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times are the ancient times, when the world is | discovery can be made upon a flat or a level: neiancient, and not those which we account ancient ther is it possible to discover the more remote and ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from deeper parts of any science, if you stand but upon ourselves.

the level of the same science, and ascend not to a Another error, induced by the former, is a distrust higher science. that any thing should be now to be found out, which Another error hath proceeded from too great a the world should have missed and passed over reverence, and a kind of adoration of the mind and so long time; as if the same objection were to be understanding of man; by means whereof, men made to time, that Lucian maketh to Jupiter and have withdrawn themselves too much from the conother the heathen gods, of which he wondereth, that templation of nature, and the observations of exthey begot so many children in old time, and begot perience, and have tumbled up and down in their none in his time; and asketh, whether they were own reason and conceits. Upon these intellectual. become septuagenary, or whether the law Papia, ists, which are, notwithstanding, commonly taken made against old men's marriages, had restrained for the most sublime and divine philosophers, Herathem. So it seemeth men doubt lest time is become clitus gave a just censure, saying, “ Men sought past children and generation; wherein, contrariwise, truth in their own little worlds, and not in the we see commonly the levity and inconstancy of great and common world ;" for they disdain to spell, men's judgments, which, till a matter be done, wonder and so by degrees to read in the volume of God's that it can be done; and as soon as it is done, won works; and contrariwise, by continual meditation der again that it was no sooner done; as we see in and agitation of wit, do urge and as it were invocate the expedition of Alexander into Asia, which at first their own spirits to divine, and give oracles unto was prejudged as a vast and impossible enterprise : them, whereby they are deservedly deluded. and yet afterwards it pleaseth Livy to make no more Another error that hath some connexion with this of it than this; “ Nil aliud, quam bene ausus est latter, is, that men have used to infect their meditavana contemnere :" and the same happened to tions, opinions, and doctrines, with some conceits Columbus in the western navigation. But in intel- which they have most admired, or some sciences lectual matters, it is much more common; as may which they have most applied ; and given all things be seen in most of the propositions of Euclid, which else a tincture according to them, utterly untrue till they be demonstrated, they seem strange to our and improper. So hath Plato intermingled his phi-assent; but being demonstrated, our mind accepteth losophy with theology, and Aristotle with logic; and of them by a kind of relation, as the lawyers speak, the second school of Plato, Proclus and the rest, as if we had known them before.)

with the mathematics. For these were the arts Another error, that hath also some affinity with which had a kind of primogeniture with them sevethe former, is a conceit, that of former opinions or rally. So have the alchemists made a philosophy sects, after variety and examination, the best hath out of a few experiments of the furnace ; and Gil. still prevailed, and suppressed the rest : so as, if a bertus, our countryman, hath made a philosophy out man should begin the labour of a new search, he of the observations of a loadstone. , So Cicero, when, were but like to light upon somewhat formerly reciting the several opinions of the nature of the rejected, and by rejection brought into oblivion ; as soul, he found a musician, that held the soul was if the multitude, or the wisest, for the multitude's | but a harmony, saith pleasantly, “ Hic ab arte suâ sake, were not ready to give passage, rather to that non recessit," etc. But of these conceits Aristotle which is popular and superficial, than to that speaketh seriously and wisely, when he saith, “ Qui which is substantial and profound : for the truth is, respiciunt ad pauca, de facili pronuntiant." that time seemeth to be of the nature of a river or ( Another error is an impatience of doubt, and haste stream, which carrieth down to us that which is to assertion without due and mature suspension of light and blown up, and sinketh and drowneth that judgment. ) For the two ways of contemplation are which is weighty and solid.

not unlike the two ways of action, commonly spoken Another error, of a diverse nature from all the of by the ancients : the one plain and smooth in the former, is the over early and peremptory reduction beginning, and in the end impassable; the other of knowledge into arts and methods ; from which rough and troublesome in the entrance, but after a time commonly sciences receive small or no aug- while fair and even : so it is in contemplation ; if a mentation. But as young men, when they knit and man will begin with certainties, he shall end in shape perfectly, do seldom grow to a farther stature: doubts; but if he will be content to begin with so knowledge, while it is in aphorisms and observa- doubts, he shall end in certainties. tions, it is in growth ; but when it once is compre Another error is in the manner of the tradition hended in exact methods, it may perchance be far- and delivery of knowledge, which is for the most ther polished and illustrated, and accommodated for part magistral and peremptory; and not ingenuous use and practice; but it increaseth no more in bulk and faithful, in a sort, as may be soonest believed, and substance.

and not easiliest examined. It is true, that in comAnother error which doth succeed that which we pendious treatises for practice, that form is not to last mentioned, is, that after the distribution of par- be disallowed. But in the true handling of knowticular arts and sciences, men have abandoned uni- ledge, men ought not to fall either, on the one side, versality, or philosophia prima ; which cannot but into the vein of Velleius the Epicurean: “ Nil tam cease, and stop all progression. (For no perfect metuens, quam ne dubitare aliqua de re videretur :"

nor, on the other side, into Socrates his ironical Thus have I described and opened, as by a kind doubting of all things ; but to propound things sin- of dissection, those peccant humours, the principal cerely, with more or less asseveration, as they of them, which have not only given impediment to stand in a man's own judgment proved more or less. the proficience of learning, but have given also oc

Other errors there are in the scope that men pro-casion to the traducement thereof: wherein if I pound to themselves, whereunto they bend their en have been too plain, it must be remembered, “Fideavours: for whereas the more constant and devoted delia vulnera amantis, sed dolosa oscula maligkind of professors of any science ought to propound nantis." to themselves to make some additions to their This, I think, I have gained, that I ought to be science; they convert their labours to aspire to cer the better believed in that which I shall say pertain second prizes; as to be a profound interpreter, taining to commendation; because I have proceeded or commentator; to be a sharp champion or defend so freely in that which concerneth censure. And er; to be a methodical compounder or abridger; yet I have no purpose to enter into a laudative of and so the patrimony of knowledge cometh to be learning, or to make a hymn to the Muses, though sometimes improved, but seldom augmented. I am of opinion that it is long since their rites were

(But the greatest error of all the rest, is the mis duly celebrated : but my intent is, without varnish taking or misplacing of the last or farthest end of or amplification, justly to weigh the dignity of knowknowledge : for men have entered into a desire of ledge in the balance with other things, and to take learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natural | the true value thereof by testimonies and arguments curiosity, and inquisitive appetite ; sometimes to en- divine and human. tertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes First, therefore, let us seek the dignity of knowto enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; ledge in the archetype or first platform, which is in and most times for lucre and profession; and sel the attributes and acts of God, as far as they are dom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of revealed to man, and may be observed with sobriety; reason, to the benefit and use of men: as if there wherein we may not seek it by the name of learnwere sought in knowledge a couch, whereupon to ing; for all learning is knowledge acquired, and all rest a searching and restless spirit; or a terrace, for knowledge in God is original; and therefore we a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down must look for it by another name, that of wisdom or with a fair prospect; or a tower of state, for a proud sapience, as the Scriptures call it. mind to raise itself upon ; or a fort or commanding It is so then, that in the word of the creation we ground, for strife and contention; or a shop, for pro see a double emanation of virtue from God; the one fit, or sale; and not a rich storehouse, for the glory referring more properly to power, the other to wisof the Creator, and the relief of man's estate. But dom; the one expressed in making the subsistence this is that which will indeed dignify and exalt of the matter, and the other in disposing the beauty knowledge, if contemplation and action may be more of the form. This being supposed, it is to be observnearly and straitly conjoined and united together ed, that, for any thing which appeareth in the histhan they have been; a conjunction like unto that tory of the creation, the confused mass and matter of the two highest planets, Saturn, the planet of rest of heaven and earth was made in a moment; and and contemplation, and Jupiter, the planet of civil the order and disposition of that chaos, or mass, was society and action. Howbeit, I do not mean, when the work of six days; such a note of difference it I speak of use and action, that end before mentioned pleased God to put upon the works of power, and of the applying of knowledge to lucre and profession ;) the works of wisdom : wherewith concurreth, that for I am not ignorant how much that diverteth and in the former it is not set down that God said, “ Let interrupteth the prosecution and advancement of there be heaven and earth,” as it is set down of the knowledge, like unto the golden ball thrown before works following; but actually, that God made heaAtalanta, which while she goeth aside and stoop ven and earth: the one carrying the style of a manueth to take up, the race is hindered ;

facture, and the other of a law, decree, or council. Declinat cursus, aurumque volubile tollit.

To proceed to that which is next in order, from

God to spirits. We find, as far as credit is to be given Neither is my meaning, as was spoken of Socrates, to the celestial hierarchy of that supposed Dionysius to call philosophy down from heaven to converse the senator of Athens, the first place or degree is upon the earth; that is, to leave natural philosophy given to the angels of love, which are termed Seaside, and to apply knowledge only to manners and raphim; the second to the angels of light, which are

policy. But as both heaven and earth do conspire termed Cherubim; and the third, and so following ; and contribute to the use and benefit of man; so the places, to thrones, principalities, and the rest, which

end ought to be, from both philosophies to separate are all angels of power and ministry ; so as the and reject vain speculations, and whatsoever is empty angels of knowledge and illumination are placed beand void, and to preserve and augment whatsoever fore the angels of office and domination. is solid and fruitful : that knowledge may not be, To descend from spirits and intellectual forms to as a courtesan, for pleasure and vanity only, or, sensible and material forms; we read the first form as a bond woman, to acquire and gain to her master's that was created was light, which hath a relation use ; but, as a spouse, for generation, fruit, and and correspondence in nature and corporal things to comfort. )

knowledge in spirits and incorporal things.

So in the distribution of days, we see, the day | As in the law of the leprosy, where it is said, “ If wherein God did rest, and contemplate his own works, the whiteness have overspread the flesh, the patient was blessed above all the days wherein he did effect may pass abroad for clean; but if there be any and accomplish them.

whole flesh remaining, he is to be shut up for After the creation was finished, it is set down unto unclean;" one of them noteth a principle of nature, us, that man was placed in the garden to work that putrefaction is more contagious before maturity, therein; which work, so appointed to him, could be than after: and another noteth a position of moral no other than work of contemplation ; that is, when philosophy, that men, abandoned to vice, do not so the end of work is but for exercise and experi- much corrupt manners, as those that are half good ment, not for necessity; for there being then no re and half evil. So in this, and very many other luctation of the creature, nor sweat of the brow, places in that law, there is to be found, besides the man's employment must of consequence have been theological sense, much aspersion of philosophy. matter of delight in the experiment, and not matter So likewise in that excellent book of Job, if it be of labour for the use. Again, the first acts which revolved with diligence, it will be found pregnant man performed in paradise, consisted of the two and swelling with natural philosophy : as for examsummary parts of knowledge; the view of creatures, ple, cosmography, and the roundness of the world ;) and the imposition of names. As for the knowledge “Qui extendit aquilonem super vacuum, et appendit which induced the fall, it was, as was touched be terram super nihilum ;" wherein the pensileness of fore, not the natural knowledge of creatures, but the the earth, the pole of the north, and the finiteness moral knowledge of good and evil; wherein the or convexity of heaven, are manifestly touched. So supposition was, that God's commandments or pro- again, matter of astronomy : “Spiritus ejus ornavit hibitions were not the originals of good and evil, but cælos, et obstetricante manu ejus eductus est Coluthat they had other beginnings, which man aspired ber tortuosus.” And in another place ; “ Nunquid to know, to the end to make a total defection from conjungere valebis micantes stellas Pleiadas, aut God, and to depend wholly upon himself.

gyrum Arcturi poteris dissipare ?” Where the fixing To pass on : in the first event or occurrence after of the stars, ever standing at equal distance, is with the fall of man, we see, as the Scriptures have in- great elegancy noted. And in another place ;) “ Qui finite mysteries, not violating at all the truth of the facit Arcturum, et Oriona, et Hyadas, et interiora story or letter, an image of the two estates, the con- Austri ;” / where again he takes knowledge of the templative state, and the active state, figured in the depression of the southern pole, calling it the secrets two persons of Abel and Cain, and in the two sim- of the south, because the southern stars were in that plest and most primitive trades of life; that of the climate unseen. Matter of generation ; “ Annon si shepherd, who, by reason of his leisure, rest in a cut lac mulsisti me, et sicut caseum coagulasti me," place, and living in view of heaven, is a lively image etc. Matter of minerals ;) “ Habet argentum vena. of a contemplative life; and that of the husband. rum suarum principia : et auro locus est in quo conman; where we see again, the favour and election flatur, ferrum de terrâ tollitur, et lapis solutus calore of God went to the shepherd, and not to the tiller of in æs vertitur :"/and so forwards in that chapter.) the ground.

So likewise in the person of Solomon the king, we So in the age before the flood, the holy records see the gift or endowment of wisdom and learning, within those few memorials, which are there entered both in Solomon's petition, and in God's assent and registered, have vouchsafed to mention, and ho- thereunto, preferred before all other terrene and nour the name of the inventors and authors of music, temporal felicity. By virtue of which grant or and works in metal. In the age after the flood, the donative of God, Solomon became enabled, not only first great judgment of God upon the ambition of to write those excellent parables, or aphorisms, conman was the confusion of tongues; whereby the cerning divine and moral philosophy; but also to open trade and intercourse of learning and know- compile a natural history of all verdure, from the ledge was chiefly imbarred.


the mountain to the moss upon the wall, To descend to Moses the lawgiver, and God's first which is but a rudiment between putrefaction and pen: he is adorned by the Scriptures with this ad an herb, and also of all things that breathe or move. dition and commendation, that he was seen in all Nay, the same Solomon the king, although he the learning of the Ægyptians ;" which nation, we excelled in the glory of treasure and magnificent know, was one of the most ancient schools of the buildings, of shipping and navigation, of service world : for so Plato brings in the Ægyptian priest and attendance, of fame and renown and the like, saying unto Solon, You Grecians are ever chil- yet he maketh no claim to any of those glories, but dren; you have no knowledge of antiquity, nor only to the glory of inquisition of truth; for so he antiquity of knowledge.” Take a view of the cere saith expressly, “ The glory of God is to conceal a monial law of Moses; you shall find, besides the thing, but the glory of the king is to find it out;" prefiguration of Christ, the badge or difference of as if, according to the innocent play of children, the people of God, the exercise and impression of the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, obedience, and other divine uses and fruits thereof, to the end to have them found out; and as if kings that some of the most learned Rabbins have tra- could not obtain a greater honour than to be God's velled profitably, and profoundly to observe, some of playfellows in that game, considering the great them a natural, some of them a moral sense, or commandment of wits and means, whereby nothing reduction of many of the ceremonies and ordinances. I needeth to be hidden from them.

Neither did the dispensation of God vary in the to the exaltation of the glory of God. {For as the times after our Saviour came into the world; for Psalms and other scriptures do often invite us to our Saviour himself did first show his power to sub- consider and magnify the great and wonderful works due ignorance, by his conference with the priests of God; so if we should rest only in the contemand doctors of the law, before he showed his power plation of the exterior of them, as they first offer to subdue nature by his miracles. And the coming themselves to our senses, we should do a like injury of the Holy Spirit was chiefly figured and expressed unto the majesty of God, as if we should judge or in the similitude and gift of tongues, which are but construe of the store of some excellent jeweller, by vehicula scientiæ.

that only which is set out toward the street in his So in the election of those instruments, which it shop. The other, because they minister a singular pleased God to use for the plantation of the faith, help and preservative against unbelief and error : notwithstanding that at the first he did employ per- for our Saviour saith, “ You err, not knowing the sons altogether unlearned, otherwise than by inspir-Scriptures, nor the power of God;" laying before ation, more evidently to declare his immediate us two books or volumes to study, if we will be seworking, and to abase all human wisdom or know- cured from error; first, the Scriptures, revealing the ledge; yet, nevertheless, that counsel of his was no will of God; and then the creatures, expressing his sooner performed, but in the next vicissitude and power; whereof the latter is a key unto the former : succession, he did send his divine truth into the not only opening our understanding to conceive the world, waited on with other learnings, as with ser true sense of the Scriptures, by the general notions vants or hand-maids: for so we see St. Paul, who was of reason and rules of speech ; but chiefly opening the only learned amongst the apostles, had his pen our belief, in drawing us into a due meditation of most used in the Scriptures of the New Testament. the omnipotency of God, which is chiefly signed and

So again, we find that many of the ancient bishops engraven upon his works. Thus much, therefore, and fathers of the church were excellently read and for Divine testimony and evidence, concerning the studied in all the learning of the heathen; insomuch, true dignity and value of learning.) that the edict of the emperor Julianus, whereby it As for human proofs, it is so large a field, as, in was interdicted unto christians to be admitted into a discourse of this nature and brevity, it is fit rather schools, lectures, or exercises of learning, was to use choice of those things which we shall proesteemed and accounted a more pernicious engine duce, than to embrace the variety of them. First, and machination against the christian faith, than therefore, in the degrees of human honour amongst were all the sanguinary prosecutions of his prede- the heathen, it was the highest, to obtain to a venecessors; neither could the emulation and jealousy ration and adoration as a god. This unto the chrisof Gregory, the first of that name, bishop of Rome, tians is as the forbidden fruit. But we speak now ever obtain the opinion of piety or devotion ; but separately of human testimony; according to which, contrariwise received the censure of humour, malig- that which the Grecians call “ apotheosis," and the nity, and pusillanimity, even amongst holy men; in Latins, “ relatio inter divos,” was the supreme hothat he designed to obliterate and extinguish the nour which man could attribute unto man; especially memory of heathen antiquity and authors. But when it was given, not by a formal decree or act of contrariwise it was the christian church, which, state, as it was used among the Roman emperors, amidst the inundations of the Scythians on the one but by an inward assent and belief. Which honour side from the north-west, and the Saracens from the being so high had also a degree or middle term; east, did preserve, in the sacred lap and bosom for there were reckoned above human honours, hothereof, the precious relics even of heathen learn nours heroical and divine : in the attribution and ing, which otherwise had been extinguished, as if distribution of which honours, we see, antiquity made no such thing had ever been.

this difference: that whereas founders and uniters And we see before our eyes, that in the age of our of states and cities, lawgivers, extirpators of tyrants, selves and our fathers, when it pleased God to call fathers of the people, and other eminent persons in the church of Rome to account for their degenerate civil merit, were honoured but with the titles of wormanners and ceremonies, and sundry doctrines ob- thies or demigods, such as were Hercules, Theseus, noxious, and framed to uphold the same abuses ; at Minos, Romulus, and the like: on the other side, one and the same time it was ordained by the Divine such as were inventors and authors of new arts, Providence, that there should attend withal a reno-endowments, and commodities towards man's life, vation, a new spring of all other knowledges : and, were ever consecrated amongst the gods themselves : on the other side, we see the Jesuits, who partly in as were Ceres, Bacchus, Mercurius, Apollo, and themselves, and partly by the emulation and provo- others; and justly : for the merit of the former is cation of their example, have much quickened and confined within the circle of an age or a nation; strengthened the state of learning; we see, I say, and is like fruitful showers, which though they be what notable service and reparation they have done profitable and good, yet serve but for that season, to the Roman see.

and for a latitude of ground where they fall ; but the Wherefore, to conclude this part, let it be observed, other is indeed like the benefits of heaven, which that there be two principal duties and services, be are permanent and universal. The former, again, is sides ornament and illustration, which philosophy mixed with strife and perturbation ; but the latter and human learning do perform to faith and religion. hath the true character of divine presence, coming The one, because they are an effectual inducement | in aura leni, without noise or agitation.

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Neither is certainly that other merit of learning, folded as this is ; yet because it is pertinent to the in repressing the inconveniences which grow from point in hand, “neque semper arcum tendit Apollo," man to man, much inferior to the former, of reliev- and to name them only were too naked and cursory, ing the necessities which arise from nature; which I will not omit it altogether. merit was livelily set forth by the ancients in that The first was Nerva, the excellent temper of feigned relation of Orpheus's theatre, where all whose government is by a glance in Cornelius Tabeasts and birds assembled, and, forgetting their citus touched to the life: “ Postquam divus Nerva several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some

res olim insociabiles miscuisset, imperium et liberof quarrel, stood all sociably together, listening to tatem."

tatem.” And in token of his learning, the last act the airs and accords of the harp; the sound whereof of his short reign, left to memory, was a missive to no sooner ceased, or was drowned by some louder his adopted son Trajan, proceeding upon some innoise, but every beast returned to his own nature ; ward discontent at the ingratitude of the times, wherein is aptly described the nature and condition comprehended in a verse of Homer's. of men, who are full of savage and unreclaimed

Telis, Phæbe, tuis lacrymas ulciscere nostras. desires of profit, of lust, of revenge ; which as long as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, Trajan, who succeeded, was for his person not sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of learned: but if we will hearken to the speech of our books, of sermons, of harangues, so long is society Saviour, that saith, “He that receiveth a prophet in and peace maintained; but if these instruments be the name of a prophet, shall have a prophet's resilent, or that sedition and tumult make them not ward,” he deserveth to be placed amongst the most audible, all things dissolve into anarchy and con- learned princes; for there was not a greater admirer fusion.

of learning, or benefactor of learning; a founder of But this appears more manifestly, when kings famous libraries, a perpetual advancer of learned themselves, or persons of authority under them, or men to office, and a familiar converser with learned other governors in commonwealths and popular professors and preceptors, who were noted to have estates, are endued with learning. For although he then most credit in court. On the other side, how might be thought partial to his own profession, that much Trajan's virtue and government was admired said, " Then should people and estates be happy, and renowned, surely no testimony of grave and when either kings were philosophers, or philoso- faithful history doth more livelily set forth, than that phers kings;" yet so much is verified by experience, legend tale of Gregorius Magnus, bishop of Rome, that under wise and learned princes and governors who was noted for the extreme envy he bore towards there have been ever the best times: for howsoever all heathen excellency; and yet he is reported, out kings may have their imperfections in their passions of the love and estimation of Trajan's moral virtues, and customs; yet if they be illuminate by learning, to have made unto God passionate and fervent prayers they have those notions of religion, policy, and mora for the delivery of his soul out of hell ; and to have lity, which do preserve them; and refrain them obtained it, with a caveat, that he should make no from all ruinous and peremptory errors and excesses, more such petitions. In this prince's time also, the whispering evermore in their ears, when counsel persecutions against the christians received interlors and servants stand mute and silent. And sena

mission, upon the certificate of Plinius Secundus, a tors, or counsellors likewise, which be learned, do man of excellent learning, and by Trajan advanced. proceed upon more safe and substantial principles, Adrian, his successor, was the most curious man than counsellors which are only men of experience ; that lived, and the most universal inquirer; insothe one sort keeping dangers afar off, whereas the much as it was noted for an error in his mind, that other discover them not till they come near hand, he desired to comprehend all things, and not to reand then trust to the agility of their wit to ward off serve himself for the worthiest things; falling into or avoid them.

the like humour that was long before noted in Philip Which felicity of times under learned princes, to of Macedon, who, when he would needs overrule keep still the law of brevity, by using the most and put down an excellent musician, in an argument eminent and selected examples, doth best appear in touching music, was well answered by him again, the age which passed from the death of Domitian“ God forbid, sir," saith he, “ that your fortune the emperor, until the reign of Commodus; com should be so bad, as to know these things better than prehending a succession of six princes, all learned, or I.” It pleased God likewise to use the curiosity of singular favourers and advancers of learning; which this emperor, as an inducement to the peace of his age, for temporal respects, was the most happy and church in those days. For having Christ in veneflourishing that ever the Roman empire, which then ration, not as a God or Saviour, but as a wonder or was a model of the world, enjoyed; a matter re- novelty; and having his picture in his gallery, vealed and prefigured unto Domitian in a dream the matched with Apollonius, with whom, in his vain night before he was slain ; for he thought there was imagination, he thought he had some conformity, grown behind upon his shoulders a neck and a head yet it served the turn to allay the bitter hatred of of gold: which came accordingly to pass in those those times against the christian name, so as the golden times which succeeded; of which princes we church had peace during his time. And for his will make some commemoration : wherein although government civil, although he did not attain to that the matter will be vulgar, and may be thought fitter of Trajan's, in the glory of arms, or perfection of for a declamation, than agreeable to a treatise en- justice; yet in deserving of the weal of the subject he

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