A Discourse of Constancy in Two Books. Chiefly containing Consolations against Publick Evils/Book 1

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Chap. I.

The Preface and Introduction, a Complaint of the troubles of Belgia.

Some few Years since travelling towards Vienna in Austria; not without a signal Providence, I turned aside to the City of Liege; which as it was not much out of my way: So I had some Friends there, whom both Custom and Affection did oblige me to salute. Amongst these was Charles Langius (to say nothing but what is truth) the very best and most Learned Man of all the Belgians, I was receiv'd by him at his own House; where he sweetned my entertainment, not only by the expresses of a civil and friendly respect; but also by such kind of discourses; as I shall doubtless find advantageous to me, during the remainders of my life. This, this I say was the Man, who by the dissipation of some Mists of Vulgar Opinions, was the First that open'd my Eyes; and shew'd me the way, whereby without intricacy I might arrive at those desireable places, which Lucretius calls

The high-rais'd Temples which the Wise
By learning make to top the Skies.

For one hot Afternoon (as being towards the end of June) while we walk'd in the Court before his House: In very obliging Termes he ask'd me concerning my Journey, and the Rea­sons that had mov'd me to it. After I had spoken many things with equal Freedom and Truth, concerning the troubles of Belgia: I told him at last, that howsoever I had pretended another; yet this was the very Reason of my departure. For who, O Langius said I, is there to be found of so flinty and hard a heart; as longer to endure these evils? We are toss'd as you see, for so many Years together in the stormes of a Civil War: and are whirl'd up and down in a Tempestuous Sea with the different Winds of Trouble and Sedition. Doth my temper incline me to ease and quiet? The hoarce accents of Trumpets, and the clashings of Armes, do speedily interrupt me. Do I seek my Diver­tisements in the Country or Gardens? The Souldier and Swash-buckler soon fright me into the City. And therefore, O Langius, leaving this infested and unfortunate Belgia (pardon me O thou Genius of my Country) I am resolv'd (as he saies) to shift my Habitation; and to fly into any part of the Earth, where I may neither hear of the name or actions of this Race of Pelops. Langius admiring and somewhat mov'd; Is it true then Lipsius, saies he, that you will needs depart from us? Either from you or most undoubtedly from this Life, reply'd I. For what Sanctuary is there from these Evils, but only in the flight of them? For to behold them and endure them daily I am not able Langius, as being one whose heart you may be sure is not composed of Adamant. Langius sigh'd at this discourse; and feeble Young Man said he, what kind of delicacy is this? Or what may be thy meaning to seek for safety by flight? I acknowledge your Country is full of Trouble and Turmoile; but what part of Europe is that which is at this day free? Insomuch as you may truly præsage according to that of Aristophanes,

Things that are high with awfull frown
High-thundring Jove will tumble down.

And therefore not so much our Country (Lipsius) as our Passions are to be fled: and this Mind of ours is to be so fram'd and establish'd, as that we may find repose in the midst of troubles, and peace in the midst of Warrs. They are rather to be fled, Langius, (reply'd I with an ardour Youthfull enough) for certainly those evils that we hear of, do more lightly affect us, than those we behold: and withall our selves (as they say) are out of Gunshot and the dust of this contention. Do you not hear how craftily Homer advises?

Get out o'th compass of the Arrows flight,
Lest a new wound upon the former light.

Chap. II.

That Travaile availes not against those Diseases which are within us. It is rather a Symptome than a Cure: unless in some first and light motion of the Affections.

Yes I hear him, said Langius, with a kind of Nod: but I had rather you would hear the Voice of Wisdom and Reason. For those Clouds and Mists which enwrap you Lipsius, are ingendered by the Vapours of Opinion. And therefore in this Case (as Diogenes saies) you have more need of Reason than a Rope: I mean such a ray as may enlighten the darkness of your understanding. You are about to leave your Country, but tell me seriously, when you forsake it, can you also forsake your self? Take heed lest you experience the contrary; and carry with you even in that bosome of yours, the source and fountain of all your evils. As those who are sick of a Feaver do continually toss and tumble, and shift their Beds, with a vain hope of finding some ease thereby: In the same manner it is with us, who do in vain pass from one Climate to another; while the sickness is in our Minds. For this is to manifest, not to remove the disease: to make a discovery of this Internal heat; but not at all to asswage it. The wise Roman speaks excellently well. 'Tis the property of the sick not to endure any thing long: and to make use of change it self, instead of a Remedy. Hence are those straggling peregrinations, and those wandring Voyages upon the Shores undertaken: Now by Land, and anon by Sea; with a levity that is ever disgusted with whatsoever is present. You do therefore rather fly than escape troubles, after the manner of that Hind in Virgil

Which (while unwary she at distance feeds
Among the Crætan woods and nothing heeds)
Some Shepherds arrow strikes; away she hyes,
And through Dictæan woods and groves she flies:

But all in vain; for as the same Poet addes.

———————the fatall reed
Sticks in her side, for all her speed.

'Tis thus with you, who being inwardly smitten with this dart of Passion; do not by travell shake it out: but rather carry it elsewhere. He that ha's broke an Arm or Leg does not use to call for a Horse or Coach, but for a Chirurgion: What kind of Vanitie then is that of yours; that causes you to seek the Cure of an inward wound, by motion and gadding up and down? For certainly it is the mind which is sick; and all this outward weakness, despair and langour, arises from this one Fountain, that it languishes and is cast down. That Princely and Diviner part hath cast away the Scepter; and hath humbled it self to that Degree of baseness; as to become a voluntary slave to its own Vassailes.

Tell me now in this Case; what advantage is to be hop'd for, from Place or Motion? Unless possibly there is any such Region, which can temper our Fears, or bridle our hopes; or make us discharge our selves again of that filthy matter of Vices, which we have so liberally taken down. But there is alass no such, no not in the Fortunate Islands themselves; or if there be, be so kind as to shew us it, and we will all embody and fort with march thither. You will say that very Motion, and change of place it self hath that force; and that those daily sights, that variety of Customes men and places, which we meet with in travell; doth recreate and rouse afresh the dejected Mind.

You are deceiv'd Lipsius, for (to speak seriously and as the matter doth require) I do not so far forth depress travail as to grant it no kind of power over Man, and his Affections. Yes, let it be yielded that it hath, but hitherto only, that it may possibly remove some lighter tædium; or as it were loathings of the Mind: but as for the Diseases of it, they have lodg'd themselves so deep therein, as to mock the Virtues of any external Medicines. Musick, Wine, Sleep have frequently cur'd those first and lesser Motions of Anger, Grief, or Love: But never the Disease, when once it hath been fix'd and hath fastned its Roots deep. The case is the same here; Travail will possibly heal some lighter languors, but it can never cure the true ones. For those First Motions which do arise from the Body, do after a sort still remain in the Body; or at most (if I may say so) in the superficies of the Mind: and therefore it is no marvail, if some lesser spunge be able to wipe them out. But it is not so with those inveterate Affections; which have their Seat, yea throne in the very Soul of the Mind. When therefore you have gone far, and spent much time in travail, when you have circled both Sea and Land: Yet no Seas will suffice to wash them out, nor any Earth to overwhelme them. They will follow you, and whether on Foot or on Horse-back, that I may use the Phrase of the Poet; these black cares will sit behind you. When Socrates was ask'd by one what might be the Reason that he had no better accomplish'd himself by travail: he answer'd him pertinently; because said he you did not travail from your self. Somewhat like unto this I shall now say. Even whithersoever you shall betake your self; you will have in your company a corrupted and a corrupting Mind; none of the most desireable associates. I wish it an associate only, but I fear it may prove a leader: For your Affections will not so much follow you; as they will dragg you after them.

Chap. III.

That the true Diseases of the Mind are not removed by travail, but are thereby the more exasperated. That it is the Mind which is sick; a remedy for which is to be sought for from Wisdom and Constancy.

You will say then: doth not travail call us away from those truer evils? will not the prospect of Fields, Rivers, and Mountains place us beyond the sense of our Grief? They may possibly call you off; and place you beyond: but neither for any time nor with any firmness. As the eye is not long delighted with a picture how excellent soever: So all that varietie of Men and places, may affect us with the Novelty; but it will not last long. This is indeed a kind of wandring from Evils; but not the flight of them: Nor is it in the power of travail to break; all it can do is to lengthen, this Chain of our Griefs. What advantage is it to me for a while to behold the Light, and then forthwith to pass into some comfortless Dungeon? Such is the case; and verily the whole Body of these outward pleasures do lie in ambush for the Soul; and hurt us the more securely, while they pretend to assist us. As the weaker sort of Medicines do rather exasperate than draw forth the peccant humour: So this vain complacencie doth encrease and swell the Tide of these desires in us. For the Mind doth not long wander from it self; but by and by how unwilling soever is compell'd to return home, unto its old familiaritie with Evils. Those very Cities and Mountains which you go to see; will reduce to your thoughts the Memory of your Country: And in the midst of all your delights; you will either see or hear of something, which will unclose afresh the wounds of your Griefes: Or if possibly you may rest awhile; it will prove but like to one of those shorter slumbers; that leave the awaked party, in the same or a greater Feaver. For there are a sort of desires which being interrupted do increase the more: And are sensibly the stronger for having had Vacations.

Away then Lipsius with these vain yea dangerous experiments; more like to poysons than remedies: And betake your self to those, which how severe soever, are yet the true ones. Are you about to change your Soile and Climb? O rather let it be your Mind: which you have unhappily withdrawn from the Obedience of Right Reason: for no other purpose than to make it a Slave to your Affections. The unsound temper of that is the Root of this despair; and thence are your languors because that is corrupted. It behoves you then rather to endeavour a change of that, than of the place; and to strive not so much to be else where, as to be another. You long now to see the fruitfull Austria, the Loyal and Stout Vienna, that King of Rivers the Danubius, and those other rare and strange things which Men so delightfully listen to the Relations of.

But how much better were it for you, if you had the same Ardour and eagerness after Wisdome? If you would foot it in those fertil Fields; if you would search out the springs of Humane perturbations; in fine, if you would erect such Bulwarks and Forts; as might render you impregnable to all the storms and assaults of such desires as are Illegitimate? For these are the grand Remedies for your Disease; and every thing besides are but as Lint and Lavatory. Your departure will nothing help you; It will be small advantage to you that you have

Escap'd to many Græcian Cities, and
Through squadrons of arm'd Ships get safe to Land.

You will find an Enemy within your self; and (laying his hand on my brest) in that so private an apartment. What matter is it how peaceable those places are to which you shall arrive: So long as you carry a War along with you? Or how quiet? When troubles not only surround you; but are got within you. For this disagreeing Mind of ours, will ever be piquering with it self: Desiring and flying; hoping and desparing. And as those flying Cowards do most of all expose themselves to danger; that discover their unarmed Backs to their Enemies: So those Errants and Fresh-water Souldiers also do: who as yet did never maintain a fight with their Affections but alwayes fled before them. But thou Young Man, if thou wilt hearken unto me, shalt stand, and fortifie thy self against this Enemie of Grief. For above all things it is constancy you stand in need off: and there are some who have commenced Conquerours by fighting, but not a single Person by flying.

Chap. IV.

The Definitions of Constancy; Patience; Right Reason and Opinion: The difference betwixt Obstinacy and Constancy, and betwixt Patience and Stupidity.

Somewhat rais'd with this Discourse of Langius, there is much of Noble and Gallant (said I) in these Advices of yours: And now am I endeavouring to raise up my self and stand: But to as little purpose as persons that attempt the same thing in their sleeps. For not to dissemble, Langius, I tumble back into my former Seat; and as well publick as private Cares stick fast in my perplexed Mind. Drive from me (if it is possible) these Vultures which are continually pecking, and take from me these Ligatures of Anxiety with which I feel my self bound unto this Caucasus. I shall doubtless take them away reply'd he, and as another Hercules, set at liberty this Prometheus: Do you only attend and consider. I did before invite you to Constancy, Lipsius, and it is in that I have placed the Hope and Sanctuary of all your Safety. This therefore in the first place is to be understood by us. Now by Constancy I here understand; AN UPRIGHT UNMOVED STRENGTH OF THE MIND; NEITHER ELEVATED NOR DEPRESS'D BY EXTERNAL OR ACCIDENTAL OCCURRENCES. I said a STRENGTH, and I thereby understand such a firmness as is begot in the Mind, not by Opinion, but by Judgement and right Reason. For above all things I would exclude from hence Pervicaciousness (or whether I may better call it Pertinaciousness) which it self is the strength of an Obedient Mind, but such only as is engender'd by the wind of Pride and vain Glory; and is but in one part of it only. For those Pervicacious Persons though they are not (swollen as they are) easily to be depress'd: Yet a light matter doth lift them up. Not unlike unto a bladder which being fill'd with wind will not sink without difficulty; but appears aloft, and bounds upon the Water of its own accord. Such is the flatulent hardness of these Men; which as I said arises from Pride, and too high an estimate of self, and by consequence from Opinion. But the true Mother of Constancy, is Patience and lowliness of the Mind; which I define; A VOLUNTARY AND COMPLAINTLESSE ENDURANCE OF ALL THOSE THINGS WHATSOEVER THEY BE, THAT FALL OUT TO, OR FALL UPON A MAN FROM ELSEWHERE. Which being taken up, upon the actount of right Reason, is that only Root, from whence the height of this excellent Oak-like strength doth wear it self. For here also it is requisite that you should be heedfull, lest Opinion should impose upon you, which frequently in the room of Patience doth subrogate a kind of abject and stupid temper of the Mind; a very Vice, and which arises from too low an estimate of our selves. As for Virtue she ever marches in the middle path, and is cautiously heedfull lest there should be any thing of Excess or Defect in any of her Actions. For still she directs her self by the Ballance of right Reason, and hath that alone for the rule and square of her Test. Now this right Reason is nothing else but, A TRUE APPREHENSION AND JUDGEMENT OF HUMANE AND DIVINE MATTERS, AS FARR AS THEY APPERTAIN TO US: Contrary hereunto is Opinion which is A FUTILE AND FALLACIOUS JUDGEMENT CONCERNING THE SAME THINGS.

Chap. V.

The Originals of Reason and Opinion. The Power and Effects of each. That leads to Constancy; this to Levity.

But forasmuch as from this double spring (I mean of Reason and Opinion) doth arise not only the strength or weakness of the Mind: But also every of those things for which we are accounted praise-worthy, or reproveable amongst Men: I suppose I shall not do amiss, if I go about a little more copiously to Discourse of the Original and Nature of them both. For as Wools must have a previous tincture and preparation by some other juices; before they are capable of receiving as they should that last and more excellent colour they are intended for: After the same manner, Lipsius, your Mind is to be prepared by a preceding Discourse; before I shall be able (as I would) to dye it in the last purple of Constancy. There are therefore (as you well know) two parts in Man, Soul and Body: the one more Noble as resembling Spirit and Office; the other is more Base as it respects the earth: These two are joyn'd together, yet with a kind of disagreeing Concord, nor do they easily accord with one another, especially in those matters wherein Soveraignty, or subserviency is concern'd. For both have a desire to sway; but that especially that ought not. Earth strives to advance it self above its own fire; and Clodds are ambitious to get above the Clouds. From hence are those broils and troubles in a Man; and as it were a continual fight, betwixt two parties that are alwayes Skirmishing with each other. The chief Leaders, and as it were Generalls unto these are Reason and Opinion. The one is for the Soul and Warres therein; the other is for the Body, and in the Body it fights. Reason derives its Pedigree from Heaven; yea from God himself, and very highly doth Seneca extoll it, as a part of the Divine Spirit infused into Man. For this is that most excellent faculty of understanding and judging, which is no less the perfection of the Soul, than the Soul it self is the perfection of the Man. The Greeks call it the Mind, and so the Latines, or else the Mind of the Soul. For (that you be not mistaken) the whole Soul is not right Reason; but that only therein which is simple, Uniform, unmixed, sever'd from all Lees and Dreggs, and (in a word) that which is in it of sublime and cœlestial. For the Soul it self (howsoever it is lamentably corrupted and infected, with the stain of the Body, and the contagion of the Senses) doth yet inwardly retain some certain Footsteps of its Original: and there are in it (very clearly discernible) some sparkling remainders of that first and purer fire. Hence are those stings of Conscience even in the worst and most profligate Persons: Hence are those inward scourges and gnawings; and hence is that approbation of a better Life, which is frequently extorted from them, though not without a reluctancy in themselves. For that sound and holyer part within us, may possibly for a time be suppressed, oppressed it cannot. And that burning Flame may be cover'd; but cannot be extinguished. For those little Fires do alwayes shine forth, and sparkle out, to enlighten us amongst these shades, cleanse us from these stains; guide us in our wandrings; and to shew us the way to Constancy and Virtue. As the Heliotrope and some other Flowers do by a natural instinct bend towards the Sun: So doth Reason turn it self to God and the Original of its self. Firm and immoveable in what is good, one and the same in its Censures; ever desiring or flying one and the same thing, the very source and Fountain of right Councel and sound Judgement. To obey this is no less than to command, and to be subject here is to sway the Scepter of the Universe. Who ever hearkens unto this hath already subjugated the rebellious desires and motions of the Mind: And he shall never be wildred in the Labyrinths of this Life, who remits himself to the guideance of this Theseian Clew. God himself by this his Image comes unto us (nay which is yet more) into us. But that baser and unsounder part (I mean Opinion) it owes its Original to the Body (that is to say) to Earth, and therefore savours nothing besides it. For the Body howsoever it is immoveable and senseless of it self; yet it derives both Life and Motion from the Soul; and on the other side presents to the Soul, the Images of things through the Windowes of the senses. Thus there is a kind of Communion and Society Cemented betwixt the Soul and the Body: but such a communion, as if we attend the Event, proves unfortunate to the Soul. For through this it is that the Soul, by almost insensible degrees, is led from the Nobler place of its residence, becomes addicted to and is mingled with the Senses, and from this impure mixture, is the birth of Opinion; which is no other than a vain shaddow, and resemblance of Reason. The true seat of it is Sense, the Parent, Earth; and therefore abject and base as it is, it advances not it self, it aspires not, nor so much as regards any thing that is lofty and Ætherial. It is ever vain, uncertain, deceitfull, ill-advising, and as perversly judging: and that which it chiefly aimes at, is at once to deprive the Soul of Constancy and Truth. It languishes for this thing to day, and on the Morrow despises it, this it approves and this it condemnes; nothing with judgement, but gratifying the Body and indulging the Senses in every thing. As the Eye makes but a false measure of those things which it beholds through some Cloud or in the Water: So doth the Mind but perversly judge of what it beholds through the misty Mediums of Opinion. This (if you consider well) is to Man the Mother of his Evils; and this is the Author of that confused and perturbed Life within us. That cares do disquiet us, it is from hence; that the Passions do distract us, it is from hence; and if Vices do Reign over us, it is also from hence. And therefore as those who are resolv'd to abolish Tyranny in any City; do first of all demolish the Castle: So if we are Serious in the prosecution of a good Mind, we must subvert this Citadel of Opinions. For we shall fluctuate with them for ever: Anxious, Plaintfull, Discompos'd, and never (as we ought) assigning what is equall either to God or Man. As a void and empty Ship, is tossed in the Sea, with every wind: So will that Vagrant Mind of ours be, which the weight, and (as it were) the ballast of Reason hath not established.

Chap. VI.

The praise of Constancy, and a serious exhortation to pursue it.

Levity therefore Lipsius (as you see) is the Comrade of Opinion, and the property of it is alwayes to change and to repent. But the associate of Reason is Constancy; to the putting on of which I do very seriously exhort you. To what purpose is it to have recourse unto things vain and external? This is that only Helena which can present you with that true and rich Nepenthe, in which you may drown the memory of all your Cares and Griefs; which if once you have tasted and taken down; proof against every chance, in the same equal tenour, and not wavering after the manner of a ballance; you may challenge to your self that great and God-like property of Immoveable. Have you not observed in the Scutcheons and Impresses of some of the Princes of this Age; that high and envy'd Motto, NEITHER BY HOPE NOR FEAR? It shall be yours; who being truly a King, and truly free; shall be a subject unto God alone, exempt from the bondage both of Affections and Fortune. As there are some certain Rivers which are said to pass through the middle of Seas; and yet preserve themselves intire: so you shall travel through surrounding tumults in such a manner, as not to contract any saltness from this Sea of sorrowes. Do you fall? Constancy will lift you up. Do you stagger? It will support you. Shall you hasten to some Pond or Halter? It will solace and reduce you from the very Portalls of Death. Do you only deliver, and raise up your self: Steere the course of your Ship unto this Haven, where Peace and Security dwell: In which there is a Refuge and a Sanctuary from troubles and perplexities. Whereunto (assuredly) if you are once arriv'd; should your Country not only totter, but fall into ruines; your self should stand unshaken. When Storms and Tempests, and Thunder-bolts fall about you; yet then you shall cry out with as true, as loud a Voice,

In midst of all these Waves I stand
Secure, as if upon the Land.

Chap. VII.

What it is and how manifold, that opposes Constancy: they are external good and evil things. Those evils are twofold, Publick and Private; those which are Publick seem the most grievous and dangerous.

When Langius had spoken these things with a Voice and Air more earnest than he used: a spark of this desirable fire did seise on me also. And my Father said I (for I call you truly not feignedly so) lead me wheresoever you please, and instruct, correct and direct me. You have a patient prepared for any method of Operation whether you shall determine to make use of the Caustick, or shall proceed to Amputation. Both these reply'd Langius, in as much as in some places the stubble of idle Opinions is to be set on fire, and elsewhere the shrubs of Passions are to be grubb'd up by the very Roots. But shall we continue our walk; or whether is it not better and most convenient for us to sit? To sit reply'd I, for I begin to be hot, and that upon divers accounts: So assoon as Langius had caus'd Chairs to be brought into the same Court, and that we were both sate; turning himself towards me, he again thus began.

Hitherto Lipsius I have been laying the Foundations whereupon I might safely erect my discourse: Now if you will I shall draw a little nearer to you, enquire out the causes of your Grief, and as they say, lay my Finger upon the very sore. There are two things that lay Battery to this fort of Constancy within us. False Goods and false Ills. Both which I thus define. THINGS NOT WITHIN BUT ABOUT US and WHICH PROPERLY DO NEITHER DAMAGE NOR ADVANTAGE THIS OUR INWARD MAN THAT IS OUR SOUL. And therefore I will not call them Good or Evil; as if they were so absolutely and simply: But only from Opinion and the common mistake of the Vulgar. Amongst the First they Ranke Riches, Honours, Power, Health, Long-life. Amongst the Last Poverty, Infamy, want of Power, Diseases and Deaths; and in a word whatsoever is accidental and external. From these two stocks those four chief Affections grow up in us which compass and perplex the whole life of Man. Desire and Joy, Fear and Grief. The two former of these respect some imagined good; and thence are bred: the two last respect supposed evils. Each of them do equally hurt and molest the Mind: and unless care be taken to dethrone it; though not after one and the same manner. For whereas the repose and Constancy of the Mind is placed in a kind of even and equall ballance; they force it from this poise, the one by hoisting, and the other by depressing it. But these false goods together with the Elation of the Mind by them, I shall purposely pass over (as not concerning your Disease) and hasten to those I call false evils; The Brigade of which is also twofold; Publick and Private. The Publick I thus define; SUCH AS THE SENSE OF WHICH, DOTH AT ONE AND THE SAME TIME EXTEND TO MANY. The Private; SUCH AS REACH BUT TO SINGLE PERSONS. Amongst the former I reckon Warrs, Pestilence, Famine, Tyranny, Slaughter, and such other things as spread abroad; and do respect the community: Amongst the latter I put Grief, Poverty, Disgrace, Death; and what ever is enclos'd within private walls, and is the concernment of some particular person. It is not upon any frivolous account that I thus distinguish. Forasmuch, as indeed that Man mourns otherwise and in a different Fashion who laments the Calamity of his Country, the Exile and Destruction of many; than he who only sighs for his own misfortunes. Add to this, that from each of these do arise different Distempers, and if I mistake not, the more grievous and durable from the former. For most of us are concern'd in Publick Calamities; whether it is that they rush upon us with an impetuous vehemence: Or as it were in a form'd Battalia do overwhelm the Opposer, or rather that they flatter us with a kind of Ambition, that keeps us ignorant and insensible, that through them a sickness is bred in our Minds. For whoever he is that bows under a private Grief, he must of necessity acknowledge his vice and weakness; although he amend it not, for what excuse hath he? But he who falls under this other; so farr is he many times from the acknowledgement of his fall and fault, that he often makes it his boast, and esteems it a praise-worthy thing. For it is styl'd Piety and Commiseration, and there wants but little; that this publick Feaver is not consecrated not only amongst the Virtues; but the very Deities themselves. The Poets and Oratours do everywhere extoll and inculcate the fervent Love of our Country: Nor do I my self desire altogether to erase it, but to temper and moderate it; this is all that I contend for. For assuredly it is a very vice, a Disease, the very fall of the Mind, and the casting of it down from its seat. But withall on the other side, it is a very grievous Disease, inasmuch as therein there is not a single Grief only, but your own and anothers confounded, and that other is also double, respecting the Men, or the Country.

That you may the better apprehend what I have more obscurely deliver'd take this instance. You see your Belgia is at this time press'd with more than a single Calamity; the Flames of this Civil war doth enwrap it on every side: You see on all hands that Fields are wasted and spoiled, Towns are burnt and overturned; men are taken and slain; Matrons are defiled; Virgins ravished, and whatsoever inhumanities use to accompany warr. Is not here matter of Grief to you? Grief indeed; but a various and divided one (if you consider it well; inasmuch as at one and the same time, you lament your self, and your Countrymen, and your Country besides. In your self your losses, in your Countrymen their various Fortune and Death, in your Country, the change and overthrow of its State. Here you have cause to cry out; O miserable man that I am! there

So many of my Countryment must stand,
The shock of Plagues brought by a hostile hand!

and lastly elsewhere: My Father! My Country! So that he who is not affected with these things: he on whom the wedge and weight of so many invading Evils can work nothing, must certainly be either a very temperate and wise person, or exceedingly hard hearted.

Chap. VIII.

Publick Evils oppos'd. Three Affections restrain'd: and of these; First, a certain Ambitious Simulation, by which Men lament their own misfortunes as Publick Evils.

What think you Lipsius have I not seem'd sufficiently to prevaricate with my Constancy, and to plead the Cause of your Grief? Yet I have done but as couragious and brave Chieftains use; I have dar'd out your whole Forces into the Field; and now I mean to deal with them, in a Skirmish first and then a joyned Battail: In our Skirmish, there are three Affections (Great Enemies to Constancy) which at the first onset are to be thrown under Foot, these are Simulation, Piety and Pitty: I'le begin with Simulation.

You are not able you say to endure these publick evils, that they are not only grievous to you but Death it self. Are you in good earnest, or whether is not there here some imposture and cousenage? At this a little heated: Nay said I do you ask this in earnest, or whether is it mockery of my Grief, and on purpose to provoke me? I am serious reply'd he, for there are not a few of this Spittle of yours that impose upon their Physicians, and Counterfeit a publick Grief which yet in reality is but a private one. I demand therefore whether you are certain that this care,

Which deeply rooted in your brest
Doth you so grievously molest,

be taken up by you, upon your Countryes account, or only upon your own? What do you doubt it said I? I mourn solely upon the account of my Country, my Country Langius. He shaking his head as unsatisfyed; consider of it again and again Young Man said he; I shall wonder to find in you so excellent and sincere a Piety, for certainly it is to be met with, but in a very few. I acknowledge it is usuall for Men to complain of publick evils; nor is there any Grief so common, and (as I may so say) that doth sooner shew it self in the Fore­head: But if you examine it a little more nearly; you shall soon discover some disagreement betwixt the heart and the tongue. The Calamity of my Country doth affect me; are words more ambitious than true: born in the Lips rather than in the Reines. That which is reported of Polus the Famous Actour, that when he was to play such a part at Athens as required to be presented with a remarkable passion; he privily brought in the Urne and Bones of his dead Son, and so fill'd the whole Theatre with unfeigned Lamentations and Tears; the same may be said of most of you. You play your parts in a Comedy (my Friends) and disguised in the masking Face of your Country; you lament your private losses with the truest and most lively Tears; The whole World saies Arbiter are employ'd in a Stage-play: I am sure it is so here. This Civil Warr (say they) torments us, the shedding of innocent blood, and the decease of Liberty and the Laws. Say ye so? I perceive indeed your Grief, I now ask and enquire of the cause of it. Is it because Publick matters are but in an Evil case? Away with thy vizzard thou Stage-player; for it is because thy own concernments are so. We have often seen the Rusticks tremble and throng together unto the Temples, upon the approach of some sudden and unexpected Calamity; but so soon as it is over, call aside those very men; examine them apart, and you will find that each of these was in fear only for his Corn, and some little Close of his own. Let them cry Fire, Fire, in this City, and I may almost affirm that the very Blind and the Lame will run to quench it. But what think you? Is it for the Love of their Country? Inquire of themselves I pray, and the answer will be because the loss, or at least the fear of it doth extend to every Man in particular. It is in this case, after the very same manner: Publick evils do generally afflict and disquiet Men; not because many are concern'd in those losses: but because themselves are amongst those many.

Chap. IX.

A clearer discovery of this Simulation by Examples; something (by the way) of our true Country. Of that malice in Men, which occasions them to rejoyce in the Evils of others, when themselves are secure.

Be you therefore the Judge, and let this cause be pleaded before your own Tribunal; only (as I said before) let the disguise be taken off. As thus. Do you indeed feare this Warre? You do feare it. Upon what account? Because Pestilence and Slaughter are the companions of Warre. To whom comes that Pestilence? To others indeed for the present, but it may also in time reach unto you. Behold there the true source of your Grief; and (if without the rack you will confesse the truth) it hath no other fountain. For as when the lightning hath strook down some one; even those also tremble who are near: so in those great and Common Calamities, the losse arrives unto few; but the fear unto all. Now take but that away, and together with it this grief also is removed. If Warre be amongst the Æthiopians or Indians, you are not mov'd at all (for you are in no danger) but if in Belgia, then you lament and take on, and deliver up your self to all the expressions of sorrow. But if you bewaile Publick evills as such; where lyes the difference? you will say that is not my Country. Thou Fool! Are not they also men? of the same stock and original with they self? under the same Canopy of heaven; and on the same Globe of Earth? suppose you that this little Horizon which these mountains terminate, and these Rivers bound, is your Country? you are mistaken; It is the whole World, wheresoever there are men sprung from that celestial seed. Socrates of old reply'd excellently to one that ask'd him of what Country he was: of the World said he. For a great and lofty mind includes not it self within the narrow limits of opinion: but in its apprehension and thought embraces this whole universe as its own. We have seen and derided the folly of such; whose keepers have tyed them in a nooz of straw only; or some slender thread: and yet they have stood as if they were shackl'd in fetters of iron: such a kind of madnesse is this of ours; who by the vain bond of opinion are restrain'd to a certain part of earth. But to omit these stronger wayes of reasoning (in regard I fear you are not yet able to concoct them) I shall adde this farther. Suppose that some god should promise you, that during this war, your fields should be untouch'd; your house and mony safe, and your self set on some mountains top, folded in one of Homers clouds: would you grieve still? I will not say it of you, but there are a sort of men, that would even rejoice, and greedily feed their eyes with the confused slaughter of dying men. What do you deny this, or seem to wonder at it? I tell you there is a kind of inbred malice in the disposition of mankind; which as the old Poet speakes

Joyes at another mans calamities.

And as there are a sort of Apples, which to the tast are sweetly sowre: such are other mens perplexities when our selves are secure. Set me but a man on such a shore of the Ocean where he may behold a Shipwrack, he will possibly be affected, but not without a certain pleasing titillation of the Mind; as one that be­holds other Mens extremities without his own: But place the same Man in the same endangered Ship, and then hee'l grieve (I'le warrant ye) after another fashion. It is the same here when we have said and done all that we can: And we do bewaile our own Miseries truly and unfeignedly; while we lament those that are publick only to be talk'd of, or because it is a custom. Excellently Pindar

Our own misfortunes when they light
they wound us very near,
But let another feel the spite
Our hearts are quickly clear.

Wherefore at the last Lipsius, draw aside this Scenick Tapestry, fold up this Veile of the Stage, and without Simulation, shew us your self in the Genuine Countenance of your own Grief.

Chap. X.

A Complaint of Langius his so liberall Reproof. That it is the part of a Philosopher. Endeavours of refuting what was before said. Our Obligation and Love to our Country.

This first Skirmish seem'd to me somewhat sharp, and therefore interposing, what kind of Liberty (said I) or rather, what sharpness of speech is this? You are so smart that I may well call unto you with Euripides,

Adde not affliction to a Soul distrest,
I am already but too much opprest.

Langius smiling, and what said he do you then expect at my hands, Wafers or Muscadell? It is not long since you call'd for the sharpest Methods of Chirurgery; And rightly, for you hear a Philosopher Lipsius and not a Minstrel; whose design is to teach, not to entertain, to profit, and not to please. I had rather you should blush and be asham'd, than laugh: and that you should repent rather than triumph. The School of a Philosopher, O yea Men (said Rufus of old) is the shop of a physician, whereunto Men hasten for health and not for Divertisement. This Physician neither flatters nor smooths up any, but pierces, tents, and searches the wound, and with a kind of sharp Salt of Speech, scoures away that Scurfe that cleaves to our Minds. And therefore Lipsius dream not (no not hereafter) of Roses, Pulse, and Poppyes, but of Thorns and Poynards, of Worme-wood and Vinegar. But said I Langius (if I may say it) you deal with me in an ill and malicious manner: Nor do you as a skilfull wrastler cast me upon a right lock; but supplant me by a cheat. In a counterfeit manner (say you) we lament our Country. Do I? It is not so. For to grant you this (as one that means ingeniously) that I have therein a respect unto my self, yet not unto my self alone. For I do lament Langius, I do lament my Country in the First place, and I will lament it, although in the midst of its hazzards, there should be no danger to me. And that upon the justest grounds, for this is she which hath entertain'd, foster'd, and nourish'd me; and is according to the common sence of Nations our most Reverend and Venerable Parent. But in the mean time you assign me the whole Universe as my Country. Who doubts it? But yet even your self will confess, that besides this vast and common one, I have another more limited and peculiar Country; unto which by a certain secret bond of Nature I have a nearer Obligation. Unless you do imagine that there is no force in our being swath'd and suckl'd in that our Native soil, which we have first greeted with this Body of ours; and first set foot upon, whose Air we have breath'd; in which our Infancy hath cri'd, our Childhood play'd, and in which our youth hath been educated and trained up. Where the Skies and Rivers, and Fields are familiar with our eyes: wherein in a continued order, are our Kindred and Friends, and Associates: and so many other invitations unto Joy; as we in vain hope to meet with in any other place of the Earth. Nor are these tyes (as you seem to assert) from the slender threads of Opinion, but from the strong Chains of Nature it self. Go to the Creatures themselves and behold the wild­est among them do love and own the places where they lodge, and the Birds their Nests. The very Fishes themselves, in that vast and boundless Ocean, do yet delight in the enjoyment of some certain part of it. For what should I speak of Men? Who whether they are civiliz'd or still in Barbarisme; are yet so glew'd to their Native Earth, that whosoever is a Man will never doubt to dye for, and in it. And therefore Langius this new and rigid Wisdom of yours, (for the present) I neither embrace nor comprehend, I am rather the Disciple of Euripides more truly affirming, that

Necessity it self commands
All Men to love their Native Lands.

Chap. XI.

The Second Affection of too much Love to our Country refuted. That it is falsly call'd Piety. As also whence this Affection hath its Original. What is properly and truly our Country.

Langius smiling at this discourse; Young Man (said he) your Piety is wonderful, and now it concernes the Brother of Marcus Antonius to look after his Sir-name. Notwithstanding it falls out well, that this Affection doth so readily present it self and advance before its colours, which I had before determin'd to charge and to overthrow with some light endeavour. But in the first place I must seize upon as spoil that very beautiful Garment wherewith it hath unhappily attyr'd it self: For this Love unto our Country is commonly call'd Piety; which for my part as I do not understand, so neither am I able to endure. For how comes it to be Piety? Which I acknowledge to be an excellent Virtue, and properly no­thing else but A LAWFUL, DUE, HONOUR AND LOVE TO GOD, AND OUR PARENTS. With what Fore head now doth our Country seat it self in the midst of these? Because say they it is that which is our most Ancient and Reverend Parent. Ah silly Souls! And herein injurious not only to Reason but also unto Nature it self. Is that a Parent? Upon what account, or in what respect? For I profess I see not, if you Lipsius are any sharper sighted, help to enlighten me. Is it because it hath entertain'd us (for that you seem'd to insinuate but now) the like hath been done to us often by an Host or Inkeeper. Hath it cherish'd us? So have our Nurses, and those Women that, when time was, bare us too and fro, with a farre greater tenderness. Hath it nourish'd us? This Office it performs daily to Beasts and Trees, and all sorts of Grain, and so do also those great Bodyes; Heaven, Air and Water, as well as the Earth. To conclude, transport your self, and any other soil will performe the same. These are frothy light words, from which nothing can be extracted besides a certain vulgar and unprofitable juice of Opinion. Those are indeed our Parents, who have conceiv'd, begot, and gone with us; to whom we are seed of their seed, blood of their blood, and flesh of their flesh. Of all which if there is any thing which in any degree of comparison, may be fitly spoken of our Country: I am willing that all my attempts, against this kind of Piety, should prove but lost labour. But (say you) there are many learned and great Men, who every where have spoken after this fashion. I acknowledge it, but it was then when they had respect to Fame only, not to truth; which if you will follow, you shall restore back that Sacred and August Name unto God; or (if you please) to your Parents, and command this Affection (when it is corrected) to be con­tented with the honest name of Charity. But thus far concerning the name only, let us now consider the thing; which truly I shall not wholly remove, but moderate, and pare (as it were) with the Pen-knife of Right Reason. For as the Vine unless you prune it, will very widely extend it self: So will those Affections more especially, whose Sails are swell'd with any gust of popularity. And I readily confess to you Lipsius (for I have not so put off at once, both the Man and the Citizen) that there is in every one of us, a kind of inclination and Love to this lesser country of ours: the causes and Original of which I perceive are not so clearly understood by you. For you will have it to be from Nature, whereas it is indeed from a kind of usage and Custome. For after that Men from that rude and solitary life, were forc'd from the Fields into Towns, and began to build Houses and Fortifications, to grow into Societies, and informed Bodies, to make or repell invasions: From that time there did of necessity commence amongst them, a kind of Communion and Partnership as to divers things. They together possess'd such a part of Earth with such and such limits: They had their Temples, Market-places, Treasuries and Courts of Judicature in Common; and (which is the principal bond) their Rites, Statutes, and Lawes. Which things yet our covetousnes, did so begin to love and care for (nor did it therein altogether erre) as its own peculiar. For there is indeed unto every particular Citizen, a true right as to those things, nor do they farther differ from private posessions than in this, that they are not the propriety of any Person alone. Now that Community doth express (as it were) a kind of forme and face of a new State, which we call a Common-wealth, and the same thing (properly) our Country. In which when Men did understand how much of moment there was in reference to the safety of every particular Person, there were then also Lawes made concerning the improvement and defence of it, or at least a Custome derived from our Ancestours, which hath the force of a Law. Hence it comes to pass, that we rejoyce in its advantages, and grieve in its Calamities: Forasmuch as in very deed our private substance is safe, in the safety of it, and perishes in the devastations of it. Hence is charity or Love towards it, which our Ancestours (upon the account of the publick good, whereunto also a certain secret providence of God doth attract us) have encreased, while they endeavour'd in every of their words and deeds to advance the Majesty of their Country. This Affection therefore in my Opinion is from Custom, but if from Nature (as you did lately insinuate) what is the reason that it diffuseth not it self into all alike, and in equal measure? Why do the Nobility and wealthier sort love and care for their Country more, and the vulgar and meaner sort less? Whom you may behold (for the most part) full of their own cares with a palpable neglect of the publick, which yet doth most certainly fall out otherwise in every such Affection as proceeds from the peremptory injunctions of Nature. To conclude, what reason will you assigne why so light an occasion should oftentimes diminish or remove it? See how this man Revenge, a second Love, and others Ambition hath allur'd from their Country; and in our dayes how many hath the God Mammon in the same manner seduced? How many Italians are there, who quitting Italy the Queen of Countrys for gain alone have transported themselves into France, Germany, yea into Sarmatia and there fixed their habitations? How many thousand Spaniards, doth Avarice and Ambition yearly draw into remote Lands and of a different Climate? Certainly a great and strong proof, that this whole Obligation is but external and Opinionative; seeing some one or other Lust can with that facility dissolve or break it. But you erre also to purpose Lipsius, in the bounding of that Country, for you restrain it to that Native soil of ours wherein we have settled, and whereupon we have walk'd, and such other things as you tinckle with a vain sound of Words. For you will seek in vain from thence the Natural causes of this Love. For if only our Native soil may challenge that name, then only Bruxells is my Country, Isca thine, a Cottage or a Hut will be some other Mans: Yes there are many that will not have so much as a Cottage for theirs, but must seek it in the Woods or open Fields. Shall then my love and care be shut up within such narrow limits? Shall I embrace and defend this Village or that House as my Country? You are sensible of the absurdities; and Oh how happy (according to your determination in these matters) are those Wood-men and Rusticks, whose Native soile is ever in its flourish, and almost beyond all the hazzards of Calamity or Ruine! But certainly that is not our Country; No, but (as I said before) some one State, and as it were a common Ship under one Lord, or under one Law; Which if you will have (of right) to be beloved by its Natives; I shall confess it: If to be defended I shall acknowledge it, If death to be undergone for its sake, I shall not be against it; but shall never yield to that that we should also grieve, be cast down, lament,

If once our Country for it cry
'Tis sweet and glorious then to dye.

Said the Poet of Venusia with the loud applause of the whole Theatre, but then he said to dye, not to weep. For we ought so to be good Citizens, as that we may also be good Men; which we cease to be, as oft as we decline to the ejulations and laments of Children or Women. Finally, Lipsius, I impart that to you which is lofty, and known but to some few. That these are vain and counterfeit Countryes, if you consider the whole Man. That possibly for the Body there may be one found out here, but not any for the Soul, which descending from that celestial and upper Region hath the whole Earth as its Prison and place of restraint; while Heaven is its true and proper Country. After which let us breath that with Anaxagoras we may Cordially reply to the Sottish Multitude as oft as it shall ask, hast thou no care of thy Country? There is my Country pointing at once with our Fingers and Minds unto Heaven.

Chap. XII.

The third Affection which is Commiseration rectifyed to indulge it over much, a Vice. Its difference from Mercy. How and with what respect it is to be admitted.

This Discourse of Langius withdrew (methought) a Cloud from my understanding; and, my Father (said I) you still better me both by your reproofs and instructions. So that (methinks) I am now able to keep under that Affection which respects the place and state in which, but not as yet that which respects the Men themselves amongst whom I have been bred. For how is it possible that the losses of my Country should not touch and deeply affect me for my Country-mens and Companions sakes, who are toss'd in the Ocean of these Calamities, or perish by a different and unhappy Destiny. Langius interrupting me; but this Lipsius said he is not properly Grief, but Pitty; which yet it self is to be despis'd, by a wise and constant Person. For nothing is more suitable to such a one than firmness and strength of Mind, which cannot be, in case not only his own, but also anothers Calamity shall overturn and discompose him. Here I interrupted him, and what Thornes of the Stoicks are these said I? Do you forbid me to pitty too? Yet this is look'd upon as a Virtue by all good Men; at least amongst us who are season'd with the true Religion and Piety. Langius immediately, but I said he do forbid it, and if I shall remove this sickness from the Minds of Men; there is no Man who is really good that will resent it amiss. For it is certainly a sickness, nor is he far distant from misery, whoever he is that pitties one who is miserable. As it is a signe of a weak and bad Eye to grow Blood-shot at the sight of one that is so: So is it of a weak Mind to grieve at the sight of one that grieves. Pitty is rightly defin'd, THE VICE OF A SLENDER AND MEAN MIND FAINTING AT THE APPEARANCE OF ANOTHERS MISFORTUNE. What then? Are we so rigid and severe as not to suffer that any should be mov'd or affected with the grief of another? Yes, to be affected I approve, but then it must be so as to assist, not so as to lament. I am for Mercy, but not for Pitty. For thus I am willing to distinguish at this time, and a while to recede from our Porch the better to instruct. I call Mercy AN INCLINATION OF THE MIND TO LIGHTEN THE POVERTY OR ANGUISH OF ANOTHER. This is that Virtue Lipsius which you discover as it were through a mist, and in which Pitty creeps to, and imposes upon you. But you will say it is Humanity to be affected with Pitty and compassion: Be it so; yet is it not therefore right. Suppose you that there is any Virtue in the Effeminacy and stoopage of the Mind? In Sighs, or Sobbs, or in the mingling of broken and disjoynted words with a Mourner? You are mistaken. If you think not, I can produce a sort of covetous old Women and some sordid Euclio's from whose Eyes it is much more easie to extract a thousand Tears, than one single Penny from their Purses. But now that truly mercifull Man (of whom I have been speaking) he will not indeed be pittiful; but yet he will performe the same, or better Offices, than he that is so. He will behold other mens Evils with a humane, but yet with a right Eye. He will discourse with the Sufferers, with a serious, but not with a mournfull or dejected Countenance. He will comfort couragiously, he will assist liberally, and will do more nobly, than he will speak, and will more readily lend his hand than words to a necessitous or fallen Man. And all these things he will performe with Caution and Circumspection; lest as in some very mischievous Contagion; the Disease of another should transferre it self to him: Or lest (as they say of Gladiatours) a wound surprize him through anothers side. What is there here (I beseech you) of severe and rigid? and such is the whole Body of Wisdom, which to them that look upon it at a distance, seems to be sterne and lowring: But as many as make nearer approaches, it is found to be so gentle and complaisant, as that the Goddess of Love her self is not more amicable and obliging. But enough of these three Affections; which I have partly put to the foyle within you; it will prove of no inconsiderable advantage to me, in the rest of the Combate.

Chap. XIII.

These Impediments remov'd, Publick Evils themselves are seriously considered. Four Arguments propounded against them. Of Providence; that it is interested in, and presides over all humane affairs.

I come now at length from our Velitation to a true and serious fight, and laying aside these light and jocular Armes, unto such weapons as shall finally decide the matter. I shall lead up my Souldiers and Forces in Order; and range them under their several Ensignes, which I also forme into Four Squadrons. The First, shall evince that publick evils are sent unto, and dispers'd amongst us by God himself. The Second, that they are necessary, and from Fate. The Third, that they are advantageous to us. And the last, that they are neither over-pressive nor new. Now if these Forces of mine shall, from their several Posts, dextrously charge and recharge; shall all the powers of your Grief dare any further to resist, or so much as to face me? They dare not. I have conquer'd, and with this Omen, let the Signal be given. Whereas therefore Lipsius all those Affections which do so variously rush upon, and disturb the life of Man, do spring from a distemper'd Mind: So also (in my Opinion) doth that Grief especially which we espouse upon the publick account. For whereas the rest of the Affections have some end and scope as it were; (as the Lover to enjoy, the Angry to revenge, the covetous to heap up, and so in the rest) to this alone you shall find nothing proposed besides it self. But lest my discourse should be too loose and forward; I shall curbe and restrain it within this compass. You lament you say your falling Country. But to what end I beseech ye? For what hope you, or what do you expect thereby? Is it that thou mayest repair it in its decayes, and underprop it where it yields? Or is it that by grieving you may keep off that Plague and mischief under which your Country labours? None of all these: It is only that you may use that thredbare saying, it troubles me; as to any thing else this lamentation is but vain and unprofitable. For it concernes a thing past; which to recover again, and to render undone; the Gods themselves would not have it in their own power. But is your Grief only vain? Yes, possibly it is impious also, if you shall rightly consider it. For (as you know) there is an eternal Mind which we call God, which Rules, Orders and Governs the lasting Orbs of Heaven; the different courses of the Stars; the interchangeable variations of the Elements; and (in a word) all things whatsoever, as well above as below us. Suppose you that any Chance or Fortune bare rule in this beautifull Body of the World? Or that humane affairs are hurried on, and blended together by a rash and blind impetuosity? I know you do not believe it; nor doth any other, who hath any thing (not to say) of Wisdom, but Sobriety. For it is the Voice of Nature, I say of Nature, and wheresoever you shall turne your Eye or Mind: Things Mortal and Immortal, Superiour and Inferiour, Animate or Inanimate, they all speak out and proclaim, that there is something above us, which hath created and made those so wonderful, so great, and so numerous things; and being so created and made, doth also still continue to direct, and preserve them. This now is God, to whose superexcellent and most perfect Nature, there is nothing more agreeable, than that he should be at once both able and willing to undertake the Care and Guardianship of all that he hath made. And how shall he not be willing who is the BEST? Or how should he not be able who is the GREATEST? So farr are any forces from being superiour to his, that all are Derivative from him. Nor doth this vastness or variety of things either molest, or remove him from their inspection: For that eternal light doth every way emit its rayes, and with one and the same dint (as I may say) doth pierce all the retirements and Abysses of Heaven, Earth, and Sea. Nor doth this Divinity only preside over all things, but it abides with; yea resides within them. Why do ye wonder at this? What a part of the World doth this Sun at once Survey, and inlighten? What a Mass of things doth this Mind of ours with one thought embrace and compass? And fooles that we are do we not believe that more things can be seen into, and comprehended by him who hath created and made this very Sun, and Mind? Excellently, or rather Divinely said he, who hath not said much in matters Divine, I mean Aristotle; what the Pilot (saith he) is in the Ship; the Charioteer in the Chariot; the chief Chaunter in the Quire; the Law in a City; or a General in the Army: Such is God in the world, with this only difference, that to them indeed their Government is laborious, toylsome, and perplexing; but that of Gods is without Grief or Labour, and severed from all Bodily pains-taking. There is therefore in God, Lipsius, there was, and shall be that very watchfull, and active care (yet a care which is secure) whereby he looks into, visits, and knowes all things; and doth guide and govern them so known, in an immoveable, and (to us) incomprehensible Order. Now this is that which I here call Providence; of which there are not a few, who through weakness may complain, none that can doubt, unless they are such as have stopp'd their Ears, and hardned themselves against every voice, and the very sense of Nature it self.

Chap. XIV.

Nothing done here below but by the Providence of God. Calamities upon People and Cities from thence. It is not therefore piously done to complain of, or lament them. An Exhortation to obey God, with whom it is vanity and rashness to contend.

Which if you have throughly imbib'd, if you do in good earnest and from your heart believe that this Governing Power doth thus insert and insinuate it self, and (to speak with the Poet)

———Doth when it please
Pass through all Lands and Seas:

I do not see what further place there can be for your Grief or complaint. For that very provident Being which daily moves and turnes about this Heaven, which leads forth and recalls the Sun; which discloses and shuts up all sorts of fruits: hath brought to the Birth all those changes and vicissitudes which you do either repine, or wonder at. Do you think that only pleasant or profitable things are sent to us from Heaven? Yes, those also that are sad and distasteful are from thence: Nor is there any thing at all in this grand frame of the World, which is transacted, discomposed or confounded (sin only excepted) whose cause and original proceeds not from that first cause: Pindar said well,

In Heaven they are that do
Dispense to us below.

There is (as it were) a certain golden Chain let down from above (as Homer gives it us in a Fable) unto which all these inferiour things are fastned. That there, an opening of the Earth hath swallow'd up some Townes; it is from Providence. That the Pestilence elsewhere hath mowed down so many thousands of Men; is from the same. And that Warre and Slaughter is amongst the Belgians; is from the very same. It is from Heaven, Heaven Lipsius, that all these Calamities are sent, and therefore they are aptly and wisely styl'd by Euripides

Sent by the Dieties.

Every Ebbe and Flow (I say) of humane affaires depends upon that Moon; and the Rise and Sett of Kingdomes upon that Sun. As oft therefore as you give scope to your Grief; and seem to resent it, that your Country is thus harrass'd, and overturn'd; You do not so much as consider, either who you are that repine, or against whom your murmurs are directed. What are you? A Man, a shaddow, Dust. And against whom do you murmur (I tremble to speak it) against God himself. It was the fiction of Antiquity; that certain Giants did attempt to dethrone the Gods. To omit Fables, you Complainants are those Giants. For if all these things are not only by the permission, but also by the immission of Almighty God: You who fret and resist, what do you but (as much as in you lyes) seise his scepter, and intrench upon the prerogative of his Empire? Blind Mortality! The Sun, Moon, Starrs, Elements, and all the successive Orders of Creatures, do willingly obey, and submit themselves to this Supream Law; only the Noblest piece of the Creation, Man lifts up his heel against, and replyes upon his Creator. Had you hoisted Sailes into the jurisdiction of the Winds, you must then go not whither you would but whither they list. And shall you in the Ocean of this life refuse to follow the conduct of that Spirit by whom the whole Universe is swayed? In vain notwithstanding is this refusal, for either you shall willingly follow, or be forc'd along; and those Heavenly decrees shall preserve their Efficacy, and Order, whether you shall comply or rebel. We should smile at that Man who having ty'd his Boat to some Rock, and pulling at the Cord, should rather think he pulls the Rock to him than that his boat moves to it: And is not our Folly every way as remarkable, who being chain'd to that Rock of Eternal Providence, do yet by our struggling and resistance seem to desire that it should obey us, rather than we it? Let us free our selves at the last from these Vanities; and (if we are wise) let us follow that Power which attracts us from above, and think it nothing but equal that whatsoever is pleasing to God, should (for that very reason) be so also to Man. The Souldier in the Camp upon Notice of a March, gets on his knap-sack; but if it sound to Armes, he layes it aside, as one who with his Mind, and Eyes, and Ears, is intent upon, and prepared for any command. Let it be thus with us, and in this Warfare of ours, let us chearfully and resolvedly March after our General, which way soever he shall command us. We are sworn to this, saith Seneca, to endure such things as Mortality is liable to, and not to be disturbed in case some things fall out, which it is not in our power to prevent. We are born in a Kingdom, and to obey God is Liberty it self.

Chap. XV.

The Second Argument for Constancy, drawn from Necessity. Its force and Efficacy. Necessity deriv'd from two Grounds; and first from the things themselves.

This Lipsius is a firme and well temper'd Shield, against all external Evils. These are those golden Armes with which being cover'd, Plato would have us to fight against Chance and Fortune, to be subject to God, to think upon him, and in all kind of Events, to bend this Mind of ours, unto that great Mind of the World, I mean Providence, whose pious and fortunate forces, forasmuch as I have already made sufficient proof of; I shall now draw forth and lead up another Squadron, which marches under the Standard of necessity. A valiant, stout, and Steel temper'd Squadron it is; and such as I may not unfitly compare to that Legion which the Romans call'd Fulminatrix: The stubborn and unbroken force of it is such, as doth conquer and subdue all things, and I shall wonder Lipsius if you should be able to resist it. Thales when one ask'd him what was the strongest, answered rightly, necessity; for that Conquers all things. There is an old saying too, about the same thing; although not so advised, that the Gods themselves cannot force necessity. This necessity I annex to Providence, because of its near relation to it; or to speak truly, because it is born of it. For this necessity is from God, and his decrees; nor is it any other thing than as the Greek Philosopher hath defin'd it: A FIRME SANCTION AND IMMUTABLE POWER OF PROVIDENCE. Now that it doth interweave and twist it self with publick Evils; I shall evince two wayes, from things themselves; and from Fate. From things themselves, because it is the Nature of all created beings, to hasten unto their change and fall, from a certain inward proneness, which they have thereunto. As there is a kind of fretting rust, which doth naturally cleave to Iron, and a consuming scurffe or Worme that followes Wood: In like manner both Creatures, Cities, and Kingdomes, have their internal and proper causes whereby they perish. Look upon things above or below, great or small, the workes of the Hand or Mind; they have perished from the first Ages; and shall persist so to do unto the last. And as all Rivers journey towards the Ocean with a prone and hasty current: So all humane things slide along by this Channel (as I may call it) of miseries, unto their utmost periods. That Period is Death and destruction; and thereunto Pestilence, warr, and Slaughter are as subservient instruments: So that if Death is necessary to these things, upon the same Ground are Calamities also. That this may appear to you the more evidently by Examples: I shall not refuse for a while to enlarge my thoughts and travel with you through this great universe.

Chap. XVI.

Instances of Necessary Mutation and Death throughout the whole World. The Heavens and Elements change, and shall pass away. The same is discernable in Cities, Provinces, and Kingdomes. All things here are wheel'd about, and nothing is stable or firme.

There is an eternal Law which from the beginning hath equally passed upon every thing in this world, that it shall be Born and Dye; Rise and Set. Nor would the great Moderatour of things, have any thing firm and stable besides himself.

From Age and Death only the Gods are free,
The rest of things under Times sickle be.

Cryes out the Tragical Poet. All those things, which you behold and wonder at, do either perish in their courses; or are certainly changed. Do you see that Sun? He is sometimes ecclipsed: The Moon? She suffers in the like kind, and has her waines. The Starrs? They shoot and fall; and howsoever the wit of Man may seek to palliate and excuse the matter; Yet there have and will be such accidents amongst those celestial Bodies; as may pose the skill, and stagger the Minds of the ablest Mathematician. I omit to speak of Commets of various Form, and different Scituation and Motion; concerning which, that they all have their Birth from, and Motion in the Air, is a thing which Philosophy it self cannot easily perswade me to believe. But behold (of late) there are certain new kinds of Motion and Starrs found out, which have cut out work for the Astrologers. There arose a Starr in this very year, whose increment and decreases were throughly observ'd; and we then saw (what will scarcely be believ'd) that in Heaven it self, there may be something Born and Dye. Behold even Varro in St. Augustine cryes out and asserts, that the Planet Venus which Plautus calls Vesperugo and Homer ἔσπερος, hath chang'd its colour, magnitude, figure, and motion. Next to the Heavens look upon the Air, it is daily changed, and passes into winds, Clouds, or showres. Look to the waters, and those Rivers and springs which we call everlasting: Some are lost, and others have altered their course, and found out new Channels. The Ocean it self that great and abstruse part of Nature, is sometimes swell'd with stormes, and at others smooth'd with calmes, and though those stormes were not, yet it hath its own Ebbs and Flowes; and to convince us that it may totally perish; It doth daily increase or decrease in its parts. Look now upon the Earth which alone some would have immoveable; and to stand by its own strength: Behold there it totters, and is shaken into a palsy fit, by the struggling of those vapours that are pent up in the Bowels of it, and elsewhere it is corrupted by Waters or Fires. For even these are at contest with one another; and that you may not resent it over deeply, that there are warrs amongst Men: The very Elements have theirs also. How many Countryes, hath a sudden Deluge, or inundation of the Sea, either lessen'd, or intirely swallowed up. Of old that great Island Atlantis (for I think it no Fable) afterwards Helice and Bura: And (that we may not have recourse only to ancient and remote times) amongst us Belgians (in the Memory of our Fathers) two Islands; together with their Townes, and inhabitants. Even at this very day that blew Deity, is forcing open to it self new creeks; and daily frets and weares away the unfaithfull shores of the Frisians and Hollanders. Nor doth the Earth her self alwayes give way by a Womannish sloth; but doth sometimes vindicate its losses, and in the midst of the Sea frames Islands for its self; to the wonder and displeasure of that hoary god. Now if those great (and in our imagination eternal) Bodies, are destined to their destruction and change; what shall we think of Cities, Common-wealths, and Kingdomes; which must needs be as mortal as the founders of them? As particular persons have their Youth, Maturity, Old-Age, and Death: So these, they rise, grow, stand, flourish; and all these to that very purpose that they may fall. In the reign of Tiberius one single Earth-quake overthrew twelve famous Cities of Asia, and another did the like to as many Townes in Campania, in the reign of Constantine; and one warre of Attila more than an hundred. Fame scarce retains the ancient Thebes of Egypt, and we scarce believe the hundred Cities of Creet. But let us come to more receiv'd instances. The ancients have seen and wondered at the Ruines of Carthage, Numantia and Corinth, As we do at the ignoble, inglorious rubbish of Athens, Sparta, and those other once renowned Cities. That Lady of Sovereignty, and Queen of Nations falsely Styled the Eternal City, where is it? Overturned, Rased, Burnt, overwhelmed: She has undergone more than a single Fate, and is at this Day curiously sought for, but not to be found where she formerly stood. You see that Constantinople proud of its being the Seat of a double Empire: And Venice that glories in its continuance for a thousand years? Their Fate attends them. And thou also our Antwerpe the Eye of Cities, there will come a time when thou shalt be no more. For that great Architect pulls down and sets up, and (if we may say it) doth even sport himself in the affairs of this World: And as a Potter at his pleasure, doth mold and unmake divers forms and representations out of this Clay. I have hitherto discours'd only of Townes and Cities; but even Kingdomes also and Provinces are dragg'd unto the same destiny. In old time the East flourish'd; Assyria, Egypt, and Judea were famous for Arts and Armes; that happiness of theirs hath pass'd over into Europe, and even she methinks (as Bodies upon the approach of a Disease) trembles and seems to have some lore apprehensions of her great fall. That which we may more (though never sufficiently) wonder at; this World which hath been inhabited this Five thousand and Five hundred years, doth now grow old, and that we may again applaud, the old exploded Fable of Anaxarchus; there arise now elsewhere, and are born new Men, and a new World. O the wonderful and incomprehensible Law of Necessity! All things turn about in this Fatal Circle of begining and ending: and there may be something in this whole frame that is long liv'd; but nothing that is Eternal. Lift up your Eyes; and look round with me (for I am not willing as yet to desist) and contemplate the alternate courses of humane affaires; not unlike the Ebbings and Flowings of the Sea. Thou shalt arise; and thou fall: thou shalt command, and thou serve; be thou obscure and thou glorious; and let this round of things hastening into themselves, whirle about, as long as the World it self shall endure. Were you Germans Savage of old; be ye now civil beyond most of the Nations in Europe; were you Brittons rude and poor? Do ye now emulate the Egyptians and Sybarites in riches and luxury. Did Greece heretofore flourish? Let her now lye wast. Did Italy sway the Scepter? She shall now obey. You Goths, you Vandalls, you refuse of the Barbarians; forsake your Dens, and in your successive courses command the Nations. Come hither also you pelted Scythians, and for a while, with a strong hand, rule both Asia and Europe: But do you your selves after a while depart, and resigne the Scepter to the Nation bounded by the Ocean. For is it my Fancy only? Or do I indeed descry I know not what Sun of a new Empire arising from the West?

Chap. XVII.

Of the Necessity that is from Fate. Fate asserted, the universal assent both of the Learned and of the people to it; though some difference about its parts. How the ancients distinguished of Fate.

Langius had finished; and this discourse of his had almost drawn Tears from my Eyes, so clearly did it seem to represent those Mockeries that are in humane affairs. Insomuch that I cryed out; Alass! What are even we our selves; or what are all these things we sweat so much in the pursuit of?

Whats he that ha's a brighter Fame?
Or he that's of Obscurer name?
Man when summ'd at highest, he
Is but as dreams of Shaddows be?

As the Lyrick Poet said truly of old. Langius replyes; Young Man; Look then upon these things not as above, but beneath you; and labour to establish Constancy in your Mind, by reflecting upon the inconstant and unsteady levity of all things. Inconstant (I say) as to our sense and apprehension of them: but if we respect God and his Providence, than all things succeed in an admirable and immoveable order. For now laying swords aside, I come to my Ensignes, and shall assault that Grief of yours, not with Arrowes, but more formidable inventions. I shall inforce against it the Ramme of Fate, an Ensigne of that strength and firmness; as no humane power or policy shall be ever able either to clude or resist. And howsoever the Ground is slippery enough to endanger a fall: Yet I shall adventure upon it, though with a cautious slowness, and as the Greeks say with a modest foot. In the First place therefore, that there is a Fate in things, neither you Lipsius, nor (as I conceive) any Nation or Age did ever doubt. Here I interpos'd; pardon me (said I) if as a Remora I stop you in this course. Do you oppose me with Fate? Weak is this Ramme, Langius, and such as is directed by the enervate and languid forces of the Stoicks. I speak freely, I despise at once, both it and the destinies: and with the Souldier in Plautus, I can blow away this feeble troop with a single breath, as winds do leaves from the Trees. Langius with a severe and threatning Eye; Rash and inconsiderate Young Man (said he) do you imagine you can elude or take away Fate? You cannot, unless together with it, you deny the very Power and Being of a Deity: For if God is, Providence is; if Providence, than a decreed order of things; and if so than a firme and establish'd Necessity of events, How do you ward this blow? Or with what Ax do you sever the Links of this Chain? For we cannot otherwise conceive of God that eternal Mind; than that there should be in him an eternal knowledge and prevision of things: whom we believe to be fix'd, firme, and immutable, alwaies one and the same; not at all varying, or altering in those things, which he hath once willed, and beheld.

The Eternal Gods are not inclin'd,
To variations of the Mind.

which if you acknowledge to be true (as of necessity you must, unless you have divested your self of all Reason and Sense) you will then also acknowledge, that all the decrees of God are firme and immoveable from Eternity to Eternity. Now from thence doth Necessity derive it self together with that Fate which you so despise. The truth of which is so very obvious and clear; that amongst all sorts of Men, there is not a more ancient or receiv'd Opinion. And look to how many the light of a Deity, and Providence hath shin'd to well nigh as many hath this of Fate. Insomuch that those very same privative Fires which discovered the knowledge of a God to Men; seem also to have guided Man in the knowledge of this other. Consult Homer that first and wisest of all Poets. There is not any one path wherein that Divine Muse hath so frequently pass'd and repass'd, as this of Fatality: Nor hath the whole Race of the Poets dissented from their Ancestour. Look upon Euripides, Sophocles, Pindar, and our Virgil. Look upon Historians; their common Language is, such a thing fell out by Fate, and Kingdomes owe their Ruine, and establishment to Fate. Look upon Philosophers, whose charge it was to ransome and defend Truth against the encroachments of the vulgar: Howsoever these have in most other things dissented from one another; (transported thereunto, by an over eager itch after contention and dispute) yet 'tis marvellous to observe, what a Universal accord, there is amongst them as to the beginning of this way which leads to Fate. I say in the beginning of the way: For I am not about to deny, but that soon after it was trod out into divers paths. All which notwithstanding seem to be reducible to these four, Mathematical, Natural, Violent and true Fate. Each of these I shall briefly explain, and (as it were) set a foot in each: Forasmuch, as commonly much of confusion, and errour doth arise from hence.

Chap. XVIII.

The three First kinds of Fate briefly explained. The description of them. The Stoicks in part excused.

Mathematical Fate I call that, which chaines and fastens all Actions and Events whatsoever, unto the influences of the Starrs, and the Positions of Heaven. Of which the Chaldeans and Astrologers were the First Authors; and amongst the Philosophers that profound and sublime writer Mercurius Trismegistus; who subtilly and not altogether idlely, distinguishing of Providence, Necessity, and Fate; hath these words. Providence (saith he) is the perfect, and absolute Counsel of the Heavenly God; to which there are two faculties nearly ally'd; Necessity, and Fate. Fate doth administer, and is subservient at one and the same time, both to Providence and Necessity; and the Stars are subject to Fate. For no man can evade the force of Fate, nor with all his caution prevent the powerful influence of the Starrs. For these are the Artillery, and weapons of Fate, by whose direction they cause and conclude all those things which are in Nature or amongst Men. And in this Ship of Folly are (at this day) embarked; the most of the Astrologers amongst us to the great reproach of Christianity.

Natural Fate; I call such an Order of Natural causes which (unless they are hindred) do by their own Nature, and efficacy produce alwayes a certain and the same effect. Aristotle is for such a Fate if we may credit Alexander Aphrodisiensis one of the most Faithful of his Interpreters; and of the like Mind was Theophrastus; who plainly asserts that Fate is nothing else, but every Mans Nature. Agreeable to those Mens Opinions it is, that a man's begetting a Man, is by Fate; that if a man arrive to his death; by internall causes; without the accession of such as are forreigne, and outward; this is by Fate: On the other-side that a Man begets a Serpent or some other Monster this is not by Fate, neither if he perish by the Sword or Fire. An opinion truly not very peccant; inasmuch as it rises not to the force and height of Fate: And how can that be in danger of falling which never adventures to climb? And such is Aristotle almost every where in Divine matters; I except only that little Book of his, de Mundo; which is a golden one indeed; and such as seems to me, to be inspired by some other and more heavenly Genius. I read also farther in a Greek Writer; that Aristotle was of Opinion: That Fate it self is not a cause, but a certain accidental Mode to the cause; in such things as proceed from Necessity. O the courage of a Philosopher! Who durst seriously Number, Fortune and chance amongst the causes, but not Fate. But I pass him, and return to my Stoicks (for not to dissemble I have a great affection and esteem for that Sect) who are the Authors of violent Fate; which I define with Seneca, such a Necessity of all things and actions: as no power is able to interrupt: Or with Chrysippus; a spiritual power that doth orderly govern this whole Universe. Nor are these Definitions very remote from that which is right and true: if they may have a sound and modest interpretation: As neither is their whole Opinion perhaps; were it not that it hath been already murthered by the retorted Thumbs of the whole hand of the vulgar. These charge them with two crimes; that they subject God himself to the disposal of Fate: and that they place also, the internal actions of our will, under the same power. Nor will I overconfidently undertake to clear them of either of these faults. For amongst those few of their writings which are yet extant, there are such, from whence these Tenents may be collected; as there are others, from whence, wee may receive that which is sound and Orthodox. It must be confess'd that Seneca (no mean Trumpet of that School) seems to dash upon that first Rock, in that Book (where he had least Reason to do so) of Providence. The same Necessity saith he doth bind even the Gods themselves, that irrevocable decree doth equally carry along with it, both humane and Divine things. The great Creator and Ruler of all things; did indeed write down this Law of Fate: But he followes it himself; and ever obeys, what he once commanded. And that indissoluble Chain, and twist of causes, whereunto they fasten all things and Persons, seems (and that not Obscurely neither) to offer violence to the will of Man. But the Genuine and true Stoicks, did never openly avouch these things. Or if any such matter, did fall from them (as it is possible enough) in their heat of writing and dispute; you shall rather find it in words, than in their sense and meaning. Chrysippus himself who first corrupted and Enervated that Masculine Sect, with the intricate niceness of Questions, he in Agellius sufficiently cleares them from attempting upon the liberty of the will. Nor doth our Seneca subject God to Fate (he was better advised) but (in a certain Mode of speech) God to God. For those amongst them, who came nearest to the truth, do by Fate sometimes understand Providence, and at others, God. And therefore Zeno when he defines Fate to be a power moving the matter according to the same respects, in the same manner, he adds; it matters not, if I had called it, either Providence or Nature. And Chrysippus from the same Principle, doth elsewhere call Fate, the Eternal purpose of Providence. Now Panetius the Stoick, affirm'd that God himself was Fate; and the same thing is clearly the Opinion of Seneca: You may (saith he) as you please, vary the Title of this Author of things, and Natures: You may lawfully call him, either the best and greatest Jove; or the Thunderer, or the Stayer: Nor for that Reason which Historians assigne; because after a Vow made to him; He stayed the flying Army of the Romans, but he is therefore the Stayer and Establisher, because all things do stand, and consist by his goodness, neither shall you erre, if you call him Fate. For since Fate is nothing else but an implexed series of causes, he is the Principall cause of all things, on which the rest do depend. Which last words are so piously spoken, that even Calumny it self, is not able to calumniate them. Nor did that great writer (unto Alexander the Great) in this at all dissent from the Stoicks. I conceive (saith he) that Necessity, ought not to be call'd any thing else than God, as an unchangeable Nature: And so also Fate it self; because it knits together all things, and is moved and carryed on, without any impediment. Which Speeches though possibly they may have something in them which is not so advised: Yet they contain nothing that is impious; and by modest interpreters will be thought not farr distant from that true Fate, which I am about to assert. The truth is, I do heartily applaud the Stoicks in this: That there is not any Sect, which hath more studiously asserted the Majesty, and Providence of God; or more earnestly endeavoured to incline the Minds of Men, to things Heavenly, and Eternal, than they. And if in the performance of this fatal Race, they have at any time stumbled: I believe it occasioned, by a good and praise-worthy desire; to recall blind Mortalls from their blind goddess; I mean Fortune, not only whose Deity, but Name too, was by them very manfully exploded.

Chap. XIX.

The Fourth, true Fate explained. Of its Name, its Definition. How it differs from Providence.

But I have said enough of the Sentiments and dissents of the ancients, for why should I over curiously or subtilly search into the Mysteries of Hell? my business is with true Fate; this I shall now propound and illustrate. And I here call it, an eternal decree of Providence, which is as inseparable from things, as Providence it self. Nor let any one cavil at the Name; for I do confidently affirm that the Latine language doth not afford any other that is proper to the thing. Did the ancients abuse it? Let us use it nevertheless; and inlarging the word from the Prison of the Stoicks, let us bring it forth into a better light. For certainly Fate is derived a fando from speaking: Nor is it properly any other than the Divine Sentence and injunction, which is that very thing I here mean by it. For I define the true Fate either with the illustrious Picus Mirandula, a Series and Order of Causes depending upon Divine Counsel, or in my own termes (though not so plainly, yet more exactly) an immoveable decree of Providence inherent in things moveable, which surely disposes every of them in its own Order, Place and Time. I call it a decree of Providence; for I am not altogether of the same Mind, with the Divines of our dayes (I crave leave for a free Investigation of Truth) who confound it as well in Name as Thing with Providence it self. I know it is a high and rash presumption to enterprize the comprisal and limitation of that supersubstantial and supercelestial Nature (I mean God) or whatsoever pertains to him, within the compass of definite Termes: Yet according to our humane capacity; I am sensible that Providence is one thing properly, and this Fate I am speaking of is another. For I apprehend not, nor conceive of Providence any otherwise, than that it is a faculty and power in God, by which he sees, knows and governs all things; such a power (I mean) as is universal, undivided, guarded, and as Lucretius saith firmly united. But now the notion of Fate, seems rather to descend to things themselves, and in each of them to be observed: That so there may be such a digestion and explication of common Providence, as is distinct and agreeable to its parts. Providence therefore is in God, and is ascribed unto him alone: Fate is in things, and to them it is ascribed. It is possible I may seem to you to trifle, and as (one saith) to drill Millet. No Lipsius I have these things from the common discourses of the Vulgar, amongst whom nothing is more usuall than to say, this or that came to pass, by my Good or Evil Fate: This is the Fate of that Kingdom or City. But of Providence no man will speak after this manner: I mean none can attribute it to things themselves without impiety or folly. I have therefore justly said that Providence is in God: Fate is indeed from God, but is understood in things. I add further, that howsoever Providence is really inseparable from Fate, yet it seems to be something more excellent, and superiour to it, as we commonly say in the Schools, the Sun excells Light, Eternity Time; and the intellect Reason. Not to enlarge my self any farther about these serious (though uncommon matters) by what hath passed, you may readily apprehend the Reason of my distinction; as also of my retaining the old Name, against the new Senate of Divines. For those ancient and heretofore Conscript Fathers; do not at all oppose me, but that I may very freely use this word Fate, in the sound and true notion of it. But to return to the clearing of my Definition, I call'd it an inherent Decree; to shew that Fate is to be observed in those things to which, not in him from whence it comes. I added in moveable things; signifying thereby, that howsoever Fate it self is immoveable, yet it doth not destroy the infixed Nature, and proper motion of things but acts in a mild and gentle way, according as those marks and Characters do require which God hath engraven upon every thing: In causes (I understand second ones) necessary, necessarily; in natural ones naturally; in contingent, contingently. In respect therefore of things, it is no way violent or compulsory, but bends and leads on every thing, according as the Nature of it is to do or suffer. But if you reduce it to its own Original, that is to say to Providence and God: Then I must affirm with the greatest Constancy and boldness, that all things which are by Fate, do necessarily come to pass. I added in the last place somewhat of the Order, Time, and Place, confirming what I had before asserted; that Providence is of all things taken together, but Fate is by way of distribution of particulars. By Order I understand a Series of Causes which Fate defines. By Place, and Time I understand that wonderfull and inexplicable power, by which all Events are ty'd to certain circumscriptions of place, and moments of time. Is it the Fate of Tarquine to be expell'd his Kingdom? Let it be done, but withall let Adultery precede. You see the Order: Is it the Fate of Cesar to be slain? Be it so; but be it also in the Senate-house, and at the foot of Pompey's Statue. You see the Place. Shall Domitian be murther'd by his Servants? Let him fall, but let it be in that very hour, which he sought in vain to decline, viz. the Fifth, you see the time.

Chap. XX.

Its Difference from the Stoicks Fate; in four respects. That it offers no violence to the will. That God is neither a Copartner in, nor the Author of Evil.

Are you sufficiently apprehensive of these things young Man, or do you yet stand in need of a further and a clearer light? I (shaking my Head) a clearer Langius, a clearer said I, or you will leave me for ever in the midst of this Night. For what means the subtile thread of distinctions? What captious snares of questions are these? Believe me, I was in fear of some stratagem; and began to be as suspitious of these your weigh'd and wary words, as of so many Enemies. Langius smiling; you may be confident (said he) no Hanibal is here, nor are you fallen into an Ambush, but into a safe place of retreat. I shall very willingly enlighten you; declare only where and in what part it is you desire a further satisfaction. There Langius (said I) where you speak of force and necessity. For I am not able to apprehend, which way you dissever this Fate of yours, from that of the Stoicks. For howsoever you have excluded it in words, and (as they say) at the Portall; yet in reality and at the Postern, you seem to me to readmit it. Langius readily, farr, farr be it from me Lipsius said he; I would not so much as in my dreams introduce that Fate of the Stoicks; nor do I endeavour to revive those long since expired Beldames the destinies: It is a modest and pious fate I contend for, and which differs from the violent one these four wayes. The Stoicks subject God to Fate; neither was Jupiter himself in Homer able to exempt his Sarpedon from its bonds, when he earnestly desired it, But we on the contrary subject Fate to God whom we acknowledge to be a most free Author, and independent Agent in all things: Who when he pleases can surpass, and break through all the strengths, and intricate foldings of Fate. They also constitute a Series and Flux of Natural causes from Eternity; we admit not such a Series of these causes without interruption (for God makes Prodigies, and worketh Miracles, oftentimes besides, yea contrary to Nature) nor can this Series of causes be from Eternity. For Second causes are not Eternal, as having (most certainly) their beginings with that of the world. Thirdly, they seem to have remov'd contingency from things; we restore it, and as often as second causes are such, we admit contingency and accident in events. Lastly, they seem to have brought in a violent force upon the Will; this is farr from us, who as we do assert Fate, so we reconcile it with the Liberty of the Will. For we so avoid the deceitfull Gust of Fortune and Chance, as that yet we do not force our Ship upon the Rock of Necessity. Is there Fate? That Fate is the first cause, which is so farr from removing the second and subordinate ones, that ordinarily, and for the most part, it acts not but by them. Now amongst these second causes is the Will, which never believe that God will either enforce or destroy. Here is all the Errour, and Cloud in this matter, no Man knowes or thinks that he wills what Fate wills, and yet that he wills it freely. For that God who created all things, employes those things, without the destruction of them. As the highest Heaven doth so carry along with it all the inferiour Orbs, as not to stop, or break off the proper motion of any of them: So God by the force of Fate disposes of all things; but destroyes not the peculiar power or motion of any of them. Is it his will that Trees, and Fruits should grow? They do so by Nature, without any compulsion. Is it his pleasure that Men should deliberate, and choose? They deliberate without any inforcement, and they choose with their own will. And yet God from Eternity foresaw that very thing in which their choice would determine: But he only foresaw, he did not inforce; he knew, but did not enjoyn; he foretold it, but he did not prescribe it. Why stumble our Curioso's at this? Poor wretches! There is no point, that seems to me, to carry a greater evidence of truth with it; were it not for that wanton Mind of ours which (being infected with an evil Itch of wrangling and dispute) is ever and anon urging and exasperating it self. For (say they) if God foresaw that I should sin; and this foresight of his is no way to be deceiv'd: How can it otherwise be, but that I should sin Necessarily? I acknowledge it is Necessarily, but not in respect of your Mind; since your own free will doth here intervene. For he foresaw that you should sin the same way he foresaw; but he foresaw you should do it freely, and therefore of Necessity you must sin freely. Is not this sufficiently clear? But they urge again; that God is the Author of all motions in us. He is indeed (I confess) the Author of all motions in common, but the fautor, and favourer of nothing but what is good. Do you prepare your self to an action that is virtuous? He knowes and assists it. Or to one that is vitious? He knows, and permits it, nor is he herein chargeable with any fault. I ride upon, and spur a dull and lame Horse, that I spur him is from me, that he is dull is from himself. I play upon a Harp that is out of tune, and ill strung: You will easily acknowledge, that the discordancy of the instrument is not imputable to me, but to it self. This very Earth doth feed all sorts of Trees and Plants with one common juice; and yet some of these bring forth wholesome Fruits, and some others Poysons. What will you here say? That this is from the Earth? Or rather in that inbred Nature of the Trees, which converts the good nourishment, into their own poyson? In like manner it is here: That you move is from God; from your self, and in your self, that you move to Evil. Finally, that I may at last finish my discourse about this Liberty; Fate is as it were the Leader of the Dance, in this Masque of the world: But so, that we also have our parts to act, of alwayes willing or nilling; but not further of effecting. For it is only a will that is left unto Man whereby he may be desirous to oppugne and resist God: But he hath not a power whereby he is able. As I may walk up and down the Decks and Hatches of a Ship; but this little motion doth not at all avail to hinder its course: So in this fatall Ship, in which we are all embark'd, though our wills move this or that way, they are not able to divert, or put a stop to it. For that supream Will will alwayes hold and manage the reines, and guide this Chariot, with a gentle kind of government.

Chap. XXI.

The Conclusion of the Discourse about Fate; that it is dangerous and doubtfull, not curiously to be pry'd into. An exhortation to strengthen our Minds from the consideration of Necessity.

But why should I dwell longer upon these things? I shall now alter my Course, and withdraw my self from this Charybdis in which the wits of so many have been swallowed up. I behold here the wreck of Cicero who had rather destroy Providence, than derogate in the least from the freedom of the will. Who (as the Bishop of Hippo said elegantly) while he made Men Free, made them Sacrilegious. How many even at this day are swimming in this Sea; and at length carry'd away with the Waves of disputation. By whose dangers Lipsius we being warned let us rather choose to coast about the Shore, than to hazzard our selves too farr in the depths of this Ocean. Euclid to one that ask'd him many things concerning the Gods, made this apposite reply: Other things I know not; but this I know that they hate the curious. Think the same of Fate, which will be look'd upon, but not pry'd into; believ'd, but not known. I think it is the saying of Bias; of the Gods say that they are, which I may pertinently apply unto Fate, of which I advise you, that it is enough if you know it to be: in other matters about it, it is no Sin to be ignorant. That properly belongs to our Province (for I now return from this intangled path into the old and beaten way) that you believe there is a Necessity annex'd to publick evils: and that you derive from thence some consolation in your Griefs. What doth it concern you, curiously to enquire about the Liberty or Servitude of the Will? Wretch! Thy Syracuse is taken, and thou art drawing lines in the dust. Warr is about thee, Tyranny, Slaughters, Death, which certainly are sent from above, and not at all under the disposal of thy Will. These things you may fear but not prevent: Fly, but not be able to evade. Arme your self therefore against them, and catch up this fatal weapon, which will not only pierce, but kill; not only diminish, but destroy all your Griefs. As if you slightly touch a Nettle it stings; but if hard, it hath no such power: So doth the asperity of your Grief encrease upon you if you ply it with gentle remedies, but gives back in the use of those which are more forcible and severe. Now there is nothing more forcible than necessity: whose first onset doth rout and conquer these feeble troops. For what does your grief aim at? There is no place for it in those things which not only may, but must come to pass. What would your complaints? You may struggle with a Yoke which Heaven hath impos'd; but not be able to shake it off.

By our complaints we hope in vain
To frustrate what the Gods ordain.

There is no other evasion of Necessity, than to will that which it self will compell. That excellent wise Man said excellently; thou mayst be unconquerable if thou never enter into such a combat, wherein it is impossible for thee to overcome. And such is the conflict with Necessity, which whosoever undertakes, falls under it, and which is the greater wonder, he falls even before the fight.

Chap. XXII.

A pretence for Sloth usually drawn from Fate. Its Detection. Fate acts by second causes, and therefore they not to be idle. How farr we are to help our Country, and when to forbear. The Close of the first Discourse.

And here Langius pawsing a little; I cheerfully broke out, and thus interrupted him. If (said I) the wind shall continue thus to fill the Sail; I shall quickly arrive at the Haven. For now I dare follow God, I dare obey Necessity, and methinks I may say with Euripides.

I'le rather Sacrifice to mighty Jove
Than with vain rage combat the powers above.

But I am yet tossed with the wave of one troubled thought, and this Langius I pray you calme: For if publick Evils are from Fate, and that can neither be overcome nor avoided: Why do we further concern our selves or labour for our Country? Why do we not resign up all, to that great and uncontroulable Governour, and (as they say) sit down with our hands folded? since as your self do confess; all contrivance and power is but vain, when the Fates do oppose. Obstinacy and perverseness said Langius smiling, have set thee at distance Young Man from that which is right and true. Is this to obey Fate, or to contemne and elude it? I will sit (say you) with my hands folded; 'tis well; I wish you had done so with your Lips too. For who ever assented, that Fate acts singly without the intervention of middle and assisting causes? It is Fate that your Children dye: Yet so, as that they shall first be begotten. It is Fate that you recover of a Disease: But then you must employ the Physitian, and make use of remedies. In like manner it is Fate, that the fluctuating sinking Ship of your Country, shall be preserv'd: It is then also Fate, that it shall be supported and defended. If you will arrive at the Haven, you must apply your hands to the Oare, and hoise the Sailes; not idlely gaping after, or expecting a Wind from above. On the other side if it is Fate that this Country of yours shall perish; by Fate also those things shall come to pass, which shall promote and further the ruine of it. The Commons shall be at variance with the Peers, and amongst themselves none shall know how to command, or to obey. Many shall be valiant in the tongue; all shall be sluggish in action: And to conclude amongst the Commanders themselves, there shall be found neither Prudence not Integrity. Velleius said well; the irresistible force of Fate, doth corrupt the Councells of him, whose Fortune it is determin'd to change: And again it comes to pass for the most part that God perverts their Councels, whose Fortune he is about to alter; and (which is the greatest unhappiness) so orders things, that those calamities which happen to such persons, seem deservedly to have fallen upon them. Neither ought you presently to conclude, that the last and fatal revolution is now come upon your Country. For how do you know it? Or which way can you be certain, whether it is some light distemper, or a Disease unto Death? Assist her therefore, and while the Patient hath yet breath (as they say) hope. But if by certain and infallible discoveries, it shall appear, that its fatall change is upon it; then (in my judgment) that is wholsome advice; fight not against God. That Example of Solon I may here safely commend, who when Pisistratus had seised Athens; and he saw that all endeavours for Liberty were vain, laying down his shield and armes at the doors of the Curia: O my Country said he, I have assisted thee both with my councells and actions; and so went home, resolving for the future to be quiet. Do you thus, give place to God, give place to the times; and if you are a good Common-wealths Man, reserve your self to better and more gentle Fates. That Liberty which is now perish'd, may revive; and your Country which is now fallen, in process of time may yet arise: Why do you unadvisedly despond, and cast away your courage? Of those two Consuls at Cannas I esteem Varro a gallanter Person who fled, than Paulus that fell: Nor did the Senate and People of Rome judge otherwise, who gave him publick thanks, that he did not despair of the Common-wealth. But whether your Country do only totter, or whether it fall; whether it languish only, or wholly perish: Afflict not your self overmuch, but espouse that noble courage of Crates, who when Alexander asked him, if he could wish his Country might be restor'd? To what purpose reply'd he, possibly another Alexander will overturn it again: These are the speeches of great and wise Men.

Let Griefs (though sad) within the best repose;
What gain is't to awake our Sleeping woes.

As Achilles was well advised in Homer; for otherwise as Creon in the Fable, embracing his burning Daughter, freed her not; but himself perished with her in the same Flames: So Lipsius, you will sooner drown your self in your own Tears, than with them extinguish these publick Fires of your Country. While Langius was yet speaking, the door opened; and a Boy from Levinus Torrentius came to tell us it was supper time? Langius as one awak'd, what sayes he, has this discourse so fair impos'd upon me? and is the day thus privily slipp'd away? And with that rising and taking me by the Arme; let's go Lipsius said he to this my wish'd Supper. Let us rather sit still, said I (being unwilling to go) for this to me is preferrable to all other food; which I may justly call the banquet of the Gods. In these entertainments I alwayes hunger and can never be satisfy'd. But Langius compell'd me, and said he, let us now performe our promise; to morrow if you will we will finish our Sacrifice to Constancy.