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[Religious Toleration.]


The infinite variety of opinions in matters of religion, as they have troubled Christendom with interests, factions, and partialities, so have they caused great divisions of the heart, and variety of thoughts and designs, amongst pious and prudent men. they all, seeing the inconveniences which the disunion of persuasions and opinions have produced, directly or accidentally, have thought themselves obliged to stop this inundation of mischiefs, and have made attempts accordingly. But it hath happened to most of them as to a mistaken physician, who gives excellent physic, but misapplies it, and so misses of his cure. So have these men; their attempts have, therefore, been ineffectual; for they put their help to a wrong part, or they have endeavoured to cure the symptoms, and have let the disease alone till it seemed incurable. Some have endeavoured to re-unite these fractions, by propounding such a guide which they were all bound to follow; hoping that the unity of a guide would have persuaded unity of minds; but who this guide should be, at last became such a question, that it was made part of the fire that was to be quenched, so far was it from extinguishing any part of the flame. Others thought of a rule, and this must be the means of union, or nothing could do it. But, supposing all the world had been agreed of this rule, yet the interpretation of it was so full of variety, that this also became part of the disease for which the cure was pretended. All men resolved upon this, that, though they yet had not hit upon the right, yet some way must be thought upon to reconcile differences in opinion; thinking, so long as this variety should last, Christ's kingdom was not advanced, and the work of the gospel went on but slowly. Few men, in the mean time, considered, that so long as men had such variety of principles, such several constitutions, educations, tempers, and distempers, hopes, interests, and weaknesses, degrees of light and degrees of understanding, it was impossible all should be of one mind. And what is impossible to be done, is not necessary it should be done. And, therefore, although variety of opinions was impossible to be cured, and they who attempted it did like him who claps his shoulder to the ground to stop an earthquake; yet the inconveniences arising from it might possibly be cured, not by uniting their beliefs, that was to be despaired of, but by curing that which caused these mischiefs, and accidental inconveniences, of their disagreeings. For although these inconveniences, which every man sees and feels, were consequent to this diversity of persuasions, yet it was but accidentally and by chance; inasmuch as we see that in many things, and they of great concernment, men allow to themselves and to each other a liberty of disagreeing, and no hurt neither. And certainly, if diversity of opinions were, of itself, the cause of mischiefs, it would be so ever; that is, regularly and universally. But that we see it is not. For there are disputes in Christendom concerning matters of greater concernment than most of those opinions that distinguish sects and make factions; and yet, because men are permitted to differ in those great matters, such evils are not, consequent to such differences, as are to the uncharitable managing of smaller and more inconsiderable questions. Since, then, if men are quiet and charitable in some disagreeings, that then and there the inconvenience ceases; if they were so in all others where lawfully they might, and they may in most, Christendom should be no longer rent in pieces, but would be redintegrated in a new pentecost.


SIR THOMAS BROWNE, another of the eloquent and poetical writers of this great literary era, differs

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amiable and eccentric scholar, than of a man who takes an interest in the great concerns of humanity. Browne was born in London in 1605, and, after being educated at Winchester and Oxford, proceeded to travel, first in Ireland, and subsequently in France, Italy, and Holland. He belonged to the medical profession, and having obtained his doctor's degree at Leyden, settled finally as a practitioner at Norwich. His first work, entitled Religio Medici-'The Religion of a Physician'-was published in 1642, and immediately rendered him famous as a literary man. In this singular production, he gives a minute account of his opinions not only on religious, but on a variety of philosophical and fanciful points, besides affording the reader many glimpses into the eccentricities of his personal character. The language of that work is bold and poetical, adorned with picturesque imagery, but frequently pedantic, rugged, and obscure. His next publication, entitled Pseudodoxia Epidemica, It is much more philosophical in its character than or Treatise on Vulgar Errors,' appeared in 1646. the Religio Medici,' and is considered the most solid and useful of his productions. The following enumeration of some of the errors which he endeavours to dispel, will serve both to show the kind of matters he was fond of investigating, and to exemplify the notions which prevailed in the seventeenth century. That crystal is nothing else but ice strongly congealed; that a diamond is softened or broken by the blood of a goat; that a pot full of ashes will contain as much water as it would without them; that bays preserve from the mischief of lightning and thunder; that an elephant hath no joints; that a wolf, first seeing a man, begets a dumbness in him; that moles are blind; that the flesh of peacocks corrupteth not; that storks will only live in republics and free states; that the chicken is made out of the yolk of the egg; that men weigh heavier dead than alive, and before meat than after; that Jews stink; that the forbidden fruit was an apple; that there was no rainbow before the flood; that John the Baptist should not die.' He treats also of the ring-finger; saluting upon sneezing; pigmies; the canicular, or dog-days; the picture of Moses with horns; the blackness of negroes;

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the river Nilus; gipsies; Methuselah; the food of their tombs, the Romans affected the rose, the Greeks John the Baptist; the cessation of oracles; Friar amaranthus and myrtle; that the funeral pyre conBacon's brazen head that spoke; the poverty of sisted of sweet fuel, cypress, fir, larix, yew, and trees Belisarius; and the wish of Philoxenus to have the perpetually verdant, lay silent expressions of their neck of a crane. In 1658, Browne published his surviving hopes; wherein Christians, which deck Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial; a Discourse on the Se- their coffins with bays, have found a more elegant pulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk, a work not emblem-for that it seeming dead, will restore itself inferior, in ideality of style, to the Religio Medici.' from the root, and its dry and exsuccous leaves Here the author's learning appears in the details resume their verdure again; which, if we mistake which he gives concerning the modes in which the not, we have also observed in furze. Whether the bodies of the dead have been disposed of in different planting of yew in churchyards hold not its original ages and countries; while his reflections on death, from ancient funeral rites, or as an emblem of resuroblivion, and immortality, are, for solemnity and rection, from its perpetual verdure, may also admit grandeur, probably unsurpassed in English litera- conjecture.' Among the beauties of expression in ture. The occasion would hardly have called forth Browne, may be quoted the following eloquent defia work from any less meditative mind. In a field nition; Nature is not at variance with art, nor art at Walsingham were dug up between forty and fifty with nature-they being both the servants of his urns, containing the remains of human bones, some providence. Art is the perfection of nature. Were small brass instruments, boxes, and other fragmen- the world now as it was the sixth day, there were tary relics. Coals and burnt substances were found yet a chaos. Nature hath made one world, and art near the same plot of ground, and hence it was con- another. In belief, all things are artificial, for nature jectured that this was the Ustrina, or place of burn-is the art of God.' This seems the essence of true ing, or the spot whereon the Druidical sacrifices philosophy. To the Hydriotaphia' is appended a were made. Furnished with a theme for his philo- small treatise, called The Garden of Cyrus; or the sophic musings, Sir Thomas Browne then comments Quincuncial Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Anon that vast charnel-house, the earth. cients, Artificially, Naturally, and Mystically Considered. Nature,' he says, hath furnished one part of This is written in a similar style, and displays much the earth, and man another. The treasures of time of the author's whimsical fancy and propensity to lie high, in urns, coins, and monuments, scarce be-laborious trifling. One of the most striking of these low 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 a thousand 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 hilly and heavy cover-plation, but before surrendering himself up to his ings, 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 relics 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.'

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fancies has been often quoted. Wishing to denote that it is late, or that he was writing at a late hour, he says that the Hyades (the quincunx of heaven) run low-that we are unwilling to spin out our awaking thoughts into the phantasms of sleep-that to keep our eyes open longer were but to act our antipodes-that the huntsmen are up in Americaand that they are already past their first sleep in Persia.' This is fantastic, but it is the offspring of genius. Browne lived in a world of ideal contemreveries, he had stored his mind with vast and multifarious learning. In presenting its results to the public, he painted to the eye and imagination more than he conveyed to the understanding. Among his posthumous pieces is a collection of aphorisms, entitled Christian Morals, to which Dr Johnson prefixed a life of the author. He left, also, various essays, on antiquarian and other subjects. Sir Thomas Browne died in 1682, at the age of seventy-seven. He then successively describes and comments He was of a modest and cheerful disposition, retirupon the different modes of interment and decom-ing in his habits, and sympathised little with the position-whether by fire (some apprehending a pursuits and feelings of the busy multitude. His purifying virtue in fire, refining the grosser commix- opinions were, in some respects, tinged with the ture, and firing out the ethereal particles so deeply credulity of his age. He believed in witchcraft, immersed in it'); by making their graves in the air, apparitions, and diabolical illusions; and gravely like the Scythians, who swore by wind and sword:' observes, that to those who would attempt to teach or in the sea, like some of the nations about Egypt. animals the art of speech, the dogs and cats that Men,' he finely remarks, have lost their reason usually speak unto witches may afford some encourin nothing so much as their religion, wherein stones agement.' and clouts make martyrs; and since the religion of In the writings of Sir Thomas Browne, the pracone seems madness unto another, to afford an ac- tice of employing Latin words with English termicount or rational of old rights, requires no rigid nations is carried to such excess, that, to persons reader. That they kindled the pyre aversely, or acquainted only with their native tongue, many turning their face from it, was a handsome symbol of his sentences must be nearly unintelligible. Thus, of unwilling ministration; that they washed their speaking in his Vulgar Errors' of the nature of bones with wine and milk; that the mother wrapt ice, he says: Ice is only water congealed by the them in linen and dried them in her bosom, the first frigidity of the air, whereby it acquireth no new fostering part, and place of their nourishment; that form, but rather a consistence or determination of they opened their eyes towards heaven, before they its diffluency, and amitteth not its essence, but conkindled the fire, as the place of their hopes or origi-dition of fluidity. Neither doth there anything nal, were no improper ceremonies. Their last vale- properly conglaciate but water, or watery humidity; diction, thrice uttered by the attendants, was also for the determination of quicksilver is properly fixavery solemn, and somewhat answered by Christians, tion, that of milk coagulation, and that of oil and who thought it too little if they threw not the earth unctious bodies only incrassation.' He uses abun thrice upon the interred body. That, in strewing | dantly such words as dilucidate, ampliate, manu

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duction, indigitate, reminiscential evocation, farraginous, advenient, ariolation, lapifidical.

Those who are acquainted with Dr Johnson's style, will at once perceive the resemblance, particularly in respect to the abundance of Latin words, which it bears to that of Sir Thomas Browne. Indeed there can be no doubt that the author of the 'Rambler' acquired much of his fondness for pompous and sounding expressions from the writings of the learned knight of Norwich. Coleridge, who was so well qualified to appreciate the writings of Browne, has numbered him among his first favourites. Rich in various knowledge, exuberant in conceptions and conceits; contemplative, imaginative, often truly great and magnificent in his style and diction, though, doubtless, too often big, stiff, and hyperLatinistic. He is a quiet and sublime enthusiast, with a strong tinge of the fantast: the humorist constantly mingling with, and flashing across, the philosopher, as the darting colours in shot silk play upon the main dye.' The same writer has pointed out the entireness of Browne in every subject before him. He never wanders from it, and he has no occasion to wander; for whatever happens to be his subject, he metamorphoses all nature into it. We may add the complete originality of his mind. He seems like no other writer, and his vast and solitary abstractions, stamped with his peculiar style, like the hieroglyphic characters of the East, carry the imagination back into the primeval ages of the world, or forward into the depths of eternity.


as some have done in their persons; one face of Janus holds no proportion unto the other. It is 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 generations are ordained in this setting part of time, are providentially taken off from such imaginations; and being necessitated to eye the remaining particle of futurity, are naturally constituted unto thoughts of the next world, and cannot excusably decline the consideration of that duration, which maketh pyramids pillars of snow, and all that is past a moment.

Circles and right lines limit and close all bodies, and the mortal right-lined circlel 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,2 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; disparaging his horoscopal inclination and judgment of himself, who cares to subsist, like Hippocrates' patients, or Achilles' horses in Homer, under naked nominations, without deserts and noble acts, which are the balsam of our memories, the entelechia and soul of our subsistences. To be nameless in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous history. The Canaanitish woman lives more happily without a name than Herodias with one. than Pilate? And who had not rather have been the good thief,

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 counsellors, might admit a wide solution. But who were the proprietaries of these bones, or what bodies these ashes made up, were a question above antiquarianism; not to be resolved by man, nor easily perhaps by spirits, except we consult the provincial guardians, or tutelary observators. Had they made But the iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her as good provision for their names as they have done Poppy, and deals with the memory of men without for their relics, they had not so grossly erred in the distinction to merit of perpetuity: who can but pity art of perpetuation. But to subsist in bones, and be burnt the temple of Diana; he is almost lost that the founder of the pyramids? Herostratus lives that but pyramidally extant, is a fallacy in duration. built it: time hath spared the epitaph of Adrian's Vain ashes, which, in the oblivion of names, persons, horse; confounded that of himself. In vain we comtimes, and sexes, have found unto themselves a fruit-pute our felicities by the advantage of our good names, less continuation, and only arise unto late posterity, since bad have equal durations; and Thersites is like as emblems of mortal vanities, antidotes against pride, to live as long as Agamemnon, without the favour of vain-glory, and maddening vices. Pagan vain-glories, the everlasting register. Who knows whether the best which thought the world might last for ever, had encouragement for ambition, and finding no Atropos unto the immortality of their names, were never damped with the necessity of oblivion. Even old ambitions 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 V. can never hope to live

within two Methuselahs of Hector.2

And therefore restless inquietude for the diuturnity of our memories unto present considerations, seems a vanity almost out of date, and superannuated piece of folly. We cannot hope to live so long in our names

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

of men be known? or whether there be not more re

markable persons forgot than any that stand remem

bered in the known account of time? Without the

favour of the everlasting register, the first man had been as unknown as the last, and Methuselah's long life had been his only chronicle.

be content to be as though they had not been; to Oblivion is not to be hired: the greatest part must be found in the register of God, not in the record of before the flood; and the recorded names ever since man. Twenty-seven names make up the first story contain not one living century. The number of the dead long exceedeth all that shall live. The when was the equinox Every hour adds unto that night of time far surpasseth the day, and who knows

current arithmetic which scarce stands one moment. And since death must be the Lucina of life; and even Pagans could doubt whether thus to live were to die;

1 The character of death.

9 Gruteri Inscriptiones Antiquæ.

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 mementos, 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 slippery, 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 transmigration of their souls-a good way to continue their memories, 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 durations. 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 unknown and divine original again. Egyptian ingenuity was more unsatisfied, contriving their bodies in sweet consistencies to attend the return of their souls. But all was vanity, feeding the wind, and folly. The Egyptian mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth. Mummy is become merchandise; Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsams.



glory of the world is surely over, and the earth in ashes unto them.

To subsist in lasting monuments, to live in their productions, 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 metaphysics of true belief. To live indeed is to be again ourselves, which being not only a hope but an evidence in noble believers, 'tis all one to lie in St Innocent's churchyard, as in the sands of Egypt; ready to be anything in the ecstacy of being ever, and as content with six foot as the moles of Adrianus.

[Light the Shadow of God.]

Light that makes things seen makes some things invisible. Were it not for darkness, and the shadow of the earth, the noblest part of creation had remained unseen, and the stars in heaven as invisible as on the with the sun, and there was not an eye to behold them. fourth day, when they were created above the horizon The greatest mystery of religion is expressed by adumbration, and in the noblest part of Jewish types we find the cherubim shadowing the mercy-seat. Life itself is but the shadow of death, and souls departed but the shadows of the living. All things fall under this name. The sun itself is but the dark Simulachrum, and light but the shadow of God.


I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judg ment for not agreeing with me in that from which within a few days I should dissent myself.


I thank God I have not those strait ligaments There is nothing strictly immortal but immortality. or narrow obligations to the world, as to dote on life, Whatever hath no beginning may be confident of no or be convulsed and tremble at the name of death. end, which is the peculiar of that necessary essence Not that I am insensible of the dread and horror that cannot destroy itself, and the highest strain of thereof, or, by raking into the bowels of the deceased, omnipotency to be so powerfully constituted as not to continual sight of anatomies, skeletons, or cadaverous suffer even from the power of itself; all others have a relics, like vespilloes, or grave-makers, I am become dependent being, and within the reach of destruction. stupid, or have forgot the apprehension of mortality; But the sufficiency of Christian immortality frustrates but that, marshalling all the horrors, and contemplatall earthly glory, and the quality of either state after ing the extremities thereof, I find not anything therein death makes a folly of posthumous memory. God, able to daunt the courage of a man, much less a wellwho can only destroy our souls, and hath assured our resolved Christian. And therefore am not angry at resurrection, either of our bodies or names hath the error of our first parents, or unwilling to bear a directly promised no duration; wherein there is so part of this common fate, and like the best of them much of chance, that the boldest expectants have to die, that is, to cease to breathe, to take a farewell found unhappy frustration, and to hold long subsist- of the elements, to be a kind of nothing for a moment, ence seems but a scape in oblivion. But man is a to be within one instant of a spirit. When I take a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the full view and circle of myself, without this reasonable grave, solemnising nativities and deaths with equal moderator and equal piece of justice, death, I do conlustre, nor omitting ceremonies of bravery in the in-ceive myself the miserablest person extant. famy of his nature.

Pyramids, arches, obelisks, were but the irregularities of vain-glory, and wild enormities of ancient magnanimity. 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, ecstacies, exolution, liquefaction, transformation, the kiss of the spouse, gustation of God, and ingression into the divine shadow, they have already had a handsome anticipation of heaven: the


there not another life that I hope for, all the vanities of this world should not intreat a moment's breath for 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 conceit 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 desire 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.


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 valiant acts of Curtius, Scævola, 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 to it. Emori nolo, sed me esse mortuum nihil curo'-['I would not die, but care not to be dead']. Were I of Cæsar's religion, 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 fabric 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. It is not only the mischief of diseases, and 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 exempt 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 optics of those eyes to behold felicity; the first day of our jubilee is death. The devil hath therefore failed of his desires; we are happier 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. He forgets that he can die who complains of misery; we are in the power of no calamity while death is in

our own.

[Study of God's Works.]

The world was made to be inhabited by beasts, but studied and contemplated by man; it is the debt of our reason we owe unto God, and the homage we pay for not being beasts; without this, the world is still us 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 inquiry into his acts, and deliberate research into his creatures, return the duty of a devout and

learned admiration.


I believe that the whole frame of a beast doth perish, and is left in the same state after death as before it was materialed unto life; that the souls of men know neither contrary nor corruption; that they subsist beyond 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 stealing 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, ke an insolent champion, beholds

with pride the spoils and trophies of his victory over Adam.


[Of Myself.]

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 a 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 that I can cast mine eye on-for the other I use it but like my globe, and turn it round sometimes for my recreation. * The earth is a point not only in respect of the heavens above us, but of that 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. 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-something that was before the heavens, 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 hath yet to begin the alphabet of man.

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But to return from philosophy to charity: I hold not so narrow a conceit of this virtue, as to conceive 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 acts 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 infirmities, 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 in this part of goodness, is the sordidest piece of covetousness, and more contemptible than pecuniary avarice. To this (as calling myself a scholar) I am obliged by the duty of my condition: I make not, therefore, iny 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 argumentations, 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

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