Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

PART I.

Nature. There is no danger to profound these No danger

mysteries, no sanctum sanctorum in Philosophy. in attempt

The World was made to be inhabited by Beasts, ing to trace but studied and contemplated by Man: 'tis the Gon in His Debt of our Reason we owe unto God, and the

homage we pay for not being Beasts. Without this, the World is still as though it had not been, or as it was before the sixth day, when as yet there was not a Creature that could conceive or say there was a World. The Wisdom of God receives small honour from those vulgar Heads that rudely stare about, and with a gross rusticity admire His works : those highly magnifie Him, whose judicious inquiry into His Acts, and deliberate research into His Creatures, return the duty of a devout and learned admiration. Therefore,

works.

Search while thou wilt, and let thy Reason go,
To ransome Truth, even to th' Abyss below:
Rally the scattered Causes; and that line,
Which Nature twists, be able to untwine.
It is thy Makers will, for unto none
But unto Reason can He e're be known.
The Devils do know Thee, but those damnèd Meteors
Build not Thy Glory, but confound Thy Creatures.
Teach my indeavours so Thy works to read,
That learning them in Thee, I may proceed.
Give Thou my reason that instructive flight,
Whose weary wings may on Thy hands still light,
Teach me to soar aloft, yet ever so,
When neer the Sun, to stoop again below.
Thus shall my humble Feathers safely hover,
And, though near Earth, more than the Heavens discover.
And then at last, when homeward I shall drive,
Rich with the Spoils of Nature, to my Hive,
There will I sit like that industrious Flie,
Buzzing Thy praises, which shall never die,
Till Death abrupts them, and succeeding Glory
Bid me go on in a more lasting story.

vii. 21.

cause.

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

There is but one first cause, and four second sect. XIV. causes of all things. Some are without efficient, Every es as God; others without matter, as Angels; some its final without form, as the first matter : but every Essence, created or uncreated, hath its final cause, and some positive end oth of its Essence and Operation. This is the cause I grope after in the works of Nature ; on this hangs the Providence of GOD. To raise so beauteous a structure as the World and the Creatures thereof, was but His Art; but their sundry and divided operations, with their predestinated ends, are from the Treasure of His Wisdom. In the causes, nature, and affections of the Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, there is most excellent speculation ; but to profound farther, and to contemplate a reason why His Providence hath so disposed and ordered their motions in that vast circle as to conjoyn and obscure each other, is a sweeter piece of Reason, and a diviner point of Philosophy. Therefore sometimes, and in some things, there appears to me as much Divinity in Galen his books De Usu Partium, as in Suarez Metaphysicks.

PART I.

SECT. XV.

ture doeth nothing in vain.

XXX. 28.

Had Aristotle been as curious in the enquiry of this cause as he was of the other, he had not left behind him an imperfect piece of Philosophy, but an absolute tract of Divinity.

Natura nihil agit frustra, is the only indisputed Axiome in Philosophy. There are no Grotesques in Nature; not anything framed to fill up empty Cantons, and unnecessary spaces. In the most imperfect Creatures, and such as were not preserved in the Ark, but, having their Seeds and Principles in the womb of Nature, are every where, where the power of the Sun is, in these

is the Wisdom of His hand discovered. Out of Prov. vi. 6, this rank Solomon chose the object of his ad

miration. Indeed what Reason may not go to School to the wisdom of Bees, Ants, and Spiders? what wise hand teacheth them to do what Reason cannot teach us? Ruder heads stand amazed at those prodigious pieces of Nature, Whales, Elephants, Dromidaries and Camels; these, I confess, are the Colossus and majestick pieces of her hand: but in these narrow Engines there is more curious Mathematicks; and the civility of these little Citizens more neatly sets forth the Wisdom of their Maker. Who admires not Regio-Montanus his Fly beyond his Eagle, or wonders not more at the operation of two Souls in those little Bodies, than but one in the Trunk of a Cedar ? I could never content my contemplation with those general pieces of wonder, the Flux and Reflux of the Sea, the increase of Nile, the conversion of the Needle to the North ; and have studied to match and parallel those in the more

obvious and neglected pieces of Nature, which PART I. without further travel I can do in the Cosmography of my self. We carry with us the wonders we seek without us: there is all Africa and her prodigies in us; we are that bold and adventurous piece of Nature, which he that studies wisely learns in a compendium what others labour at in a divided piece and endless volume.

Thus there are two Books from whence I col- SECT. XVI. lect my Divinity; besides that written one of GOD, Bible open another of His servant Nature, that universal and to all. publick Manuscript, that lies expans'd unto the Eyes of all : those that never saw Him in the one, have discoverd Him in the other. This was the Scripture and Theology of the Heathens : the natural motion of the Sun made them more admire Him than its supernatural station did the Josh. X. 12, Children of Israel; the ordinary effects of Nature wrought more admiration in them than in the other all His Miracles. Surely the Heathens knew better how to joyn and read these mystical Letters than we Christians, who cast a more careless Eye on these common Hieroglyphicks, and disdain to suck Divinity from the flowers of Nature. Nor do I so forget GOD as to adore the name of Nature; which I define not, with the Schools, to be the principle of motion and rest, but that streight and regular line, that settled and constant course the Wisdom of God hath ordained the actions of His creatures, according to their several kinds. To make a revolution every day is the Nature of the Sun, because of that necessary course which God hath ordained

Nature a

13.

Ex. xv. 25

PART I. it, from which it cannot swerve but by a faculty

from that voice which first did give it motion.
Now this course of Nature GOD seldome alters
or perverts, but, like an excellent Artist, hath so
contrived His work, that with the self same in-
strument, without a new creation, He may effect
His obscurest designs. Thus He sweetneth the
Water with a Wood, preserveth the Creatures in
the Ark, which the blast of His mouth might
have as easily created ; for God is like a skilful
Geometrician, who, when more easily and with
one stroak of his Compass he might describe or
divide a right line, had yet rather do this in a
circle or longer way, according to the constituted
and fore-laid principles of his Art. Yet this rule
of His He doth sometimes pervert, to acquaint the
World with His Prerogative, lest the arrogancy
of our reason should question His power, and con-
clude He could not. And thus I call the effects
of Nature the works of GOD, Whose hand and
instrument she only is; and therefore to ascribe
His actions unto her, is to devolve the honour of
the principal agent upon the instrument; which if
with reason we may do, then let our hammers rise
up and boast they have built our houses, and our
pens receive the honour of our writings. I hold
there is a general beauty in the works of GOD,
and therefore no deformity in any kind or species
of creature whatsoever. I cannot tell by what
Logick we call a Toad, a Bear, or an Elephant
ugly; they being created in those outward shapes
and figures which best express the actions of
their inward forms, and having past that general

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »