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compendious treatises for practice, that form is converse upon the earth; that is, to leave natural not to be disallowed: but in the true handling of philosophy aside, and to apply knowledge only knowledge, men ought not to fall, either, on the to manners and policy. But as both heaven and one side, into the vein of Velleius the Epicurean: earth do conspire and contribute to the use and - Nil tam metuens, quàm ne dubitare aliqua de benefit of man; so the end ought to be, from both re videretur :” nor, on the other side, into philosophies to separate and reject vain speculaSocrates' ironical doubting of all things; but to tions, and whatsoever is empty and void, and to propound things sincerely, with more or less preserve and augment whatsoever is solid and fruitasseveration, as they stand in a man's own judg- ful: that knowledge may not be, as a courtesan, ment proved more or less.
for pleasure and vanity only, or as a bond-woman, Other errors there are in the scope that men to acquire and gain to her master's use; but as a propound to themselves, whereunto they bend spouse, for generation, fruit, and comfort. their endeavours; for whereas the more constant Thus have I described and opened, as by a kind and devoted kind of professors of any science of dissection, those peccant humours, (the prinought to propound to themselves to make some cipal of them,) which have not only given impeadditions to their science, they convert their diment to the proficience of learning, but have labours to aspire to certain second prizes: as to be given also occasion to the traducement thereof : a profound interpreter or commentor, to be a sharp wherein if I have been too plain, it must be rechampion or defender, to be a methodical com- membered, “ Fidelia vulnera amantis, sed dolosa pounder or abridger, and so the patrimony of oscula malignantis.” This, I think, I have knowledge cometh to be sometimes improved, gained, that I ought to be the better believed in but seldom augmented.
that which I shall say pertaining to commendaBut the greatest error of all the rest, is the tion; because I have proceeded so freely in that mistaking or misplacing of the last or furthest which concerneth censure. And yet I have no end of knowledge: for men have entered into a purpose to enter into a laudative of learning, or desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes to make a hymn to the muses; (though I am of upon a natural curiosity, and inquisitive appetite; opinion that it is long since their rites were duly sometimes to entertain their minds with variety celebrated :) but my intent is, without varnish or and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputa- amplification, justly to weigh the dignity of tion; and sometimes to enable them to victory of knowledge in the balance with other things, to wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre take the true value thereof by testimonies and and profession: and seldom sincerely to give a arguments divine and human. trueaccount of their gift of reason, to the benefit First, therefore, let us seek the dignity of knowand use of men: as if there were sought in knowledge in the archetype or first platform, which is ledge a couch, whereupon to rest a searching in the attributes and acts of God, as far as they and restless spirit; or a tarrasse for a wandering are revealed to man, and may be observed with and variable mind to walk up and down with a sobriety; wherein we may not seek it by the fair prospect; or a tower of state, for a proud name of learning; for all learning is knowledge mind raise itself upon; or a fort or command acquired, and all knowledge in God is original : ing ground, for strife and contention; or a shop, and therefore we must look for it by another for profit or sale; and not a rich storehouse, for name, that of wisdom or sapience, as the Scripthe glory of the Creator, and the relief of man's tures call it. estate, But this is that which will indeed dignify It is so then, that in the work of the creation and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and action we see a double emanation of virtue from God; may be more nearly and straitly conjoined and the one referring more properly to power, the united together than they have been; a conjunc-other to wisdom; the one expressed in making tion like unto that of the two highest planets, the subsistence of the matter, and the other in Saturn, the planet of rest and contemplation, and disposing the beauty of the form. This being Jupiter, the planet of civil society and action: how-supposed, it is to be observed, that for any thing beit, I do not mean, when I speak of use and which appeareth in the history of the creation, action, that end before mentioned of the applying the confused mass and matter of heaven and earth of knowledge to lucre and profession; for I am not was made in a moment; and the order and dispognorant how much that diverteth and interrupteth sition of that chaos or mass was the work of six the prosecution and advancement of knowledge, days; such a note of difference it pleased God 10 like into the golden ball thrown before Atalanta, put upon the works of power, and the works of wnich while she goeth aside and stoopeth to take wisdom; wherewith concurreth, that in the former ap, the race is hindered ;
it is not set down that God said, “ Let there be
heaven and earth," as it is set down of the works “Declinat cursus, aururnque volubile tollit.”
following; but actually, that God made heaven Neither is my meaning, as was spoken of and earth: the one carrying the style of a manu Socrates, to call philosophy down from heaven to facture, and the other of a law, decree, or counsel
To proceed to that which is next in order from tered and registered, have vouchsafed to mention God to spirits. We find, as far as credit is to be and honour the name of the inventors and authors given to the celestial hierachy of that supposed of music and works in metal. In the age after Dionysius the senator of Athens, the first place the flood, the first great judgment of God upon or degree is given to the angels of love, which the ambition of man was the confusion of tongues ; are termed Seraphim; the second to the angels whereby the open trade and intercourse of learnof light, which are termed Cherubim; and the ing and knowledge was chiefly embarred. third, and so following places, to thrones, princi- To descend to Moses the lawgiver, and God's palities, and the rest, which are all angels of first pen: he is adorned by the Scriptures with power and ministry; so as the angels of know-this addition and commendation, that he was ledge and illumination are placed before the angels - seen in all the learning of the Egyptians;" of office and domination.
which nation, we know, was one of the most • To descend from spirits and intellectual forms ancient schools of the world : for so Plato brings to sensible and material forms; we read the first in the Egyptian priest saying unto Solon: “ You form that was created was light, which hath a Grecians are ever children; you have no knowrelation and correspondence in nature and corpo-ledge of antiquity, nor antiquity of knowledge." ral things to knowledge in spirits and incorporal Take a view of the ceremonial law of Moses; you things.
shall find, besides the prefiguration of Christ, the So in the distribution of days, we see, the day badge of difference of the people of God, the exwherein God did rest, and contemplate his ownercise and impression of obedience, and other works, was blessed above all the days wherein divine uses and fruits thereof, that some of the he did effect and accomplish them.
most learned rabbins have travelled profitably After the creation was finished, it is set down and profoundly to observe, some of them a natuunto us, that man was placed in the garden to ral, some of them a moral sense, or reduction of work therein; which work, so appointed to him, many of the ceremonies and ordinances. As in could be no other than work of contemplation; the law of the leprosy, where it is said, “If the that is, when the end of work is but for exercise whiteness have overspread the flesh, the patient and experiment, not for necessity; for there being may pass abroad for clean; but if there be any then no reluctation of the creature, nor sweat of whole flesh remaining, he is to be shut up for unthe brow, man's employment must of consequence clean;" one of them noteth a principle of nature, have been matter of delight in the experiment, that putrefaction is more contagious before maand not matter of labour for the use. Again, the turity than after: and another noteth a position first acts which man performed in Paradise con- of moral philosophy, that men abandoned to vice, sisted of the two summary parts of knowledge; do not so much corrupt manners, as those that are the view of creatures, and the imposition of half-good and half-evil. So in this and very
As for the knowledge which induced many other places in that law, there is to be the fall, it was, as was touched before, not the found, besides the theological sense, much aspernatural knowledge of creatures, but the moral sion of philosophy. knowledge of good and evil; wherein the suppo- So likewise in that excellent book of Job, if it sition was, that God's commandments or prohibi- be revolved with diligence, it will be found pregtions were not the originals of good and evil, but nant and swelling with natural philosophy; as that they had other beginnings, which man as-for example, cosmography, and the roundness of pired to know; to the end to make a total defec- the world, “ Qui extendit aquilonem super vacution from God, and to depend wholly upon him- um, et appendit terram super nihilum;" wherein self.
the pensileness of the earth, the pole of the north, To pass on: in the first event or occurrence and the finiteness or convexity of heaven are after the fall of man, we see, (as the Scriptures manifestly touched : so again, matter of astronohave infinite mysteries, not violating at all the my; “Spiritus ejus ornavit cælos, et obstetricante truth of the story or letter,) an image of the two manu ejus eductus est Coluber tortuosus.” And estates, the contemplative state and the active in another place; “ Nunquid conjungere valebis state, figured in the two persons of Abel and micantes stellas Pleiadas, aut gyrum Arcturi Cain, and in the two simplest and most primitive poteris dissipare ?" Where the fixing of the trades of life; that of the shepherd, (who, by stars, ever standing at equal distance, is with reason of his leisure, rest in a place, and living in great elegancy noted. And in another place; view of heaven, is a lively image of a contempla- “Qui facit Arcturum, et Oriona, et Hyadas, et tive life,) and that of the husbandman : where interiora Austri ;” where again he takes knowwe see again the favour and election of God ledge of the depression of the southern pole, callwent to the shepherd, and not to the tiller of the ing it the secrets of the south, because the southground.
ern stars were in that climate unseen. Matter of So in the age before the flood, the holy. records generation ; “ Annon sicut lac mulsisti me, et within those few memorials which are there en- sicut caseum coagulasti me?" &c. Matter of
minerals ; " Habet argentum venarum suarum ercises of learning, was esteemed and accounted principia : et auro locus est in quo conflatur, fer- a more pernicious engine and machination against rum de terra tollitur, et lapis solutus calore in æs the Christian faith, than were all the sanguinary vertitur:” and so forwards in that chapter. prosecutions of his predecessors : neither could
So likewise in the person of Solomon the king, the emulation and jealousy of Gregory the First we see the gift or endowment of wisdom and of that name, bishop of Rome, ever obtain the learning, both in Solomon's petition, and in God's opinion of piety or devotion; but contrariwise assent thereunto, preferred before all other terrene received the censure of humour, malignity, and and temporal felicity. By virtue of which grant pusillanimity, even amongst holy men; in that or donative of God, Solomon became enabled, he designed to obliterate and extinguish the menot only to write those excellent parables, or mory of heathen antiquity and authors. But conaphorisms concerning divine and moral philoso-trariwise, it was the Christian church, which, phy; but also to compile a natural history of all amidst the inundations of the Scythians on the verdure, from the cedar upon the mountain to the one side from the north-west, and the Saracens moss upon the wall, (which is but a rudiment from the east, did preserve, in the sacred lap and between putrefaction and an herb,) and also of bosom thereof, the precious relics even of heathen all things that breathe or move. Nay, the same learning, which otherwise had been extinguished, Solomon the king, although he excelled in the as if no such thing had ever been. glory of treasure and magnificent buildings, of And we see before our eyes, that in the age of shipping and navigation, of service and attend ourselves and our fathers, when it pleased God to ance, of fame and renown, and the like, yet he call the church of Rome to account for their demaketh no claim to any of those glories, but only generate manners and ceremonies and sundry to the glory of inquisition of truth ; for so he saith doctrines obnoxious, and framed to uphold the expressly, “ The glory of God is to conceal a same abuses; at one and the same time it was thing, but the glory of a king is to find it out;" ordained by the Divine Providence, that there as if, according to the innocent play of children, should attend withal a renovation, and new spring the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, of all other knowledges: and, on the other side, to the end to have them found out; and as if we see the Jesuits, (who partly in themselves, kings could not obtain a greater honour than to be and partly by the emulation and provocation of God's playfellows in that game; considering the their example, have much quickened and strengthgreat commandment of wits and ineans, whereby ened the state of learning,) we see, I say, what nothing needeth to be hidden from them. notable service and reparation they have done to
Neither did the dispensation of God vary in the the Roman see. times after our Saviour came into the world ; for Wherefore, to conclude this part, let it be obour Saviour himself did first show his power to served, that there be two principal duties and sersubdue ignorance, by his conference with the vices, besides ornament and illustration, which priests and doctors of the law, before he showed philosophy and human learning do perform to his power to subdue nature by his miracles. And faith and religion. The one, because they are an the coming of the Holy Spirit was chiefly figured effectual inducement to the exaltation of the glory and expressed in the similitude and gift of of God: For as the Psalms and other Scriptures tongues, which are but " vehicula scientiæ." do often invite us to consider and magnify the
So in the election of those instruments, which great and wonderful works of God; so if we it pleased God to use for the plantation of the should rest only in the contemplation of the exfaith, notwithstanding that at the first he did em- terior of them, as they first offer themselves to ploy persons altogether unlearned, otherwise than our senses, we should do a like injury unto the by inspiration, more evidently to declare his im- majesty of God, as if we should judge or conmediate working, and to abase all human wisdom strue of the store of some excellent jeweller, by or knowledge; yet, nevertheless, that counsel of that only which is set out toward the street in his his was no sooner performed, but in the next shop. The other, because, they minister a sinvicissitude and succession he did send his divine gular help and preservative against unbelief and truth into the world, waiting on with other learn- error: for our Saviour saith, “ You err, not knowings, as with servants or handmaids: for so we ing the Scriptures, nor the power of God;” laysee St. Paul, who was the only learned amongst ing before us two books or volumes to study, if the apostles, had his pen most used in the Scrip- we will be secured from error;'first, the Scriptures of the New Testament.
tures, revealing the will of God; and then the So again, we find that many of the ancient creatures expressing his power : whereof the bishops and fathers of the church were excellently latter is a key unto the former: not only opening read, and studied in all the learning of the hea- our understanding to conceive the true sense of the then; insomuch, that the edict of the Emperor Scriptures, by the general notions of reason and Julianus, whereby it was interdicted unto Chris-rules of speech; but chiefly opening our belief, tians to be admitted into schools, loctures, or ex- in drawing us into a due meditation of the omni
potency of God, which is chiefly signed and en- / precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly touched graven upon his works. Thus much therefore for with eloquence and persuasion of books, of serdivine testimony and evidence concerning the mons, of harangues, so long is society and peace true dignity and value of learning.
maintained; but if these instruments be silent, or As for human proofs, it is so large a field, as, that sedition and tumult make them not audible, in a discourse of this nature and brevity, it is fit all things dissolve into anarchy and confusion. rather to use choice of those things which we But this appeareth more manifestly, when kings shall produce, than to embrace the variety of them. themselves, or persons of authority under them First, therefore, in the degrees of human honour or other governors in commonwealths and popular amongst the heathen, it was the highest to obtain estates, are endued with learning. For although to a veneration and adoration as a God. This he might be thought partial to his own profession, unto the Christians is as the forbidden fruit. But that said, “Then should people and estates be we speak now separately of human testimony: happy, when either kings were philosophers, or according to which, that which the Grecians call philosophers kings;" yet so much is verified by “apotheosis,” and the Latins, “ relatio inter experience, that under learned princes and governdivos," was the supreme honour which man ors there have been ever the best times : for howsocould attribute unto man: especially when it was ever kings may have their imperfections in their given, not by a formal decree or act of state, as it passions and customs; yet if they be illuminate was used among the Roman emperors, but by an by learning, they have those notions of religion, inward assent and belief. Which honour, being policy, and morality which do preserve them, so high, had also a degree or middle term: for and refrain them from all ruinous and peremptory there were reckoned, above human honours, ho- errors and excesses; whispering evermore in their nours heroical and divine : in the attribution and ears, when counsellors and servants stand mute distribution of which honours, we see, antiquity and silent. And senators or counsellors likewise, made this difference: that whereas founders and which be learned, do proceed upon more safe and uniters of states and cities, lawgivers, extirpers substantial principles than counsellors which are of tyrants, fathers of the people, and other emi- only men of experience; the one sort keeping nent persons in civil merit, were honoured but dangers afar off, whereas the other discover them with the titles of worthies or demi-gods; such as not till they come near hand, and then trust to were Hercules, Theseus, Minos, Romulus, and the agility of their wit to ward off or avoid them. the like: on the other side, such as were inventors Which felicity of times under learned princes, and authors of new arts, endowments, and com- (to keep still the law of brevity, by using the most modities towards man’s life, were ever consecrated eminent and selected examples,) doth best appear amongst the gods themselves : as were Ceres, in the age which passed from the death of DomiBacchus, Mercurius, Apollo, and others; and tian emperor until the reign of Commodus ; comjustly; for the merit of the former is confined prehending a succession of six princes, all learned within the circle of an age or a nation; and is like or singular favourers and advancers of learning, fruitful showers, which though they be profitable which age, for temporal respects, was the most and good, yet serve but for that season, and for a happy and flourishing that ever the Roman empire latitude of ground where they fall; but the other (which then was a model of the world) enjoyed ; is indeed like the benefits of heaven, which are a matter revealed and prefigured unto Domitian in permanent and universal. The former, again, is a dream the night before he was slain; for he mixed with strife and perturbation; but the latter thought there was grown behind upon his shoulhath the true character of divine presence, coming ders a neck and a head of gold; which came - in aura leni,” without noise or agitation. accordingly to pass in those golden times which
Neither is certainly that other merit of learning, succeeded : of which princes we will make some in repressing the inconveniences which grow from commemoration; wherein although the matter man to man, much inferior to the former, of reliev- will be vulgar, and may be thought fitter for a ing the necessities which arise from nature; which declamation than agreeable to a treatise infolded merit was lively set forth by the ancients in that as this is, yet because it is pertinent to the point feigned relation of Orpheus's theatre, where all in hand, " neque semper arcum tendit Apollo,?? beasts and birds assembled; and, forgetting their and to name them only were too naked and cursory, several appetites, some of prey, .some of game, I will not omit it altogether. some of quarrel, stood all sociably together list- The first was Nerva; the excellent temper of ening to the airs and accords of the harp; the whose government is by a glance in Cornelius sound whereof no sooner ceased, or was drowned Tacitus touched to the life: “ Postquam divus by some louder noise, but every beast returned to Nerva res olim insociabiles miscuisset, impehis own nature: wherein is aptly described the rium et libertatem.” And in token of his learnnature and condition of men, who are full of ing, the last act of his short reign, left to memory, savage and unreclaimed desires of profit, of lust, was a missive to his adopted son Trajan, proceedof revenge ; which as long as they give ear to ing upon some inward discontent at the ingrati
tude of the times, comprehended in a verse of sity. But Adrian spent his whole reign, which Homer's :
was peaceable, in a perambulation or survey of “Telis, Phæbe, tuis lachrymas ulciscere nostras." the Roman empire; giving order, and making
Trajan, who succeeded, was for his person not assignation where he went, for re-edifying of learned: but if we will hearken to the speech of cities, towns, and forts decayed; and for cutting our Saviour, that saith, “ He that receiveth a pro- of rivers and streams, and for making bridges phet in the name of a prophet, shall have a pro- and passages, and for policying of cities and phet's reward,” he deserveth to be placed amongst commonalties with new ordinances and constithe most learned princes: for there was not a tutions, and granting new franchises and incorgreater admirer of learning, or benefactor of porations; so that his whole time was a very learning: a founder of famous libraries, a perpe- restoration of all the lapses and decays of former tual advancer of learned men to office, and a times. familiar converser with learned professors and Antoninus Pius, who succeeded him, was a preceptors, who were noted to have then most prince excellently learned ; and had the patient credit in court. On the other side, how much and subtle wit of a schoolman; insomuch as in Trajan's virtue and government was admired and common speech, which leaves no virtue untaxed, renowned, surely no testimony of grave and faith- he was called “cymini sector," (a carver or diful history doth more livelily set forth, than that vider of cumin,) which is one of the least seeds; legend tale of Gregorius Magnus, Bishop of Rome, such a patience he had and settled spirit, to enter who was noted for the extreme envy he bore into the least and most exact differences of causes; towards all heathen excellency: and yet he is re- a fruit no doubt of the exceeding tranquillity ported, out of the love and estimation of Trajan's and serenity of his mind; which being noways moral virtues, to have made unto God passionate charged or encumbered, either with fears, reand fervent prayers for the delivery of his soul morses, or scruples, but having been noted for a out of hell; and to have obtained it, with a caveat man of the purest goodness, without all fiction or that he should make no more such petitions. In affectation, that hath reigned or lived, made his this prince's time also, the persecutions against mind continually present and entire. He likethe Christians received intermission, upon the wise approached a degree nearer unto Christicertificate of Plinius Secundus, a man of excellent anity, and became as Agrippa said unto St. Paul, learning and by Trajan advanced.
“ half a Christian;" holding their religion and Adrian, his successor, was the most curious law in good opinion, and not only ceasing perseman that lived, and the most universal inquirer; cution, but giving way to the advancement of insomuch as it was noted for an error in his mind, Christians. that he desired to comprehend all things, and not There succeeded him the first “ divi-fratres," to reserve himself for the worthiest things; falling the two adoptive brethren, Lucius Commodus into the like humour that was long before noted Verus (son to Ælius Verus, who delighted much in Philip of Macedon; who, when he would needs in the softer kind of learning, and was wont to overrule and put down an excellent musician in call the poet Martial his Virgil) and Marcus Auan argument touching music, was well answered relius Antoninus : whereof the latter, who obscured by him again, “ God forbid, sir,” saith he, “ that his colleague and survived him long, was named your fortune should be so bad, as to know these the philosopher: who as he excelled all the rest things better than I.” It pleased God likewise to in learning, so he excelled them likewise in peruse the curiosity of this emperor as an inducement fection of all royal virtues; insomuch as Julianus to the peace of his church in those days. For hav- the emperor, in his book entitled “ Cæsares,' ing Christ in veneration, not as a God or Saviour, being as a pasquin or satire to deride all his prebut as a wonder or novelty; and having his pic- decessors, feigned that they were all invited to a ture in his gallery, matched with Apollonius, with banquet of the gods, and Silenus the Jester sat at whom, in his vain imagination, he thought he the nether end of the table, and bestowed a scoff had some conformity; yet it served the turn to on every one as they came in; but when Marcus allay the bitter hatred of those times against the Philosophus came in, Silenus was gravelled and Christian name, so as the church had peace during out of countenance, not knowing where to carp his time. And for his government civil, although at him; save at the last he gave a glance at his hie did not attain to that of Trajan's in glory of patience towards his wife. And the virtue of this arms, or perfection of justice, yet in deserving of prince, continued with that of his predecessor, the weal of the subject he did exceed him. For made the name of Antoninus so sacred in the Trajan erected many famous monuments and world, that though it were extremely dishonoured buildings; insomuch that Constan‘ine the Great in Commodus, Caracalla, and Heliogabalus, who in emulation was wont to call him “ Parietaria,” | all bore the name, yet when Alexander Severus (wall flower,) because his name was upon so refused the name, because he was a stranger to the many walls : but his buildings and works were family, the senate with one acclamation said, more of glory and triumph than use and neces- “Quo modo Augustus, sic et Antoninus." In such