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are not so far disjoined and severed, but they come at length to meet. The soul of man being therefore at the first as a book, wherein nothing is and yet all things may be imprinted, we are to search by what steps and degrees it riseth unto perfection of knowledge. (The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, i. 217, Keble's
THE WORLD'S BENEFIT FROM WRITING.–Now, although we do not deny it to be a matter merely accidental unto the law of God to be written; although writing be not that which addeth authority and strength thereunto ; finally, though his laws do require at our hands the same obedience howsoever they be delivered ; his providence notwithstanding which hath made principal choice of this way to deliver them, who seeth not what cause we have to admire and magnify? The singular benefit that hath grown unto the world, by receiving the laws of God, even by his own appointment committed unto writing, we are not able to esteem as the value thereof deserveth. When the question therefore is, whether we be now to seek for any revealed law of God otherwise than only in the sacred Scripture ; whether we do now stand bound in the sight of God to yield to traditions urged by the Church of Rome the same obedience and reverence we do to his written law, honouring equally and adoring both as divine : our answer is, No. They that so earnestly plead for the authority of tradition, as if nothing were more safely conveyed than that which spreadeth itself by report, and descendeth by relation of former generations unto the ages that succeed, are not all of them (surely a miracle it were if they should be) so simple as thus to persuade themselves; however, if the simple were so persuaded, they could be content perhaps very well to enjoy the benefit, as they account it, of that common error. What hazard the truth is in when it passeth through the hands of report, how maimed and deformed it becometh, they are not, they cannot possibly be ignorant. Let them that are indeed of this mind consider but only that little of things divine, which the heathen have in such sort received. How miserable had the state of the Church of God been long ere this, if wanting the sacred Scripture we had no record of his laws, but only the memory of man receiving the same by report and relation of his predecessors ?
(Ibid., i. 265, 266.)
THE CAUSE WRITING. - The cause
of writing hath been to the end that things by him revealed unto the world might have the longer continuance, and the greater certainty of assurance, by how much that which standeth on record hath in both those respects pre-eminence above that which passeth from hand to hand, and hath no pens but the tongues, no books but the ears of men to record it. The several books of Scripture, having had each some several occasion and particular purpose which caused them to be written, the contents thereof are according to the exigence of that special end whereunto they are intended. Hereupon it groweth that every book of Holy Scripture doth take out of all kinds of truth, natural, historical, foreign, supernatural, so much as the matter handled requireth.
(Ibid., i. 269, 270.)
The Book OF PSALMS.— They are not ignorant what difference there is between other parts of
Scripture and Psalms. The choice and flower of all things profitable in other books the Psalms do both more briefly contain, and more movingly also express, by reason of that poetical form wherewith they are written. The ancients, when they speak of the Book of Psalms, use to fall into large discourses, showing how this part above the rest doth of purpose set forth and celebrate all the considerations and operations which belong to God; it magnifieth the holy meditations and actions of divine men; it is of things heavenly an universal declaration, working in them whose hearts God inspireth with the due consideration thereof, an habit or disposition of mind whereby they are made fit vessels both for receipt and for delivery of whatsoever spiritual perfection. What is there necessary for man to know which the Psalms are not able to teach ? They are to beginners an easy and familiar introduction, a mighty aug. mentation of all virtue and knowledge in such as are entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect among others. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, repentance unfeigned, unwearied patience,
the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of that world which is to come, all good necessarily to be either known or done or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief or disease incident into the soul of man, any wound or sickness named, for which there is not in this treasure-house a present comfortable remedy at all times ready to be found. Hereof it is that we covet to make the Psalms especially familiar unto all. This is the ery cause why we iterate the Psalms oftener than any other part of Scripture besides ; the cause wherefore we inure the people together with their minister, and not the minister alone to read them as other parts of Scripture he doth.
(Ibid., ii. 158, 159.)
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.
[Born, 1554. Wrote the " Arcadia,” 1580; • An Apologie for Poetrie," 1581, published 1595. Ap