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purpose, if God give me leave, (having begun aprehension of them, they shall make that ancient work of this nature in aphorisms,) to propound it and patient request, “ Verbera, sed audi;" let hereafter, noting it in the mean time for deficient. men reprehend them, so they observe and weigh
And for your majesty's laws of England, I them : for the appeal is lawful, though it may be could say much of their dignity, and somewhat it shall not be needful, from the first cogitations of their defect; but they cannot but excel the of men to their second, and from the nearer times civil laws in fitness for the government: for the to the times farther off. Now let us come to that civil law was “non hos quæsitum munus in learning, which both the fornier times were not usus ;" it was not made for the countries which it so blessed as to know, sacred and inspired Divigoverneth : hereof I cease to speak, because I will nity, the sabbath and port of all men's labours not intermingle matter of action with matter of and peregrinations. general learning.
The prerogative of God extendeth as well to Thus have I concluded this portion of learning the reason as to the will of man; so that as we touching civil knowedge; and with civil know- are to obey his law, though we find a reluctation ledge have concluded human philosophy; and in our will, so we are to believe his word, though with human philosophy, philosophy in general. we find a reluctation in our reason. For if we And being now at some pause, looking back into believe only that which is agreeable to our sense, that I have passed through, this writing seemeth we give consent to the matter, and not to the auto me, “si nunquam fallit imago” (as far as a man thor; which is no more than we would do towards can judge of his own work,) not much better than a suspected and discredited witness; but that that noise or sound which musicians make while faith which was accounted to Abraham for rightthey are tuning their instruments; which is no- eousness was of such a point as whereat Sarah thing pleasant to hear, but yet is a cause why the laughed, who therein was an image of natural music is sweeter afterwards: so have I been con- reason. tent to tune the instruments of the muses, that Howbeit, if we will truly consider it, more they may play that have better hands. And sure worthy it is to believe than to know as we now ly, when I set before me the condition of these know. For in knowledge man's mind suffereth times, in which learning hath made her third from sense; but in belief it suffereth from spirit, visitation or circuit in all the qualities thereof-as such one as it holdeth for more authorized than the excellency and vivacity of the wits of this itself, and so suffereth from the worthier agent. age; the noble helps and lights which we have Otherwise it is of the state of man glorified; for by the travails of ancient writers; the art of print- then faith shall cease, and we shall know as we ing, which communicateth books to men of all are known. fortunes; the openness of the world by naviga- Wherefore we conclude that sacred Theology, tion, which hath disclosed multitudes of experi- (which in our idiom we call Divinity,) is groundments, and a mass of natural history; the leisure ed only upon the word and oracle of God, and not wherewith these times abound, not employing upon the light of nature: for it is written, “Cæli men so generally in civil business, as the states enarrant gloriam Dei;" but it is not written, “ Coli of Græcia did, in respect of their popularity, and enarrant voluntatem Dei :" but of that it is said, the states of Rome, in respect of the greatness of " Ad legem et testimonium : si non fecerint secuntheir monarchy; the present disposition of these dum verbum istud,” &c. This holdeth not only times at this instant to peace; the consumption in those points of faith which concern the great of all that ever can be said in controversies of re- mysteries of the Deity, of the creation, of the religion, which have so much diverted men from demption, but likewise those which concern the other sciences; the perfection of your majesty's law moral truly interpreted : Love your enemies: learning, which as a phenix may call whole vol- do good to them that hate you; be like to your lies of wits to follow you; and the inseparable heavenly Father, that suffereth his rain to fall propriety of time, which is ever more and more upon the just and unjust. To this it ought to be to disclose truth-I cannot but be raised to this applauded, “ Nec vox hominum sonat:" it is a persuasion, that this third period of time will far voice beyond the light of nature. So we see the surpass that of the Grecian and Roman learning: heathen poets, when they fall upon a libertine only if men will know their own strength, and passion, do still expostulate with laws and motheir own weakness both; and take one from the ralities, as if they were opposite and malignant to other, light of invention, and not fire of contra- nature: “Et quod natura remittit, invida jura diction; and esteem of the inquisition of truth as of negant.” So said Dendamis the Indian unto an enterprise, and not as of a quality or ornament; Alexander's messengers, “ That he had heard and employ wit and magnificence to things of somewhat of Pythagoras, and some other of the worth and excellency, and not to things vulgar wise men of Græcia, and that he held them for and of popular estimation. As for my labours, if excellent men: but that they had a fault, which any man shall please himself or others in the re- ! was, that they had in too great reverence and
veneration a thing they called law and manners.”, and exempted from examination of reason, it is So it must be confessed, that a great part of the then permitted unto us to make derivations and law moral is of that perfection, whereunto the inferences from, and according to the analogy of light of nature cannot aspire: how then is it that them, for our better direction. In nature this man is said to have, by the light and law of na-holdeth not; for both the principles are examinature, some notions and conceits of virtue and ble by induction, though not by a medium or vice, justice and wrong, good and evil? Thus, syllogism; and besides, those principles or first because the light of nature is used in two several positions have no discordance with that reason senses; the one, that which springeth from which draweth down and deduceth the inferior reason, sense, induction, argument, according to positions. But yet it holdeth not in religion the laws of heaven and earth; the other, that alone, but in many knowledges, both of greater which is imprinted upon the spirit of man by an and smaller nature, namely, wherein there are not inward instinct, according to the law of con-only posita but placita; for in such there can be science, which is a sparkle of the purity of his no use of absolute reason: we see it familiarly in first estate: in which latter sense only he is par- games of wit, as chess, or the like: the draughts ticipant of some light and discerning touching and first laws of the game are positive, but how? the perfection of the moral law: but how? suffi- merely ad placitum, and not examinable by reacient to check the vice, but not to inform the duty. son; but then how to direct our play thereupon So then the doctrine of religion, as well moral as with best advantage to win the game, is artificial mystical, is not to be attained but by inspiration and rational. So in human laws, there be many and revelation from God.
grounds and maxims which are placita juris, The use, notwithstanding, of reason in spiritual positive upon authority, and not upon reason, and things, and the latitude thereof, is very great and therefore not to be disputed: but what is most general : for it is not for nothing that the apostle just, not absolutely but relatively, and according calleth religion our reasonable service of God; to those maxims, that affordeth a long field of insomuch as the very ceremonies and figures of disputation. Such therefore is that secondary the old law were full of reason and signification, reason, which hath place in divinity, which is much more than the ceremonies of idolatry and grounded upon the placets of God. magic, that are full of non-significants and surd Here therefore I note this deficiency, that there characters. But most especially the Christian hath not been, to my understanding, sufficiently faith, as in all things, so in this deserveth to be inquired and handled the true limits and use of highly magnified; holding and preserving the reason in spiritual things, as a kind of divine golden mediocrity in this point between the law dialectic: which for that it is not done, it seemeth of the heathen and the law of Mahomet, which to me a thing usual, by pretext of true conceiving have embraced the two extremes. For the reli- that which is revealed, to search and mine into gion of the heathen had no constant belief or con- that which is not revealed; and by pretext of fession, but left all to the liberty of argument; enucleating inferences and contradictories, to and the religion of Mahomet, on the other side, examine that which is positive: the one sort interdicteth argument altogether: the one having falling into the error of Nicodemus, demanding the very face of error, and the other of imposture: to have things made more sensible than it pleaseth whereas the faith doth both admit and reject dis- God to reveal them, “Quomodo possit homo putation with difference.
nasci cum sit senex ?" the other sort into the The use of human reason in religion is of two error of the disciples, which were scandalized at sorts: the former, in the conception and appre- a show of contradiction, “Quid est hoc quod hension of the mysteries of God to us revealed ; dicit nobis ? Modicum et non videbitis me; et the other, in the inferring and deriving of doc- iterum modicum et videbitis me," &c. trine and direction thereupon. The former ex- Upon this I have insisted the more, in regard tendeth to the mysteries themselves; but how? | of the great and blessed use thereof; for this by way of illustration, and not by way of argu-point, well laboured and defined of, would in my ment: the latter consisteth indeed of probation judgment be an opiate to stay and bridle not only and argument.
In the former, we see, God the vanity of curious speculations, wherewith the vouchsafeth to descend to our capacity, in the ex- schools labour, but the fury of controversies, pressing of his mysteries in sort as may be sen- wherewith the church laboureth. For it cannot sible unto us; and doth graft his revelations and but open men's eyes, to see that many controverholy doctrine upon the notions of our reason, and sies do merely pertain to that which is either not applieth bis inspirations to open our understand- revealed, or positive; and that many others do ing, as the form of the key to the ward of the grow upon weak and obscure inferences or derilock: for the latter, there is allowed us a use of vations: which latter sort, if men would revive reason and argument, secondary and respective, the blessed style of that great doctor of the Genalthough not original and absolute. For after tiles, would be carried thus, “Ego, non Domithe articles and principles of religion are placed / nus;" and again, “ Secundum consilium meum,"
in opinions and counsels, and not in positions and stures, which are the fountains of the water of life. oppositions. But men are now over-ready to The interpretations of the Scriptures are of two usurp the style, “ Non ego, sed Dominus;" and sorts ; methodical, and solute or at large. For not so only, but to bind it with the thunder and this divine water, which excelleth so much that denunciation of curses and anathemas, to the ter- of Jacob's well, is drawn forth much in the same ror of those which have not sufficiently learned kind as natural water useth to be out of wells and out of Solomon, that “the causeless curse shall fountains; either it is first be forced up into a not come.”
cistern, and from thence fetehed and derived for Divinity hath two principal parts; the matter use; or else it is drawn and received in buckets informed or revealed, and the nature of the infor- and vessels immediately where it springeth : the mation or revelation : and with the latter we will former sort whereof, though it seem to be the more begin, because it hath most coherence with that ready, yet in my judgment is more subject to corwhich we have now last handled. The nature rupt. This is that method which hath exhibited of the information consisteth of three branches; unto us the scholastical divinity ; whereby divinithe limits of the information, the sufficiency of ty hath been reduced into an art, as into a cistern, the information, and the acquiring or obtaining and the streams of doctrine or positions fetched the information. Unto the limits of the informa- and derived from thence. tion belong these considerations; how far forth In this men have sought, three things, a sumparticular persons continue to be inspired; how mary brevity, a compacted strength, and a comfar forth the church is inspired ; how far forth plete perfection; whereof the two first they fail to reason may be used: the last point whereof J find, and the last they ought not to seek. For as have noted as deficient. Unto the sufficiency of to brevity, we see, in all summary methods, while the information belong two considerations; what men purpose to abridge, they give cause to dilate. points of religion are fundamental, and what per- For the sum or abridgment by contraction befective, being matter of further building and per- cometh obscure; the obscurity requireth exposifection upon one and the same foundation; and tion, and the exposition is deduced into large again, how the gradations of light, according to commentaries, or into commonplaces and titles, the dispensation of times, are material to the which grow to be more vast than the original sufficiency of belief.
writings, whence the sum was first extracted. So, Here again I may rather give it in advice, than we see, the volumes of the schoolmen are greater note it as deficient, that the points fundamental, much than the first writings of the fathers, whence and the points of farther perfection only, ought to the master of the sentences made his sum or colbe with piety and wisdom distinguished; a sub- lection. So, in like manner, the volumes of the ject tending to much like end as that I noted be- modern doctors of the civil law exceed those of the fore; for as that other were likely to abate the ancient jurisconsults, of which Tribonian comnumber of controversies, so this is like to abate piled the digest. So as this course of sums and the heat of many of them. We see Moses when commentaries is that which doth infallibly make he saw the Israelite and the Ægyptian fight, he the body of sciences more immense in quantity, did not say, Why strive you ? but drew his sword and more base in substance. and slew the Ægyptian: but when he saw the And for strength, it is true that knowledges retwo Israelites fight, he said, You are brethren, duced into exact methods have a show of strength, why strive you? If the point of doctrine be an in that each part seemeth to support and sustain Ægyptian, it must be slain by the sword of the the other; but this is more satisfactory than subSpirit, and not reconciled; but if it be an Israelite, stantial : like unto buildings which stand by though in the wrong, then, Why strive you? We architecture and compaction, which are more subsee of the fundamental points, our Saviour pen- ject to ruin than those which are built more strong neth the league thus, “he that is not with us is in their several parts, though less compacted. But against us ;" but of points not fundamental, thus, it is plain that the more you recede from your • He that is not against us, is with us." So we grounds, the weaker do you conclude: and as in see the coat of our Saviour was entire without nature, the more you remove yourself from parseam, and so is the doctrine of the Scripture in ticulars, the greater peril of error you do incur; so itself; but the garment of the church was of di- , much more in divinity, the more you recede from vers colours, and yet not divided : we see the the Scriptures by inferences and consequences, chaff may and ought to be severed from the corn the more weak and dilute are your positions. in the ear, but the tares may not be pulled up from And as for perfection or completeness in divinithe corn in the field. So as it is a thing of great ty, it is not to be sought; which makes this course use well to define what, and of what latitude those of artificial divinity the more suspect. For he points are, which do make men merely aliens and that will reduce a knowledge into an art, will disincorporate from the church of God.
make it round and uniforin: but in divinity many For the obtaining of the information, it resteth things must be left abrupt, and concluded with upon the true and sound interpretation of the Scrip-'this: “O altitudo sapientiæ et scientiæ Dei! quan: VOL. I.-31
incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus, et non in- some others, that have pretended to find the truth vestigabiles viæ ejus !" So again the apostle of all natural philosophy in the Scriptures; scandasaith, “ Ex parte scimus :" and to have the form lizing and traducing all other philosophy as heaof a total, where there is but matter for a part, thenish and profane. But there is no such enmity cannot be without supplies by supposition and between God's word and his works ; neither do presumption. And therefore I conclude, that the they give honour to the Scriptures, as they suptrue use of these sums and hods hath place pose, but much embase them. For to seek heain institutions or introductions preparatory unto ven and earth in the word of God, (whereof it is knowledge ; but in them, or by deducement from said “heaven and earth shall pass, but my word them, to handle the main body and substance of shall not pass,”) is to seek temporary things a knowledge, is in all sciences prejudicial, and in amongst eternal: and as to seek divinity in phidivinity dangerous.
losophy is to seek the living amongst the dead, As to the interpretation of the Scriptures solute so to seek philosophy in divinity is to seek the and at large, there have been divers kinds intro- dead amongst the living; neither are the pots or duced and devised; some of them rather curious lavers, whose place was in the outward part of and unsafe, than sober and warranted. Notwith the temple, to be sought in the holiest place of standing, thus much must be confessed, that the all, where the ark of the testimony was seated. Scriptures, being given by inspiration, and not by And again, the scope or purpose of the Spirit of human reason, do differ from all other books in God is not to express matters of nature in the the author; which, by consequence, doth draw on Scriptures otherwise than in passage, and for some difference to be used by the expositor. For application to man's capacity, and to matters the inditer of them did know four things which moral or divine. And it is a true rule, “ Aua no man attains to know; which are, the mys- toris aliud agentis parva auctoritas ;" for it were teries of the kingdom of glory, the perfection a strange conclusion, if a man should use a simiof the laws of nature, the secrets of the heart of litude for ornament or illustration sake, borrowed man, and the future succession of all ages. For from nature or history according to vulgar conceit, as to the firs“ it is said, “ He that presseth into as of a basilisk, a unicorn, a centaur, a Briareus, the light, shail be oppressed of the glory.” And a hydra, or the like, that therefore he must needs again, “No man shall see my face and live.” be thought to affirm the matter thereof positively to To the second, • When he prepared the heavens be true. To conclude, therefore, these two interI was present, when by law and compass he en- pretations, the one by reduction or enigmatical, closed the deep.” To the third, “ Neither was it the other philosophical or physical, which have needful that any should bear witness to him of been received and pursued in imitation of the rabman, for he knew well what was in man." And bins and cabalists, are to be confined with a “noli to the last, “ From the beginning are known to altum sapere, sed time." the Lord all his works."
But the two latter points, known to God and From the former of these two have been drawn unknown to man, touching the secrets of the certain senses and expositions of Scriptures, which heart, and the successions of time, do make a just had need be contained within the bounds of so- and sound difference between the manner of the briety; the one anagogical, and the other philoso- exposition of the Scriptures and all other books. phical. But as to the former, man is not to pre- For it is an excellent observation which hath been vent his time: “ Videmus nunc per speculum in made upon the answers of our Saviour Christ to ænigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem:" wherein, many of the questions which were propounded to nevertheless, there seemeth to be a liberty granted, him, how that they are impertinent to the state as far forth as the polishing of this glass, or some of the question demanded; the reason whereof is, moderate explication of this enigma. But to because, not being like man, which knows man's press too far into it, cannot but cause a dissolu- thoughts by his words, but knowing man's tion and overthrow of the spirit of man. For in thoughts immediately, he never answered their the body there are three degrees of that we receive words, but their thoughts : much in the like into it, aliment, medicine, and poison; whereof manner it is with the Scriptures, which being aliment is that which the nature of man can per- written to the thoughts of men, and to the succesfectly alter and overcome: medicine is that which sion of all ages, with a foresight of all heresies, is partly converted by nature, and partly convert- contradiction, differing estates of the church, yea eth nature: and poison is that which worketh and particularly of the elect, are not to be interpretwholly upon nature, without that, that nature ed only according to the latitude of the proper sense can in any part work upon it: so in the mind of the place, and respectively towards that present whatsoever knowledge reason cannot at all work occasion whereupon the words were uttered, or in upon and convert, is a mere intoxication, and endan- precise congruity or contexture with the words gereth a dissolution of the mind and understanding. before or after, or in contemplation of the princi
But for the latter it hath been extremely set on pal scope of the place; but have in themselves, 1oot of late time by the school of Paracelsus, and I not only totally or collectively, but distributively ia clauses and words, infinite springs and streams God consisteth of three persons in unity of Godof doctrine to water the church in every part. head. The attributes of God are either common And, therefore, as the literal sense is, as it were, to the Deity, or respective to the persons. The the main stream or river; so the moral sense works of God summary are two, that of the creachiefly, and sometimes the allegorical or typical, tion, and that of the redemption; and both these are they whereof the church hath most use: not works, as in total they appertain to the unity of that I wish men to be bold in allegories, or indul- the Godhead, so in their parts they refer to the gent or light in allusions; but that I do much con- three persons: that of the creation, in the mass demn that interpretation of the Scripture which is of the matter, to the Father; in the disposition only after the manner as men use to interpret a pro- of the form, to the Son; and in the continuance fane book.
and conservation of the being, to the Holy Spirit: In this part, touching the exposition of the so that of the redemption, in the election and Scriptures, I can report no deficience ; but by way counsel, to the Father; in the whole act and conof remembrance this I will add ; in perusing books summation, to the Son; and in the application, of divinity, I find many books of controversies, and to the Holy Spirit; for by the Holy Ghost was many of commonplaces and treatises, a mass of Christ conceived in flesh, and by the Holy Ghost positive divinity, as it is made an art; a number are the elect regenerate in spirit. This work likeof sermons and lectures, and many prolix com- wise we consider either effectually, in the elect; mentaries upon the Scriptures, with harmonies and or privately, in the reprobate; or according to apconcordances: but that form of writing in divinity, pearance, in the visible church. which in my judgment is of all others most rich For Manners, the doctrine thereof is contained and precious, is positive divinity, collected upon in the law, which discloseth sin. The law itself particular texts of Scriptures in brief observations; is divided, according to the edition thereof, into not dilated into commonplaces, not chasing after the law of nature, the law moral, and the law pocontroversies, not reduced into method of art; a sitive; and according to the style, into negative thing abounding in sermons which will vanish, and affirmative, prohibitions and commandments. but defective in books which will remain; and a Sin, in the matter and subject thereof, is divided thing wherein this age excelleth. For I am per- according to the commandments; in the form suaded, (and I may speak it with an “ Absit in thereof, it referreth to the three persons in Deity: vidia verbo,” and noways in derogation of anti- sins of infirmity against the Father, whose more quity, but as in a good emulation between the vine special attribute is power; sins of ignorance and the olive,) that if the choice and best of those against the Son, whose attribute is wisdom; and observations upon texts of Scriptures, which have sins of malice against the Holy Ghost, whose atbeen made dispersedly in sermons within this your tribute is grace or love. In the motions of it, it majesty's island of Britain by the space of these either moveth to the right hand or to the left; forty years and more, leaving out the largeness of either to blind devotion, or to profane and liberexhortations and applications thereupon, had been tine transgression ; either in imposing restraint set down in a continuance, it had been the best where God granteth liberty, or in taking liberty work in divinity which had been written since the where God imposeth restraint. In the degrees apostles' times.
and progress of it, it divideth itself into thought, The matter informed by divinity is of two word, or act. And in this part I commend much kinds; matter of belief and truth of opinion, and the deducing of the law of God to cases of conmatter of service and adoration; which is also science; for that I take indeed to be a breaking, judged and directed by the former; the one being and not exhibiting whole of the bread of life. as the internal soul of religion, and the other as But that which quickeneth both these doctrines the external body thereof. And therefore the hea- of faith and manners, is the elevation and consent then religion was not only a worship of idols, but of the heart: whereunto appertain books of exthe whole religion was an idol in itself; for it had hortation, holy meditation, Christian resolution, no soul, that is, no certainty of belief or confes- and the like. sion; as a man may well think, considering the For the Liturgy or service, it consisteth of the chief doctors of their church were the poets : and reciprocal acts between God and man: which, on the reason was, because the heathen gods were no the part of God, are the preaching of the word, jealous gods, but were glad to þe admitted into and the sacraments, which are seals to the covepart, as they had reason. Neither did they re- nant, or as the visible word; and on the part of spect the pureness of heart, so they might have man, invocation of the name of God; and under external honour and rites.
the law, sacrifices; which were as visible prayers But out of these two do result and issue four or confessions: but now the adoration being “in main branches of divinity; faith, manners, litur- spiritu et veritate,” there remaineth only « vituli gy, and government. Faith containeth the doc- labiorum ;” although the use of holy vows of trine of the nature of God, of the attributes of thankfulness and retribution may be accounted God, and of the works of God. The nature of I also as sealed petitions.