SIR THOMAS BROWNE (whose works occupy
so prominent a position in the literary his-
tory of the seventeenth century) is an author
who is now little known and less read.  This com-
parative oblivion to which he has been consigned is
the more remarkable, as, if for nothing else, his 
writings deserve to be studied as an example of the
English language in what may be termed a transition
state.  The prose of the Elizabethan age was begin-
ning to pass away and give place to a more inflated
style of writing — a style which, after passing through
various stages of development, culminated in that of

Browne is one of the best early examples of this
school; his style, to quote Johnson himself, "is
vigorous but rugged, it is learned but pedantick, it
is deep but obscure, it strikes but does not please, it
commands but does not allure. . . .  It is a tissue
of many languages, a mixture of heterogeneous words
brought together from distant regions."

Yet in spite of this qualified censure, there are
passages in Browne's works not inferior to any in
the English language; and though his writings may
not be "a well of English undefiled," yet it is the
very defilements that add to the beauty of the work.

But it is not only as an example of literary style
that Browne deserves to be studied.  The matter of
his works, the grandeur of his ideas, the originality
of his thoughts, the greatness of his charity, amply
make up for the deficiencies (if deficiencies there be)
in his style.  An author who combined the wit of
Montaigne with the learning of Erasmus, and of
whom even Hallam could say that "his varied talents
wanted nothing but the controlling supremacy of good
sense to place him in the highest rank of our litera-
ture," should not be suffered to remain in obscurity.

A short account of his life will form the best
introduction to his works.

Sir Thomas Browne was born in London, in the
parish of St Michael le Quern, on the 19th of October
1605.  His father was a London merchant, of a good
Cheshire family; and his mother a Sussex lady,
daughter of Mr Paul Garraway of Lewis.  His
father died when he was very young, and his mother
marrying again shortly afterwards, Browne was left
to the care of his guardians, one of whom is said to
have defrauded him out of some of his property.  He
was educated at Winchester, and afterwards sent to
Oxford, to what is now Pembroke College, where he
took his degree of M.A. in 1629.  Thereupon he
commenced for a short time to practise as a physician
in Oxfordshire.  But we soon find him growing tired
of this, and accompanying his father-in-law, Sir
Thomas Dutton, on a tour of inspection of the castles
and forts in Ireland.  We next hear of Browne in
the south of France, at Montpellier, then a celebrated
school of medicine, where he seems to have studied
some little time.  From there he proceeded to Padua,
one of the most famous of the Italian universities,
and noted for the views some of its members
held on the subjects of astronomy and necromancy.
During his residence here, Browne doubtless acquired
some of his peculiar ideas on the science of the
heavens and the black art, and, what was more im-
portant, he learnt to regard the Romanists with that
abundant charity we find throughout his works.
From Padua, Browne went to Leyden, and this sud-
den change from a most bigoted Roman Catholic to
a most bigoted Protestant country was not without
its effect on his mind, as can be traced in his book.
Here he took the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and
shortly afterwards returned to England.  Soon after
his return, about the year 1635, he published his
"Religio Medici," his first and greatest work, which
may be fairly regarded as the reflection of the mind
of one who, in spite of a strong intellect and vast
erudition, was still prone to superstition, but having

        "Through many cities strayed,
         Their customs, laws, and manners weighed,"

had obtained too large views of mankind to become
a bigot.

After the publication of his book he settled at
Norwich, where he soon had an extensive practice
as a physician.  From hence there remains little to
be told of his life.  In 1637 he was incorporated
Doctor of Medicine at Oxford; and in 1641 he
married Dorothy the daughter of Edward Mileham,
of Burlingham in Norfolk, and had by her a family
of eleven children.

In 1646 he published his "Pseudodoxia Epi-
demica," or Enquiries into Vulgar Errors.  The dis-
covery of some Roman urns at Burnham in Nor-
folk, led him in 1658 to write his "Hydriotaphia"
(Urn-burial); he also published at the same time
"The Garden of Cyrus, or the Quincunxcial Lozenge
of the Ancients," a curious work, but far inferior to
his other productions.

In 1665 he was elected an honorary Fellow of
the College of Physicians, "virtute et literis orna-

Browne had always been a Royalist.  In 1643 he
had refused to subscribe to the fund that was then
being raised for regaining Newcastle.  He proved a
happy exception to the almost proverbial neglect the
Royalists received from Charles II. in 1671, for when
Charles was at Newmarket, he came over to see Nor-
wich, and conferred the honour of knighthood on
Browne.  His reputation was now very great.  Evelyn
paid a visit to Norwich for the express purpose of
seeing him; and at length, on his 76th birthday
(19th October 1682), he died, full of years and

It was a striking coincidence that he who in his
Letter to a Friend had said that "in persons who out-
live many years, and when there are no less than
365 days to determine their lives in every year, that
the first day should mark the last, that the tail
of the snake should return into its mouth precisely
at that time, and that they should wind up upon the
day of their nativity, is indeed a remarkable coin-
cidence, which, though astrology hath taken witty
pains to solve, yet hath it been very wary in making
predictions of it," should himself die on the day of
his birth.

Browne was buried in the church of St Peter,
Mancroft, Norwich, where his wife erected to his
memory a mural monument, on which was placed
an English and Latin inscription, setting forth that
he was the author of "Religio Medici," "Pseudodoxia
Epidemica," and other learned works "per orbem
notissimus."  Yet his sleep was not to be undisturbed;
his skull was fated to adorn a museum!  In 1840,
while some workmen were digging a vault in the
chancel of St Peter's, they found a coffin with an

                            "Amplissimus Vir
                    Dus Thomas Browne Miles Medicinae
                    Dr Annis Natus 77 Denatus 19 Die
                      Mensis Octobris Anno Dnj 1682 hoc.
                     Loculo indormiens Corporis Spagy-
                     rici pulvere plumbum in aurum

The translation of this inscription raised a storm
over his ashes, which Browne would have enjoyed
partaking in, the word spagyricus being an enigma
to scholars.  Mr Firth of Norwich (whose translation
seems the best) thus renders the inscription:—

"The very distinguished man, Sir Thomas Browne, Knight,
Doctor of Medicine, aged 77 years, who died on the 19th of
October, in the year of our Lord 1682, sleeping in this coffin
of lead, by the dust of his alchemic body, transmutes it into
a coffer of gold.

After Sir Thomas's death, two collections of his
works were published, one by Archbishop Tenison,
and the other in 1772.  They contain most of his
letters, his tracts on various subjects, and his Letter
to a Friend.  Various editions of parts of Browne's
works have from time to time appeared.  By far the
best edition of the whole of them is that published
by Simon Wilkin.

It is upon his "Religio Medici" — the religion of a
physician — that Browne's fame chiefly rests.  It was
his first and most celebrated work, published just after
his return from his travels; it gives us the impres-
sions made on his mind by the various and opposite
schools he had passed through.  He tells us that he
never intended to publish it, but that on its being
surreptitiously printed, he was induced to do so.
In 1643, the first genuine edition appeared, with
"an admonition to such as shall peruse the
observations upon a former corrupt copy of this
book."  The observations here alluded to, were
written by Sir Kenelm Digby, and sent by him to
the Earl of Dorset.  They were first printed at the
end of the edition of 1643, and have ever since been
published with the book.  Their chief merit consists
in the marvellous rapidity with which they were
written, Sir Kenelm having, as he tells us, bought
the book, read it, and written his observations, in
the course of twenty-four hours!

The book contains what may be termed an
apology for his belief.  He states the reasons on
which he grounds his opinions, and endeavours to
show that, although he had been accused of atheism,
he was in all points a good Christian, and a loyal
member of the Church of England.  Each person
must judge for himself of his success; but the effect
it produced on the mind of Johnson may be
noticed.  "The opinions of every man," says he,
"must be learned from himself; concerning his
practice, it is safer to trust to the evidence of others.
When the testimonies concur, no higher degree of
historical certainty can be obtained; and they
apparently concur to prove that Browne was a
zealous adherent to the faith of Christ, that he
lived in obedience to His laws, and died in con-
fidence of His mercy."

The best proof of the excellence of the "Religio"
is to be found in its great success.  During the
author's life, from 1643 to 1681, it passed through
eleven editions.  It has been translated into Latin,
Dutch, French, and German, and many of the
translations have passed through several editions.
No less than thirty-three treatises have been written
in imitation of it; and what, to some, will be the
greatest proof of all, it was soon after its publication
placed in the Index Expurgatorius.  The best proof
of its liberality of sentiment is in the fact that its
author was claimed at the same time by the Romanists
and Quakers to be a member of their respective

The "Hydriotaphia," or Urn-burial, is a treatise
on the funeral rites of ancient nations.  It was
caused by the discovery of some Roman urns in
Norfolk.  Though inferior to the "Religio," "there is
perhaps none of his works which better exemplifies
his reading or memory."

The text of the present edition of the "Religio
Medici" is taken from what is called the eighth
edition, but is in reality the eleventh, published in
London in 1682, the last edition in the author's life-
time.  The notes are for the most part compiled
from the observations of Sir Kenelm Digby, the
annotation of Mr. Keck, and the very valuable notes
of Simon Wilkin.  For the account of the finding
of Sir Thomas Browne's skull I am indebted to Mr
Friswell's notice of Sir Thomas in his "Varia."
The text of the "Hydriotaphia" is taken from the
folio edition of 1686, in the Lincoln's Inn
library.  Some of Browne's notes to that edition
have been omitted, and most of the references, as
they refer to books which are not likely to be met
with by the general reader.

The "Letter to a Friend, upon the occasion of the
Death of his intimate Friend," was first published in
a folio pamphlet in 1690.  It was reprinted in his
posthumous works.  The concluding reflexions are
the basis of a larger work, "Christian Morals."  I
am not aware of any complete modern edition of it.
The text of the present one is taken from the
original edition of 1690.  The pamphlet is in the
British Museum, bound up with a volume of old
poems.  It is entitled, "A Letter to a Friend, upon
the occasion of the Death of his intimate Friend.
By the learned Sir Thomas Brown, Knight, Doctor
of Physick, late of Norwich.  London: Printed for
Charles Brone, at the Gun, at the West End of St
Paul's Churchyard, 1690."


CERTAINLY that man were greedy of life, who
should desire to live when all the world were
at an end; and he must needs be very im-
patient, who would repine at death in the society of all
things that suffer under it.  Had not almost every man
suffered by the press, or were not the tyranny thereof
become universal, I had not wanted reason for com-
plaint: but in times wherein I have lived to behold
the highest perversion of that excellent invention, the
name of his Majesty defamed, the honour of Parlia-
ment depraved, the writings of both depravedly, antici-
patively, counterfeitly, imprinted: complaints may
seem ridiculous in private persons; and men of my
condition may be as incapable of affronts, as hopeless
of their reparations.  And truly had not the duty I
owe unto the importunity of friends, and the allegiance
I must ever acknowledge unto truth, prevailed with
me; the inactivity of my disposition might have made
these sufferings continual, and time, that brings other
things to light, should have satisfied me in the remedy
of its oblivion.  But because things evidently false are
not only printed, but many things of truth most falsely
set forth; in this latter I could not but think myself
engaged: for, though we have no power to redress the
former, yet in the other reparation being within our-
selves, I have at present represented unto the world a
full and intended copy of that piece, which was most
imperfectly and surreptitiously published before.

This I confess, about seven years past, with some
others of affinity thereto, for my private exercise and
satisfaction, I had at leisurable hours composed; which
being communicated unto one, it became common unto
many, and was by transcription successively corrupted,
until it arrived in a most depraved copy at the press.
He that shall peruse that work, and shall take notice
of sundry particulars and personal expressions therein,
will easily discern the intention was not publick: and,
being a private exercise directed to myself, what is de-
livered therein was rather a memorial unto me, than an
example or rule unto any other: and therefore, if there
be any singularity therein correspondent unto the pri-
vate conceptions of any man, it doth not advantage
them; or if dissentaneous thereunto, it no way over-
throws them.  It was penned in such a place, and with
such disadvantage, that (I protest), from the first setting
of pen unto paper, I had not the assistance of any good
book, whereby to promote my invention, or relieve my
memory; and therefore there might be many real lapses
therein, which others might take notice of, and more
that I suspected myself.  It was set down many years
past, and was the sense of my conceptions at that time,
not an immutable law unto my advancing judgment at
all times; and therefore there might be many things
therein plausible unto my passed apprehension, which
are not agreeable unto my present self.  There are many
things delivered rhetorically, many expressions therein
merely tropical, and as they best illustrate my inten-
tion; and therefore also there are many things to be
taken in a soft and flexible sense, and not to be called
unto the rigid test of reason.  Lastly, all that is con-
tained therein is in submission unto maturer discern-
ments; and, as I have declared, shall no further father
them than the best and learned judgments shall au-
thorize them: under favour of which considerations, I
have made its secrecy publick, and committed the truth
thereof to every ingenuous reader.



Sect. 1. — For my religion, though there be several
circumstances that might persuade the world I
have none at all, — as the general scandal of my
profession,<1> — the natural course of my studies, — the in-
differency of my behaviour and discourse in matters of
religion (neither violently defending one, nor with that
common ardour and contention opposing another),—
yet, in despite hereof, I dare without usurpation assume
the honourable style of a Christian.  Not that I merely
owe this title to the font, my education, or the clime
wherein I was born, as being bred up either to confirm
those principles my parents instilled into my under-
standing, or by a general consent proceed in the religion
of my country; but having, in my riper years and con-
firmed judgment, seen and examined all, I find myself
obliged, by the principles of grace, and the law of mine
own reason, to embrace no other name but this.  Neither
doth herein my zeal so far make me forget the general
charity I owe unto humanity, as rather to hate than
pity Turks, Infidels, and (what is worse) Jews; rather
contenting myself to enjoy that happy style, than
maligning those who refuse so glorious a title.

Sect. 2. — But, because the name of a Christian is be-
come too general to express our faith, — there being a
geography of religion as well as lands, and every clime
distinguished not only by their laws and limits, but
circumscribed by their doctrines and rules of faith, — to
be particular, I am of that reformed new-cast religion,
wherein I dislike nothing but the name; of the same
belief our Saviour taught, the apostles disseminated,
the fathers authorized, and the martyrs confirmed; but,
by the sinister ends of princes, the ambition and avarice
of prelates, and the fatal corruption of times, so decayed,
impaired, and fallen from its native beauty, that it re-
quired the careful and charitable hands of these times
to restore it to its primitive integrity.  Now, the acci-
dental occasion whereupon, the slender means whereby,
the low and abject condition of the person by whom,
so good a work was set on foot, which in our adver-
saries beget contempt and scorn, fills me with wonder,
and is the very same objection the insolent pagans first
cast at Christ and his disciples.

Sect. 3. — Yet have I not so shaken hands with those
desperate resolutions who had rather venture at large
their decayed bottom, than bring her in to be new-
trimmed in the dock, — who had rather promiscuously
retain all, than abridge any, and obstinately be what
they are, than what they have been, — as to stand in
diameter and sword's point with them.  We have re-
formed from them, not against them: for, omitting
those improperations<2> and terms of scurrility betwixt
us, which only difference our affections, and not our
cause, there is between us one common name and ap-
pellation, one faith and necessary body of principles
common to us both; and therefore I am not scrupulous
to converse and live with them, to enter their churches
in defect of ours, and either pray with them or for them.
I could never perceive any rational consequences from
those many texts which prohibit the children of Israel
to pollute themselves with the temples of the heathens;
we being all Christians, and not divided by such de-
tested impieties as might profane our prayers, or the
place wherein we make them; or that a resolved con-
science may not adore her Creator anywhere, especially
in places devoted to his service; if their devotions
offend him, mine may please him: if theirs profane it,
mine may hallow it.  Holy water and crucifix (danger-
ous to the common people) deceive not my judgment,
nor abuse my devotion at all.  I am, I confess, natur-
ally inclined to that which misguided zeal terms super-
stition: my common conversation I do acknowledge
austere, my behaviour full of rigour, sometimes not
without morosity; yet, at my devotion I love to use
the civility of my knee, my hat, and hand, with all
those outward and sensible motions which may express
or promote my invisible devotion.  I should violate my
own arm rather than a church; nor willingly deface
the name of saint or martyr.  At the sight of a cross, or
crucifix, I can dispense with my hat, but scarce with
the thought or memory of my Saviour.  I cannot laugh
at, but rather pity, the fruitless journeys of pilgrims,
or contemn the miserable condition of friars; for, though
misplaced in circumstances, there is something in it of
devotion.  I could never hear the Ave-Mary bell*

        * A church-bell, that tolls every day at six and twelve of
          the clock; at the hearing whereof every one, in what place
          soever, either of house or street, betakes himself to his prayer,
          which is commonly directed to the Virgin.
without an elevation, or think it a sufficient warrant,
because they erred in one circumstance, for me to err
in all, — that is, in silence and dumb contempt.  Whilst,
therefore, they direct their devotions to her, I offered
mine to God; and rectify the errors of their prayers by
rightly ordering mine own.  At a solemn procession I
have wept abundantly, while my consorts, blind with
opposition and prejudice, have fallen into an excess of
scorn and laughter.  There are, questionless, both in
Greek, Roman, and African churches, solemnities and
ceremonies, whereof the wiser zeals do make a Chris-
tian use; and stand condemned by us, not as evil in
themselves, but as allurements and baits of superstition
to those vulgar heads that look asquint on the face of
truth, and those unstable judgments that cannot resist
in the narrow point and centre of virtue without a reel
or stagger to the circumference.

Sect. 4. — As there were many reformers, so likewise
many reformations; every country proceeding in a par-
ticular way and method, according as their national
interest, together with their constitution and clime, in-
clined them: some angrily and with extremity; others
calmly and with mediocrity, not rending, but easily
dividing, the community, and leaving an honest possi-
bility of a reconciliation; — which, though peaceable
spirits do desire, and may conceive that revolution of
time and the mercies of God may effect, yet that judg-
ment that shall consider the present antipathies between
the two extremes, — their contrarieties in condition,
affection, and opinion, — may, with the same hopes,
expect a union in the poles of heaven.

Sect. 5. — But, to difference myself nearer, and draw
into a lesser circle; there is no church whose every part
so squares unto my conscience, whose articles, constitu-
tions, and customs, seem so consonant unto reason, and,
as it were, framed to my particular devotion, as this
whereof I hold my belief — the Church of England; to
whose faith I am a sworn subject, and therefore, in a
double obligation, subscribe unto her articles, and en-
deavour to observe her constitutions: whatsoever is
beyond, as points indifferent, I observe, according to the
rules of my private reason, or the humour and fashion
of my devotion; neither believing this because Luther
affirmed it, nor disproving that because Calvin hath dis-
avouched it.  I condemn not all things in the council
of Trent, nor approve all in the synod of Dort.<3>  In
brief, where the Scripture is silent, the church is my
text; where that speaks, 'tis but my comment;<4> where
there is a joint silence of both, I borrow not the rules of
my religion from Rome or Geneva, but from the dictates
of my own reason.  It is an unjust scandal of our ad-
versaries, and a gross error in ourselves, to compute the
nativity of our religion from Henry the Eighth; who,
though he rejected the Pope, refused not the faith of
Rome,<5> and effected no more than what his own pre-
decessors desired and essayed in ages past, and it was
conceived the state of Venice would have attempted in
our days.<6>  It is as uncharitable a point in us to fall
upon those popular scurrilities and opprobrious scoffs of
the Bishop of Rome, to whom, as a temporal prince, we
owe the duty of good language.  I confess there is a
cause of passion between us: by his sentence I stand
excommunicated; heretic is the best language he affords
me: yet can no ear witness I ever returned to him the
name of antichrist, man of sin, or whore of Babylon.
It is the method of charity to suffer without reaction:
those usual satires and invectives of the pulpit may per-
chance produce a good effect on the vulgar, whose ears
are opener to rhetoric than logic; yet do they, in no
wise, confirm the faith of wiser believers, who know
that a good cause needs not be pardoned by passion,
but can sustain itself upon a temperate dispute.

Sect. 6. — I could never divide myself from any man
upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his
judgment for not agreeing with me in that from which,
perhaps, within a few days, I should dissent myself.  I
have no genius to disputes in religion: and have often
thought it wisdom to decline them, especially upon a
disadvantage, or when the cause of truth might suffer
in the weakness of my patronage.  Where we desire to
be informed, 'tis good to contest with men above our-
selves; but, to confirm and establish our opinions, 'tis
best to argue with judgments below our own, that the
frequent spoils and victories over their reasons may
settle in ourselves an esteem and confirmed opinion of
our own.  Every man is not a proper champion for
truth, nor fit to take up the gauntlet in the cause of
verity; many, from the ignorance of these maxims, and
an inconsiderate zeal unto truth, have too rashly charged
the troops of error and remain as trophies unto the
enemies of truth.  A man may be in as just possession
of truth as of a city, and yet be forced to surrender; 'tis
therefore far better to enjoy her with peace than to
hazard her on a battle.  If, therefore, there rise any
doubts in my way, I do forget them, or at least defer
them, till my better settled judgment and more manly
reason be able to resolve them; for I perceive every
man's own reason is his best OEdipus,<7> and will, upon a
reasonable truce, find a way to loose those bonds where-
with the subtleties of error have enchained our more
flexible and tender judgments.  In philosophy, where
truth seems double-faced, there is no man more para-
doxical than myself: but in divinity I love to keep the
road; and, though not in an implicit, yet an humble
faith, follow the great wheel of the church, by which I
move; not reserving any proper poles, or motion from
the epicycle of my own brain.  By this means I have
no gap for heresy, schisms, or errors, of which at pre-
sent, I hope I shall not injure truth to say, I have no
taint or tincture.  I must confess my greener studies
have been polluted with two or three; not any begotten
in the latter centuries, but old and obsolete, such as
could never have been revived but by such extravagant
and irregular heads as mine.  For, indeed, heresies perish
not with their authors; but, like the river Arethusa,<8>
though they lose their currents in one place, they rise
up again in another.  One general council is not able
to extirpate one single heresy: it may be cancelled for
the present; but revolution of time, and the like aspects
from heaven, will restore it, when it will flourish till it
be condemned again.  For, as though there were metemp-
psychosis, and the soul of one man passed into another,
opinions do find, after certain revolutions, men and
minds like those that first begat them.  To see our-
selves again, we need not look for Plato's year:* every
man is not only himself; there have been many
Diogenes, and as many Timons, though but few of that
name; men are lived over again; the world is now as
it was in ages past; there was none then, but there hath
been some one since, that parallels him, and is, as it
were, his revived self.

Sect. 7. — Now, the first of mine was that of the
Arabians;<9> that the souls of men perished with their

        * A revolution of certain thousand years, when all things
          should return unto their former estate, and he be teaching
          again in his school, as when he delivered this opinion.

bodies, but should yet be raised again at the last day:
not that I did absolutely conceive a mortality of the
soul, but, if that were (which faith, not philosophy,
hath yet thoroughly disproved), and that both entered
the grave together, yet I held the same conceit thereof
that we all do of the body, that it rise again.  Surely it
is but the merits of our unworthy natures, if we sleep
in darkness until the last alarm.  A serious reflex upon
my own unworthiness did make me backward from
challenging this prerogative of my soul: so that I
might enjoy my Saviour at the last, I could with
patience be nothing almost unto eternity.  The second
was that of Origen; that God would not persist in his
vengeance for ever, but, after a definite time of his
wrath, would release the damned souls from torture;
which error I fell into upon a serious contemplation of
the great attribute of God, his mercy; and did a little
cherish it in myself, because I found therein no malice,
and a ready weight to sway me from the other extreme
of despair, whereunto melancholy and contemplative
natures are too easily disposed.  A third there is, which
I did never positively maintain or practise, but have
often wished it had been consonant to truth, and not
offensive to my religion; and that is, the prayer for the
dead; whereunto I was inclined from some charitable
inducements, whereby I could scarce contain my prayers
for a friend at the ringing of a bell, or behold his corpse
without an orison for his soul.  'Twas a good way,
methought, to be remembered by posterity, and far
more noble than a history.  These opinions I never
maintained with pertinacity, or endeavoured to inveigle
any man's belief unto mine, nor so much as ever
revealed, or disputed them with my dearest friends; by
which means I neither propagated them in others nor
confirmed them in myself: but, suffering them to flame
upon their own substance, without addition of new
fuel, they went out insensibly of themselves; therefore
these opinions, though condemned by lawful councils,
were not heresies in me, but bare errors, and single
lapses of my understanding, without a joint depravity
of my will.  Those have not only depraved under-
standings, but diseased affections, which cannot enjoy a
singularity without a heresy, or be the author of an
opinion without they be of a sect also.  This was the
villany of the first schism of Lucifer; who was not
content to err alone, but drew into his faction many
legions; and upon this experience he tempted only Eve,
well understanding the communicable nature of sin, and
that to deceive but one was tacitly and upon consequence
to delude them both.

Sect. 8. — That heresies should arise, we have the
prophecy of Christ; but, that old ones should be
abolished, we hold no prediction.  That there must
be heresies, is true, not only in our church, but also in
any other: even in the doctrines heretical there will be
superheresies; and Arians, not only divided from the
church, but also among themselves: for heads that are
disposed unto schism, and complexionally propense to
innovation, are naturally indisposed for a community;
nor will be ever confined unto the order or economy of
one body; and therefore, when they separate from
others, they knit but loosely among themselves; nor
contented with a general breach or dichotomy<10> with
their church, do subdivide and mince themselves almost
into atoms.  'Tis true, that men of singular parts and
humours have not been free from singular opinions and
conceits in all ages; retaining something, not only
beside the opinion of his own church, or any other, but
also any particular author; which, notwithstanding, a
sober judgment may do without offence or heresy; for
there is yet, after all the decrees of councils, and the
niceties of the schools, many things, untouched, un-
imagined, wherein the liberty of an honest reason may
play and expatiate with security, and far without the
circle of a heresy.

Sect. 9. — As for those wingy mysteries in divinity,
and airy subtleties in religion, which have unhinged
the brains of better heads, they never stretched the pia
mater<11> of mine.  Methinks there be not impossibilities
enough in religion for an active faith: the deepest
mysteries our contains have not only been illustrated,
but maintained, by syllogism and the rule of reason.  I
love to lose myself in a mystery; to pursue my reason
to an O altitudo!  'Tis my solitary recreation to pose
my apprehension with those involved enigmas and
riddles of the Trinity — with incarnation and resurrec-
tion.  I can answer all the objections of Satan and my
rebellious reason with that odd resolution I learned of
Tertullian, "Certum est quia impossibile est."  I desire
to exercise my faith in the difficultest point; for, to
credit ordinary and visible objects, is not faith, but
persuasion.  Some believe the better for seeing Christ's
sepulchre; and, when they have seen the Red Sea,
doubt not of the miracle.  Now, contrarily, I bless
myself, and am thankful, that I lived not in the days
of miracles; that I never saw Christ nor his disciples.
I would not have been one of those Israelites that
passed the Red Sea; nor one of Christ's patients, on
whom he wrought his wonders: then had my faith been
thrust upon me; nor should I enjoy that greater blessing
pronounced to all that believe and saw not.  'Tis an
easy and necessary belief, to credit what our eye and
sense hath examined.  I believe he was dead, and
buried, and rose again; and desire to see him in his
glory, rather than to contemplate him in his cenotaph
or sepulchre.  Nor is this much to believe; as we have
reason, we owe this faith unto history: they only had
the advantage of a bold and noble faith, who lived
before his coming, who, upon obscure prophesies and
mystical types, could raise a belief, and expect apparent

Sect. 10. — 'Tis true, there is an edge in all firm belief,
and with an easy metaphor we may say, the sword of
faith; but in these obscurities I rather use it in the
adjunct the apostle gives it, a buckler; under which I
conceive a wary combatant may lie invulnerable.  Since
I was of understanding to know that we knew nothing,
my reason hath been more pliable to the will of faith:
I am now content to understand a mystery, without a
rigid definition, in an easy and Platonic description.
That allegorical description of Hermes* pleaseth me
beyond all the metaphysical definitions of divines.
Where I cannot satisfy my reason, I love to humour
my fancy: I had as lieve you tell me that anima est
angelus hominis, est corpus Dei, as [Greek omitted]; — lux est
umbra Dei, as actus perspicui.  Where there is an
obscurity too deep for our reason, 'tis good to sit down
with a description, periphrasis, or adumbration;<12> for,
by acquainting our reason how unable it is to display
the visible and obvious effects of nature, it becomes
more humble and submissive unto the subtleties of faith:
and thus I teach my haggard and unreclaimed reason
to stoop unto the lure of faith.  I believe there was
already a tree, whose fruit our unhappy parents tasted,
though, in the same chapter when God forbids it, 'tis

        * "Sphaera cujus centrum ubique, circumferentia nullibi."

positively said, the plants of the field were not yet
grown; for God had not caused it to rain upon the
earth.  I believe that the serpent (if we shall literally
understand it), from his proper form and figure, made
his motion on his belly, before the curse.  I find the
trial of the pucelage and virginity of women, which God
ordained the Jews, is very fallible.  Experience and
history informs me that, not only many particular
women, but likewise whole nations, have escaped the
curse of childbirth, which God seems to pronounce upon
the whole sex; yet do I believe that all this is true,
which, indeed, my reason would persuade me to be
false: and this, I think, is no vulgar part of faith, to
believe a thing not only above, but contrary to, reason,
and against the arguments of our proper senses.

Sect. 11. — In my solitary and retired imagination
("neque enim cum porticus aut me lectulus accepit, desum
mihi"), I remember I am not alone; and therefore forget
not to contemplate him and his attributes, who is ever
with me, especially those two mighty ones, his wisdom
and eternity.  With the one I recreate, with the other
I confound, my understanding: for who can speak of
eternity without a solecism, or think thereof without
an ecstasy?  Time we may comprehend; 'tis but five
days elder than ourselves, and hath the same horoscope
with the world; but, to retire so far back as to appre-
hend a beginning, — to give such an infinite start for-
wards as to conceive an end, — in an essence that we
affirm hath neither the one nor the other, it puts my
reason to St Paul's sanctuary: my philosophy dares not
say the angels can do it.  God hath not made a creature
that can comprehend him; 'tis a privilege of his own
nature: "I am that I am" was his own definition unto
Moses; and 'twas a short one to confound mortality,
that durst question God, or ask him what he was.  In-
deed, he only is; all others have and shall be; but, in
eternity, there is no distinction of tenses; and therefore
that terrible term, predestination, which hath troubled
so many weak heads to conceive, and the wisest to ex-
plain, is in respect to God no prescious determination of
our estates to come, but a definitive blast of his will
already fulfilled, and at the instant that he first decreed
it; for, to his eternity, which is indivisible, and alto-
gether, the last trump is already sounded, the reprobates
in the flame, and the blessed in Abraham's bosom.  St
Peter speaks modestly, when he saith, "a thousand
years to God are but as one day;" for, to speak like a
philosopher, those continued instances of time, which
flow into a thousand years, make not to him one moment.
What to us is to come, to his eternity is present; his
whole duration being but one permanent point, without
succession, parts, flux, or division.

Sect. 12. — There is no attribute that adds more diffi-
culty to the mystery of the Trinity, where, though in a
relative way of Father and Son, we must deny a priority.
I wonder how Aristotle could conceive the world eternal,
or how he could make good two eternities.  His simili-
tude, of a triangle comprehended in a square, doth some-
what illustrate the trinity of our souls, and that the
triple unity of God; for there is in us not three, but a
trinity of, souls; because there is in us, if not three dis-
tinct souls, yet differing faculties, that can and do subsist
apart in different subjects, and yet in us are thus united
as to make but one soul and substance.  If one soul
were so perfect as to inform three distinct bodies, that
were a pretty trinity.  Conceive the distinct number of
three, not divided nor separated by the intellect, but
actually comprehended in its unity, and that a per-
fect trinity.  I have often admired the mystical way of
Pythagoras, and the secret magick of numbers.  "Be-
ware of philosophy," is a precept not to be received in
too large a sense: for, in this mass of nature, there is
a set of things that carry in their front, though not in
capital letters, yet in stenography and short characters,
something of divinity; which, to wiser reasons, serve as
luminaries in the abyss of knowledge, and, to judicious
beliefs, as scales and roundles to mount the pinnacles
and highest pieces of divinity.  The severe schools shall
never laugh me out of the philosophy of Hermes, that
this visible world is but a picture of the invisible, where-
in, as in a portrait, things are not truly, but in equivocal
shapes, and as they counterfeit some real substance in
that invisible fabrick.

Sect. 13. — That other attribute, wherewith I recreate
my devotion, is his wisdom, in which I am happy; and
for the contemplation of this only do not repent me that
I was bred in the way of study.  The advantage I have
therein, is an ample recompense for all my endeavours,
in what part of knowledge soever.  Wisdom is his most
beauteous attribute: no man can attain unto it: yet
Solomon pleased God when he desired it.  He is wise,
because he knows all things; and he knoweth all things,
because he made them all: but his greatest knowledge
is in comprehending that he made not, that is, himself.
And this is also the greatest knowledge in man.  For
this do I honour my own profession, and embrace the
counsel even of the devil himself: had he read such a
lecture in Paradise as he did at Delphos,*<13> we had
better known ourselves; nor had we stood in fear to

        * [Greek omitted]  "Nosce teipsum."

know him.  I know God is wise in all; wonderful in
what we conceive, but far more in what we comprehend
not: for we behold him but asquint, upon reflex or
shadow; our understanding is dimmer than Moses's
eye; we are ignorant of the back parts or lower side
of his divinity; therefore, to pry into the maze of his
counsels, is not only folly in man, but presumption
even in angels.  Like us, they are his servants, not his
senators; he holds no counsel, but that mystical one of
the Trinity, wherein, though there be three persons,
there is but one mind that decrees without contradic-
tion.  Nor needs he any; his actions are not begot
with deliberation; his wisdom naturally knows what's
best: his intellect stands ready fraught with the super-
lative and purest ideas of goodness, consultations, and
election, which are two motions in us, make but one in
him: his actions springing from his power at the first
touch of his will.  These are contemplations meta-
physical: my humble speculations have another method,
and are content to trace and discover those expressions
he hath left in his creatures, and the obvious effects of
nature.  There is no danger to profound<14> these mys-
teries, no sanctum sanctorum in philosophy.  The world
was made to be inhabited by beasts, but studied and
contemplated by man: 'tis the debt of our reason we
owe unto God, and the homage we pay for not being
beasts.  Without this, the world is still as though it
had not been, or as it was before the sixth day, when as
yet there was not a creature that could conceive or say
there was a world.  The wisdom of God receives small
honour from those vulgar heads that rudely stare about,
and with a gross rusticity admire his works.  Those
highly magnify him, whose judicious enquiry into his
acts, and deliberate research into his creatures, return
the duty of a devout and learned admiration.  There-

Search while thou wilt; and let thy reason go,
To ransom truth, e'en to th' abyss below;
Rally the scatter'd causes; and that line
Which nature twists be able to untwine.
It is thy Maker's will; for unto none
But unto reason can he e'er be known.
The devils do know thee; but those damn'd meteors
Build not thy glory, but confound thy creatures.
Teach my endeavours so thy works to read,
That learning them in thee I may proceed.
Give thou my reason that instructive flight,
Whose weary wings may on thy hands still light.
Teach me to soar aloft, yet ever so,
When near the sun, to stoop again below.
Thus shall my humble feathers safely hover,
And, though near earth, more than the heavens discover.
And then at last, when homeward I shall drive,
Rich with the spoils of nature, to my hive,
There will I sit, like that industrious fly,
Buzzing thy praises; which shall never die
Till death abrupts them, and succeeding glory
Bid me go on in a more lasting story.

And this is almost all wherein an humble creature
may endeavour to requite, and some way to retribute
unto his Creator: for, if not he that saith, "Lord, Lord,
but he that doth the will of the Father, shall be saved,"
certainly our wills must be our performances, and our
intents make out our actions; otherwise our pious labours
shall find anxiety in our graves, and our best endeavours
not hope, but fear, a resurrection.

Sect. 14. — There is but one first cause, and four second
causes, of all things.  Some are without efficient,<15> as
God; others without matter, as angels; some without
form, as the first matter: but every essence, created or
uncreated, hath its final cause, and some positive end
both of its essence and operation.  This is the cause I
grope after in the works of nature; on this hangs the
providence of God.  To raise so beauteous a structure
as the world and the creatures thereof was but his art;
but their sundry and divided operations, with their pre-
destinated ends, are from the treasure of his wisdom.
In the causes, nature, and affections, of the eclipses of
the sun and moon, there is most excellent speculation;
but, to profound further, and to contemplate a reason
why his providence hath so disposed and ordered their
motions in that vast circle, as to conjoin and obscure
each other, is a sweeter piece of reason, and a diviner
point of philosophy.  Therefore, sometimes, and in some
things, there appears to me as much divinity in Galen
his books, De Usu Partium,<16> as in Suarez's Meta-
physicks.  Had Aristotle been as curious in the enquiry
of this cause as he was of the other, he had not left
behind him an imperfect piece of philosophy, but an
absolute tract of divinity.

Sect. 15. — Natura nihil agit frustra, is the only indis-
putable axiom in philosophy.  There are no grotesques
in nature; not any thing framed to fill up empty cantons,
and unnecessary spaces.  In the most imperfect creatures,
and such as were not preserved in the ark, but, having
their seeds and principles in the womb of nature, are
everywhere, where the power of the sun is, — in these is
the wisdom of his hand discovered.  Out of this rank
Solomon chose the object of his admiration; indeed,
what reason may not go to school to the wisdom of bees,
ants, and spiders?  What wise hand teacheth them to
do what reason cannot teach us?  Ruder heads stand
amazed at those prodigious pieces of nature, whales,
elephants, dromedaries, and camels; these, I confess,
are the colossus and majestick pieces of her hand; but
in these narrow engines there is more curious mathe-
maticks; and the civility of these little citizens more
neatly sets forth the wisdom of their Maker.  Who
admires not Regio Montanus his fly beyond his eagle;<17>
or wonders not more at the operation of two souls in
those little bodies than but one in the trunk of a cedar?
I could never content my contemplation with those
general pieces of wonder, the flux and reflux of the sea,
the increase of Nile, the conversion of the needle to the
north; and have studied to match and parallel those in
the more obvious and neglected pieces of nature which,
without farther travel, I can do in the cosmography of
myself.  We carry with us the wonders we seek without
us: there is all Africa and her prodigies in us.  We
are that bold and adventurous piece of nature, which
he that studies wisely learns, in a compendium, what
others labour at in a divided piece and endless volume.

Sect. 16. — Thus there are two books from whence I
collect my divinity.  Besides that written one of God,
another of his servant, nature, that universal and publick
manuscript, that lies expansed unto the eyes of all.
Those that never saw him in the one have discovered
him in the other; this was the scripture and theology
of the heathens; the natural motion of the sun made
them more admire him than its supernatural station did
the children of Israel.  The ordinary effects of nature
wrought more admiration in them than, in the other,
all his miracles.  Surely the heathens knew better how
to join and read these mystical letters than we Christians,
who cast a more careless eye on these common hiero-
glyphics, and disdain to suck divinity from the flowers
of nature.  Nor do I so forget God as to adore the name
of nature; which I define not, with the schools, to be
the principle of motion and rest, but that straight and
regular line, that settled and constant course the wisdom
of God hath ordained the actions of his creatures, accord-
ing to their several kinds.  To make a revolution every
day is the nature of the sun, because of that necessary
course which God hath ordained it, from which it cannot
swerve but by a faculty from that voice which first did
give it motion.  Now this course of nature God seldom
alters or perverts; but, like an excellent artist, hath so
contrived his work, that, with the self-same instrument,
without a new creation, he may effect his obscurest
designs.  Thus he sweeteneth the water with a word,
preserveth the creatures in the ark, which the blest of
his mouth might have as easily created; — for God is
like a skilful geometrician, who, when more easily, and
with one stroke of his compass, he might describe or
divide a right line, had yet rather do this in a circle or
longer way, according to the constituted and forelaid
principles of his art: yet this rule of his he doth some-
times pervert, to acquaint the world with his preroga-
tive, lest the arrogancy of our reason should question his
power, and conclude he could not.  And thus I call the
effects of nature the works of God, whose hand and
instrument she only is; and therefore, to ascribe his
actions unto her is to devolve the honour of the prin-
cipal agent upon the instrument; which if with reason
we may do, then let our hammers rise up and boast they
have built our houses, and our pens receive the honour
of our writing.  I hold there is a general beauty in the
works of God, and therefore no deformity in any kind
of species of creature whatsoever.  I cannot tell by what
logick we call a toad, a bear, or an elephant ugly; they
being created in those outward shapes and figures which
best express the actions of their inward forms; and
having passed that general visitation of God, who saw
that all that he had made was good, that is, conformable
to his will, which abhors deformity, and is the rule of
order and beauty.  There is no deformity but in mon-
strosity; wherein, notwithstanding, there is a kind of
beauty; nature so ingeniously contriving the irregular
part, as they become sometimes more remarkable than
the principal fabrick.  To speak yet more narrowly,
there was never any thing ugly or mis-shapen, but the
chaos; wherein, notwithstanding, to speak strictly, there
was no deformity, because no form; nor was it yet im-
pregnant by the voice of God.  Now nature is not at
variance with art, nor art with nature; they being both
the servants of his providence.  Art is the perfection of
nature.  Were the world now as it was the sixth day,
there were yet a chaos.  Nature hath made one world,
and art another.  In brief, all things are artificial; for
nature is the art of God.

Sect. 17. — This is the ordinary and open way of his
providence, which art and industry have in good part
discovered; whose effects we may foretell without an
oracle.  To foreshow these is not prophecy, but prog-
nostication.  There is another way, full of meanders
and labyrinths, whereof the devil and spirits have no
exact ephemerides: and that is a more particular and
obscure method of his providence; directing the opera-
tions of individual and single essences: this we call
fortune; that serpentine and crooked line, whereby he
draws those actions his wisdom intends in a more un-
known and secret way; this cryptic<18> and involved
method of his providence have I ever admired; nor
can I relate the history of my life, the occurrences of
my days, the escapes, or dangers, and hits of chance,
with a bezo las manos to Fortune, or a bare gramercy to
my good stars.  Abraham might have thought the ram
in the thicket came thither by accident: human reason
would have said that mere chance conveyed Moses in
the ark to the sight of Pharaoh's daughter.  What a
labyrinth is there in the story of Joseph! able to con-
vert a stoick.  Surely there are in every man's life
certain rubs, doublings, and wrenches, which pass a
while under the effects of chance; but at the last, well
examined, prove the mere hand of God.  'Twas not
dumb chance that, to discover the fougade,<19> or powder
plot, contrived a miscarriage in the letter.  I like the
victory of '88<20> the better for that one occurrence which
our enemies imputed to our dishonour, and the partiality
of fortune; to wit, the tempests and contrariety of
winds.  King Philip did not detract from the nation,
when he said, he sent his armada to fight with men,
and not to combat with the winds.  Where there is a
manifest disproportion between the powers and forces
of two several agents, upon a maxim of reason we may
promise the victory to the superior: but when unex-
pected accidents slip in, and unthought-of occurrences
intervene, these must proceed from a power that owes
no obedience to those axioms; where, as in the writing
upon the wall, we may behold the hand, but see not
the spring that moves it.  The success of that petty
province of Holland (of which the Grand Seignior
proudly said, if they should trouble him, as they did
the Spaniard, he would send his men with shovels and
pickaxes, and throw it into the sea) I cannot altogether
ascribe to the ingenuity and industry of the people, but
the mercy of God, that hath disposed them to such a
thriving genius; and to the will of his providence, that
disposeth her favour to each country in their preordinate
season.  All cannot be happy at once; for, because the
glory of one state depends upon the ruin of another,
there is a revolution and vicissitude of their greatness,
and must obey the swing of that wheel, not moved by
intelligencies, but by the hand of God, whereby all
estates arise to their zenith and vertical points, accord-
ing to their predestinated periods.  For the lives, not
only of men, but of commonwealths and the whole
world, run not upon a helix that still enlargeth; but
on a circle, where, arriving to their meridian, they
decline in obscurity, and fall under the horizon again.

Sect. 18. — These must not therefore be named the
effects of fortune but in a relative way, and as we term
the works of nature.  It was the ignorance of man's
reason that begat this very name, and by a careless
term miscalled the providence of God: for there is no
liberty for causes to operate in a loose and straggling
way; nor any effect whatsoever but hath its warrant
from some universal or superior cause.  'Tis not a
ridiculous devotion to say a prayer before a game at
tables; for, even in sortileges<21> and matters of greatest
uncertainty, there is a settled and preordered course of
effects.  It is we that are blind, not fortune.  Because
our eye is too dim to discover the mystery of her effects,
we foolishly paint her blind, and hoodwink the pro-
vidence of the Almighty.  I cannot justify that con-
temptible proverb, that "fools only are fortunate;" or
that insolent paradox, that "a wise man is out of the
reach of fortune;" much less those opprobrious epithets
of poets, — "whore," "bawd," and "strumpet."  'Tis, I con-
fess, the common fate of men of singular gifts of mind, to
be destitute of those of fortune; which doth not any way
deject the spirit of wiser judgments who thoroughly
understand the justice of this proceeding; and, being
enriched with higher donatives, cast a more careless
eye on these vulgar parts of felicity.  It is a most un-
just ambition, to desire to engross the mercies of the
Almighty, not to be content with the goods of mind,
without a possession of those of body or fortune: and
it is an error, worse than heresy, to adore these com-
plimental and circumstantial pieces of felicity, and un-
dervalue those perfections and essential points of happi-
ness, wherein we resemble our Maker.  To wiser desires
it is satisfaction enough to deserve, though not to enjoy,
the favours of fortune.  Let providence provide for fools:
'tis not partiality, but equity, in God, who deals with us
but as our natural parents.  Those that are able of body
and mind he leaves to their deserts; to those of weaker
merits he imparts a larger portion; and pieces out the
defect of one by the excess of the other.  Thus have we
no just quarrel with nature for leaving us naked; or to
envy the horns, hoofs, skins, and furs of other creatures;
being provided with reason, that can supply them all.
We need not labour, with so many arguments, to con-
fute judicial astrology; for, if there be a truth therein,
it doth not injure divinity.  If to be born under Mer-
cury disposeth us to be witty; under Jupiter to be
wealthy; I do not owe a knee unto these, but unto
that merciful hand that hath ordered my indifferent
and uncertain nativity unto such benevolous aspects.
Those that hold that all things are governed by fortune,
had not erred, had they not persisted there.  The
Romans, that erected a temple to Fortune, acknow-
ledged therein, though in a blinder way, somewhat of
divinity; for, in a wise supputation,<22> all things begin
and end in the Almighty.  There is a nearer way to
heaven than Homer's chain;<23> an easy logick may con-
join a heaven and earth in one argument, and, with less
than a sorites,<24> resolve all things to God.  For though
we christen effects by their most sensible and nearest
causes, yet is God the true and infallible cause of all;
whose concourse, though it be general, yet doth it sub-
divide itself into the particular actions of every thing,
and is that spirit, by which each singular essence not
only subsists, but performs its operation.

Sect. 19. — The bad construction and perverse com-
ment on these pair of second causes, or visible hands of
God, have perverted the devotion of many unto atheism;
who, forgetting the honest advisoes of faith, have lis-
tened unto the conspiracy of passion and reason.  I
have therefore always endeavoured to compose those
feuds and angry dissensions between affection, faith,
and reason: for there is in our soul a kind of trium-
virate, or triple government of three competitors, which
distracts the peace of this our commonwealth not less
than did that other<25> the state of Rome.

As reason is a rebel unto faith, so passion unto reason.
As the propositions of faith seem absurd unto reason,
so the theorems of reason unto passion and both unto
reason; yet a moderate and peaceable discretion may
so state and order the matter, that they may be all
kings, and yet make but one monarchy: every one
exercising his sovereignty and prerogative in a due
time and place, according to the restraint and limit of
circumstance.  There are, as in philosophy, so in
divinity, sturdy doubts, and boisterous objections,
wherewith the unhappiness of our knowledge too
nearly acquainteth us.  More of these no man hath
known than myself; which I confess I conquered, not
in a martial posture, but on my knees.  For our en-
deavours are not only to combat with doubts, but
always to dispute with the devil.  The villany of that
spirit takes a hint of infidelity from our studios; and,
by demonstrating a naturality in one way, makes us
mistrust a miracle in another.  Thus, having perused
the Archidoxes, and read the secret sympathies of
things, he would dissuade my belief from the miracle
of the brazen serpent; make me conceit that image
worked by sympathy, and was but an Egyptian trick,
to cure their diseases without a miracle.  Again, having
seen some experiments of bitumen, and having read far
more of naphtha, he whispered to my curiosity the fire
of the altar might be natural, and bade me mistrust a
miracle in Elias, when he intrenched the altar round
with water: for that inflamable substance yields not
easily unto water, but flames in the arms of its an-
tagonist.  And thus would he inveigle my belief to
think the combustion of Sodom might be natural, and
that there was an asphaltick and bituminous nature in
that lake before the fire of Gomorrah.  I know that
manna is now plentifully gathered in Calabria; and
Josephus tells me, in his days it was as plentiful in
Arabia.  The devil therefore made the query, "Where
was then the miracle in the days of Moses?"  The
Israelites saw but that, in his time, which the natives
of those countries behold in ours.  Thus the devil
played at chess with me, and, yielding a pawn, thought
to gain a queen of me; taking advantage of my honest
endeavours; and, whilst I laboured to raise the struc-
ture of my reason, he strove to undermine the edifice of
my faith.

Sect. 20. — Neither had these or any other ever such
advantage of me, as to incline me to any point of in-
fidelity or desperate positions of atheism; for I have
been these many years of opinion there was never any.
Those that held religion was the difference of man from
beasts, have spoken probably, and proceed upon a prin-
ciple as inductive as the other.  That doctrine of
Epicurus, that denied the providence of God, was no
atheism, but a magnificent and high-strained conceit of
his majesty, which he deemed too sublime to mind the
trivial actions of those inferior creatures.  That fatal
necessity of the stoicks is nothing but the immutable
law of his will.  Those that heretofore denied the
divinity of the Holy Ghost have been condemned but
as hereticks; and those that now deny our Saviour,
though more than hereticks, are not so much as atheists:
for, though they deny two persons in the Trinity, they
hold, as we do, there is but one God.

That villain and secretary of hell,<26> that composed that
miscreant piece of the three impostors, though divided
from all religions, and neither Jew, Turk, nor Christian,
was not a positive atheist.  I confess every country hath
its Machiavel, every age its Lucian, whereof common
heads must not hear, nor more advanced judgments too
rashly venture on.  It is the rhetorick of Satan; and
may pervert a loose or prejudicate belief.

Sect. 21. — I confess I have perused them all, and can
discover nothing that may startle a discreet belief; yet
are their heads carried off with the wind and breath of
such motives.  I remember a doctor in physick, of
Italy, who could not perfectly believe the immortality
of the soul, because Galen seemed to make a doubt
thereof.  With another I was familiarly acquainted, in
France, a divine, and a man of singular parts, that on
the same point was so plunged and gravelled with three
lines of Seneca,* that all our antidotes, drawn from

        * "Post mortem nihil est, ipsaque mors nihil, mors individua
          est noxia corpori, nec patiens animae. . . .  Toti morimur
          nullaque pars manet nostri."

both Scripture and philosophy, could not expel the
poison of his error.  There are a set of heads that can
credit the relations of mariners, yet question the testi-
monies of Saint Paul: and peremptorily maintain the
traditions of AElian or Pliny; yet, in histories of Scrip-
ture, raise queries and objections: believing no more
than they can parallel in human authors.  I confess
there are, in Scripture, stories that do exceed the fables
of poets, and, to a captious reader, sound like Gara-
gantua or Bevis.  Search all the legends of times past,
and the fabulous conceits of these present, and 'twill be
hard to find one that deserves to carry the buckler unto
Samson; yet is all this of an easy possibility, if we con-
ceive a divine concourse, or an influence from the little
finger of the Almighty.  It is impossible that, either
in the discourse of man or in the infallible voice of
God, to the weakness of our apprehensions there should
not appear irregularities, contradictions, and antino-
mies:<27> myself could show a catalogue of doubts, never
yet imagined nor questioned, as I know, which are not
resolved at the first hearing; not fantastick queries or
objections of air; for I cannot hear of atoms in divinity.
I can read the history of the pigeon that was sent out of
the ark, and returned no more, yet not question how
she found out her mate that was left behind: that
Lazarus was raised from the dead, yet not demand
where, in the interim, his soul awaited; or raise a law-
case, whether his heir might lawfully detain his inherit-
ance bequeathed upon him by his death, and he, though
restored to life, have no plea or title unto his former
possessions.  Whether Eve was framed out of the left
side of Adam, I dispute not; because I stand not yet
assured which is the right side of a man; or whether
there be any such distinction in nature.  That she was
edified out of the rib of Adam, I believe; yet raise no
question who shall arise with that rib at the resurrection.
Whether Adam was an hermaphrodite, as the rabbins
contend upon the letter of the text; because it is con-
trary to reason, there should be an hermaphrodite
before there was a woman, or a composition of two
natures, before there was a second composed.  Likewise,
whether the world was created in autumn, summer, or
the spring; because it was created in them all: for,
whatsoever sign the sun possesseth, those four seasons
are actually existent.  It is the nature of this luminary to
distinguish the several seasons of the year; all which it
makes at one time in the whole earth, and successively in
any part thereof.  There are a bundle of curiosities, not
only in philosophy, but in divinity, proposed and discussed
by men of most supposed abilities, which indeed are not
worthy our vacant hours, much less our serious studies.
Pieces only fit to be placed in Pantagruel's library,<28> or
bound up with Tartaratus, De Modo Cacandi.*<29>

Sect. 22. — These are niceties that become not those
that peruse so serious a mystery.  There are others
more generally questioned, and called to the bar, yet,
methinks, of an easy and possible truth.

'Tis ridiculous to put off or down the general flood
of Noah, in that particular inundation of Deucalion.<30>
That there was a deluge once seems not to me so great
a miracle as that there is not one always.  How all the
kinds of creatures, not only in their own bulks, but
with a competency of food and sustenance, might be
preserved in one ark, and within the extent of three
hundred cubits, to a reason that rightly examines it,
will appear very feasible.  There is another secret, not
contained in the Scripture, which is more hard to com-

        * In Rabelais.

prehend, and put the honest Father<31> to the refuge of a
miracle; and that is, not only how the distinct pieces
of the world, and divided islands, should be first planted
by men, but inhabited by tigers, panthers, and bears.
How America abounded with beasts of prey, and
noxious animals, yet contained not in it that necessary
creature, a horse, is very strange.  By what passage
those, not only birds, but dangerous and unwelcome
beasts, come over.  How there be creatures there
(which are not found in this triple continent).  All
which must needs be strange unto us, that hold but one
ark; and that the creatures began their progress from
the mountains of Ararat.  They who, to salve this,
would make the deluge particular, proceed upon a
principle that I can no way grant; not only upon the
negative of Holy Scriptures, but of mine own reason,
whereby I can make it probable that the world was as
well peopled in the time of Noah as in ours; and
fifteen hundred years, to people the world, as full a
time for them as four thousand years since have been
to us.  There are other assertions and common tenets
drawn from Scripture, and generally believed as Scrip-
ture, whereunto, notwithstanding, I would never betray
the liberty of my reason.  'Tis a paradox to me, that
Methusalem was the longest lived of all the children of
Adam; and no man will be able to prove it; when,
from the process of the text, I can manifest it may be
otherwise.  That Judas perished by hanging himself,
there is no certainty in Scripture: though, in one
place, it seems to affirm it, and, by a doubtful word,
hath given occasion to translate<32> it; yet, in another
place, in a more punctual description, it makes it im-
probable, and seems to overthrow it.  That our fathers,
after the flood, erected the tower of Babel, to preserve
themselves against a second deluge, is generally opin-
ioned and believed; yet is there another intention of
theirs expressed in Scripture.  Besides, it is improbable,
from the circumstance of the place; that is, a plain in
the land of Shinar.  These are no points of faith; and
therefore may admit a free dispute.  There are yet
others, and those familiarly concluded from the text,
wherein (under favour) I see no consequence.  The
church of Rome confidently proves the opinion of
tutelary angels, from that answer, when Peter knocked
at the door, "'Tis not he, but his angel;" that is, might
some say, his messenger, or somebody from him; for so
the original signifies; and is as likely to be the doubtful
family's meaning.  This exposition I once suggested to
a young divine, that answered upon this point; to
which I remember the Franciscan opponent replied no
more, but, that it was a new, and no authentick inter-

Sect. 23. — These are but the conclusions and fallible
discourses of man upon the word of God; for such I do
believe the Holy Scriptures; yet, were it of man, I
could not choose but say, it was the singularest and
superlative piece that hath been extant since the creation.
Were I a pagan, I should not refrain the lecture of it;
and cannot but commend the judgment of Ptolemy, that
thought not his library complete without it.  The
Alcoran of the Turks (I speak without prejudice) is an
ill-composed piece, containing in it vain and ridiculous
errors in philosophy, impossibilities, fictions, and vanities
beyond laughter, maintained by evident and open so-
phisms, the policy of ignorance, deposition of universities,
and banishment of learning.  That hath gotten foot by
arms and violence: this, without a blow, hath dis-
seminated itself through the whole earth.  It is not
unremarkable, what Philo first observed, that the law
of Moses continued two thousand years without the
least alteration; whereas, we see, the laws of other
commonwealths do alter with occasions: and even those,
that pretended their original from some divinity, to
have vanished without trace or memory.  I believe,
besides Zoroaster, there were divers others that writ
before Moses; who, notwithstanding, have suffered the
common fate of time.  Men's works have an age, like
themselves; and though they outlive their authors, yet
have they a stint and period to their duration.  This
only is a work too hard for the teeth of time, and cannot
perish but in the general flames, when all things shall
confess their ashes.

Sect. 24. — I have heard some with deep sighs lament
the lost lines of Cicero; others with as many groans
deplore the combustion of the library of Alexandria;<33>
for my own part, I think there be too many in the
world; and could with patience behold the urn and
ashes of the Vatican, could I, with a few others, recover
the perished leaves of Solomon.  I would not omit a
copy of Enoch's pillars,<34> had they many nearer authors
than Josephus, or did not relish somewhat of the fable.
Some men have written more than others have spoken.
Pineda<35> quotes more authors, in one work,* than are
necessary in a whole world.  Of those three great inven-
tions in Germany,<36> there are two which are not without
their incommodities, and 'tis disputable whether they
exceed not their use and commodities.  'Tis not a melan-
choly utinam of my own, but the desires of better heads,
that there were a general synod — not to unite the incom-
patible difference of religion, but, — for the benefit of

        * Pineda, in his "Monarchia Ecclesiastica," quotes one
          thousand and forty authors.
learning, to reduce it, as it lay at first, in a few and solid
authors; and to condemn to the fire those swarms and
millions of rhapsodies, begotten only to distract and
abuse the weaker judgments of scholars, and to maintain
the trade and mystery of typographers.

Sect. 25. — I cannot but wonder with what exception
the Samaritans could confine their belief to the Penta-
teuch, or five books of Moses.  I am ashamed at the
rabbinical interpretation of the Jews upon the Old
Testament,<37> as much as their defection from the New:
and truly it is beyond wonder, how that contemptible
and degenerate issue of Jacob, once so devoted to ethnick
superstition, and so easily seduced to the idolatry of
their neighbours, should now, in such an obstinate and
peremptory belief, adhere unto their own doctrine,
expect impossibilities, and in the face and eye of the
church, persist without the least hope of conversion.
This is a vice in them, that were a virtue in us; for
obstinacy in a bad cause is but constancy in a good:
and herein I must accuse those of my own religion; for
there is not any of such a fugitive faith, such an unstable
belief, as a Christian; none that do so often transform
themselves, not unto several shapes of Christianity, and
of the same species, but unto more unnatural and contrary
forms of Jew and Mohammedan; that, from the name
of Saviour, can condescend to the bare term of prophet:
and, from an old belief that he is come, fall to a new
expectation of his coming.  It is the promise of Christ,
to make us all one flock: but how and when this union
shall be, is as obscure to me as the last day.  Of those
four members of religion we hold a slender propor-
tion.<38>  There are, I confess, some new additions; yet
small to those which accrue to our adversaries; and
those only drawn from the revolt of pagans; men but
of negative impieties; and such as deny Christ, but
because they never heard of him.  But the religion of
the Jew is expressly against the Christian, and the
Mohammedan against both; for the Turk, in the bulk
he now stands, is beyond all hope of conversion: if he
fall asunder, there may be conceived hopes; but not
without strong improbabilities.  The Jew is obstinate in
all fortunes; the persecution of fifteen hundred years
hath but confirmed them in their error.  They have
already endured whatsoever may be inflicted: and have
suffered, in a bad cause, even to the condemnation of
their enemies.  Persecution is a bad and indirect way
to plant religion.  It hath been the unhappy method of
angry devotions, not only to confirm honest religion, but
wicked heresies and extravagant opinions.  It was the
first stone and basis of our faith.  None can more justly
boast of persecutions, and glory in the number and
valour of martyrs.  For, to speak properly, those are
true and almost only examples of fortitude.  Those that
are fetched from the field, or drawn from the actions of
the camp, are not ofttimes so truly precedents of valour
as audacity, and, at the best, attain but to some bastard
piece of fortitude.  If we shall strictly examine the
circumstances and requisites which Aristotle requires<39>
to true and perfect valour, we shall find the name only
in his master, Alexander, and as little in that Roman
worthy, Julius Caesar; and if any, in that easy and
active way, have done so nobly as to deserve that name,
yet, in the passive and more terrible piece, these have
surpassed, and in a more heroical way may claim, the
honour of that title.  'Tis not in the power of every
honest faith to proceed thus far, or pass to heaven
through the flames.  Every one hath it not in that full
measure, nor in so audacious and resolute a temper, as
to endure those terrible tests and trials; who, notwith-
standing, in a peaceable way, do truly adore their
Saviour, and have, no doubt, a faith acceptable in the
eyes of God.

Sect. 26. — Now, as all that die in the war are not
termed soldiers, so neither can I properly term all those
that suffer in matters of religion, martyrs.  The council
of Constance condemns John Huss for a heretick;<40>
the stories of his own party style him a martyr.  He
must needs offend the divinity of both, that says he
was neither the one nor the other.  There are many
(questionless) canonized on earth, that shall never be
saints in heaven; and have their names in histories and
martyrologies, who, in the eyes of God, are not so per-
fect martyrs as was that wise heathen Socrates, that
suffered on a fundamental point of religion, — the unity
of God.  I have often pitied the miserable bishop<41>
that suffered in the cause of antipodes; yet cannot
choose but accuse him of as much madness, for exposing
his living on such a trifle, as those of ignorance and
folly, that condemned him.  I think my conscience will
not give me the lie, if I say there are not many extant,
that, in a noble way, fear the face of death less than
myself; yet, from the moral duty I owe to the com-
mandment of God, and the natural respect that I tender
unto the conservation of my essence and being, I would
not perish upon a ceremony, politick points, or indiffer-
ency: nor is my belief of that untractable temper as,
not to bow at their obstacles, or connive at matters
wherein there are not manifest impieties.  The leaven,
therefore, and ferment of all, not only civil, but re-
ligious, actions, is wisdom; without which, to commit
ourselves to the flames is homicide, and (I fear) but to
pass through one fire into another.

Sect. 27. — That miracles are ceased, I can neither
prove nor absolutely deny, much less define the time
and period of their cessation.  That they survived
Christ is manifest upon record of Scripture: that they
outlived the apostles also, and were revived at the con-
version of nations, many years after, we cannot deny, if
we shall not question those writers whose testimonies
we do not controvert in points that make for our own
opinions: therefore, that may have some truth in it, that
is reported by the Jesuits of their miracles in the Indies.
I could wish it were true, or had any other testimony
than their own pens.  They may easily believe those
miracles abroad, who daily conceive a greater at home
—the transmutation of those visible elements into the
body and blood of our Saviour; — for the conversion of
water into wine, which he wrought in Cana, or, what
the devil would have had him done in the wilderness,
of stones into bread, compared to this, will scarce deserve
the name of a miracle: though, indeed, to speak pro-
perly, there is not one miracle greater than another;
they being the extraordinary effects of the hand of God,
to which all things are of an equal facility; and to
create the world as easy as one single creature.  For
this is also a miracle; not only to produce effects
against or above nature, but before nature; and to
create nature, as great a miracle as to contradict or
transcend her.  We do too narrowly define the power
of God, restraining it to our capacities.  I hold that
God can do all things: how he should work contradic-
tions, I do not understand, yet dare not, therefore, deny.
I cannot see why the angel of God should question
Esdras to recall the time past, if it were beyond his
own power; or that God should pose mortality in that
which he was not able to perform himself.  I will not
say that God cannot, but he will not, perform many
things, which we plainly affirm he cannot.  This, I am
sure, is the mannerliest proposition; wherein, notwith-
standing, I hold no paradox: for, strictly, his power is
the same with his will; and they both, with all the rest,
do make but one God.

Sect. 28. — Therefore, that miracles have been, I do
believe; that they may yet be wrought by the living, I
do not deny: but have no confidence in those which are
fathered on the dead.  And this hath ever made me
suspect the efficacy of relicks, to examine the bones,
question the habits and appertenances of saints, and
even of Christ himself.  I cannot conceive why the
cross that Helena<42> found, and whereon Christ himself
died, should have power to restore others unto life.  I
excuse not Constantine from a fall off his horse, or a
mischief from his enemies, upon the wearing those nails
on his bridle which our Saviour bore upon the cross in
his hands.  I compute among piae fraudes, nor many
degrees before consecrated swords and roses, that which
Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, returned the Genoese for
their costs and pains in his wars; to wit, the ashes of
John the Baptist.  Those that hold, the sanctity of their
souls doth leave behind a tincture and sacred faculty
on their bodies, speak naturally of miracles, and do not
salve the doubt.  Now, one reason I tender so little
devotion unto relicks is, I think the slender and doubt-
ful respect which I have always held unto antiquities.  For
that, indeed, which I admire, is far before antiquity;
that is, Eternity; and that is, God himself; who, though
he be styled the Ancient of Days, cannot receive the
adjunct of antiquity, who was before the world, and
shall be after it, yet is not older than it: for, in his
years there is no climacter:<43> his duration is eternity;
and far more venerable than antiquity.

Sect. 29. — But, above all things, I wonder how the
curiosity of wiser heads could pass that great and indis-
putable miracle, the cessation of oracles; and in what
swoon their reasons lay, to content themselves, and sit
down with such a far-fetched and ridiculous reason as
Plutarch allegeth for it.<44>  The Jews, that can believe
the supernatural solstice of the sun in the days of
Joshua, have yet the impudence to deny the eclipse,
which every pagan confessed, at his death; but for
this, it is evident beyond all contradiction: the devil
himself confessed it.*  Certainly it is not a warrant-
able curiosity, to examine the verity of Scripture by the
concordance of human history; or seek to confirm the
chronicle of Hester or Daniel by the authority of Meg-
asthenes<45> or Herodotus.  I confess, I have had an un-
happy curiosity this way, till I laughed myself out of
it with a piece of Justin, where he delivers that the
children of Israel, for being scabbed, were banished
out of Egypt.  And truly, since I have understood the
occurrences of the world, and know in what counterfeit-
ing shapes and deceitful visards times present represent
on the stage things past, I do believe them little more
than things to come.  Some have been of my own
opinion, and endeavoured to write the history of their
own lives; wherein Moses hath outgone them all, and
left not only the story of his life, but, as some will have
it, of his death also.

Sect. 30. — It is a riddle to me, how the story of
oracles hath not wormed out of the world that doubtful
conceit of spirits and witches; how so many learned

        * In his oracle to Augustus.

heads should so far forget their metaphysicks, and
destroy the ladder and scale of creatures, as to question
the existence of spirits; for my part, I have ever be-
lieved, and do now know, that there are witches.  They
that doubt of these do not only deny them, but spirits:
and are obliquely, and upon consequence, a sort, not of
infidels, but atheists.  Those that, to confute their in-
credulity, desire to see apparitions, shall, questionless,
never behold any, nor have the power to be so much as
witches.  The devil hath made them already in a heresy
as capital as witchcraft; and to appear to them were
but to convert them.  Of all the delusions wherewith
he deceives mortality, there is not any that puzzleth
me more than the legerdemain of changelings.<46>  I do
not credit those transformations of reasonable creatures
into beasts, or that the devil hath a power to transpeciate
a man into a horse, who tempted Christ (as a trial of his
divinity) to convert but stones into bread.  I could
believe that spirits use with man the act of carnality;
and that in both sexes.  I conceive they may assume,
steal, or contrive a body, wherein there may be action
enough to content decrepit lust, or passion to satisfy
more active veneries; yet, in both, without a possibility
of generation: and therefore that opinion, that Anti-
christ should be born of the tribe of Dan, by conjunc-
tion with the devil, is ridiculous, and a conceit fitter
for a rabbin than a Christian.  I hold that the devil
doth really possess some men; the spirit of melancholy
others; the spirit of delusion others: that, as the devil
is concealed and denied by some, so God and good
angels are pretended by others, whereof the late defec-
tion of the maid of Germany hath left a pregnant

Sect. 31. — Again, I believe that all that use sorceries,
incantations, and spells, are not witches, or, as we term
them, magicians.  I conceive there is a traditional
magick, not learned immediately from the devil, but
at second hand from his scholars, who, having once the
secret betrayed, are able and do empirically practise
without his advice; they both proceeding upon the
principles of nature; where actives, aptly conjoined to
disposed passives, will, under any master, produce their
effects.  Thus, I think, at first, a great part of philosophy
was witchcraft; which, being afterward derived to one
another, proved but philosophy, and was indeed no
more than the honest effects of nature: — what invented
by us, is philosophy; learned from him, is magick.
We do surely owe the discovery of many secrets to the
discovery of good and bad angels.  I could never pass
that sentence of Paracelsus without an asterisk, or an-
notation: "ascendens* constellatum multa revelat quaeren-
tibus magnalia naturae, i.e. opera Dei."  I do think that
many mysteries ascribed to our own inventions have
been the corteous revelations of spirits; for those noble
essences in heaven bear a friendly regard unto their
fellow-nature on earth; and therefore believe that
those many prodigies and ominous prognosticks, which
forerun the ruins of states, princes, and private persons,
are the charitable premonitions of good angels, which
more careless inquiries term but the effects of chance
and nature.

Sect. 32. — Now, besides these particular and divided
spirits, there may be (for aught I know) a universal and
common spirit to the whole world.  It was the opinion
of Plato, and is yet of the hermetical philosophers.
If there be a common nature, that unites and ties the

        * Thereby is meant our good angel, appointed us from our

scattered and divided individuals into one species, why
may there not be one that unites them all?  However,
I am sure there is a common spirit, that plays within
us, yet makes no part in us; and that is, the spirit of
God; the fire and scintillation of that noble and mighty
essence, which is the life and radical heat of spirits, and
those essences that know not the virtue of the sun; a fire
quite contrary to the fire of hell.  This is that gentle
heat that brooded on the waters, and in six days hatched
the world; this is that irradiation that dispels the mists
of hell, the clouds of horror, fear, sorrow, despair; and
preserves the region of the mind in serenity.  Whatso-
ever feels not the warm gale and gentle ventilation of
this spirit (though I feel his pulse), I dare not say he
lives; for truly without this, to me, there is no heat
under the tropick; nor any light, though I dwelt in
the body of the sun.

"As when the labouring sun hath wrought his track
Up to the top of lofty Cancer's back,
The icy ocean cracks, the frozen pole
Thaws with the heat of the celestial coal;
So when thy absent beams begin t'impart
Again a solstice on my frozen heart,
My winter's o'er, my drooping spirits sing,
And every part revives into a spring.
But if thy quickening beams a while decline,
And with their light bless not this orb of mine,
A chilly frost surpriseth every member.
And in the midst of June I feel December.
Oh how this earthly temper doth debase
The noble soul, in this her humble place!
Whose wingy nature ever doth aspire
To reach that place whence first it took its fire.
These flames I feel, which in my heart do dwell,
Are not thy beams, but take their fire from hell.
Oh quench them all! and let thy Light divine
Be as the sun to this poor orb of mine!
And to thy sacred Spirit convert those fires,
Whose earthly fumes choke my devout aspires!"

Sect. 33. — Therefore, for spirits, I am so far from
denying their existence, that I could easily believe, that
not only whole countries, but particular persons, have
their tutelary and guardian angels.  It is not a new
opinion of the Church of Rome, but an old one of
Pythagoras and Plato: there is no heresy in it: and if
not manifestly defined in Scripture, yet it is an opinion
of a good and wholesome use in the course and actions
of a man's life; and would serve as an hypothesis to salve
many doubts, whereof common philosophy affordeth no
solution.  Now, if you demand my opinion and meta-
physicks of their natures, I confess them very shallow;
most of them in a negative way, like that of God; or
in a comparative, between ourselves and fellow-creatures:
for there is in this universe a stair, or manifest scale, of
creatures, rising not disorderly, or in confusion, but with
a comely method and proportion.  Between creatures of
mere existence and things of life there is a large dispro-
portion of nature: between plants and animals, or creatures
of sense, a wider difference: between them and man, a
far greater: and if the proportion hold on, between man
and angels there should be yet a greater.  We do not
comprehend their natures, who retain the first definition
of Porphyry;<48> and distinguish them from ourselves by
immortality: for, before his fall, man also was im-
mortal: yet must we needs affirm that he had a different
essence from the angels.  Having, therefore, no certain
knowledge of their nature, 'tis no bad method of the
schools, whatsoever perfection we find obscurely in our-
selves, in a more complete and absolute way to ascribe
unto them.  I believe they have an extemporary know-
ledge, and, upon the first motion of their reason, do
what we cannot without study or deliberation: that
they know things by their forms, and define, by speci-
fical difference what we describe by accidents and pro-
perties: and therefore probabilities to us may be
demonstrations unto them: that they have knowledge
not only of the specifical, but numerical, forms of in-
dividuals, and understand by what reserved difference
each single hypostatis (besides the relation to its species)
becomes its numerical self: that, as the soul hath a
power to move the body it informs, so there's a faculty
to move any, though inform none: ours upon restraint
of time, place, and distance: but that invisible hand
that conveyed Habakkuk to the lion's den, or Philip to
Azotus, infringeth this rule, and hath a secret convey-
ance, wherewith mortality is not acquainted.  If they
have that intuitive knowledge, whereby, as in reflection,
they behold the thoughts of one another, I cannot
peremptorily deny but they know a great part of ours.
They that, to refute the invocation of saints, have denied
that they have any knowledge of our affairs below,
have proceeded too far, and must pardon my opinion,
till I can thoroughly answer that piece of Scripture,
"At the conversion of a sinner, the angels in heaven
rejoice."  I cannot, with those in that great father,<49>
securely interpret the work of the first day, fiat lux, to
the creation of angels; though I confess there is not
any creature that hath so near a glimpse of their nature
as light in the sun and elements: we style it a bare
accident; but, where it subsists alone, 'tis a spiritual
substance, and may be an angel: in brief, conceive light
invisible, and that is a spirit.

Sect. 34. — These are certainly the magisterial and
masterpieces of the Creator; the flower, or, as we may
say, the best part of nothing; actually existing, what
we are but in hopes, and probability.  We are only that
amphibious piece, between a corporeal and a spiritual
essence; that middle form, that links those two to-
gether, and makes good the method of God and nature,
that jumps not from extremes, but unites the incom-
patible distances by some middle and participating
natures.  That we are the breath and similitude of God,
it is indisputable, and upon record of Holy Scripture:
but to call ourselves a microcosm, or little world, I
thought it only a pleasant trope of rhetorick, till my
near judgment and second thoughts told me there was
a real truth therein.  For, first we are a rude mass, and
in the rank of creatures which only are, and have a dull
kind of being, not yet privileged with life, or preferred
to sense or reason; next we live the life of plants, the
life of animals, the life of men, and at last the life of
spirits: running on, in one mysterious nature, those five
kinds of existencies, which comprehend the creatures,
not only of the world, but of the universe.  Thus is
man that great and true amphibium, whose nature is
disposed to live, not only like other creatures in divers
elements, but in divided and distinguished worlds; for
though there be but one to sense, there are two to reason,
the one visible, the other invisible; whereof Moses
seems to have left description, and of the other so
obscurely, that some parts thereof are yet in controversy.
And truly, for the first chapters of Genesis, I must con-
fess a great deal of obscurity; though divines have, to
the power of human reason, endeavoured to make all
go in a literal meaning, yet those allegorical interpreta-
tions are also probable, and perhaps the mystical method
of Moses, bred up in the hieroglyphical schools of the

Sect. 35. — Now for that immaterial world, methinks
we need not wander so far as the first moveable; for,
even in this material fabrick, the spirits walk as freely
exempt from the affection of time, place, and motion, as
beyond the extremest circumference.  Do but extract
from the corpulency of bodies, or resolve things beyond
their first matter, and you discover the habitation of
angels; which if I call the ubiquitary and omnipresent
essence of God, I hope I shall not offend divinity: for,
before the creation of the world, God was really all
things.  For the angels he created no new world, or
determinate mansion, and therefore they are everywhere
where is his essence, and do live, at a distance even, in
himself.  That God made all things for man, is in some
sense true; yet, not so far as to subordinate the creation
of those purer creatures unto ours; though, as minister-
ing spirits, they do, and are willing to fulfil the will of
God in these lower and sublunary affairs of man.  God
made all things for himself; and it is impossible he
should make them for any other end than his own glory:
it is all he can receive, and all that is without himself.
For, honour being an external adjunct, and in the
honourer rather than in the person honoured, it was
necessary to make a creature, from whom he might re-
ceive this homage: and that is, in the other world,
angels, in this, man; which when we neglect, we forget
God, not only to repent that he hath made the world,
but that he hath sworn he would not destroy it.  That
there is but one world, is a conclusion of faith; Aristotle
with all his philosophy hath not been able to prove it:
and as weakly that the world was eternal; that dispute
much troubled the pen of the philosophers, but Moses
decided that question, and all is salved with the
new term of a creation, — that is, a production of some-
thing out of nothing.  And what is that? — whatsoever
is opposite to something; or, more exactly, that which
is truly contrary unto God: for he only is; all others
have an existence with dependency, and are something
but by a distinction.  And herein is divinity conformant
unto philosophy, and generation not only founded on
contrarieties, but also creation.  God, being all things,
is contrary unto nothing; out of which were made all
things, and so nothing became something, and omneity<50>
informed nullity into an essence.

Sect. 36. — The whole creation is a mystery, and par-
ticularly that of man.  At the blast of his mouth were
the rest of the creatures made; and at his bare word
they started out of nothing: but in the frame of man
(as the text describes it) he played the sensible operator,
and seemed not so much to create as make him.  When
he had separated the materials of other creatures, there
consequently resulted a form and soul; but, having
raised the walls of man, he was driven to a second and
harder creation, — of a substance like himself, an incor-
ruptible and immortal soul.  For these two affections
we have the philosophy and opinion of the heathens,
the flat affirmative of Plato, and not a negative from
Aristotle.  There is another scruple cast in by divinity
concerning its production, much disputed in the German
auditories, and with that indifferency and equality of
arguments, as leave the controversy undetermined.  I
am not of Paracelsus's mind, that boldly delivers a re-
ceipt to make a man without conjunction; yet cannot
but wonder at the multitude of heads that do deny
traduction, having no other arguments to confirm their
belief than that rhetorical sentence and antimetathesis<51>
of Augustine, "creando infunditur, infundendo creatur."
Either opinion will consist well enough with religion:
yet I should rather incline to this, did not one objection
haunt me, not wrung from speculations and subtleties,
but from common sense and observation; not pick'd
from the leaves of any author, but bred amongst the
weeds and tares of my own brain.  And this is a con-
clusion from the equivocal and monstrous productions
in the copulation of a man with a beast: for if the soul
of man be not transmitted and transfused in the seed of
the parents, why are not those productions merely
beasts, but have also an impression and tincture of
reason in as high a measure, as it can evidence itself in
those improper organs?  Nor, truly, can I peremptorily
deny that the soul, in this her sublunary estate, is
wholly, and in all acceptions, inorganical: but that,
for the performance of her ordinary actions, is required
not only a symmetry and proper disposition of organs,
but a crasis and temper correspondent to its operations;
yet is not this mass of flesh and visible structure the
instrument and proper corpse of the soul, but rather of
sense, and that the hand of reason.  In our study of
anatomy there is a mass of mysterious philosophy, and
such as reduced the very heathens to divinity; yet,
amongst all those rare discoveries and curious pieces I
find in the fabrick of man, I do not so much content
myself, as in that I find not, — that is, no organ or
instrument for the rational soul; for in the brain,
which we term the seat of reason, there is not anything
of moment more than I can discover in the crany of a
beast; and this is a sensible and no inconsiderable
argument of the inorganity of the soul, at least in that
sense we usually so conceive it.  Thus we are men, and
we know not how; there is something in us that can
be without us, and will be after us, though it is strange
that it hath no history what it was before us, nor cannot
tell how it entered in us.

Sect. 37. — Now, for these walls of flesh, wherein the
soul doth seem to be immured before the resurrection,
it is nothing but an elemental composition, and a
fabrick that must fall to ashes.  "All flesh is grass," is
not only metaphorically, but literally, true; for all
those creatures we behold are but the herbs of the field,
digested into flesh in them, or more remotely carnified
in ourselves.  Nay, further, we are what we all abhor,
anthropophagi, and cannibals, devourers not only of men,
but of ourselves; and that not in an allegory but a
positive truth: for all this mass of flesh which we be-
hold, came in at our mouths: this frame we look upon,
hath been upon our trenchers; in brief, we have devoured
ourselves.  I cannot believe the wisdom of Pythagoras
did ever positively, and in a literal sense, affirm his
metempsychosis, or impossible transmigration of the
souls of men into beasts.  Of all metamorphoses or
transmigrations, I believe only one, that is of Lot's
wife; for that of Nabuchodonosor proceeded not so far.
In all others I conceive there is no further verity than
is contained in their implicit sense and morality.  I
believe that the whole frame of a beast doth perish, and
is left in the same state after death as before it was
materialled unto life: that the souls of men know
neither contrary nor corruption; that they subsist be-
yond the body, and outlive death by the privilege of
their proper natures, and without a miracle: that the
souls of the faithful, as they leave earth, take possession
of heaven; that those apparitions and ghosts of departed
persons are not the wandering souls of men, but the
unquiet walks of devils, prompting and suggesting us
unto mischief, blood, and villany; instilling and steal-
ing into our hearts that the blessed spirits are not at
rest in their graves, but wander, solicitous of the affairs
of the world.  But that those phantasms appear often,
and do frequent cemeteries, charnel-houses, and churches,
it is because those are the dormitories of the dead, where
the devil, like an insolent champion, beholds with pride
the spoils and trophies of his victory over Adam.

Sect. 38. — This is that dismal conquest we all deplore,
that makes us so often cry, O Adam, quid fecisti?  I
thank God I have not those strait ligaments, or narrow
obligations to the world, as to dote on life, or be con-
vulsed and tremble at the name of death.  Not that I
am insensible of the dread and horror thereof; or, by
raking into the bowels of the deceased, continual sight
of anatomies, skeletons, or cadaverous relicks, like ves-
pilloes, or gravemakers, I am become stupid, or have
forgot the apprehension of mortality; but that, marshal-
ling all the horrors, and contemplating the extremities
thereof, I find not anything therein able to daunt the
courage of a man, much less a well-resolved Christian;
and therefore am not angry at the error of our first
parents, or unwilling to bear a part of this common
fate, and, like the best of them, to die; that is, to
cease to breathe, to take a farewell of the elements; to
be a kind of nothing for a moment; to be within one
instant of a spirit.  When I take a full view and circle
of myself without this reasonable moderator, and equal
piece of justice, death, I do conceive myself the miser-
ablest person extant.  Were there not another life that
I hope for, all the vanities of this world should not
entreat a moment's breath from me.  Could the devil
work my belief to imagine I could never die, I would
not outlive that very thought.  I have so abject a con-
ceit of this common way of existence, this retaining to
the sun and elements, I cannot think this is to be a
man, or to live according to the dignity of humanity.
In expectation of a better, I can with patience embrace
this life; yet, in my best meditations, do often defy
death.  I honour any man that contemns it; nor can I
highly love any that is afraid of it: this makes me
naturally love a soldier, and honour those tattered and
contemptible regiments, that will die at the command
of a sergeant.  For a pagan there may be some motives
to be in love with life; but, for a Christian to be amazed
at death, I see not how he can escape this dilemma—
that he is too sensible of this life, or hopeless of the
life to come.

Sect. 39. — Some divines<52> count Adam thirty years
old at his creation, because they suppose him created in
the perfect age and stature of man: and surely we are
all out of the computation of our age; and every man
is some months older than he bethinks him; for we
live, move, have a being, and are subject to the actions
of the elements, and the malice of diseases, in that other
world, the truest microcosm, the womb of our mother;
for besides that general and common existence we are
conceived to hold in our chaos, and whilst we sleep
within the bosom of our causes, we enjoy a being and
life in three distinct worlds, wherein we receive most
manifest gradations.  In that obscure world, the womb
of our mother, our time is short, computed by the
moon; yet longer than the days of many creatures that
behold the sun; ourselves being not yet without life,
sense, and reason;<53> though, for the manifestation of
its actions, it awaits the opportunity of objects, and
seems to live there but in its root and soul of vegetation.
Entering afterwards upon the scene of the world, we
arise up and become another creature; performing the
reasonable actions of man, and obscurely manifesting
that part of divinity in us, but not in complement and
perfection, till we have once more cast our secundine,
that is, this slough of flesh, and are delivered into the
last world, that is, that ineffable place of Paul, that
proper ubi of spirits.  The smattering I have of the
philosopher's stone (which is something more than the
perfect exaltation<54> of gold) hath taught me a great deal
of divinity, and instructed my belief, how that immortal
spirit and incorruptible substance of my soul may lie
obscure, and sleep a while within this house of flesh.
Those strange and mystical transmigrations that I have
observed in silkworms turned my philosophy into
divinity.  There is in these works of nature, which
seem to puzzle reason, something divine; and hath
more in it than the eye of a common spectator doth

Sect. 40. — I am naturally bashful; nor hath conver-
sation, age, or travel, been able to effront or enharden
me; yet I have one part of modesty, which I have
seldom discovered in another, that is (to speak truly),
I am not so much afraid of death as ashamed thereof;
'tis the very disgrace and ignominy of our natures, that
in a moment can so disfigure us, that our nearest
friends, wife, and children, stand afraid, and start at us.
The birds and beasts of the field, that before, in a
natural fear, obeyed us, forgetting all allegiance, begin
to prey upon us.  This very conceit hath, in a tempest,
disposed and left me willing to be swallowed up in the
abyss of waters, wherein I had perished unseen, un-
pitied, without wondering eyes, tears of pity, lectures
of mortality, and none had said, "Quantum mutatus ab
illo!"  Not that I am ashamed of the anatomy of my
parts, or can accuse nature of playing the bungler in
any part of me, or my own vicious life for contracting
any shameful disease upon me, whereby I might not
call myself as wholesome a morsel for the worms as

Sect. 41. — Some, upon the courage of a fruitful issue,
wherein, as in the truest chronicle, they seem to outlive
themselves, can with greater patience away with death.
This conceit and counterfeit subsisting in our progenies
seems to be a mere fallacy, unworthy the desire of a
man, that can but conceive a thought of the next world;
who, in a nobler ambition, should desire to live in his
substance in heaven, rather than his name and shadow
in the earth.  And therefore, at my death, I mean to
take a total adieu of the world, not caring for a monu-
ment, history, or epitaph; not so much as the bare
memory of my name to be found anywhere, but in the
universal register of God.  I am not yet so cynical, as
to approve the testament of Diogenes,* nor do I alto-
gether allow that rodomontado of Lucan;+

    — — -"Coelo tegitur, qui non habet urnam."
    He that unburied lies wants not his hearse;
    For unto him a tomb's the universe.

but commend, in my calmer judgment, those ingenuous
intentions that desire to sleep by the urns of their
fathers, and strive to go the neatest way unto corruption.
I do not envy the temper<55> of crows and daws, nor the
numerous and weary days of our fathers before the
flood.  If there be any truth in astrology, I may outlive

        * Who willed his friend not to bury him, but to hang him
          up with a staff in his hand, to fright away the crows.
        + "Pharsalia," vii. 819.

a jubilee;<56> as yet I have not seen one revolution of
Saturn,<57> nor hath my pulse beat thirty years, and yet,
excepting one,<58> have seen the ashes of, and left under
ground, all the kings of Europe; have been contem-
porary to three emperors, four grand signiors, and as
many popes: methinks I have outlived myself, and
begin to be weary of the sun; I have shaken hands with
delight in my warm blood and canicular days; I
perceive I do anticipate the vices of age; the world to
me is but a dream or mock-show, and we all therein but
pantaloons and anticks, to my severer contemplations.

Sect. 42. — It is not, I confess, an unlawful prayer to
desire to surpass the days of our Saviour, or wish to
outlive that age wherein he thought fittest to die; yet, if
(as divinity affirms) there shall be no grey hairs in heaven,
but all shall rise in the perfect state of men, we do
but outlive those perfections in this world, to be recalled
unto them by a greater miracle in the next, and run on
here but to be retrograde hereafter.  Were there any
hopes to outlive vice, or a point to be superannuated
from sin, it were worthy our knees to implore the days
of Methuselah.  But age doth not rectify, but incurvate
our natures, turning bad dispositions into worser habits,
and (like diseases) brings on incurable vices; for every
day, as we grow weaker in age, we grow stronger in sin,
and the number of our days doth but make our sins
innumerable.  The same vice, committed at sixteen, is
not the same, though it agrees in all other circum-
stances, as at forty; but swells and doubles from the
circumstance of our ages, wherein, besides the constant
and inexcusable habit of transgressing, the maturity of
our judgment cuts off pretence unto excuse or pardon.
Every sin, the oftener it is committed, the more it
acquireth in the quality of evil; as it succeeds in time,
so it proceeds in degrees of badness; for as they proceed
they ever multiply, and, like figures in arithmetick, the
last stands for more than all that went before it.  And,
though I think no man can live well once, but he that
could live twice, yet, for my own part, I would not live
over my hours past, or begin again the thread of my
days; not upon Cicero's ground,* because I have lived
them well, but for fear I should live them worse.  I
find my growing judgment daily instruct me how to
be better, but my untamed affections and confirmed
vitiosity make me daily do worse.  I find in my con-
firmed age the same sins I discovered in my youth; I
committed many then because I was a child; and,
because I commit them still, I am yet an infant.
Therefore I perceive a man may be twice a child,
before the days of dotage; and stand in need of AEson's
bath<59> before threescore.

Sect. 43. — And truly there goes a deal of providence
to produce a man's life unto threescore; there is more
required than an able temper for those years: though
the radical humour contain in it sufficient oil for seventy,
yet I perceive in some it gives no light past thirty: men
assign not all the causes of long life, that write whole
books thereof.  They that found themselves on the
radical balsam, or vital sulphur of the parts, determine
not why Abel lived not so long as Adam.  There is
therefore a secret gloom or bottom of our days: 'twas
his wisdom to determine them: but his perpetual and
waking providence that fulfils and accomplisheth them;
wherein the spirits, ourselves, and all the creatures of
God, in a secret and disputed way, do execute his will.
Let them not therefore complain of immaturity that die
about thirty: they fall but like the whole world, whose

        * Ep. lib. xxiv. ep. 24.

solid and well-composed substance must not expect the
duration and period of its constitution: when all things
are completed in it, its age is accomplished; and the
last and general fever may as naturally destroy it before
six thousand,<60> as me before forty.  There is therefore
some other hand that twines the thread of life than that
of nature: we are not only ignorant in antipathies and
occult qualities; our ends are as obscure as our begin-
nings; the line of our days is drawn by night, and the
various effects therein by a pencil that is invisible;
wherein, though we confess our ignorance, I am sure
we do not err if we say, it is the hand of God.

Sect. 44. — I am much taken with two verses of Lucan,
since I have been able not only, as we do at school, to
construe, but understand:

"Victurosque Dei celant ut vivere, durent,
Felix esse mori."*
We're all deluded, vainly searching ways
To make us happy by the length of days;
For cunningly, to make's protract this breath,
The gods conceal the happiness of death.

There be many excellent strains in that poet, where-
with his stoical genius hath liberally supplied him:
and truly there are singular pieces in the philosophy
of Zeno,<61> and doctrine of the stoics, which I perceive,
delivered in a pulpit, pass for current divinity: yet
herein are they in extremes, that can allow a man to be
his own assassin, and so highly extol the end and suicide
of Cato.  This is indeed not to fear death, but yet to be
afraid of life.  It is a brave act of valour to contemn
death; but, where life is more terrible than death, it
is then the truest valour to dare to live: and herein
religion hath taught us a noble example; for all the

        * Pharsalia, iv. 519.

valiant acts of Curtius, Scaevola, or Codrus, do not
parallel, or match, that one of Job; and sure there is
no torture to the rack of a disease, nor any poniards in
death itself, like those in the way or prologue unto it.
"Emori nolo, sed me esse mortuum nihil curo;" I would
not die, but care not to be dead.  Were I of Caesar's
religion,<62> I should be of his desires, and wish rather to
go off at one blow, than to be sawed in pieces by the
grating torture of a disease.  Men that look no further
than their outsides, think health an appurtenance unto
life, and quarrel with their constitutions for being sick;
but I, that have examined the parts of man, and know
upon what tender filaments that fabrick hangs, do
wonder that we are not always so; and, considering the
thousand doors that lead to death, do thank my God
that we can die but once.  'Tis not only the mischief
of diseases, and the villany of poisons, that make an
end of us; we vainly accuse the fury of guns, and the
new inventions of death: — it is in the power of every
hand to destroy us, and we are beholden unto every
one we meet, he doth not kill us.  There is therefore
but one comfort left, that though it be in the power of
the weakest arm to take away life, it is not in the
strongest to deprive us of death.  God would not ex-
empt himself from that; the misery of immortality
in the flesh he undertook not, that was immortal.
Certainly there is no happiness within this circle of
flesh; nor is it in the opticks of these eyes to behold
felicity.  The first day of our jubilee is death; the
devil hath therefore failed of his desires; we are hap-
pier with death than we should have been without it:
there is no misery but in himself, where there is no
end of misery; and so indeed, in his own sense, the
stoic is in the right.<63>  He forgets that he can die, who
complains of misery: we are in the power of no calamity
while death is in our own.

Sect. 45. — Now, besides this literal and positive kind
of death, there are others whereof divines make men-
tion, and those, I think, not merely metaphorical, as
mortification, dying unto sin and the world.  There-
fore, I say, every man hath a double horoscope; one of
his humanity, — his birth, another of his Christianity,—
his baptism: and from this do I compute or calculate
my nativity; not reckoning those horae combustae,<64> and
odd days, or esteeming myself anything, before I was
my Saviour's and enrolled in the register of Christ.
Whosoever enjoys not this life, I count him but an
apparition, though he wear about him the sensible
affections of flesh.  In these moral acceptions, the way
to be immortal is to die daily; nor can I think I have
the true theory of death, when I contemplate a skull or
behold a skeleton with those vulgar imaginations it
casts upon us.  I have therefore enlarged that common
memento mori into a more Christian memorandum,
memento quatuor novissima, — those four inevitable
points of us all, death, judgment, heaven, and hell.
Neither did the contemplations of the heathens rest in
their graves, without a further thought, of Rhada-
manth<65> or some judicial proceeding after death, though
in another way, and upon suggestion of their natural
reasons.  I cannot but marvel from what sibyl or oracle
they stole the prophecy of the world's destruction by
fire, or whence Lucan learned to say—

"Communis mundo superest rogus, ossibus astra
    Misturus — "*

There yet remains to th' world one common fire,
Wherein our bones with stars shall make one pyre.

        * Pharsalia, vii. 814.

I believe the world grows near its end; yet is neither
old nor decayed, nor will ever perish upon the ruins of
its own principles.  As the work of creation was above
nature, so its adversary, annihilation; without which
the world hath not its end, but its mutation.  Now,
what force should be able to consume it thus far, with-
out the breath of God, which is the truest consuming
flame, my philosophy cannot inform me.  Some believe
there went not a minute to the world's creation, nor
shall there go to its destruction; those six days, so
punctually described, make not to them one moment,
but rather seem to manifest the method and idea of
that great work of the intellect of God than the manner
how he proceeded in its operation.  I cannot dream that
there should be at the last day any such judicial pro-
ceeding, or calling to the bar, as indeed the Scripture
seems to imply, and the literal commentators do con-
ceive: for unspeakable mysteries in the Scriptures are
often delivered in a vulgar and illustrative way, and,
being written unto man, are delivered, not as they truly
are, but as they may be understood; wherein, notwith-
standing, the different interpretations according to dif-
ferent capacities may stand firm with our devotion, nor
be any way prejudicial to each single edification.

Sect. 46. — Now, to determine the day and year of this
inevitable time, is not only convincible and statute
madness, but also manifest impiety.  How shall we
interpret Elias's six thousand years, or imagine the
secret communicated to a Rabbi which God hath de-
nied unto his angels?  It had been an excellent quaere
to have posed the devil of Delphos, and must needs
have forced him to some strange amphibology.  It hath
not only mocked the predictions of sundry astrologers
in ages past, but the prophecies of many melancholy
heads in these present; who, neither understanding
reasonably things past nor present, pretend a know-
ledge of things to come; heads ordained only to mani-
fest the incredible effects of melancholy and to fulfil old
prophecies,* rather than be the authors of new.  "In
those days there shall come wars and rumours of wars"
to me seems no prophecy, but a constant truth in all
times verified since it was pronounced.  "There shall
be signs in the moon and stars;" how comes he then
like a thief in the night, when he gives an item of his
coming?  That common sign, drawn from the revela-
tion of antichrist, is as obscure as any; in our common
compute he hath been come these many years; but,
for my own part, to speak freely, I am half of opinion
that antichrist is the philosopher's stone in divinity, for
the discovery and invention whereof, though there be
prescribed rules, and probable inductions, yet hath
hardly any man attained the perfect discovery thereof.
That general opinion, that the world grows near its
end, hath possessed all ages past as nearly as ours.  I
am afraid that the souls that now depart cannot escape
that lingering expostulation of the saints under the
altar, "quousque, Domine?" how long, O Lord? and groan
in the expectation of the great jubilee.

Sect. 47. — This is the day that must make good that
great attribute of God, his justice; that must reconcile
those unanswerable doubts that torment the wisest
understandings; and reduce those seeming inequalities
and respective distributions in this world, to an equality
and recompensive justice in the next.  This is that one
day, that shall include and comprehend all that went
before it; wherein, as in the last scene, all the actors
must enter, to complete and make up the catastrophe of

        * "In those days there shall come liars and false prophets."

this great piece.  This is the day whose memory hath,
only, power to make us honest in the dark, and to be
virtuous without a witness.  "Ipsa sui pretium virtus sibi,"
that virtue is her own reward, is but a cold principle,
and not able to maintain our variable resolutions in a
constant and settled way of goodness.  I have practised
that honest artifice of Seneca,<66> and, in my retired and
solitary imaginations to detain me from the foulness of
vice, have fancied to myself the presence of my dear and
worthiest friends, before whom I should lose my head
rather than be vicious; yet herein I found that there
was nought but moral honesty; and this was not to be
virtuous for his sake who must reward us at the last.  I
have tried if I could reach that great resolution of his,
to be honest without a thought of heaven or hell; and,
indeed I found, upon a natural inclination, and inbred
loyalty unto virtue, that I could serve her without a
livery, yet not in that resolved and venerable way, but
that the frailty of my nature, upon an easy temptation,
might be induced to forget her.  The life, therefore, and
spirit of all our actions is the resurrection, and a stable
apprehension that our ashes shall enjoy the fruit of our
pious endeavours; without this, all religion is a fallacy,
and those impieties of Lucian, Euripides, and Julian, are
no blasphemies, but subtile verities; and atheists have
been the only philosophers.

Sect. 48. — How shall the dead arise, is no question of
my faith; to believe only possibilities is not faith, but
mere philosophy.  Many things are true in divinity,
which are neither inducible by reason nor confirmable
by sense; and many things in philosophy confirmable
by sense, yet not inducible by reason.  Thus it is im-
possible, by any solid or demonstrative reasons, to per-
suade a man to believe the conversion of the needle to
the north; though this be possible and true, and easily
credible, upon a single experiment unto the sense.  I
believe that our estranged and divided ashes shall unite
again; that our separated dust, after so many pilgrim-
ages and transformations into the parts of minerals,
plants, animals, elements, shall, at the voice of God,
return into their primitive shapes, and join again to
make up their primary and predestinate forms.  As at
the creation there was a separation of that confused
mass into its pieces; so at the destruction thereof there
shall be a separation into its distinct individuals.  As,
at the creation of the world, all the distinct species that
we behold lay involved in one mass, till the fruitful
voice of God separated this united multitude into its
several species, so, at the last day, when those corrupted
relicks shall be scattered in the wilderness of forms, and
seem to have forgot their proper habits, God, by a power-
ful voice, shall command them back into their proper
shapes, and call them out by their single individuals.
Then shall appear the fertility of Adam, and the magick
of that sperm that hath dilated into so many millions.
I have often beheld, as a miracle, that artificial resur-
rection and revivification of mercury, how being morti-
fied into a thousand shapes, it assumes again its own,
and returns into its numerical self.  Let us speak
naturally, and like philosophers.  The forms of alter-
able bodies in these sensible corruptions perish not;
nor, as we imagine, wholly quit their mansions; but
retire and contract themselves into their secret and
unaccessible parts; where they may best protect them-
selves from the action of their antagonist.  A plant or
vegetable consumed to ashes to a contemplative and
school-philosopher seems utterly destroyed, and the
form to have taken his leave for ever; but to a sensible
artist the forms are not perished, but withdrawn into
their incombustible part, where they lie secure from the
action of that devouring element.  This is made good
by experience, which can from the ashes of a plant
revive the plant, and from its cinders recall it into its
stalk and leaves again.<67>  What the art of man can do
in these inferior pieces, what blasphemy is it to affirm
the finger of God cannot do in those more perfect and
sensible structures?  This is that mystical philosophy,
from whence no true scholar becomes an atheist, but
from the visible effects of nature grows up a real
divine, and beholds not in a dream, as Ezekiel, but
in an ocular and visible object, the types of his resur-

Sect. 49. — Now, the necessary mansions of our restored
selves are those two contrary and incompatible places
we call heaven and hell.  To define them, or strictly to
determine what and where these are, surpasseth my
divinity.  That elegant apostle, which seemed to have
a glimpse of heaven, hath left but a negative descrip-
tion thereof; which "neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath
heard, nor can enter into the heart of man:" he was
translated out of himself to behold it; but, being re-
turned into himself, could not express it.  Saint John's
description by emeralds, chrysolites, and precious stones,
is too weak to express the material heaven we behold.
Briefly, therefore, where the soul hath the full measure
and complement of happiness; where the boundless
appetite of that spirit remains completely satisfied that
it can neither desire addition nor alteration; that, I
think, is truly heaven: and this can only be in the
enjoyment of that essence, whose infinite goodness is
able to terminate the desires of itself, and the unsatiable
wishes of ours.  Wherever God will thus manifest him-
self, there is heaven, though within the circle of this
sensible world.  Thus, the soul of man may be in
heaven anywhere, even within the limits of his own
proper body; and when it ceaseth to live in the body it
may remain in its own soul, that is, its Creator.  And
thus we may say that Saint Paul, whether in the body
or out of the body, was yet in heaven.  To place it in
the empyreal, or beyond the tenth sphere, is to forget
the world's destruction; for when this sensible world
shall be destroyed, all shall then be here as it is now
there, an empyreal heaven, a quasi vacuity; when to
ask where heaven is, is to demand where the presence of
God is, or where we have the glory of that happy
vision.  Moses, that was bred up in all the learning of
the Egyptians, committed a gross absurdity in philo-
sophy, when with these eyes of flesh he desired to see God,
and petitioned his Maker, that is truth itself, to a contra-
diction.  Those that imagine heaven and hell neighbours,
and conceive a vicinity between those two extremes,
upon consequence of the parable, where Dives discoursed
with Lazarus, in Abraham's bosom, do too grossly con-
ceive of those glorified creatures, whose eyes shall easily
out-see the sun, and behold without perspective the
extremest distances: for if there shall be, in our glori-
fied eyes, the faculty of sight and reception of objects,
I could think the visible species there to be in as un-
limitable a way as now the intellectual.  I grant that
two bodies placed beyond the tenth sphere, or in a
vacuity, according to Aristotle's philosophy, could not
behold each other, because there wants a body or
medium to hand and transport the visible rays of the
object unto the sense; but when there shall be a general
defect of either medium to convey, or light to prepare
and dispose that medium, and yet a perfect vision, we
must suspend the rules of our philosophy, and make all
good by a more absolute piece of opticks.

Sect. 50. — I cannot tell how to say that fire is the
essence of hell; I know not what to make of purgatory,
or conceive a flame that can either prey upon, or purify
the substance of a soul.  Those flames of sulphur, men-
tioned in the scriptures, I take not to be understood of
this present hell, but of that to come, where fire shall
make up the complement of our tortures, and have a
body or subject whereon to manifest its tyranny.  Some
who have had the honour to be textuary in divinity are
of opinion it shall be the same specifical fire with ours.
This is hard to conceive, yet can I make good how even
that may prey upon our bodies, and yet not consume
us: for in this material world, there are bodies that
persist invincible in the powerfulest flames; and though,
by the action of fire, they fall into ignition and liquation,
yet will they never suffer a destruction.  I would gladly
know how Moses, with an actual fire, calcined or burnt
the golden calf into powder: for that mystical metal of
gold, whose solary and celestial nature I admire, ex-
posed unto the violence of fire, grows only hot, and
liquefies, but consumeth not; so when the consumable
and volatile pieces of our bodies shall be refined into a
more impregnable and fixed temper, like gold, though
they suffer from the action of flames, they shall never
perish, but lie immortal in the arms of fire.  And
surely, if this flame must suffer only by the action of
this element, there will many bodies escape; and not
only heaven, but earth will not be at an end, but
rather a beginning.  For at present it is not earth, but
a composition of fire, water, earth, and air; but at that
time, spoiled of these ingredients, it shall appear in a
substance more like itself, its ashes.  Philosophers that
opinioned the world's destruction by fire, did never
dream of annihilation, which is beyond the power of
sublunary causes; for the last and proper action of that
element is but vitrification, or a reduction of a body into
glass; and therefore some of our chymicks facetiously
affirm, that, at the last fire, all shall be crystalized and
reverberated into glass, which is the utmost action of
that element.  Nor need we fear this term, annihilation,
or wonder that God will destroy the works of his crea-
tion: for man subsisting, who is, and will then truly
appear, a microcosm, the world cannot be said to be
destroyed.  For the eyes of God, and perhaps also of
our glorified selves, shall as really behold and contem-
plate the world, in its epitome or contracted essence, as
now it doth at large and in its dilated substance.  In
the seed of a plant, to the eyes of God, and to the under-
standing of man, there exists, though in an invisible
way, the perfect leaves, flowers, and fruit thereof; for
things that are in posse to the sense, are actually existent
to the understanding.  Thus God beholds all things,
who contemplates as fully his works in their epitome
as in their full volume, and beheld as amply the whole
world, in that little compendium of the sixth day, as
in the scattered and dilated pieces of those five before.

Sect. 51. — Men commonly set forth the torments of hell
by fire, and the extremity of corporal afflictions, and
describe hell in the same method that Mahomet doth
heaven.  This indeed makes a noise, and drums in
popular ears: but if this be the terrible piece thereof, it
is not worthy to stand in diameter with heaven, whose
happiness consists in that part that is best able to com-
prehend it, that immortal essence, that translated divinity
and colony of God, the soul.  Surely, though we place
hell under earth, the devil's walk and purlieu is about
it.  Men speak too popularly who place it in those
flaming mountains, which to grosser apprehensions re-
present hell.  The heart of man is the place the devils
dwell in; I feel sometimes a hell within myself;
Lucifer keeps his court in my breast; Legion is revived
in me.  There are as many hells as Anaxagoras<68>
conceited worlds.  There was more than one hell
in Magdalene, when there were seven devils; for every
devil is an hell unto himself,<69> he holds enough of
torture in his own ubi; and needs not the misery of cir-
cumference to afflict him: and thus, a distracted con-
science here is a shadow or introduction unto hell here-
after.  Who can but pity the merciful intention of those
hands that do destroy themselves?  The devil, were it
in his power, would do the like; which being im-
possible, his miseries are endless, and he suffers most
in that attribute wherein he is impassible, his im-

Sect. 52. — I thank God, and with joy I mention it, I
was never afraid of hell, nor ever grew pale at the
description of that place.  I have so fixed my contempla-
tions on heaven, that I have almost forgot the idea of
hell; and am afraid rather to lose the joys of the one,
than endure the misery of the other: to be deprived of
them is a perfect hell, and needs methinks no addition
to complete our afflictions.  That terrible term hath
never detained me from sin, nor do I owe any good
action to the name thereof.  I fear God, yet am not
afraid of him; his mercies make me ashamed of my
sins, before his judgments afraid thereof: these are the
forced and secondary method of his wisdom, which he
useth but as the last remedy, and upon provocation;—
a course rather to deter the wicked, than incite the
virtuous to his worship.  I can hardly think there was
ever any scared into heaven: they go the fairest way to
heaven that would serve God without a hell: other
mercenaries, that crouch unto him in fear of hell, though
they term themselves the servants, are indeed but the
slaves, of the Almighty.

Sect. 53. — And to be true, and speak my soul, when I
survey the occurrences of my life, and call into account
the finger of God, I can perceive nothing but an abyss
and mass of mercies, either in general to mankind, or in
particular to myself.  And, whether out of the prejudice
of my affection, or an inverting and partial conceit of
his mercies, I know not, — but those which others term
crosses, afflictions, judgments, misfortunes, to me, who
inquire further into them than their visible effects, they
both appear, and in event have ever proved, the secret
and dissembled favours of his affection.  It is a singular
piece of wisdom to apprehend truly, and without passion,
the works of God, and so well to distinguish his justice
from his mercy as not to miscall those noble attributes;
yet it is likewise an honest piece of logick so to dispute
and argue the proceedings of God as to distinguish even
his judgments into mercies.  For God is merciful unto
all, because better to the worst than the best deserve;
and to say he punisheth none in this world, though it
be a paradox, is no absurdity.  To one that hath com-
mitted murder, if the judge should only ordain a fine,
it were a madness to call this a punishment, and to re-
pine at the sentence, rather than admire the clemency
of the judge.  Thus, our offences being mortal, and
deserving not only death but damnation, if the goodness
of God be content to traverse and pass them over with
a loss, misfortune, or disease; what frenzy were it to
term this a punishment, rather than an extremity of
mercy, and to groan under the rod of his judgments
rather than admire the sceptre of his mercies!  There-
fore to adore, honour, and admire him, is a debt of
gratitude due from the obligation of our nature, states,
and conditions: and with these thoughts he that knows
them best will not deny that I adore him.  That I
obtain heaven, and the bliss thereof, is accidental, and
not the intended work of my devotion; it being a
felicity I can neither think to deserve nor scarce in
modesty to expect.  For these two ends of us all, either
as rewards or punishments, are mercifully ordained and
disproportionably disposed unto our actions; the one
being so far beyond our deserts, the other so infinitely
below our demerits.

Sect. 54. — There is no salvation to those that believe
not in Christ; that is, say some, since his nativity, and,
as divinity affirmeth, before also; which makes me
much apprehend the end of those honest worthies and
philosophers which died before his incarnation.  It is
hard to place those souls in hell, whose worthy lives do
teach us virtue on earth.  Methinks, among those many
subdivisions of hell, there might have been one limbo
left for these.  What a strange vision will it be to see
their poetical fictions converted into verities, and their
imagined and fancied furies into real devils!  How
strange to them will sound the history of Adam, when
they shall suffer for him they never heard of!  When
they who derive their genealogy from the gods, shall
know they are the unhappy issue of sinful man!  It is
an insolent part of reason, to controvert the works of
God, or question the justice of his proceedings.  Could
humility teach others, as it hath instructed me, to con-
template the infinite and incomprehensible distance be-
twixt the Creator and the creature; or did we seriously
perpend that one simile of St Paul, "shall the vessel say
to the potter, why hast thou made me thus?" it would
prevent these arrogant disputes of reason: nor would
we argue the definitive sentence of God, either to heaven
or hell.  Men that live according to the right rule and
law of reason, live but in their own kind, as beasts do
in theirs; who justly obey the prescript of their natures,
and therefore cannot reasonably demand a reward of
their actions, as only obeying the natural dictates of
their reason.  It will, therefore, and must, at last
appear, that all salvation is through Christ; which
verity, I fear, these great examples of virtue must con-
firm, and make it good how the perfectest actions of
earth have no title or claim unto heaven.

Sect. 55. — Nor truly do I think the lives of these, or
of any other, were ever correspondent, or in all points
conformable, unto their doctrines.  It is evident that
Aristotle transgressed the rule of his own ethicks;<70>
the stoicks, that condemn passion, and command a man
to laugh in Phalaris's<71> bull, could not endure without a
groan a fit of the stone or colick.  The scepticks, that
affirmed they knew nothing,<72> even in that opinion con-
fute themselves, and thought they knew more than all
the world beside.  Diogenes I hold to be the most vain-
glorious man of his time, and more ambitious in refus-
ing all honours, than Alexander in rejecting none.  Vice
and the devil put a fallacy upon our reasons; and,
provoking us too hastily to run from it, entangle and
profound us deeper in it.  The duke of Venice, that
weds himself unto the sea, by a ring of gold,<73> I will
not accuse of prodigality, because it is a solemnity of
good use and consequence in the state: but the philoso-
pher, that threw his money into the sea to avoid avarice,
was a notorious prodigal.<74>  There is no road or ready
way to virtue; it is not an easy point of art to dis-
entangle ourselves from this riddle or web of sin.  To
perfect virtue, as to religion, there is required a panoplia,
or complete armour; that whilst we lie at close ward
against one vice, we lie not open to the veney<75> of
another.  And indeed wiser discretions, that have the
thread of reason to conduct them, offend without a
pardon; whereas under heads may stumble without
dishonour.  There go so many circumstances to piece
up one good action, that it is a lesson to be good, and
we are forced to be virtuous by the book.  Again, the
practice of men holds not an equal pace, yea and often
runs counter to their theory; we naturally know what
is good, but naturally pursue what is evil: the rhetorick
wherewith I persuade another cannot persuade myself.
There is a depraved appetite in us, that will with
patience hear the learned instructions of reason, but
yet perform no further than agrees to its own irregular
humour.  In brief, we all are monsters; that is, a com-
position of man and beast: wherein we must endeavour
to be as the poets fancy that wise man, Chiron; that is,
to have the region of man above that of beast, and sense
to sit but at the feet of reason.  Lastly, I do desire with
God that all, but yet affirm with men that few, shall
know salvation, — that the bridge is narrow, the passage
strait unto life: yet those who do confine the church
of God either to particular nations, churches, or
families, have made it far narrower than our Saviour
ever meant it.

Sect. 56. — The vulgarity of those judgments that wrap
the church of God in Strabo's cloak,<76> and restrain it
unto Europe, seem to me as bad geographers as Alex-
ander, who thought he had conquered all the world,
when he had not subdued the half of any part thereof.
For we cannot deny the church of God both in Asia
and Africa, if we do not forget the peregrinations of
the apostles, the deaths of the martyrs, the sessions of
many and (even in our reformed judgment) lawful
councils, held in those parts in the minority and
nonage of ours.  Nor must a few differences, more re-
markable in the eyes of man than, perhaps, in the
judgment of God, excommunicate from heaven one an-
other; much less those Christians who are in a manner
all martyrs, maintaining their faith in the noble way
of persecution, and serving God in the fire, whereas
we honour him in the sunshine.

'Tis true, we all hold there is a number of elect, and
many to be saved; yet, take our opinions together, and
from the confusion thereof, there will be no such thing
as salvation, nor shall any one be saved: for, first, the
church of Rome condemneth us; we likewise them;
the sub-reformists and sectaries sentence the doctrine of
our church as damnable; the atomist, or familist,<77> re-
probates all these; and all these, them again.  Thus,
whilst the mercies of God do promise us heaven, our
conceits and opinions exclude us from that place.  There
must be therefore more than one St Peter; particular
churches and sects usurp the gates of heaven, and turn
the key against each other; and thus we go to heaven
against each other's wills, conceits, and opinions, and,
with as much uncharity as ignorance, do err, I fear, in
points not only of our own, but one another's salvation.

Sect. 57. — I believe many are saved who to man
seem reprobated, and many are reprobated who in the
opinion and sentence of man stand elected.  There will
appear, at the last day, strange and unexpected examples,
both of his justice and his mercy; and, therefore, to
define either is folly in man, and insolency even in the
devils.  These acute and subtile spirits, in all their
sagacity, can hardly divine who shall be saved; which
if they could prognostick, their labour were at an end,
nor need they compass the earth, seeking whom they
may devour.  Those who, upon a rigid application of
the law, sentence Solomon unto damnation,<78> condemn
not only him, but themselves, and the whole world;
for by the letter and written word of God, we are with-
out exception in the state of death: but there is a pre-
rogative of God, and an arbitrary pleasure above the
letter of his own law, by which alone we can pretend
unto salvation, and through which Solomon might be as
easily saved as those who condemn him.

Sect. 58. — The number of those who pretend unto
salvation, and those infinite swarms who think to pass
through the eye of this needle, have much amazed me.
That name and compellation of "little flock" doth not
comfort, but deject, my devotion; especially when I
reflect upon mine own unworthiness, wherein, accord-
ing to my humble apprehensions, I am below them all.
I believe there shall never be an anarchy in heaven;
but, as there are hierarchies amongst the angels, so shall
there be degrees of priority amongst the saints.  Yet is
it, I protest, beyond my ambition to aspire unto the
first ranks; my desires only are, and I shall be happy
therein, to be but the last man, and bring up the rear
in heaven.

Sect. 59. — Again, I am confident, and fully persuaded,
yet dare not take my oath, of my salvation.  I am, as it
were, sure, and do believe without all doubt, that there
is such a city as Constantinople; yet, for me to take
my oath thereon were a kind of perjury, because I hold
no infallible warrant from my own sense to confirm
me in the certainty thereof.  And truly, though many
pretend to an absolute certainty of their salvation, yet
when an humble soul shall contemplate our own un-
worthiness, she shall meet with many doubts, and sud-
denly find how little we stand in need of the precept of
St Paul, "work out your salvation with fear and trem-
bling."  That which is the cause of my election, I hold to
be the cause of my salvation, which was the mercy and
beneplacit of God, before I was, or the foundation of the
world.  "Before Abraham was, I am," is the saying of
Christ, yet is it true in some sense if I say it of myself;
for I was not only before myself but Adam, that is, in
the idea of God, and the decree of that synod held from
all eternity.  And in this sense, I say, the world was
before the creation, and at an end before it had a
beginning.  And thus was I dead before I was alive;
though my grave be England, my dying place was
Paradise; and Eve miscarried of me, before she con-
ceived of Cain.

Sect. 60. — Insolent zeals, that do decry good works
and rely only upon faith, take not away merit: for,
depending upon the efficacy of their faith, they enforce
the condition of God, and in a more sophistical way do
seem to challenge heaven.  It was decreed by God that
only those that lapped in the water like dogs, should
have the honour to destroy the Midianites; yet could
none of those justly challenge, or imagine he deserved,
that honour thereupon.  I do not deny but that true
faith, and such as God requires, is not only a mark or
token, but also a means, of our salvation; but, where
to find this, is as obscure to me as my last end.  And
if our Saviour could object, unto his own disciples and
favourites, a faith that, to the quantity of a grain of
mustard seed, is able to remove mountains; surely that
which we boast of is not anything, or, at the most, but
a remove from nothing.

This is the tenour of my belief; wherein, though
there be many things singular, and to the humour of
my irregular self, yet, if they square not with maturer
judgments, I disclaim them, and do no further favour them
than the learned and best judgments shall authorize them.


Sect. 1. — Now, for that other virtue of charity, without
which faith is a mere notion and of no existence, I have
ever endeavoured to nourish the merciful disposition
and humane inclination I borrowed from my parents,
and regulate it to the written and prescribed laws of
charity.  And, if I hold the true anatomy of myself, I
am delineated and naturally framed to such a piece of
virtue, — for I am of a constitution so general that it
consorts and sympathizeth with all things; I have no
antipathy, or rather idiosyncrasy, in diet, humour, air,
anything.  I wonder not at the French for their dishes
of frogs, snails, and toadstools, nor at the Jews for locusts
and grasshoppers; but, being amongst them, make
them my common viands; and I find they agree with
my stomach as well as theirs.  I could digest a salad
gathered in a church-yard as well as in a garden.  I
cannot start at the presence of a serpent, scorpion, lizard,
or salamander; at the sight of a toad or viper, I find in
me no desire to take up a stone to destroy them.  I feel
not in myself those common antipathies that I can dis-
cover in others: those national repugnances do not
touch me, nor do I behold with prejudice the French,
Italian, Spaniard, or Dutch; but, where I find their
actions in balance with my countrymen's, I honour, love,
and embrace them, in the same degree.  I was born in
the eighth climate, but seem to be framed and constel-
lated unto all.  I am no plant that will not prosper out
of a garden.  All places, all airs, make unto me one
country; I am in England everywhere, and under any
meridian.  I have been shipwrecked, yet am not enemy
with the sea or winds; I can study, play, or sleep, in a
tempest.  In brief I am averse from nothing: my con-
science would give me the lie if I should say I abso-
lutely detest or hate any essence, but the devil; or so
at least abhor anything, but that we might come to
composition.  If there be any among those common
objects of hatred I do contemn and laugh at, it is that
great enemy of reason, virtue, and religion, the mul-
titude; that numerous piece of monstrosity, which,
taken asunder, seem men, and the reasonable creatures
of God, but, confused together, make but one great
beast, and a monstrosity more prodigious than Hydra.
It is no breach of charity to call these fools; it is the
style all holy writers have afforded them, set down by
Solomon in canonical Scripture, and a point of our faith
to believe so.  Neither in the name of multitude do I
only include the base and minor sort of people: there
is a rabble even amongst the gentry; a sort of plebeian
heads, whose fancy moves with the same wheel as these;
men in the same level with mechanicks, though their
fortunes do somewhat gild their infirmities, and their
purses compound for their follies.  But, as in casting
account three or four men together come short in account
of one man placed by himself below them, so neither
are a troop of these ignorant Doradoes<79> of that true
esteem and value as many a forlorn person, whose con-
dition doth place him below their feet.  Let us speak
like politicians; there is a nobility without heraldry, a
natural dignity, whereby one man is ranked with
another, another filed before him, according to the
quality of his desert, and pre-eminence of his good parts.
Though the corruption of these times, and the bias of
present practice, wheel another way, thus it was in the
first and primitive commonwealths, and is yet in the in-
tegrity and cradle of well ordered polities: till corrup-
tion getteth ground; — ruder desires labouring after that
which wiser considerations contemn; — every one having
a liberty to amass and heap up riches, and they a licence
or faculty to do or purchase anything.

Sect. 2. — This general and indifferent temper of mine
doth more nearly dispose me to this noble virtue.  It is
a happiness to be born and framed unto virtue, and to
grow up from the seeds of nature, rather than the
inoculations and forced grafts of education: yet, if we
are directed only by our particular natures, and regulate
our inclinations by no higher rule than that of our
reasons, we are but moralists; divinity will still call us
heathens.  Therefore this great work of charity must
have other motives, ends, and impulsions.  I give no
alms to satisfy the hunger of my brother, but to fulfil
and accomplish the will and command of my God; I
draw not my purse for his sake that demands it, but his
that enjoined it; I relieve no man upon the rhetorick
of his miseries, nor to content mine own commiserating
disposition; for this is still but moral charity, and an
act that oweth more to passion than reason.  He that
relieves another upon the bare suggestion and bowels of
pity doth not this so much for his sake as for his own;
and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also.
It is as erroneous a conceit to redress other men's
misfortunes upon the common considerations of merciful
natures, that it may be one day our own case; for this
is a sinister and politick kind of charity, whereby we
seem to bespeak the pities of men in the like occasions.
And truly I have observed that those professed eleemo-
synaries, though in a crowd or multitude, do yet direct
and place their petitions on a few and selected persons;
there is surely a physiognomy, which those experienced
and master mendicants observe, whereby they instantly
discover a merciful aspect, and will single out a face,
wherein they spy the signature and marks of mercy.
For there are mystically in our faces certain characters
which carry in them the motto of our souls, wherein he
that can read A, B, C, may read our natures.  I hold,
moreover, that there is a phytognomy, or physiognomy,
not only of men, but of plants and vegetables; and is
every one of them some outward figures which hang as
signs or bushes of their inward forms.  The finger of
God hath left an inscription upon all his works, not
graphical, or composed of letters, but of their several
forms, constitutions, parts, and operations, which, aptly
joined together, do make one word that doth express
their natures.  By these letters God calls the stars by
their names; and by this alphabet Adam assigned to
every creature a name peculiar to its nature.  Now,
there are, besides these characters in our faces, certain
mystical figures in our hands, which I dare not call
mere dashes, strokes à la volee or at random, because
delineated by a pencil that never works in vain; and
hereof I take more particular notice, because I carry
that in mine own hand which I could never read of nor
discover in another.  Aristotle, I confess, in his acute
and singular book of physiognomy, hath made no
mention of chiromancy:<80> yet I believe the Egyptians,
who were nearer addicted to those abstruse and mysti-
cal sciences, had a knowledge therein: to which those
vagabond and counterfeit Egyptians did after<81> pretend,
and perhaps retained a few corrupted principles, which
sometimes might verify their prognosticks.

It is the common wonder of all men, how, among so
many millions of faces, there should be none alike:
now, contrary, I wonder as much how there should be
any.  He that shall consider how many thousand
several words have been carelessly and without study
composed out of twenty-four letters; withal, how many
hundred lines there are to be drawn in the fabrick of
one man; shall easily find that this variety is necessary:
and it will be very hard that they shall so concur as to
make one portrait like another.  Let a painter carelessly
limn out a million of faces, and you shall find them all
different; yes, let him have his copy before him, yet,
after all his art, there will remain a sensible distinction:
for the pattern or example of everything is the perfectest
in that kind, whereof we still come short, though we
transcend or go beyond it; because herein it is wide,
and agrees not in all points unto its copy.  Nor doth
the similitude of creatures disparage the variety of
nature, nor any way confound the works of God.  For
even in things alike there is diversity; and those that
do seem to accord do manifestly disagree.  And thus is
man like God; for, in the same things that we resemble
him we are utterly different from him.  There was
never anything so like another as in all points to
concur; there will ever some reserved difference slip
in, to prevent the identity; without which two several
things would not be alike, but the same, which is

Sect. 3. — But, to return from philosophy to charity, I
hold not so narrow a conceit of this virtue as to con-
ceive that to give alms is only to be charitable, or think
a piece of liberality can comprehend the total of charity.
Divinity hath wisely divided the act thereof into many
branches, and hath taught us, in this narrow way, many
paths unto goodness; as many ways as we may do good,
so many ways we may be charitable.  There are in-
firmities not only of body, but of soul and fortunes,
which do require the merciful hand of our abilities.  I
cannot contemn a man for ignorance, but behold him
with as much pity as I do Lazarus.  It is no greater
charity to clothe his body than apparel the nakedness
of his soul.  It is an honourable object to see the
reasons of other men wear our liveries, and their
borrowed understandings do homage to the bounty of
ours.  It is the cheapest way of beneficence, and, like
the natural charity of the sun, illuminates another
without obscuring itself.  To be reserved and caitiff<82>
in this part of goodness is the sordidest piece of covetous-
ness, and more contemptible than the pecuniary avarice.
To this (as calling myself a scholar) I am obliged by
the duty of my condition.  I make not therefore my
head a grave, but a treasure of knowledge.  I intend no
monopoly, but a community in learning.  I study not
for my own sake only, but for theirs that study not for
themselves.  I envy no man that knows more than
myself, but pity them that know less.  I instruct no
man as an exercise of my knowledge, or with an intent
rather to nourish and keep it alive in mine own head
than beget and propagate it in his.  And, in the midst
of all my endeavours, there is but one thought that
dejects me, that my acquired parts must perish with
myself, nor can be legacied among my honoured friends.
I cannot fall out or contemn a man for an error, or
conceive why a difference in opinion should divide an
affection; for controversies, disputes, and argumenta-
tions, both in philosophy and in divinity, if they meet
with discreet and peaceable natures, do not infringe the
laws of charity.  In all disputes, so much as there is of
passion, so much there is of nothing to the purpose; for
then reason, like a bad hound, spends upon a false scent,
and forsakes the question first started.  And this is one
reason why controversies are never determined; for,
though they be amply proposed, they are scarce at all
handled; they do so swell with unnecessary digressions;
and the parenthesis on the party is often as large as the
main discourse upon the subject.  The foundations of
religion are already established, and the principles of
salvation subscribed unto by all.  There remain not
many controversies worthy a passion, and yet never any
dispute without, not only in divinity but inferior arts.
What a [Greek omitted] and hot skirmish is betwixt S.
and T. in Lucian!<83>  How do grammarians hack and
slash for the genitive case in Jupiter!<84>  How do they
break their own pates, to salve that of Priscian!<85>  "Si
foret in terris, rideret Democritus."  Yes, even amongst
wiser militants, how many wounds have been given and
credits slain, for the poor victory of an opinion, or
beggarly conquest of a distinction!  Scholars are men
of peace, they bear no arms, but their tongues are
sharper than Actius's razor.<86> their pens carry farther,
and give a louder report than thunder.  I had rather
stand the shock of a basilisko<87> than in the fury of
a merciless pen.  It is not mere zeal to learning, or
devotion to the muses, that wiser princes patron the
arts, and carry an indulgent aspect unto scholars; but
a desire to have their names eternized by the memory
of their writings, and a fear of the revengeful pen of
succeeding ages: for these are the men that, when they
have played their parts, and had their exits, must step
out and give the moral of their scenes, and deliver unto
posterity an inventory of their virtues and vices.  And
surely there goes a great deal of conscience to the
compiling of an history: there is no reproach to the
scandal of a story; it is such an authentick kind of
falsehood, that with authority belies our good names to
all nations and posterity.

Sect. 4. — There is another offence unto charity, which
no author hath ever written of, and few take notice of,
and that's the reproach, not of whole professions, mys-
teries, and conditions, but of whole nations, wherein by
opprobrious epithets we miscall each other, and, by an
uncharitable logick, from a disposition in a few, con-
clude a habit in all.

Le mutin Anglois, et le bravache Escossois
Le bougre Italien, et le fol Francois;
Le poltron Romain, le larron de Gascogne,
L'Espagnol superbe, et l'Alleman yvrogue.

St Paul, that calls the Cretians liars, doth it but in-
directly, and upon quotation of their own poet.<88>  It is
as bloody a thought in one way as Nero's was in
another.<89>  For by a word we wound a thousand, and
at one blow assassin the honour of a nation.  It is as
complete a piece of madness to miscall and rave against
the times; or think to recall men to reason by a fit of
passion.  Democritus, that thought to laugh the times
into goodness, seems to me as deeply hypochondriack
as Heraclitus, that bewailed them.  It moves not my
spleen to behold the multitude in their proper humours;
that is, in their fits of folly and madness, as well under-
standing that wisdom is not profaned unto the world;
and it is the privilege of a few to be virtuous.  They
that endeavour to abolish vice destroy also virtue; for
contraries, though they destroy one another, are yet
the life of one another.  Thus virtue (abolish vice) is
an idea.  Again, the community of sin doth not dis-
parage goodness; for, when vice gains upon the major
part, virtue, in whom it remains, becomes more excel-
lent, and, being lost in some, multiplies its goodness in
others, which remain untouched, and persist entire in
the general inundation.  I can therefore behold vice
without a satire, content only with an admonition, or
instructive reprehension; for noble natures, and such
as are capable of goodness, are railed into vice, that
might as easily be admonished into virtue; and we
should be all so far the orators of goodness as to protect
her from the power of vice, and maintain the cause of
injured truth.  No man can justly censure or condemn
another; because, indeed, no man truly knows another.
This I perceive in myself; for I am in the dark to all
the world, and my nearest friends behold me but in a
cloud.  Those that know me but superficially think
less of me than I do of myself; those of my near ac-
quaintance think more; God who truly knows me,
knows that I am nothing: for he only beholds me, and
all the world, who looks not on us through a derived
ray, or a trajection of a sensible species, but beholds the
substance without the help of accidents, and the forms
of things, as we their operations.  Further, no man can
judge another, because no man knows himself; for we
censure others but as they disagree from that humour
which we fancy laudable in ourselves, and commend
others but for that wherein they seem to quadrate and
consent with us.  So that in conclusion, all is but that
we all condemn, self-love.  'Tis the general complaint
of these times, and perhaps of those past, that charity
grows cold; which I perceive most verified in those
which do most manifest the fires and flames of zeal;
for it is a virtue that best agrees with coldest natures,
and such as are complexioned for humility.  But how
shall we expect charity towards others, when we are
uncharitable to ourselves?  "Charity begins at home,"
is the voice of the world; yet is every man his greatest
enemy, and as it were his own executioner.  "Non occides,"
is the commandment of God, yet scarce observed by any
man; for I perceive every man is his own Atropos, and
lends a hand to cut the thread of his own days.  Cain
was not therefore the first murderer, but Adam, who
brought in death; whereof he beheld the practice and
example in his own son Abel; and saw that verified in
the experience of another which faith could not per-
suade him in the theory of himself.

Sect. 5. — There is, I think, no man that apprehends
his own miseries less than myself; and no man that so
nearly apprehends another's.  I could lose an arm
without a tear, and with few groans, methinks, be
quartered into pieces; yet can I weep most seriously
at a play, and receive with a true passion the counter-
feit griefs of those known and professed impostures.  It
is a barbarous part of inhumanity to add unto any
afflicted parties misery, or endeavour to multiply in
any man a passion whose single nature is already above
his patience.  This was the greatest affliction of Job,
and those oblique expostulations of his friends a deeper
injury than the down-right blows of the devil.  It is
not the tears of our own eyes only, but of our friends
also, that do exhaust the current of our sorrows; which,
falling into many streams, runs more peaceably, and is
contented with a narrower channel.  It is an act within
the power of charity, to translate a passion out of one
breast into another, and to divide a sorrow almost out
of itself; for an affliction, like a dimension, may be so
divided as, if not indivisible, at least to become in-
sensible.  Now with my friend I desire not to share or
participate, but to engross, his sorrows; that, by mak-
ing them mine own, I may more easily discuss them:
for in mine own reason, and within myself, I can com-
mand that which I cannot entreat without myself, and
within the circle of another.  I have often thought
those noble pairs and examples of friendship, not so
truly histories of what had been, as fictions of what
should be; but I now perceive nothing in them but
possibilities, nor anything in the heroick examples of
Damon and Pythias, Achilles and Patroclus, which,
methinks, upon some grounds, I could not perform
within the narrow compass of myself.  That a man
should lay down his life for his friend seems strange to
vulgar affections and such as confine themselves within
that worldly principle, "Charity begins at home."  For
mine own part, I could never remember the relations
that I held unto myself, nor the respect that I owe unto
my own nature, in the cause of God, my country, and
my friends.  Next to these three, I do embrace myself.
I confess I do not observe that order that the schools
ordain our affections, — to love our parents, wives, chil-
dren, and then our friends; for, excepting the injunc-
tions of religion, I do not find in myself such a neces-
sary and indissoluble sympathy to all those of my blood.
I hope I do not break the fifth commandment, if I
conceive I may love my friend before the nearest of my
blood, even those to whom I owe the principles of life.
I never yet cast a true affection on a woman; but I
have loved my friend, as I do virtue, my soul, my God.
From hence, methinks, I do conceive how God loves
man; what happiness there is in the love of God.
Omitting all other, there are three most mystical
unions; two natures in one person; three persons in
one nature; one soul in two bodies.  For though, in-
deed, they be really divided, yet are they so united, as
they seem but one, and make rather a duality than two
distinct souls.

Sect. 6. — There are wonders in true affection.  It is a
body of enigmas, mysteries, and riddles; wherein two
so become one as they both become two: I love my
friend before myself, and yet, methinks, I do not love
him enough.  Some few months hence, my multiplied
affection will make me believe I have not loved him at
all.  When I am from him, I am dead till I be with
him.  United souls are not satisfied with embraces, but
desire to be truly each other; which being impossible,
these desires are infinite, and must proceed without a
possibility of satisfaction.  Another misery there is in
affection; that whom we truly love like our own selves,
we forget their looks, nor can our memory retain the
idea of their faces: and it is no wonder, for they are
ourselves, and our affection makes their looks our own.
This noble affection falls not on vulgar and common
constitutions; but on such as are marked for virtue.
He that can love his friend with this noble ardour will
in a competent degree effect all.  Now, if we can bring
our affections to look beyond the body, and cast an eye
upon the soul, we have found out the true object, not
only of friendship, but charity: and the greatest happi-
ness that we can bequeath the soul is that wherein we
all do place our last felicity, salvation; which, though
it be not in our power to bestow, it is in our charity and
pious invocations to desire, if not procure and further.
I cannot contentedly frame a prayer for myself in par-
ticular, without a catalogue for my friends; nor request
a happiness wherein my sociable disposition doth not
desire the fellowship of my neighbour.  I never hear
the toll of a passing bell, though in my mirth, with-
out my prayers and best wishes for the departing spirit.
I cannot go to cure the body of my patient, but I forget
my profession, and call unto God for his soul.  I can-
not see one say his prayers, but, instead of imitating
him, I fall into supplication for him, who perhaps is no
more to me than a common nature: and if God hath
vouchsafed an ear to my supplications, there are surely
many happy that never saw me, and enjoy the blessing
of mine unknown devotions.  To pray for enemies, that
is, for their salvation, is no harsh precept, but the practice
of our daily and ordinary devotions.  I cannot believe
the story of the Italian;<90> our bad wishes and uncharit-
able desires proceed no further than this life; it is the
devil, and the uncharitable votes of hell, that desire our
misery in the world to come.

Sect. 7. — "To do no injury nor take none" was a prin-
ciple which, to my former years and impatient affections,
seemed to contain enough of morality, but my more
settled years, and Christian constitution, have fallen
upon severer resolutions.  I can hold there is no such
things as injury; that if there be, there is no such injury
as revenge, and no such revenge as the contempt of an
injury: that to hate another is to malign himself; that
the truest way to love another is to despise ourselves.
I were unjust unto mine own conscience if I should say
I am at variance with anything like myself.  I find
there are many pieces in this one fabrick of man; this
frame is raised upon a mass of antipathies: I am one
methinks but as the world, wherein notwithstanding
there are a swarm of distinct essences, and in them
another world of contrarieties; we carry private and
domestick enemies within, public and more hostile ad-
versaries without.  The devil, that did but buffet St
Paul, plays methinks at sharp<91> with me.  Let me be
nothing, if within the compass of myself, I do not find
the battle of Lepanto,<92> passion against reason, reason
against faith, faith against the devil, and my conscience
against all.  There is another man within me that's
angry with me, rebukes, commands, and dastards me.
I have no conscience of marble, to resist the hammer of
more heavy offences: nor yet so soft and waxen, as to
take the impression of each single peccadillo or scape of
infirmity.  I am of a strange belief, that it is as easy to
be forgiven some sins as to commit some others.  For
my original sin, I hold it to be washed away in my
baptism; for my actual transgressions, I compute and
reckon with God but from my last repentance, sacra-
ment, or general absolution; and therefore am not
terrified with the sins or madness of my youth.  I thank
the goodness of God, I have no sins that want a name.
I am not singular in offences; my transgressions are
epidemical, and from the common breath of our corrup-
tion.  For there are certain tempers of body which,
matched with a humorous depravity of mind, do hath
and produce vitiosities, whose newness and monstrosity
of nature admits no name; this was the temper of that
lecher that carnaled with a statua, and the constitution
of Nero in his spintrian recreations.  For the heavens
are not only fruitful in new and unheard-of stars, the
earth in plants and animals, but men's minds also in
villany and vices.  Now the dulness of my reason, and
the vulgarity of my disposition, never prompted my in-
vention nor solicited my affection unto any of these;—
yet even those common and quotidian infirmities that
so necessarily attend me, and do seem to be my very
nature, have so dejected me, so broken the estimation
that I should have otherwise of myself, that I repute
myself the most abject piece of mortality.  Divines pre-
scribe a fit of sorrow to repentance: there goes indigna-
tion, anger, sorrow, hatred, into mine, passions of a con-
trary nature, which neither seem to suit with this action,
nor my proper constitution.  It is no breach of charity
to ourselves to be at variance with our vices, nor to
abhor that part of us, which is an enemy to the ground
of charity, our God; wherein we do but imitate our
great selves, the world, whose divided antipathies and
contrary faces do yet carry a charitable regard unto the
whole, by their particular discords preserving the com-
mon harmony, and keeping in fetters those powers,
whose rebellions, once masters, might be the ruin of all.

Sect. 8. — I thank God, amongst those millions of vices
I do inherit and hold from Adam, I have escaped one,
and that a mortal enemy to charity, — the first and
father sin, not only of man, but of the devil, — pride; a
vice whose name is comprehended in a monosyllable,
but in its nature not circumscribed with a world, I have
escaped it in a condition that can hardly avoid it.  Those
petty acquisitions and reputed perfections, that advance
and elevate the conceits of other men, add no feathers
unto mine.  I have seen a grammarian tower and plume
himself over a single line in Horace, and show more
pride, in the construction of one ode, than the author
in the composure of the whole book.  For my own part,
besides the jargon and patois of several provinces, I
understand no less than six languages; yet I protest I
have no higher conceit of myself than had our fathers
before the confusion of Babel, when there was but one
language in the world, and none to boast himself either
linguist or critick.  I have not only seen several coun-
tries, beheld the nature of their climes, the chorography
of their provinces, topography of their cities, but under-
stood their several laws, customs, and policies; yet
cannot all this persuade the dulness of my spirit unto
such an opinion of myself as I behold in nimbler and
conceited heads, that never looked a degree beyond
their nests.  I know the names and somewhat more of
all the constellations in my horizon; yet I have seen
a prating mariner, that could only name the pointers
and the north-star, out-talk me, and conceit himself a
whole sphere above me.  I know most of the plants of
my country, and of those about me, yet methinks I do
not know so many as when I did but know a hundred,
and had scarcely ever simpled further than Cheapside.
For, indeed, heads of capacity, and such as are not full
with a handful or easy measure of knowledge, think
they know nothing till they know all; which being
impossible, they fall upon the opinion of Socrates, and
only know they know not anything.  I cannot think
that Homer pined away upon the riddle of the fisher-
men, or that Aristotle, who understood the uncertainty
of knowledge, and confessed so often the reason of man
too weak for the works of nature, did ever drown him-
self upon the flux and reflux of Euripus.<93>  We do but
learn, to-day, what our better advanced judgments will
unteach to-morrow; and Aristotle doth but instruct us,
as Plato did him, that is, to confute himself.  I have
run through all sorts, yet find no rest in any: though
our first studies and junior endeavours may style us
Peripateticks, Stoicks, or Academicks, yet I perceive
the wisest heads prove, at last, almost all Scepticks,<94>
and stand like Janus in the field of knowledge.  I have
therefore one common and authentick philosophy I
learned in the schools, whereby I discourse and satisfy
the reason of other men; another more reserved, and
drawn from experience, whereby I content mine own.
Solomon, that complained of ignorance in the height of
knowledge, hath not only humbled my conceits, but
discouraged my endeavours.  There is yet another con-
ceit that hath sometimes made me shut my books, which
tells me it is a vanity to waste our days in the blind
pursuit of knowledge: it is but attending a little longer,
and we shall enjoy that, by instinct and infusion, which
we endeavour at here by labour and inquisition.  It is
better to sit down in a modest ignorance, and rest con-
tented with the natural blessing of our own reasons,
than by the uncertain knowledge of this life with sweat
and vexation, which death gives every fool gratis, and is
an accessary of our glorification.

Sect. 9. — I was never yet once, and commend their
resolutions who never marry twice.  Not that I dis-
allow of second marriage; as neither in all cases of poly-
gamy, which considering some times, and the unequal
number of both sexes, may be also necessary.  The
whole world was made for man, but the twelfth part of
man for woman.  Man is the whole world, and the
breath of God; woman the rib and crooked piece of
man.  I could be content that we might procreate like
trees, without conjunction, or that there were any way
to perpetuate the world without this trivial and vulgar
way of coition: it is the foolishest act a wise man com-
mits in all his life, nor is there anything that will more
deject his cooled imagination, when he shall consider
what an odd and unworthy piece of folly he hath com-
mitted.  I speak not in prejudice, nor am averse from
that sweet sex, but naturally amorous of all that is
beautiful.  I can look a whole day with delight upon a
handsome picture, though it be but of an horse.  It is
my temper, and I like it the better, to affect all harmony;
and sure there is musick, even in the beauty and the
silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the
sound of an instrument.  For there is a musick wher-
ever there is a harmony, order, or proportion; and thus
far we may maintain "the musick of the spheres:" for
those well-ordered motions, and regular paces, though
they give no sound unto the ear, yet to the understand-
ing they strike a note most full of harmony.  Whatso-
ever is harmonically composed delights in harmony,
which makes me much distrust the symmetry of those
heads which declaim against all church-musick.  For
myself, not only from my obedience but my particular
genius I do embrace it: for even that vulgar and tavern-
musick which makes one man merry, another mad,
strikes in me a deep fit of devotion, and a profound
contemplation of the first composer.  There is some-
thing in it of divinity more than the ear discovers: it is
an hieroglyphical and shadowed lesson of the whole
world, and creatures of God, — such a melody to the ear,
as the whole world, well understood, would afford the
understanding.  In brief, it is a sensible fit of that
harmony which intellectually sounds in the ears of God.
I will not say, with Plato, the soul is an harmony, but
harmonical, and hath its nearest sympathy unto musick:
thus some, whose temper of body agrees, and humours
the constitution of their souls, are born poets, though
indeed all are naturally inclined unto rhythm.  This
made Tacitus, in the very first line of his story, fall upon
a verse;* and Cicero, the worst of poets, but declaim-
ing for a poet, falls in the very first sentence upon a

        * "Urbem a Romam in principio reges habuere."

perfect hexameter.*  I feel not in me those sordid and
unchristian desires of my profession; I do not secretly
implore and wish for plagues, rejoice at famines, revolve
ephemerides and almanacks in expectation of malignant
aspects, fatal conjunctions, and eclipses.  I rejoice not
at unwholesome springs nor unseasonable winters: my
prayer goes with the husbandman's; I desire everything
in its proper season, that neither men nor the times be
out of temper.  Let me be sick myself, if sometimes the
malady of my patient be not a disease unto me.  I
desire rather to cure his infirmities than my own neces-
sities.  Where I do him no good, methinks it is scarce
honest gain, though I confess 'tis but the worthy salary
of our well intended endeavours.  I am not only
ashamed but heartily sorry, that, besides death, there
are diseases incurable; yet not for my own sake or that
they be beyond my art, but for the general cause and
sake of humanity, whose common cause I apprehend as
mine own.  And, to speak more generally, those three
noble professions which all civil commonwealths do
honour, are raised upon the fall of Adam, and are not
any way exempt from their infirmities.  There are not
only diseases incurable in physick, but cases indissolv-
able in law, vices incorrigible in divinity.  If general
councils may err, I do not see why particular courts
should be infallible: their perfectest rules are raised
upon the erroneous reasons of man, and the laws of one
do but condemn the rules of another; as Aristotle oft-
times the opinions of his predecessors, because, though
agreeable to reason, yet were not consonant to his own
rules and the logick of his proper principles.  Again,—
to speak nothing of the sin against the Holy Ghost,

        * "In qua me non inferior mediocriter esse." — Pro Archia

whose cure not only, but whose nature is unknown, — I
can cure the gout or stone in some, sooner than divinity,
pride, or avarice in others.  I can cure vices by physick
when they remain incurable by divinity, and they shall
obey my pills when they contemn their precepts.  I
boast nothing, but plainly say, we all labour against our
own cure; for death is the cure of all diseases.  There
is no catholicon or universal remedy I know, but this,
which though nauseous to queasy stomachs, yet to pre-
pared appetites is nectar, and a pleasant potion of im-

Sect. 10. — For my conversation, it is, like the sun's,
with all men, and with a friendly aspect to good and
bad.  Methinks there is no man bad; and the worst
best, that is, while they are kept within the circle of
those qualities wherein they are good.  There is no
man's mind of so discordant and jarring a temper, to
which a tuneable disposition may not strike a harmony.
Magnae virtutes, nec minora vitia; it is the posy<95> of
the best natures, and may be inverted on the worst.
There are, in the most depraved and venomous disposi-
tions, certain pieces that remain untouched, which by
an antiperistasis<96> become more excellent, or by the
excellency of their antipathies are able to preserve them-
selves from the contagion of their enemy vices, and
persist entire beyond the general corruption.  For it is
also thus in nature: the greatest balsams do lie en-
veloped in the bodies of the most powerful corrosives.
I say moreover, and I ground upon experience, that
poisons contain within themselves their own antidote,
and that which preserves them from the venom of them-
selves; without which they were not deleterious to
others only, but to themselves also.  But it is the cor-
ruption that I fear within me; not the contagion of
commerce without me.  'Tis that unruly regiment
within me, that will destroy me; 'tis that I do infect
myself; the man without a navel<97> yet lives in me.
I feel that original canker corrode and devour me: and
therefore, "Defenda me, Dios, de me!"  "Lord, deliver me
from myself!" is a part of my litany, and the first voice
of my retired imaginations.  There is no man alone,
because every man is a microcosm, and carries the whole
world about him.  "Nunquam minus solus quam cum
solus,"* though it be the apothegm of a wise man is yet
true in the mouth of a fool: for indeed, though in a
wilderness, a man is never alone; not only because he
is with himself, and his own thoughts, but because he
is with the devil, who ever consorts with our solitude,
and is that unruly rebel that musters up those disordered
motions which accompany our sequestered imaginations.
And to speak more narrowly, there is no such thing as
solitude, nor anything that can be said to be alone, and
by itself, but God; — who is his own circle, and can sub-
sist by himself; all others, besides their dissimilary and
heterogeneous parts, which in a manner multiply their
natures, cannot subsist without the concourse of God,
and the society of that hand which doth uphold their
natures.  In brief, there can be nothing truly alone,
and by its self, which is not truly one, and such is only
God: all others do transcend an unity, and so by con-
sequence are many.

Sect. 11. — Now for my life, it is a miracle of thirty
years, which to relate, were not a history, but a piece of
poetry, and would sound to common ears like a fable.
For the world, I count it not an inn, but an hospital;
and a place not to live, but to die in.  The world that I
regard is myself; it is the microcosm of my own frame

        * "Cic. de Off.," I. iii.

that I cast mine eye on: for the other, I use it but like
my globe, and turn it round sometimes for my recrea-
tion.  Men that look upon my outside, perusing only
my condition and fortunes, do err in my altitude; for I
am above Atlas's shoulders.<98>  The earth is a point not
only in respect of the heavens above us, but of the
heavenly and celestial part within us.  That mass of
flesh that circumscribes me limits not my mind.  That
surface that tells the heavens it hath an end cannot
persuade me I have any.  I take my circle to be above
three hundred and sixty.  Though the number of the
ark do measure my body, it comprehendeth not my
mind.  Whilst I study to find how I am a microcosm,
or little world, I find myself something more than the
great.  There is surely a piece of divinity in us; some-
thing that was before the elements, and owes no homage
unto the sun.  Nature tells me, I am the image of God,
as well as Scripture.  He that understands not thus
much hath not his introduction or first lesson, and is
yet to begin the alphabet of man.  Let me not injure the
felicity of others, if I say I am as happy as any.  Ruat
coelum, fiat voluntas tua," salveth all; so that, what-
soever happens, it is but what our daily prayers desire.
In brief, I am content; and what should providence
add more?  Surely this is it we call happiness, and this
do I enjoy; with this I am happy in a dream, and as
content to enjoy a happiness in a fancy, as others in a
more apparent truth and reality.  There is surely a
nearer apprehension of anything that delights us, in our
dreams, than in our waked senses.  Without this I were
unhappy; for my awaked judgment discontents me,
ever whispering unto me that I am from my friend, but
my friendly dreams in the night requite me, and make
me think I am within his arms.  I thank God for my
happy dreams, as I do for my good rest; for there is a
satisfaction in them unto reasonable desires, and such
as can be content with a fit of happiness.  And surely
it is not a melancholy conceit to think we are all asleep
in this world, and that the conceits of this life are as
mere dreams, to those of the next, as the phantasms of
the night, to the conceits of the day.  There is an equal
delusion in both; and the one doth but seem to be the
emblem or picture of the other.  We are somewhat
more than ourselves in our sleeps; and the slumber of
the body seems to be but the waking of the soul.  It is
the ligation of sense, but the liberty of reason; and our
waking conceptions do not match the fancies of our
sleeps.  At my nativity, my ascendant was the watery
sign of Scorpio.  I was born in the planetary hour of
Saturn, and I think I have a piece of that leaden planet
in me.  I am no way facetious, nor disposed for the
mirth and galliardise<99> of company; yet in one dream
I can compose a whole comedy, behold the action, ap-
prehend the jests, and laugh myself awake at the con-
ceits thereof.  Were my memory as faithful as my
reason is then fruitful, I would never study but in my
dreams, and this time also would I choose for my devo-
tions: but our grosser memories have then so little hold
of our abstracted understandings, that they forget the
story, and can only relate to our awaked souls a con-
fused and broken tale of that which hath passed.  Aris-
totle, who hath written a singular tract of sleep, hath
not, methinks, thoroughly defined it; nor yet Galen,
though he seem to have corrected it; for those noctam-
bulos and night-walkers, though in their sleep, do yet
enjoy the action of their senses.  We must therefore say
that there is something in us that is not in the juris-
diction of Morpheus; and that those abstracted and
ecstatick souls do walk about in their own corpses, as
spirits with the bodies they assume, wherein they seem
to hear, see, and feel, though indeed the organs are
destitute of sense, and their natures of those faculties
that should inform them.  Thus it is observed, that men
sometimes, upon the hour of their departure, do speak
and reason above themselves.  For then the soul begin-
ning to be freed from the ligaments of the body, begins
to reason like herself, and to discourse in a strain above

Sect. 12. — We term sleep a death; and yet it is wak-
ing that kills us, and destroys those spirits that are the
house of life.  'Tis indeed a part of life that best ex-
presseth death; for every man truly lives, so long as he
acts his nature, or some way makes good the faculties
of himself.  Themistocles therefore, that slew his soldier
in his sleep, was a merciful executioner: 'tis a kind of
punishment the mildness of no laws hath invented; I
wonder the fancy of Lucan and Seneca did not discover
it.  It is that death by which we may be literally said
to die daily; a death which Adam died before his mor-
tality; a death whereby we live a middle and moderat-
ing point between life and death.  In fine, so like death,
I dare not trust it without my prayers, and an half
adieu unto the world, and take my farewell in a col-
loquy with God:—

The night is come, like to the day;
Depart not thou, great God, away.
Let not my sins, black as the night,
Eclipse the lustre of thy light.
Keep still in my horizon; for to me
The sun makes not the day, but thee.
Thou whose nature cannot sleep,
On my temples sentry keep;
Guard me 'gainst those watchful foes,
Whose eyes are open while mine close.
Let no dreams my head infest,
But such as Jacob's temples blest.
While I do rest, my soul advance:
Make my sleep a holy trance:
That I may, my rest being wrought,
Awake into some holy thought,
And with as active vigour run
My course as doth the nimble sun.
Sleep is a death; — Oh make me try,
By sleeping, what it is to die!
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.
Howe'er I rest, great God, let me
Awake again at last with thee.
And thus assured, behold I lie
Securely, or to wake or die.
These are my drowsy days; in vain
I do now wake to sleep again:
Oh come that hour, when I shall never
Sleep again, but wake for ever!

This is the dormitive I take to bedward; I need no other
laudanum than this to make me sleep; after which I
close mine eyes in security, content to take my leave of
the sun, and sleep unto the resurrection.

Sect. 13. — The method I should use in distributive
justice, I often observe in commutative; and keep a
geometrical proportion in both, whereby becoming
equable to others, I become unjust to myself, and
supererogate in that common principle, "Do unto
others as thou wouldst be done unto thyself."  I was
not born unto riches, neither is it, I think, my star to
be wealthy; or if it were, the freedom of my mind, and
frankness of my disposition, were able to contradict and
cross my fates: for to me avarice seems not so much a
vice, as a deplorable piece of madness; to conceive our-
selves urinals, or be persuaded that we are dead, is not
so ridiculous, nor so many degrees beyond the power of
hellebore,<100> as this.  The opinions of theory, and posi-
tions of men, are not so void of reason, as their practised
conclusions.  Some have held that snow is black, that
the earth moves, that the soul is air, fire, water; but
all this is philosophy: and there is no delirium, if we
do but speculate the folly and indisputable dotage of
avarice.  To that subterraneous idol, and god of the
earth, I do confess I am an atheist.  I cannot persuade
myself to honour that the world adores; whatsoever
virtue its prepared substance may have within my
body, it hath no influence nor operation without.  I
would not entertain a base design, or an action that
should call me villain, for the Indies; and for this only
do I love and honour my own soul, and have methinks
two arms too few to embrace myself.  Aristotle is too
severe, that will not allow us to be truly liberal with-
out wealth, and the bountiful hand of fortune; if this
be true, I must confess I am charitable only in my
liberal intentions, and bountiful well wishes.  But if
the example of the mite be not only an act of wonder,
but an example of the noblest charity, surely poor men
may also build hospitals, and the rich alone have not
erected cathedrals.  I have a private method which
others observe not; I take the opportunity of myself
to do good; I borrow occasion of charity from my own
necessities, and supply the wants of others, when I am
in most need myself: for it is an honest stratagem to
take advantage of ourselves, and so to husband the acts
of virtue, that, where they are defective in one circum-
stance, they may repay their want, and multiply their
goodness in another.  I have not Peru in my desires,
but a competence and ability to perform those good
works to which he hath inclined my nature.  He is
rich who hath enough to be charitable; and it is hard
to be so poor that a noble mind may not find a way to
this piece of goodness.  "He that giveth to the poor
lendeth to the Lord:" there is more rhetorick in that
one sentence than in a library of sermons.  And indeed,
if those sentences were understood by the reader with
the same emphasis as they are delivered by the author,
we needed not those volumes of instructions, but might
be honest by an epitome.  Upon this motive only I
cannot behold a beggar without relieving his necessities
with my purse, or his soul with my prayers.  These
scenical and accidental differences between us cannot
make me forget that common and untoucht part of us
both: there is under these centoes<101> and miserable
outsides, those mutilate and semi bodies, a soul of the
same alloy with our own, whose genealogy is God's as
well as ours, and in as fair a way to salvation as our-
selves.  Statists that labour to contrive a commonwealth
without our poverty take away the object of charity;
not understanding only the commonwealth of a Chris-
tian, but forgetting the prophecy of Christ.*

Sect. 14. — Now, there is another part of charity, which
is the basis and pillar of this, and that is the love of
God, for whom we love our neighbour; for this I think
charity, to love God for himself, and our neighbour for
God.  And all that is truly amiable is God, or as it were a
divided piece of him, that retains a reflex or shadow of
himself.  Nor is it strange that we should place affec-
tion on that which is invisible: all that we truly love
is thus.  What we adore under affection of our senses
deserves not the honour of so pure a title.  Thus we

        * "The poor ye have always with you."

adore virtue, though to the eyes of sense she be in-
visible.  Thus that part of our noble friends that we
love is not that part that we embrace, but that insen-
sible part that our arms cannot embrace.  God being
all goodness, can love nothing but himself; he loves us
but for that part which is as it were himself, and the
traduction of his Holy Spirit.  Let us call to assize the
loves of our parents, the affection of our wives and
children, and they are all dumb shows and dreams,
without reality, truth, or constancy.  For first there is
a strong bond of affection between us and our parents;
yet how easily dissolved!  We betake ourselves to a
woman, forgetting our mother in a wife, and the womb
that bare us in that which shall bear our image.  This
woman blessing us with children, our affection leaves
the level it held before, and sinks from our bed unto
our issue and picture of posterity: where affection holds
no steady mansion; they growing up in years, desire
our ends; or, applying themselves to a woman, take a
lawful way to love another better than ourselves.  Thus
I perceive a man may be buried alive, and behold his
grave in his own issue.

Sect. 15. — I conclude therefore, and say, there is no
happiness under (or, as Copernicus* will have it, above)
the sun; nor any crambe<102> in that repeated verity and
burthen of all the wisdom of Solomon: "All is vanity
and vexation of spirit;" there is no felicity in that the
world adores.  Aristotle, whilst he labours to refute
the ideas of Plato, falls upon one himself: for his
summum bonum is a chimaera; and there is no such
thing as his felicity.  That wherein God himself is
happy, the holy angels are happy, in whose defect the
devils are unhappy; — that dare I call happiness: what-

        * Who holds that the sun is the centre of the world.

soever conduceth unto this, may, with an easy metaphor,
deserve that name; whatsoever else the world terms
happiness is, to me, a story out of Pliny, a tale of Bocace
or Malizspini, an apparition or neat delusion, wherein
there is no more of happiness than the name.  Bless
me in this life with but the peace of my conscience,
command of my affections, the love of thyself and my
dearest friends, and I shall be happy enough to pity
Caesar!  These are, O Lord, the humble desires of my
most reasonable ambition, and all I dare call happiness
on earth; wherein I set no rule or limit to thy hand or
providence; dispose of me according to the wisdom of
thy pleasure.  Thy will be done, though in my own

(p 107)

(p 109)



WHEN the general pyre was out, and the last
valediction over, men took a lasting adieu of
their interred friends, little expecting the
curiosity of future ages should comment upon their
ashes; and, having no old experience of the duration
of their relicks, held no opinion of such after-considera-

But who knows the fate of his bones, or how often he
is to be buried?  Who hath the oracle of his ashes, or
whither they are to be scattered?  The relicks of many
lie like the ruins of Pompey's,* in all parts of the earth;
and when they arrive at your hands these may seem to
have wandered far, who, in a direct and meridian travel,+

        * "Pompeios juvenes Asia atque Europa, sed ipsum terra
          tegit Libyos."
        + Little directly but sea, between your house and Green-

have but few miles of known earth between yourself
and the pole.

That the bones of Theseus should be seen again in
Athens* was not beyond conjecture and hopeful expecta-
tion: but that these should arise so opportunely to serve
yourself was an hit of fate, and honour beyond prediction.

We cannot but wish these urns might have the effect
of theatrical vessels and great Hippodrome urns+ in
Rome, to resound the acclamations and honour due unto
you.  But these are sad and sepulchral pitchers, which
have no joyful voices; silently expressing old mortality,
the ruins of forgotten times, and can only speak with
life, how long in this corruptible frame some parts may
be uncorrupted; yet able to outlast bones long unborn,
and noblest pile among us.

We present not these as any strange sight or spectacle
unknown to your eyes, who have beheld the best of
urns and noblest variety of ashes; who are yourself no
slender master of antiquities, and can daily command
the view of so many imperial faces; which raiseth your
thoughts unto old things and consideration of times
before you, when even living men were antiquities;
when the living might exceed the dead, and to depart
this world could not be properly said to go unto the
greater number.#  And so run up your thoughts upon
the ancient of days, the antiquary's truest object, unto
whom the eldest parcels are young, and earth itself an
infant, and without Egyptian$ account makes but small
noise in thousands.

        * Brought back by Cimon Plutarch.
        + The great urns at the Hippodrome at Rome, conceived to
          resound the voices of people at their shows.
        # "Abiit ad plures."
        $ Which makes the world so many years old.

We were hinted by the occasion, not catched the
opportunity to write of old things, or intrude upon the
antiquary.  We are coldly drawn unto discourses of
antiquities, who have scarce time before us to compre-
hend new things, or make out learned novelties.  But
seeing they arose, as they lay almost in silence among
us, at least in short account suddenly passed over, we
were very unwilling they should die again, and be
buried twice among us.

Beside, to preserve the living, and make the dead to
live, to keep men out of their urns, and discourse of
human fragments in them, is not impertinent unto our
profession; whose study is life and death, who daily
behold examples of mortality, and of all men least need
artificial mementos, or coffins by our bedside, to mind us
of our graves.

'Tis time to observe occurrences, and let nothing
remarkable escape us: the supinity of elder days hath
left so much in silence, or time hath so martyred the
records, that the most industrious heads do find no easy
work to erect a new Britannia.

'Tis opportune to look back upon old times, and con-
template our forefathers.  Great examples grow thin,
and to be fetched from the passed world.  Simplicity
flies away, and iniquity comes at long strides upon us.
We have enough to do to make up ourselves from
present and passed times, and the whole stage of things
scarce serveth for our instruction.  A complete piece of
virtue must be made from the Centos of all ages, as all
the beauties of Greece could make but one handsome

When the bones of King Arthur were digged up,* the
old race might think they beheld therein some originals

        * In the time of Henry the Second.

of themselves; unto these of our urns none here can
pretend relation, and can only behold the relicks of
those persons who, in their life giving the laws unto
their predecessors, after long obscurity, now lie at their
mercies.  But, remembering the early civility they
brought upon these countries, and forgetting long-passed
mischiefs, we mercifully preserve their bones, and piss
not upon their ashes.

In the offer of these antiquities we drive not at
ancient families, so long outlasted by them.  We are
far from erecting your worth upon the pillars of your
forefathers, whose merits you illustrate.  We honour
your old virtues, conformable unto times before you,
which are the noblest armoury.  And, having long
experience of your friendly conversation, void of empty
formality, full of freedom, constant and generous
honesty, I look upon you as a gem of the old rock,*
and must profess myself even to urn and ashes. — Your
ever faithful Friend and Servant,


NORWICH, May 1st.

        * "Adamas de rupe veteri praestantissimus."



IN the deep discovery of the subterranean world
a shallow part would satisfy some inquirers;
who, if two or three yards were open about
the surface, would not care to rake the bowels of Potosi,*
and regions toward the centre.  Nature hath furnished
one part of the earth, and man another.  The treasures
of time lie high, in urns, coins, and monuments, scarce
below the roots of some vegetables.  Time hath endless
rarities, and shows of all varieties; which reveals old
things in heaven, makes new discoveries in earth, and
even earth itself a discovery.  That great antiquity
America lay buried for thousands of years, and a large
part of the earth is still in the urn unto us.

Though if Adam were made out of an extract of the
earth, all parts might challenge a restitution, yet few
have returned their bones far lower than they might
receive them; not affecting the graves of giants, under

        * The rich mountain of Peru.

hilly and heavy coverings, but content with less than
their own depth, have wished their bones might lie
soft, and the earth be light upon them.  Even such as
hope to rise again, would not be content with central
interment, or so desperately to place their relicks as to
lie beyond discovery; and in no way to be seen again;
which happy contrivance hath made communication
with our forefathers, and left unto our view some parts,
which they never beheld themselves.

Though earth hath engrossed the name, yet water
hath proved the smartest grave; which in forty days
swallowed almost mankind, and the living creation;
fishes not wholly escaping, except the salt ocean were
handsomely contempered by a mixture of the fresh

Many have taken voluminous pains to determine the
state of the soul upon disunion; but men have been
most phantastical in the singular contrivances of their
corporal dissolution: whilst the soberest nations have
rested in two ways, of simple inhumation and burning.

That carnal interment or burying was of the elder
date, the old examples of Abraham and the patriarchs
are sufficient to illustrate; and were without com-
petition, if it could be made out that Adam was buried
near Damascus, or Mount Calvary, according to some
tradition.  God himself, that buried but one, was pleased
to make choice of this way, collectible from Scripture
expression, and the hot contest between Satan and the
archangel about discovering the body of Moses.  But
the practice of burning was also of great antiquity, and
of no slender extent.  For (not to derive the same from
Hercules) noble descriptions there are hereof in the
Grecian funerals of Homer, in the formal obsequies of
Patroclus and Achilles; and somewhat elder in the
Theban war, and solemn combustion of Meneceus, and
Archemorus, contemporary unto Jair the eighth judge
of Israel.  Confirmable also among the Trojans, from
the funeral pyre of Hector, burnt before the gates of
Troy: and the burning of Penthesilea the Amazonian
queen: and long continuance of that practice, in the
inward countries of Asia; while as low as the reign of
Julian, we find that the king of Chionia* burnt the
body of his son, and interred the ashes in a silver urn.

The same practice extended also far west; and
besides Herulians, Getes, and Thracians, was in use
with most of the Celtae, Sarmatians, Germans, Gauls,
Danes, Swedes, Norwegians; not to omit some use
thereof among Carthaginians and Americans.  Of
greater antiquity among the Romans than most opinion,
or Pliny seems to allow: for (besides the old table laws+
of burning or burying within the city, of making the
funeral fire with planed wood, or quenching the fire
with wine), Manlius the consul burnt the body of his
son: Numa, by special clause of his will, was not burnt
but buried; and Remus was solemnly burned, according
to the description of Ovid.#

Cornelius Sylla was not the first whose body was
burned in Rome, but the first of the Cornelian family;
which being indifferently, not frequently used before;
from that time spread, and became the prevalent
practice.  Not totally pursued in the highest run of
cremation; for when even crows were funerally burnt,
Poppaea the wife of Nero found a peculiar grave in-

        * Gumbrates, king of Chionia, a country near Persia.
        + XII. Tabulae, part i., de jure sacro, "Hominem mortuum
          in urbe ne sepelito neve urito."
        # "Ultima prolata subdita flamma rogo," &c.  Fast., lib.
          iv., 856.

terment.  Now as all customs were founded upon some
bottom of reason, so there wanted not grounds for this;
according to several apprehensions of the most rational
dissolution.  Some being of the opinion of Thales, that
water was the original of all things, thought it most
equal<1> to submit unto the principle of putrefaction, and
conclude in a moist relentment.<2>  Others conceived it
most natural to end in fire, as due unto the master
principle in the composition, according to the doctrine
of Heraclitus; and therefore heaped up large piles,
more actively to waft them toward that element,
whereby they also declined a visible degeneration into
worms, and left a lasting parcel of their composi-

Some apprehended a purifying virtue in fire, refining
the grosser commixture, and firing out the aethereal
particles so deeply immersed in it.  And such as by
tradition or rational conjecture held any hint of the
final pyre of all things; or that this element at last
must be too hard for all the rest; might conceive most
naturally of the fiery dissolution.  Others pretending
no natural grounds, politickly declined the malice of
enemies upon their buried bodies.  Which consideration
led Sylla unto this practice; who having thus served
the body of Marius, could not but fear a retaliation
upon his own; entertained after in the civil wars, and
revengeful contentions of Rome.

But as many nations embraced, and many left it in-
different, so others too much affected, or strictly de-
clined this practice.  The Indian Brachmans seemed
too great friends unto fire, who burnt themselves alive
and thought it the noblest way to end their days in
fire; according to the expression of the Indian, burning
himself at Athens, in his last words upon the pyre
unto the amazed spectators, "thus I make myself im-

But the Chaldeans, the great idolaters of fire, ab-
horred the burning of their carcases, as a pollution of
that deity.  The Persian magi declined it upon the
like scruples, and being only solicitous about their bones,
exposed their flesh to the prey of birds and dogs.  And
the Persees now in India, which expose their bodies
unto vultures, and endure not so much as feretra or
biers of wood, the proper fuel of fire, are led on with such
niceties.  But whether the ancient Germans, who burned
their dead, held any such fear to pollute their deity of
Herthus, or the earth, we have no authentic conjecture.

The Egyptians were afraid of fire, not as a deity, but
a devouring element, mercilessly consuming their
bodies, and leaving too little of them; and therefore
by precious embalmments, depositure in dry earths, or
handsome inclosure in glasses, contrived the notablest
ways of integral conservation.  And from such Egyp-
tian scruples, imbibed by Pythagoras, it may be con-
jectured that Numa and the Pythagorical sect first
waived the fiery solution.

The Scythians, who swore by wind and sword, that
is, by life and death, were so far from burning their
bodies, that they declined all interment, and made their
graves in the air: and the Ichthyophagi, or fish-eating
nations about Egypt, affected the sea for their grave;
thereby declining visible corruption, and restoring the
debt of their bodies.  Whereas the old heroes, in
Homer, dreaded nothing more than water or drowning;
probably upon the old opinion of the fiery substance of
the soul, only extinguishable by that element; and

        * And therefore the inscription on his tomb was made ac-
          cordingly, "Hic Damase."

therefore the poet emphatically implieth* the total
destruction in this kind of death, which happened to
Ajax Oileus.

The old Balearians had a peculiar mode, for they
used great urns and much wood, but no fire in their
burials, while they bruised the flesh and bones of the
dead, crowded them into urns, and laid heaps of wood
upon them.  And the Chinese without cremation or
urnal interment of their bodies, make use of trees and
much burning, while they plant a pine-tree by their
grave, and burn great numbers of printed draughts of
slaves and horses over it, civilly content with their
companies in effigy, which barbarous nations exact unto

Christians abhorred this way of obsequies, and though
they sticked not to give their bodies to be burnt in their
lives, detested that mode after death: affecting rather a
depositure than absumption, and properly submitting
unto the sentence of God, to return not unto ashes but
unto dust again, and conformable unto the practice of
the patriarchs, the interment of our Saviour, of Peter,
Paul, and the ancient martyrs.  And so far at last de-
clining promiscuous interment with Pagans, that some
have suffered ecclesiastical censures,+ for making no
scruple thereof.

The Mussulman believers will never admit this fiery
resolution.  For they hold a present trial from their
black and white angels in the grave; which they must
have made so hollow, that they may rise upon their

The Jewish nation, though they entertained the old
way of inhumation, yet sometimes admitted this

        * Which Magius reads [Greek omitted].
        + Martialis the Bishop.

practice.  For the men of Jabesh burnt the body of
Saul; and by no prohibited practice, to avoid contagion
or pollution, in time of pestilence, burnt the bodies of
their friends.*  And when they burnt not their dead
bodies, yet sometimes used great burnings near and
about them, deducible from the expressions concerning
Jehoram, Zedechias, and the sumptuous pyre of Asa.
And were so little averse from Pagan burning, that the
Jews lamenting the death of Caesar their friend, and
revenger on Pompey, frequented the place where his
body was burnt for many nights together.  And as
they raised noble monuments and mausoleums for their
own nation,+ so they were not scrupulous in erecting
some for others, according to the practice of Daniel, who
left that lasting sepulchral pile in Ecbatana, for the
Median and Persian kings.#

But even in times of subjection and hottest use, they
conformed not unto the Roman practice of burning;
whereby the prophecy was secured concerning the body
of Christ, that it should not see corruption, or a bone
should not be broken; which we believe was also pro-
videntially prevented, from the soldier's spear and nails
that passed by the little bones both in his hands and
feet; not of ordinary contrivance, that it should not
corrupt on the cross, according to the laws of Roman
crucifixion, or an hair of his head perish, though observ-
able in Jewish customs, to cut the hair of male-

        * Amos vi. 10.
        + As in that magnificent sepulchral monument erected by
          Simon. — 1 Macc. xiii.
        # [Greek omitted], whereof a Jewish priest had always
          custody until Josephus' days. — Jos. Antiq., lib. x.

Nor in their long cohabitation with Egyptians, crept
into a custom of their exact embalming, wherein deeply
slashing the muscles, and taking out the brains and en-
trails, they had broken the subject of so entire a resur-
rection, nor fully answered the types of Enoch, Elijah,
or Jonah, which yet to prevent or restore, was of equal
facility unto that rising power able to break the fascia-
tions and bands of death, to get clear out of the cerecloth,
and an hundred pounds of ointment, and out of the
sepulchre before the stone was rolled from it.

But though they embraced not this practice of burn-
ing, yet entertained they many ceremonies agreeable
unto Greek and Roman obsequies.  And he that ob-
serveth their funeral feasts, their lamentations at the
grave, their music, and weeping mourners; how they
closed the eyes of their friends, how they washed,
anointed, and kissed the dead; may easily conclude
these were not mere Pagan civilities.  But whether
that mournful burthen, and treble calling out after
Absalom, had any reference unto the last conclamation,
and triple valediction, used by other nations, we hold
but a wavering conjecture.

Civilians make sepulture but of the law of nations,
others do naturally found it and discover it also in
animals.  They that are so thick-skinned as still to
credit the story of the Phoenix, may say something for
animal burning.  More serious conjectures find some
examples of sepulture in elephants, cranes, the sepul-
chral cells of pismires, and practice of bees, — which
civil society carrieth out their dead, and hath exequies,
if not interments.


THE solemnities, ceremonies, rites of their cremation
or interment, so solemnly delivered by authors, we
shall not disparage our reader to repeat.  Only the last
and lasting part in their urns, collected bones and ashes,
we cannot wholly omit or decline that subject, which
occasion lately presented, in some discovered among us.

In a field of Old Walsingham, not many months past,
were digged up between forty and fifty urns, deposited
in a dry and sandy soil, not a yard deep, nor far from
one another. — Not all strictly of one figure, but most
answering these described; some containing two pounds
of bones, and teeth, with fresh impressions of their com-
bustion; besides the extraneous substances, like pieces
of small boxes, or combs handsomely wrought, handles
of small brass instruments, brazen nippers, and in one
some kind of opal.

Near the same plot of ground, for about six yards
compass, were digged up coals and incinerated sub-
stances, which begat conjecture that this was the ustrina
or place of burning their bodies, or some sacrificing
place unto the Manes, which was properly below the
surface of the ground, as the arae and altars unto the
gods and heroes above it.

That these were the urns of Romans from the common
custom and place where they were found, is no obscure
conjecture, not far from a Roman garrison, and but five
miles from Brancaster, set down by ancient record under
the name of Branodunum.  And where the adjoining
town, containing seven parishes, in no very different
sound, but Saxon termination, still retains the name of
Burnham, which being an early station, it is not im-
probable the neighbour parts were filled with habitations,
either of Romans themselves, or Britons Romanized,
which observed the Roman customs.

Nor is it improbable, that the Romans early possessed
this country.  For though we meet not with such strict
particulars of these parts before the new institution of
Constantine and military charge of the count of the
Saxon shore, and that about the Saxon invasions, the
Dalmatian horsemen were in the garrison of Brancaster;
yet in the time of Claudius, Vespasian, and Severus, we
find no less than three legions dispersed through the
province of Britain.  And as high as the reign of
Claudius a great overthrow was given unto the Iceni,
by the Roman lieutenant Ostorius.  Not long after, the
country was so molested, that, in hope of a better state,
Prastaagus bequeathed his kingdom unto Nero and his
daughters; and Boadicea, his queen, fought the last
decisive battle with Paulinus.  After which time, and
conquest of Agricola, the lieutenant of Vespasian, pro-
bable it is, they wholly possessed this country; ordering
it into garrisons or habitations best suitable with their
securities.  And so some Roman habitations not im-
probable in these parts, as high as the time of Vespasian,
where the Saxons after seated, in whose thin-filled maps
we yet find the name of Walsingham.  Now if the Iceni
were but Gammadims, Anconians, or men that lived in
an angle, wedge, or elbow of Britain, according to the
original etymology, this country will challenge the
emphatical appellation, as most properly making the
elbow or iken of Icenia.

That Britain was notably populous is undeniable, from
that expression of Caesar.*  That the Romans themselves
were early in no small numbers — seventy thousand,
with their associates, slain, by Boadicea, affords a sure
account.  And though not many Roman habitations
are now known, yet some, by old works, rampiers,
coins, and urns, do testify their possessions.  Some urns
have been found at Castor, some also about Southcreak,
and, not many years past, no less than ten in a field at
Buston, not near any recorded garrison.  Nor is it
strange to find Roman coins of copper and silver among
us; of Vespasian, Trajan, Adrian, Commodus, Anto-
ninus, Severus, &c.; but the greater number of Dio-
clesian, Constantine, Constans, Valens, with many of
Victorinus Posthumius, Tetricus, and the thirty tyrants
in the reign of Gallienus; and some as high as Adrianus
have been found about Thetford, or Sitomagus, mentioned
in the Itinerary of Antoninus, as the way from Venta or
Castor unto London.  But the most frequent discovery
is made at the two Castors by Norwich and Yarmouth
at Burghcastle, and Brancaster.

Besides the Norman, Saxon, and Danish pieces of
Cuthred, Canutus, William, Matilda, and others, some
British coins of gold have been dispersedly found, and
no small number of silver pieces near Norwich, with a
rude head upon the obverse, and an ill-formed horse
on the reverse, with inscriptions Ic. Duro. T.; whether
implying Iceni, Durotriges, Tascia, or Trinobantes, we
leave to higher conjecture.  Vulgar chronology will
have Norwich Castle as old as Julius Caesar; but his
distance from these parts, and its Gothick form of
structure, abridgeth such antiquity.  The British coins
afford conjecture of early habitation in these parts,

        * "Hominum infinita multitudo est creberrimaque; aedi-

ficia fere Gallicis consimilia." — Caesar de Bello. Gal., lib. v.
though the city of Norwich arose from the ruins of
Venta; and though, perhaps, not without some habi-
tation before, was enlarged, builded, and nominated by
the Saxons.  In what bulk or populosity it stood in the
old East-Angle monarchy tradition and history are
silent.  Considerable it was in the Danish eruptions,
when Sueno burnt Thetford and Norwich, and Ulfketel,
the governor thereof, was able to make some resistance,
and after endeavoured to burn the Danish navy.

How the Romans left so many coins in countries of
their conquests seems of hard resolution; except we
consider how they buried them under ground when,
upon barbarous invasions, they were fain to desert their
habitations in most part of their empire, and the strict-
ness of their laws forbidding to transfer them to any
other uses: wherein the Spartans were singular, who,
to make their copper money useless, contempered it with
vinegar.  That the Britons left any, some wonder, since
their money was iron and iron rings before Caesar; and
those of after-stamp by permission, and but small in
bulk and bigness.  That so few of the Saxons remain,
because, overcome by succeeding conquerors upon the
place, their coins, by degrees, passed into other stamps
and the marks of after-ages.

Than the time of these urns deposited, or precise
antiquity of these relicks, nothing of more uncertainty;
for since the lieutenant of Claudius seems to have made
the first progress into these parts, since Boadicea was
overthrown by the forces of Nero, and Agricola put a
full end to these conquests, it is not probable the country
was fully garrisoned or planted before; and, therefore,
however these urns might be of later date, not likely of
higher antiquity.

And the succeeding emperors desisted not from their
conquests in these and other parts, as testified by history
and medal-inscription yet extant: the province of
Britain, in so divided a distance from Rome, beholding
the faces of many imperial persons, and in large account;
no fewer than Caesar, Claudius, Britannicus, Vespasian,
Titus, Adrian, Severus, Commodus, Geta, and Cara-

A great obscurity herein, because no medal or em-
peror's coin enclosed, which might denote the date of
their interments; observable in many urns, and found
in those of Spitalfields, by London, which contained the
coins of Claudius, Vespasian, Commodus, Antoninus,
attended with lacrymatories, lamps, bottles of liquor,
and other appurtenances of affectionate superstition,
which in these rural interments were wanting.

Some uncertainty there is from the period or term of
burning, or the cessation of that practice.  Macrobius
affirmeth it was disused in his days; but most agree,
though without authentic record, that it ceased with the
Antonini, — most safely to be understood after the reign
of those emperors which assumed the name of Antoninus,
extending unto Heliogabalus.  Not strictly after Marcus;
for about fifty years later, we find the magnificent burn-
ing and consecration of Servus; and, if we so fix this
period or cessation, these urns will challenge above
thirteen hundred years.

But whether this practice was only then left by em-
perors and great persons, or generally about Rome, and
not in other provinces, we hold no authentic account;
for after Tertullian, in the days of Minucius, it was
obviously objected upon Christians, that they con-
demned the practice of burning.*  And we find a pass-

        * "Execrantur rogos, et damnant ignium sepulturam." — Min.
              in Oct.

age in Sidonius, which asserteth that practice in France
unto a lower account.  And, perhaps, not fully disused
till Christianity fully established, which gave the final
extinction to these sepulchral bonfires.

Whether they were the bones of men, or women, or
children, no authentic decision from ancient custom in
distinct places of burial.  Although not improbably
conjectured, that the double sepulture, or burying-place
of Abraham, had in it such intention.  But from exility
of bones, thinness of skulls, smallness of teeth, ribs, and
thigh-bones, not improbable that many thereof were
persons of minor age, or woman.  Confirmable also from
things contained in them.  In most were found sub-
stances resembling combs, plates like boxes, fastened
with iron pins, and handsomely overwrought like the
necks or bridges of musical instruments; long brass
plates overwrought like the handles of neat implements;
brazen nippers, to pull away hair; and in one a kind
of opal, yet maintaining a bluish colour.

Now that they accustomed to burn or bury with them,
things wherein they excelled, delighted, or which were
dear unto them, either as farewells unto all pleasure, or
vain apprehension that they might use them in the
other world, is testified by all antiquity, observable
from the gem or beryl ring upon the finger of Cynthia,
the mistress of Propertius, when after her funeral pyre
her ghost appeared unto him; and notably illustrated
from the contents of that Roman urn preserved by
Cardinal Farnese, wherein besides great number of
gems with heads of gods and goddesses, were found an
ape of agath, a grasshopper, an elephant of amber, a
crystal ball, three glasses, two spoons, and six nuts of
crystal; and beyond the content of urns, in the monu-
ment of Childerek the first, and fourth king from
Pharamond, casually discovered three years past at
Tournay, restoring unto the world much gold richly
adorning his sword, two hundred rubies, many hundred
imperial coins, three hundred golden bees, the bones
and horse-shoes of his horse interred with him, accord-
ing to the barbarous magnificence of those days in
their sepulchral obsequies.  Although, if we steer by
the conjecture of many a Septuagint expression, some
trace thereof may be found even with the ancient
Hebrews, not only from the sepulchral treasure of David,
but the circumcision knives which Joshua also buried.

Some men, considering the contents of these urns,
lasting pieces and toys included in them, and the custom
of burning with many other nations, might somewhat
doubt whether all urns found among us, were properly
Roman relicks, or some not belonging unto our British,
Saxon, or Danish forefathers.

In the form of burial among the ancient Britons, the
large discourses of Caesar, Tacitus, and Strabo are silent.
For the discovery whereof, with other particulars, we
much deplore the loss of that letter which Cicero ex-
pected or received from his brother Quintus, as a resolu-
tion of British customs; or the account which might
have been made by Scribonius Largus, the physician,
accompanying the Emperor Claudius, who might have
also discovered that frugal bit of the old Britons, which
in the bigness of a bean could satisfy their thirst and

But that the Druids and ruling priests used to burn
and bury, is expressed by Pomponius; that Bellinus,
the brother of Brennus, and King of the Britons, was
burnt, is acknowledged by Polydorus, as also by Am-
andus Zierexensis in Historia and Pineda in his Universa
Historia (Spanish).  That they held that practice in
Gallia, Caesar expressly delivereth.  Whether the Britons
(probably descended from them, of like religion, lan-
guage, and manners) did not sometimes make use of
burning, or whether at least such as were after civilized
unto the Roman life and manners, conformed not unto
this practice, we have no historical assertion or denial.
But since, from the account of Tacitus, the Romans
early wrought so much civility upon the British stock,
that they brought them to build temples, to wear the
gown, and study the Roman laws and language, that
they conformed also unto their religious rites and cus-
toms in burials, seems no improbable conjecture.

That burning the dead was used in Sarmatia is affirmed
by Gaguinus; that the Sueons and Gathlanders used to
burn their princes and great persons, is delivered by
Saxo and Olaus; that this was the old German practice,
is also asserted by Tacitus.  And though we are bare in
historical particulars of such obsequies in this island, or
that the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles burnt their dead,
yet came they from parts where 'twas of ancient practice;
the Germans using it, from whom they were descended.
And even in Jutland and Sleswick in Anglia Cymbrica,
urns with bones were found not many years before us.

But the Danish and northern nations have raised an
era or point of compute from their custom of burning
their dead: some deriving it from Unguinus, some from
Frotho the great, who ordained by law, that princes and
chief commanders should be committed unto the fire,
though the common sort had the common grave inter-
ment.  So Starkatterus, that old hero, was burnt, and
Ringo royally burnt the body of Harold the king slain
by him.

What time this custom generally expired in that na-
tion, we discern no assured period; whether it ceased
before Christianity, or upon their conversion, by Aus-
gurius the Gaul, in the time of Ludovicus Pius, the son
of Charles the Great, according to good computes; or
whether it might not be used by some persons, while
for an hundred and eighty years Paganism and Christi-
anity were promiscuously embraced among them, there
is no assured conclusion.  About which times the Danes
were busy in England, and particularly infested this
country; where many castles and strongholds were
built by them, or against them, and great number of
names and families still derived from them.  But since
this custom was probably disused before their invasion
or conquest, and the Romans confessedly practised the
same since their possession of this island, the most
assured account will fall upon the Romans, or Britons

However, certain it is, that urns conceived of no
Roman original, are often digged up both in Norway
and Denmark, handsomely described, and graphically
represented by the learned physician Wormius.  And
in some parts of Denmark in no ordinary number, as
stands delivered by authors exactly describing those
countries.  And they contained not only bones, but
many other substances in them, as knives, pieces of
iron, brass, and wood, and one of Norway a brass gilded

Nor were they confused or careless in disposing the
noblest sort, while they placed large stones in circle
about the urns or bodies which they interred: somewhat
answerable unto the monument of Rollrich stones in
England, or sepulchral monument probably erected by
Rollo, who after conquered Normandy; where 'tis not
improbable somewhat might be discovered.  Meanwhile
to what nation or person belonged that large urn found
at Ashbury,* containing mighty bones, and a buckler;
what those large urns found at Little Massingham;+
or why the Anglesea urns are placed with their mouths
downward, remains yet undiscovered.


PLAISTERED and whited sepulchres were anciently
affected in cadaverous and corrupted burials; and the
rigid Jews were wont to garnish the sepulchres of the
righteous.#  Ulysses, in Hecuba, cared not how meanly
he lived, so he might find a noble tomb after death.$
Great princes affected great monuments; and the fair
and larger urns contained no vulgar ashes, which makes
that disparity in those which time discovereth among
us.  The present urns were not of one capacity, the
largest containing above a gallon, some not much above
half that measure; nor all of one figure, wherein there
is no strict conformity in the same or different countries;
observable from those represented by Casalius, Bosio,
and others, though all found in Italy; while many
have handles, ears, and long necks, but most imitate a
circular figure, in a spherical and round composure;
whether from any mystery, best duration or capacity,
were but a conjecture.  But the common form with
necks was a proper figure, making our last bed like our
first; nor much unlike the urns of our nativity while
we lay in the nether part of the earth,|| and inward
vault of our microcosm.  Many urns are red, these but
of a black colour somewhat smooth, and dully sounding,

        * In Cheshire.        + In Norfolk.  # St Matt. xxiii.
        $ Euripides.  || Psal. lxiii.

which begat some doubt, whether they were burnt, or
only baked in oven or sun, according to the ancient way,
in many bricks, tiles, pots, and testaceous works; and,
as the word testa is properly to be taken, when occur-
ring without addition and chiefly intended by Pliny,
when he commendeth bricks and tiles of two years old,
and to make them in the spring.  Nor only these con-
cealed pieces, but the open magnificence of antiquity,
ran much in the artifice of clay.  Hereof the house of
Mausolus was built, thus old Jupiter stood in the Capitol,
and the statua of Hercules, made in the reign of Tar-
quinius Priscus, was extant in Pliny's days.  And such
as declined burning or funeral urns, affected coffins of
clay, according to the mode of Pythagoras, a way pre-
ferred by Varro.  But the spirit of great ones was above
these circumscriptions, affecting copper, silver, gold, and
porphyry urns, wherein Severus lay, after a serious
view and sentence on that which should contain him.*
Some of these urns were thought to have been silvered
over, from sparklings in several pots, with small tinsel
parcels; uncertain whether from the earth, or the first
mixture in them.

Among these urns we could obtain no good account
of their coverings; only one seemed arched over with
some kind of brickwork.  Of those found at Buxton,
some were covered with flints, some, in other parts, with
tiles; those at Yarmouth Caster were closed with Roman
bricks, and some have proper earthen covers adapted
and fitted to them.  But in the Homerical urn of
Patroclus, whatever was the solid tegument, we find the
immediate covering to be a purple piece of silk: and
such as had no covers might have the earth closely

        * [Greek omitted] — Dion.

pressed into them, after which disposure were probably
some of these, wherein we found the bones and ashes
half mortared unto the sand and sides of the urn, and
some long roots of quich, or dog's-grass, wreathed about
the bones.

No Lamps, included liquors, lacrymatories, or tear
bottles, attended these rural urns, either as sacred unto
the manes, or passionate expressions of their surviving
friends.  While with rich flames, and hired tears, they
solemnized their obsequies, and in the most lamented
monuments made one part of their inscriptions.*  Some
find sepulchral vessels containing liquors, which time
hath incrassated into jellies.  For, besides these lacry-
matories, notable lamps, with vessels of oils, and aro-
matical liquors, attended noble ossuaries; and some
yet retaining a vinosity and spirit in them, which, if
any have tasted, they have far exceeded the palates of
antiquity.  Liquors not to be computed by years of
annual magistrates, but by great conjunctions and the
fatal periods of kingdoms.+  The draughts of consulary
date were but crude unto these, and Opimian wine but
in the must unto them.#

In sundry graves and sepulchres we meet with rings,
coins, and chalices.  Ancient frugality was so severe,
that they allowed no gold to attend the corpse, but only
that they allowed no gold to attend the corpse, but only
that which served to fasten their teeth.  Whether the
Opaline stone in this were burnt upon the finger of the
dead, or cast into the fire by some affectionate friend,
it will consist with either custom.  But other inciner-
able substances were found so fresh, that they could
feel no singe from fire.  These, upon view, were judged

        * "Cum lacrymis posuere."
        + About five hundred years.
        # "Vinum Opimianum annorum centum." — Petron.

to be wood; but, sinking in water, and tried by the
fire, we found them to be bone or ivory.  In their
hardness and yellow colour they most resembled box,
which, in old expressions, found the epithet of eternal,
and perhaps in such conservatories might have passed

That bay leaves were found green in the tomb of S.
Humbert, after an hundred and fifty years, was looked
upon as miraculous.  Remarkable it was unto old
spectators, that the cypress of the temple of Diana lasted
so many hundred years.  The wood of the ark, and
olive-rod of Aaron, were older at the captivity; but
the cypress of the ark of Noah was the greatest vegetable
of antiquity, if Josephus were not deceived by some
fragments of it in his days: to omit the moor logs
and fir trees found underground in many parts of
England; the undated ruins of winds, floods, or earth-
quakes, and which in Flanders still show from what
quarter they fell, as generally lying in a north-east

But though we found not these pieces to be wood, ac-
cording to first apprehensions, yet we missed not alto-
gether of some woody substance; for the bones were
not so clearly picked but some coals were found amongst
them; a way to make wood perpetual, and a fit associate
for metal, whereon was laid the foundation of the great
Ephesian temple, and which were made the lasting tests
of old boundaries and landmarks.  Whilst we look on
these, we admire not observations of coals found fresh
after four hundred years.  In a long-deserted habitation
even egg-shells have been found fresh, not tending to

In the monument of King Childerick the iron relicks
were found all rusty and crumbling into pieces; but
our little iron pins, which fastened the ivory works,
held well together, and lost not their magnetical quality,
though wanting a tenacious moisture for the firmer
union of parts; although it be hardly drawn into fusion,
yet that metal soon submitteth unto rust and dissolu-
tion.  In the brazen pieces we admired not the duration,
but the freedom from rust, and ill savour, upon the
hardest attrition; but now exposed unto the piercing
atoms of air, in the space of a few months, they begin
to spot and betray their green entrails.  We conceive
not these urns to have descended thus naked as they
appear, or to have entered their graves without the old
habit of flowers.  The urn of Philopoemen was so laden
with flowers and ribbons, that it afforded no sight of
itself.  The rigid Lycurgus allowed olive and myrtle.
The Athenians might fairly except against the practice
of Democritus, to be buried up in honey, as fearing to
embezzle a great commodity of their country, and the
best of that kind in Europe.  But Plato seemed too
frugally politick, who allowed no larger monument
than would contain four heroick verses, and designed
the most barren ground for sepulture: though we can-
not commend the goodness of that sepulchral ground
which was set at no higher rate than the mean salary
of Judas.  Though the earth had confounded the ashes
of these ossuaries, yet the bones were so smartly burnt,
that some thin plates of brass were found half melted
among them.  Whereby we apprehend they were not
of the meanest caresses, perfunctorily fired, as some-
times in military, and commonly in pestilence, burn-
ings; or after the manner of abject corpses, huddled
forth and carelessly burnt, without the Esquiline Port
at Rome; which was an affront continued upon Tiberius,
while they but half burnt his body, and in the amphi-
theatre, according to the custom in notable malefac-
tors;* whereas Nero seemed not so much to fear his
death as that his head should be cut off and his body
not burnt entire.

Some, finding many fragments of skulls in these urns,
suspected a mixture of bones; in none we searched was
there cause of such conjecture, though sometimes they
declined not that practice. — The ashes of Domitian
were mingled with those of Julia; of Achilles with
those of Patroclus.  All urns contained not single ashes;
without confused burnings they affectionately com-
pounded their bones; passionately endeavouring to
continue their living unions.  And when distance of
death denied such conjunctions, unsatisfied affections
conceived some satisfaction to be neighbours in the
grave, to lie urn by urn, and touch but in their manes.
And many were so curious to continue their living rela-
tions, that they contrived large and family urns, where-
in the ashes of their nearest friends and kindred might
successively be received, at least some parcels thereof,
while their collateral memorials lay in minor vessels
about them.

Antiquity held too light thoughts from objects of
mortality, while some drew provocatives of mirth from
anatomies,+ and jugglers showed tricks with skeletons.
When fiddlers made not so pleasant mirth as fencers,
and men could sit with quiet stomachs, while hanging
was played before them.#  Old considerations made few

        * "In amphitheatro semiustulandum." — Suetonius Vit.
        + "Sic erimus cuncti, ... ergo dum vivimus vivamus."
        # [Greek omitted].  A barbarous pastime at feasts, when
          men stood upon a rolling globe, with their necks in a rope and
          a knife in their hands, ready to cut it when the stone was rolled.

mementos by skulls and bones upon their monuments.
In the Egyptian obelisks and hieroglyphical figures it
is not easy to meet with bones.  The sepulchral lamps
speak nothing less than sepulture, and in their literal
draughts prove often obscene and antick pieces.  Where
we find D. M.* it is obvious to meet with sacrificing
pateras and vessels of libation upon old sepulchral
monuments.  In the Jewish hypogaeum and subter-
ranean cell at Rome, was little observable beside the
variety of lamps and frequent draughts of Anthony and
Jerome we meet with thigh-bones and death's-heads;
but the cemeterial cells of ancient Christians and
martyrs were filled with draughts of Scripture stories;
not declining the flourishes of cypress, palms, and olive,
and the mystical figures of peacocks, doves, and cocks;
but iterately affecting the portraits of Enoch, Lazarus,
Jonas, and the vision of Ezekiel, as hopeful draughts,
and hinting imagery of the resurrection, which is the
life of the grave, and sweetens our habitations in the
land of moles and pismires.

Gentle inscriptions precisely delivered the extent of
men's lives, seldom the manner of their deaths, which
history itself so often leaves obscure in the records of
memorable persons.  There is scarce any philosopher but
dies twice or thrice in Laertius; nor almost any life
without two or three deaths in Plutarch; which makes
the tragical ends of noble persons more favourably re-
sented by compassionate readers who find some relief
in the election of such differences.

The certainty of death is attended with uncertainties,
rolled away, wherein, if they failed, they lost their lives, to
the laughter of their spectators.

        * Diis manibus.

in time, manner, places.  The variety of monuments
hath often obscured true graves; and cenotaphs con-
founded sepulchres.  For beside their real tombs, many
have found honorary and empty sepulchres.  The
variety of Homer's monuments made him of various
countries.  Euripides had his tomb in Africa, but his
sepulture in Macedonia.  And Severus found his real
sepulchre in Rome, but his empty grave in Gallia.

He that lay in a golden urn eminently above the earth,
was not like to find the quiet of his bones.  Many of
these urns were broke by a vulgar discoverer in hope of
enclosed treasure.  The ashes of Marcellus were lost
above ground, upon the like account.  Where profit
hath prompted, no age hath wanted such miners.  For
which the most barbarous expilators found the most
civil rhetorick.  Gold once out of the earth is no more
due unto it; what was unreasonably committed to the
ground, is reasonably resumed from it; let monuments
and rich fabricks, not riches, adorn men's ashes.  The
commerce of the living is not to be transferred unto the
dead; it is not injustice to take that which none com-
plains to lose, and no man is wronged where no man is

What virtue yet sleeps in this terra damnata and aged
cinders, were petty magic to experiment.  These crumb-
ling relicks and long fired particles superannuate such
expectations; bones, hairs, nails, and teeth of the dead,
were the treasures of old sorcerers.  In vain we revive
such practices; present superstition too visibly per-
petuates the folly of our forefathers, wherein unto old
observation this island was so complete, that it might
have instructed Persia.

Plato's historian of the other world lies twelve days
incorrupted, while his soul was viewing the large stations
of the dead.  How to keep the corpse seven days from
corruption by anointing and washing, without extentera-
tion, were an hazardable piece of art, in our choicest
practice.  How they made distinct separation of bones
and ashes from fiery admixture, hath found no historical
solution; though they seemed to make a distinct col-
lection and overlooked not Pyrrhus his toe.  Some pro-
vision they might make by fictile vessels, coverings,
tiles, or flat stones, upon and about the body (and in
the same field, not far from these urns, many stones were
found underground), as also by careful separation of
extraneous matter composing and raking up the burnt
bones with forks, observable in that notable lamp of
Galvanus Martianus, who had the sight of the vas
ustrinum or vessel wherein they burnt the dead, found
in the Esquiline field at Rome, might have afforded
clearer solution.  But their insatisfaction herein begat
that remarkable invention in the funeral pyres of some
princes, by incombustible sheets made with a texture of
asbestos, incremable flax, or salamander's wool, which
preserved their bones and ashes incommixed.

How the bulk of a man should sink into so few pounds
of bones and ashes, may seem strange unto any who
considers not its constitution, and how slender a mass
will remain upon an open and urging fire of the carnal
composition.  Even bones themselves, reduced into
ashes, do abate a notable proportion.  And consisting
much of a volatile salt, when that is fired out, make a
light kind of cinders.  Although their bulk be dis-
proportionable to their weight, when the heavy principle
of salt is fired out, and the earth almost only remaineth;
observable in sallow, which makes more ashes than oak,
and discovers the common fraud of selling ashes by
measure, and not by ponderation.

Some bones make best skeletons, some bodies quick
and speediest ashes.  Who would expect a quick flame
from hydropical Heraclitus?  The poisoned soldier
when his belly brake, put out two pyres in Plutarch.
But in the plague of Athens, one private pyre served
two or three intruders; and the Saracens burnt in large
heaps, by the king of Castile, showed how little fuel
sufficeth.  Though the funeral pyre of Patroclus took
up an hundred foot,* a piece of an old boat burnt Pompey;
and if the burthen of Isaac were sufficient for an holo-
caust, a man may carry his own pyre.

From animals are drawn good burning lights, and
good medicines against burning.  Though the seminal
humour seems of a contrary nature to fire, yet the body
completed proves a combustible lump, wherein fire
finds flame even from bones, and some fuel almost from
all parts; though the metropolis of humidity+ seems
least disposed unto it, which might render the skulls of
these urns less burned than other bones.  But all flies
or sinks before fire almost in all bodies: when the com-
mon ligament is dissolved, the attenuable parts ascend,
the rest subside in coal, calx, or ashes.

To burn the bones of the king of Edom for lime,#
seems no irrational ferity; but to drink of the ashes
of dead relations,$ a passionate prodigality.  He that
hath the ashes of his friend, hath an everlasting
treasure; where fire taketh leave, corruption slowly
enters.  In bones well burnt, fire makes a wall against
itself; experimented in Copels,<3> and tests of metals,
which consist of such ingredients.  What the sun com-
poundeth, fire analyzeth, not transmuteth.  That de-

        * [Greek omitted]
        + The Brain.  Hippocrates.       # Amos ii. 1.
        $ As Artemisia of her husband Mausolus.

vouring agent leaves almost always a morsel for the
earth, whereof all things are but a colony; and which,
if time permits, the mother element will have in their
primitive mass again.

He that looks for urns and old sepulchral relicks, must
not seek them in the ruins of temples, where no religion
anciently placed them.  These were found in a field,
according to ancient custom, in noble or private burial;
the old practice of the Canaanites, the family of Abra-
ham, and the burying-place of Joshua, in the borders
of his possessions; and also agreeable unto Roman
practice to bury by highways, whereby their monu-
ments were under eye: — memorials of themselves, and
mementoes of mortality unto living passengers; whom
the epitaphs of great ones were fain to beg to stay and
look upon them, — a language though sometimes used,
not so proper in church inscriptions.*  The sensible
rhetorick of the dead, to exemplarity of good life, first
admitted to the bones of pious men and martyrs within
church walls, which in succeeding ages crept into pro-
miscuous practice: while Constantine was peculiarly
favoured to be admitted into the church porch, and the
first thus buried in England, was in the days of Cuthred.

Christians dispute how their bodies should lie in the
grave.  In urnal interment they clearly escaped this
controversy.  Though we decline the religious considera-
tion, yet in cemeterial and narrower burying-places, to
avoid confusion and cross-position, a certain posture
were to be admitted: which even Pagan civility observed.
The Persians lay north and south; the Megarians and
Phoenicians placed their heads to the east; the Athen-
ians, some think, towards the west, which Christians
still retain.  And Beda will have it to be the posture

        * Siste, viator.

of our Saviour.  That he was crucified with his face
toward the west, we will not contend with tradition and
probable account; but we applaud not the hand of the
painter, in exalting his cross so high above those on
either side: since hereof we find no authentic account
in history, and even the crosses found by Helena, pre-
tend no such distinction from longitude or dimension.

To be knav'd out of our graves, to have our skulls
made drinking-bowls, and our bones turned into pipes,
to delight and sport our enemies, are tragical abomina-
tions escaped in burning burials.

Urnal interments and burnt relicks lie not in fear of
worms, or to be an heritage for serpents.  In carnal
sepulture, corruptions seem peculiar unto parts; and
some speak of snakes out of the spinal marrow.  But
while we suppose common worms in graves, 'tis not
easy to find any there; few in churchyards above a foot
deep, fewer or none in churches though in fresh-decayed
bodies.  Teeth, bones, and hair, give the most lasting
defiance to corruption.  In an hydropical body, ten
years buried in the churchyard, we met with a fat con-
cretion, where the nitre of the earth, and the salt and
lixivious liquor of the body, had coagulated large lumps
of fat into the consistence of the hardest Castile soap,
whereof part remaineth with us.<4>  After a battle with
the Persians, the Roman corpses decayed in few days,
while the Persian bodies remained dry and uncorrupted.
Bodies in the same ground do not uniformly dissolve, nor
bones equally moulder; whereof in the opprobrious
disease, we expect no long duration.  The body of the
Marquis of Dorset* seemed sound and handsomely cere-
clothed, that after seventy-eight years was found uncor-

        * Who was buried in 1530, and dug up in 1608, and found
          perfect like an ordinary corpse newly interred.

rupted.  Common tombs preserve not beyond powder:
a firmer consistence and compage of parts might be ex-
pected from arefaction, deep burial, or charcoal.  The
greatest antiquities of mortal bodies may remain in
putrefied bones, whereof, though we take not in the
pillar of Lot's wife, or metamorphosis of Ortelius, some
may be older than pyramids, in the putrefied relicks of
the general inundation.  When Alexander opened the
tomb of Cyrus, the remaining bones discovered his pro-
portion, whereof urnal fragments afford but a bad
conjecture, and have this disadvantage of grave inter-
ments, that they leave us ignorant of most personal dis-
coveries.  For since bones afford not only rectitude and
stability but figure unto the body, it is no impossible
physiognomy to conjecture at fleshy appendencies,
and after what shape the muscles and carnous parts
might hang in their full consistencies.  A full-spread
cariola shows a well-shaped horse behind; handsome
formed skulls give some analogy of fleshy resemblance.
A critical view of bones makes a good distinction of
sexes.  Even colour is not beyond conjecture, since it
is hard to be deceived in the distinction of the Negroes'
skulls.<5>  Dante's* characters are to be found in skulls as
well as faces.  Hercules is not only known by his foot.
Other parts make out their comproportions and infer-
ences upon whole or parts.  And since the dimensions
of the head measure the whole body, and the figure
thereof gives conjecture of the principal faculties:
physiognomy outlives ourselves, and ends not in our

Severe contemplators, observing these lasting relicks,
may think them good monuments of persons past, little
advantage to future beings; and, considering that power

        * Purgat. xxiii. 31.

which subdueth all things unto itself, that can resume
the scattered atoms, or identify out of anything, conceive
it superfluous to expect a resurrection out of relicks:
but the soul subsisting, other matter, clothed with due
accidents, may salve the individuality.  Yet the saints,
we observe, arose from graves and monuments about
the holy city.  Some think the ancient patriarchs so
earnestly desired to lay their bones in Canaan, as hoping
to make a part of that resurrection; and, though thirty
miles from Mount Calvary, at least to lie in that region
which should produce the first-fruits of the dead.  And
if, according to learned conjecture, the bodies of men
shall rise where their greatest relicks remain, many are
not like to err in the topography of their resurrection,
though their bones or bodies be after translated by
angels into the field of Ezekiel's vision, or as some will
order it, into the valley of judgment, or Jehosaphat.


CHRISTIANS have handsomely glossed the deformity
of death by careful consideration of the body, and civil
rites which take off brutal terminations: and though
they conceived all reparable by a resurrection, cast not
off all care of interment.  And since the ashes of sacrifices
burnt upon the altar of God were carefully carried out
by the priests, and deposed in a clean field; since they
acknowledged their bodies to be the lodging of Christ,
and temples of the Holy Ghost, they devolved not all
upon the sufficiency of soul-existence; and therefore
with long services and full solemnities, concluded their
last exequies, wherein to all distinctions the Greek
devotion seems most pathetically ceremonious.

Christian invention hath chiefly driven at rites, which
speak hopes of another life, and hints of a resurrection.
And if the ancient Gentiles held not the immortality of
their better part, and some subsistence after death, in
several rites, customs, actions, and expressions, they
contradicted their own opinions: wherein Democritus
went high, even to the thought of a resurrection, as
scoffingly recorded by Pliny.*  What can be more
express than the expression of Phocylides?+  Or who
would expect from Lucretius# a sentence of Ecclesiastes?
Before Plato could speak, the soul had wings in Homer,
which fell not, but flew out of the body into the man-
sions of the dead; who also observed that handsome
distinction of Demas and Soma, for the body conjoined
to the soul, and body separated from it.  Lucian spoke
much truth in jest, when he said that part of Hercules
which proceeded from Alcmena perished, that from
Jupiter remained immortal.  Thus Socrates was con-
tent that his friends should bury his body, so they
would not think they buried Socrates; and, regarding
only his immortal part, was indifferent to be burnt or
buried.  From such considerations, Diogenes might
contemn sepulture, and, being satisfied that the soul
could not perish, grow careless of corporal interment.
The Stoicks, who thought the souls of wise men had

        * "Similis****reviviscendi promissa Democrito vanitas,
          qui non revixit ipse.  Quae (malum) ista dementia est iterari
          vitam morte?" — Plin. I. vii. c. 55.
        + [Greek omitted]
        # "Cedit item retro de terra quod fuit ante in terras."—
          Luc., lib. ii. 998.

their habitation about the moon, might make slight
account of subterraneous deposition; whereas the
Pythagoreans and transcorporating philosophers, who
were to be often buried, held great care of their inter-
ment.  And the Platonicks rejected not a due care of
the grave, though they put their ashes to unreasonable
expectations, in their tedious term of return and long
set revolution.

Men have lost their reason in nothing so much as
their religion, wherein stones and clouts make martyrs;
and, since the religion of one seems madness unto
another, to afford an account or rational of old rites
requires no rigid reader.  That they kindled the pyre
aversely, or turning their face from it, was an handsome
symbol of unwilling ministration.  That they washed
their bones with wine and milk; that the mother
wrapped them in linen, and dried them in her bosom,
the first fostering part and place of their nourishment;
that they opened their eyes toward heaven before they
kindled the fire, as the place of their hopes or original,
were no improper ceremonies.  Their last valediction,*
thrice uttered by the attendants, was also very solemn,
and somewhat answered by Christians, who thought it
too little, if they threw not the earth thrice upon the
interred body.  That, in strewing their tombs, the
Romans affected the rose; the Greeks amaranthus and
myrtle: that the funeral pyre consisted of sweet fuel,
cypress, fir, larix, yew, and trees perpetually verdant,
lay silent expressions of their surviving hopes.  Wherein
Christians, who deck their coffins with bays, have found
a more elegant emblem; for that it, seeming dead, will
restore itself from the root, and its dry and exsuccous

        * "Vale, vale, nos to ordine quo natura permittet sequamur."

leaves resume their verdure again; which, if we mis-
take not, we have also observed in furze.  Whether the
planting of yew in churchyards hold not its original
from ancient funeral rites, or as an emblem of resur-
rection, from its perpetual verdure, may also admit

They made use of musick to excite or quiet the
affections of their friends, according to different har-
monies.  But the secret and symbolical hint was the
harmonical nature of the soul; which, delivered from
the body, went again to enjoy the primitive harmony
of heaven, from whence it first descended; which,
according to its progress traced by antiquity, came
down by Cancer, and ascended by Capricornus.

They burnt not children before their teeth appeared,
as apprehending their bodies too tender a morsel for
fire, and that their gristly bones would scarce leave
separable relicks after the pyral combustion.  That they
kindled not fire in their houses for some days after was
a strict memorial of the late afflicting fire.  And mourn-
ing without hope, they had an happy fraud against
excessive lamentation, by a common opinion that deep
sorrows disturb their ghosts.*

That they buried their dead on their backs, or in a
supine position, seems agreeable unto profound sleep,
and common posture of dying; contrary to the most
natural way of birth; nor unlike our pendulous
posture, in the doubtful state of the womb.  Diogenes
was singular, who preferred a prone situation in
the grave; and some Christians+ like neither, who
decline the figure of rest, and make choice of an
erect posture.

That they carried them out of the world with their

        * "Tu manes ne loede meos."     + The Russians. &c.

feet forward, not inconsonant unto reason, as contrary
unto the native posture of man, and his production first
into it; and also agreeable unto their opinions, while
they bid adieu unto the world, not to look again upon
it; whereas Mahometans who think to return to a
delightful life again, are carried forth with their heads
forward, and looking toward their houses.

They closed their eyes, as parts which first die, or
first discover the sad effects of death.  But their iterated
clamations to excitate their dying or dead friends, or
revoke them unto life again, was a vanity of affection;
as not presumably ignorant of the critical tests of death,
by apposition of feathers, glasses, and reflection of
figures, which dead eyes represent not: which, however
not strictly verifiable in fresh and warm cadavers,
could hardly elude the test, in corpses of four or five

That they sucked in the last breath of their expiring
friends, was surely a practice of no medical institution,
but a loose opinion that the soul passed out that way,
and a fondness of affection, from some Pythagorical
foundation, that the spirit of one body passed into
another, which they wished might be their own.

That they poured oil upon the pyre, was a tolerable
practice, while the intention rested in facilitating the
ascension.  But to place good omens in the quick and
speedy burning, to sacrifice unto the winds for a
despatch in this office, was a low form of supersti-

The archimime, or jester, attending the funeral train,
and imitating the speeches, gesture, and manners of the
deceased, was too light for such solemnities, contradict-
ing their funeral orations and doleful rites of the

That they buried a piece of money with them as a fee
of the Elysian ferryman, was a practice full of folly.
But the ancient custom of placing coins in considerable
urns, and the present practice of burying medals in the
noble foundations of Europe, are laudable ways of his-
torical discoveries, in actions, persons, chronologies;
and posterity will applaud them.

We examine not the old laws of sepulture, exempting
certain persons from burial or burning.  But hereby we
apprehend that these were not the bones of persons
planet-struck or burnt with fire from heaven; no relicks
of traitors to their country, self-killers, or sacrilegious
malefactors; persons in old apprehension unworthy of the
earth; condemned unto the Tartarus of hell, and bottom-
less pit of Pluto, from whence there was no redemp-

Nor were only many customs questionable in order
to their obsequies, but also sundry practices, fictions,
and conceptions, discordant or obscure, of their state
and future beings.  Whether unto eight or ten bodies
of men to add one of a woman, as being more in-
flammable and unctuously constituted for the better
pyral combustion, were any rational practice; or
whether the complaint of Periander's wife be toler-
able, that wanting her funeral burning, she suffered
intolerable cold in hell, according to the constitution
of the infernal house of Pluto, wherein cold makes a
great part of their tortures; it cannot pass without
some question.

Why the female ghosts appear unto Ulysses, before
the heroes and masculine spirits, — why the Psyche or
soul of Tiresias is of the masculine gender, who, being
blind on earth, sees more than all the rest in hell; why
the funeral suppers consisted of eggs, beans, smallage,
and lettuce, since the dead are made to eat asphodels
about the Elysian meadows: — why, since there is no
sacrifice acceptable, nor any propitiation for the cove-
nant of the grave, men set up the deity of Morta, and
fruitlessly adored divinities without ears, it cannot
escape some doubt.

The dead seem all alive in the human Hades of
Homer, yet cannot well speak, prophecy, or know the
living, except they drink blood, wherein is the life of
man.  And therefore the souls of Penelope's paramours,
conducted by Mercury, chirped like bats, and those
which followed Hercules, made a noise but like a flock
of birds.

The departed spirits know things past and to come;
yet are ignorant of things present.  Agamemnon fore-
tells what should happen unto Ulysses; yet ignorantly
inquires what is become of his own son.  The ghosts
are afraid of swords in Homer; yet Sibylla tells AEneas
in Virgil, the thin habit of spirits was beyond the force
of weapons.  The spirits put off their malice with their
bodies, and Caesar and Pompey accord in Latin hell; yet
Ajax, in Homer, endures not a conference with Ulysses;
and Deiphobus appears all mangled in Virgil's ghosts,
yet we meet with perfect shadows among the wounded
ghosts of Homer.

Since Charon in Lucian applauds his condition among
the dead, whether it be handsomely said of Achilles,
that living contemner of death, that he had rather be a
ploughman's servant, than emperor of the dead?  How
Hercules his soul is in hell, and yet in heaven; and
Julius his soul in a star, yet seen by AEneas in hell?—
except the ghosts were but images and shadows of the
soul, received in higher mansions, according to the
ancient division of body, soul, and image, or simulachrum
of them both.  The particulars of future beings must
needs be dark unto ancient theories, which Christian
philosophy yet determines but in a cloud of opinions.
A dialogue between two infants in the womb concerning
the state of this world, might handsomely illustrate
our ignorance of the next, whereof methinks we
yet discourse in Pluto's den, and are but embryo

Pythagoras escapes in the fabulous hell of Dante,*
among that swarm of philosophers, wherein, whilst we
meet with Plato and Socrates, Cato is to be found in no
lower place than purgatory.  Among all the set,
Epicurus is most considerable, whom men make honest
without an Elysium, who contemned life without en-
couragement of immortality, and making nothing after
death, yet made nothing of the king of terrors.

Were the happiness of the next world as closely appre-
hended as the felicities of this, it were a martyrdom to
live; and unto such as consider none hereafter, it must be
more than death to die, which makes us amazed at those
audacities that durst be nothing and return into their
chaos again.  Certainly such spirits as could contemn
death, when they expected no better being after, would
have scorned to live, had they known any.  And there-
fore we applaud not the judgment of Machiavel, that
Christianity makes men cowards, or that with the con-
fidence of but half-dying, the despised virtues of
patience and humility have abased the spirits of men,
which Pagan principles exalted; but rather regulated
the wildness of audacities in the attempts, grounds, and
eternal sequels of death; wherein men of the boldest
spirits are often prodigiously temerarious.  Nor can we
extenuate the valour of ancient martyrs, who contemned

        * Del Inferno, cant. 4.

death in the uncomfortable scene of their lives, and in
their decrepit martyrdoms did probably lose not many
months of their days, or parted with life when it was
scarce worth the living.  For (beside that long time
past holds no consideration unto a slender time to come)
they had no small disadvantage from the constitution
of old age, which naturally makes men fearful, and
complexionally superannuated from the bold and
courageous thoughts of youth and fervent years.  But
the contempt of death from corporal animosity, pro-
moteth not our felicity.  They may sit in the orchestra,
and noblest seats of heaven, who have held up
shaking hands in the fire, and humanly contended
for glory.

Meanwhile Epicurus lies deep in Dante's hell, where-
in we meet with tombs enclosing souls which denied
their immortalities.  But whether the virtuous heathen,
who lived better than he spake, or erring in the prin-
ciples of himself, yet lived above philosophers of more
specious maxims, lie so deep as he is placed, at least so
low as not to rise against Christians, who believing or
knowing that truth, have lastingly denied it in their
practice and conversation — were a query too sad to
insist on.

But all or most apprehensions rested in opinions of
some future being, which, ignorantly or coldly believed,
begat those perverted conceptions, ceremonies, sayings,
which Christians pity or laugh at.  Happy are they
which live not in that disadvantage of time, when men
could say little for futurity, but from reason: whereby
the noblest minds fell often upon doubtful deaths, and
melancholy dissolutions.  With these hopes, Socrates
warmed his doubtful spirits against that cold potion;
and Cato, before he durst give the fatal stroke, spent part
of the night in reading the Immortality of Plato, thereby
confirming his wavering hand unto the animosity of
that attempt.

It is the heaviest stone that melancholy can throw at
a man, to tell him he is at the end of his nature; or
that there is no further state to come, unto which
this seems progressional, and otherwise made in vain.
Without this accomplishment, the natural expectation
and desire of such a state, were but a fallacy in nature;
unsatisfied considerators would quarrel the justice of
their constitutions, and rest content that Adam had
fallen lower; whereby, by knowing no other original,
and deeper ignorance of themselves, they might have
enjoyed the happiness of inferior creatures, who in
tranquillity possess their constitutions, as having not
the apprehension to deplore their own natures, and,
being framed below the circumference of these hopes,
or cognition of better being, the wisdom of God hath
necessitated their contentment: but the superior in-
gredient and obscured part of ourselves, whereto all
present felicities afford no resting contentment, will be
able at last to tell us, we are more than our present
selves, and evacuate such hopes in the fruition of their
own accomplishments.


Now since these dead bones have already outlasted
the living ones of Methuselah, and in a yard under-
ground, and thin walls of clay, outworn all the strong
and specious buildings above it; and quietly rested
under the drums and tramplings of three conquests:
what prince can promise such diuturnity unto his relicks,
or might not gladly say,

        Sic ego componi versus in ossa velim?*

Time, which antiquates antiquities, and hath an art to
make dust of all things, hath yet spared these minor

In vain we hope to be known by open and visible
conservatories, when to be unknown was the means of
their continuation, and obscurity their protection.  If
they died by violent hands, and were thrust into their
urns, these bones become considerable, and some old
philosophers would honour them, whose souls they
conceived most pure, which were thus snatched from
their bodies, and to retain a stronger propension unto
them; whereas they weariedly left a languishing corpse
and with faint desires of re-union.  If they fell by
long and aged decay, yet wrapt up in the bundle of
time, they fall into indistinction, and make but one
blot with infants.  If we begin to die when we live,
and long life be but a prolongation of death, our life is
a sad composition; we live with death, and die not in
a moment.  How many pulses made up the life of
Methuselah, were work for Archimedes: common
counters sum up the life of Moses his man.  Our days
become considerable, like petty sums, by minute ac-
cumulations: where numerous fractions make up but
small round numbers; and our days of a span long,
make not one little finger.+

If the nearness of our last necessity brought a nearer
conformity into it, there were a happiness in hoary

        * Tibullus, lib. iii. el. 2, 26.
        + According to the ancient arithmetick of the hand, wherein
          the little finger of the right hand contracted, signified an
          hundred. — Pierius in Hieroglyph.

hairs, and no calamity in half-senses.  But the long
habit of living indisposeth us for dying; when avarice
makes us the sport of death, when even David grew
politickly cruel, and Solomon could hardly be said to
be the wisest of men.  But many are too early old, and
before the date of age.  Adversity stretcheth our days,
misery makes Alcmena's nights,* and time hath no
wings unto it.  But the most tedious being is that which
can unwish itself, content to be nothing, or never to
have been, which was beyond the malcontent of Job,
who cursed not the day of his life, but his nativity; con-
tent to have so far been, as to have a title to future being,
although he had lived here but in an hidden state of
life, and as it were an abortion.

What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles
assumed when he hid himself among women, though
puzzling questions,+ are not beyond all conjecture.  What
time the persons of these ossuaries entered the famous
nations of the dead, and slept with princes and coun-
sellors, might admit a wide solution.  But who were
the proprietaries of these bones, or what bodies these
ashes made up, were a question above antiquarism; not
to be resolved by man, nor easily perhaps by spirits,
except we consult the provincial guardians, or tutelary
observators.  Had they made as good provision for
their names, as they have done for their relicks, they
had not so grossly erred in the art of perpetuation.  But
to subsist in bones, and be but pyramidally extant, is a
fallacy in duration.  Vain ashes which in the oblivion
of names, persons, times, and sexes, have found unto
themselves a fruitless continuation, and only arise unto

        * One night as long as three.
        + The puzzling questions of Tiberius unto grammarians.—
          Marcel.  Donatus in Suet.

late posterity, as emblems of mortal vanities, antidotes
against pride, vain-glory, and madding vices.  Pagan
vain-glories which thought the world might last for
ever, had encouragement for ambition; and, finding no
atropos unto the immortality of their names, were never
dampt with the necessity of oblivion.  Even old ambi-
tions had the advantage of ours, in the attempts of
their vain-glories, who acting early, and before the
probable meridian of time, have by this time found
great accomplishment of their designs, whereby the
ancient heroes have already outlasted their monuments
and mechanical preservations.  But in this latter scene
of time, we cannot expect such mummies unto our
memories, when ambition may fear the prophecy of
Elias,* and Charles the Fifth can never hope to live
within two Methuselahs of Hector.+

And therefore, restless inquietude for the diuturnity
of our memories unto the present considerations seems
a vanity almost out of date, and superannuated piece of
folly.  We cannot hope to live so long in our names,
as some have done in their persons.  One face of Janus
holds no proportion unto the other.  'Tis too late to be
ambitious.  The great mutations of the world are acted,
or time may be too short for our designs.  To extend
our memories by monuments, whose death we daily
pray for, and whose duration we cannot hope, without
injury to our expectations in the advent of the last day,
were a contradiction to our beliefs.  We whose genera-
tions are ordained in this setting part of time, are pro-
videntially taken off from such imaginations; and,
being necessitated to eye the remaining particle of

        * That the world may last but six thousand years.
        + Hector's fame outlasting above two lives of Methuselah
          before that famous prince was extant.

futurity, are naturally constituted unto thoughts of the
next world, and cannot excusably decline the considera-
tion of that duration, which maketh pyramids pillars
of snow, and all that's past a moment.

Circles and right lines limit and close all bodies, and
the mortal right-lined circle* must conclude and shut
up all.  There is no antidote against the opium of time,
which temporally considereth all things: our fathers
find their graves in our short memories, and sadly tell
us how we may be buried in our survivors.  Grave-
stones tell truth scarce forty years.  Generations pass
while some trees stand, and old families last not three
oaks.  To be read by bare inscriptions like many in
Gruter, to hope for eternity by enigmatical epithets or
first letters of our names, to be studied by antiquaries,
who we were, and have new names given us like many
of the mummies, are cold consolations unto the students
of perpetuity, even by everlasting languages.

To be content that times to come should only know
there was such a man, not caring whether they knew
more of him, was a frigid ambition in Cardan;+ dispar-
aging his horoscopal inclination and judgment of himself.
Who cares to subsist like Hippocrates's patients, or
Achilles's horses in Homer, under naked nominations,
without deserts and noble acts, which are the balsam
of our memories, the entelechia and soul of our sub-
sistences?  To be nameless in worthy deeds, exceeds
an infamous history.  The Canaanitish woman lives
more happily without a name, than Herodias with
one.  And who had not rather have been the good
thief, than Pilate?

        * The character of death.
        + "Cuperem notum esse quod sim non opto ut sciatur
          qualis sim."

But the iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her
poppy, and deals with the memory of men without
distinction to merit of perpetuity.  Who can but
pity the founder of the pyramids?  Herostratus lives
that burnt the temple of Diana, he is almost lost that
built it.  Time hath spared the epitaph of Adrian's
horse, confounded that of himself.  In vain we com-
pute our felicities by the advantage of our good
names, since bad have equal durations, and Thersites
is like to live as long as Agamemnon without the
favour of the everlasting register.  Who knows
whether the best of men be known, or whether there
be not more remarkable persons forgot, than any
that stand remembered in the known account of time?
The first man had been as unknown as the last,
and Methuselah's long life had been his only

Oblivion is not to be hired.  The greater part must
be content to be as though they had not been, to be
found in the register of God, not in the record of man.
Twenty-seven names make up the first story and the
recorded names ever since contain not one living cen-
tury.  The number of the dead long exceedeth all that
shall live.  The night of time far surpasseth the day,
and who knows when was the equinox?  Every hour
adds unto that current arithmetick, which scarce stands
one moment.  And since death must be the Lucina
of life, and even Pagans<6> could doubt, whether
thus to live were to die; since our longest sun sets
at right descensions, and makes but winter arches,
and therefore it cannot be long before we lie down
in darkness, and have our light in ashes; since the
brother of death daily haunts us with dying memen-
toes, and time that grows old in itself, bids us hope
no long duration; — diuturnity is a dream and folly
of expectation.

Darkness and light divide the course of time, and
oblivion shares with memory a great part even of our
living beings; we slightly remember our felicities, and
the smartest strokes of affliction leave but short smart
upon us.  Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrows
destroy us or themselves.  To weep into stones are
fables.  Afflictions induce callosities; miseries are slip-
pery, or fall like snow upon us, which notwithstanding
is no unhappy stupidity.  To be ignorant of evils to
come, and forgetful of evils past, is a merciful provision
in nature, whereby we digest the mixture of our few
and evil days, and, our delivered senses not relapsing
into cutting remembrances, our sorrows are not kept
raw by the edge of repetitions.  A great part of antiquity
contented their hopes of subsistency with a transmigra-
tion of their souls, — a good way to continue their me-
mories, while having the advantage of plural successions,
they could not but act something remarkable in such
variety of beings, and enjoying the fame of their passed
selves, make accumulation of glory unto their last dura-
tions.  Others, rather than be lost in the uncomfortable
night of nothing, were content to recede into the common
being, and make one particle of the public soul of all
things, which was no more than to return into their un-
known and divine original again.  Egyptian ingenuity
was more unsatisfied, contriving their bodies in sweet
consistences, to attend the return of their souls.  But
all is vanity, feeding the wind, and folly.  Egyptian
mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared,
avarice now consumeth.  Mummy is become mer-
chandise, Mizraim, cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold
for balsams.

In vain do individuals hope for immortality, or any
patent from oblivion, in preservations below the moon;
men have been deceived even in their flatteries, above
the sun, and studied conceits to perpetuate their names
in heaven.  The various cosmography of that part hath
already varied the names of contrived constellations;
Nimrod is lost in Orion, and Osyris in the Dog-star.
While we look for incorruption in the heavens, we find
that they are but like the earth; — durable in their main
bodies, alterable in their parts; whereof, beside comets
and new stars, perspectives begin to tell tales, and the
spots that wander about the sun, with Phaeton's favour,
would make clear conviction.

There is nothing strictly immortal, but immortality.
Whatever hath no beginning, may be confident of no
end; — all others have a dependent being and within
the reach of destruction; — which is the peculiar of
that necessary essence that cannot destroy itself; — and
the highest strain of omnipotency, to be so powerfully
constituted as not to suffer even from the power of
itself.  But the sufficiency of Christian immortality
frustrates all earthly glory, and the quality of either
state after death, makes a folly of posthumous memory.
God who can only destroy our souls, and hath assured
our resurrection, either of our bodies or names hath
directly promised no duration.  Wherein there is so
much of chance, that the boldest expectants have found
unhappy frustration; and to hold long subsistence,
seems but a scape in oblivion.  But man is a noble
animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave,
solemnizing nativities and deaths with equal lustre,
nor omitting ceremonies of bravery in the infamy of
his nature.

Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun
within us.  A small fire sufficeth for life, great flames
seemed too little after death, while men vainly affected
precious pyres, and to burn like Sardanapalus; but
the wisdom of funeral laws found the folly of prodigal
blazes and reduced undoing fires unto the rule of sober
obsequies, wherein few could be so mean as not to pro-
vide wood, pitch, a mourner, and an urn.

Five languages<7> secured not the epitaph of Gordianus.
The man of God lives longer without a tomb than any
by one, invisibly interred by angels, and adjudged to
obscurity, though not without some marks directing
human discovery.  Enoch and Elias, without either
tomb or burial, in an anomalous state of being, are
the great examples of perpetuity, in their long and
living memory, in strict account being still on this
side death, and having a late part yet to act upon this
stage of earth.  If in the decretory term of the world
we shall not all die but be changed, according to re-
ceived translation, the last day will make but few graves;
at least quick resurrections will anticipate lasting
sepultures.  Some graves will be opened before they
be quite closed, and Lazarus be no wonder.  When many
that feared to die, shall groan that they can die but once,
the dismal state is the second and living death, when
life puts despair on the damned; when men shall wish
the coverings of mountains, not of monuments, and
annihilations shall be courted.

While some have studied monuments, others have
studiously declined them, and some have been so vainly
boisterous, that they durst not acknowledge their graves;
wherein Alaricus seems most subtle, who had a river
turned to hide his bones at the bottom.  Even Sylla,
that thought himself safe in his urn, could not prevent
revenging tongues, and stones thrown at his monument.
Happy are they whom privacy makes innocent, who
deal so with men in this world, that they are not
afraid to meet them in the next; who, when they die,
make no commotion among the dead, and are not
touched with that poetical taunt of Isaiah.*

Pyramids, arches, obelisks, were but the irregularities
of vain-glory, and wild enormities of ancient magna-
nimity.  But the most magnanimous resolution rests in
the Christian religion, which trampleth upon pride and
sits on the neck of ambition, humbly pursuing that
infallible perpetuity, unto which all others must
diminish their diameters, and be poorly seen in angles
of contingency.+

Pious spirits who passed their days in raptures of
futurity, made little more of this world, than the world
that was before it, while they lay obscure in the chaos
of pre-ordination, and night of their fore-beings.  And
if any have been so happy as truly to understand
Christian annihilation, ecstasies, exolution, liquefaction,
transformation, the kiss of the spouse, gustation of
God, and ingression into the divine shadow, they have
already had an handsome anticipation of heaven; the
glory of the world is surely over, and the earth in ashes
unto them.

To subsist in lasting monuments, to live in their pro-
ductions, to exist in their names and predicament of
chimeras, was large satisfaction unto old expectations,
and made one part of their Elysiums.  But all this
is nothing in the metaphysicks of true belief.  To live
indeed, is to be again ourselves, which being not only an
hope, but an evidence in noble believers, 'tis all one to
lie in St Innocent's# church-yard as in the sands of

        * Isa. xiv. 16.         + The least of angles.
        # In Paris, where bodies soon consume.

Egypt.  Ready to be anything, in the ecstasy of
being ever, and as content with six foot as the moles
of Adrianus.*

                —"Tabesne cadavera solvat,
                An rogus, haud refert." — LUCAN. viii. 809.

        * A stately mausoleum or sepulchral pile, built by Adrianus
          in Rome, where now standeth the castle of St Angelo.




GIVE me leave to wonder that news of this nature
should have such heavy wings that you should
hear so little concerning your dearest friend,
and that I must make that unwilling repetition to tell
you "ad portam rigidos calces extendit," that he is dead
and buried, and by this time no puny among the mighty
nations of the dead; for though he left this world not
very many days past, yet every hour you know largely
addeth unto that dark society; and considering the
incessant mortality of mankind, you cannot conceive
there dieth in the whole earth so few as a thousand an

Although at this distance you had no early account
or particular of his death, yet your affection may cease
to wonder that you had not some secret sense or intima-
tion thereof by dreams, thoughtful whisperings, mer-
curisms, airy nuncios or sympathetical insinuations,
which many seem to have had at the death of their
dearest friends: for since we find in that famous story,
that spirits themselves were fain to tell their fellows
at a distance that the great Antonio was dead, we have
a sufficient excuse for our ignorance in such particulars,
and must rest content with the common road, and Ap-
pian way of knowledge by information.  Though the
uncertainty of the end of this world hath confounded
all human predictions; yet they who shall live to see
the sun and moon darkened, and the stars to fall from
heaven, will hardly be deceived in the advent of the
last day; and therefore strange it is, that the common
fallacy of consumptive persons who feel not themselves
dying, and therefore still hope to live, should also reach
their friends in perfect health and judgment; — that you
should be so little acquainted with Plautus's sick com-
plexion, or that almost an Hippocratical face should
not alarum you to higher fears, or rather despair, of
his continuation in such an emaciated state, wherein
medical predictions fail not, as sometimes in acute dis-
eases, and wherein 'tis as dangerous to be sentenced by
a physician as a judge.

Upon my first visit I was bold to tell them who had
not let fall all hopes of his recovery, that in my sad
opinion he was not like to behold a grasshopper,<1> much
less to pluck another fig; and in no long time after
seemed to discover that odd mortal symptom in him
not mentioned by Hippocrates, that is, to lose his own
face, and look like some of his near relations; for he
maintained not his proper countenance, but looked like
his uncle, the lines of whose face lay deep and invisible
in his healthful visage before: for as from our begin-
ning we run through variety of looks, before we come
to consistent and settled faces; so before our end, by
sick and languishing alterations, we put on new visages:
and in our retreat to earth, may fall upon such looks
which from community of seminal originals were before
latent in us.

He was fruitlessly put in hope of advantage by change
of air, and imbibing the pure aerial nitre of these parts;
and therefore, being so far spent, he quickly found Sar-
dinia in Tivoli,* and the most healthful air of little
effect, where death had set her broad arrow;+ for he
lived not unto the middle of May, and confirmed the
observation of Hippocrates of that mortal time of the
year when the leaves of the fig-tree resemble a daw's
claw.  He is happily seated who lives in places whose
air, earth, and water, promote not the infirmities of his
weaker parts, or is early removed into regions that
correct them.  He that is tabidly<2> inclined, were unwise
to pass his days in Portugal: cholical persons will find
little comfort in Austria or Vienna: he that is weak-
legged must not be in love with Rome, nor an infirm
head with Venice or Paris.  Death hath not only par-
ticular stars in heaven, but malevolent places on earth,
which single out our infirmities, and strike at our
weaker parts; in which concern, passager and migrant
birds have the great advantages, who are naturally
constituted for distant habitations, whom no seas nor
places limit, but in their appointed seasons will visit
us from Greenland and Mount Atlas, and, as some think,
even from the Antipodes.#

Though we could not have his life, yet we missed not
our desires in his soft departure, which was scarce an
expiration; and his end not unlike his beginning, when
the salient point scarce affords a sensible motion, and
his departure so like unto sleep, that he scarce needed
the civil ceremony of closing his eyes; contrary unto the
common way, wherein death draws up, sleep lets fall

        * "Cum mors venerit, in medio Tibure Sardinia est."
        + In the king's forests they set the figure of a broad arrow
          upon trees that are to be cut down.
        # Bellonius de Avibus.

the eyelids.  With what strife and pains we came into
the world we know not; but 'tis commonly no easy
matter to get out of it: yet if it could be made out,
that such who have easy nativities have commonly hard
deaths, and contrarily; his departure was so easy, that
we might justly suspect his birth was of another nature,
and that some Juno sat cross-legged at his nativity.

Besides his soft death, the incurable state of his
disease might somewhat extenuate your sorrow, who
know that monsters but seldom happen, miracles more
rarely in physick.*  Angelus Victorius gives a serious
account of a consumptive, hectical, phthisical woman,
who was suddenly cured by the intercession of Ignatius.
We read not of any in Scripture who in this case applied
unto our Saviour, though some may be contained in
that large expression, that he went about Galilee healing
all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases.+
Amulets, spells, sigils, and incantations, practised in
other diseases, are seldom pretended in this; and we
find no sigil in the Archidoxis of Paracelsus to cure
an extreme consumption or marasmus, which, if other
diseases fail, will put a period unto long livers, and at
last makes dust of all.  And therefore the Stoics could
not but think that the fiery principle would wear out
all the rest, and at last make an end of the world, which
notwithstanding without such a lingering period the
Creator may effect at his pleasure: and to make an end
of all things on earth, and our planetical system of the
world, he need but put out the sun.

I was not so curious to entitle the stars unto any
concern of his death, yet could not but take notice that

        * "Monstra contingunt in medicina."  Hippoc. — "Strange
          and rare escapes there happen sometimes in physick."
        + Matt. iv. 23.

he died when the moon was in motion from the meri-
dian; at which time an old Italian long ago would per-
suade me that the greatest part of men died: but herein
I confess I could never satisfy my curiosity; although
from the time of tides in places upon or near the sea,
there may be considerable deductions; and Pliny* hath
an odd and remarkable passage concerning the death of
men and animals upon the recess or ebb of the sea.
However, certain it is, he died in the dead and deep
part of the night, when Nox might be most apprehen-
sibly said to be the daughter of Chaos, the mother of
sleep and death, according to old genealogy; and so
went out of this world about that hour when our blessed
Saviour entered it, and about what time many conceive
he will return again unto it.  Cardan<3> hath a peculiar
and no hard observation from a man's hand to know
whether he was born in the day or night, which I con-
fess holdeth in my own.  And Scaliger<4> to that purpose
hath another from the tip of the ear:+ most men are
begotten in the night, animals in the day; but whether
more persons have been born in the night or day, were
a curiosity undecidable, though more have perished by
violent deaths in the day; yet in natural dissolutions
both times may hold an indifferency, at least but con-
tingent inequality.  The whole course of time runs out
in the nativity and death of things; which whether
they happen by succession or coincidence, are best com-
puted by the natural, not artificial day.

        * "Aristoteles nullum animal nisi aestu recedente expirare
          affirmat; observatum id multum in Gallico Oceano et duntaxat
          in homine compertum," lib. 2, cap. 101.

        + "Auris pars pendula lobus dicitur, non omnibus ea pars,
          est auribus; non enim iis qui noctu sunt, sed qui interdiu,
          maxima ex parte." — Com. in Aristot. de Animal. lib. 1.

That Charles the Fifth<5> was crowned upon the day
of his nativity, it being in his own power so to order
it, makes no singular animadversion: but that he
should also take King Francis<6> prisoner upon that
day, was an unexpected coincidence, which made the
same remarkable.  Antipater, who had an anniversary
feast every year upon his birth-day, needed no astro-
logical revolution to know what day he should die on.
When the fixed stars have made a revolution unto the
points from whence they first set out, some of the
ancients thought the world would have an end; which
was a kind of dying upon the day of its nativity.  Now
the disease prevailing and swiftly advancing about the
time of his nativity, some were of opinion that he
would leave the world on the day he entered into it;
but this being a lingering disease, and creeping softly
on, nothing critical was found or expected, and he died
not before fifteen days after.  Nothing is more common
with infants than to die on the day of their nativity, to
behold the worldly hours, and but the fractions thereof;
and even to perish before their nativity in the hidden
world of the womb, and before their good angel is con-
ceived to undertake them.  But in persons who out-
live many years, and when there are no less than three
hundred and sixty-five days to determine their lives in
every year; that the first day should make the last,
that the tail of the snake should return into its mouth
precisely at that time, and they should wind up upon
the day of their nativity, is indeed a remarkable
coincidence, which, though astrology hath taken witty
pains to salve, yet hath it been very wary in making
predictions of it.*

In this consumptive condition and remarkable exten-

        * According to the Egyptian hieroglyphic.

uation, he came to be almost half himself, and left a
great part behind him, which he carried not to the
grave.  And though that story of Duke John Ernestus
Mansfield<7>* be not so easily swallowed, that at his death
his heart was found not to be so big as a nut; yet if
the bones of a good skeleton weigh little more than
twenty pounds, his inwards and flesh remaining could
make no bouffage,<8> but a light bit for the grave.  I
never more lively beheld the starved characters of
Dante+ in any living face; an aruspex might have read
a lecture upon him without exenteration, his flesh
being so consumed, that he might, in a manner, have
discerned his bowels without opening of him; so that
to be carried, sexta cervice# to the grave, was but a
civil unnecessity; and the complements of the coffin
might outweigh the subject of it.

Omnibonus Ferrarius in mortal dysenteries of chil-
dren looks for a spot behind the ear; in consumptive
diseases some eye the complexion of moles; Cardan
eagerly views the nails, some the lines of the hand, the
thenar or muscle of the thumb; some are so curious as
to observe the depth of the throat-pit, how the pro-
portion varieth of the small of the legs unto the calf,
or the compass of the neck unto the circumference of
the head; but all these, with many more, were so
drowned in a mortal visage, and last face of Hippocra-
tes, that a weak physiognomist might say at first eye, this
was a face of earth, and that Morta$ had set her hard seal
upon his temples, easily perceiving what caricatura||

        * Turkish history.
        + In the poet Dante's description.
        # i.e. "by six persons."
        $ Morta, the deity of death or fate.
        || When men's faces are drawn with resemblance to some other
           animals, the Italians call it, to be drawn in caricatura.

draughts death makes upon pined faces, and unto what
an unknown degree a man may live backward.

Though the beard be only made a distinction of sex,
and sign of masculine heat by Ulmus,* yet the
precocity and early growth thereof in him, was not
to be liked in reference unto long life.  Lewis,
that virtuous but unfortunate king of Hungary,
who lost his life at the battle of Mohacz,<9> was
said to be born without a skin, to have bearded at
fifteen, and to have shown some grey hairs about
twenty; from whence the diviners conjectured that he
would be spoiled of his kingdom, and have but a short
life; but hairs make fallible predictions, and many
temples early grey have outlived the psalmist's period.+
Hairs which have most amused me have not been in the
face or head, but on the back, and not in men but
children, as I long ago observed in that endemial
distemper of children in Languedoc, called the mor-
gellons,# wherein they critically break out with harsh
hairs on their backs, which takes off the unquiet symp-
toms of the disease, and delivers them from coughs and
        The Egyptian mummies that I have seen, have had
their mouths open, and somewhat gaping, which afford-
eth a good opportunity to view and observe their teeth,
wherein 'tis not easy to find any wanting or decayed;
and therefore in Egypt, where one man practised but
one operation, or the diseases but of single parts, it
must needs be a barren profession to confine unto that of
drawing of teeth, and to have been little better than tooth-

        * Ulmus de usu barbae humanae.
        + The life of man is threescore and ten.
        # See Picotus de Rheumatismo.

drawer unto King Pyrrhus,* who had but two in his head.

How the banyans of India maintain the integrity of
those parts, I find not particularly observed; who not-
withstanding have an advantage of their preservation by
abstaining from all flesh, and employing their teeth in
such food unto which they may seem at first framed,
from their figure and conformation; but sharp and
corroding rheums had so early mouldered these rocks
and hardest parts of his fabric, that a man might well
conceive that his years were never like to double or
twice tell over his teeth.+  Corruption had dealt more
severely with them than sepulchral fires and smart
flames with those of burnt bodies of old; for in the
burnt fragments of urns which I have inquired into,
although I seem to find few incisors or shearers, yet the
dog teeth and grinders do notably resist those fires.

In the years of his childhood he had languished
under the disease of his country, the rickets; after
which, notwithstanding many have become strong and
active men; but whether any have attained unto very
great years, the disease is scarce so old as to afford good
observation.  Whether the children of the English
plantations be subject unto the same infirmity, may be
worth the observing.  Whether lameness and halting do
still increase among the inhabitants of Rovigno in Istria,
I know not; yet scarce twenty years ago Monsieur du
Loyr observed that a third part of that people halted;
but too certain it is, that the rickets increaseth among
us; the small-pox grows more pernicious than the great;
the king's purse knows that the king's evil grows more
common.  Quartan agues are become no strangers in

        * His upper jaw being solid, and without distinct rows of teeth.
        + Twice tell over his teeth, never live to threescore years.

Ireland; more common and mortal in England; and
though the ancients gave that disease* very good words,
yet now that bell+ makes no strange sound which rings
out for the effects thereof.

Some think there were few consumptions in the old
world, when men lived much upon milk; and that the
ancient inhabitants of this island were less troubled
with coughs when they went naked and slept in caves
and woods, than men now in chambers and feather-beds.
Plato will tell us, that there was no such disease as a
catarrh in Homer's time, and that it was but new in
Greece in his age.  Polydore Virgil delivereth that
pleurisies were rare in England, who lived but in the
days of Henry the Eighth.  Some will allow no diseases
to be new, others think that many old ones are ceased:
and that such which are esteemed new, will have but
their time: however, the mercy of God hath scattered
the great heap of diseases, and not loaded any one
country with all: some may be new in one country
which have been old in another.  New discoveries of
the earth discover new diseases: for besides the common
swarm, there are endemial and local infirmities proper
unto certain regions, which in the whole earth make no
small number: and if Asia, Africa, and America, should
bring in their list, Pandora's box would swell, and there
must be a strange pathology.

Most men expected to find a consumed kell,<10> empty
and bladder-like guts, livid and marbled lungs, and a
withered pericardium in this exsuccous corpse: but some
seemed too much to wonder that two lobes of his lungs
adhered unto his side; for the like I have often found

        * [Greek omitted], securissima et facillima.—
        + Pro febre quartana raro sonat campana.

in bodies of no suspected consumptions or difficulty of
respiration.  And the same more often happeneth in
men than other animals: and some think in women
than in men: but the most remarkable I have met
with, was in a man, after a cough of almost fifty years,
in whom all the lobes adhered unto the pleura, and
each lobe unto another; who having also been much
troubled with the gout, brake the rule of Cardan,* and
died of the stone in the bladder.  Aristotle makes a
query, why some animals cough, as man; some not, as
oxen.  If coughing be taken as it consisteth of a
natural and voluntary motion, including expectoration
and spitting out, it may be as proper unto man as
bleeding at the nose; otherwise we find that Vegetius
and rural writers have not left so many medicines in vain
against the coughs of cattle; and men who perish by
coughs die the death of sheep, cats, and lions: and
though birds have no midriff, yet we meet with divers
remedies in Arrianus against the coughs of hawks.
And though it might be thought that all animals who
have lungs do cough; yet in cataceous* fishes, who have
large and strong lungs, the same is not observed; nor
yet in oviparous quadrupeds: and in the greatest
thereof, the crocodile, although we read much of their
tears, we find nothing of that motion.

From the thoughts of sleep, when the soul was con-
ceived nearest unto divinity, the ancients erected an
art of divination, wherein while they too widely ex-
patiated in loose and in consequent conjectures, Hippo-
crates+ wisely considered dreams as they presaged

        * Cardan in his Encomium Podagrae reckoneth this among
          the Dona Podagrae, that they are delivered thereby from the
          phthisis and stone in the bladder.
        + Hippoc, de Insomniis

alterations in the body, and so afforded hints toward
the preservation of health, and prevention of diseases;
and therein was so serious as to advise alteration of
diet, exercise, sweating, bathing, and vomiting; and
also so religious as to order prayers and supplications
unto respective deities, in good dreams unto Sol,
Jupiter coelestis, Jupiter opulentus, Minerva, Mer-
curius, and Apollo; in bad, unto Tellus and the

And therefore I could not but notice how his female
friends were irrationally curious so strictly to examine
his dreams, and in this low state to hope for the
phantasms of health.  He was now past the healthful
dreams of the sun, moon, and stars, in their clarity and
proper courses.  'Twas too late to dream of flying, of
limpid fountains, smooth waters, white vestments, and
fruitful green trees, which are the visions of healthful
sleeps, and at good distance from the grave.
        And they were also too deeply dejected that he should
dream of his dead friends, inconsequently divining, that
he would not be long from them; for strange it was not
that he should sometimes dream of the dead, whose
thoughts run always upon death; beside, to dream of
the dead, so they appear not in dark habits, and take
nothing away from us, in Hippocrates' sense was of good
signification: for we live by the dead, and everything
is or must be so before it becomes our nourishment.
And Cardan, who dreamed that he discoursed with his
dead father in the moon, made thereof no mortal in-
terpretation; and even to dream that we are dead, was
having a signification of liberty, vacuity from cares,
exemption and freedom from troubles unknown unto
the dead.
        Some dreams I confess may admit of easy and femi-
nine exposition; he who dreamed that he could not see
his right shoulder, might easily fear to lose the sight of
his right eye; he that before a journey dreamed that
his feet were cut off, had a plain warning not to under-
take his intended journey.  But why to dream of lettuce
should presage some ensuing disease, why to eat figs
should signify foolish talk, why to eat eggs great trouble,
and to dream of blindness should be so highly com-
mended, according to the oneirocritical verses of As-
trampsychus and Nicephorus, I shall leave unto your
        He was willing to quit the world alone and altogether,
leaving no earnest behind him for corruption or after-
grave, having small content in that common satisfaction
to survive or live in another, but amply satisfied that
his disease should die with himself, nor revive in a pos-
terity to puzzle physic, and make sad mementoes of their
parent hereditary.  Leprosy awakes not sometimes before
forty, the gout and stone often later; but consumptive
and tabid* roots sprout more early, and at the fairest
make seventeen years of our life doubtful before that
age.  They that enter the world with original diseases
as well as sin, have not only common mortality but sick
traductions to destroy them, make commonly short
courses, and live not at length but in figures; so that a
sound Caesarean nativity+ may outlast a natural birth,
and a knife may sometimes make way for a more last-
ing fruit than a midwife; which makes so few infants
now able to endure the old test of the river,# and many

        * Tabes maxime contingunt ab anno decimo octavo and trigesi
          mum quintum. — Hippoc.
        + A sound child cut out of the body of the mother.
        # Natos ad flumina primum deferimus saevoque gelu dura
          mus et undis.

to have feeble children who could scarce have been mar-
ried at Sparta, and those provident states who studied
strong and healthful generations; which happen but
contingently in mere pecuniary matches or marriages
made by the candle, wherein notwithstanding there is
little redress to be hoped from an astrologer or a lawyer,
and a good discerning physician were like to prove the
most successful counsellor.

Julius Scaliger, who in a sleepless fit of the gout could
make two hundred verses in a night, would have but
five* plain words upon his tomb.  And this serious per-
son, though no minor wit, left the poetry of his epitaph
unto others; either unwilling to commend himself, or
to be judged by a distich, and perhaps considering how
unhappy great poets have been in versifying their own
epitaphs; wherein Petrarch, Dante, and Ariosto, have
so unhappily failed, that if their tombs should outlast
their works, posterity would find so little of Apollo on
them as to mistake them for Ciceronian poets.

In this deliberate and creeping progress unto the
grave, he was somewhat too young and of too noble a
mind, to fall upon that stupid symptom observable in
divers persons near their journey's end, and which may
be reckoned among the mortal symptoms of their last
disease; that is, to become more narrow-minded, miser-
able, and tenacious, unready to part with anything,
when they are ready to part with all, and afraid to want
when they have no time to spend; meanwhile physi-
cians, who know that many are mad but in a single
depraved imagination, and one prevalent decipiency;
and that beside and out of such single deliriums a man
may meet with sober actions and good sense in bedlam;

        * Julii Caesaris Scaligeri quod fuit. — Joseph. Scaliger in vita

cannot but smile to see the heirs and concerned relations
gratulating themselves on the sober departure of their
friends; and though they behold such mad covetous
passages, content to think they die in good understand-
ing, and in their sober senses.

Avarice, which is not only infidelity, but idolatry,
either from covetous progeny or questuary<11> education,
had no root in his breast, who made good works the
expression of his faith, and was big with desires unto
public and lasting charities; and surely where good
wishes and charitable intentions exceed abilities, theori-
cal beneficency may be more than a dream.  They build
not castles in the air who would build churches on
earth; and though they leave no such structures here,
may lay good foundations in heaven.  In brief, his life
and death were such, that I could not blame them who
wished the like, and almost to have been himself;
almost, I say; for though we may wish the prosperous
appurtenances of others, or to be another in his happy
accidents, yet so intrinsical is every man unto himself,
that some doubt may be made, whether any would
exchange his being, or substantially become another

He had wisely seen the world at home and abroad,
and thereby observed under what variety men are de-
luded in the pursuit of that which is not here to be
found.  And although he had no opinion of reputed
felicities below, and apprehended men widely out in the
estimate of such happiness, yet his sober contempt of the
world wrought no Democratism or Cynicism, no laugh-
ing or snarling at it, as well understanding there are not
felicities in this world to satisfy a serious mind; and
therefore, to soften the stream of our lives, we are fain
to take in the reputed contentations of this world, to
unite with the crowd in their beatitudes, and to make
ourselves happy by consortion, opinion, and co-existi-
mation; for strictly to separate from received and cus-
tomary felicities, and to confine unto the rigour of
realities, were to contract the consolation of our beings
unto too uncomfortable circumscriptions.

Not to fear death,* nor desire it, was short of his re-
solution: to be dissolved, and be with Christ, was his
dying ditty.  He conceived his thread long, in no long
course of years, and when he had scarce outlived the
second life of Lazarus;+ esteeming it enough to approach
the years of his Saviour, who so ordered his own human
state, as not to be old upon earth.

But to be content with death may be better than to
desire it; a miserable life may make us wish for death,
but a virtuous one to rest in it; which is the advantage
of those resolved Christians, who looking on death not
only as the sting, but the period and end of sin, the
horizon and isthmus between this life and a better, and
the death of this world but as a nativity of another,
do contentedly submit unto the common necessity, and
envy not Enoch or Elias.

Not to be content with life is the unsatisfactory state
of those who destroy themselves,# who being afraid to
live run blindly upon their own death, which no man
fears by experience: and the Stoics had a notable doc-

        * Summum nec metuas diem nec optes.
        + Who upon some accounts, and tradition, is said to have
          lived thirty years after he was raised by our Saviour.—
        # In the speech of Vulteius in Lucan, animating his soldiers
          in a great struggle to kill one another. — "Decernite lethum,
          et metus omnis abest, cupias quodcunque necesse est."  "All
          fear is over, do but resolve to die, and make your desires meet
          necessity." — Phars.iv.486.

trine to take away the fear thereof; that is, in such ex-
tremities, to desire that which is not to be avoided, and
wish what might be feared; and so made evils voluntary,
and to suit with their own desires, which took off the
terror of them.

But the ancient martyrs were not encouraged by such
fallacies; who, though they feared not death, were afraid
to be their own executioners; and therefore thought it
more wisdom to crucify their lusts than their bodies, to
circumcise than stab their hearts, and to mortify than
kill themselves.

His willingness to leave this world about that age,
when most men think they may best enjoy it, though
paradoxical unto worldly ears, was not strange unto
mine, who have so often observed, that many, though
old, oft stick fast unto the world, and seem to be drawn
like Cacus's oxen<12>, backward, with great struggling and
reluctancy unto the grave.  The long habit of living
makes mere men more hardly to part with life, and all
to be nothing, but what is to come.  To live at the rate
of the old world, when some could scarce remember
themselves young, may afford no better digested death
than a more moderate period.  Many would have
thought it an happiness to have had their lot of life
in some notable conjunctures of ages past; but the
uncertainty of future times have tempted few to make
a part in ages to come.  And surely, he that hath taken
the true altitude of things, and rightly calculated the
degenerate state of this age, is not like to envy those
that shall live in the next, much less three or four hun-
dred years hence, when no man can comfortably imagine
what face this world will carry: and therefore since
every age makes a step unto the end of all things, and
the Scripture affords so hard a character of the last
times; quiet minds will be content with their genera-
tions, and rather bless ages past, than be ambitious of
those to come.

Though age had set no seal upon his face, yet a dim
eye might clearly discover fifty in his actions; and
therefore, since wisdom is the grey hair, and an un-
spotted life old age; although his years come short, he
might have been said to have held up with longer
livers, and to have been Solomon's* old man.  And
surely if we deduct all those days of our life which
we might wish unlived, and which abate the comfort of
those we now live; if we reckon up only those days
which God hath accepted of our lives, a life of good
years will hardly be a span long: the son in this sense
may outlive the father, and none be climacterically
old.  He that early arriveth unto the parts and pru-
dence of age, is happily old without the uncomfortable
attendants of it; and 'tis superfluous to live unto grey
hairs, when in precocious temper we anticipate the
virtues of them.  In brief, he cannot be accounted
young who outliveth the old man.  He that hath early
arrived unto the measure of a perfect stature in Christ,
hath already fulfilled the prime and longest inten-
tion of his being; and one day lived after the perfect
rule of piety, is to be preferred before sinning immor-

Although he attained not unto the years of his prede-
cessors, yet he wanted not those preserving virtues
which confirm the thread of weaker constitutions.  Cau-
telous chastity and crafty sobriety were far from him;
those jewels were paragon, without flaw, hair, ice, or
cloud in him; which affords me a hint to proceed in
these good wishes, and few mementoes unto you.

        * Wisdom, cap. iv.

Tread softly and circumspectly in this funambulous<13>
track and narrow path of goodness; pursue virtue
virtuously, be sober and temperate, not to preserve your
body in a sufficiency for wanton ends, not to spare your
purse, not to be free from the infamy of common trans-
gressors that way, and thereby to balance or palliate
obscure and closer vices, nor simply to enjoy health, by
all of which you may leaven good actions, and render
virtues disputable, but, in one word, that you may truly
serve God, which every sickness will tell you you cannot
well do without health.  The sick man's sacrifice is but
a lame oblation.  Pious treasures, laid up in healthful
days, excuse the defect of sick non-performance; without
which we must needs look back with anxiety upon the
last opportunities of health; and may have cause rather
to envy than pity the ends of penitent malefactors, who
go with clear parts unto the last act of their lives, and
in the integrity of their faculties return their spirit unto
God that gave it.

Consider whereabouts thou art in Cebe's<14> table, or
that old philosophical pinax<15> of the life of man;
whether thou art still in the road of uncertainties;
whether thou hast yet entered the narrow gate, got up
the hill and asperous way which leadeth unto the house
of sanity; or taken that purifying potion from the hand
of sincere erudition, which may send thee clear and pure
away unto a virtuous and happy life.

In this virtuous voyage let no disappointment cause
despondency, nor difficulty despair.  Think not that
you are sailing from Lima to Manilla,* <16> wherein
thou mayest tie up the rudder, and sleep before the
wind, but expect rough seas, flaws and contrary blasts;

        * Through the Pacifick Sea with a constant gale from the east.

and 'tis well if by many cross tacks and veerings thou
arrivest at the port.  Sit not down in the popular
seats and common level of virtues, but endeavour to
make them heroical.  Offer not only peace-offerings but
holocausts unto God.  To serve him singly to serve our-
selves were too partial a piece of piety, not like to place
us in the highest mansions of glory.

He that is chaste and continent not to impair his
strength or terrified by contagion will hardly be heroically
virtuous.  Adjourn not that virtue until those years
when Cato could lend out his wife, and impotent satyrs
write satires against lust, but be chaste in thy flaming
days when Alexander dared not trust his eyes upon the
fair sisters of Darius, and when so many think that
there is no other way but Origen's.*

Be charitable before wealth make thee covetous, and
lose not the glory of the mitre.  If riches increase, let
thy mind hold pace with them, and think it is not
enough to be liberal but munificent.  Though a cup of
cold water from some hand may not be without its
reward, yet stick not thou for wine and oil for the
wounds of the distressed, and treat the poor as our
Saviour did the multitude to the reliques of some

Trust not unto the omnipotency of gold, or say not
unto it, thou art my confidence.  Kiss not thy hand
when thou beholdest that terrestrial sun, nor bore thy
ear unto its servitude.  A slave unto Mammon makes
no servant unto God.  Covetousness cracks the sinews
of faith, numbs the apprehension of anything above
sense; and only affected with the certainty of things
present, makes a peradventure of things to come; lives
but unto one world, nor hopes but fears another: makes

        * Who is said to have castrated himself.

their own death sweet unto others, bitter unto them-
selves, brings formal sadness, scenical mourning, and
no wet eyes at the grave.

If avarice be thy vice, yet make it not thy punish-
ment.  Miserable men commiserate not themselves,
bowelless unto themselves, and merciless unto their
own bowels.  Let the fruition of things bless the
possession of them, and take no satisfaction in dying
but living rich.  For since thy good works, not thy
goods will follow thee; since riches are an appurtenance
of life, and no dead man is rich, to famish in plenty,
and live poorly to die rich, were a multiplying im-
provement in madness and use upon use in folly.

Persons lightly dipt, not grained, in generous honesty
are but pale in goodness and faint-hued in sincerity.
But be thou what thou virtuously art, and let not the
ocean wash away thy tincture.  Stand majestically upon
that axis where prudent simplicity hath fixed thee;
and at no temptation invert the poles of thy honesty
that vice may be uneasy and even monstrous unto
thee; let iterated good acts and long confirmed habits
make virtue natural or a second nature in thee; and since
few or none prove eminently virtuous but from some
advantageous foundations in their temper and natural
inclinations, study thyself betimes, and early find what
nature bids thee to be or tells thee what thou mayest
be.  They who thus timely descend into themselves,
cultivating the good seeds which nature hath set in them,
and improving their prevalent inclinations to perfection,
become not shrubs but cedars in their generation.  And
to be in the form of the best of bad, or the worst of the
good, will be no satisfaction unto them.

Let not the law of thy country be the non ultra of
thy honesty, nor think that always good enough that
the law will make good.  Narrow not the law of
charity, equity, mercy.  Join gospel righteousness with
legal right.  Be not a mere Gamaliel in the faith, but
let the Sermon on the Mount be thy Targum unto the
law of Sinai.

Make not the consequences of virtue the ends
thereof.  Be not beneficent for a name or cymbal
of applause; nor exact and punctual in commerce for
the advantages of trust and credit, which attend the
reputation of just and true dealing: for such rewards,
though unsought for, plain virtue will bring with her,
whom all men honour, though they pursue not.  To
have other by-ends in good actions sours laudable
performances, which must have deeper roots, motives,
and instigations, to give them the stamp of virtues.

Though human infirmity may betray thy heedless
days into the popular ways of extravagancy, yet, let
not thine own depravity or the torrent of vicious times
carry thee into desperate enormities in opinions, manners,
or actions.  If thou hast dipped thy foot in the river,
yet venture not over Rubicon; run not into extremities
from whence there is no regression, nor be ever so closely
shut up within the holds of vice and iniquity, as not
to find some escape by a postern of recipiscency.<17>

Owe not thy humility unto humiliation by adversity,
but look humbly down in that state when others look
upward upon thee.  Be patient in the age of pride,
and days of will, and impatiency, when men live but by
intervals of reason, under the sovereignty of humour and
passion, when it is in the power of every one to trans-
form thee out of thyself, and put thee into short mad-
ness.*  If you cannot imitate Job, yet come not short of
Socrates,<18> and those patient Pagans, who tired the

        * Irae furor brevis est.

tongues of their enemies, while they perceived they
spit their malice at brazen walls and statues.

Let age, not envy, draw wrinkles on thy cheeks; be
content to be envied, but envy not.  Emulation may be
plausible, and indignation allowable, but admit no treaty
with that passion which no circumstance can make
good.  A displacency at the good of others, because
they enjoy it although we do not want it, is an absurd
depravity sticking fast unto nature, from its primitive
corruption, which he that can well subdue were a
Christian of the first magnitude, and for ought I know
may have one foot already in heaven.

While thou so hotly disclaimest the devil, be not
guilty of Diabolism.  Fall not into one name with that
unclean spirit, nor act his nature whom thou so much
abhorrest, that is, to accuse, calumniate, backbite,
whisper, detract, or sinistrously interpret others.  Degen-
erous depravities and narrow-minded vices! not only
below St Paul's noble Christian, but Aristotle's true gen-
tleman.*  Trust not with some that the Epistle of St
James is apocryphal, and so read with less fear that
stabbing truth that in company with this vice, "thy
religion is in vain."  Moses broke the tables without
breaking the law, but where charity is broke the law
itself is shattered, which cannot be whole without love
that is "the fulfilling of it."  Look humbly upon thy
virtues, and though thou art rich in some, yet think
thyself poor and naked without that crowning grace
which "thinketh no evil, which envieth not, which
beareth, believeth, hopeth, endureth all things."
With these sure graces while busy tongues are crying
out for a drop of cold water, mutes may be in happi-
ness, and sing the "Trisagium,"+ in heaven.

        * See Aristotle's Ethics, chapter Magnanimity.
        + Holy, holy, holy.

Let not the sun in Capricorn* go down upon thy
wrath, but write thy wrongs in water, draw the curtain
of night upon injuries, shut them up in the tower of
oblivion,+ and let them be as though they had not been.
Forgive thine enemies totally, without any reserve of
hope that however God will revenge thee.

Be substantially great in thyself, and more than thou
appearest unto others; and let the world be deceived
in thee, as they are in the lights of heaven.  Hang early
plummets upon the heels of pride, and let ambition
have but an epicycle<19> or narrow circuit in thee.
Measure not thyself by thy morning shadow, but by
the extent of thy grave; and reckon thyself above
the earth, by the line thou must be contented with
under it.  Spread not into boundless expansions either
to designs or desires.  Think not that mankind liveth
but for a few; and that the rest are born but to serve
the ambition of those who make but flies of men, and
wildernesses of whole nations.  Swell not into vehement
actions, which embroil and confound the earth, but be
one of those violent ones that force the kingdom of
heaven.#  If thou must needs rule, be Zeno's king, and
enjoy that empire which every man gives himself:
certainly the iterated injunctions of Christ unto humility,
meekness, patience, and that despised train of virtues,
cannot but make pathetical impression upon those
who have well considered the affairs of all ages;
wherein pride, ambition, and vain-glory, have led

        * Even when the days are shortest.
        + Alluding to the tower of oblivion, mentioned by Pro-
          copius, which was the name of a tower of imprisonment among
          the Persians; whoever was put therein was as it were buried
          alive, and it was death for any but to name him.
        # St Matt. xi.

up to the worst of actions, whereunto confusions,
tragedies, and acts, denying all religion, do owe their

Rest not in an ovation,* but a triumph over thy
passions.  Chain up the unruly legion of thy breast;
behold thy trophies within thee, not without thee.
Lead thine own captivity captive, and be Caesar unto

Give no quarter unto those vices that are of thine
inward family, and, having a root in thy temper, plead
a right and propriety in thee.  Examine well thy com-
plexional inclinations.  Rain early batteries against
those strongholds built upon the rock of nature, and
make this a great part of the militia of thy life.  The
politic nature of vice must be opposed by policy, and
therefore wiser honesties project and plot against sin;
wherein notwithstanding we are not to rest in generals,
or the trite stratagems of art; that may succeed with
one temper, which may prove successless with another.
There is no community or commonwealth of virtue,
every man must study his own economy and erect
these rules unto the figure of himself.

Lastly, if length of days be thy portion, make it not
thy expectation.  Reckon not upon long life; but live
always beyond thy account.  He that so often sur-
viveth his expectation lives many lives, and will scarce
complain of the shortness of his days.  Time past is
gone like a shadow; make times to come present; con-
ceive that near which may be far off.  Approximate
thy latter times by present apprehensions of them: be
like a neighbour unto death, and think there is but
little to come.  And since there is something in us that
must still live on, join both lives together, unite them

        * Ovation, a petty and minor kind of triumph.

in thy thoughts and actions, and live in one but for the
other.  He who thus ordereth the purposes of this life,
will never be far from the next, and is in some manner
already in it, by a happy conformity and close appre-
hension of it.


  1.  It was a proverb, "Ubi tres medici duo athei."
  2.  A Latinised word meaning a taunt (impropero.)
  3.  The synod of Dort was held in 1619 to discuss the doctrines of
      Arminius.  It ended by condemning them.
  4.  Hallam, commenting on this passage, says — "That Jesuit must be a
      disgrace to his order who would have asked more than such a con-
      cession to secure a proselyte — the right of interpreting whatever
      was written, and of supplying whatever was not" — Hist. Eng-
      land, vol. ii. p. 74.
  5.  See the statute of the Six Articles (31 Hen. VIII. c. 14), which de-
      clared that transubstantiation, communion in one kind, celibacy
      of the clergy, vows of widowhood, private masses, and auricular
      confession, were part of the law of England.
  6.  In the year 1606, when the Jesuits were expelled from Venice, Pope
      Paul V. threatened to excommunicate that republic.  A most
      violent quarrel ensued, which was ultimately settled by the media-
      tion of France.
  7.  Alluding to the story of OEdipus solving the riddle proposed by the
  8.  The nymph Arethusa was changed by Diana into a fountain, and
      was said to have flowed under the sea from Elis to the fountain of
      Arethusa near Syracuse. — Ov. Met. lib. v. fab. 8.
  9.  These heretics denied the immortality of the soul, but held that it
      was recalled to life with the body.  Origen came from Egypt to
      confute them, and is said to have succeeded.  (See Mosh. Eccl.
      Hist., lib. i. c. 5. sec. 16.)  Pope John XXII. afterwards
      adopted it.
 10.  A division from the Greek [Greek omitted].
 11.  The brain.
 12.  A faint resemblance, from the Latin adumbro, to shade.
 13.  Alluding to the idea Sir T. Browne often expresses, that an oracle
      was the utterance of the devil.
 14.  To fathom, from Latin profundis.
 15.  Beginning from the Latin efficio.
 16.  Galen's great work.
 17.  John de Monte Regio made a wooden eagle that, when the emperor
      was entering Nuremburg, flew to meet him, and hovered over his
      head.  He also made an iron fly that, when at dinner, he was
      able to make start from under his hand, and fly round the table.
      —See De Bartas, 6me jour 1me semaine.
 18.  Hidden, from the Greek [Greek omitted].
 19.  A military term for a small mine.
 20.  The Armada.
 21.  The practice of drawing lots.
 22.  An account.
 23.  See Il. VIII. 18—

"Let down our golden everlasting chain,
Whose strong embrace holds heaven, and earth, and main."
—Pope, Il. viii. 26.

 24.  An argument where one proposition is accumulated upon another,
      from the Greek [Greek omitted], a heap.
 25.  Alluding to the second triumvirate — that of Augustus, Antony, and
      Lepidus.  Florus says of it, "Respublica convulsa est lacerataque."
 26.  Ochinus.  He was first a monk, then a doctor, then a Capuchin friar,
      then a Protestant: in 1547 he came to England, and was very
      active in the Reformation.  He was afterwards made Canon of
      Canterbury.  The Socinians claim him as one of their sect.
 27.  The father of Pantagruel.  His adventures are given in the first book
      of Rabelais, Sir Bevys of Hampton, a metrical romance, relating
      the adventures of Sir Bevys with the saracens. — Wright and
      Halliwell's Reliquiae Antiquae, ii. 59.
 28.  Contradictions between two laws.
 29.  On his arrival at Paris, Pantagruel visited the library of St. Victor:
      he states a list of the works he found there, among which was
      "Tartaretus."  Pierre Tartaret was a French doctor who disputed
      with Duns Scotus.  His works were republished at Lyons, 1621.
 30.  Deucalion was king of Thessaly at the time of the deluge.  He and
      his wife Pyrrha, with the advice of the oracle of Themis, repeopled
      the earth by throwing behind them the bones of their grand-
      mother, — i.e., stones of the earth. — See Ovid, Met. lib. i.
      fab. 7.
 31.  St. Augustine (De Civ. Dei, xvi. 7).
 32.  [Greek omitted] (St. Matt. xxvii. 5) means death by choking.  Erasmus
      translates it, "abiens laqueo se suspendit."
 33.  Burnt by order of the Caliph Omar, A.D. 640.  It contained 700,000
      volumes, which served the city for fuel instead of wood for six months.
 34.  Enoch being informed by Adam the world was to be drowned and
      burnt, made two pillars, one of stone to withstand the water, and
      one of brick to withstand the fire, and inscribed upon them all
      known knowledge. — See Josephus, Ant. Jud.
 35.  A Franciscan friar, counsellor to the Inquisition, who visited the
      principal libraries in Spain to make a catalogue of the books op-
      posed to the Romish religion.  His "index novus librorum pro-
      hibitorum" was published at Seville in 1631.
 36.  Printing, gunpowder, clocks.
 37.  The Targums and the various Talmuds.
 38.  Pagans, Mahometans, Jews, Christians.
 39.  Valour, and death in battle.
 40.  Held 1414-1418.
 41.  Vergilius, bishop of Salzburg, having asserted the existence of
      Antipodes, the Archbishop of Metz declared him to be a heretic,
      and caused him to be burnt.
 42.  On searching on Mount Calvary for the true cross, the empress
      found three.  As she was uncertain which was the right one, she
      caused them to be applied to the body of a dead man, and the
      one that restored him to life was determined to be the true cross.
 43.  The critical time in human life.
 44.  Oracles were said to have ceased when Christ came, the reply to
      Augustus on the subject being the last—

      "Me puer Hebraeus divos Deus ipse gubernans
      Cedere sede jubet tristemque redire sub Orcum
      Aris ergo de hinc tacitus discedito nostris."

 45.  An historian who wrote "De Rebus Indicis."  He is cited by Pliny,
      Strabo, and Josephus.
 46.  Alluding to the popular superstition that infant children were carried
      off by fairies, and others left in their places.
 47.  Who is said to have lived without meat, on the smell of a rose.
 48.  "Essentiae rationalis immortalis."
 49.  St. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, lib. x., cc. 9, 19, 32.
 50.  That which includes everything is opposed to nullity.
 51.  An inversion of the parts of an antithesis.
 52.  St. Augustine — "Homily on Genesis."
 53.  Sir T. Browne wrote a dialogue between two twins in the womb
      respecting the world into which they were going!
 54.  Refinement.
 55.  Constitution another form of temperament.
 56.  The Jewish computation for fifty years.
 57.  Saturn revolves once in thirty years.
 58.  Christian IV., of Denmark, who reigned from 1588-1647.
 59.  AEson was the father of Jason.  By bathing in a bath prepared for him
      by Medaea with some magic spells, he became young again.  Ovid
      describes the bath and its ingredients, Met., lib. vii. fab. 2.
 60.  Alluding to the rabbinical tradition that the world would last for
      6000 years, attributed to Elias, and cited in the Talmud.
 61.  Zeno was the founder of the Stoics.
 62.  Referring to a passage in Suetonius, Vit. J. Caesar, sec 87:—
      "Aspernatus tam lentum mortis genus subitam sibi celeremque optaverat."
 63.  In holding

      "Mors ultima poena est,
      Nec metuenda viris."

 64.  The period when the moon is in conjunction and obscured by the sun.
 65.  One of the judges of hell.
 66.  To select some great man for our ideal, and always to act as if he
      was present with us.  See Seneca, lib. i. Ep. 11.
 67.  Sir T. Browne seems to have made various experiments in this
      subject.  D'Israeli refers to it in his "Curiosities of Literature."
      Dr Power, a friend of Sir T. Browne, with whom he corresponded,
      fives a receipt for the process.
 68.  The celebrated Greek philosopher who taught that the sun was a
      mass of heated stone, and various other astronomical doctrines.
      Some critics say Anaxarchus is meant here.
 69.  See Milton's "Paradise Lost," lib. I. 254—

      "The mind is its own place, and in itself
      Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."

      And also Lucretius—

      "Hic Acherusia fit stultorum denique vita." — iii. 1023.

 70.  Keck says here — "So did they all, as Lactantius has observed at
      large.  Aristotle is said to have been guilty of great vanity in
      his clothes, of incontinency, and of unfaithfulness to his master,
      Alexander II."
 71.  Phalaris, king of Agrigentum, who, when Perillus made a brazen
      bull in which to kill criminals, placed him in it to try its effects.
 72.  Their maxim was

      "Nihil sciri siquis putat id quoque nescit,
      An sciri possit quod se nil scire fatetur."

 73.  Pope Alexander III., in his declaration to the Doge, said, — "Que
      la mer vous soit soumise comme l'epouse l'est a son epoux
      puisque vous in avez acquis l'empire par la victorie."  In com-
      memoration of this the Doge and Senate went yearly to Lio, and
      throwing a ring into the water, claimed the sea as their bride.
 74.  Appolonius Thyaneus, who threw a large quantity of gold into the
      sea, saying, "Pessundo divitias ne pessundare ab illis."
 75.  The technical term in fencing for a hit—

      "A sweet touch, a quick venew of wit."
      Love's Labour Lost, act v. sc. 1.

 76.  Strabo compared the configuration of the world, as then known, to
      a cloak or mantle (chlamys).
 77.  Atomists or familists were a Puritanical sect who appeared about 1575,
      founded by Henry Nicholas, a Dutchman.  They considered that the
      doctrine of revelation was an allegory, and believed that they had
      attained to spiritual perfection. — See Neal's Hist. of Puritans, 1. 273.
 78.  From the 126th psalm St Augustine contends that Solomon is
      damned.  See also Lyra in 2 Kings vii.
 79.  From the Spanish "Dorado," a gilt head.
 80.  Sir T. Browne treats of chiromancy, or the art of telling fortunes by
      means of lines in the hands, in his "Vulgar Errors," lib. v. cap. 23.
 81.  Gypsies.
 82.  S. Wilkin says that here this word means niggardly.
 83.  In the dialogue, "judicium vocalium," the vowels are the judges,
      and [Greek Sigma omitted] complains that T has deprived him of many letters that
      ought to begin with [Greek Sigma omitted].
 84.  If Jovis or Jupitris.
 85.  The celebrated Roman grammarian.  A proverbial phrase for the
      violation of grammar was "Breaking Priscian's head."
 86.  Livy says, Actius Nevius cut a whetstone through with a razor.
 87.  A kind of lizard that was supposed to kill all it looked at—

            "Whose baneful eye
            Wounds at a glance, so that the soundest dye."
            —De Bartas, 6me jour 1me sem.

 88.  Epimenides (Titus x. 12)—

      [Greek omitted]

 89.  Nero having heard a person say, "When I am dead, let earth be
      mingled with fire," replied, "Yes, while I live." — Suetonius,
      Vit. Nero.
 90.  Alluding to the story of the Italian, who, having been provoked by
      a person he met, put a poniard to his heart, and threatened to
      kill him if he would not blaspheme God; and the stranger doing
      so, the Italian killed him at once, that he might be damned, hav-
      ing no time to repent.
 91.  A rapier or small sword.
 92.  The battle here referred to was the one between Don John of
      Austria and the Turkish fleet, near Lepanto, in 1571.  The battle
      of Lepanto (that is, the capture of the town by the Turks) did not
      take place till 1678.
 93.  Several authors say that Aristotle died of grief because he could
      not find out the reason for the ebb and flow of the tide in Epirus.
 94.  Who deny that there is such a thing as science.
 95.  A motto on a ring or cup.  In an old will, 1655, there is this
      passage: "I give a cup of silver gilt to have this posy written in
      the margin:—

      "When the drink is out, and the bottom you may see,
      Remember your brother I. G."

 96.  The opposition of a contrary quality, by which the quality it opposes
      becomes heightened.
 97.  Adam as he was created and not born.
 98.  Meaning a world, as Atlas supported the world on his shoulders.
 99.  Merriment.  Johnson says that this is the only place where the
      word is found.
100.  Said to be a cure for madness.
101.  Patched garments.
102.  A game.  A kind of capping verses, in which, if any one repeated
           what had been said before, he paid a forfeit.

                                               — ——— —

                                         NOTES TO HYDRIOTAPHIA.

1.  Just.
2.  Destruction.
3.  A chemical vessel made of earth, ashes, or burnt bones, and in
    which assay-masters try their metals.  It suffers all baser ones
    when fused and mixed with lead to pass off, and retains only
    gold and silver.
4.  This substance known to French chemists by the name "adipo-cire,"
    was first discovered by Sir Thomas Browne.
5.  From its thickness.
6.  Euripides.
7.  Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Egyptian, Arabic defaced by the Emperor Licinius.

                                               — ——— —


 1.  Will not survive until next spring.
 2.  Wasting.
 3.  An eminent Italian Physician, lecturer in the University of Pavia,
     died 1576.  He was a most voluminous medical writer.
 4.  An eminent doctor and scholar who passed his time at Venice and
     Padua studying and practising medicine, died 1568.
 5.  Charles V. was born 24th February, 1500.
 6.  Francis I. of France was taken prisoner at the battle of Pavia, 24th
     February, 1525.
 7.  One of the greatest Protestant generals of the seventeenth century.
     He died at Zara, 1626.
 8.  An inflation, or swelling, from the French bouffee.
 9.  August 20th, 1526.  He was defeated by Solyman II., and suffocated
     in a brook, by a fall from his horse, during the retreat.
10.  The caul.
11.  Money-seeking.
12.  Cacus stole some of Hercules' oxen, and drew them into his cave
     backward to prevent any traces being discovered.  Ovid Fast, 1. 554.
13.  Narrow, like walking on a rope.
14.  A Greek philosophical writer.  This [Greek omitted] is a representation
     of a table where the whole human life with its dangers and temptations
     is symbolically represented.
15.  Picture.
16.  The course taken by the Spanish Treasure ships.  See Anson Voyages.
17.  A recommencement.

              "Dulcique senex vicinus Hymetto
               Qui partem acceptae sava inter vincia cicutae
               Accusatori nollet dare," — Juv. Sat. xiii. 185.

19.  A small revolution made by one planet in the orbit of another.