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ture, is weak. Yet in religious meditations, there is sometimes mixture of vanity and of superstition. III. OF UNITY IN RELIGION.* You shall read in some of the friars' books of RELIGION being the chief band of human society, mortification, that a man should think with him- it is a happy thing when itself is well contained self, what the pain is, if he have but his finger's within the true band of unity. The quarrels and end pressed or tortured; and thereby imagine divisions about religion were evils unknown to what the pains of death are, when the whole body the heathen. The reason was, because the reliis corrupted and dissolved; when many times gion of the heathen consisted rather in rites and death passeth with less pain than the torture of a ceremonies, than in any constant belief: for you limb for the most vital parts are not the quickest may imagine what kind of faith theirs was, when of sense. And by him that spake only as a phi- the chief doctors and fathers of their church were losopher, and natural man, it was well said, the poets. But the true God hath this attribute, "Pompa mortis magis terret, quam mors ipsa." that he is a jealous God; and therefore his worGroans, and convulsions, and a discoloured face, ship and religion will endure no mixture nor partand friends weeping, and blacks, and obsequies, ner. We shall therefore speak a few words conand the like, show death terrible. It is worthy cerning the unity of the church; what are the fruits the observing, that there is no passion in the thereof; what the bounds; and what the means. mind of man so weak, but it mates and masters The fruits of unity (next unto the well pleasing the fear of death; and therefore death is no such of God, which is all in all) are two; the one toterrible enemy when a man hath so many attend-wards those that are without the church, the other ants about him that can win the combat of him. towards those that are within. For the former, Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; it is certain, that heresies and schisms are of all honour aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear pre-oc- others the greatest scandals; yea, more than corcupateth it: nay, we read, after Otho the empe- ruption of manners: for as in the natural body a ror had slain himself, pity (which is the tenderest wound or solution of continuity is worse than a of affections) provoked many to die out of mere corrupt humour, so in the spiritual: so that nocompassion to their sovereign, and as the truest thing doth so much keep men out of the church, sort of followers. Nay, Seneca adds, niceness and drive men out of the church, as breach of and satiety Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris; unity; and, therefore, whensoever it cometh to mori velle, non tantum fortis, aut miser, sed etiam that pass that one saith, "ecce in deserto," anfastidiosus potest." A man would die, though he other saith, "ecce in penetralibus;" that is, when were neither valiant nor miserable, only upon a some men seek Christ in the conventicles of heriweariness to do the same thing so oft and over and tics, and others in an outward face of a church, over. It is no less worthy to observe, how little al- that voice had need continually to sound in men's teration in good spirits the approach of death make: ears, "nolite exire," "go not out." The doctor for they appear to be the same men till the last of the Gentiles (the propriety of whose vocation instant. Augustus Cæsar died in a compliment: drew him to have a special care of those without) "Livia, conjugii nostra memor, vive et vale." saith, "If a heathen come in, and hear you speak Tiberius in dissimulation, as Tacitus saith of him, with several tongues, will he not say that you are "Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, mad?" and, certainly, it is little better: when deserebant:" Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon atheists and profane persons do hear of so many the stool," Ut puto Deus fio:" Galba with a sen- discordant and contrary opinions in religion, it tence, "Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani," holding doth avert them from the church, and maketh forth his neck: Septimus Severus in despatch, them, "to sit down in the chair of the scorners." "Adeste, si quid mihi restat agendum," and the It is but a light thing to be vouched in so serious like. Certainly the Stoics bestowed too much a matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity. cost upon death, and by their great preparations There is a master of scoffing that in his catalogue made it appear more fearful. Better, saith he, of books of a feigned library, sets down this title "qui finem vitæ extremum inter munera ponat of a book, "The Morris-Dance of Heretics;" for, naturæ." It is as natural to die as to be born; indeed, every sect of them hath a diverse posture, and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as pain- or cringe, by themselves, which cannot but move ful as the other. He that dies in an earnest pur- derision in worldlings and depraved politics, who suit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood; are apt to contemn holy things. who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt; and therefore a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat that is good, doth avert the dolours of death; but, above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is, "Nunc dimittis" when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations. Death hath this also, that it openeth the good fame, and extinguisheth envy: Extinctus amabitur idem."
As for the fruit towards those that are within, it is peace, which containeth infinite blessings; it establisheth faith; it kindleth charity; the outward peace of the church distilleth into peace of conscience, and it turneth the labours of writing and reading of controversies into treatises of mortification and devotion.
*See Note A at the end of the Essays.
Concerning the bounds of unity, the true placing | points: for truth and falsehood, in such things, of them importeth exceedingly. There appear to are like the iron and clay in the toes of Nebube two extremes: for to certain zealots all speech chadnezzar's image; they may cleave, but they of pacification is odious. "Is it peace, Jehu?"- will not incorporate. "What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me." Peace is not the matter, but following, and party. Contrariwise, certain Laodiceans and lukewarm persons think they may accommodate points of religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements, as if they would make an arbitrement between God and man. Both these extremes are to be avoided; which will be done if the league of Christians, penned by our Saviour himself, were in the two cross clauses thereof soundly and plainly expounded: "He that is not with us is against us ;" and again, " He that is not against us is with us;" that is, if the points fundamental, and of substance in religion, were truly discerned and distinguished from points not merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention. This is a thing may seem to many a matter trivial, and done already; but if it were done less partially, it would be embraced more generally.
Concerning the means of procuring unity, men must beware that, in the procuring or muniting of religious unity, they do not dissolve and deface the laws of charity and of human society. There be two swords amongst Christians, the spiritual and temporal; and both have their due office and place in the maintenance of religion: but we may not take up the third sword, which is Mahomet's sword, or like unto it: that is, to propagate religion by wars, or by sanguinary persecutions to force consciences; except it be in cases of overt scandal, blasphemy, or intermixture of practice against the state; much less to nourish seditions; to authorize conspiracies and rebellions; to put the sword into the people's hands, and the like, tending to the subversion of all government, which is the ordinance of God; for this is but to dash the first table against the second; and so to consider men as Christians, as we forget that they are men. Lucretius the poet, when he beheld the act of Agamemnon, that could endure the sacrificing of his own daughter, exclaimed:
"Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum."
Of this I may give only this advice, according to my small model. Men ought to take heed of rending God's church by two kinds of controversies; the one is, when the matter of the point What would he have said, if he had known of controverted is too small and light, not worth the the massacre in France, or the powder treason of heat and strife about it, kindled only by contra- England? He would have been seven times more diction; for, as it is noted by one of the fathers, epicure and atheist than he was; for as the temChrist's coat indeed had no seam, but the church's poral sword is to be drawn with great circumspecvesture was of divers colours; whereupon he tion in cases of religion, so it is a thing monstrous saith, "in veste varietas sit, scissura non sit," to put it into the hands of the common people; they be two things, unity and uniformity; the let that be left unto the anabaptists, and other fuother is, when the matter of the point controverted ries. It was great blasphemy, when the devil is great, but it is driven to an over great subtilty said, "I will ascend and be like the Highest;" and obscurity, so that it becometh a thing rather but it is greater blasphemy to personate God, and ingenious than substantial. A man that is of bring him in saying, "I will descend, and be judgment and understanding shall sometimes hear like the prince of darkness:" and what is it betignorant men differ, and know well within him- ter, to make the cause of religion to descend to the self, that those which so differ mean one thing, cruel and execrable actions of murdering princes, and yet they themselves would never agree: and butchery of people, and subversion of states and if it come so to pass in that distance of judgment, governments? Surely this is to bring down the which is between man and man, shall we not Holy Ghost, instead of the likeness of a dove, in think that God above, that knows the heart, doth the shape of a vulture or raven; and to set out of not discern that frail men, in some of their con- the bark of a Christian church a flag of a bark of tradictions, intend the same thing and accepteth pirates and assassins; therefore it is most necesof both? The nature of such controversies is ex-sary that the church by doctrine and decree, cellently expressed by St. Paul, in the warning princes by their sword, and all learnings, both and precept that he giveth concerning the same, "devita profanas vocum novitates, et oppositiones falsi nominis scientiæ." Men create oppositions which are not, and put them into new terms so fixed, as whereas the meaning ought to govern the term, the term in effect governeth the meaning. There be also two false peaces, or unities: the one, when the peace is grounded but upon an implicit ignorance; for all colours will agree in the dark: the other, when it is pieced up upon a direct admission of contraries in fundamental
Christian and moral, as by their Mercury rod to
ESSAYS CIVIL AND MORAL.
IV. OF REVENGE.
the other, (much too high for a heathen,)" It is REVENGE is a kind of wild justice, which the and the security of a God:"-" Vere magnum true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man, more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out: for as for the first wrong, it doth This would have done better in poesy, where habere fragilitatem hominis, securitatem Dei." but offend the law, but the revenge of that wrong transcendencies are more allowed; and the poets, putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in taking indeed, have been busy with it; for it is in effect revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but the thing which is figured in that strange fiction in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a of the ancient poets, which seemeth not to be prince's part to pardon: and Solomon, I am sure, without mystery; nay, and to have some approach saith, "It is the glory of a man to pass by an offence." That which is past is gone and irre- he went to unbind Prometheus, (by whom human to the state of a Christian, "that Hercules, when coverable, and wise men have enough to do with nature is represented,) sailed the length of the things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labour in past describing Christian resolution, that saileth in the great ocean in an earthen pot or pitcher, lively matters. There is no man doth a wrong for the frail bark of the flesh through the waves of the wrong's sake, but thereby to purchase himself world." But to speak in a mean, the virtue of profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the like; therefore why should I be angry with a man for loving fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical virprosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong, merely out of ill-nature, why, yet it is tue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testabut like the thorn or brier, which prick and scratch, carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer ment, adversity is the blessing of the New, which because they can do no other. The most tolerable revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall no law to remedy; but then, let a man take heed hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the the revenge be such there is no law to punish, pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in else a man's enemy is still beforehand, and it is describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities two for one. Some, when they take revenge, are of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears desirous the party should know whence it cometh and distastes; and adversity is not without comthis is the more generous; for the delight seemeth forts and hopes. We see in needle-works and to be not so much in doing the hurt as in making embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively the party repent: but base and crafty cowards are work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have like the arrow that flieth in the dark. Cosmus, a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome Duke of Florence, had a desperate saying against ground: judge, therefore, of the pleasure of the perfidious or neglecting friends, as if those wrongs heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly were unpardonable. “You shall read,” saith he, virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when "that we are commanded to forgive our enemies, they are incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth but you never read that we are commanded to for-best discover vice, but adversity doth best disco give our friends." But yet the spirit of Job was ver virtue. in a better tune: "Shall we,” saith he, “take good at God's hands, and not be content to take evil also?" and so of friends in a proportion. This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge, keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well. Public revenges and for the most part fortunate; as that for the death of Cæsar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death of Henry the Third of France; and many more. But in private revenges it is not so; nay, rather vindictive persons live the life of witches; who, as they are mischievous, so end they unfortunate.
V. OF ADVERSITY.
It was a high speech of Seneca, (after the manner of the Stoics,) that the good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired: "Bona rerum secundarum optabilia, adversarum mirabilia." Certainly, if miracles be the command over nature, they appear most in adversity. It is yet a higher speech of his than
OF SIMULATION AND DISSIMU
DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom; for it asketh a strong wit and a strong heart to know when to tell truth, and to do it; therefore it is the weaker sort of politicians that are the great dissemblers.
Tacitus saith, "Livia sorted well with the arts of her husband, and dissimulation of her son; attributing arts or policy to Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius:" and again, when Mucianus encourageth Vespasian to take arms against Vitellius, he saith," We rise not against the piercing judgment of Augustus, nor the extreme caution or closeness of Tiberius:" these properties of arts or policy, and dissimulation or closeness, are indeed habits and faculties several, and to be distinguished; for if a man have that penetration of judgment as he can discern what things are to * See note C, at the end of the Essays.
on either side. They will so beset a man with. questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him, that, without an absurd silence, he must shew an inclination one way; or if he do not, they will gather as much by his silence as by his speech. As for equivocations, or oraculous speeches, they cannot hold out long: so that no man can be secret, except he give himself a little scope of dissimulation, which is, as it were, but the skirts, or train of secrecy.
be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what to be shewed at half lights, and to whom and when, (which indeed are arts of state, and arts of life, as Tacitus well calleth them,) to him a habit of dissimulation is a hinderance and a poorness. But if a man cannot attain to that judgment, then it is left to him generally to be close, and a dissembler for where a man cannot choose or vary in particulars, there it is good to take the safest and wariest way in general, like the going softly by one that cannot well see. Certainly, the ablest men that ever were have had all an openness and frankness of dealing, and a name of certainty and veracity but then they were like horses well managed, for they could tell passing well when to stop or turn; and at such times when they thought the case indeed required dissimulation, if then they used it, it ca pass that the former opinion eir good faith and clearness n almost invisible. degrees of this hiding and veilself; the first, closeness, reservation, a cy, when a man leaveth himself without observation, or without hold to be taken, what he is; the second dissimulation in the negative, when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not that he is; and the third simulation in the affirmative, when a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be that he is not.
spread of deali
TH ing 6
But for the third degree, which is simulation and false profession, that I hold more culpable, and less politic, except it be in great and rare matters: and, therefore, a general custom of simulation, (which is this last degree,) a vice rising either of a natural fi lseness, or fearfulness, or of a mind that hath some main faults; which because a man must needs disguise, it maketh him practise simulation in other things, lest his hand should be out of use.
The advantages of simulation and dissimulation are three first, to lay asleep opposition, and to surprise; for where a man's intentions are published, it is an alarum to call up all that are against them the second is, to reserve to a man's self a fair retreat; for if a man engage himself by a manifest declaration, he must go through, or take a fall the third is, the better to discover the mind of another; for to him that opens himself men will hardly show themselves averse; but will fain let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to freedom of thought; and therefore it is a good shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, "Tell a lie and find a troth;" as if there were no way of discovery but by simulation. There be also three disadvantages to set it even, the first, that simulation and dissimulation commonly carry with them a show of fearfulness, which, in any business doth spoil the feathers of round flying up to the mark the second, that it puzzleth and perplexeth the defects of many, that, perhaps, would otherwise co-operate with him, and makes a man walk almost alone to his own ends the third, and greatest, is, that it depriveth a man of one of the most principal instruments for action, which is trust and belief. The best composition and temperature is, to is, to have openness in fame and opinion; secrecy in habit; dissimulation in seasonable use; and a power to feign if there be no remedy.
For the first of these, secrecy, it is indeed the virtue of a confessor; and assuredly the secret man heareth many confessions, for who will open himself to a blab or a babbler? But if a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery, as the more close air sucketh in the more open; and, as ineonfession, the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease of a man's heart, so secret men come to the knowledge of many things in that kind; while men rather discharge their minds than impart their minds. In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy. Besides (to say truth) nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body; and it addeth no small reverence to men's manners and actions, if they be not altogether open. As for talkers, and futile persons, they are commonly vain and credulous withal : for he that talketh what he knoweth, will also talk what he knoweth not; therefore set it down, that a habit of secrecy is both politic and moral and in this part it is good, that a man's face give his tongue leave to speak; for the discovery of a man's self, by the tracts of his countenance, is a great weakness and betraying, by how much it is many times more marked and believed than a man's words.
For the second, which is dissimulation, it followeth many times upon secrecy by a necessity; so that he that will be secret must be a dissembler in some degree; for men are too cunning to suffer a man to keep an indifferent carriage between both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance
VII. OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN.
THE joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears; they cannot utter the one, nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bittert they increase the cares of life, but they mitigate / the remembrance of death. The perpetuity by generation is common to beasts; but memory, merit, and noble works are proper to men: and
surely a man shall see the noblest works. and
childless men; which, both in affection and ལ་ means, have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason that those that have children should have greatest care of future times, unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some there are, who, though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinences; nay, there are some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges; nay That difference in affection of parents towards more, there are some foolish rich covetous men,. their several children, is many times unequal, and that take a pride in having no children, because sometimes unworthy, especially in the mother; they may be thought so much the richer; for, peras Solomon saith, "A wise son rejoiceth the haps, they have heard some talk, "Such an one father, but an ungracious son shames the mo- is a great rich man," and another except to it. ther." A man shall see, where there is a house "Yea, but he hath a great charge of children;" as full of children, one or two of the eldest respect- if it were an abatement to his riches: but the ed, and the youngest made wantons; but in the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, midst some that are as it were forgotten, who, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous many times, nevertheless, prove the best. The minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as illiberality of parents, in allowance towards their they will go near to think their girdles and garters children, is an harmful error, and makes them to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are acquaints them with shifts; makes them best friends, best masters, best servants; but not sort with mean company; and makes them surfer always best subjects; for they are light to run more when they come to plenty : and therefore away; and almost all fugitives are of that condi- . the proof is best when men keep their authority tion. A single life doth well with churchmen, for towards their children, but not their purse. Men charity will hardly water the ground where it have a foolish manner (both parents, and school- must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges masters and servants) in creating and breeding and magistrates; if they be facile and corrupt, emulation b between brothers during childhood,
you shall have a servant five times worse than a
which many times sorteth to discord when they wife. For soldiers, in mind of their wives
are men, and disturbeth families. The Italians
man, more than his own patines que
in their hortatives put
and children; and I think the despising of marriage e among t the Turks maketh the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, though they may be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted, happens. Let parents choose the voca- (good to make severe inquisitors) because their tions and courses they mean their children should tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natake, for then they are most flexible; and let tures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are them not too much apply themselves to the dis- commonly loving husbands, as was said of Ulys position of their children, as thinking they will prætulit immortalitati." take best to that which they have most mind to. Chaste women are often proud and froward, as It is true, that if the affection, or aptness of the presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It children be extraordinary, then it is good not to is one of the best bonds, both of chastity and obecross it; but generally the precept is good, op-dience, in the wife, if she think her husband timum elige, suave et consue- wise; which she will never do if she find him tudo." Younger brothers are commonly fortunate, jealous. Wives are young men's mistresses," but seldom or never where the elder are disinhe- companions for middle age, and old men's nurses; rited. so as a man may have a quare to marry when he will: but yet he was reputed one of the wise men, that made answer to the question when a man should marry :-" A young man not yet, an elder man not at all." It is often seen, that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be that it raiseth the price of their husband's kindness when it comes, or that the wives take a pride in their patience; but this never fairs, if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against like to be arded as man
VIII. OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIFE.*
HE that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or
See note D, at the end of the Essays.
bey may or they enjoy the letter geadress