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of Military Valour neere unto them, for the Repressing of Seditions, in their beginnings. For without that, there useth to be more trepidation in Court, upon the first Breaking out of Troubles, then were fit. And the State runneth the danger of that, which Tacitus saith; Atque is Habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum facinus aude-, rent Pauci, Plures vellent, Omnes paterentur. But let such Military Persons, be Assured, and well reputed of, rather then Factious, and Popular; Holding also good Correspondence, with the other Great Men in the State; Or else the Remedie, is worse then the Disease.
I HAD rather beleeve all the Fables in the I Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, then that this universall Frame, is without a Minde. And therefore, God never wrought Miracle, to convince Atheisme, because his Ordinary Works convince it. It is true, that a little Philosophy inclineth Mans Minde to Atheisme; But depth in Philosophy, bringeth Mens Mindes about to Religion: For while the Minde of Man, looketh upon Second Causes Scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and goe no further : But when it beholdeth, the Chaine of them, Confederate and Linked together, it must needs flie to Providence, and Deitie. Nay even that Schoole, which is most accused of Atheisme, doth most demonstrate Religion; That is, the Schoole of Leucippus, and Democritus, and Epicurus. For it is a thousand times more Credible, that foure Mutable Elements, and one Immutable Fift Essence, duly and Eternally placed, need no God; then that an Army, of Infinite small Portions, or Seedes unplaced, should have produced this Order, and Beauty, without a Divine Marshall. The Scripture saith; The Foole hath said in his Heart, there is no God: It is not said; The Foole hath thought in his Heart: So as, he rather saith it by rote to himselfe, as that he would have, then that he can throughly beleeve it, or be perswaded of it. For none deny there is a God, but those, for whom it maketh that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing more, that Atheisme is rather in the Lip, then in the Heart of Man, then by this; That Atheists will ever be talking of that their Opinion, as if they fainted in it, within themselves, and would be glad to be strengthned, by the Consent of others: Nay more, you shall have Atheists strive to get Disciples, as it fareth with other Sects: And, which is most of all, you shall have of them, that will suffer for Atheisme, and not recant; Wheras, if they did truly thinke, that there were no such Thing as God, why should they trouble themselves? Epicurus is charged, that he did but dissemble, for his credits sake, when he affirmed; There were Blessed Natures, but such as enioyed themselves, without having respect to the Government of the World. Wherin, they say, he did temporize; though in secret, he thought, there was no God. But certainly, he is traduced; For his Words are Noble and Divine: Non Deos vulgi negare profanum; sed vulgi Opiniones Dijs applicare profanum. Plato could have said no more. And although, he had the Confidence, to deny the Administration, he had not the Power to deny the Nature. The Indians of the West, have Names for their
particular Gods, though they have no name for God: As if the Heathens, should have had the Names Iupiter, Apollo, Mars, &c. But not the Word Deus: which shewes, that even those Barbarous People, have the Notion, though they have not the Latitude, and Extent of it. So that against Atheists, the very Savages take part, with the very subtillest Philosophers. The Contemplative Atheist is rare; A Diagoras, a Bion, a Lucian perhaps, and some others; And yet they seeme to be more then they are; For that, all that Impugne a received Religion, or Superstition, are by the adverse Part, branded with the Name of Atheists. But the great Atheists, indeed, are Hypocrites; which are ever Handling Holy Things, but without Feeling. So as they must needs be cauterized in the End. The Causes of Atheisme are; Divisions in Religion, if they be many; For any one maine Division, addeth Zeale to both Sides; But many Divisions introduce Atheisme. Another is, Scandall of Priests; When it is come to that, which S. Bernard saith; Non est iam dicere, ut Populus, sic Sacerdos: quia nec sic Populus, ut Sacerdos. A third is, Custome of Profane Scoffing in Holy Matters; which doth, by little and little, deface the Reverence of Religion. And lastly, Learned Times, specially with Peace, and Prosperity: For Troubles and Adversities doe more bow Mens Mindes to Religion. They that deny a God, destroy Mans Nobility: For certainly, Man is of Kinne to the Beasts, by his Body; And if, he be not of Kinne to God, by his Spirit, he is a Base and Ignoble Creature. It destroies likewise Magnanimity, and the Raising of Humane Nature: For take an Example of a Dog; And mark what a Generosity, and Courage he will put on, when he findes himselfe maintained, by a Man; who to him is in stead of a God, or Melior Natura: which courage is manifestly such, as that Creature, without that Confidence, of a better Nature, then his owne, could never attaine. So Man, when he resteth and assureth himselfe, upon divine Protection, and Favour, gathereth a Force and Faith ; which Humane Nature, in it selfe, could not obtaine. Therefore, as Atheisme is in all respects hatefull, so in this, that it depriveth humane Nature, of the Meanes, to exalt it selfe, above Humane Frailty. As it is in particular Persons, so it is in Nations: Never was there such a State, for Magnanimity, as Rome : Of this State heare what Cicero saith; Quam volumus, licet, patres conscripti, nos amemus, tamen nec numero Hispanos, nec robore Gallos, nec calliditate Pænos, nec artibus Græcos, nec denique hoc ipso huius Gentis & Terræ domestico nativoque sensu Italos ipsos & Latinos; sed Pietate, ac Religione, atque hâc unâ Sapientiâ, quod Deorum Immortalium Numine, omnia regi,gubernarique perspeximus, omnes Gentes Nationesque superavimus.