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than Lullius ever knew, to sublimate any For those actions which enter into a man, good use out of such an invention. Yet rather than issue out of him, and therethis only is what I request to gain (60 fore defile not, God uses not to captivate from this reason, that it may be held a under a perpetual childhood of prescripdangerous and suspicious fruit, as cer tion, but trusts him with the gift of tainly it deserves, for the tree that bore reason to be his own chooser; there were it, until I can dissect one by one the prop- but little work left for preaching, if law erties it has. ... Books are as meats and compulsion should grow so fast and viands are; some of good, some of upon those things which heretofore (120 evil substance; and yet God in that un were governed only by exhortation. ... apocryphal vision, said without exception, Good and evil we know in the field of "Rise, Peter, kill and eat,” leaving the this world grow up together almost inchoice to each man's discretion. 170 separably; and the knowledge of good is Wholesome meats to a vitiated stomach so involved and interwoven with the differ little or nothing from unwholesome; | knowledge of evil, and in so many cunand best books to a naughty mind are not ning resemblances hardly to be discerned, unappliable to occasions of evil. Bad that those confused seeds which were meats will scarce breed good nourish imposed on Psyche as an incessant labor ment in the healthiest concoction; but to cull out and sort asunder, were not (130 herein the difference is of bad books, that more intermixed. It was from out the they to a discreet and judicious reader rind of one apple tasted that the knowlserve in many respects to discover, to | edge of good and evil, as two twins cleavconfute, to forewarn, and to illus- (80 | ing together, leaped forth into the world. trate. Whereof what better witness can And perhaps this is that doom which ye expect I should produce, than one of Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, your own now sitting in Parliament, the that is to say of knowing good by evil. chief of learned men reputed in this land, As therefore the state of man now is, Mr. Selden; whose volume of natural and what wisdom can there be to choose, national laws proves, not only by great what continence to forbear, without (140 authorities brought together, but by ex- | the knowledge of evil? He that can apquisite reasons and theorems almost prehend and consider vice with all her mathematically demonstrative, that all | baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abopinions, yea errors, known, read, 190 stain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer and collated, are of main service and as that which is truly better, he is the true sistance toward the speedy attainment of warfaring Christian. I cannot praise a what is truest. I conceive, therefore, fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised that when God did enlarge the universal and unbreathed, that never sallies out and diet of man's body, saving ever the rules sees her adversary, but slinks out of the of temperance, He then also, as before, race, where that immortal garland (150 left arbitrary the dieting and repasting is to be run for, not without dust and heat. of our minds; as wherein every mature Assuredly we bring not innocence into the man might have to exercise his own world, we bring impurity much rather; leading capacity. How great a virtue (100 that which purifies us is trial, and trial is temperance, how much of moment is by what is contrary. That virtue through the whole life of man! Yet God therefore which is but a youngling in the commits the managing so great a trust, contemplation of evil, and knows not the without particular law or prescription, utmost that vice promises to her followers, wholly to the demeanor of every grown and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not man. And therefore when He Himself a pure; her whiteness is but an excre- (160 tabled the Jews from heaven, that omer, mental whiteness; which was the reason which was every man's daily portion of why our sage and serious poet Spenser, manna, is computed to have been more whom I dare be known to think a better than might have well sufficed the (110 teacher than Scotus or Aquinas, describheartiest feeder thrice as many meals. / ing true temperance under the person of Guyon, brings him in with his palmer man over it is to be a boy at school, if through the cave of Mammon, and the | we have only escaped the ferular to come bower of earthly bliss, that he might see under the fescu of an Imprimatur? if (220 and know, and yet abstain. Since there serious and elaborate writings, as if they fore the knowledge and survey of (170 were no more than the theme of a gramvice is in this world so necessary to the mar-lad under his pedagogue must not constituting of human virtue, and the be uttered without the cursory eyes of a scanning of error to the confirmation of temporising and extemporising licenser? truth, how can we more safely, and with He who is not trusted with his own acless danger scout into the regions of sin tions, his drift not being known to be evil, and falsity than by reading all manner and standing to the hazard of law and of tractates and hearing all manner of penalty, has no great argument to think reason? And this is the benefit which | himself reputed in the Common- (230 may be had of books promiscuously read. wealth wherein he was born, for other
than a fool or a foreigner. When a man
writes to the world, he summons up all his I lastly proceed from the no good (180 reason and deliberation to assist him; he it can do, to the manifest hurt it causes, searches, meditates, is industrious, and in being first the greatest discouragement likely consults and confers with his judiand affront that can be offered to learn- cious friends, after all which done, he ing, and to learned men.
takes himself to be informed in what he It was the complaint and lamentation writes, as well as any that writ before him; of prelates, upon every least breath of a ' if in this the most consummate act [240 motion to remove pluralities, and distrib- of his fidelity and ripeness, no years, no ute more equally Church revenues, that | industry, no former proof of his abilities, then all learning would be for ever dashed can bring him to that state of maturity, and discouraged. But as for that (190 as not to be still mistrusted and suspected, opinion, I never found cause to think that unless he carry all his considerate dilithe tenth part of learning stood or fell gence, all his midnight watchings, and with the clergy: nor could I ever but hold expense of Palladian oil, to the hasty view it for a sordid and unworthy speech of of an unleisured licenser, perhaps much his any churchman who had a competency | younger, perhaps far his inferior in judgleft him. If therefore ye be loth to dis ment, perhaps one who never knew (250 hearten heartily and discontent, not the the labor of book writing; and if he be mercenary crew of false pretenders to not repulsed, or slighted, must appear in learning, but the free and ingenuous sort print like a puny with his guardian, and of such as evidently were born to (200 his censor's hand on the back of his title study, and love learning for itself, not for to be his bail and security that he is no lucre, or any other end, but the service of | idiot, or seducer,-it can not be but a God and of truth, and perhaps that last- | dishonor and derogation to the author, ing fame and perpetuity of praise which to the book, to the privilege and dignity God and good men have consented shall of learning. .... be the reward of those whose published Lords and Commons of England, (260 labors advance the good of mankind, consider what nation it is whereof ye are, then know, that so far to distrust the and whereof ye are the governors: a najudgment and the honesty of one who tion not slow and dull, but of a quick, hath but a common repute in learn- (210 ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to ing, and never yet offended, as not to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse, count him fit to print his mind without not beneath the reach of any point the a tutor and examiner, lest he should drop highest that human capacity can soar to. a schism, or something of corruption, is Therefore the studies of learning in her the greatest displeasure and indignity to deepest sciences have been so ancient and a free and knowing spirit that can be put so eminent among us, that writers of [270 upon him. What advantage is it to be a good antiquity and ablest judgment have been persuaded that even the school of sages, and of worthies? We reckon more
agoras and the Persian wisdom took than five months yet to harvest; there beginning from the old philosophy of this need not be five weeks; had we but eyes island. And that wise and civil Roman, | to lift up, the fields are white already. Julius Agricola, who governed once here | Where there is much desire to learn, 1330 for Cæsar, preferred the natural wits of there of necessity will be much arguing, Britain, before the labored studies of the much writing, many opinions; for opinion French. ... Yet that which is above in good men is but knowledge in the makall this, the favor and the love of (280 ing. Under these fantastic terrors of Heaven, we have great argument to think sect and schism, we wrong the earnest in a peculiar manner propitious and pro and zealous thirst after knowledge and pending towards us. Why else was this understanding which God hath stirred nation chosen before any other, that up in this city. What some lament of, out of her as out of Sion should be pro we rather should rejoice at; should rather claimed and sounded forth the first tidings praise this pious forwardness among (340 and trumpet of Reformation to all Eu men, to reassume the ill-deputed care of rope? ... But now, as our obdurate clergy their religion into their own hands again. have with violence demeaned the matter, A little generous prudence, a little forwe are become hitherto the latest (290 bearance of one another, and some grain and the backwardest scholars, of whom of charity might win all these diligences God offered to have made us the teachers. to join and unite in one general and Now once again by all concurrence of brotherly search after truth, could we signs, and by the general instinct of holy | but forego this prelatical tradition of and devout men, as they daily and sol- | crowding free consciences and Christian emnly express their thoughts, God is liberties into canons and precepts of 1350 decreeing to begin some new and great / men. I doubt not, if some great and period in His church, even to the reform- worthy stranger should come among us, ing of Reformation itself: what does He wise to discern the mould and temper of then but reveal Himself to His serv- (300 a people, and how to govern it, observing ants, and as His manner is, first to His | the high hopes and aims, the diligent Englishmen: I say as His manner is, first alacrity of our extended thoughts and to us, though we mark not the method of reasonings in the pursuance of truth and His counsels, and are unworthy. Behold freedom, but that he would cry out as now this vast city: a city of refuge, the Pyrrhus did, admiring the Roman docility mansion house of liberty, encompassed and courage, “If such were my (360 and surrounded with His protection. Epirots, I would not despair the greatest The shop of war hath not there more design that could be attempted to make anvils and hammers waking, to fashion a church or kingdom happy.” Yet these out the plates and instruments of 1310 are the men cried out against for schisarmed justice in defense of beleaguered | matics and sectaries; as if, while the truth, than there be pens and heads | temple of the Lord was building, some there, sitting by their studious lamps, cutting, some squaring the marble, others musing, searching, revolving new no- hewing the cedars, there should be a sort tions and ideas wherewith to present, as of irrational men who would not conwith their homage and their fealty, the sider there must be many schisms 1370 approaching Reformation; others as fast and many dissections made in the quarry reading, trying all things, assenting to and in the timber, ere the house of God the force of reason and convincement. can be built. And when every stone is What could a man require more from (320 laid artfully together, it cannot be united a nation so pliant and so prone to seek into a continuity, it can but be contiguous after knowledge? What wants there to in this world; neither can every piece such a towardly and pregnant soil, but of the building be of one form; nay, rather wise and faithful laborers, to make a the perfection consists in this, that out knowing people, a nation of prophets, of of many moderate varieties and brotherly
Houte the justice there their
dissimilitudes that are not vastly (380 wisdom as for hidden treasures early and disproportional, arises the goodly and late, that another order shall enjoin us the graceful symmetry that commends to know nothing but by statute? When the whole pile and structure. Let us a man hath been laboring the hardest labor therefore be more considerate builders, in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furmore wise in spiritual architecture, when nished out his findings in all their equipage, great reformation is expected. For now drawn forth his reasons as it were (440 the time seems come, wherein Moses the a battle ranged, scattered and defeated great prophet may sit in heaven rejoicing | all objections in his way, calls out his to see that memorable and glorious wish adversary into the plain, offers him the of his fulfilled, when not only our (390 advantage of wind and sun, if he please, seventy elders, but all the Lord's people, only that he may try the matter by dint are become prophets. No marvel then of argument-for his opponents then though some men, and some good men to skulk, to lay ambushments, to keep a too, perhaps, but young in goodness, as narrow bridge of licensing where the chalJoshua then was, envy them. They fret, lenger should pass, though it be valor and out of their own weakness are in | enough in soldiership, is but weakness [450 agony, lest those divisions and subdivi and cowardice in the wars of Truth. For sions will undo us. The adversary again who knows not that Truth is strong, next applauds, and waits the hour; when they to the Almighty? She needs no policies, have branched themselves out (saith (400 no stratagems, no licensings to make her he) small enough into parties and par victorious; those are the shifts and the titions, then will be our time. Fool! defenses that error uses against her power. he sees not the firm root, out of which Give her but room, and do not bind her we all grow, though into branches; nor when she sleeps, for then she speaks not will beware until he see our small di true, as the old Proteus did, who spake vided maniples cutting through at every oracles only when he was caught and (460 angle of his ill-united and unwieldy bound; but then rather she turns herself brigade. ...
into all shapes, except her own, and perAnd now the time in special is, by priv- | haps tunes her voice according to the ilege to write and speak what may help [410 time, as Micaiah did before Ahab, until to the further discussing of matters in she be adjured into her own likeness. Yet agitation. The temple of Janus with his it is not impossible that she may have two controversal faces might now not more shapes than one. What else is all unsignificantly be set open. And though that rank of things indifferent, wherein all the winds of doctrine were let loose to Truth may be on this side, or on the play upon the earth, so Truth be in the other, without being unlike herself? [470 field, we do injuriously by licensing and What but a vain shadow else is the aboliprohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Lettion of those ordinances, that hand-writher and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew | ing nailed to the cross? what great purTruth put to the worse, in a free [420 chase is this Christian liberty which Paul and open encounter? Her confuting is so often boasts of? His doctrine is, that the best and surest suppressing. He who he who eats or eats not, regards a day or hears what praying there is for light and regards it not, may do either to the Lord. clearer knowledge to be sent down among How many other things might be tolerated us, would think of other matters to be in peace, and left to conscience, had we constituted beyond the discipline of but charity, and were it not the (480 Geneva, framed and fabricked already to chief stronghold of our hypocrisy to be our hands. Yet when the new light which ever judging one another. I fear yet this we beg for shines in upon us, there be iron yoke of outward conformity hath who envy and oppose, if it come not (430 | left a slavish print upon our necks; the first in at their casements. What a collu- | ghost of a linen decency yet haunts us. sion is this, whenas we are exhorted by We stumble and are impatient at the least the wise man to use diligence, to seek for dividing of one visible congregation from
wo onificantly doctrine Wruth be in and
another, though it be not in fundamen itself; whose first appearance to our eyes tals; and through our forwardness to sup bleared and dimmed with prejudice and press, and our backwardness to re- [490 custom, is more unsightly and unplausible cover any enthralled piece of truth out than many errors, even as the person is of the gripe of custom, we care not to keep of many a great man slight and contruth separated from truth, which is the | temptible to see to. And what do they fiercest rent and disunion of all. We do tell us vainly of new opinions, when this not see that while we still affect by all very opinion of theirs, that none must means a rigid external formality, we may be heard but whom they like, is the 1550 as soon fall again into a gross conforming worst and newest opinion of all others, stupidity, a stark and dead congealment and is the chief cause why sects and of wood and hay and stubble forced and schisms do so much abound, and true frozen together, which is more to the 1500 | knowledge is kept at distance from us, sudden degenerating of a church than besides yet a greater danger which is in many subdichotomies of petty schisms. it? For when God shakes a kingdom Not that I can think well of every light with strong and healthful commotions to separation, or that all in a church is to a general reforming, 'tis not untrue that be expected gold and silver and precious many sectaries and false teachers are stones. It is not possible for man to sever then busiest in seducing; but yet (560 the wheat from the tares, the good fish more true it is, that God then raises to from the other fry; that must be the His own work men of rare abilities, and angels' ministry at the end of mortal more than common industry, not only to things. Yet if all cannot be of one (510 look back and revise what hath been mind, (as who looks they should be?) this | taught heretofore, but to gain further doubtless is more wholesome, more pru- and go on, some new enlightened steps dent, and more Christian, that many be in the discovery of truth. For such is tolerated, rather than all compelled. I the order of God's enlightening His church, mean not tolerated popery, and open to dispense and deal out by degrees His superstition, which, as it extirpates all beam, so as our earthly eyes may 1570 religions and civil supremacies, so itself | best sustain it. Neither is God appointed should be extirpate, provided first that and confined, where and out of what all charitable and compassionate means place these His chosen shall be first be used to win and regain the weak (520) heard to speak; for He sees not as man and the misled: that also which is im sees, chooses not as man chooses, lest we pious or evil absolutely either against should devote ourselves again to set faith or manners, no law can possibly places, and assemblies, and outward callpermit that intends not to unlaw itself. | ings of men; planting our faith one while But those neighboring differences, or in the old Convocation House, and anrather indifferences, are what I speak of, other while in the Chapel at West- 1580 whether in some point of doctrine or of minster; when all the faith and religion discipline, which though they may be that shall be there canonized, is not sufmany, yet need not interrupt the unity of ficient without plain convincement, and Spirit, if we could but find among us (530 the charity of patient instruction, to the bond of peace. In the meanwhile if supple the least bruise of conscience, to any one would write, and bring his helpful | edify the meanest Christian, who desires hand to the slow-moving reformation | to walk in the Spirit, and not in the letter which we labor under, if Truth have of human trust, for all the number of spoken to him before others, or but seemed voices that can be there made;-no, at least to speak, who hath so bejesuited though Harry VII himself there, with 1500 us that we should trouble that man with all his liege tombs about him, should lend asking license to do so worthy a deed? | them voices from the dead, to swell their and not consider this, that if it come number. ... to prohibiting, there is not aught (540/ And as for regulating the Press, let no more likely to be prohibited than truth man think to have the honor of advising