Roman History, because he was mistaken in placing 
Commodus after the Emperour Severus. Capital 
Truths are to be narrowly eyed, collateral Lapses and 
circumstantial deliveries not to be too strictly sifted. 
And if the substantial subject be well forged out, we 
need not examine the sparks which irregularly fly from it. 
Let well-weighed Considerations, not stiff and per 
emptory Assumptions, guide thy discourses, Pen, and 
Actions. To begin or continue our works like 
Trismegistus of old, Verum, certe verum, atque veris- 
simum est, would sound arrogantly unto present Ears 
in this strict enquiring Age, wherein, for the most part, 
Probably, and Perhaps, will hardly serve to mollify the 
Spirit of captious Contradictors. If Cardan saith that 
a Parrot is a beautiful Bird, Scaliger will set his Wits 
o' work to prove it a deformed Animal. The Corn- 
page of all Physical Truths is not so closely jointed, 



1 9O CHRISTIAN MORALS 

but opposition may find intrusion, nor always so 
closely maintained, as not to suffer attrition. Many 
Positions seem quodlibetically constituted, and like a 
Delphian Blade will cut on both sides. Some Truths 
seem almost Falshoods, and some Falshoods almost 
Truths; wherein Falshood and Truth seem almost 
sequilibriously stated, and but a few grains of distinc 
tion to bear down the ballance. Some have digged 
deep, yet glanced by the Royal Vein ; and a Man may 
come unto the Pericardium, but not the Heart of 
Truth. Besides, many things are known, as some are 
seen, that is by Parallaxis, or at some distance from 
their true and proper beings, the superficial regard of 
things having a different aspect from their true and 
central Natures. And this moves sober Pens unto 
suspensory and timorous assertions, nor presently to 
obtrude them as Sibyls leaves, which after considera 
tions may find to be but folious apparences, and not 
the central and vital interiours of Truth. 

Value the Judicious, and let not mere acquests in 
minor parts of Learning gain thy preexistimation. 
'Tis an unjust way of compute to magnify a weak 
Head for some Latin abilities, and to undervalue a 
solid Judgment, because he knows not the genealogy 
of Hector. When that notable King of France would 
have his Son to know but one sentence in Latin, had 
it been a good one, perhaps it had been enough. 
Natural parts and good Judgments rule the World. 
States are not governed by Ergotisms. Many have ruled 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 191 

well who could not perhaps define a Commonwealth, 
and they who understand not the Globe of the Earth 
command a great part of it. Where natural Logick 
prevails not, artificial too often faileth. Where Nature 
fills the Sails, the Vessel goes smoothly on, and 
when Judgment is the Pilot, the Ensurance need not 
be high. When Industry builds upon Nature, we 
may expect Pyramids : where that foundation is want 
ing, the structure must be low. They do most by 
Books, who could do much without them, and he that 
chiefly ows himself unto himself is the substantial 
Man. 

Let thy Studies be free as thy Thoughts and Con 
templations, but fly not only upon the wings of Imagi 
nation ; joyn Sense unto Reason, and Experiment unto 
Speculation, and so give life unto Embryon Truths, 
and Verities yet in their Chaos. There is nothing 
more acceptable unto the ingenious World, than this 
noble Eluctation of Truth ; wherein, against the te 
nacity of Prejudice and Prescription, this Century now 
prevaileth. What Libraries of new Volumes aftertimes 
will behold, and in what a new World of Knowledge 
the eyes of our Posterity may be happy, a few Ages 
may joyfully declare ; and is but a cold thought unto 
those who cannot hope to behold this Exantlation 
of Truth, or that obscured Virgin half out of the Pit. 
Which might make some content with a commutation 
of the time of their lives, and to commend the Fancy 
of the Pythagorean metempsychosis ; whereby they 



1 92 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

might hope to enjoy this happiness in their third or 
fourth selves, and behold that in Pythagoras, which 
they now but foresee in Euphorbus. The World, 
which took but six days to make, is like to take six 
thousand to make out : mean while old Truths voted 
down begin to resume their places, and new ones 
arise upon us; wherein there is no comfort in the 
happiness of Tully's Elizium, or any satisfaction from 
the Ghosts of the Ancients, who knew so little of 
what is now well known. Men disparage not Antiquity, 
who prudently exalt new Enquiries, and make not 
them the Judges of Truth, who were but fellow En 
quirers of it. Who can but magnify the Endeavors of 
Aristotle, and the noble start which Learning had 
under him ; or less than pitty the slender progression 
made upon such advantages, while many Centuries 
were lost in repetitions and transcriptions sealing up 
the Book of Knowledge ? And therefore, rather than 
to swell the leaves of Learning by fruitless Repetitions, 
to sing the same Song in all Ages, nor adventure at 
Essays beyond the attempt of others, many would be 
content that some would write like Helmont or Para 
celsus ; and be willing to endure the monstrosity of 
some opinions, for divers singular notions requiting 
such aberrations. 

Despise not the obliquities of younger ways, nor 
despair of better things whereof there is yet no prospect. 
Who would imagine that Diogenes, who in his younger 
days was a falsifier of Money, should in the after-course of 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 



193 



his Life be so great a contemner of Metal? Some 
Negros, who believe the Resurrection, think that they 
shall rise white. Even in this life Regeneration may 
imitate Resurrection, our black and vitious tinctures 
may wear off, and goodness cloath us with candour. 
Good Admonitions knock not always in vain. There 
will be signal Examples of GOD'S mercy, and the Angels 
must not want their charitable Rejoyces for the con 
version of lost Sinners. Figures of most Angles do 
nearest approach unto Circles, which have no Angles 
at all. Some may be near unto goodness, who are 
conceived far from it, and many things happen, not 
likely to ensue from any promises of Antecedencies. 
Culpable beginnings have found commendable con 
clusions, and infamous courses pious retractations. 
Detestable Sinners have proved exemplary Converts 
on Earth, and may be glorious in the Apartment of 
Mary Magdalen in Heaven. Men are not the same 
through all divisions of their Ages. Time, Experience, 
self-Reflexions, and GOD'S mercies, make in some 
well-temper'd minds a kind of translation before Death, 
and Men to differ from themselves as well as from 
other Persons. Hereof the old World afforded many 
Examples to the infamy of latter Ages, wherein Men 
too often live by the rule of their inclinations ; so that, 
without any astral prediction, the first day gives the last. 
Men are commonly as they were ; or rather, as bad 
dispositions run into worser habits, the Evening doth 
not crown, but sowerly conclude the Day. 



IQ4 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

If the Almighty will not spare us according to His 
merciful capitulation at Sodom, if His Goodness please 
not to pass over a great deal of Bad for a small 
pittance of Good, or to look upon us in the Lump ; 
there is slender hope for Mercy, or sound presump 
tion of fulfilling half his Will, either in Persons or 
Nations : they who excel in some Virtues being so 
often defective in others ; few Men driving at the 
extent and amplitude of Goodness, but computing 
themselves by their best parts, and others by their 
worst, are content to rest in those Virtues which 
others commonly want. Which makes this speckled 
Face of Honesty in the World ; and which was the 
imperfection of the old Philosophers and great pre 
tenders unto Virtue, who, well declining the gaping 
Vices of Intemperance, Incontinency, Violence and 
Oppression, were yet blindly peccant in iniquities of 
closer faces, were envious, malicious, contemners, 
scoffers, censurers, and stufft with vizard Vices, no 
less depraving the Ethereal particle and diviner 
portion of Man. For Envy, Malice, Hatred are the 
qualities of Satan, close and dark like himself; and 
where such brands smoak the Soul cannot be white. 
Vice may be had at all prices ; expensive and costly 
iniquities, which make the noise, cannot be every 
Man's sins ; but the soul may be foully inquinated 
at a very low rate, and a Man may be cheaply vitious, 
to the perdition of himself. 

Opinion rides upon the neck of Reason, and Men 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 195 

are Happy, Wise, or Learned, according as that 
Empress shall set them down in the Register of 
Reputation. However, weigh not thy self in the 
scales of thy own opinion, but let the Judgment of 
the Judicious be the Standard of thy Merit. Self- 
estimation is a flatterer too readily intitling us unto 
Knowledge and Abilities, which others sollicitously 
labour after, and doubtfully think they attain. Surely 
such confident tempers do pass their days in best tran- 
quility, who, resting in the opinion of their own abili 
ties, are happily gull'd by such contentation ; wherein 
Pride, Self-conceit, Confidence, and Opiniatrity will 
hardly suffer any to complain of imperfection. To 
think themselves in the right, or all that right, or only 
that, which they do or think, is a fallacy of high con 
tent ; though others laugh in their sleeves, and look 
upon them as in a deluded state of Judgment ; wherein, 
notwithstanding, 'twere but a civil piece of com 
placency to suffer them to sleep who would not wake, 
to let them rest in their securities, nor by dissent 
or opposition to stagger their contentments. 

Since the Brow speaks often true, since Eyes and 
Noses have Tongues, and the countenance proclaims 
the Heart and inclinations ; let observation so far 
instruct thee in Physiognomical lines, as to be some 
Rule for thy distinction, and Guide for thy affection 
unto such as look most like Men. Mankind, me- 
thinks, is comprehended in a few Faces, if we exclude 
all Visages which any way participate of Symmetries 



196 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

and Schemes of Look common unto other Animals. 
For as though Man were the extract of the World, in 
whom all were in coagulate, which in their forms were 
in solute and at Extension ; we often observe that 
Men do most act those Creatures, whose constitution, 
parts, and complexion do most predominate in their 
mixtures. This is a corner-stone in Physiognomy, 
and holds some Truth not only in particular Persons 
but also in whole Nations. There are therefore pro 
vincial Faces, national Lips and Noses, which testify 
not only the Natures of those Countries, but of those 
which have them elsewhere. Thus we may make 
England the whole Earth, dividing it not only into 
Europe, Asia, Africa, but the particular Regions 
thereof, and may in some latitude affirm, that there 
are ^Egyptians, Scythians, Indians among us ; who 
though born in England, yet carry the Faces and Air 
of those Countries, and are also agreeable and corre 
spondent unto their Natures. Faces look uniformly 
unto our Eyes : how they appear unto some Animals 
of a more piercing or differing sight, who are able to 
discover the inequalities, rubbs, and hairiness of the 
Skin, is not without good doubt; and therefore in 
reference unto Man, Cupid is said to be blind. Affec 
tion should not be too sharp-Eyed, and Love is not 
to be made by magnifying Glasses. If things were 
seen as they truly are, the beauty of bodies would be 
much abridged; and therefore the wise Contriver 
hath drawn the pictures and outsides of things softly 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 197 

and amiably unto the natural Edge of our Eyes, not 
leaving them able to discover those uncomely asperi 
ties, which make Oyster-shells in good Faces, and 
Hedghoggs even in Venus's moles. 

Court not Felicity too far, and weary not the favor 
able hand of Fortune. Glorious actions have their 
times, extent and non ultra's. To put no end unto 
Attempts were to make prescription of Successes, and 
to bespeak unhappiness at last ; for the Line of our 
Lives is drawn with white and black vicissitudes, wherein 
the extremes hold seldom one complexion. That 
Pompey should obtain the sirname of Great at twenty- 
five years, that Men in their young and active days 
should be fortunate and perform notable things, is no 
observation of deep wonder, they having the strength 
of their fates before them, nor yet acted their parts in 
the World, for which they were brought into it : where 
as Men of years, matured for counsels and designs, 
seem to be beyond the vigour of their active fortunes, 
and high exploits of life, providentially ordained unto 
Ages best agreeable unto them. And therefore many 
brave men, finding their fortune grow faint, and feel 
ing its declination, have timely withdrawn themselves 
from great attempts, and so escaped the ends of 
mighty Men, disproportionable to their beginnings. 
But magnanimous Thoughts have so dimmed the Eyes 
of many, that, forgetting the very essence of Fortune, 
and the vicissitude of good and evil, they apprehend 
no bottom in felicity ; and so have been still tempted 



1 98 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

on unto mighty Actions, reserved for their destructions. 
For Fortune lays the Plot of our Adversities in the 
foundation of our Felicities, blessing us in the first 
quadrate, to blast us more sharply in the last. And 
since in the highest felicities there lieth a capacity of 
the lowest miseries, she hath this advantage from our 
happiness to make us truly miserable : for to become 
acutely miserable we are to be first happy. Affliction 
smarts most in the most happy state, as having somewhat 
in it of Belisarius at Beggers bush, or Bajazet in the 
grate. And this the fallen Angels severely understand, 
who, having acted their first part in Heaven, are made 
sharply miserable by transition, and more afflictively 
feel the contrary state of Hell. 

Carry no careless Eye upon the unexpected scenes 
of things ; but ponder the acts of Providence in the 
publick ends of great and notable Men, set out unto 
the view of all for no common memorandums. The 
Tragical Exits and unexpected periods of some eminent 
Persons cannot but amuse considerate Observators; 
wherein notwithstanding most Men seem to see by 
extramission, without reception or self-reflexion, and 
conceive themselves unconcerned by the fallacy of 
their own Exemption : whereas the Mercy of GOD 
hath singled out but few to be the signals of His 
Justice, leaving the generality of Mankind to the 
paedagogy of Example. But the inadvertency of our 
Natures not well apprehending this favourable method 
and merciful decimation, and that He sheweth in 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 199 

some what others also deserve ; they entertain no 
sense of His Hand beyond the stroak of themselves. 
Whereupon the whole becomes necessarily punished, 
and the contracted Hand of GOD extended unto 
universal Judgments; from whence nevertheless the 
stupidity of our tempers receives but faint impressions, 
and in the most Tragical state of times holds but starts 
of good motions. So that to continue us in goodness 
there must be iterated returns of misery, and a cir 
culation in afflictions is necessary. And since we 
cannot be wise by warnings, since Plagues are in 
significant, except we be personally plagued, since 
also we cannot be punish'd unto Amendment by 
proxy or commutation, nor by vicinity, but contac- 
tion ; there is an unhappy necessity that we must smart 
in our own Skins, and the provoked arm of the Almighty 
must fall upon our selves. The capital sufferings of 
others are rather our monitions than acquitments. 
There is but One Who dyed salvifically for us, and 
able to say unto Death, Hitherto shalt thou go, and 
no farther ; only one enlivening Death, which makes 
Gardens of Graves, and that which was sowed in 
Corruption to arise and flourish in Glory : when Death 
it self shall dye, and living shall have no Period, when 
the damned shall mourn at the funeral of Death, when 
Life not Death shall be the wages of sin, when the 
second Death shall prove a miserable Life, and de 
struction shall be courted. 

Although their Thoughts may seem too severe, who 



200 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

think that few ill-natur'd Men go to Heaven ; yet it 
may be acknowledged that good-natur'd Persons are 
best founded for that place ; who enter the World 
with good Dispositions and natural Graces, more ready 
to be advanced by impressions from above, and christian 
ized unto pieties ; who carry about them plain and 
down-right dealing Minds, Humility, Mercy, Charity, 
and Virtues acceptable unto GOD and Man. But 
whatever success they may have as to Heaven, they 
are the acceptable Men on Earth, and happy is he 
who hath his quiver full of them for his Friends. 
These are not the Dens wherein Falshood lurks, and 
Hypocrisy hides its Head, wherein Frowardness makes 
its Nest, or where Malice, Hard-heartedness, and 
Oppression love to dwell ; not those by whom the 
Poor get little, and the Rich some time loose all; 
Men not of retracted Looks, but who carry their 
Hearts in their Faces, and need not to be look'd 
upon with perspectives ; not sordidly or mischievously 
ingrateful ; who cannot learn to ride upon the neck of 
the afflicted, nor load the heavy laden, but who keep 
the Temple of Janus shut by peaceable and quiet 
tempers ; who make not only the best Friends, but 
the best Enemies, as easier to forgive than offend, and 
ready to pass by the second offence before they 
avenge the first ; who make natural Royalists, obedient 
Subjects, kind and merciful Princes, verified in our 
own, one of the best-natur'd Kings of this Throne. 
Of the old Roman Emperours the best were the best- 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 2OI 

natur'd ; though they made but a small number, and 
might be writ in a Ring. Many of the rest were as 
bad Men as Princes ; Humorists rather than of good 
humors, and of good natural parts rather than of good 
natures ; which did but arm their bad inclinations, 
and make them wittily wicked. 

With what strift and pains we come into the World 
we remember not ; but 'tis commonly found no easy 
matter to get out of it. Many have studied to ex 
asperate the ways of Death, but fewer hours have been 
spent to soften that necessity. That the smoothest 
way unto the grave is made by bleeding, as common 
opinion presumeth, beside the sick and fainting Lan 
guors which accompany that effusion, the experiment 
in Lucan and Seneca will make us doubt ; under which 
the noble Stoick so deeply laboured, that, to conceal his 
affliction, he was fain to retire from the sight of his 
Wife, and not ashamed to implore the merciful hand 
of his Physician to shorten his misery therein. Ovid, 
the old Heroes, and the Stoicks, who were so afraid of 
drowning, (as dreading thereby the extinction of their 
Soul, which they conceived to be a Fire,) stood prob 
ably in fear of an easier way of Death ; wherein the 
Water, entring the possessions of Air, makes a tem 
perate suffocation, and kills as it were without a Fever. 
Surely many, who have had the Spirit to destroy them 
selves, have not been ingenious in the contrivance there 
of. Twas a dull way practised by Themistocles to 
overwhelm himself with Bulls-blood, who, being an 



202 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

Athenian, might have held an easier Theory of Death 
from the state potion of his Country ; from which So 
crates in Plato seemed not to suffer much more than 
from the fit of an Ague. Cato is much to be pitied, 
who mangled himself with poyniards ; and Hannibal 
seems more subtle, who carried his delivery, not in the 
point but the pummel of his Sword. 

The Egyptians were merciful contrivers, who de 
stroyed their malefactors by Asps, charming their senses 
into an invincible sleep, and killing as it were with 
Hermes his Rod. The Turkish Emperour, odious for 
other Cruelty, was herein a remarkable Master of Mercy, 
killing his Favorite in his sleep, and sending him from 
the shade into the house of darkness. He who had 
been thus destroyed would hardly have bled at the 
presence of his destroyer ; when Men are already dead 
by metaphor, and pass but from one sleep unto another, 
wanting herein the eminent part of severity, to feel 
themselves to dye, and escaping the sharpest attendant 
of Death, the lively apprehension thereof. But to learn 
to dye is better than to study the ways of dying. Death 
will find some ways to unty or cut the most Gordian 
Knots of Life, and make men's miseries as mortal 
as themselves : whereas evil Spirits, as undying Sub 
stances, are unseparable from their calamities; and 
therefore they everlastingly struggle under their Angus- 
tia's, and bound up with immortality can never get out 
of themselves. 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 



PART III 

' 'TH IS hard to find a whole Age to imitate, or what 
Jl Century to propose for Example. Some have 
been far more approveable than others : but Virtue 
and Vice, Panegyricks and Satyrs, scatteringly to be 
found in all. History sets down not only things 
laudable, but abominable ; things which should never 
have been or never have been known: so that noble 
patterns must be fetched here and there from single 
Persons, rather than whole Nations, and from all 
Nations, rather than any one. The World was early 
bad, and the first sin the most deplorable of any. 
The younger World afforded the oldest Men, and per 
haps the Best and the Worst, when length of days 
made virtuous habits heroical and immoveable, vitious, 
inveterate and irreclaimable. And since 'tis said that 
the imaginations of their hearts were evil, only evil, 
and continually evil ; it may be feared that their sins 
held pace with their lives ; and their Longevity swell 
ing their Impieties, the Longanimity of GOD would 
no longer endure such vivacious abominations. Their 
Impieties were surely of a deep dye, which required 
203 



204 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

the whole Element of Water to wash them away, and 
overwhelmed their memories with themselves ; and so 
shut up the first Windows of Time, leaving no Histo 
ries of those longevous generations, when Men might 
have been properly Historians, when Adam might 
have read long Lectures unto Methuselah, and Methu 
selah unto Noah. For had we been happy in just 
Historical accounts of that unparallel'd World, we 
might have been acquainted with Wonders, and have 
understood not a little of the Acts and undertakings 
of Moses his mighty Men, and Men of renown of old ; 
which might have enlarged our Thoughts, and made 
the World older unto us. For the unknown part of 
time shortens the estimation, if not the compute of it. 
What hath escaped our Knowledge falls not under our 
Consideration, and what is and will be latent is little 
better than non-existent. 

Some things are dictated for our Instruction, some 
acted for our Imitation, wherein 'tis best to ascend 
unto the highest conformity, and to the honour of the 
Exemplar. He honours GOD who imitates Him. For 
what we virtuously imitate we approve and admire ; 
and since we delight not to imitate Inferiors, we 
aggrandize and magnify those we imitate; since also 
we are most apt to imitate those we love, we testify 
our affection in our imitation of the Inimitable. To 
affect to be like may be no imitation. To act, and 
not to be what we pretend to imitate, is but a mimical 
conformation, and carrieth no Virtue in it. Lucifer 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 



imitated not GOD, when he said he would be like the 
Highest, and he imitated not Jupiter, who counter 
feited Thunder. Where Imitation can go no farther, 
let Admiration step on, whereof there is no end in the 
wisest form of Men. Even Angels and Spirits have 
enough to admire in their sublimer Natures, Admira 
tion being the act of the Creature, and not of GOD, 
Who doth not admire Himself. Created Natures 
allow of swelling Hyperboles; nothing can be said 
hyperbolically of GOD, nor will His Attributes admit 
of expressions above their own Exuperances. Tris- 
megistus his Circle, whose center is every where, and 
circumference no where, was no Hyperbole. Words 
cannot exceed, where they cannot express enough. 
Even the most winged Thoughts fall at the setting 
out, and reach not the portal of Divinity. 

In Bivious Theorems and Janus-faced Doctrines 
let Virtuous considerations state the determination. 
Look upon Opinions as thou doest upon the Moon, 
and chuse not the dark hemisphere for thy contem 
plation. Embrace not the opacous and blind side of 
Opinions, but that which looks most Luciferously or 
influentially unto Goodness. Tis better to think that 
there are Guardian Spirits, than that there are no 
Spirits to guard us ; that vicious Persons are Slaves, 
than that there is any servitude in Virtue ; that times 
past have been better than times present, than that 
times were always bad, and that to be Men it suffiseth 
to be no better than Men in all Ages, and so promis- 



2O6 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

cuously to swim down the turbid stream, and make up 
the grand confusion. Sow not thy understanding with 
Opinions, which make nothing of Iniquities, and falla 
ciously extenuate Transgressions. Look upon Vices 
and vicious Objects with hyperbolical Eyes, and rather 
enlarge their dimensions, that their unseen Deformities 
may not escape thy sense, and their poysonous parts 
and stings may appear massy and monstrous unto 
thee; for the undiscerned Particles and Atoms of 
Evil deceive us, and we are undone by the Invisibles 
of seeming Goodness. We are only deceived in what 
is not discerned, and to err is but to be blind or dim- 
sighted as to some Perceptions. 

To be Honest in a right Line, and Virtuous by 
Epitome, be firm unto such Principles of Goodness, 
as carry in them Volumes of instruction and may 
abridge thy Labour. And since instructions are many, 
hold close unto those whereon the rest depend. So 
may we have all in a few, and the Law and the 
Prophets in a Rule, the Sacred Writ in Stenography, 
and the Scripture in a Nut-Shell. To pursue the 
osseous and solid part of Goodness, which gives Sta 
bility and Rectitude to all the rest; to settle on 
fundamental Virtues, and bid early defiance unto 
Mother-vices, which carry in their Bowels the semi- 
nals of other Iniquities, makes a short cut in Good 
ness, and strikes not off an Head but the whole Neck 
of Hydra. For we are carried into the dark Lake, 
like the ^Egyptian River into the Sea, by seven princi- 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 2O/ 

pal Ostiaries. The Mother-Sins of that number are 
the Deadly engins of evil Spirits that undo us, and even 
evil Spirits themselves, and he who is under the Chains 
thereof is not without a possession. Mary Magdalene 
had more than seven Devils, if these with their Imps 
were in her, and he who is thus possessed may literally 
be named Legion. Where such Plants grow and pros 
per, look for no Champian or Region void of Thorns, 
but productions like the Tree of Goa, and Forrests of 
abomination. 

Guide not the Hand of GOD, nor order the Finger 
of the Almighty, unto thy will and pleasure ; but sit 
quiet in the soft showers of Providence, and favorable 
distributions in this World, either to thy self or others. 
And since not only Judgments have their Errands, but 
Mercies their Commissions, snatch not at every Favour, 
nor think thy self passed by, if they fall upon thy Neigh 
bour. Rake not up envious displacences at things 
successful unto others, which the wise Disposer of all 
thinks not fit for thy self. Reconcile the events of 
things unto both beings, that is, of this World and the 
next ; so will there not seem so many Riddles in Pro 
vidence, nor various inequalities in the dispensation of 
things below. If thou doest not anoint thy Face, yet 
put not on sackcloth at the felicities of others. Repin 
ing at the Good draws on rejoicing at the evils of others, 
and so falls into that inhumane Vice, for which so few 
Languages have a name. The blessed Spirits above 
rejoice at our happiness below ; but to be glad at the 



2O8 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

evils of one another is beyond the malignity of Hell, 
and falls not on evil Spirits, who, though they rejoice 
at our unhappiness, take no pleasure at the afflictions 
of their own Society or of their fellow Natures. De- 
generous Heads ! who must be fain to learn from such 
Examples, and to be taught from the School of Hell. 

Grain not thy vicious stains, nor deepen those swart 
Tinctures, which Temper, Infirmity, or ill habits have 
set upon thee ; and fix not by iterated depravations 
what Time might efface, or virtuous washes expunge. 
He who thus still advanceth in Iniquity deepneth his 
deformed hue, turns a Shadow into Night, and makes 
himself a Negro in the black Jaundice ; and so becomes 
one of those lost ones, the disproportionate pores of 
whose Brains afford no entrance unto good Motions, 
but reflect and frustrate all Counsels, deaf unto the 
Thunder of the Laws, and Rocks unto the Cries of 
charitable Commiserators. He who hath had the Pa 
tience of Diogenes, to make Orations unto Statues, 
may more sensibly apprehend how all Words fall to the 
Ground, spent upon such a surd and Earless Genera 
tion of Men, stupid unto all Instruction, and rather re 
quiring an Exorcist, than an Orator for their Conversion. 

Burden not the back of Aries, Leo, or Taurus, with 
thy faults, nor make Saturn, Mars, or Venus, guilty of 
thy Follies. Think not to fasten thy imperfections on 
the Stars, and so despairingly conceive thy self under 
a fatality of being evil. Calculate thy self within, seek 
not thy self in the Moon, but in thine own Orb or 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 2OQ 

Microcosmical Circumference. Let celestial aspects 
admonish and advertise, not conclude and determine 
thy ways. For since good and bad Stars moralize not 
our Actions, and neither excuse or commend, acquit or 
condemn our Good or Bad Deeds at the present or last 
Bar, since some are Astrologically well disposed who are 
morally highly vicious ; not celestial Figures, but virtuous 
Schemes, must denominate and state our Actions. If 
we rightly understood the Names whereby GOD calleth 
the Stars, if we knew His Name for the Dog-Star, or 
by what appellation Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn obey 
His Will, it might be a welcome accession unto Astrol 
ogy, which speaks great things, and is fain to make use 
of appellations from Greek and Barbarick Systems. 
Whatever Influences, Impulsions, or Inclinations there 
be from the Lights above, it were a piece of wisdom to 
make one of those Wise men who overrule their Stars, 
and with their own Militia contend with the Host of 
Heaven. Unto which attempt there want not Auxil 
iaries from the whole strength of Morality, supplies from 
Christian Ethicks, influences also and illuminations 
from above, more powerfull than the Lights of Heaven. 
Confound not the distinctions of thy Life which 
Nature hath divided, that is, Youth, Adolescence, 
Manhood, and old Age ; nor in these divided Periods, 
wherein thou art in a manner Four, conceive thy self 
but One. Let every division be happy in its proper 
Virtues, nor one Vice run through all. Let each dis 
tinction have its salutary transition, and critically de- 



210 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

liver thee from the imperfections of the former, so 
ordering the whole, that Prudence and Virtue may 
have the largest Section. Do as a Child but when 
thou art a Child, and ride not on a Reed at twenty. 
He who hath not taken leave of the follies of his 
Youth, and in his maturer state scarce got out of that 
division, disproportionately divideth his Days, crowds 
up the latter part of his Life, and leaves too narrow a 
corner for the Age of Wisdom, and so hath room to 
be a Man scarce longer than he hath been a Youth. 
Rather than to make this confusion, anticipate the 
Virtues of Age, and live long without the infirmities of 
it. So may'st thou count up thy Days as some do 
Adams, that is, by anticipation; so may'st thou be 
coetaneous unto thy elders, and a Father unto thy 
contemporaries. 

While others are curious in the choice of good Air, 
and chiefly sollicitous for healthful habitations, study 
thou Conversation, and be critical in thy Consortion. 
The aspects, conjunctions, and configurations of the 
Stars, which mutually diversify, intend, or qualify their 
influences, are but the varieties of their nearer or 
farther conversation with one another, and like the 
Consortion of Men, whereby they become better or 
worse, and even Exchange their Natures. Since Men 
live by Examples, and will be imitating something, 
order thy imitation to thy Improvement, not thy Ruin. 
Look not for Roses in Attalus his Garden, or wholsome 
Flowers in a venemous Plantation. And since there is 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 211 

scarce any one bad, but some others are the worse for 
him, tempt not Contagion by proximity, and hazard 
not thy self in the shadow of Corruption. He who 
hath not early suffered this Shipwrack, and in his 
younger Days escaped this Charybdis, may make a 
happy Voyage, and not come in with black Sails into 
the port. Self conversation, or to be alone, is better 
than such Consortion. Some School-men tell us, that 
he is properly alone, with whom in the same place 
there is no other of the same species. Nabuchodo- 
nozor was alone, though among the Beasts of the Field ; 
and a wise Man may be tolerably said to be alone, 
though with a Rabble of People little better than 
Beasts about him. Unthinking Heads, who have not 
learn'd to be alone, are in a Prison to themselves, if 
they be not also with others ; whereas on the contrary, 
they whose thoughts are in a fair and hurry within, are 
sometimes fain to retire into Company, to be out of 
the crowd of themselves. He who must needs have 
Company, must needs have sometimes bad Company. 
Be able to be alone. Loose not the advantage of Soli 
tude, and the Society of thy self, nor be only content, 
but delight to be alone and single with Omnipresency. 
He who is thus prepared, the Day is not uneasy nor 
the Night black unto him. Darkness may bound his 
Eyes, not his Imagination. In his Bed he may ly, 
like Pompey and his Sons, in all quarters of the Earth, 
may speculate the Universe, and enjoy the whole 
World in the Hermitage of himself. Thus the old 



212 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

ascetick Christians found a Paradise in a Desert, and 
with little converse on Earth held a conversation in 
Heaven ; thus they astronomiz'd in Caves, and, though 
they beheld not the Stars, had the Glory of Heaven 
before them. 

Let the Characters of good things stand indelibly 
in thy Mind, and thy Thoughts be active on them. 
Trust not too much unto suggestions from reminis- 
cential Amulets, or artificial Memorandums. Let the 
mortifying Janus of Covarrubias be in thy daily 
Thoughts, not only on thy Hand and Signets. Rely 
not alone upon silent and dumb remembrances. Be 
hold not Death's Heads till thou doest not see them, 
nor look upon mortifying Objects till thou overlook'st 
them. Forget not how assuefaction unto any thing 
minorates the passion from it, how constant Objects 
loose their hints, and steal an inadvertisement upon 
us. There is no excuse to forget what every thing 
prompts unto us. To thoughtful Observators the 
whole World is a Phylactery, and every thing we see 
an Item of the Wisdom, Power, or Goodness of GOD. 
Happy are they who verify their Amulets, and make 
their Phylacteries speak in their Lives and Actions. 
To run on in despight of the Revulsions and Pul-backs 
of such Remora's aggravates our transgressions. When 
Death's Heads on our Hands have no influence upon 
our Heads, and fleshless Cadavers abate not the ex 
orbitances of the Flesh ; when Crucifixes upon Mens 
Hearts suppress not their bad commotions, and His 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 213 

Image Who was murdered for us with-holds not from 
Blood and Murder ; Phylacteries prove but formalities, 
and their despised hints sharpen our condemnations. 
Look not for Whales in the Euxine Sea, or expect 
great matters where they are not to be found. Seek 
not for Profundity in Shallowness, or Fertility in a 
Wilderness. Place not the expectation of great Hap 
piness here below, or think to find Heaven on Earth ; 
wherein we must be content with Embryon-felicities, 
and fruitions of doubtful Faces. For the Circle of 
our felicities makes but short Arches. In every clime 
we are in a periscian state, and with our Light our 
Shadow and Darkness walk about us. Our Content 
ments stand upon the tops of Pyramids ready to fall 
off, and the insecurity of their enjoyments abrupteth 
our Tranquilities. What we magnify is magnificent, 
but like to the Colossus, noble without, stuft with 
rubbidge and course Metal within. Even the Sun, 
whose glorious outside we behold, may have dark 
and smoaky Entrails. In vain we admire the Lustre 
of any thing seen : that which is truly glorious is in 
visible. Paradise was but a part of the Earth, lost 
not only to our Fruition but our Knowledge. And if, 
according to old Dictates, no Man can be said to be 
happy before Death, the happiness of this Life goes 
for nothing before it be over, and while we think our 
selves happy we do but usurp that Name. Certainly 
true Beatitude groweth not on Earth, nor hath this 
World in it the Expectations we have of it. He 



214 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

swims in Oyl, and can hardly avoid sinking, who hath 
such light Foundations to support him. 'Tis there 
fore happy that we have two Worlds to hold on. To 
enjoy true happiness we must travel into a very far 
Countrey, and even out of our selves ; for the Pearl 
we seek for is not to be found in the Indian, but in 
the Empyrean Ocean. 

Answer not the Spur of Fury, and be not prodigal or 
prodigious in Revenge. Make not one in the Historia 
Horribilis; flay not thy Servant for a broken Glass, nor 
pound him in a Mortar who offendeth thee ; superero- 
gate not in the worst sense, and overdo not the 
necessities of evil ; humour not the injustice of Re 
venge. Be not Stoically mistaken in the equality of 
sins, nor commutatively iniquous in the valuation 
of transgressions ; but weigh them in the Scales of 
Heaven, and by the weights of righteous Reason. 
Think that Revenge too high, which is but level with 
the offence. Let thy Arrows of Revenge fly short, or 
be aimed like those of Jonathan, to fall beside the 
mark. Too many there be to whom a dead Enemy 
smells well, and who find Musk and Amber in Re 
venge. The ferity of such minds holds no rule in 
Retaliations, requiring too often a Head for a Tooth, 
and the supreme revenge for trespasses which a 
night's rest should obliterate. But patient Meekness 
takes injuries like Pills, not chewing but swallowing 
them down, Laconically suffering, and silently passing 
them over; while angred Pride makes a noise, like 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 21$ 

Homerican Mars, at every scratch of offences. Since 
Women do most delight in Revenge, it may seem but 
feminine manhood to be vindicative. If thou must 
needs have thy Revenge of thine Enemy, with a soft 
Tongue break his Bones, heap Coals of Fire on his 
Head, forgive him, and enjoy it. To forgive our 
Enemies is a charming way of Revenge, and a short 
Caesarian Conquest overcoming without a blow ; lay 
ing our Enemies at our Feet, under sorrow, shame, 
and repentance ; leaving our Foes our Friends, and 
solicitously inclined to grateful Retaliations. Thus to 
return upon our Adversaries is a healing way of Re 
venge, and to do good for evil a soft and melting 
ultion, a method taught from Heaven to keep all 
smooth on Earth. Common forceable ways make not 
an end of Evil, but leave Hatred and Malice behind 
them. An Enemy thus reconciled is little to be 
trusted, as wanting the foundation of Love and 
Charity, and but for a time restrained by disadvantage 
or inability. If thou hast not Mercy for others, yet 
be not Cruel unto thy self. To ruminate upon evils, 
to make critical notes upon injuries, and be too acute 
in their apprehensions, is to add unto our own Tor 
tures, to feather the Arrows of our Enemies, to lash 
our selves with the Scorpions of our Foes, and to re 
solve to sleep no more. For injuries long dreamt on 
take away at last all rest; and he sleeps but like 
Regulus, who busieth his Head about them. 

Amuse not thy self about the Riddles of future 



2l6 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

things. Study Prophecies when they are become 
Histories, and past hovering in their causes. Eye 
well things past and present, and let conjectural 
sagacity suffise for things to come. There is a sober 
Latitude for prescience in contingences of discoverable 
Tempers, whereby discerning Heads see sometimes 
beyond their Eyes, and wise Men become prophetical. 
Leave cloudy predictions to their Periods, and let 
appointed Seasons have the lot of their accomplish 
ments. Tis too early to study such Prophecies 
before they have been long made, before some train 
of their causes have already taken Fire, laying open 
in part what lay obscure and before buryed unto us. 
For the voice of Prophecies is like that of Whispering- 
places ; they who are near or at a little distance hear 
nothing, those at the farthest extremity will under 
stand all. But a retrograde cognition of times past, 
and things which have already been, is more satis 
factory than a suspended Knowledge of what is yet 
unexistent. And the greatest part of time being 
already wrapt up in things behind us, it's now some 
what late to bait after things before us ; for futurity 
still shortens, and time present sucks in time to come. 
What is prophetical in one Age proves historical in 
another, and so must hold on unto the last of time ; 
when there .will be no room for Prediction, when 
Janus shall loose one Face, and the long beard of 
time shall look like those of David's Servants, shorn 
away upon one side, and when, if the expected Elias 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 217 

should appear, he might say much of what is past, 
not much of what's to come. 

Live unto the Dignity of thy Nature, and leave it 
not disputable at last, whether thou hast been a Man ; 
or, since thou art a composition of Man and Beast, 
how thou hast predominantly passed thy days, to state 
the denomination. Unman not therefore thy self by 
a beastial transformation, nor realize old Fables. 
Expose not thy self by four-footed manners unto 
monstrous draughts, and caricatura representations. 
Think not after the old Pythagorean conceit, what 
Beast thou may'st be after death. Be not under any 
brutal metempsychosis while thou livest, and walkest 
about erectly under the scheme of Man. In thine 
own circumference, as in that of the Earth, let the 
rational Horizon be larger than the sensible, and the 
Circle of Reason than of Sense. Let the Divine part 
be upward, and the Region of Beast below. Other 
wise, 'tis but to live invertedly, and with thy Head 
unto the Heels of thy Antipodes. Desert not thy 
title to a Divine particle and union with invisibles. 
Let true Knowledge and Virtue tell the lower World 
thou art a part of the higher. Let thy Thoughts be 
of things which have not entred into the Hearts of 
Beasts ; think of things long past, and long to come ; 
acquaint thy self with the Choragium of the Stars, 
and consider the vast expansion beyond them. Let 
intellectual Tubes give thee a glance of things, which 
visive Organs reach not. Have a glimpse of incom- 



2l8 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

prehensibles, and Thoughts of things which Thoughts 
but tenderly touch. Lodge immaterials in thy Head ; 
ascend unto invisibles ; fill thy Spirit with spirituals, 
with the mysteries of Faith, the magnalities of Re 
ligion, and thy Life with the Honour of GOD ; without 
which, though Giants in Wealth and Dignity, we are 
but Dwarfs and Pygmies in Humanity, and may hold 
a pitiful rank in that triple division of mankind into 
Heroes, Men, and Beasts. For though human Souls 
are said to be equal, yet is there no small inequality 
in their operations; some maintain the allowable 
Station of Men ; many are far below it ; and some 
have been so divine, as to approach the Apogeum 
of their Natures, and to be in the Confinium of 
Spirits. 

Behold thy self by inward Opticks and the Crystal 
line of thy Soul. Strange it is that in the most perfect 
sense there should be so many fallacies, that we are 
fain to make a doctrine, and often to see by Art. But 
the greatest imperfection is in our inward sight, that 
is, to be Ghosts unto our own Eyes, and while we are 
so sharpsighted as to look thorough others, to be in 
visible unto our selves ; for the inward Eyes are more 
fallacious than the outward. The Vices we scoff at in 
others laugh at us within our selves. Avarice, Pride, 
Falshood lye undiscerned and blindly in us, even to 
the Age of blindness : and therefore, to see our selves 
interiourly, we are fain to borrow other Mens Eyes ; 
wherein true Friends are good Informers, and Censur- 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 219 

ers no bad Friends. Conscience only, that can see 
without Light, sits in the Areopagy and dark Tribunal 
of our Hearts, surveying our Thoughts and condemning 
their obliquities. Happy is that state of vision that can 
see without Light, though all should look as before the 
Creation, when there was not an Eye to see, or Light 
to actuate a Vision : wherein notwithstanding obscurity 
is only imaginable respectively unto Eyes; for unto 
GOD there was none ; Eternal Light was ever ; created 
Light was for the creation, not Himself, and as He saw 
before the Sun, may still also see without it. In the 
City of the new Jerusalem there is neither Sun nor 
Moon ; where glorifyed Eyes must see by the arche 
typal Sun, or the Light of GOD, able to illuminate In 
tellectual Eyes, and make unknown Visions. Intuitive 
perceptions in Spiritual beings may perhaps hold some 
Analogy unto Vision : but yet how they see us, or one 
another, what Eye, what Light, or what perception is 
required unto their intuition, is yet dark unto our ap 
prehension ; and even how they see GOD, or how unto 
our glorified Eyes the Beatifical Vision will be cele 
brated, another World must tell us, when percep 
tions will be new, and we may hope to behold 
invisibles. 

When all looks fair about, and thou seest not a cloud 
so big as a Hand to threaten thee, forget not the wheel 
of things : think of sullen vicissitudes, but beat not thy 
brains to fore-know them. Be armed against such ob 
scurities rather by submission than fore-knowledge. 



220 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

The Knowledge of future evils modifies present felici 
ties, and there is more content in the uncertainty or 
ignorance of them. This favour our Saviour vouch 
safed unto Peter, when He fore-told not his Death in 
plain terms, and so by an ambiguous and cloudy de 
livery dampt not the Spirit of His Disciples. But in 
the assured fore-knowledge of the Deluge Noah lived 
many Years under the affliction of a Flood, and Jeru 
salem was taken unto Jeremy before it was besieged. 
And therefore the Wisdom of Astrologers, who speak 
of future things, hath wisely softned the severity of 
their Doctrines ; and even in their sad predictions, 
while they tell us of inclination, not co-action, from the 
Stars, they Kill us not with Stygian Oaths and merciless 
necessity, but leave us hopes of evasion. 

If thou hast the brow to endure the Name of Traytor, 
Perjur'd, or Oppressor, yet cover thy Face when In 
gratitude is thrown at thee. If that degenerous Vice 
possess thee, hide thy self in the shadow of thy shame, 
and pollute not noble society. Grateful Ingenuities 
are content to be pbliged within some compass of 
Retribution, and being depressed by the weight of 
iterated favours may so labour under their inabilities 
of Requittal, as to abate the content from Kindnesses; 
but narrow self-ended Souls make prescription of good 
Offices, and obliged by often favours think others still 
due unto them : whereas, if they but once fail, they 
prove so perversely ungrateful, as to make nothing of 
former courtesies, and to bury all that's past. Such 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 221 

tempers pervert the generous course of things ; for they 
discourage the inclinations of noble minds, and make 
Beneficency cool unto acts of obligation, whereby the 
grateful World should subsist, and have their consola 
tion. Common gratitude must be kept alive by the 
additionary fewel of new courtesies ; but generous 
Gratitudes, though but once well obliged, without 
quickening repetitions or expectation of new Favours, 
have thankful minds for ever ; for they write not their 
obligations in sandy but marble memories, which wear 
not out but with themselves. 

Think not Silence the wisdom of Fools, but, if 
rightly timed, the honour of Wise Men, who have not 
the Infirmity, but the Virtue of Taciturnity, and speak 
not out of the abundance, but the well weighed thoughts 
of their Hearts. Such Silence may be Eloquence, and 
speak thy worth above the power of Words. Make 
such a one thy friend, in whom Princes may be happy, 
and great Councels successful. Let him have the Key 
of thy Heart, who hath the Lock of his own, which no 
Temptation can open ; where thy Secrets may lastingly 
ly, like the Lamp in Olybius his Urn, alive and light, 
but close and invisible. 

Let thy Oaths be sacred, and Promises be made 
upon the Altar of thy Heart. Call not Jove to witness 
with a Stone in one Hand, and a Straw in another, 
and so make Chaff and Stubble of thy Vows. Worldly 
Spirits, whose interest is their belief, make Cobwebs 
of Obligations, and, if they can find ways to elude the 



222 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

Urn of the Praetor, will trust the Thunderbolt of Jupiter ; 
and therefore, if they should as deeply swear as Osman 
to Bethlem Gabor, yet whether they would be bound 
by those chains, and not find ways to cut such Gordian 
Knots, we could have no just assurance. But honest 
Mens Words are Stygian Oaths, and Promises invio 
lable. These are not the Men for whom the fetters of 
Law were first forged : they needed not the solemness 
of Oaths ; by keeping their Faith they swear, and evacu 
ate such confirmations. 

Though the World be histrionical, and most Men 
live ironically, yet be thou what thou singly art, and 
personate only thy self. Swim smoothly in the stream 
of thy Nature, and live but one Man. To single Hearts 
doubling is discruciating : such tempers must sweat 
to dissemble, and prove but hypocritical Hypocrites. 
Simulation must be short : Men do not easily continue 
a counterfeiting Life, or dissemble unto Death. He 
who counterfeiteth, acts a part, and is as it were out 
of himself: which, if long, proves so ircksome, that 
Men are glad to pull of their Vizards, and resume them 
selves again ; no practice being able to naturalize such 
unnaturals, or make a Man rest content not to be him 
self. And therefore since Sincerity is thy Temper, 
let veracity be thy Virtue in Words, Manners, and 
Actions. To offer at iniquities, which have so little 
foundations in thee, were to be vitious up hill, and 
strain for thy condemnation. Persons vitiously inclined 
want no Wheels to make them actively vitious, as hav- 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 223 

ing the Elater and Spring of their own Natures to facil 
itate their Iniquities. And therefore so many, who 
are sinistrous unto good Actions, are ambi-dexterous 
unto bad, and Vulcans in virtuous Paths, Achilleses in 
vitious motions. 

Rest not in the high-strain'd Paradoxes of old 
Philosophy supported by naked Reason, and the re 
ward of mortal Felicity, but labour in the Ethicks of 
Faith, built upon Heavenly assistance, and the happi 
ness of both beings. Understand the Rules, but swear 
not unto the Doctrines of Zeno or Epicurus. Look 
beyond Antoninus, and terminate not thy Morals in 
Seneca or Epictetus. Let not the twelve, but the two 
Tables be thy Law. Let Pythagoras be thy Remem 
brancer, not thy textuary and final Instructor; and 
learn the Vanity of the World rather from Solomon 
than Phocylides. Sleep not in the Dogma's of the 
Peripatus, Academy, or Porticus. Be a moralist of 
the Mount, an Epictetus in the Faith, and christianize 
thy Notions. 

In seventy or eighty years a Man may have a deep 
Gust of the World, know what it is, what it can afford, 
and what 'tis to have been a Man. Such a latitude of 
years may hold a considerable corner in the general 
Map of Time ; and a Man may have a curt Epitome 
of the whole course thereof in the days of his own 
Life, may clearly see he hath but acted over his Fore 
fathers, what it was to live in Ages past, and what 
living will be in all ages to come. 



224 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

He is like to be the best judge of Time who hath 
lived to see about the sixtieth part thereof. Persons 
of short times may know what 'tis to live, but not the 
life of Man, who, having little behind them, are but 
Januses of one Face, and know not singularities 
enough to raise Axioms of this World : but such a 
compass of Years will show new Examples of old 
Things, Parallelisms of occurrences through the whole 
course of Time, and nothing be monstrous unto him, 
who may in that time understand not only the varieties 
of Men, but the variation of himself, and how many 
Men he hath been in that extent of time. 

He may have a close apprehension what it is to be 
forgotten, while he hath lived to find none who could 
remember his Father, or scarce the friends of his 
youth, and may sensibly see with what a face in no 
long time oblivion will look upon himself. His Pro 
geny may never be his Posterity; he may go out of 
the World less related than he came into it ; and con 
sidering the frequent mortality in Friends and Rela 
tions, in such a Term of Time, he may pass away 
divers years in sorrow and black habits, and leave 
none to mourn for himself; Orbity may be his inheri 
tance, and Riches his Repentance. 

In such a thred of Time and long observation of 
Men he may acquire a physiognomical intuitive 
Knowledge, judge the interiors by the outside, and 
raise conjectures at first sight; and, knowing what 
Men have been, what they are, what Children prob- 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 225 

ably will be, may in the present Age behold a good 
part, and the temper of the next ; and, since so many 
live by the Rules of Constitution, and so few overcome 
their temperamental Inclinations, make no improbable 
predictions. 

Such a portion of Time will afford a large prospect 
backward, and authentick Reflections how far he hath 
performed the great intention of his Being, in the 
Honour of his Maker ; whether he hath made good 
the Principles of his Nature and what he was made to 
be; what Characteristick and special Mark he hath 
left, to be observable in his Generation ; whether he 
hath lived to purpose or in vain, and what he hath 
added, acted, or performed, that might considerably 
speak him a Man. 

In such an Age Delights will be undelightful and 
Pleasures grow stale unto him ; antiquated Theorems 
will revive, and Solomon's Maxims be Demonstrations 
unto him ; Hopes or presumptions be over, and de 
spair grow up of any satisfaction below. And having 
been long tossed in the Ocean of this World, he will 
by that time feel the In-draught of another, unto which 
this seems but preparatory, and without it of no high 
value. He will experimentally find the Emptiness of 
all things, and the nothing of what is past ; and wisely 
grounding upon true Christian Expectations, finding 
so much past, will wholly fix upon what is to come. 
He will long for Perpetuity, and live as though he 
made haste to be happy. The last may prove the 



226 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

prime part of his Life, and those his best days which 
he lived nearest Heaven. 

Live happy in the Elizium of a virtuously composed 
Mind, and let intellectual Contents exceed the De 
lights wherein mere Pleasurists place their Paradise. 
Bear not too slack reins upon Pleasure, nor let com 
plexion or contagion betray thee unto the exorbitancy 
of Delight. Make Pleasure thy Recreation or inter- 
missive Relaxation, not thy Diana, Life and Profes 
sion. Voluptuousness is as insatiable as Covetousness. 
Tranquility is better than Jollity, and to appease pain 
than to invent pleasure. Our hard entrance into the 
World, our miserable going out of it, our sicknesses, 
disturbances, and sad Rencounters in it, do clamor 
ously tell us we come not into the World to run a Race 
of Delight, but to perform the sober Acts and serious 
purposes of Man ; which to omit were foully to mis 
carry in the advantage of humanity, to play away an 
uniterable Life, and to have lived in vain. Forget not 
the capital end, and frustrate not the opportunity of 
once Living. Dream not of any kind of Metem 
psychosis or transanimation, but into thine own body, 
and that after a long time, and then also unto wail or 
bliss, according to thy first and fundamental Life. 
Upon a curricle in this World depends a long course 
of the next, and upon a narrow Scene here an endless 
expansion hereafter. In vain some think to have an 
end of their Beings with their Lives. Things cannot 
get out of their natures, or be or not be in despite of 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 22/ 

their constitutions. Rational existences in Heaven 
perish not at all, and but partially on Earth : that 
which is thus once will in some way be always : the 
first living human Soul is still alive, and all Adam hath 
found no Period. 

Since the Stars of Heaven do differ in Glory ; since 
it hath pleased the Almighty hand to honour the North 
Pole with Lights above the South ; since there are 
some Stars so bright, that they can hardly be looked 
on, some so dim that they can scarce be seen, and 
vast numbers not to be seen at all even by Artificial 
Eyes ; read thou the Earth in Heaven, and things be 
low from above. Look contentedly upon the scattered 
difference of things, and expect not equality in lustre, 
dignity, or perfection, in Regions or Persons below; 
where numerous numbers must be content to stand 
like lacteous or nebulous Stars, little taken notice of, 
or dim in their generations. All which may be con 
tentedly allowable in the affairs and ends of this World, 
and in suspension unto what will be in the order of 
things hereafter, and the new Systeme of Mankind 
which will be in the World to come ; when the last may 
be the first and the first the last; when Lazarus may sit 
above Caesar, and the just obscure on Earth shall shine 
like the Sun in Heaven ; when personations shall cease, 
and Histrionism of happiness be over ; when Reality 
shall rule, and all shall be as they shall be for ever. 

When the Stoick said that life would not be ac 
cepted, if it were offered unto such as knew it, he 



228 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

spoke too meanly of that state of being which placeth 
us in the form of Men. It more depreciates the value 
of this life, that Men would not live it over again ; for 
although they would still live on, yet few or none can 
endure to think of being twice the same Men upon 
Earth, and some had rather never have lived than to 
tread over their days once more. Cicero in a prosper 
ous state had not the patience to think of beginning in 
a cradle again. Job would not only curse the day of 
his Nativity, but also of his Renascency, if he were to 
act over his disasters, and the miseries of the Dunghil. 
But the greatest underweening of this Life is to under 
value that, unto which this is but exordial, or a Pas 
sage leading unto it. The great advantage of this 
mean life is thereby to stand in a capacity of a better ; 
for the Colonies of Heaven must be drawn from Earth, 
and the Sons of the first Adam are only heirs unto the 
second. Thus Adam came into this World with the 
power also of another, nor only to replenish the Earth, 
but the everlasting Mansions of Heaven. Where we 
were when the foundations of the Earth were lay'd, 
when the morning Stars sang together and all the Sons 
of GOD shouted for Joy, He must answer who asked it ; 
who understands Entities of preordination, and beings 
yet unbeing ; who hath in his Intellect the ideal Exist 
ences of things, and Entities before their Extances. 
Though it looks but like an imaginary kind of exist- 
ency to be before we are ; yet since we are under the 
decree or prescience of a sure and Omnipotent Power, 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 22Q 

it may be somewhat more than a non-entity to be in 
that mind, unto which all things are present. 

If the end of the World shall have the same fore 
going Signs, as the period of Empires, States, and Do 
minions in it, that is, Corruption of Manners, inhuman 
degenerations, and deluge of iniquities; it may be 
doubted whether that final time be so far of, of whose 
day and hour there can be no prescience. But while 
all men doubt and none can determine how long the 
World shall last, some may wonder that it hath spun 
out so long and unto our days. For if the Almighty 
had not determin'd a fixed duration unto it, according 
to His mighty and merciful designments in it, if He 
had not said unto it, as He did unto a part of it, 
Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther ; if we consider 
the incessant and cutting provocations from the Earth, 
it is not without amazement how His patience hath 
permitted so long a continuance unto it, how He, Who 
cursed the Earth in the first days of the first Man, and 
drowned it in the tenth Generation after, should thus 
lastingly contend with Flesh and yet defer the last 
flames. For since He is sharply provoked every mo 
ment, yet punisheth to pardon, and forgives to forgive 
again ; what patience could be content to act over 
such vicissitudes, or accept of repentances which must 
have after penitences, his goodness can only tell us. 
And surely if the patience of Heaven were not propor 
tionable unto the proportions from Earth ; there needed 
an Intercessor not only for the sins, but the duration 



230 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

of this World, and to lead it up unto the present com 
putation. Without such a merciful Longanimity, the 
Heavens would never be so aged as to grow old like a 
Garment ; it were in vain to infer from the Doctrine of 
the Sphere, that the time might come when Capella, a 
noble Northern Star, would have its motion in the 
^Equator, that the Northern Zodiacal Signs would at 
length be the Southern, the Southern the Northern, 
and Capricorn become our Cancer. However there 
fore the Wisdom of the Creator hath ordered the dura 
tion of the World, yet since the end thereof brings the 
accomplishment of our happiness, since some would be 
content that it should have no end, since evil Men and 
Spirits do fear it may be too short, since good Men 
hope it may not be too long ; the prayer of the Saints 
under the Altar will be the supplication of the Right 
eous World that his mercy would abridge their lan 
guishing Expectation and hasten the accomplishment 
of their happy state to come. 

Though good Men are often taken away from the 
Evil to come, though some in evil days have been glad 
that they were old, nor long to behold the iniquities of 
a wicked World, or Judgments threatened by them ; 
yet is it no small satisfaction unto honest minds to 
leave the World in virtuous well temper'd times, under 
a prospect of good to come, and continuation of worthy 
ways acceptable unto GOD and Men. Men who dye in 
deplorable days, which they regretfully behold, have 
not their Eyes closed with the like content ; while they 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 231 

cannot avoid the thoughts of proceeding or growing 
enormities, displeasing unto that Spirit unto whom 
they are then going, whose honour they desire in all 
times and throughout all generations. If Lucifer could 
be freed from his dismal place, he would little care 
though the rest were left behind. Too many there 
may be of Nero's mind, who, if their own turn were 
served, would not regard what became of others, and, 
when they dye themselves, care not if all perish. But 
good Mens wishes extend beyond their lives, for the 
happiness of times to come, and never to be known unto 
them. And therefore while so many question prayers 
for the dead, they charitably pray for those who are 
not yet alive ; they are not so enviously ambitious to 
go to Heaven by themselves ; they cannot but humbly 
wish, that the little Flock might be greater, the nar 
row Gate wider, and that, as many are called, so not a 
few might be chosen. 

That a greater number of Angels remained in 
Heaven, than fell from it, the School- men will tell us ; 
that the number of blessed Souls will not come short 
of that vast number of fallen Spirits, we have the 
lavorable calculation of others. What Age or Century 
hath sent most Souls unto Heaven, He can tell who 
vouchsafeth that honour unto them. Though the 
Number of the blessed must be compleat before the 
World can pass away, yet since the World it self seems 
in the wane, and we have no such comfortable prog- 
nosticks of latter times, since a greater part of time is 



232 CHRISTIAN MORALS 

spun than is to come, and the blessed Roll already 
much replenished ; happy are those pieties, which 
solicitously look about, and hasten to make one of 
that already much filled and abbreviated List to come. 

Think not thy time short in this World since the 
World it self is not long. The Created World is but 
a small Parenthesis in Eternity, and a short interposi 
tion for a time between such a state of duration, as 
was before it and may be after it. And if we should 
allow of the old Tradition that the World should last 
six thousand years, it could scarce have the name of 
old, since the first Man lived near a sixth part thereof, 
and seven Methusela's would exceed its whole duration. 
However to palliate the shortness of our Lives, and 
somewhat to compensate our brief term in this World, 
it's good to know as much as we can of it, and also 
so far as possibly in us lieth to hold such a Theory of 
times past, as though we had seen the same. He who 
hath thus considered the World, as also how therein 
things long past have been answered by things 
present, how matters in one Age have been acted 
over in another, and how there is nothing new under 
the Sun, may conceive himself in some manner to 
have lived from the beginning, and to be as old as the 
World ; and if he should still live on, 'twould be but 
the same thing. 

Lastly, if length of Days be thy Portion, make it 
not thy Expectation. Reckon not upon long Life : 
think every day the last, and live always beyond thy 



CHRISTIAN MORALS 233 

account. He that so often surviveth his Expectation 
lives many Lives, and will scarce complain of the 
shortness of his days. Time past is gone like a 
Shadow ; make time to come present. Approximate 
thy latter times by present apprehensions of them : be 
like a neighbour unto the Grave, and think there is 
but little to come. And since there is something of 
us that will still live on, join both lives together, and 
live in one but for the other. He who thus ordereth 
the purposes of this Life will never be far from the 
next, and is in some manner already in it, by a happy 
conformity, and close apprehension of it. And if (as 
we have elsewhere declared) any have been so happy 
as personally to understand Christian Annihilation, 
Extasy, Exolution, Transformation, the Kiss of the 
Spouse, and Ingression into the Divine Shadow, 
according to Mystical Theology, they have already 
had an handsome Anticipation of Heaven ; the World 
is in a manner over, and the Earth in Ashes unto them. 



GLOSSARY 



OF WORDS, PHRASES, AND ABBREVIATIONS 



ABRUPT, to break off. 

ABSTERSION, cleansing. 

ABSUMPTION, consumption. 

ACCKPTIONS, acceptations. 

ACCUMINATBD, sharp-pointed. 

ACTIVES, sub., active principles. 

ACULEOUS, needle-like. 

ADAM, QUID FECISTI ? Adam, what 
hast them done ? a Esdras vii. 

ADRASTE AND NEMESIS, the powers 
of vengeance. 

ADRIANUS ("the moles of"), "A 
stately mausoleum or sepulchral 
pile, built by Adrianus in Rome, 
where now standeth the castle of 
St. Angelo." [Note by Sir T. B.] 

ADUMBRATION, faint resemblance, as 
of a shadow to the object it repre 
sents. 

ADVISOES, admonitions. 

^EQUICRURAL, of equal length of leg. 

ISDN'S BATH. Son of Cretheus and 
Tyro, and father of Jason; accord 
ing to Ovid, he survived the return 
of the Argonauts, and was made 
young again by Medea. 

AFFECTION, influence. 

AFFECTIONS, qualities, passions, feel 
ings, men of affection. 

ALCMENA'S nights. " one night as 
long as three." [Note by Sir T. B.] 

AMAZED, confounded. 

AMBIDEXTEROUS, able to use both 
hands alike. 

AMBITIONS, ambitious men. This use 
of the abstract for the concrete in 
the plural occurs frequently in Sir 
Thomas Browne, as " desires," " af 
fections," " devotions," " zeals," 
etc. 

AMISSION, loss. 

AMPHIBOLOGY, an ambiguous phrase. 

AMPHIDROMICAL FEASTS, held at the 
naming of a child. 



ANAXAGORAS. Several editors have 
wrongly printed " Anaxarchus," 
who actually' held the opinions at 
tributed by Browne to Anaxagoras. 

ANGUSTIAS, agonies. 

ANIMA EST DEI, " the soul is the 
angel of man, the body of God." 

ANIMOSITY, courage. 

ANTICIPATIVELY, prematurely. 

ANTICKS, clowns. 

ANTINOMIES, contradictions to law. 

ANTIPODES, opposites. 

APOGEUM, to the utmost point of dis 
tance from earth and earthly things. 

APPARITIONS, appearances without 
realities. 

APPREHEND, to dread, to conceive, 
comprehend. 

APPREHENSION, reason, conception; 
PASSED APPREHENSION, former 
opinion; GROSSER APPREHENSIONS, 
men of grosser apprehension. 

ARCANA, mysteries. 

ARCHIDOXIS, a work of Paracelsus, 
translated into English in 1662. 

ARCHIMIME, chief jester. 

A REFACTION, drying. 

AREOPAGY, the great court, like the 
Areopagus at Athens. 

ARUSPEX, soothsayer, diviner. 

ASCENDBNS . . . NATL'K.t: (/>., OPERA 

DEI). " A planet in the ascendant 
reveals to those who seek many of 
the great things of nature (i.e.. the 
works of God) ." Paracelsus, " De 
Imaginibus." " Thereby is meant 
our good Angel appointed us from 
our nativity." [Note by Sir T. B.] 

ASPEROUS, rough. 

ASPHALTICK LAKE, Lake of Sodom, 
the waters of which, being very salt, 
and therefore heavy, will scarcely 
suffer an animal to sink. 

ASPIRES, aspirations. 



236 



GLOSSARY 



ASQUINT, askance. 

ASSASSINE, vb., to assassinate. 

ASSIZE (" to call to"), to summon to 
judgment. 

ASSUCFACTION, habituation. 

ASTERISK, small star. 

ATTENDANCE, accompaniment. 

ATTENUABLE, liable to diminution. 

ATTRITION, friction. 

AUDACITIES, bold persons. 

AUDITORIES, lecture-rooms. 

AURELIA, chrysalis, " aurelion." 

AVE-MARY bell. "A church-bell, 
that tolls every day at six and 
twelve of the clock, at the hearing 
whereof, everyone, in what place 
soever, either of house or street, 
betakes himself to his prayer, which 
is commonly directed to the Virgin." 
[Note by Sir T. B.] 

BASILISO, a piece of ordnance. 

BELIEFS, believers. 

BELISAR us AND BAJAZET, the former, 
after many victories, said, owing to 
incurring the Emperor's displeas 
ure, to have been reduced to beg 
gary ; the latter to have been made 
captive by Tamerlane and shut up 
in cage; " both stories are false." 

BENEPLACIT, good pleasure. 

BENEVOLOUS, favourable. 

BEVIS, a famous giant-killer of South 
ampton, a hero of medieval English 
romances. 

BEZO LES MANOS, a salute, a kiss of 
the hand. 

BISHOP ("the miserable''). Virgi- 
lius, Bishop of Salzburg in the 
eighth century, said to have been 
burnt for asserting the existence of 
Antipodes. 

BIVIOUS, which open different tracks 
to the mind: lead two ways; " bivi- 
ous theorems." 

BLOOD, " though we behold our own 
blood," though we bleed when we 
are wounded. 

BOLARY, of the nature of bole, a 
clayey substance. 

BOTTOM, a ship, a ball of yarn. 

BOUFFAGE, " a satisfying meal." 

BRAVACHE (French), boaster. The 
characteristic Scotchman. 

BREEZE, gad-fly. 

BUSHES, alluding to the bushes or 



wreaths of ivy formerly hung by 
vintners at their doors. 

CACUS'S OXEN, stolen from Hercules, 
and drawn backwards by Cacus 
into his cave to avoid suspicion of 
theft. 

CALDA, warm water. 

CAI ICULAR, in form of calix or cup. 

CALLOSITIES, " calluses," or hard 
spots in the soul. 

CANDLE, " by the candle," term bor 
rowed from the auction-room where 
certain sales were held, at which the 
bidding went on as long as a small 
piece of candle continued to burn. 

CANDOUR, whiteness. 

CANTONS, corners of a shield in 
heraldry. 

CARIOLA. " That part of the skeleton 
of a horse which is made by the 
haunch-bones." [Note by Sir T. B.] 

CARNOUS, fleshy. 

CARRACK, large merchantman. 

CASTRENSIAL, belonging to a camp. 

CATHOLICON, universal medicine. 

CAUSALLY, for a special reason 
(Greenhill). 

CAUSES ("four second"), of all 
things. That is, the " efficient," 
the " material," the " formal," and 
the " final." 

CAUTELOUS, cautious. 

CEBES' TABLE, an allegorical repre 
sentation of the characters and 
conditions of mankind. 

CENTOES, patched garments, used 
metaphorically. 

CERTUM EST QUIA IMPOSSIBLE, " it is 
certain, because it is impossible" 
(i.e., to human reason) . Tertullian, 
" De Came Christi," c. 5. 

CHIONIA ("the King of"), Gum- 
brates, King of Chionia, a country 
near Persia. 

CHIROMANCY, palmistry. 

CHORAGIUM, dance. 

CHOROGRAPHY, description of places 
and countries. 

CHYMICKS, chemists. 

CIRCENSES, Roman horse-races. 

CIRCUMSTANTIAL, accidental. 

CIRROUS, bearing tendrils. 

CIVILITY, state of civil society. 

CLAMATION, shouting. 

CLAWING, tickling, flattering. 



GLOSSARY 



237 



CLIMACTBR, the point in a man s life 
(supposed to be his sixty third 
year) when his powers begin to 
fail. 

CODRUS, the last King of Athens. 
COMMISSURE, juncture, joining. 
COMMODITIES, advantages. 
COM PAGE, framework or system of 

conjoined parts. 
COMPLEMENT, completeness. 
COMPLEMENTAL, slight and subsid 
iary, merely making up weight. 
COM FLEXION ALLY, by temperament. 
COMPOSITION, compounding, but in 
the next line (by a play of words) 
composed = created. 
COM PRODUCTION, joint production. 
COM PROPORTIONS, proportions to 
gether. 

COMPUTE, computation. 
CONCEIT, conception, idea, jest. 
CONCEIT, to imagine. 
CONCLAMATION, noise made by several 

people shouting together. 
CONCOMITANCIES, accompaniments. 
CONCOURSE, help. 
CONSIDERATION UNTO, value when 

compared with. 
CONSIDERATIONS, considerers. 
CONSORTION, the consorting with 

others. 

CONSTELLATED UNTO, by the constel 
lation of my birth adaptive to. 

CONTEMPERED, diluted. 

CONTIGNATION, framing together of 



CONTINGENCY (angles of) , the smallest 
angles. 

CONTRACTION, " we cannot be pun 
ished ... but contraction, by 
having punishment brought to bear 
upon ourselves. 

CONVERSATION, behaviour. 

CONVERSION, revolution, annual 
conversion." 

CON VINCIBLE, demonstrable. 

CORNIGBROUS, horned. 

CORPULENCY, solid character of 
bodies. 

CRAMBE, tiresome repetitions; 
CRAMBK REPETITIA (Juvenal). 

CRANY, cranium, skull. 

CRASIS, lit. mixture; here, mixture 
of bodily humours. 

CRUCIATED, crossed. 

CRUCIFEROUS, marked with a cross. 



CRYSTALLINE, alluding to the crystal- 

line humour of the eye. 
CUNCTATION, delay. 
CUPELS, refining glasses used in the 
melting down of gold and silver 
with lead. 

DAMOCLES, a flatterer of Dionysius. 
DASTARD, vb., to make craven. 
DECIMATION, selection of every tenth 

man for punishment. 
DECIPIENCY, state of being deceived, 

hallucination. 
DBCUSSATION, crossing of lines in the 

form of the figure X. 
DELATOR, informer. 
DEMONSTRATIONS, truths capable of 

demonstration. 
DEPRAVE, to malign, to spoil; DE- 

PRAVEDLY, in a corrupt form. 
DERIVED, secondary in source (*./., 

from the sun?) 
DESIRES, desirers. 
DEVOTIONS, devout men. 
DIAMETER WITH (to stand in), to be 

diametrically opposed to. 
DICHOTOMY, division into two. 
DIFFERENCE, vb., to show the differ 
ence between, to define. 
DIGLADIATION, fencing match. 
DIOGENES (testament of)- who 
willed his friend not to bury him, 
but to hang him up, with a staffe in 
his hand, to frighten away the 
crowes." 
DISCRUCIATING, excruciating. 
DISSENTANEOUS unto, contrary to. 
DITTY, speech. 
DIUTURNITY, long duration. 
DONATIVES, gifts. 
DORMATIVB, sleeping draught, 
DRAUGHT, drawing. 
ECLIPTICALLY, in the direction of the 

sun's apparent motion. 
EDIFIED, formed. 
EFFRONT, to embolden. 
ELATER, " spring," " elasticity. 
ELEEMOSYNARIES, beggars. 
ELI AS (prophecy of ) , R That the world 
may last but six thousand years. 
[Note by Sir T. B.] 
EMPHATICAL, " designated emphatic 
ally, or par txctUtnct. 
EMPYREAL, in old astronomy, all 

beyond the tenth heaven. 
ENQUIRIES, enquirer*. 



2 3 8 



GLOSSARY 



ENTELECHIA, the realized, as distinct 
from the merely possible being of 
anything. 

EPHEMERIDES, NOT OLYMPIADS, par 
ticular journals of every day, not 
abstracts comprehending several 
years under one notation. 

EPHEMERIDES, schedules showing the 
position of the heavenly bodies 
from day to day, used for purposes 
of divination. 

EPICYCLE, a small revolution made 
by one planet in the wider orbit of 
another planet. 

EQUABLE, just. 

EQUAL, impartial ; equitable. 

EQUIVOCAL, doubtful. 

ERGOTISMS, conclusions deduced ac 
cording to the forms of logic. 

ETHNICK, gentile. 

EVULSION, extraction by force. 

EXALTATION, refining. 

EXCEPTING ONE (king). Christian 
IV., King of Denmark, who began 
to reign in 1588, and was still on the 
throne when the book was written. 

EXCEPTION, objection or reservation. 

EXENTERATION. disembowelling. 

EXEQUIES, funeral rites. 

EXILITY, smallness. 

EXISTIMATION, estimation. 

EXOLUTION, in medicine, great phy 
sical weakness; in mystical the 
ology, dreamy exaltation of mind. 

EXPANSED, expanded. 

EXPATIATE, to roam about. 

EXPILATORS, pillagers. 

EXPLICATION, unfolding. 

EXPRESSIONS, marks. 

Exsuccous, dry. 

EXTANCES, existences. 

EXTEMPORARY, intuitive. 

EXTENUATION, emaciation. 

EXTRAMISSION, by the passage of sight 
from the eye to the object. 

EXUPERANCES, exaggerations. 

FACES ("so many imperial"), an 
allusion, probably to his collection 
of coins. 

FACULTY, authority, power. 

FAITH, believer, abstract for concrete. 

FAMILIST, a member of the " family 
of love," a religious sect which ap 
peared about 1575. 

FASCIATIONS, bandages. 



FATHER ("that great"), probably 
St. Chrysostom. 

FAVAGINOUS, cellular, like a honey 
comb. 

FERITY, ferocity, savageness. 

FESTINATION, haste. 

FIAT LUX, let there be light. 

FICTILE, moulded. 

FILED, placed in order. 

FINGER (" one little "). "According 
to the ancient arithmetick of the 
hand, wherein the little finger of the 
right hand contracted, signified an 
hundred." [Note by Sir T. B.] 

FLAW, sudden gust of wind. 

FLUX, flow. 

FOL, mad, of the characteristic Eng 
lishman. 

FORAMINOUS, full Of holes. 

FORM, the essence of anything apart 

from the actual material of which it 

is composed. 
FULCIMENT, fulcrum. 
FUNAMBULATORY, narrow, like the 

walk of a rope-dancer. 
FURDLING, furling. 
FUSIL, heraldic term, elongated 

lozenge. 

GALLATURE, germ in an egg. 

GALLIARDISE, merriment. 

GARAGANTUA, or Gargantua, Rabe 
lais' giant. 

GEOMANCER, one who divines by the 
earth. 

GLOME, a clue of yarn. 

GOMPHOSIS, immovable articulations 
like teeth in their sockets (Green- 
hill). 

GORDIANUS (" the epitaph of"). " In 
Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, 
Egyptian, defaced by Licinius the 
Emperor." [Note by Sir T. B.] 

GRAFFS, grafts. 

GRAIN, dye in grain. " Not grain'd," 
not deeply tinged. 

GRAPHICAL, composed of letters. 

GUSTATION, tasting. 

HAGGARD, wild, untamed, a term in 
falconry, 

HANGING PLAYED BEFORE THEM. "A 
barbarous pastime at feasts [among 
the Thracians], when men stood 
upon a rolling globe, with their 
necks in a rope, and a knife in their 



GLOSSARY 



239 



hands, ready to cut it when the 
stone was rolled away ; wherein if 
they failed they lost their lives, to 
the laughter of their spectators." 
[Note by Sir T. B.J 

HELIACAL, spiral. 

HELIX, a screw or spiral line: to run 
upon a helix, to be continually 
moving spirally. 

HBLLUOUS, gluttons. 

HELMONT OR PARCBLSUS, enthusias 
tic authors of romantic chemistry. 

HERMES' ROD, which procured sleep 
by a touch. 

HERMETICAL PHILOSOPHERS, follow 
ers of Hermes Trismegistus, addict 
ed to chemistry and alchemy. 

HIPPOCRATES PATIENTS. In some of 
the treatises of the Hippocratic 
collection rough notes of cases are 
found giving the names and ad 
dresses of the patients. The point 
of the comparison lies in its showing 
how the dead live only in their 
names; nothing more is known of 
them. 

HISTRIONISM (of happiness), theatri 
cal representation, mere show. 

HOR* COMBUSTS, the time when the 
moon is in conjunction and obscured 
by the sun. 

HOUR-GLASSES, " call for many hour 
glasses." Ancient pleaders talked 
by a clepsydra, or measurer of 
time. 

HUMOUROUS, the result of some 
humour or individual trait. 

HYDROPICAL, dropsical. 

HYPOSTASIS, distinct substance. 

IDEATED, pictured in idea, in fancy. 

IDES, time when money laid out at 
interest was commonly repaid. 

IMMORTALITY, exemption from death. 

IMPASSIBLE, impregnable to suffering 
and decay. 

IMPROPERATIONS, insulting language. 

INCESSION progression. 

INCINERABLE, reducible to ashes; IN 
CINERATED, reduced to ashes. 

INCRASSATION, thickening. 

I NCR EM ABLE, incombustible. 

INCURVATE, to make crooked. 

INDIFFERENCY, impartiality; (pi.) in 
significant matters; of arguments, 
exact balance, 



INDIFFERENT, impartial. 

INGENUITIES, people of ingenuous dis 
position. 

INGRHSSION, entrance. 

INHUMATION, burying. 

INNITENCY, leaning, pressing, or rest* 
ing upon something. 

INORGANICAL, without organs. 

INQUINATED, defiled. 

INSENSIBLE, too small to be felt. 

INSERVIENT TO, conducive to. 

INSTANCES, instants. 

INTELLIGENCES, unbodied angelic 
spirits. 

INTENTIONS, persons who intend. 

iRONiCALLy (" live ironically "), with 
dissimulation or personation. 

ITEM, earnest, specimen. 

ITERATELV, repeatedly. 

JUDGMENTS, men of judgment. 

KELL, caul. 

KINGDOMS, "fatal periods of." Ac 
cording to Plato about 500 years. 

LACONISM , short sentence written on 

wall of Belschazzar. 
LACRYMATORIES, tear-bottles. 
LARRON \ French), thief. The char 
acteristic Gascon. 
LASH, soft and watery, but without 

flavour (Forby's vocabulary of 

East Anglia). 
LAZY OF BRAZIL, sloth. 
LIGATION, binding. 
LION (" we sleep in lions' skins"), in 

armour, in a state of military 

vigilance. 
LIPARA, the Liparaean Islands, near 

Italy, being volcanoes, were fabled 

to contain the forges of the 

Cyclops. 

LIQUATION, melting. 
LIVELY, vividly. 
LIVERY ("without a"), without re- 

com pen se or fee. 
LIXIVIOUS, impregnated with alkaline 

salts. 

LURE, bait, a term used in falconry. 
Lux EST UMBRA DEI, " light is the 

shadow of God." 

MAGN* . . . VITIA, " Great virtue*, 
and no smaller vices." 



240 



GLOSSARY 



MAGNALITIES, great works from small 
beginnings. 

MAGNETICALLY (" stand magnetically 
upon that axis"), with a position 
as immutable as that of the mag- 
netical axis. 

MALIZSPINI, born about 1540, the 
author of the " Ducento Novelle." 

MANIPLE, handful. 

MARASMUS, wasting disease. 

MASCLE, heraldic term ; a lozenge 
voided. 

MATERIAL (vb.), to materialize. 

MATILDA. " A piece of Maud, the 
Empress, said to be found in 
Buckenham Castle, with this in 
scription : ' Elle n'a d'elle.' " [Note 
by Sir T. B.] 

MATURATION, maturing, ripening. 

MEANNESS, low estate. 

MEDIOCRITY, moderation. 

MEMORY (whose), recollection of 
which. 

MERCURIAL, relating to Mercury 
(" mercurial characters"). 

MERCURISMS, communications. 

MERITS, deserts (in a bad sense). 

METELLUS. The supper was not 
given by Metellus, but by Lentulus 
when he was made priest of Mars, 
and recorded by Metellus. 

METEMPSUCHOSIS, transmigration of 
souls. 

METRICULOUSLY, timidly. 

MINORATE, diminish. 

MORTAL, deadly, fatal. 

MOTIVES, motive forces. 

MUTILATE, p.p. mutilated. 

MUTIN (French), stubborn. The 
characteristic Englishman, 

MYSTERY, trade, craft. 

NATURA . . . FRUSTR A, " nature does 
nothing in vain." 

NATURALITY, naturalness. 

NEBUCHODONOSOR, so spelt in the 
most trustworthy MSS. 

NEQUE EMIN . . . MIHI. " For when 
the study or the couch calls me, I 
do not fail." Misquoted from 
Horace (Sat., i. 4, 133), who has 
lectiilus aut me porticus excepit. 

NERO, the Emperor Tiberius. 

NOCENT, criminal (Webster). 

NON ACCIDES, " thou shall not kill." 

NUMERICAL, individual. 



NUNQUAM . . . SOLUS, " never less 
alone than when alone." 

OBSERVATOR, observer. 

OILEUS, the line in the "Odyssey," 

iv. 511, referring to the death of 

Ajax Oileus is possibly spurious. 
OLYMPICS, Olympic games. 
OMNEITY, the All. 
ONEIRO CRITICISM, interpretation of 

dreams. 

OPINION (vb.), to consider. 
ORBITY, loss of parents or children, 

bereavement. 

ORDINATION, arrangement. 
ORONTES INTO TIBER, " In Tiberim 

defluxit Orontes," says Juvenal, 

speaking of the confluence of 

foreigners to Rome. 
OSSUARIES, places for bones. 
OSTIARIES, estuaries. 



PANTAGRUEL'S library. Rabelais, in 
his " Pantagruel " (liv. ii., ch. vii.) , 
gives a list of sham titles of books 
for an imaginary library. 

PAPPOUS, downy. 

PARALLAXIS, the parallax of a star is 
the difference between its real and 
apparent place. 

PARALOGICAL, illogical. 

PARAMOURS, lovers. 

PARTICULARITIES, peculiarities. 

PASSIVES, passive principles. 

PATRON, vb., to patronize. 

PENDULOUS, hanging. 

PERFLATION, blowing through of the 
air. 

PERIOD, term, end. 

PERIOECI (" to be but their periosci "), 
only placed at a distance in the 
same line. 

PERISCIAN, with shadows all round 
us. The Periscii, living within the 
Polar circle, see the sun move 
round them, and consequently pro 
ject their shadows in all direc 
tions. 

PERISH upon, to die for the sake of. 

PERSPECTIVE, telescope. 

PHILOPOZMEN, chief of the Achaean 
League in Rome's " second Mace 
donian War." 

PHYLACTERY, a writing bound upon 
the forehead containing something 



GLOSSARY 



2 4 I 



to be kept constantly in mind. This 
was practised by the Jewish doctors 
with regard to the Mosaic Law. 
PHYTOLOGY, science of plants. 

PlAE FRAUDES, pioUS frauds. 

PICKTHANK, flatterer. 

PINAX, tablet, register; hence list or 
scheme inscribed on a tablet. 

PINEDA. " Pineda, in his ' Monarchia 
Ecclesiastia,' quotes one thousand 
and fortie authors." [Note by 
Sir T. B.] 

PLATO'S year. " A revolution of 
certain thousand years, when all 
things should return unto their 
former estate, and he be teaching 
again in his school, as when he 
delivered this opinion." [Note by 
Sir T. B.] 

PLAUDIT, tlaudite was the term by 
which the ancient theatrical per 
formers solicited a clap. 

PLAUSIBLE, praiseworthy. 

POLTRON (French), coward. The 
characteristic of the modern Ro 
man. 

PONDERATION, weighing. 

POPES (" four ") . Leo XI., Paul V., 
Gregory XV., and Urban VIII. 
But Leo XI. died nearly six months 
before Browne was born. 

POPULOSITY, populousness. 

PORT, portal. 

POSIE, motto on a ring. 

POTOSI, the rich mountain of Peru. 

PRACTISED, practical. 

PRECEDENTS, signs. 

PREGNANT, instructive. 

PREJUDICATE, formed without know 
ledge of the facts. 

PRELATES, " Presbyters " in the 
pirated editions of 1642. 

PRESCIOUS, foreknowing. 

PRESCRIPT, direction. 

PRESENTLY, immediately. 

PROCESS OF THE TEXT, context. 

PROFOUND, to fathom. 

PROGENY, lineage. 

PROGNOSTICKS, fore-tokens. 

PROPENSE, inclined to; PROPENSION 
unto, inclination towards. 

PROPHAN'D, probably in the sense of 
" common." which the first edition 
has. 

PROPRIETARIES, proprietors. 

PROPRIETIES, properties. 



PTOLOMV, the King of Egypt who had 
the Hebrew scriptures translated 
and put in his library. 

PUCELLAGB, virginity. 

PUNCTUAL, exact; PUNCTUALLY, 
exactly. 

PUNCTICULAR, contained in, size of, 
a point. 

PYRRHUS HIS TOR, " which could not 
be burnt." TSir T. B.] 

PYTHAGORAS 0* escapes in the fabu 
lous Hell of Dante ), escapes con 
demnation, or, perhaps, escapes 
notice altogether. 

QUADRATE, square, vb. and sub. 
QUANTAM . . . AB iLLo, " how greatly 

changed from him." 
OUBSTUARY, studious of profit. 
QUINCUNX, arrangement of things by 

fives, one at each corner, and one 

in the centre. 
QUINTAPLB, fivefold. 
QUODLIBBTICALLY, detenninable on 

either side. 

R ADICATION, process of taking root. 

RAMPIERS, ramparts. 

REACTION, retaliation. 

REASONS, reasonable persons. 

REFLEX, reflection. 

REFLCTC, ebb. 

RELBNTMBNT, dissolution. 

RELISH OF, to taste of. 

REMINISCENTIAL, relating to reminis 
cence. 

RBMORAS, obstacles. 

REMOVE, step. 

REPROBATED, condemned to eternal 
punishment. 

RESOLUTION, solution: RESOLU 
TIONS, men of resolution. 

RESPECTIVE, partial. 

RESTRAINT (upon) OF TIME, impeded 
by the restrictions of time. 

RETIARIUS, a prize-fighter who en 
tangled his opponent in a net, which 
by some dexterous management he 
threw upon him. 

RETIARY, RETICULATE, in form of 
network. 

RETRIBUTB UNTO, to restore. 

RETRIBUTION, repayment. 

REVIVIFICATION, recalling to life. 

RIVALITY, equality. 

ROUNDLES, steps of a ladder. 



242 



GLOSSARY 



RUAT . . . TUA, " The sky may fall, 

thy will be done." 
RUBICON, the river by crossing which 

Caesar declared war against the 

Senate. 

SALAMANDER'S WOOL, a kind of as 
bestos. 

SALIENT, leaping " salient animals." 

SALTYR, heraldic term for cross 
blazoning of shield. 

SALVE, explained by Gardiner as 
" cure," " remedy," but it means 
rather to make a reservation which 
saves. To Salve Priscian's pate 
means to avoid breaking fri&ca^^ 
head. In Sir T. B. the word has 
the general sense of solve, explain. 

SALVIFICALLY, "so as to procure sal 
vation." 

SANCTUARY (" St. Paul's ") . Several 
passages in St. Paul's writings have 
been quoted by various editors to 
explain this passage, but Greenhill 
points out that the Dutch translator 
was probably right in quoting 
Rom. xi. 33 : " O the depth of the 
riches," etc., as the passage referred 
to, especially as Sir T. B. himself 
alluded to it, and that the sanctuary 
is " the incpmprehensibilityof God." 

SATION, sowing. 

SATURN (revolution of). "The 
planet Saturn maketh his revolu 
tion once in thirty years." [Note 
in one of the MSS.] 

SCALES, ladders. 

SCANDAL, ill odour. 

SCHOOLS, the medieval schools of dis 
putation and theology. 

SECONDINE, after-birth. 

SENSIBLE, perceptible by the senses. 

SEVEN YEARS PAST. The Address to 
the Reader was first published in 
1643 ; according to this the " Religio 
Medici " was written about 1636. 

SHADOWED, shadowed forth. 

SHARP, a pointed weapon. To PLAY 
AT SHARP, to fight in earnest. 

Sic . . . VELIM. " Thus would I wish 
to be gathered together when 
turned into bones," Tibulus, iii., 
2,26. 

Si FORET . . . DEMOCRITUS. "If De- 
mocritus were still on earth he would 
laugh" (Horace, Ep. ii. i, 194). 



SIGIL, seal. 

SIMPLE, vb., to botanize. 

SINISTROUS, left-handed. 

SOCIETY, co-operation. 

SOCRATES AND CARDAX, Socrates and 

Cardax talked of an attendant 

spirit that hinted from time to time 

how they should act. 
SORITES, a series of elliptic syllogisms. 
SORTILEGIES, divination by drawing 

lots. 

SPERMATICAL, pertaining to the seed. 
SPICATED, spiked. 
SPINDLES, slender stalks. 
SPINTRIAN, obscene. 
SPRUCE, " formerly used of things 

with a serious meaning." 



SQUAMOUS, scaly. 
STATION, fixity. 



STATISTS, politicians. 

ST. INNOCENT'S CHURCHYARD, PARIS, 

where bodies decay quickly. 
STINT, limit. 
STRABO'S CLOAK. Strabo compared 

the then known world to a cloak. 
SUPEREROGATE, to do more than is 

absolutely necessary. 
SUPINITY, sloth. 
SUPPOSED, undeniable. 
SUPPUTATION, reckoning. 
SURCLE, small shoot, sucker. 
SURD, deaf. 

TABLES (a game at), backgammon. 

TABID, wasted by disease. 

TARGUM, a paraphrase or amplifica 
tion. 

TARTARETUS, a real person, a doctor 
of the Sorbonne and a writer of 
some celebrity in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries (Greenhill). 

TEGUMENT, covering. 

TELARELY, in a weblike manner. 

TELESMES, talisman. 

TEMERARIOUS, rash. 

TESTACEOUS, made of earthenware. 

TESTIFY THEIR POSSESSIONS, show 
the Romans once inhabited them. 

TETRICK, sour, morose. 

TEXTUARY, text learned. 

THETAS 0, a theta inscribed upon the 
udges' tessera or ballot was a mark 
r death or capital condemnation. 

THIRTY YEARS (nor hath my pulse 
beat). As Browne was born in 
October, 1605, the "Religio Med- 



ju 
for 



GLOSSARY 



243 



ici " would thus seem to have been 
written about 1635. 

THWART, THWARTING, transverse. 

TINCTURE, touch, colour. 

TORTILE, twisted. 

TRAOUCTION, propagation. 

TRAJECTION, emission. 

TRANSPECIATB, to transform into an 
other species. 

TRANSVBRTIBLE, invertible. 

TREASURE, treasury. 

TREDDLES, albuminous cords in an 
egg. 

TRIQUETROUS, trigonal ; having three 
salient angles or edges. 

TROPIC, the tropic is the point where 
the sun turns back. 

TROPICAL, figurative. 

TYCHO, he that makes, or he that 
possesses; as Adam might be said 
to contain within him the race of 
mankind. 

U FINITAS, rules without exceptions. 

ULIGINOUS, slimy. 

ULTION, revenge. 

UNCOUS, hooked. 

UNITERABLE, incapable of repeti 
tion. 

UNITION, union. 

UNRECLAIMED, untamed, a term in 
falconry. 

URGING, burning fiercely. 

URN OF THE PR^TOR, into which the 
ticket of condemnation or acquittal 
was cast. 

VAGRANT, wandering. 
VAINGLORIES, vain-glorious men. 



VAIK, skin of squirrel (" vaircd 
coats"). 

VAS rsTRiNUM, a vessel for burning. 

VENICE (the Duke of), an ancient 
ceremony formerly performed by 
the Doge yearly to symbolize the 
sovereignty of the State over the 
Adriatic. 

VENICE (the State of)- In 1606 there 
was a quarrel between the State of 
Venice and Pope Paul V., which 
was settled in the following year by 
the intervention of France. 

VENNY (venew), the lunge in fencing. 

VENTILATION, fanning, influence. 

VBRTICITIES, rotations. 

VESPILLOES, corpse-bearers. 

VINOSITY, vinous nature. 

VITIOSITY, viciousness. 

VITRIFICATION, reduction of body 
into glass. 

VOLBE (a la), at random. 

VOTES, wishes. 

WAX (" the wise man's wax "), allud 
ing to the story of Ulysses, who 
stopped his companions ears with 
wax as they passed by the Sirens. 

YVROCNB, drunken. The character 
istic German. 

ZEALS, zealous men. 

ZENO'S KING, " the King of the 
Stoics," whose founder was Zeno, 
and who held that the wise man 
alone had power and royalty. 

ZOILISM, criticism in the style of 
Zoilus. 



PR Browne, (Sir) Thomas 

3327 Religio medici 

A73 
18 



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