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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 instrument, 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 Hotel

World with His Prerogative, lest the arrogancy of our reason should question His power, and conclude He could not. And thus I call the effects of Nature the works of GOD, Whose hand and finstrument 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

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RELIGIO MEDICI.

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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,

L 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, 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.

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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 par, tiality 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

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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 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. xvur. of Fortune, but in a relative way, and as we term 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

a

The term
Fortune

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 we 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

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