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more a fool if he does not find it before he comes to that age that usually resists all decay; and then every body sees, if he does not, the unhappiness of his constitution, that it was no sooner disturbed by those excesses. If the lustful and voluptuous person, who sacrifices the strength and vigour of his body to the rage and temptation of his blood, and spends his nights in unchaste embraces, does not in the instant discover how much his health is impaired by those caresses, he will in a short time, by weakness and diseases, have good cause to remember those distempers: and so that conscience that is laid asleep by a long licentious life, and reprehends not the foulest transgressions, doth at last start up in sickness or in age, and plays the tyrant in those seasons when men most need comfort, and makes them pay dear interest for their hours of riot, and for the charms they used, to keep it in that lethargy that it might not awaken them. And since it cannot be a feast, because it is not a good conscience; being an evil one, it must be famine, and torment, and hell itself. In a word, no man hath a good conscience, but He who leads a good life.
xx. OF WAR.
As the plague in the body drives all persons away but such who live by it, searchers, and those who are to bury the corpse, who are as ready to strangle those who do not die, soon enough, as to bury them; and they who recover are very long tried with the malignity, and remain longer deserted by their neighbours and friends out of fear of infection; so war in a state makes all men abandon it but those who are to live by the blood of it, and who have the pillaging of the living as well as of the dead; and if it recover, and the war be extinguished, there remains such a weakness and paleness, so many ghastly marks of the distemper, that men remain long frighted from their old familiarity, from the confidence they formerly had of their own security, and of the justice of that state, the war leaving still an ill odour behind it, and much infection in the nature and manners of those who are delighted with it. Of all the punishments and judgments that the provoked anger of the Divine Providence can pour out upon a nation full of transgressions, there is none so terrible and destroying as that of war. David knew he did wisely when he preferred and chose the plague before either of the other judgments that he was to undergo for numbering the people, though it cost him no less than seventy thousand subjects; so vast a number that three months progress of the most victorious and triumphant enemy could hardly have consumed; and the one had been as much the hand of the Lord as the other, and could as easily have been restrained, or bound by his power: the arrow of pestilence was shot out of his own bow, and did all its execution without making the pride or malice of man instrumental in it; the insolence whereof is a great aggravation of any judgment that is laid upon us, and health is restored in the same moment the contagion ceaseth; whereas in war, the confidence and the courage which a victorious army contracts by notable successes, and the dejection of spirit and the consternation which a subdued party undergoes by frequent defeats, is not at an end when the war is determined, but hath its effects very long after; and the tenderness of nature, and the integrity of manners, which are driven away, or powerfully discountenanced by the corruption of
war, are not quickly recovered; but instead J thereof a roughness, jealousy, and distrust introduced, that makes conversation unpleasant and uneasy; and the weeds which grow up in the shortest war can hardly be pulled up and extirpated without a long and unsuspected peace. When God pleases to send this heavy calamity upon us, we cannot avoid it; but why we should be solicitous to embark ourselves in this leaky vessel, why our own anger, and ambition, and emulation. should engage us in unreasonable and unjust wars, nay, why, without any of these provocations, we should be disposed to run to war, and periclitari periculi causã, will require better reason to justify us, than most that are concerned in it are furnished with. “Jugulantur homines ne nihil agatur,” was the com- | plaint and amazement of a philosopher, who knew of none of those restraints which Christianity hath laid upon mankind. That men should kill one another for want of somewhat else to do (which is the case of all volunteers in war) seems to be so horrible to humanity, that there needs no divinity to control it. It was a divine contemplation of the same philosopher, that when Providence had so well provided for, and secured...the peace between nations, by putting the sea
between, that it might not be in their power to be ill neighbours, mankind should be so mad as to devise shipping, to affect death so much sine spe sepultura; and when they are safe on land, to commit themselves to the waves and the fierce winds, quorum felicitas est ad bella perferri; and that those winds which God had created, ad custodiendam coeli terrarumque temperiem, and to cherish the fruits and the trees of the earth, should be made use of so contrary to his intentions, ut legiones, equitemque gestarent, and bring people (whom he had placed at that distance) together, to imbrue their hands in each other’s blood; indeed it must be a very savage appetite, that engages men to take so much pains, and to run so many and great hazards, only to be cruel to those whom they are able to oppress. They who allow no war at all to be lawsul, have consulted both nature and religion much better than they who think it may be entered into to comply with the ambition, covetousness, or revenge of the greatest princes and monarchs upon earth: as if God had only inhibited single murders, and left mankind to be massacred according to the humour and appetite of unjust and unreason
ble men, of what degree or quality soever. .