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and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth.
II. Of Death.
Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin and passage to another world, is holy and religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes mixture of vanity and of superstition. You shall read in some of the friars' books of mortification, that a man should think with himself what the pain is if he have but his finger's end pressed or tortured, and thereby imagine what the pains of death are, when the whole body is corrupted and dissolved; when many times death passeth with less pain than the torture of a limb: for the most vital parts are not the quickest of sense. And by him that spake only as a philosopher and natural man, it was well said, Pompa mortis rnagis terret, quam mors ipsa :l [it is the accompaniments of death that are frightful rather than death itself.] Groans and convulsions, and a discoloured face, and friends weeping, and blacks, and obsequies, and the like, shew death terrible. It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man so weak, but it mates and masters the fear of death; and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when a man hath so many attendants about him that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death; Love slights it; Honour aspireth to it; Grief flieth to it;l Fear pre-occupateth it; nay we read, after Otho the emperor had slain himself, Pity (which is the tenderest of affections) provoked many to die, out of mere compassion to their sovereign, and as the truest sort of followers. Nay Seneca adds niceness and satiety: Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris; mori velle, rum tantum fortis, aut miser, sed etiam fastidiosus potest. A man would die, though he were neither valiant nor miserable, only upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over and over. It is no less worthy to observe, how little alteration in good spirits the approaches of death make; for they appear to be the same men till the last instant. Augustus Caesar died in a compliment; IAvia, conjugii rwstri mentor, vive et vale: [farewell, Livia; and forget not the days of our marriage.] Tiberius in dissimulation; as Tacitus saith of him, Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, rum dissimulatio, deserebant: [his powers of body were gone, but his power of dissimulation still remained.] Vespasian in a jest; sitting upon the stool, Ut puto Deus fio: [I think I am becoming a god.] Galba with a sentence; Feri, si ex re sit populi Momani: [strike, if it be for the good of Rome;] holding forth his neck. Septimius Severus in despatch;
1 Seneca, Ep. 24. Tolle iBtam pompam sub qua lates et stultos territas: mors es, quem nuper servus meus, quem ancilla contempsit. See the rest of the passage, and my note on Rawley's Life of Bacon, Vol. I. p. 13. n. 1.
1 The translation adds, metut ignominia digit: a sentence which is also found in the edition of 1812, — "Delivery from ignominy chooseth it;" omitted here probably by accident
III. Of Uxttt Df Reugiox.
Religion being the chief band of human society, it is a happy thing when itself is well contained within the true band of Unity. The quarrels and divisions about religion were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was, because the religion of the heathen consisted rather in rit«t and ceremoiiIes, than in any constant belief. For you may irrmjnne what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief doctor* and fathers of their church were the poets. But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a jeahun tJoU; and therefore
his worship and religion will endure no mixture nor partner. We shall therefore speak a few words concerning the Unity of the Church; what are the Fruits thereof; what the Bounds; and what the Means.
The Fruits of Unity (next unto the well pleasing of God, which is all in all) are two; the one towards those that are without the church, the other towards those that are within. For the former; it is certain that heresies and schisms are of all others the greatest scandals; yea, more than corruption of manners. For as in the natural body a wound or solution of continuity is worse than a corrupt humour; so in the spiritual. So that nothing doth so much keep men out of the church, and drive men out of the church, as breach of unity. And therefore, whensoever it cometh to that pass, that one saith Ecce in deserto, another saith Ecce. in penetralibus; that is, when some men seek Christ in the conventicles of heretics, and others in an outward face of a church, that voice had need continually to sound in men's ears, Nolite exire, — Go not out. The Doctor of the Gentiles (the propriety of whose vocation drew him to have a special care of those without) saith, If an heathen come in, and hear you speak with several tongues, will he not say that you are mad? And certainly it is little better, when atheists and profane persons do hear of so many discordant and contrary opinions in religion; it doth avert them from the church, and maketh them to sit down in the chair of the scorners. It is but a light thing to be vouched in so serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity. There is a master of scoffing, that in his catalogue of books of a feigned library sets down this title of a book, The morris-dance of Heretics. For indeed every sect of them hath a diverse posture or cringe by themselves, which cannot but move derision in worldlings and depraved politics, who are apt to contemn holy things.
As for the fruit towards those that are within; it is peace; which containeth infinite blessings. It established faith. It kindleth charity. The outward peace of the church distilleth into peace of conscience. And it tumeth the labours of writing and reading of controversies into treatises1 of mortification and devotion.
Concerning the Bounds of Unity; the true placing of them importeth exceedingly. There appear to be two extremes. For to certain zelants all speech of pacification is odious. Is it peace, Jehu? What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. Peace is not the matter, but following and party. Contrariwise, certain Laodiceans and lukewarm persons think they may accommodate points of religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements; as if they would make an arbitrement between God and man. Both these extremes are to be avoided; which will be done, if the league of Christians penned by our Saviour himself were in the two cross clauses thereof2 soundly and plainly expounded: He that is not with us is against us; and again, He that is not against us is with us; that is, if the points fundamental and of substance in religion were truly discerned and distinguished from points not merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention.3 This is a thing may seem
1 treaties, in the original.
2 in clausulis illi s qua prima intuitu inter se opponi videntur.
t qua rum sunt ex fide, sed ex opinione probabili et intenHone sancta, propter onSnem et ecclesia polttiam sancita.