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Visitation of GOD, Who saw that all that He had PART I. made was good, that is, conformable to His Will, Gen. i. 31. which abhors deformity, and is the rule of order and beauty. There is no deformity but in Monstrosity; wherein, notwithstanding, there is a kind of Beauty; Nature so ingeniously contriving the irregular parts, as they become sometimes more remarkable than the principal Fabrick. To speak yet more narrowly, there was never any thing ugly or mis-shapen, but the Chaos ; wherein, notwithstanding, (to speak strictly,) there was no deformity, because no form ; nor was it yet impregnant by the voice of God. Now Nature is not at variance with Art, nor Art with Nature, they being both servants of His Providence. Art is the perfection of Nature. Were the World now as it was the sixth day, there were yet a Chaos. Nature hath made one World, and Art another. In brief, all things are artificial; for Nature is the Art of GOD.

This is the ordinary and open way of His sect. xvii. Providence, which Art and Industry have in a good part discovered ; whose effects we may foretel without an Oracle : to foreshew these, is not Prophesie, but Prognostication. There is Providence

often falsely another way, full of Meanders and Labyrinths, called Forwhereof the Devil and Spirits have no exact tune. Ephemerides; and that is a more particular and obscure method of His Providence, directing the operations of individuals and single Essences : this we call Fortune, that serpentine and crooked See below, line, whereby He draws those actions His Wisdom P. 175. intends, in a more unknown and secret way.

&c.

PART 1. This cryptick and involved method of His Provi

dence have I ever admired ; nor can I relate the History of my life, the occurrences of my days, the escapes of dangers, and hits of chance, with a Bezo las Manos to Fortune, or a bare

Gramercy to my good Stars. Abraham might Gen. xxii. 13. have thought the Ram in the thicket came

thither by accident; humane reason would have Ex. ii. 3, &c. said that meer chance conveyed Moses in the

Ark to the sight of Pharaoh's Daughter : what Gen. xxxvii. a Labyrinth is there in the story of Joseph, able

to convert a Stoick ! Surely there are in every man's Life certain rubs, doublings, and wrenches, which pass a while under the effects of chance, but at the last, well examined, prove the meer hand of GOD. 'Twas not dumb chance, that, to discover the Fougade or Powder-plot, contrived a miscarriage in the Letter. I like the Victory of '88 the better for that one occurrence, which our enemies imputed to our dishonour and the partiality of Fortune, to wit, the tempests and contrariety of Winds. King Philip did not detract from the Nation, when he said, he sent his Armado to fight with men, and not to combate with the Winds. Where there is a manifest disproportion between the powers and forces of two several agents, upon a Maxime of reason we may promise the Victory to the Superiour ; but when unexpected accidents slip in, and unthought of occurrences intervene, these must proceed from a power that owes no obedience to those Axioms; where, as in the writing upon the wall, we may behold the hand, but see not the

Dan. v. 5.

spring that moves it. The success of that petty PART I. Province of Holland (of which the Grand Seignour proudly said, if they should trouble him as they did the Spaniard, he would send his men with shovels and pick-axes, and throw it into the Sea,) I cannot altogether ascribe to the ingenuity and industry of the people, but the mercy of GOD, that hath disposed them to such a thriving Genius; and to the will of His Providence, that disposeth her favour to each Country in their pre-ordinate season. All cannot be happy at once ; for, because the glory of one State depends upon the ruine of another, there is a revolution and vicissitude of their greatness, and must obey the swing of that wheel, not moved by Intelligences, but by the hand of GOD, whereby all Estates arise to their Zenith and Vertical points according to their predestinated periods. For the lives, not only of men, but of Commonwealths, and the whole World, run not upon an Helix that still enlargeth, but on a Circle, where, arriving to their Meridian, they decline in obscurity, and fall under the Horizon again.

These must not therefore be named the effects sect. xvii. of Fortune, but in a relative way, and as we term

Fortune the works of Nature. It was the ignorance of used in a mans reason that begat this very name, and by a careless term miscalled the Providence of GOD; for there is no liberty for causes to operate in a loose and stragling way; nor any effect whatsoever, but hath its warrant from some universal or superiour Cause. 'Tis not a ridi

The term

relative sense.

PART I. culous devotion to say a prayer before a game at

Tables ; for even in sortilegies and matters of greatest uncertainty, there is a setled and preordered course of effects. It is we that are blind, not Fortune: because our Eye is too dim to discover the mystery of her effects, we foolishly paint her blind, and hoodwink the Providence of the Almighty. I cannot justifie that contemptible Proverb, That fools only are Fortunate, or that insolent Paradox, That a wise man is out of the reach of Fortune; much less those opprobrious epithets of Poets, Whore, Bawd, and Strumpet. 'Tis, I confess, the common fate of men of singular gifts of mind to be destitute of those of Fortune, which doth not any way deject the Spirit of wiser judgements, who throughly understand the justice of this proceeding; and being inriched with higher donatives, cast a more careless eye on these vulgar parts of felicity. It is a most unjust ambition to desire to engross the mercies of the Almighty, not to be content with the goods of mind, without a possession of those of body or Fortune ; and it is an error worse than heresie, to adore these complemental and circumstantial pieces of felicity, and undervalue those perfections and essential points of happiness wherein resemble our Maker. To wiser desires it is satisfaction enough to deserve, though not to enjoy, the favours of Fortune : let Providence provide for Fools. 'Tis not partiality, but equity in GOD, Who deals with us but as our natural Parents: those that are able of Body and Mind He leaves to their deserts ; to

those of weaker merits He imparts a larger por- PART I. tion, and pieces out the defect of one by the excess of the other. Thus have we no just quarrel with Nature for leaving us naked ; or to envy the Horns, Hoofs, Skins, and Furs of other Crea. tures, being provided with Reason, that can supply them all. We need not labour with so many Arguments to confute Judicial Astrology; for, if there be a truth therein, it doth not injure Divinity. If to be born under Mercury disposeth us to be witty, under Jupiter to be wealthy; I do not owe a Knee unto these, but unto that merciful Hand that hath ordered my indifferent and uncertain nativity unto such benevolous Aspects. Those that hold that all things are governed by Fortune, had not erred, had they not persisted there. The Romans, that erected a Temple to Fortune, acknowledged therein, though in a blinder way, somewhat of Divinity ; for, in a wise supputation, all things begin and end in the Almighty. There is a nearer way to Heaven than Homer's Chain ; an easie Logic may conjoyn Iliad, viii. Heaven and Earth in one Argument, and with less than a Sorites resolve all things into GOD. For though we christen effects by their most sensible and nearest Causes, yet is GOD the true and infallible Cause of all ; whose concourse, though it be general, yet doth it subdivide it self into the particular Actions of every thing, and is that Spirit, by which each singular Essence not only subsists, but performs its operation.

The bad construction and perverse comment SECT. XIX. on these pair of second Causes, or visible hands Danger of

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