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of England ? He would have beene, Seven times more Epicure and Atheist, then he was. For as the temporall Sword, is to bee drawne, with great circumspection, in cases of Religion; So it is a thing monstrous, to put it into the hands of the Common People. Let that bee left unto the Anabaptists, and other Furies. It was great Blasphemy, when the Devill said; I will ascend, and be like the Highest; But it is greater Blasphemy, to personate God, and bring him in saying; I will descend, and be like the Prince of Darknesse; And what is it better, to make the cause of Religion, to descend, to the cruell and execrable Actions, of Murthering Princes, Butchery of People, and Subversion of States, and Governments? Surely, this is to bring Downe the Holy Ghost, in stead of the Liknesse of a Dove, in the Shape of a Vulture, or Raven: And to set, out of the Barke of a Christian Church, a Flagge of a Barque of Pirats, and Assassins. Therfore it is most necessary, that the Church by Doctrine and Decree; Princes by their Sword; And all Learnings, both Christian and Morall, as by their Mercury Rod; Doe Damne and send to Hell, for ever, those Facts and Opinions, tending to the Support of the same; As hath beene already in good part done. Surely in Counsels, Concerning Religion, that Counsel of the Apostle would be prefixed; Ira hominis non implet Iusticiam Dei. And it was a notable Observation, of a wise Father, And no lesse ingenuously confessed; That those, which held and perswaded, pressure of Consciences, were commonly interessed therin, themselves, for their owne ends,
REVENGE is a kinde of Wilde Iustice; I which the more Mans Nature runs to, the more ought Law to weed it out. For as for the first Wrong, it doth but offend the Law; but the Revenge of that wrong, putteth the Law out of Office. Certainly, in taking Revenge, Ą Man is but even with his Enemy; But in passing it over, he is Superiour: For it is a Princes part to Pardon. | And Salomon, I am sure, saith, It is the glory of a Man to passe by an offence. That which is past, is gone, and Irrevocable; And wise Men have Enough to doe, with things present, and to come: Therefore, they doe but trifle with themselves, that labour in past matters. There is no man, doth a wrong, for the wrongs sake; But therby to purchase himselfe, Profit, or Pleasure, or Honour, or the like. Therfore why should I be angry with a Man, for loving himselfe better then mee? And if any Man should doe wrong, meerely out of ill nature, why? yet it is but like the Thorn, or Bryar, which prick, and scratch, because they can doe no
other. The most Tolerable Sort of Revenge, is for those wrongs which there is no Law to remedy: But then, let a man take heed, the Revenge be such, as there is no law to punish: Else, a Mans Enemy, is still before hand, And it is two for one. Some, when they take Revenge, are Desirous the party should know, whence it commeth: This is the more Generous. For the Delight seemeth to be, not so much in doing the Hurt, as in Making the Party repènt: But Base and Crafty Cowards, are like the Arrow, that flyeth in the Darke, Cosmus Duke of Florence, had a Desperate Saying, against Perfidious or Neglecting Friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable: You shall reade (saith he) that we are commanded to forgive our Enemies; But you never read, that wee are commanded, to forgive our Friends. But yet the Spirit of lob, was in a better tune; Shall wee (saith he) take good at Gods Hands, and not be content to take cvill also? And so of Friends in a proportion. This is certaine; That a Man that studieth Revenge, keepes his owne Wounds greene, which otherwise would heale, and doe well. Publique Revenges, are, for the most part, Fortunate; As that for the Death of Cæsar; For the Death of Pertinax; for the Death of Henry the Third of France; And many more. But in private Revenges it is not so. Nay rather, Vindicative Persons live the Life of Witches; who as they are Mischievous, So end they Infortunate.
TT was an high speech of Seneca, (after the
I manner of the Stoickes) That the good things, which belong to Prosperity, are to be wished; but the good things, that belong to Adversity, are to be admired. Bona Rerum Secundarum, Optabilia; Adversarum, Mirabilia. · Certainly if Miracles, be the Command over Nature, they appeare most in Adversity. It is yet a higher speech of his, then the other, (much too high for a Heathen) It is true greatnesse, to have in one, the Frailty of a Man, Eo the Security of a God. Verè magnum, habere Fragilitatem Hominis, Securitatem Dei. This would have done better in Poesy; where Transcendences are more allowed. And the Poets indeed, have beene busy with it; For it is, in effect, the thing, which is figured in that Strange Fiction, of the Ancient Poets, which seemeth not to be without mystery; Nay, and to have some approach, to the State of a Christian: That Hercules, when hee went to unbinde Prometheus, (by whom Humane Nature is represented) sailed the length of the great Ocean, in an Earthen Pot, or Pitcher: Lively describing Christian Resolution; that saileth, in the fraile Barke of the Flesh, thorow the Waves of the World. But to speake in a Meane. The , Vertue of Prosperitie, is Temperance; The Vertue of Adversity, is Fortitude: which in Morals is the more Heroicall Vertue. Prosperity is the Blessing of the Old Testament; Adversity is the Blessing of the New; which carrieth the greater Benediction, and the Clearer Revelation of Gods Favour. Yet, even in the old Testament, if you Listen to Davids Harpe, you shall heare as many Herselike Ayres, as Carols: And the Pencill of the holy Ghost, hath laboured more, in describing, the Afflictions of Iob, then the Felicities of Salomon. Prosperity is not without many Feares and Distastes; And Adversity is not without Comforts and Hopes. Wee see in Needle-workes, and Imbroideries, It is more pleasing, to have a Lively Worke, upon a Sad and Solemne Ground; then to have a Darke and Melancholy Worke, upon a Lightsome Ground: Iudge therfore, of the Pleasure of the Heart, by the Pleasure of the Eye. Certainly, Vertue is like pretious Odours, most fragrant, when they are incensed, or crushed: For Prosperity doth best discover Vice; But Ad. versity doth best discover Vertue.)