Summum Bonum, OR AN EXPLICATION OF THE DIVINE GOODNESS, In the Words of the Most Renowned BOETIVS.

Translated By a Lover of Truth, and Virtue.


OXFORD. Printed by H. Hall. for Ric. Davis. 1674.


Rad. Bathurst Acad. Oxon. Vice-Can:
March. 6. 1673./4.

To the Nobility, and Gentry of England.


I Here Present you the most Profound Medita­tions of one of the Bra­vest Spirits, that was e­ver Cloath'd with Flesh, and Bloud, viz. the CON­SOLATIONS of the most Honourable BOETIVS in the midst of His Great­est Sufferings; With My Earnest De­sires that Your Selves, and Your Po­sterity (Escaping His Misfortunes) may ever Follow the High Example of His Heroick Virtues: which Virtues who­soever shall Attein unto, he certainly [Page] will be More than Conquerour in All the Changes and Chances of this Mortal Life, which both in Sacred and Prophane Writt is term'd a WARFARE. That Famous Apophthegm of SOCRATES in Defyance of His Bloud. Thirsty Ene­mies, might well have been spoken in the like Case, By a Greater Philosopher than SOCRATES, the Renowned BO­ETIVS: They may Kill Me, but they Can­not Hurt Me. Though He does not make any Express mention of JESUS CHRIST in this Philosophical Discourse; yet 'tis well known, how Zealously He Contended for the Truth, Against those Execrable Haereticks that Deny HIM to be GOD, Whom the Ʋniversal Church (According to the Scriptures) Acknow­ledgeth to be ‘GOD of GOD, LIGHT of LIGHT, Very GOD of very GOD, Begotten, Not Made, Being of one Sub­stance [Page] with the FATHER, By VVhom All things were Made.’ I Pray GOD we may All Hold the Mystery of the Faith in a Pure Conscience: As did this Excellent Man, Whose Thoughts of the Nature of True Happiness (though in a Style, I must confess not Answearable to His Great Wit, and Eloquence) I have Endea­vour'd to Express in the English Tongue; which has been no less Adorn'd by those Admirable Writings of Our late SOVERAIGN, than the Latine Tongue by those which the Learned BOETIVS compos'd IN HIS SOLITUDES, AND SUFFERINGS. HE, and BOETIUS, and All the Noble MARTYRS, give Testimony to this Truth, so Elegantly Exprest by His ROYAL Pen: ‘The Assaults of Affliction may be Terrible, like Sampson's Lion, but they yield much Sweetness to those that dare Encounter, [Page] and Overcome them; who know how to o­verlive the Withering of their Gourds without Discontent, or Peevishness, while they may yet Converse with GOD.’ Wishing You al the Experiences of the Unspeakable Sweetness of the onely True Honour, and Virtue, I Rest

Your Affectionate Humble Servant

To the Reader.

AFter I had perfected the Translation of all I in­tended to Translate of BOETIUS, I receiv'd from a Learned Friend the Notice of a very good Translation of all His Five Bookes Consolationis Philo­sophiae, which was Publisht 1609. The Author has given us the knowledge but of Two Letters of His Name, I. T. Though I have not taken so much as one Expression from this Excellent Person, yet I think it my Duty to pay this Acknowledgement to His Memo­ry, (for I suppose He was in Heaven long since) that His Booke affords Me an Abundance of the purest De­light, and Satisfaction, whilst I Double as it were Mine own Notions of the SOVERAIGN GOOD, by their Complication with His. I do not Appropriate these No­tions to BOETIUS, and His Translators, and those o­thers, who have been Addicted to the Study of this In­comparable Booke; they are Common to Us with All those that LOVE the LORD JESUS in Syncerity: For this LOVE Essentially implies a Deep Sense of GODS ALL-SUFFICIENCY, And of the VANITY and Dis­satisfaction of All things under the Sun.

I Requested My ever Honour'd Dear Friend Mr. H. H. to send me some of His Reflexions on BOE­TIUS'S Discourse of the Soveraign Good, and He was pleas'd to Oblige Me with this Answear.

"Dear Sr!

I receiv'd both your Letters, with the Copies of the Latin Tractate, you published; wherin you endeavour to bring men to a right understanding of the Soveraign Good of [Page] Humane Minds; a glorious employment in it selfe, and never more useful than in this our Age. For your desire that I would say something by way of Praeface to your Translation of Boetius, though I am sensible you may much better, and with greater Advantages recommend it to the World, than I, yet to assure you of that Great affe­ction, and service I have for your Person, I have sent you my present thoughts.

When Mankind was at first Created, they lived, and acted under the Divine life, and Nature, freely injoying, and participating of the Communications of the First, and Ʋniversal Good; but being lapsed into a State of Sin, Indigency, and Penury, they quickly lost sight of those Glorious formes, and the Influences of Heaven were seal­ed up. But yet though their Case was sufficiently deplora­ble, the Deluge of Iniquity, and Vice, had not so far de­fac'd the Beauteous Structure of Virtue, but that the remaining Ruines shew'd the Glory of the Ancient Fa­brick, and men still knew God, and searched after the Au­thor of their Beings, and the Reason of their Natures led them to a Pursuit of Happiness. Hence it came to pass that the wise men of the World were divided in their O­pinions concerning the Ʋniversal Good, and Happiness of Humane Nature; some placing it in the bare, and na­ked Pleasure resulting from the exercise of Virtue; o­thers in a perfect Apathy, Insensibility, and deadness to all Passions whatever; and others again in a full Grati­fication of all the Corporeal Faculties. But we, who through the Gracious Bounty of God, live under a more Radiant, and Refulgent light, than that of Nature, have a perfect sight of that which they through the clammy [Page] mists of Ignorance, and Darkness did but feele after; and we know that the Happiness of Humane Nature consists in it's Ʋnion, and Conjunction with the Eternal Good. Which being the Highest, and Ʋtmost Perfection of our Soules ought certainly to awaken our drowsy, and stum­bring minds to a vigorous Prosecution of so transcendent a state of life: a life, so full of solid, and substantiall Joy, and Pleasure, that if we did not take false measures, and estimations of things, we could not but think it infi­nitely beyond the fairest and best of all Sublunary Feli­cities. And indeed the Mind of man is then in a wrong state of Position, when it's Appetites, and Desires are fixed, and terminated upon Terrestrial Good, such as is so far from any Harmony, or Agreeableness with our Intel­lectual Frame, that it vilifies, and Degrades it, and sets it at a vast Disproportion to it's true, and Proper Ob­ject. And this is that false, and Adulterate Beauty, that so often cheats us into a liking, and Approbation of it: A meer Shadow of Happiness, which we possess only in our Fancies, and Imaginations. For if there were really any Substantial Felicity, or Good in Ri­ches, Honors, Worldly Glory, and Corporeal Plea­sures, the mind of man would then be full, and at Rest: it would then have no more Passionate Thirsts, and Aspirations, when once it were possest of it's True Object. But we finding still a Perfect Dissatisfaction, and Inquietude amidst the largest Measures, and ful­lest Comprehensions of Sublunary Injoyments, it is ve­ry easy to conceive that there is something else yet re­quired to Perfect, compleat, and fill the Capacities of the Soule of man. And this can be no other than [Page] that Eternal, and Immortal Good, which has left some signatures, and Impressions of it selfe upon every thing in the Whole Creation: From whence it is that men beholding some Shadowes, and Adumbrations of the Absolute Good, are ready to catch at, and em­brace it in the things below; not considering that all the fine shows and splendid Appearances of the Cor­poreal, and Visible World, are but so many Powers full Charmes, and Inescations to allure, and draw our Minds from a steady Contemplation of that Holy One, in whose Presence is Life, and Felicity, tru­ly so call'd. And that we may not fright our selves from so desirable a Condition, as our Ʋnion, and Conjunction with God, nor our Endeavours after this Immutable Good coole, and flag by drawing a Scene of Humane Life full of miseries, and Calamitous Cir­cumstances, and representing unto our selves the black side of Providence, wherin Innocent Virtue is afflicted and oppressed, and Iniquity, and Vice Pros­perous and Triumphant, we may consider that that Al­mighty Being, who Perpetually Interesseth himselfe in the Affairs of mankind, will at last settle Righteous­ness, and Truth in it's Just Throne, and Govern­ment of the World; and thereby redress, and heal all the Evils Humane Nature is obnoxious unto; which are for the most part made so to us by our unjust Ap­prehensions, and Estimations of them: For what are Fetters, and Imprisonment, but clogs of the Corpore­al Life, while the Mind may Converse with God, and the Whole Creation, and be as Free, as the Air we breath in? what is Death it selfe, but only the [Page] Awakening of our nobler Faculties to the Participation of a freer, and more enlarged life? All which put to­gether do not only depreciate the most Glorious satisfa­ctions of the Animal life, but convert our Minds to their own Genuine Happiness; that is, to an Ʋnion, and Conjunction with the Blessed Author of All things which is the Grand Design of this Treatise. Dear Sir if by this (which I think is the summ, and scope of Boetius's Booke) I may gratify you, I shall please my selfe, in being

Your most Affectionate Friend and Servant HENRY HALLYWEL.

DA, Pater, Augustam Menti conscendere Sedem, Da Fontem lustrare BONI, da luce repert [...] In Te conspicuos Animi defigere visus.

O RIGHTEOUS FATHER, Shine upon Usin the Face of JESUS CHRIST,the Brightness of thy Glory! Shed abroad thy Love in our Hearts By the HOLY GHOST, that we may Meditate Day, and Night on the INFINITE GOODNESS of Our CREATOR, REDEEMER, And SANCTIFIER,In whose Presence is Fullness of Joy, at whose Right Hand there are Pleasures Forevermore.

To the Reader.

ABused mortals! you who think y'ave All,
When you have that which some men Riches call;
And you vain youths, who think that All is yours
When you 'ave your sports your Hawkes your Hounds and —
You Gallants too, Brave boys, and sons of fame
Who think y'ave All when you have gott a Name
Read here and know, that all your fancy'd Joyes
Your Wealth and Honours are meer childish toyes.
And you blest Beggars, brothers of the Cross,
Whose very Life seems Death, and Gain seems Loss,
Who breathe out Nought, but Love, and Honesty,
Aspire to Nought, but pure Simplicity,
Possessing Nought, but what kind Nature gave,
And loosing Nought, but Flesh when laid in grave,
Read here and know, that you have All, and more,
Infinit All, is your Eternal store.
P. G.

THE FIRST BOOK OF THE Consolation of Philosophy.

Wherein Boetius bewaileth his estate.

I, Who was wont to make such chearfull Verse,
Must now (Alas!) Sad Notes rehearse.
The wronged Muses teach Me what to write:
My Tears True Elegies enaite.
No Terror could them keep from following Me;
They fear not my Calamitie:
They of my Sprightly Youth the Glory were,
Of my Sad Age the Comfort are.
Old Age comes on Me hasten'd by my Cares,
An Hoary Head suits with my Tears.
Griefe makes White Hairs spread o're mine Head, and Chin;
On my Dry Flesh hangs Shriv'led Skin.
O Happy Death, which takes not men away
In Joyfull Times! nor, Call'd, doth stay
[Page 2]When they are sunk in woe! Alas, she Flies.
And will not Close our Weeping Eyes!
Whilst Fortune did her flattring Goods bestow,
I hardly 'scap'd a Fatall Blow:
Now that her great Inconstancy she showes,
Life unregarded sticks more close.
Friends, why did yee so oft Me Happy call?
He stood not Firm, who could not 'scape this Fall.

Containing the description of Philosophy.

WHilst I revolv'd these Thoughts in my mind and began to Pen my Complaint, there seem'd a Woman of an (a) awfull countenance to stand over my head, her eyes were very (b) sparkling, and lively beyond the common strength of Men, her Colour exceeding fresh, and vigorous, though there was somewhat that discover'd her to be of so great Age, that it could not be thought but that she was in being long before our Times. 'Twas impossible to di­scern what Stature she was of: for some­times she shrunk her selfe into the common [Page 3] (c) Stature of Men; sometimes she seem'd to touch the skies with her head: and when she lifted it up somewhat higher, she thrust it into Heaven, so that it was in vain to look any farther after her. Her (d) Garment was curiously wrought with the (e) finest threads, the Cloath was so (f) strong that it could never be worn out; which Garment, as I understood afterwards by her own dis­course, she made with her (g) own hands. Time had somewhat sullyed the colour of it with such a kind of (h) duskiness, as we may observe in Pictures that have been hung in some smoaky roome. In the nethermost hem of this Garment was woven Π [that sig­nifieth the Life Practical, or Active] in the uppermost Θ [that signifieth the Life Theo­reticall, or Contemplative] And betwixt these two Letters was a kind of (i) Ladder, by which a man might ascend from the lower to [Page 4] the higher Letter. This Garment the hands of some violent men had cut, and carried a­way such (k) pieces of it, as every one could get. And she had certain Books in her (l) right hand, and a Scepter in her (m) left. When she saw these Poetical Mu­ses standing about my Bed, and dictating words agreeable to my Tears, she was some­what mov'd, and with an Angry counte­nance, who, sayes she, has permitted these Wenches, that belong to the Stage to have to doe with this sick man? they are so far from applying any Remedy suitable to his Distemper, that they very much encrease it with their delicious Venome. For these are they, who with the unfruitful thorns of divers Passions, destroy the good ground that abounds with the fruits of Reason; and they do not free the minds of men from their Disease, but rather make it by cu­stome to become Pleasing unto them. But if your flatteries should take from me any inconsiderable Person, as your common [Page 5] Practice is, I should bear it with less Indig­nation. For my main design would suffer no dammage in the loss of such a one. But this Man, who had so long addicted himself to the (n) Eleatick, and (o) Academick Stu­dies! But be gon ye Sirens, that Please men to their Destruction, and leave him to my Muses to be Cur'd, and reduc'd to his perfect Health: This Company, being checkt after this manner, cast their eyes on the ground, and confessing their shame by their Blushes, they depart very mournfully out of the room. But I, who had made my self allmost blind with weeping, so that I could not discern who the Woman was, that exercis'd such Authority, was quite Asto­nisht, and looking stedfastly on the ground, speaking not a word, I began to expect what she would do next. Then she came neer, and sate down on my Beds side, and observing the Sadness of my Countenance, she complains of the Perturbation of my mind in these words:

Philosophy bewayleth the perturbation of Boetius his mind.

AH, how the Mind sunk in deep woe
Growes blind, and leaving her own light
Out to Darkness she bends her might,
When th' Winds of Earthly cares do blow;
And th' Waves of Grief roule to, and fro!
This Man sometime did freely Tread
The high Paths of th' Aetherial Plains;
He saw unspotted Phaebus's Head,
And could discern the Moons dark Stains:
He held fast in sare Reckoning
Those Stars, which often change their Course;
He searcht those Causes deep, that bring
Such storms to th' Ocean: And what Force
Makes that bright Star go down i'th' West
Which riseth in the Ruddy East.
He studied to find out what 'twas
That made the Spring bring Flowers, and Grass:
Whence 'tis that in Autumn we see
Grapes come to their Maturitie.
Those Causes which Nature did hide
From others, His Quick Thought espie'd.
This Man now wants the Minds clear Light,
His Neck's prest down with Chains: the Weight
That He lies under, and the Pain
Makes Him looke down to th' Earth again.

Philosophy enquireth of Boetius his disease.

BUT, sayes she, this is a time to apply Medicines, and not to make Com­plaints. Then looking very earnestly on me, thus she speaks. Art Thou He, who being nourisht with my Milk, and brought up with my stronger Meats, didst arrive to the strength of a Manlike Understanding? But we bestow'd such (a) Armes on thee which if thou hadst not wilfully thrown a­way, would have serv'd for thy Defence a­gainst any Opposition whatsoever. Dost thou know me? why holdest thou thy peace? is it Shame, or Stupidity that hath seized on thee? I had rather it were Shame; but, as I perceive, Stupidity hath made thee Silent. And when she observ'd that I was not only silent, but in a manner quite Dumb, she layd her hand softly on my brest, and, Ther's no Danger, sayes she; he's in a (b) Lethargie, the common Disease of de­luded [Page 8] minds. He hath forgot himself a little; hee'll easily come to himself again, if he shall once understand, who I am. Which that he may do, let us clear his sight a little, that has been dark'ned by the thick Dust that arises from his Intention on Earthly things. When she had spoken these words, with a (c) part of her Garment, folding it in her hand, she wip'd the Tears from mine eyes.

How Boetius began to recover his knowledge and memory.

THen did that Darkness from Me fly: at length
Mine Eyes regain their wonted Strength:
Just so, as when the Boystrous winds arise
And stormy showers disturbe the skies,
The Sun's obscur'd, and whilst no Stars appear,
Night's spread or'e all the Hemisphear;
If Boreas sent from th' Thracian Cave display
His speedy Force and Free the day
From Darksome Clouds, Sol's Beams straight pierce the Skies,
And strike with wonder our glad Eyes.

How the persecution of Wise men is no new or strange thing.

EVen so the Clouds of my excessive Me­lancholy being dissolv'd I recover'd the sight of Heaven, and came to my right mind again, so that I saw plainly who she was that had begun to worke such a Cure upon me. When I had fixt mine eyes on her, I per­ceiv'd that she was my Nurse PHILO­SOPHY, in whose House I was brought up from my youth: And what, quoth I, art Thou, the Mistress of all Virtues, come from on (a) high to the uncomfortable Place of mine Exile? hast thou a mind to under­goe such false Accusations, as have been brought against me? What, quoth she, should I forsake thee my Son, and not bear a part of the Burthen, that is lay'd on thee for my sake? But it cannot be that Philoso­phy should deny her Company to an Inno­cent man, wheresoever he goes. Should I [Page 10] be affraid of any false Accusation, and Star­tle at it, as if some strange thing had hap­pen'd unto me? For, is this the first time that Wisedome hath been brought into Dan­ger amongst Wicked, and Pervers Manners? Even in Ancient Times, before the Dayes of our Plato, have we not Fought a great Fight against the Rashness of Folly, and Ignorance? And whilst He lived, did not His Master (b) Socrates obtain a glorious Victory, over an Unjust Death, by my Assistance? Whose Inheritance whilst the Epicureans, and Stoicks Endeavour'd to seize on, every one for his own party, and lay'd hold on Me, as a part of their Prey, though I cry'd out, and strove against them, they cut this Garment, which I had woven with mine own hands; and ha­ving thus taken some pieces of it, they went their way, each of them conceiting that he had gotten the whole to himself. Some of them, because they seem'd to goe in my (c) Habit, were Overborn through the error of the prophane Multitude, being judg'd to [Page 11] be of my Family. If so be that thou art ig­norant of the Banishment of Anaxagoras, the Poyson of Socrates, and the Torments of (d) Ze­no, because they were not of thine own Country; yet thou couldst not but have heard very much of (e) Canius, of (f) Se­neca, of (g) Soranus, and other such like Excellent Men, whose Memory is very fresh to this Day, and full of Renown: Whom no other thing brought to their Destruction, but that through a punctual Observance of my Discipline, they allwayes shew'd an A­version from the Designs of Wicked People. Therefore ther's no reason it should seem strange unto thee, if we are Tost with a continual Tempest in the Sea of this World, whose Principal Aim is, to do those things, which are most Displeasing to the Worst of Men: Whose Army, though it be exceeding Numerous, yet is it very Despicable; be­cause it has no (h) Leader; but they run to, and fro according to the motions of their [Page 12] own foolish, and erroneous conceits. If at any time this Army come against us with all their Strength, our (i) Leader draws all Her (k) Forces into her (l) Castle; They in the mean time are wholly intent upon their (m) Plunder, loading themselves with things of an inconsiderable value. But we looke down from on high and laugh at them, whilst they carry away those contemptible things, being out of all Danger of their rage, and fury, in that Place of Defence, which Folly, and Ignorance can never Ap­proach unto.

How we may resist the persecution of the wicked.

WHoso his Life from Passions storms keeps free,
And over Fate has got the Victory,
Holds fast to that which he doth Rightly choose,
And with an Ʋnchang'd Looke Both Fortunes views:
This man the Rage of the Tempestuous Seas,
[Page 13]When from the bottome they their waters raise,
Can ne're dismay; nor yet Vesuvius's Ire,
Which tosses up to th' Skies it's smoak, and Fire;
Nor Burning Thunderbolts that strike high Towers.
Why are stern Tyrants, who soon lose their Powers
Admir'd by Mortals? Cast off Hopes, and Fears,
And thou breakst all the bloody Tyrants Spears.
But be that Wishes ought, or Dreads his Foes,
Sith he's not fixt, and in his own Dispose,
Has thrown away his Shield, has lost his Ground,
And made the Chain wherewith himself is Bound.

Boetius discovereth the causes of his griefe.

HAst thou any perceivance of these things, sayes She, and do they make a­ny impression upon thy mind? What, art thou (a) Asinus ad Lyram? Why weepest thou? why dost thou flow with Tears? [...], Speak out, disclose thy mind. If thou ex­pect any good from the Physician, thou oughtest to lay open thy wound. Then I [Page 14] tooke courage to my self, and spake thus: And hast thou need yet to be told what ai­leth me, is it not apparent how cruelly For­tune deals with me? Art thou not mov'd at the sight of this (b) Place? Is this the Libra­ry, which thou didst choose for thy con­stant Seat in my House? where thou didst so often sit, and discourse with me, touching the Knowledg of things both Divine, and Humane? was mine Habit, and my Coun­tenance such, as now thou seest, when with thee I searcht into the Secrets of Nature, when thou didst shew me the Course of the Stars, and didst form my Life, and Conver­sation according to that Order which is in the Heavens? And is this the (c) Reward I must have for being so Observant of thy In­structions? But thou didst confirm this Sen­tence by the mouth of Plato: That Com­mon-wealths are Happy, where Philosophers have the Government, or where the pre­sent Governors begin at length seriously to Apply themselves to Philosophy. Thou by [Page 15] the mouth of the same Plato hast taught me that this is a Necessary Cause why Wise men should undertake the Administration of Publick Affairs, That the Government be­ing left to men of crooked, and pervers dis­positions, they would be a perpetual Plague to all Persons of true Honor, and Integri­ty. Therefore in submission to this Autho­rity, what I learnt from thee in my Private Contemplations, I desir'd to bring into Pra­ctice, in the due Management of Publick Affairs. GOD, who hath fixed thee in the minds of the Wise, is my Witness, that no other Inclination brought me into any Pub­lick Office, but to be Serviceable to all Good Men. Hence it was that I had so ma­ny (d) Occasions of grievous, and irre­concileable Discord with wicked, injurious People; and, such is the Liberty of a pure Conscience, in the prosecution of Justice, I ever despis'd the Displeasure of Great Men. How often did I oppose (e) Coniga­stus, when he would have seiz'd the For­tunes of all Persons uncapable of Defending [Page 16] themselves! how often did I disappoint Tri­guilla, the Controuler of the Kings House­hold, in his Injurious Designs! how often did I Protect by my Authority those distres­sed People, whom the Avarice of the (f) Bar­barians, that went allwayes unpunisht, did vex with infinite Calumnies, and False Ac­cusations! I was never drawn aside from Right to Injustice by Any man whatsoever. When I saw the Fortunes of those that liv'd in the Provinces so rackt and torn, both by Private Rapines, and Publick Taxes, I Griev'd no less than those very men, who suffer'd such great Oppressions. When in a time of extream Scarcity of Corn there was a most grievous Coemption establisht, which in all likelyhood would have impove­risht the Province of Campania, I strove a­gainst Him, who was Next in Authority un­der the King, for the Common Good, and Disputed the business with him touching the Coemption, the King himselfe hearing the Debate and I prevail'd, so that it was not exacted. Paulinus, a Worthy Person, that had been Consul, whose Estate those Palatine [Page 17] Dogs had already devour'd in their Hope, and Ambition, I drew from their Jaws, whilst they Gaped on him. That Albinus, who al­so had been Consul, might not Suffer by an Accusation, to which he was never call'd to make his Answear, I expos'd my self to the Hatred of Cyprianus, his Accuser. Do I not seem to have heaped up matter enough of Strife, and Contention against my self? but I ought to have found the greater Re­gards amongst other men, having so Acted upon the Principles of Justice, and Integri­ty, that I deserv'd nothing for my selfe a­mong the Courtiers, whereupon I might re­pose the least Confidence in any of them. (g) But by whose Accusations are we Ru­in'd? One of them, Basilius, being turn'd out of the Kings Service was compell'd by the Debts he had contracted to forge an Ac­cusation against Me. But when the King had Decreed that Opilio and Gaudentius should suffer Banishment for their innume­rable, and manifold Deceitful-dealings, and when they refusing to obey the Decree [Page 18] tooke Sanctuary, and the King had notice of it, he gave Commandement that if they did not go from Ravenna within a certain Day, they should be Mark't in their Fore­heads with an Hot Iron, and driven out of the City: How could there be a greater Act of Severity? Yet that same Day the Accusa­tions of those same Persons were taken a­gainst Me. What then? Did our Studies deserve this? or could my Condemnation Fore determin'd Qualify Those men to be my accusers? Was not Fortune in the least asham'd of Innocence Accus'd, or of the Baseness of the Accusers? But wouldest thou know the (h) matter that is lay'd to my charge? It is Affirm'd that I would have sav'd the Senate from great Danger. Wilt thou hear the Manner of it? My Crime is to have hind'red an Informer from Impeaching the Senate of High Treason. O Mistress, what thinkest thou? shall I Deny what I am Accus'd of, that I be not a shame to thee? But indeed I did wish well to the Senate, and shall never cease to Desire their Safety. Shall I Confess it? but so that Endeavour to hin­der [Page 19] the Informer will become ineffectual. Shall I call that an Offence to have Desir'd the Safety of that Order? They have indeed made it an Offence by their Decrees against Me. But Ignorance that is allwayes False to it selfe, cannot change the Merit of things; neither do I think it Lawful, being of So­crates's Judgement, to conceale the Truth, or give way to a Lye. But be it how it will, I leave it to the Judgement of Wise Men. The Truth of this Affair that Posterity may not be Ignorant thereof, I have endeavour'd by Writing to keep in Remembrance. For as touching those Forged (i) Letters, where­by I am Accus'd to have hoped the Romane Freedome, to what purpose should I speak? Their Fraud should have been lay'd open to all men, if it had been granted me, but to use the Confession of mine Accusers, which of all matters of this nature is of the greatest Importance.

In which Affair Sorrow has not so dulled my Senses, as that I should complain that Wicked men Attempt such horrid things a­gainst [Page 20] Virtue: but I am quite Astonisht to see that they bring their Designs to such Ef­fect. For to Will unrighteous things were perhaps but a part of Humane Frailty; but that every Villain should be Able to accom­plish the Mischief he has conceiv'd against a Person never so Innocent, (k) GOD Looking on, seemeth Monstrous unto me. Whence one of thy Family thought he had just cause to raise these Questions: If there be a GOD, whence come Evil things? but whence come the Good, if there be none? But be it so, that those Ungodly fellowes, who thirst for the Bloud of all good men, and of the whole Senate, should have the Will to Destroy Me, whom they saw so earnestly endeavouring to Defend Good men, and all the Senate. (l) But what, did I deserve the same hard measure even from the Sena­tours also? Thou dost Remember, I believe, that when ever I was about to Say, or Do any thing, thou wast allwayes present to Direct Me. This, I say, thou dost well [Page 21] Remember: At Verona, when the King in­tending a Common Destruction, would fain have transfer'd the Accusation of Treason brought against Albinus, upon the whole Order of the Senate, with how great a Dis­regard of mine own particular Safety I Defended their Innocence. Thou knowest that what I say, is True: and that I was never wont to Praise mine own Actions. For it doth in a manner lessen the Secret Ap­probation that Conscience gives unto it­selfe, when any man by declaring what good he hath done, receives Fame for his Reward. But thou seest to what my Inno­cency hath brought Me. Instead of the Re­wards of True Virtue, I undergoe the Pu­nishment of such Wickedness, of which I am Falsely Accus'd. (m) And what horrid Villany, so evident that it could not but be Confest, did ever ingage the Judges in such Unanimous Severity, that neither the sense of Humane nature, so inclin'd to Error, nor of the Condition of Fortune so Uncertain to all Mortals, should soften the Hearts of any [Page 22] of them. If I had been Accus'd to have de­sign'd the Burning of Temples, the Murthe­ring of the Priests, to have Plotted the De­struction of all Good men, yet Sentence should have been given against me being Present, either upon mine own Confession, or the Conviction of mine Accusers. (n) Now being remov'd frome Rome allmost five hun­dred Miles, and having no Liberty granted me to make my Defence, I am Condemn'd to Death and Proscription, for Studying the Safety of the Senate. O Excellent Men, that well Deserve that none should ever be Convicted of the like Crime! The Dignity of which Offence, even they who Impeach me of it knew full well: that they might darken the lustre of it with the mixture of some real wickedness, they faign'd that I had defiled my Conscience with the guilt of (o) Sacriledge, whilst, did Aspire to Places of Honor. But Thou who Dwellest in Me didst drive out of my Mind all Desires of pe­rishing things, and Sacriledge could never have leave to be in thy Presence. For thou [Page 23] didst dayly Instill into mine Ears, and into my Thoughts that saying of Pythagoras [...], (FOLLOW GOD). Neither did it become Me to seek the Assistance of the Vilest Spirits, whom thou didst make ca­pable of such an Excellency, that I should be Like GOD: And besides by the un­stained Reputation of mine House, the Com­pany of my worthy Friends, and also my Father-in-law, a Person of the greatest In­tegrity imaginable, and Venerable like thy self, I am defended from all suspition of a­ny such Crime. But, oh Malice, and Igno­rance! they take occasion from Thee to make men believe that I am guilty of so great Wickedness, and for this very cause shall I seem to be skill'd in the most prodi­gious Impiety, that I have been Instructed in thy Discipline, that I have been endued with thy Manners. Thus it is not enough that the Reverence due unto Thee has pro­fited me nothing, but thou also dost suffer (p) Reproach through the Hatred they have conceiv'd against Me But this is a great Addition to my Calamities that the Judge­ment [Page 24] of most men does not respect the Ho­nor, and Virtue of our Ʋndertaking, but the Success of our Actions; and they conceive that Fore-sight, and True Wisedome are only in those things which are commended by a Prosperous Event. Thus it comes to pass that a (q) Good Esteem in the first place leaves the Unfortunate. 'Tis irk­some to me to think of the various Reports of the People, how many Absurd, and dis­agreeing opinions men declare concerning Me. I shall only say this that 'tis the hea­viest Load that Fortune layes on the Oppres­sed, that when Calamitous Persons are charg'd with any Crime, they are thought to Deserve what they Suffer. And I being remov'd from the Conversation of all Good men, being depriv'd of my Dignities, wrong­ed in my Reputation, have suffer'd most grievous Punishment for Well-doing. And now methinks I see the (r) Companies of the Wicked flowing in Mirth, and Jollity: every leud fellow thinking how he may frame the most pernicious False-Accusa­tions: [Page 25] Good men cast down by the Terror that falls on them at the sight of My Ruine: every flagitious fellow being excited to At­tempt the most horrid Injuries by Impunity, to Finish them by Rewards: Innocent men being not only depriv'd of Security from Accusation, but also of all capacity of ma­king their Defence. Therefore I cannot but Cry out.

Boetius complaineth, that all things are go­verned by Gods providence, beside the a­ctions and affayres of men.

O Thou, through All the World Renown'd,
Father of Lights, who Sitting Still
On thy Throne Turn'st the Hea'vns around,
And makst the Stars Obey thy Will:
Now Thou Command'st the Moon to Shine
Meeting with all her Brothers Beams,
Makeing the lesser Stars repine
That she doth so obstruct their Streams:
Now she's depriv'd of that great Light,
Lookes Pale as through such Loss Forlorn,
[Page 26]And that (a) same Star that brings the Night
Attends bright Phaebus in the Morn.
In that Cold Time when Trees are bare,
Thou dost cut short th' unpleasant Day:
When Daies are Warm, and fields looke Fair,
Thou makst the Nights to fly away.
The Course of Times thy Power doth guide,
So that the leaves which were all torn,
And thrown away by Boreas's Pride
Mild Zephyrus makes to return.
The Dod-star burns the Corn full grown,
Which coole (b) Arcturus would have sown.
Ther's nothing free from th' Antient Law;
Thee All things in their Stations serve:
Thou keepst them in such constant Awe,
That from thy Rule they never swerve:
Why dost Thou men alone Neglect
As if they were not worth thy Care?
Why dost Thou not their Works respect,
So that Just men no Harms may Fear?
Why should we thus see Justice rent,
And Broken on wild Fortunes Wheele,
So that such grievous Punishment,
As Felons Merit, Good men Feele?
But Wicked Manners sit on High,
And splendid Thrones: they Tread on those,
Who hold fast their Integrity,
And all Base wayes will still Oppose.
[Page 27]Black Fates obscure Bright Virtues Face:
The Ʋpright man bears that Disgrace,
Which his Vile Foes deserve.
No Perjury, or base Deceit
Brings them to Ruine: when they please
To use their strength, with Armies Great,
They Conquer Kingdomes, Lands, and Seas.
Whoe're Thou art who Rul'st the Wind,
Dost All things in their Stations hold,
Looke down at length, and see Mankind
In Troubles, and Confusion rowl'd.
Of thy Great Worke a Part are we
That may not be Neglected. Lo,
How we are Tost in Fortunes Sea,
Ʋpon the Waves of Various Woe!
O MASTER, let this Tempest cease;
And as Thou makst the Heav'ns Above
To follow thy Commands in Peace,
so bind the Earth with th' Bonds of Love.

Philosophy sheweth that Boetius is the cause of his owne misery.

WHen I had breath'd forth these Complaints in the Anguish of my Soule She with an undisturbed Looke not at [Page 28] all mov'd with those expressions of my Sor­row, delivers these words: When I saw thee Sad, and pouring forth Tears, pre­sently I understood that thou wast Miserable, and Remov'd from Thine a own Country, but at what Distance I could not judge till I found it out by thine own Discourse. But the truth is, thou art not Remov'd from thine own Country, but hast Wandred from it. But if thou wouldst rather have it said that thou art Violently Removed, or Expell'd, Thou thy selfe art the Author of Thy Expulsion. For truly no other man could ever have had that Power over Thee. For if thou dost Remember the Country from whence thou Camest, It is not Govern'd, as the Athe­nians sometime were, by a Multitude: but [...]: There One Commands Alone, there is One King; who Rejoyceth in the Great Company, and not in the Exile of His Citizens: To be Restrain'd by Him, and Kept in Subjection to His Righteous Will, is the Greatest Freedome. Art thou Ignorant that it is a Law of Thy Country, that none shall be Banisht, who Would ra­ther [Page 29] Abide in It? For he that loves to Dwell There can have no fear least he should De­serve to be an Exile. But he that ceaseth to be Willing to have an Habitation There, ceaseth also to be Worthy of it. Therefore I am not so much Mov'd at the Lookes of this Place, as I am at Thine: neither do I find the want of a Library adorn'd with I­vory, and with Glass; but of the Seat of thy Mind. In which sometime I put not Books, but that which makes Books to be of any Value, to wit, the Sense of my Books. And indeed the things that thou hast spoken touching the Merit of thine En­deavours to Advance the Common Good, are very True: yet 'tis but little that thou hast said, in respect of those many Actions, thou hast perform'd upon this Account. As concerning the Truth, or Falsehood of the Objections that have been made against thee, thou hast spoken things known to all men. Thou hast done well in that thou hast but lightly toucht the many-fold Frauds, and Wickedness of thine Accusers, sith the same things are better, and more copiously dis­courst of by the mouths of the common Peo­ple, [Page 30] who well remember all these things. Thou hast also Reflected with great Severity on that Fact of the Unjust Senate: And thou hast exprest thy Sorrow for the Blame that has been lay'd upon Me, and thou hast with Tears lamented the loss of the good Opini­on that men had of Thee: At length thy Griefe brake forth into Indignation against Fortune, and thou didst complain that she does not Deal with men according to their Deserts: In the Conclusion thy Raging Muse exprest her Desires that the same Peace, which Governs Heaven would Govern the Earth also: But because so great a Tumult of disorderly Affections hath seiz'd on thee, and Grief, and Anger so Vex, and Distract thee, whilst thy Mind is so distemper'd thou art not fit to receive the stronger sort of Re­medies: Therefore let us use Lenitives a lit­tle while, that what has been hardn'd into a Tumour by a Flux of Sharp Humours, may be fitted by the softer kind of Applications for the most quick, and searching Medi­cines.

Philosophy proveth that order is necessary in all things.

WHen Cancer with Sols Rayes doth burn,
Then whoso trusts his Ground with Seed,
Of which it makes him no return;
Deceiv'd, He may on Akorns feed.
If Purple Ʋiolets thou wilt find,
Goe not to th' Wood when Snow, and Frost
Are thither brought by th' North-East Wind,
And th' Fields have all their Beauty lost.
Press not the Branches of the Vine
In Spring-time with a greedy Hand,
If thou desire to have good Wine,
Or pleasant Grapes at thy command.
Till Autumn Bacchus never brings
His Gifts to Peasants, or to Kings.
To sev'ral Times our God Above
Their sev'ral Duties hath Assign'd:
Courses Distinct hee'l not approve
Should ever be together Joyn'd.
Ev'n so what is done in such hast
That Order due we cann't forecast,
It will not come to good at last.

Philosophy discovereth the inward causes of Boetius his griefe.

WILT thou permit me to try the state of thy Mind by proposing a few Questions, that I may understand what course to take for the Cure of thy Distem­per. I shall Answer, quoth I, to whatsoe­ver thou shalt be pleas'd to Aske of me. Then she spake thus: Dost thou think that this World is hurried on in it's course by the Agitations of Chance, or meer Casualty, Or that it is Govern'd by REASON? But, quoth I, never could I entertain such a thought, as this, that such Certain and Orderly Motions can proceed from Chance and Uncertainty. I know that GOD, the Maker of the Universe Sits on High, and Overlooks his own Worke; neither shall that Day ever come that may enforce me to for­sake this Truth. Thou sayst well, quoth she; for what thou didst Sing a little while since suits well with thy present speech: and [Page 33] thou didst deplore Mankind, as Neglected by GOD, whilst All things else are under his Providence. Thou didst not seem in the least to doubt of those things; but that they are Govern'd by REASON. But truly I cannot but wonder very much that thou shouldst still labour under such a Distemper having attain'd to so great a measure of the most Wholsome Doctrine. But let us search deeper; I conceive that something, I know not what, thou lackest yet. Tell me, since thou dost not doubt but that the World is Govern'd by GOD, dost thou consider al­so by what Rule He Governs it? I hardly understand, quoth I, the meaning of this Question, much less am I able to give an Answear thereunto. Was I mistaken, saith she, in that I thought there was something Wanting, through which Defect, as through an Hole these Perturbations have Crept into thy Mind? But tell me, dost thou Remem­ber what is the END of things? or what it is that the Whole Course of Nature Tends unto? I have heard what it is, quoth I, but Sadness has much weakned my Memory. But how knowest thou from what All things [Page 34] derive their Being? I know from what, said I: from GOD. And how can it be that sith thou knowest what is the BEGINING of things, thou shouldst be Ignorant of their END? But this is the custome of these Per­turbations, and Distractions of mind, such is their strength, that they unsettle, and discompose a mans Thoughts, but cannot alienate him from the proper Sentiments of a Rational Nature. I would have thee give an Answear to this Question; dost thou Re­member that thou art a Man? how is it po­ssible, quoth I, that I should ever Forget this? Art thou able then to tell me what Man is? Is this the Sense of thy Question, whether I know my selfe to be a Living-Creature Rational, and Mortal? I know, and confess that I am. And dost thou not know, quoth she, that thou art somewhat besides that? No. Now, quoth she, I come to understand another, and that the greatest cause of thy Distemper, thou fai­lest of the Knowledge of Thy Selfe. Where­fore I have plainly found out the grounds of thy Disease, or rather the way to recover thy Health. For because thou art in such [Page 35] Confusion of mind, by reason that thou For­gettest Who thou art, thou fallest into this extream Anguish, as if thou wast Exil'd, and Depriv'd of thy Proper Goods. Forasmuch as thou art Ignorant what is the END of things thou judgest that Lawless, and Un­godly men are in great Power, and Felici­ty. And forasmuch as thou hast Forgotten by what Rule the World is Govern'd, thou art so apt to conceit that the manifold Chan­ges of Humane Affairs are not within the compass of any Government. Great cau­ses indeed not only of Sickness, but of Death itselfe. But Thanks be to the Author of Health that Reason has not as yet wholly forsaken thee. We have very good grounds to undertake thy Recovery, in that thou re­tainest this Truth touching the Governance of the World, that it is not subject to the temerity of Chance, but to the Divine Wise­dome. Therefore set thy heart at rest. We perceive ther's Vital Heat in thee by this little Spark. But because it is not yet a fit time for stronger Remedies, and such is the nature of our Minds that as often as they cast away the Truth they Habituate, them­selves [Page 36] to False Opinions, from which there arise such Fumes of disorderly Affections, which Darken the Eyes of our Understan­ding: These Fumes I shall endeavour to ex­tenuate with the most soft, and gentle Re­medies, that the Darkeness of the Deceit­ful Love of Earthly things being done away, thou mayst be able to apprehend the Bright­ness of the True Light.

Philosophy declareth how the perturbations of our minds do hinder us from the knowledge of truth.

THe Stars cann't yield their Light,
When Clouds keep them from sight.
If stormy winds do blow,
And make Seas Ebbe, and Flow,
That Water which lookt Fair
As Brightest Dayes, and Clear
As Christal, Foul'd with Mud,
Rais'd by the boystrous Floud,
Obstructs our Sight. And so
[Page 37]The River that doth flow
From th' Hills is oft made stay
By Rocks that lye i'th' way.
And if thou Verity
With a clear Eye wouldst see;
If thou wouldst find th' Right Way,
And from it never stray,
Cast off fond Joyes, and Fears,
And Hopes: wipe off thy Tears.
The Mind's with Clouds o're cast,
And with a Curb held fast,
Where These our Powers do wast.

THE SECOND BOOK OF THE Consolation of Philosophy.

Of the deceits and inconstancy of Fortune.

AFTER this, She held her peace for some time; and when she had gather'd in my Attention by a sober, and grave Si­lence, thus she began: If I throughly un­derstand the causes of thy Distemper, and the Condition thou art in, thou dost lan­guish, and pine away for want of thy for­mer Fortune: 'tis Her Change, as thou makest thy selfe to believe, that hath over­thrown the high State of thy Mind. I un­derstand the manifold Deceits of that Pro­digy, and that she is wont to shew the great­est Dearness, and Familiarity to those, [Page 39] whom she hath a mind to Delude, 'till she confounds them with intolerable Anguish, whom beside all expectation she hath for­saken, and left destitute. If thou wilt call to mind her nature, manners, and diserts, thou shalt understand that thou didst neither Enjoy, nor Lose any Excellent thing in Her Presence, or Departure. But, as I judge, I shall have no hard taske to bring these things to thy▪ Remembrance. For whilst she remained with thee, and flatter'd thee continually, thou wast wont to speak Man­fully unto her, and to persecute Her with sentences brought from the (a) Secret Place of my Temple. But a sudden Change of Things happens not without some Wavering of Minds. So it comes to pass that thou art gone a little from thy wonted Peace, and Tranquillity. But 'tis now time that thou shouldst drink some Pleasant, and Delicious thing, which being receiv'd will Prepare thee for Stronger Potions. Therefore let us have the Perswasives of Sweet Rhetorick, which then only proceeds in the Right way, when she forsakes not our Instructions: and [Page 40] with Her let Musick, who is one of our House-hold Servants Sing Notes sometimes Light, and sometimes Grave. What is it then, ô Man, that hath cast thee into so deep Sadness, and Discontent? I believe thou hast seen something new, and unusual. Dost thou think that Fortune is Changed in her Disposition towards Thee? thou art mistaken. These are Her Manners: this is Her Nature. She hath rather kept her own Constancy in the Mutability she hath shown towards Thee. She was no other than now thou seest Her to be, when she flatter'd, and Deceiv'd thee with the Enticements of False Felicity. Thou hast found out the Deceitful Pretences of this Blind Goddess. She that covers Her selfe with a Vaile from the sight of other men has suffer'd thee to take a full View of Her: and to be fully ac­quainted with her Disposition. If thou Li­kest Her, use her Manners, do not com­plain. If thou dreadest her Perfidiousness, Scorn, and reject Her, that sports her selfe thus in doing mischiefe. For she that hath brought thee into so great Sorrowes should have been the cause of thy Tranquillity. For [Page 41] she hath left Thee, of whom no man can be Secure, but that she will leave him also. But dost thou think in good earnest that that Fe­licity, which thus passeth away, is any thing worth? and can any Present Fortune be Dear unto thee, which gives thee no Assurance of her Stay, and when she shall Depart, will certainly involve thee in great Anguish, and Vexation? If we cannot keep Her with us as long as we please; and if when she flyes from us she makes us misera­ble, what is she else, being so ready to take her flight, but a Sign of future Cala­mity? For it is not sufficient to Consider that which is lay'd before our Eyes. Pru­dence measureth the End of things; whose Mutability in either State, should make us neither to Fear the Threat'nings of For­tune, nor Regard her Pretences of Friend­ship. Finally thou oughtest to bear with a patient mind, whatsoever is done within the Jurisdiction of Fortune, now thou hast submitted thy Neck to her Yoke. If thou wouldest impose a Law on her, whom thou hast freely chosen to be thy Mistress, to stay, or be gone at thy pleasure, wouldest [Page 42] thou not be Injurious, and by thine Impa­tience encrease the Bitterness of that Con­dition, which thou art not able to Change? If thou shouldst commit thy Sailes to the Winds, thou shouldst not be carried whi­ther thou Wouldest Arrive, but whither they will Drive thee. If thou wilt sow thy ground, thou must make account that some years are barren, and some fruitful. Thou hast submitted thy selfe to the Government of Fortune, 'tis but requisite thou shouldst comply with the Humours of thy Mistress. But dost thou endeavour to put a stop to the Turning of her Wheele? but, O Foolish man, if she begins to be Constant, she ceaseth to be Fortune.

Philosophy discribeth the conditions of fortune.

WHen mighty things she turns about
(a) Euripus Like she swiftly flowes;
[Page 43]She doth most dreadful Armies rout,
And Potent Monarchs overthrowes:
And Heads cast down she lifts on high:
She hearkens not to sighs, and groans
Of men plung'd deep in Misery,
She tortures them, and scorns their Moans.
These are Her sports, thus doth she try
Her strength; and 'tis a wondrous feat,
If in that Houre a man shall lye
Ith' Dust, in which his Power was Great.

Fortune sheweth, that she hath taken no­thing from Boetius, that was his.

BUT I would discourse with thee a little in the words of Fortune. Observe if she speaks not right. O man, why dost thou thus complain of my carriage towards thee? In what have I Injur'd thee? what Goods, that thou mightest justly call Thine own, have we taken from thee? Let any man be Judge betwixt us, whilst thou con­tendest with me touching the Possession of [Page 44] Riches, and Dignities: And if thou shalt prove that any of them do properly belong to any Mortal whatsoever, I will readily grant that those things, which thou desirest should be restor'd unto thee were Thine in­deed. When Nature brought thee out of thy Mothers wombe, I tooke thee being Naked, and destitute of all things, I che­risht thee with my Riches, and, which makes thee now so Impatient against me, I gave thee the most tender, and delicate E­ducation, and encompast thee with the A­bundance, and splendour of all things, which are in my power. Now I think fit to withdraw my hand; be Thankful as one that has had the use of things that are not Thy proper Goods. Thou hast no just cause to complain, as if thou hadst lost that which was Thine own. Why then dost thou sigh, and groan? Riches, Honors, and all such like things are in my power: they acknowledge that I am their Mistress: they come, and go with me. I boldly af­firm, that if those things had been Thine, which thou complainest that thou hast lost, thou hadst not lost them. Shall I only be [Page 45] hind'red from the exercise of my power? 'tis lawful for the Heavens to bring forth clear Dayes, and to shut up those Daies in Dark Nights. 'Tis lawful for the Year now to adorn the Face of the Earth with Flowers, and Fruit; now to cover it with Frost, and Snow. 'Tis the right of the Sea, now to looke mild, and calm; now to grow rough with waves, and storms. And shall the un­satiable Desires of men oblige Me to constan­cy, which is so contrary to my Manners? This is the Part I am to Act: this is the play I play continually. I turn round a Wheele, and make the lowest, and uppermost things to change their places. Go up, if thou thinkst fit, but on that condition that thou do not take it for an Injury, if thou be made to go down again, when the Play re­quires it. Hast thou never been made ac­quainted with my Manners? hast thou not heard how Craesus King of the Lydians, but a little before very formidable to (a) Cyrus, being brought to the Fire, a most doleful Spectacle, was sav'd by Water, pour'd down from Heaven, from the devouring [Page 46] Flames? dost thou not remember that (b) Paulus wept at the Calamity of King (c) Perseus, whom he had taken Captive? what is the loud complaint of Tragedies, but that Fortune disregards, and overturns the happiest Kingdomes? didst thou not learn when thou wast a Boy, that in (d) ‘Jupi­ters Entry there are Two large Vessels, one holding Evil things, and the other Good things?’ what if I have not wholly with­drawn my selfe from thee? what if this very Inconstancy of mine be a just cause why thou shouldest hope for Better things? However do not repine at thy condition, and being seated in a Kingdome, which is go­vern'd by Lawes Common to all, do not entertain any vain desires of living by a Right Peculiar to thy selfe.

Fortune complaineth of the unsatiable de­sire of men.

IF so much Wealth, as th' Ocean casts up Sand,
Men could at length obtain:
Or had so many Gemms at their command
As Heav'n doth Stars contain;
All this would not suffice, but they would still
Complain, and Covet more.
And if it were Our Great Creators Will
To adde unto their Store,
And make their Names with Glorious Titles shine,
Yet they would seem to Want,
Through their voracious Lusts they would Repine,
Their Thirsty Soules would Pant,
And Gape for more, and more. What Curbe can now
Their Appetite restrain,
Sith whilst they in so great abundance flow,
Of Want they still complain:
He is not Rich, who doth himselfe Deplore,
And thinks that He is Poore.

Philosophy proveth, that fortune had been more favourable, than contrary to Boetius.

IF Fortune should speak to thee after this manner, certainly thou wouldst hardly find a word to say for thy selfe. Or if there be any thing, whereby thou mayst defend the complaint thou makst against her, thou oughtest to produce it; thou hast liberty to declare thy mind. Then said I: Truly the things that thou hast spoken have a fair shew, and carry with them the Hony of Sweet Rhetorick, and Musick; they delight us on­ly so long, as we Attend to their Sound. But men in Misery have a deeper sense of the Evils that oppress them. Therefore when such things cease to Affect the Ear, that Anguish which is settled in the Mind be­comes more grievous. And saith she, 'Tis so indeed. For we do not as yet administer the Remedies of thy Distemper, but these things are to asswage the violence of the Pain, which will not admit our chiefest Me­dicines. [Page 49] For we shall apply such things, which will pierce into the roote of thy Di­sease, as soon as it shall be seasonable. But that thou mayst not reckon thy selfe in the number of Wretched men, what, hast thou forgotten the measure of thy Felicity? To say nothing of this, that Persons of the Highest Quality tooke care for thee in thy Fatherless condition; and that thou being chosen into the Affinity of the Principal men of the City didst first begin to be Dear, and then to be Near of Kin unto them, which is the most excellent kind of Alliance. Who has not Applauded thee, as a most Happy man, upon account of the Splendor, and Nobleness of thy Father-in-law, the Cha­stity of thy Wife, and the Towardly Dispo­sition of thy Sons? I pass by this (for I like not to speak of common things) that thou didst receive in thy Youth those Dignities which few Old men can attein unto: it de­lighteth me to come to the singular hight of thy Felicity. If there be any true, and so­lid Happiness in the most pleasant Fruit of Humane Affairs, can the Memory of that Day be blotted out, with never so great an [Page 50] inundation of over-flowing Evils? when thou sawest thy sons being made Consuls, to be brought from thy House with so great a company of Senators, the People discove­ing so much joy, and gladness; when those thy Sons sitting in the Senate-House on their Ivory-Chairs, thou didst make an Oration in Prayse of the King, and deservedst the Glory of Wit, and Eloquence: when thou sitting between thy Two Sons being Consuls in the Place call'd Circus, didst satisfy the expectation of the Multitude, crowding about thee, with a Triumphal Largess. Thou didst flatter, and deceive Fortune, I beleive whilst she fawned on thee, and cherisht thee, as her Darling. Thou didst gett from her such a Gift, as she never be­stowed on any Private man. Wilt thou therefore come to a reckoning with For­tune? This is the first time that she ever cast a froward Looke on thee. If thou conside­rest the number, and the measure of things Sad, and things Joyful, thou canst not de­ny but that thou art Happy still. If there­fore thou judgest that thou art not Fortu­nate, because those things which seemed to [Page 51] be Joyful are past, and gone; ther's no cause why thou shouldst think thy selfe Mi­serable, sith those things also, which thou apprehendest to be so Sad, and grievous are passing away. What, didst thou come forth but lately upon the Stage of this Life? dost thou think ther's any constancy in Hu­mane Affairs, whereas 'tis often seen that an Houres time makes an Healthy man re­turn to the Durst? For though the Goods of Fortune should remain with us, which sel­dome comes to pass, yet the Last Day of our Life would be as it were the Death of such constant Prosperity. What matter is it therefore, whether thou goest from it, or it from thee?

Philosophy declareth, how all worldly things decay and fade away.

WHen Phaebus, vanquishing the Night,
Or'e th' Skies his Lustre spreads:
The Stars, Abasht at such great Light,
[Page 52]Grow Pale, and hide their Heads.
Now Zephyrus with his soft Breath
The Roses hath full blown:
The cloudy South Wind blustereth,
And straight their Beauty's gon.
Sometimes the Sea's Still, like the Shore,
And Radiant, like the Skies:
Sometimes the stormy Winds do roar,
And Boystrous Waves arise.
Sith all this World is like the Dust,
That's Driven with the Wind,
Why wilt thou to Mans Fortunes trust,
Which none shall Constant find?
This is a Constant Law, can't Alter'd be,
That nothing here shall have True Constancy.

Philosophy proveth, that Boetius is still fortu­nate, and that no man hath complete happi­ness in this life.

THEN said I, thou speakst the truth, O Nurce of all Vertues, neither can I [...]y the swift course of my Happy Daies. [Page 53] But this doth most vehemently torment my soule, when I reflect on it, For in all Ad­versity whatsoever 'tis the most Unhappy kind of Misfortune, To have been Happy. But, quoth she, what thou sufferest by thy False Opinion, thou mayst not impute to the Nature of things. And if thou art mov'd with the empty name of that Felicity, which is in the Power of Fortune, thou mayst account with me how much thou dost still retein of it. Therefore if that, which thou didst ever esteem as most pretious in the whole Treasury of thy Fortune, be still by the Divine Providence kept safe, and free from all harme, can'st thou have any cause to say that Fortune deals hardly with thee, whilst thou reteinest the more valua­ble Enjoyments? But that most pretious Ornament of Mankind, thy Father-in-law Symmachus is still Alive, and in good health; and (which thou wouldest readily purchase with the price of thine own Life) He, be­ing a Man wholly made up of Wisedome, and Vertue, regardless of the wrongs that are done unto himselfe, bestowes his com­plaints on those, he sees thee to suffer. Thy [Page 54] Wife is still Living, a Woman Modestly In­genious, Excelling in all the Perfections of Chastity, and, that I may briefly compre­hend all her Endowments, she's Like her Father. She Lives, I say, and keeps her Breath only for thee, being weary of this Life; and, which, I confess, is a lessening of thy Felicity, she pines away with Tears, and sorrow for want of thy Company. What should I say of thy Sons, that have been Consuls, in whom, as in Youths of their Age, there shines the Resemblance of the Wit of their Father, and of their Grand-Father? Sith therefore it is our chiefest care to preserve our Lives, O Happy man that thou art, if thou didst but know how to value thy Condition, who to this very day hast so great abundance of those things, which no man doubts but that they are more Pretious than Life it selfe! wherefore wipe off these Tears from thine Eyes. Fortune has not as yet shown her utmost spight a­gainst thee; neither has an over-violent Tempest falled on thee, whilst thine Anchors hold fast, which do not permit thee to want Consolation for the present, nor Hopes to [Page 55] see Better Times. And I pray, quoth I, they may hold fast; for whilst they are Fix­ed, however the matter goes, I shall have hopes to overcome the Storme. But thou seest how my Honors, and Dignities are di­minisht. And saith she, we have Advanc'd somewhat in our design if there be any thing in thy Condition, with which thou art not displeas'd. But I cannot away with this that thou art so nice, and tender, who makest such grievous complaints that there is some thing wanting, which thou wouldest have to compleat thy Happiness. For where is the man that hath attein'd to such a state of Ease, and satisfaction, that he is not in any regard Discontented with the quality of his present Fortune? For the condition of the Goods of this World is full of Anxiety, and vexation, and such that it never comes whole, and entire, and never can be made stable, and permanent. One man abounds in Wealth, but is Asham'd of his Ignoble Birth. Another being Nobly Born is well Known throughout all the Country, but wanting an Estate Answearable to the Great­ness of his Name, he would rather be hid in [Page 56] Obscurity with persons of the meanest Rank. This man is both Rich, and Noble, and bemoans himselfe for want of a Wife. That man hath a Good Wife, but hath no Chil­dren, and afflicts himselfe with the thoughts that he must leave his Wealth to a Stranger. Another rejoycing in his Issue turns his joy into mourning for the ill carriage of his Son, or of his Daughter. So that no man can easily suit his Mind with his own Condi­tion. And let us moreover consider this, that the sense of every man that has been most us'd to Prosperity is exceeding soft, and delicate, and unless he can have all things at his beck, being unaccustom'd to any Adversity, is cast down with every lit­tle thing, that goes across to him: of such small moment are such matters, which de­tract from the perfection of the Happiness of those men, on whom Fortune has bestowd her choicest Favours. How many are there thinkest thou who would conceit themselves to be Advanc'd almost as high, as Heaven, if they could have but a part of the remains of thy Prosperity? This very Place that thou callest Exile is the Country of the Inhabi­tants. [Page 57] Thus nothing is a Misfortune, but when thou deemest it so to be: And on the contrary Every Condition turns into Pros­perity to those, who know how to Dispose themselves in it. What man is there so Hap­py, but he would be desirous to change his Estate, if he should once give way to Impa­tience? what bitterness is the sweetness of Humane Felicity sprinkled with! which if it seem joyful to him that possesteth it, yet it cannot be secur'd to him for a moment. 'Tis evident therefore how Wretched that Happiness is which consists in the Enjoy­ment of perishing things, which neither re­mains with those that are contented, nor is wholly delightsome to persons of anxious, and disturbed minds. Therefore, O ye sons of Men, why do yee seek for True Happiness Without, which is plac'd Within Your selves? You are confounded with Ig­norance, and Wrong Opinions. I shall in a few words shew thee what is the Soveraign, and onely True Happiness. Is there any thing more Dear, and Pretious to Thee, than Thy Selfe? Nothing, thou wilt say. Therefore if thou canst have the full Domin­ion [Page 58] of Thy Selfe, thou shalt Possess that which thou wouldest never part with, and which Fortune shall never be able to take from thee. And that thou mayst clearly perceive that True Happiness consists not in those things that are in the Power of For­tune, consider this Argument: If Bliss, or True Happiness be the Soveraign Good of Intellectual Nature, neither is that Soveraign Good which can by any means be taken from us; because that Excells it, which we cannot be deprived of: 'tis manifest that the Instability of Fortune can never bring us into the waies of True Happiness. Moreover he that is puft up with this uncon­stant Felicity either knowes, or doth not know, how Changeable it is. If he knowes it not, what Happiness can there be in Ig­norance, the Blindness of the Soule? If he knowes it, he must needs be in Fear of losing, what he doubts not but may easily be lost. Wherefore the Dread he is in continually suffers him not to be Happy. Or else he cares not if it be lost: Thus also it appears to be a matter of small moment, whose loss can be so easily born. And because thou [Page 59] art one of those who know, and are assur'd by many Demonstrations that the Soules of Men are Immortal; and sith it is so clear, and unquestionable, that such Happiness, or Prosperity, which is in the Power of Fortune has it's Period by the Death of the Body; it cannot be doubted, but if Death be able to deprive us of our Bliss, All Man­kind must at length become Miserable. And sith we know that many a man hath earnestly pursu'd, and endeavour'd after Bliss, or True Happiness, not only by Death, but also by great Pains, and Tor­ments; how can it be that this present Life should be able to make men Happy, the End whereof makes them not Misera­ble?

Philosophy commendeth a meane estate.

Who so intends to get
A firm, and lasting Seat,
That he may Safety find
[Page 60]From Roaring Angry Wind,
And scorn proud Neptunes Threats
When all the Shores he Beats;
Let him not Build on High,
From loose Sands let him fly.
When stormy Winds do blow,
High Houses they o'rethrow;
An House can never stand
Ʋpon the sliding Sand.
If thou wilt fly the great
Dangers of a brave Seat,
Build thy House very Low,
And on a Rock: Although
The Winds their Forces raise,
And trouble Lands, and Seas,
Thou mayst their Noise endure
In thy Low Seat Secure,
Thy Lookes will still be Clear
Though Stormes disturbe the Aire.

How riches are neither pretious, nor our own.

BUT because these soft, and gentle Rea­sonings, or Fomentations of the Mind begin to sink into thee, I think it would now be seasonable to use some stronger Me­dicines. Well then: Though the Gifts of Fortune were not so fraile, and transitory, what is there in them that can ever be truly, and properly Your own, and which being throughly discover'd what it is in it selfe, would not appear to be most vile, and des­picable? Are Riches to be Priz'd in regard of Your Nature, or of Their own? what is the best kind of Riches? is it not Gold, or great Heaps of Mony? But these things make men to be sincerely Esteem'd when they are given away, rather than when they are kept in store: for Covetousness makes men Odious, Bounty Glorious. If that cannot remain with any man, which passeth from him to another: then is Mony Pre­tious, when, being confer'd on another, [Page 62] by the exercise of Bounty, it ceaseth to be in our own Possession. But if one man had All the Wealth in the World, it would leave others in the greatest Poverty. And indeed a Voice comes Whole, and Ʋndivided to the Ears of a Multitude of People at the same time; but Your Riches, unless divi­ded into many small Parts, cannot be com­municated to divers Persons. And hence it is, that of necessity they expose such men to Poverty, from whom they come into the Possession of others. O then, how Nar­row, and Contracted, how Beggerly are those Riches, which 'tis impossible that Many men should have Whole, and Entire; and which cannot come into the Hands of a­ny one, without the Impoverishing of o­thers! Art thou taken with the Splendor of Gemms, or Pretious stones? But if there be any Worth, or Excellency in their Bright­ness, that is the Light of those Stones them­selves, not of Men: which Gemms I cannot but wonder exceedingly that Men should have in such Admiration. For what is there that wants a Soule, and a fit composure of Members, and Features, which should seem [Page 63] Beauteous and Amiable to a Rational Nature? Which, although, as they are the Worke of our Creator, and in their own Rank they carry with them some of the lowest kind of Beauty, yet sith their Quality is so beneath Your Excellency, do in no wise deserve Your Admiration. Are you Delighted with the Beauty of Fair, and Fruitful Fields? why not? For it is a Fair Part of the Fair Worke of the Creation. Thus we delight also to see how pleasantly the Sea Lookes in a Calme, and Clear Day: thus we Admire the Heavens, the Stars, the Sun, and the Moon. What, doth any of these Peculiar­ly appertain to the? darest thou to Boast thy selfe in the Brightness of the Heavens? Art thou Adorn'd with the Various Colours, of the Flowers, that come forth in the Spring, and the Begining of Summer? Or are those Fruits Thine that come forth so plenteously in their Seasons? why art thou ravisht with vain Joyes? why dost thou em­brace External things, as if they were Thine own? Fortune can never make that to be Thine, which the Nature of Things has Alie­nated from thee. The Fruits of the Earth [Page 64] indeed are without all doubt for the Nou­rishment of Living Creatures But if thou wilt Satisfy thy Need, which is all that Na­ture requires, ther's no reason why thou shouldst desire that Fortune should make thee to Abound. For Nature is contented with a Few, and with very small things: whose Fullness if thou wilt oppress with Su­perfluity, that which thou dost Force upon her, will become either Unpleasant, or Hurtful. And dost thou think it a Brave thing to Shine in Rich Apparel? which if it be pleasant to Looke on, I shall commend the Matter of which it is Made, or the Wit of him, that Made it. Art thou Happy in that thou hast a long Train of Servants to wait on thee? who, if they be Vitious, are a Burthen to the House, and a Plague to their Master: But suppose them to be Ver­tuous, how can it be that the Goodness, and Vertue of other men should be reckon'd a­mongst Thy Goods? By all that we have spoken it is clearly prov'd that not one of those things which thou accountest to be Thy Goods is Thy Good indeed. In which things if there be not any Beauty to make [Page 65] them so Desireable, what reason is there that thou shouldest either be Griev'd for the Loss, or Delighted with the Possession of them? If they are Fair, and Beauteous in their own Nature, what is that to Thee? For upon this account they might be as Pleasing, though thou couldest not pre­tend to have any particular Interest in them. For they do not therefore become Pretious, or Valuable, because they are a part of thy Riches; but because they see­med to be Pretious thou didst desire to get them into thy Possession. But, what would ye have, that yee make so much adoe about the things that are in the power of Fortune? I suppose ye would have such Plenty, that yee might not stand in Need of any thing. But the case is quite contrary with you: For you have Need of more helps to keep the Riches, you have gotten: And True it is, that they stand in Need of Many things, who have Many things in their Possession; and on the contrary they Want very little, who measure their Abundance by the Ne­cessity of Nature, not by the Superfluity of Ambition. But are you so void of any Pro­per, [Page 66] and Internal Good, that you should seeke Your Goods Without, in things remote from Your own Nature? Is the course of things so monstrously chang'd, that a Li­ving-Creature deserving to be esteemed as Divine upon the account of Reason, should not seem unto himselfe to be shining, and Illustrious, but by the Possession of things without Life? And indeed other things are satisfyed with what they have in themselves: but you, Creatures Made after the Image of GOD, would fain Adorn Your selves being of so Excellent a Nature, with the Basest, and Lowest things; not considering how great an Injury ye do to Your Creator. For He would have Mankind to Excel All Earthly things, but ye Advance the very Lowest of them Above Your own Dignity. For if it be a truth unquestionable that what ever is the Good of another thing, is more Pretious than that thing, whose Good it is; sith ye conceit that such contemptible, and unworthy things are Your Goods, ye make your selves by your own Judgement to be­come Inferiour to them: and indeed ye de­serve that so it should be. For such is the [Page 67] Nature of Man, that then only he Excells all other Creatures, when he Knowes Him­selfe: but He becomes more Vile than the Beasts that Perish, when he ceaseth to re­tein this Knowledge. For 'tis but the Na­ture of other Creatures here upon Earth, Not to Know Themselves: but in Men 'tis Vice, or the Corruption of their Nature. But how great is your Error, who conceit that any thing can be Adorn'd with Ornaments that are not It's own. That cannot be. For if any thing looke Bright, and Glorious with that which is put on it, that which is put on, is Praysed: but that which is co­ver'd therewith nevertheless remains in it's own Filth, and vileness. I deny that any thing is Good, which may become Hurtful to him that Possesseth it. Am I out in this? No surely, thou wilt say. But Riches have often been Hurtful to those that have had them, sith every one that is extreamly Wicked, and so the more Desirous of Exter­nal things, as Gold, or Pretious Stones, thinks him only, who hath such things, to be a most Worthy Person. Thou then who art now so sollicitous, and fearful of the [Page 68] Spear, and of the Sword, if thou hadst en­ter'd into the Path of this Life with an Emp­ty Purse thou mightest Sing in the presence of a Robber. O Blessedness of perishing Riches, which when thou hast obtein'd thou ceasest to live in Safety!

Philosophy commendeth the former age, which was free from covetousness.

"O the' too happy fathers of old,
"Whose wealth was the plough, and the fold!
"Base Luxury ne're could destroy 'um,
"Whose fare couldne're surfeit, nor cloy 'um.
"An Akorn, or Chesnut at best
"With them was an excellent feast.
"Sack, and Sugar their throats ne'ver knew,
"Nor their backs the Tyrian hue.
"On th' grass they found Innocent dreams,
"And Nectar in sweet sliding streams.
"Then th' Pine served only for shade,
"And not for the Mariners trade.
"The Chinoise had no traffick with Spain
[Page 69]"For their trifles as strange, and as vain.
"Then men might sleep whole in their skins
"Not affrighted with warlike Dins:
"And America thought not upon
"The greedy, and merciless Don:
"For who could have thought 'em worth killing,
"When they had not one poore shilling
"To pay for the wounds should be made?
"Then Warr was a pityful trade.
"Would God that our Saints, and Wise men,
"Would be but so Holy as Then!
"But a Fire more Cruel than Hell,
"Love of Wealth, is mixt with our Zele;
"Oh, what was their bloudy Zele, who
"Sought out the long hidden Peru,
"And brought home that dangerous Ore
"By the Murther of so many score,
"To make Pay for the Murthring of more?
P. G.

Of dignity and power.

BUT what shall I say of Dignities, and Power, which you, being Ignorant of the True Dignity, and Power, do so high­ly Extol? If they fall to the lott of Wick­ed men, what (a) Aetna with all the Flames, it belcheth forth; what Deluge that rageth never so horribly, did ever make so great De­solation! Verily, as I suppose thou dost remember, the Government of Consuls, which was the begining of the Roman Liberty, for the Pride of Consuls, your Ancestors had a desire to Abolish: who for the same Pride had formerly Banisht the Name of King out of the City. But if at any time, which is very seldome, Good men are invested with Power, and Dignities, what is there in them, that may give any Satisfaction, but the Vertue, and Integrity of those that use them? Thus it is that Honor doth not ac­crue to Vertue from Dignities, but to Digni­ties [Page 71] from Vertue. But what kind of Power is that which you so Prayse, and Desire? Do you not consider, O ye Earthly Creatures, What Your selves are, and What they are, whom You are Set over? For if amongst the Mise thou shouldst see one to assume to him­selfe a Power over the rest; wouldest thou not break forth into Laughter? But if thou con­siderest the Body, what canst thou conceive to be more Weak than Man, whom a Little Fly may have strength enough to Destroy? And in what respect can one Man be said to exercise his Force on another, but only in respect of the Body, and that which is be­neath the Body, I mean, Fortune? what canst thou Enforce upon a Soule that has Attein'd to it's proper Freedome? canst thou remove a Mind settled upon the Firm Principles of Truth, and Virtue, from the State of Peace, and Tranquillity? When a (b) Tyrant thought by Torments to con­strain a (c) Couragious Man, to discover those who were Privy to a Conspiracy made a­gainst him, he bitt off his Tongue, and [Page 72] Spit it in the Face of that Cruel Tyrant. Thus did that Wise man make those Pains the Opportunity of exercising his Fortitude, whereby the Tyrant exercis'd his Cruelty. But what is there, which any one can do a­gainst another, which he may not suffer from another? We have heard how (c) Bu­siris who was wont to Kill Strangers, was Slain by Hercules, a Stranger. Many Car­thaginians had Regulus lay'd in Chains: but not long after He's Bound himselfe by those very men, whom he had formerly Con­quer'd. And dost thou think that such a Man hath any true Power, who is not Able so to Defend himselfe, that none shall Pre­vaile against him, as he doth against others? Moreover if there were any Natural, and Proper Good in Dignities, and Powers, they could never be the Portion of Wicked men. For things so Repugnant will not be Brought together. Nature forbids that Contraries should be in one, and the same Subject. Thus, sith it is unquestionable that very often leud, and Ungodly men have the ma­nagement of Dignities, 'tis also manifest (d) [Page 73] that these things are not Good in their own Nature, which Adhere to Persons so void of Goodness. Which indeed we may Judge of all the Gifts of Fortune, of which the most Wicked men in the World have the greatest share. Here let us also consider that no man doubteth but that he is Valiant, in whom he seeth any Valour, or Fortitude: and 'tis manifest that he is Swift and Active, in whom there is Swiftness, and Activity. Thus Musick makes Musicians, Physick Phy­sicians, Rhetorick Rhetoricians. For the Nature of Every thing Acts according to it's Property, nor doth it Mix it selfe with the Operations of Contrary things, and it Drives away whatsoever is Repugnant thereunto. But neither can Riches extinguish the De­sires of the Covetous man; neither can Power make a man Able to Overcome Himselfe, who is Bound, with the Chains of his lusts. And Dignity confer'd on Persons of Base Inclinations doth not only not make them Worthy men, but discovers them rather, and shewes them to the World, as such who deserve the greatest Scorn, and Indignity. You take Pleasure to call Things by False, [Page 74] and Improper Names, which are easily con­futed by the Effect of the Things themselves: Therefore neither can those Riches, nor that Power, and Dignity be Truly so Call'd. And we may conclude the same of all that comes from Fortune, in which 'tis manifest ther's nothing that we should Absolutely Desire, nothing of Native Goodness, since it neither Joins it selfe allwayes to Good men, nor doth it make those Good, to whose lot it falls.

Philosophy declareth by the example of Nero, that dignities or power, do not make men better.

HOw did (a) He wast with Fire, and Sword
The City, and the Senators,
Who to his (b) Brother could Afford
No Safety from his Bloudy Force!
Who likewise his own (c) Mother Slew,
[Page 75]And in that Horrid Slaughter Joy'd;
He did Her Naked Body View,
And Prays'd the Beauty He Destroy'd!
Yet This man did All Nations Sway:
They trembled at his Dreadful Name.
Could NERO'S Power make him Obey
His Reason, and his Fury Tame?
O Grievous Fate! Abiss of woe!
What Poyson cann't, the Sword must do!

Of glory.

THEN quoth I, Thou knowest that I have never been Enslav'd to the Desires of perishing things: but I was Desirous to have some Matter for my Virtue to worke on in Publick Affairs, that it might be made Known to the World. This indeed, saith she, is one thing, which some Generous Minds, but such as have not yet attein'd to the highest pitch of Virtue, may be much taken withall, to wit, the Glory or Fame that appertains to Persons that have De­serv'd [Page 76] well of the Common-Wealth: which Fame, or Glory, how small a thing it is, and of no Importance at all, thou mayst Under­stand thus: Thou hast learnt by Astronomi­cal Demonstrations that All the Compass of the Earth is but as it were a Point, or the Least thing Imaginable in comparison of the large Space of the Heavens: that is to say, if it be compar'd to the greatness of the Ce­lestial Globe, it would be judg'd to have no Space at all. And of this so small a Region of the World 'tis about the Fourth Part as thou hast learnt from Ptolemy, which is In­habited by such Creatures, which are known to us. If thou shalt substract from this Fourth Part what the Seas▪ and Marri­ses take up, and the utmost Extent of the Dry Sands, and Desarts, there will be left but a very Narrow Space for the Habitations of Men. Being then Encompast, and Shut up within the least Part of this Extream Little Part of the Ʋniverse, do you Think of Enlarging your Fame, and making your Name Great? But what hath that Glory of Amplitude, and Magnificence that is straitned with such Narrow Limits? Moreover I [Page 77] would have thee to consider that in the Ha­bitable Part of the World most Nations Dif­fer very much one from another in their Language, and in their Dispositions, and their whole Kind of Life: so that by reason of the Difficulty of such Journeyes, or Voia­ges, and the Diversity of Languages, and the want of all Traffick, or Commerce, not only the Fame of Particular Men, but even of Great Cities may never come to some Na­tions. In the Daies of Marcus Tullius, as he himselfe (a) somewhere shewes, the Fame of the Roman Common-Wealth had not yet past beyond the Mountain (b) Caucasus, and at that time Rome was so Great, as to be a Terror even to the (c) Parthians, and the other Nations therabout. And dost thou not see then how Narrow, and Strait that Glory is, which you labour to spread, and dilate? Shall the Glory of a Roman go thither where the Name of ROME could never arrive? The Manners, and Institu­tions of Divers Countries do not Agree; so that what with some men deserveth Prayse, [Page 78] with others is accounted worthy of the greatest Punishment. Hence it comes to pass that if any one delight to be Well spo­ken of, it is in no wise convenient for him that his Name should be carryed to Many People. Therefore Every man must be contented with the Glory that is propaga­ted amongst those, who are Govern'd by the same Lawes with himselfe: and that Fame, and Lasting Renown, which they call Immortality, shall be confin'd within the Limits of one Country. But how many Persons of great Eminency in their Time had their Names Omitted by the Historians of that Age! And what doth it profit a man to be mention'd in Histories, which at length together with their Authors fall into Oblivion! But you seem to your selves to have gotten a kind of Immortality, when you think that your Fame shall endure in the Generations to come. If thou dost but compare that Duration to Eternity, thou wilt find that thou hast no cause to rejoyce in the Long Continuance of thy Name. For if we make comparison of One Moment with Ten Thousand Years, because both Spaces [Page 79] have their Bounds, it carries though but a little yet some Proportion therunto. But this Number of Years be it Multiplyed ne­ver so much, can in no wise be compar'd to that Duration, which shall never End. For between things Finite there is some Propor­tion, but Infinite, and Finite can never have any. Thus it comes to pass that the Fame which endures for never so long a Time, in comparison of Eternity, will not only appear to be very little, but as no­thing at all. But you care not to Do well, unless for the Prayse of People, and the empty noice of Vulgar Applause, and dis­regarding the Excellency of your own Con­science, and Vertue, you expect your Re­ward from the Talk of others. Observe how Ingeniously a certain man reproves this kind of Folly. For when he saw a conceited Person, that had through vain Glory as­sum'd to himselfe the False Name of a Phi­losopher, to be assaulted with many sharpe Contumelies, and Revilings, and he had told him that now he should know him to be a Philosopher indeed, if he would bear those Injuries with Meekness, and Patience; For [Page 80] a little while he tooke on him a kind of Pa­tience, and Boasting as it were in the Con­tumelies he had receiv'd; Dost thou not un­derstand at length, sayth he, that I am a Philosopher? Then replyes the other very Bitingly, I had understood it indeed, if thou hadst held thy peace. But what is Fame to Excellent Men (for of such is our discourse) who seeke for Glory in the way of Virtue; what, I say, is Fame, or the Glory of this present World to them, when their Bodies return to the Dust? For if Death seize on the Whole Man, which my Doctrine will not suffer you to believe, ther's no such thing, as Glory: sith he who is said to be the Owner of it, is depriv'd of his Be­ing. But if the Soule that is cleansed from all Impurity, being deliver'd from this Earthly Prison, Ascendeth into Heaven; will she not despise all that is done here up­on Earth, whilst she, being an Inhabitant of Heaven, rejoyceth that she is Exempted from all Earthly Concerns?

Of the smalness and shortness of fame.

WHoever thinks that Earthly Glory is
The thing that brings true Bliss:
Let him Comtemplate the Large Skye, and see
Earths small Capacity:
Sith that such Narrow Space Exceeds his Fame,
Hee'll Blush at his Great name.
Why do Proud Men in vain Desire to be
Free'd from Mortality?
Though their Fame pass through People far, and near
And make Whole Nations hear;
And though their House toth' Highest Titles rises,
This Glory Death despises;
It spares not Humble Heads, the Lofty neither;
Layes High, and Low together.
Where lye the Bones now of (a) Fabricius?
Wher's (b) Cato, or (c) Brutus?
Some Letters after Death preserve their Fame,
[Page 82]That is, Their Empty Name.
But may we Know Men long since Dead, and gone
Because those Words are Known?
You surely (turn'd to Dust) we cannot Know,
Fame can't your Persons show.
If you conceit that 'tis a Life to be
Mention'd in History,
When Time deprives you of the Peoples Breath,
That is a Second Death.

Adversity more profitable than prosperity.

BUT that thou mayst not think me to be an Irreconcileable Enemy to Fortune, Ther's a Time when she deserveth well of men, though she be so Deceitful. To wit, Then, when she shewes Her selfe, and dis­covers what Disposition she is of. Perhaps thou dost not yet understand what I mean. That which I vehemently desire to tell thee is a Wonderful thing, so that I have much adoe to fit Words to the Thoughts I have of it. For I Judge that Adverse Fortune is [Page 83] more Profitable for Men, than Prosperity. For the one allwayes cheats us with the empty shew of Felicity, whilst she seems to be very Kind: the other is allwayes True to us, whilst by her Change she demon­strates her Instability. The one Deceives, the other Teaches, and Instructs us: the one Fetters the Minds of those that Enjoy it with the Allurements of False Goods; the other sets them at Liberty, by making them to understand the Vanity of all Earthly Hap­piness. Therefore thou mayst observe that the one is Windy, Loose, and allwayes void of the Knowledge of her selfe: the o­ther is Sober, Strict, and encreasing in Prudence, by the most profound Exercise of Wisedome, in the Conquest of All Per­turbations. Lastly Prosperity enticeth men, and drawes them away from the True Good: Adversity drawes them back to it, as it were, with an Hooke. And dost thou think this but a small thing that this Sharpe, this Hor­rible Fortune makes thee Know who are thy Faithful Friends: she hath Distinguisht the Certain, and Doubtful Countenances of thy Companions: At her Departure she [Page 84] carryed Her own Friends away with her, Thine she hath left with Thee. At how high a rate wouldest thou have purchac'd this, when thou seemedst to thy selfe to be a Fortunate Man? Cease now to looke any longer after the Riches, thou hast Lost: thou hast found the most Pretious Kind of Wealth, viz. True Friends.

Philosophy praiseth true love and friendship.

THat the World so Constant is
In Alternate Variety,
That so many Contraries
Observe their League so Faithfully,
That the Sweet Day, Queen of Light,
Sol in his Golden Chariot Drawes,
And that (a) Hesperus brings Night,
That Night is Rul'd by (b) Phaebes Lawes,
That the greedy Sea's restrain'd
Least it's proud Waves should seiz the Land:
[Page 85]Things thus to each other Chain'd
Are held by LOVES Almighty Hand
Who Rules the Heav'ns, Earth, and Seas.
If He let goe the Reins, they run
Straight from the safe way of Peace,
And Perish by Dissention.
He keeps Men in Ʋnity,
He Joyns in League far Distant Lands:
He confirms by Chastity
The Sacred Force of Nuptial Bands:
He shewes True Friends how to prove
That To Love is the Greatest Gain.
Happy Men, if that same LOVE
Which Raigns in Heav'n did in You Raign!

THE THIRD BOOK OF THE Consolation of Philosophy.

Philosophy promiseth to explicate true felicity.

SHE had now ended her Song, when the Sweetness of the Verse had fixed me in the deepest Attention. Therefore after a short pause thus I spake: O Soveraign Con­solation of wearied Minds, how much hast thou refreshed me both with the weight, and importance of the Sense of this Excellent Song, and the pleasantness of it's Aire! so that for the future I shall not looke on my selfe, as one that wanteth strength to grap­ple [Page 87] with any kind of Fortune. Therefore I am not only not afraid of those Remedies, which thou saidst were somewhat more Sharpe, and piercing, but I vehemently desire that thou wouldest impart them unto me. Then quoth she, I Thought so, when thou didst so greedily receive my words in such profound Silence, and with such ear­nest Attention; and I expected that thou shouldest have this Temper, and Disposi­tion of Mind, or (which indeed is rather the very truth) I wrought it in thee. Such are the things, that remain to be spoken of, that when first we do but touch them with our Tongue, they are very Tart, and Bi­ting, but being receiv'd, and swallow'd down, they become exceeding Sweet, and Delightsome. But since thou sayst thou art so desirous to hear what I have to say, how wouldest thou be Enflam'd if thou didst un­derstand whither I design to Conduct thee? Whither quoth I? To True Felicity, said she, which thy Mind apprehends as it were in a Dream; but it's Sight being employ'd about Images, and Phantasms, it cannot have any clear Prospect therof. Then [Page 88] quoth I: Do, I pray thee, as thou hast said, and shew without delay what is that True Felicity. I will do it, quoth she, most willingly: but first I will lay down in plain words that State, and Condition with which thou art most acquainted, that casting thine Eye the other way, thou mayst clearly Di­scern the Nature of True Happiness.

False felicity must be forsaken, that true happiness may be embraced.

WHoso will sow his ground first he (free,
That ground from Stons, and Thorns must
That Ceres may
Find a plain way.
Most sweet's the Hony, that comes next
When Tasts unpleasant have us vext.
We Joy to see the Stars Appear
When Wind, and Rain have left the Aire.
How Lovely is the Youthful Day,
When Lucifer hath chac'd away
The dismal Shades! Thou, whose dull Eye
[Page 89]Could never yet True Good descry,
Lift up thine Head: thine Eye-sight shall be clear,
And thou shalt see
That Instantly,
To him that Seeks for Truth, Truth shall Appear.

How all men desire happiness, but many mistake it.

THEN with a stedfast Looke, recol­lecting all her Thoughts into the depth of her Mind thus she began: All the Care of Mortals, which is exercis'd in the labour of various Studies, and Designs, Proceeds in Divers wayes; but yet it Tends to One, and the same End, viz. to True Happiness. And that is such a GOOD, which when any man, hath Attein'd unto, his Desires can go no further. Which indeed is the Chiefe, and Soveraign of All Good things, and conteineth in itselfe All the Good that is, or ever can be. To which if any thing were wanting, It could not be the Soveraign [Page 90] Good, because some thing would be left our of it, which migh be Wisht or Desir'd. 'Tis manifest therefore that Bliss, or True Hap­piness is a Perfect State consisting in the Collection of All Good things into One. This State, as we have said, All men desire to Attein unto by Divers wayes or Means: For there is Naturally in the Minds of Men a Desire of the True Good, but Error draws them aside to things that have but the meer Shew, or Appearance of Good. Some there are who believing that it is the Soveraign Good, to want nothing▪ endeavour with all their strength to Heap up Riches: but o­thers, judging that to be the Soveraign Good, which is most worthy of Veneration, endea­vour by the getting of Honors, or Illustrious Titles, to render themselves Venerable to their own Country-men. Others there are that hold the Soveraign Good to consist in the Greatest Power, or Dominion. These men would either Raign themselves, or they en­deavour to be Next to Him that holdeth the Scepter. And it seemeth to others that Glo­ry, or Renown is the Soveraign Good. These make all possible speed to get a Glorious [Page 91] Name by the Arts of War, or Peace. But the greatest Number of men measure the Fruit of Good by Joy, and Mirth. These think it the most Happy State to overflow with Pleasure. And some there are that ex­change the Ends, and Causes of these Goods (viz. why they Desire them) one for ano­ther: as they, who desire Riches that they may attein to Power, and Dignities, and have all the Means of enjoying such Carnal Pleasures, to which they are most inclin'd: or they, who would fain be in Power that they may get Money, or a Great Name. To these, and such like things is the Bent, or Intention of Humane Actions and Desires: Nobility, and the Favour of the People seem to procure an Illustrious Name: A Wife and Children are desir'd for the Pleasure, and Delight men hope to receive from them. But as for Friends, which are the most Sa­cred kind of Goods we do not judge of them as apperteining to Fortune, but to Virtue. But now 'tis easy to apprehend how the Goods of the Body are refer'd to the things above mention'd. For Strength, and Great­ness of Body seem to make us capable of the [Page 92] most Manlike Exercise; Beauty, and Acti­vity bring large Prayses; Health fits a man for the Pleasures of the Body. By All these things 'tis manifest that True Happiness is that which men Chiefly, and Principally Aim at. For that which every man desi­reth before all other things he judgeth to be the Soveraign Good. But we have concluded the Soveraign Good to be Bliss, or True Hap­piness. Wherefore that State, or Condi­tion which every man desireth before all o­ther things, he judgeth to be his Bliss. Therefore thou hast now lay'd before thine Eyes allmost the whole Form, or Model of Humane Felicity, Riches, Honors, Power, Glory, Pleasure. Which things Epicurus considering severally, and apart one from another, he judged the Soveraign Good to be Pleasure, because all those other things seem to bring Pleasure, and Delight to the Mind. But I return to the Studies, and Endeavours of men: whose Mind notwith­standing, though their Memory be so weake, and dull, strives to regain the Possession of the Soveraign Good, but it is like a Drunken man, who Mistakes the Path that leadeth [Page 93] to his House. For what, do they seem to be in an Error, who would fain Arrive to such a State, that they may no longer stand in need of any thing? But there is nothing that so much perfects True Happiness, as the Abundance of All Good things, which wants not any thing foraign, and Extrin­secal to it's own Nature, and is in itselfe All-Sufficient. Are they mistaken who judge that the Chiefe Good is that, which is most Worthy of Veneration? In no wise. For that is not vile, or contemptible, to ob­tein which, is the Aim, and Intention of All Mankind. Is not Power to be reckon'd in the number of Good things? what? is that feeble and without strength, which is un­questionably to be prefer'd before All things whatsoever? Is Glory, or Renown no­thing-worth? But it cannot be but that whatsoever is most Excellent should be also most Glorious. To what purpose should I say that True Happiness cannot be Anxious, or Sad, or Subject to any kind of Sorrowes, and Perplexities; sith in the least things That is Desir'd, the Having and Enjoying whereof is Delightsome. For this reason [Page 94] do men Desire Riches, Dignities, King­domes, Glory, and Pleasures, because they believe that by them they shall Attein a State Sufficient, Venerable, Powerful, Illustrious, and full of Pleasure, and De­light. 'Tis GOOD therefore which men Aim at in their various Studies, and De­signs: the Force of Nature we may per­ceive in this, that although the Opinions of men are so various, and Disagreeing, yet they all Consent in Choosing GOOD, as the End of their Actions.

How nature cannot be wholly changed.

"HOw the strict Reins, of all things guided are
"By powerful Nature, as the chiefest cause,
"And how she keeps with a foreseeing care
"The spacious World in order by her lawes,
"And to sure knots, which nothing can unty,
"By her strong hand all Earthly motions draws:
"To shew all this we purpose now to try
"Our pleasing Verses, and our Musick's sound.
"Although the Lybian Lions often lie
[Page 95]"Gentle, and tame in willing fetters bound,
"And fearing their incensed masters wrath
"With patient lookes endure each blow, and wound:
"Yet if their jawes they once in bloud do bathe,
"They gaining courage with fierce noyse awake
"The force, which Nature in them seated hath
"And from their necks the broken chains do shake;
"Then he who once thought he had made them tame
"Falls the first prey unto their raging flame.
"The Bird shut up in an unpleasing cage
"Which on the lofty Trees did lately sing,
"Though men her want of freedome to asswage,
"Should unto her with careful labour bring
"The sweetest meats, which they can best devise:
"Yet when on tops of houses fluttering
"The pleasing shadowes of the groves she spies,
"Her hated food she scatters with her feet,
"And discontented to the woods she flies,
"And there delights to tune her accents sweet.
"When some strong hand doth tender plant constrain
"With his debased top the ground to meete,
"If it let goe, the crooked twigg again
"Ʋp toward Heav'n ti selfe it streight doth raise.
"Phaebus doth fall into the Western main,
"Yet doth he back return by secret wayes
"And to the East doth guide his Chariots race.
"Each thing a certain course, and Lawes obeyes,
"Striving to turn back to his proper place;
"Nor any settled order can be found,
"But that which doth within itselfe embrace
"The birthes, and ends of all things in around.

That true happiness consisteth not in riches.

O Earthly Creatures, ye have some kind of Perceivance of THAT from which you deriv'd your Being, and of the END for which you were Made, though it be very dull, and confus'd as it were in a Dream; and therefore the Aim, or Intention of your Nature leadeth you to the True Good, and many Errors carry you out of the way to It. For consider whether those things, by which men think they shall Attein to True Happiness, will ever bring them to the End they design, and propose to themselves. For if Mony, or Honors, and those other things afore mentioned could put us into a Condition, to which no Good thing could seem to be Wanting, we would grant that a man might be Happy by the obteining of those things. If they cannot Performe that which they promise, Wanting many Good things, is it not manifest that they have but the False Shew of Felicity? In the first [Page 97] place therefore I aske. Thee, who not long since didst abound with Riches: In the midst of that Abundance didst thou never feele any Anguish, or Disturbance of mind arising from a sense of the Injuries thou didst suffer? I cannot remember, quoth I, that I was ever in so comfortable a Condi­tion, but that I had allwayes some Trouble, or other. And was it not either because somewhat was Wanting, which thou would­est not should be Wanting; or that some­what was Present, which thou wouldest not should be Present? This is the case, quoth I. Therefore thou didst Desire to Have the one, and to be Free'd from the other. 'Tis confest, quoth I. But every man Lacketh that which he Desireth. He doth so, quoth I. But whoso Lacketh any thing, has he Attein'd to a State of Suffici­ency? In no wise, quoth I. Therefore whilst thou didst most Abound with Riches, didst thou sustein this Insufficiency? what else, quoth I? Riches therefore cannot bring a man to such a State that he shall not stand in Need of any thing; and it was this, which they seem'd to Promise. But I think [Page 98] that this is most worthy of Consideration; That Mony hath nothing in it's Nature of such Power, and Efficacy, that it may not be taken away from those that Possess it. I confess it, quoth I. How shouldst thou not confess it, sith we see it so frequently that the Possessors are depriv'd of their Wealth? For what is the ground of so ma­ny complaints that are made before the Judges, but that men endeavour to regain the Mony that hath been taken from them by Force, or by Fraud? 'Tis so, quoth I. Every man therefore, said she, will stand in Need of some Aid from without, by which he may Possess his Mony in Safety. That cannot be deny'd, quoth I. But he would have no Need of any such Aid, or Assistance, if he had no Mony that might be taken from him. That is unquestionable, quoth I. The matter then falls out quite contrary to what vain men expect: for those Riches, which were thought to make a man Sufficient, render him the more Ne­cessitous, making him to stand in Need of such External Aid, or Assistance, which o­therwise he might well be without. But [Page 99] how can Riches drive away Indigence? Do not Rich men suffer Hunger, and Thirst? Do not the Limbs of Mony'd men feel Cold in the Winter? But Rich men thou wilt say have wherewith they may Satisfy their Hun­ger, wherewith they may Ease themselves of Thirst, and Cold. But thus they may have some Consolation in their Indigence, but they cannot be wholly free'd from it. Wherefore if Wealth cannot remove Indi­gence, and doth in many respects encrease it, can there be any reason that you should believe that all the Riches in the World can produce Sufficiency?

How riches afflict their possessours in life, and forsake them in death.

THough he that Loves the World's vain Wealth had All
The Gold that (a) Tagus yields,
And had an Hundred Oxen in his Stall
To Plow his ample Fields:
[Page 100]Yet whilst he lives Care would Bow down his Head:
Nor would his Wealth Availe him when he's Dead.

That true happiness consisteth not in dig­nities.

BUT Dignities render a man Venerable. Is there that Power, and Efficacy in Magistracy, or Civil Authority, that it may engraft Virtue in the Minds of those that use it, and drive away Vice? But it is wont not to drive away Wickedness, but rather to make it more conspicuous. Hence it comes to pass, that our Indignation is so often stir'd, to see the most Wicked men invested with Power, and Dignities. For which cause (a) Catullus calls (b) Nonius though sitting in the Consuls Chair (STRVMA) an Impostume. Seest thou not how great disgrace Dignities bring upon Persons of [Page 101] Base, and Unworthy Dispositions? But their Unworthiness would less appear, if they had no Honors to make them Eminent. Couldst thou be so wrought on by so many Dangers, as to be willing to bear Office with Decoratus, when thou didst discover in him the Mind of a Base Fellow, and an Accuser of Honest men? But if thou shouldst see a man endued with Wisedome, is it pos­sible thou shouldst not think him Worthy ei­ther of Reverence, or of the Wisedome with which he is endued? 'Tis not possible. For Virtue has Dignity of it's own, which it cannot but transfuse into those, which Join themselves unto it. Which because Popular Honors cannot perform 'tis mani­fest they have not in them the Beauty of True Dignity. This ought to be very much thought on: for if every man be More Abject, and Despicable for being Contemn'd by a Greater Number of Persons, sith Dignity makes not Wicked men Reverend, 'tis mani­fest that Shewing them to More People; it makes them to be More Despis'd. But Wicked men are reveng'd on Dignities, by Defiling them with their own Impurities, [Page 102] by which they are so expos'd to Disgrace. And that thou mayst acknowledge that True Reverence cannot be obtein'd by these Sha­dowes of Dignity; If any man that has been never so often Consul should come amongst Forraign Nations, would his Honor render him Venerable to those Strange People? But if it did appertain to the Nature of Dig­nities to make men Reverend or Venerable, they would not cease to perform this Office in any Nation whatsoever. As Fire through­out the whole World never desists from it's Heat. But because this doth not appertain to their Nature, but is fastned on them by the False Opinion of men, they vanish pre­sently, when they come amongst those, who do not esteem them to be Dignities. But this amongst Forraign Nations. But a­mongst those, with whom they have their Begining, do they allwayes Endure? The Office of a Praetor was in Times past a Great Power, but now it is but an empty Name. In Times past he that was to Provide Corn for the People was esteem'd to be a Great Man. Now what is more contemptible than such an Office? For, as I said a little [Page 103] before, that which hath not any Beauty in it selfe, hath sometimes a kind of Lustre, sometimes none, according to the Opinion of those that use it. If therefore Dignities cannot make men Venerable, if when Wicked men are Invested with them, they be­come Sordid, and Odious; if by the change of Times, they lose their Splendor; if by the estimation of People, they become vile, and nothing-worth; what Beauty is in them that they should be Desir'd? much less have they any to bestow on others.

How Nero being most wicked, was in great­est dignity.

THough Nero vaunt his Royalty
With Scarlet, and with Pearles Adorn'd,
Yet in his Pompous Luxury
Is He of all men loath'd, and scorn'd.
The Consuls Chairs (hereby Disgras'd) This man
So full of Vice had in his own Dispose:
Who then will ever think that Honor can
Make Happy, which so Vile a Wretch Bestowes?

Of Kings and their favorites.

BUT may Kingdomes, and the Favour of Kings make a man Powerful? How not, when their Felicity endures for ever? But Antiquity is full of Examples, and so is our present Age, how the Felicity of Kings has been turn'd into Calamity. O glorious Power, which proves so Unable to preserve itself! If the Power of Kingdomes be the Cause of Happiness, doth it not lessen Fe­licity, or bring in Misery, if in any part it be Defective? But although Humane Em­pires be stretcht never so wide, Every King must acknowledge that there are many Na­tions without the compass of His Domini­ons. But where that Power can reach no further that makes men Happy, there en­treth that Want of Power which makes them Miserable. Thus Kings of necessity have a larger portion of Misery, than of Felicity. A certain Tyrant, that had ex­perienc'd the Danger of his Estate, set [Page 105] forth the Fears that are incident to Crowns, and Scepters by the Terror of a Sword hang­ing over a mans Head. What kind of Pow­er then shall we account this, which cannot drive away the most Biting Care, and Sol­licitude, which cannot avoid the continual Prickings of Dread and Horror? They would fain live Securely, but Cannot, and yet they Boast of their Power. Dost thou judge that man to be Powerful, whom thou seest so Unable to do what he would? Dost thou judge him to be Powerful, who is en­compast with a Guard? who is continually in fear of those, whom he keeps in Awe? who depends upon his Servants to make him seem to be Mighty? For what shall I say of the Favourites of Kings, sith I shew that the State of Kingdomes is so weake, and tottering? who sometimes Fall by the Dis­pleasure of their Kings, sometimes their Kings, and themselves are involv'd in the same Ruine. Nero enforc'd his Favorite Se­neca from whom he had receiv'd so many good Instructions, to make choice of his own Death. Papinianus who had borne great sway a long time amongst the Courtiers An­toninus [Page 106] caus'd to be slain with the Swords of his Souldiers. But both these men would have relinquisht their Power: Seneca en­deavour'd to deliver up all his Riches to Nero, and to betake himselfe to a Retired Life. But whilst their Fall is hasten'd by their own Weight, neither of them could accomplish his design. What shall we say then of such Power, as this, of which they are Afraid that have it, and when thou wouldest retein it, thou art not Safe, when thou wouldest lay it aside, thou knowest not how to be rid of it? Canst thou expect Safe­ty from such Friends, whom Fortune not Virtue has given thee? But that man whom Prosperity has made a Friend, Adversity will make an Enemy. And what more per­nicious plague can there be, than an Ene­my that has gotten into an Intimacy with us?

True power consisteth in conquering our owne passions.

HE that will Great, and Powerful be
Let him obtein the Victory
Or'e the Fierce Motions of his Mind,
To Peace, and Gen'rous Love Inclin'd:
And let him Manfully Disdaign
To yield his Neck to Cupids Chain.
For though both th' Indies were His own,
And All the world Admir'd His Throne,
Yet 'tis not Power, that Cannot Free
The Mind from Black Anxiety
Enlarging it from all Restraints,
And put an end to all Complaints.

That true happiness consisteth not in glory.

BUT Glory, many times how Deceitful, and Base is it? so that the Tragedian [Page 108] had just cause to cry out [...]!

O Glory, Glory, thou art such a Cheat
That thousands, who are Nought by thee seem Great.

For it often comes to pass that Many men get a Great Name only by the False Opini­ons of the People, than which what can we ever conceive to be more Base, and Despi­cable? For they who are Praysed without their Desert must needs Blush at their own Prayses. And if their Applause proceed from their Merits, yet what can it Add to the Conscience of a Wise man, who mea­sures not his Good by the Rumour of the People, but by the soundness, and Inte­grity of his own Conscience? If it seem a Brave thing to Spread, and Enlarge a mans Name; it followes that it must be judg'd a Base thing not to Enlarge it. But sith, as I said a little before, there must needs be Many Nations, which the Fame of one man can never Extend unto, it comes to pass that he whom thou esteemest to be Glorious, in regard of the greatest part of the Earth, is Obscure, and Inglorious. Amongst these [Page 109] things I do not think the Favour of the Peo­ple worthy to be mention'd, which neither proceeds from Judgement, nor ever be­comes Firm, and unalterable. And now who does not see that the Name of Nobility is vain, and insignificant? which if ye re­fer to Glory, or Renown, it must be con­sider'd that it is not Thine own. For Nobili­ty seems to be nothing else but the Prayse of Ancestors procur'd by their Merits. If it be Prayse that makes Renown, or an Illustri­ous Name, they must needs have the Re­nown, who are the Persons Praysed. Where­fore the Renown of Others make Thee not Illustrious, if thou shinest not with the Bright­ness of any Merit of Thine own. If there be any Good in Nobility, I judge it to be on­ly this, that it seems ‘There is a Necessity impos'd upon those that are Nobly Born not to Degenerate from the Virtue of their An­cestors.’

How all, but wicked men, are noble.

ALl Sorts of Men from the same Stock arise,
All things have One Original:
The Lord of Lords, who Dwells Above the Skies,
Did make them, and Preserves them All.
Those Beams, wherewith the Sun hath ever Shin'd,
He gave, and on the Moon confers
Those splendid Horns: and to the Earth Mankind
He gave, to th' Firmament the Stars.
He did shut up within these Clods of Earth
The Soules, which He brought from on High.
We see then that All Men derive their Birth
From th' Only True NOBILITY.
Why do you Boast of your Large Pedigree?
If men consider whence they came,
That their Descent is from the Deity,
None ought to suffer the least shame,
As if he were Ignobly Born, sith All
May boldly Call
GOD Father, but those, who Deny
That He is so By their Impiety.

That true happiness consisteth not in plea­sure.

BUT what shall I say of the Pleasures of the Body, the Desire whereof is full of Anxiety, the Full-filling of such Desire brings the greatest Anguish, and Remorse? what Grievous Diseases, what intolerable Pains do those Pleasures bring to the Bodies of those that enjoy them, as the Fruit of their Iniquity! What Joy may be had in such Motions, as they call Pleasures, I know not. But whosoever will remember Luxurious, and Dissolute Practices, shall un­derstand that the Issues, and Events of such impure Delectations are very Sad, and de­plorable. If such Motions of the Body could be the cause of Happiness, there is no reason, why Beasts also might not be said to be Happy; sith their main Bent, and Intention is to satisfy the Appetite of the Body. The Delight that ariseth from the Enjoyment of Wife and Children is indeed [Page 112] a most Honest, and commendable thing: but it hath been said that a certain man, I know not who, found it was Natural to his Sons to 75 Beat their Father. How Biting, and vexatious the condition of Children is for the most part, thou hast need to be Ad­monisht, sith thou hast not had Experience thereof, neither art thou at this time in any Anxiety upon that account. I approve the Judgement of my Euripides, who said that he who hath no Children is Happy in his Misfortune.

That there is no pleasure without paine.

THis 'tis, that Sensual Pleasures do
They make men Joy in their own Woe,
And like the Bee, that soon takes wing,
Whoever sucks their Sweets, they Sting,
And fill the Heart with Pains, that last,
When all those foolish Joyes are past.

How all temporal goods are mixed with evil, and are small in themselves.

IT cannot be doubted then, but that These are not the right wayes to True Happiness, neither can they bring any man thither, whither they promise to bring him at last. But with what Mischiefs they a­bound I shall shew thee in a few words. For what! wilt thou endeavour to gather Ri­ches? thou must take them from him that hath them. Art thou Desirous of Dignities? thou must make Supplication to such a one, who can Bestow them; and thou who stri­vest to go before others in Honor, wilt be­come Vile, and contemptible by shewing thy selfe to be a Person of so Low a Spirit as to Beg for it. Is it Power, that thou wouldest have? By the Treacheries of those whom thou keepst in Awe thou shalt be ex­pos'd to many Dangers. Is it Glory that thou Aimest at? thou shalt be hurried through all manner of Hardships, and ne­ver [Page 114] be in Safety▪ wouldst thou lead a Vo­luptuous life? but who does not scorn, and despise one, that is a Slave to that most vile, and fraile thing, the Body? they that boast of the Goods of the Body, how small, how weak a Possession do they rely on? Can ye ever be Greater, than Elephants, Stronger than Bulls? Swifter than Tygers? Behold the large Space, the Firmness, or Dura­bility, the Swiftness of the Heavens, and cease at length to Admire things so vile, and contemptible. Which Heavens are not ra­ther to be Admir'd for those qualities, than for the Rule, and Method by which they are Govern'd. As for Beauty how vain and transitory is it, how swiftly doth it pass a­way, more Fading than Flowers in the Spring! If, as Aristotle saith, Men could see with Eyes of a (1) Lynx, and their Sight could pierce through all Obstacles, would not that Body of (b) Alcibiades, whose Out­side appears so Beautiful, it's Bowels being lookt into, be found to be no other, than a most Filthy thing? 'Tis not therefore thy [Page 115] Nature, but the Infirmity of the Eyes of those that looke on thee, which render thee so Beautiful in the Sight of men. But e­steem the Goods of the Body, as highly, as ye list, so that ye consider that whatsoever ye Admire may by a Fiery Feaver within a Day, or two, be dissolv'd, and turn'd into Ashes. From all that has been said we may collect thus much: That those Goods, which can neither performe what they Promise, nor are Perfect by the gathering-together of All that is Good, do neither make a man Truly Happy, nor any way Conduce to True Happiness.

How men are wise in seeking for things of little value, and foolish in finding out their so­veraigne good.

AH, wretched Blindness! which thus makes Mankind
The Right way to decline!
Gold, or Rich Gemms, you do not hope to find
On Trees, or on the Vine:
On Mountains high you do not lay your Snares
[Page 116]That you may Fishes take:
Nor when you would persue the Roes, and Hares,
Go you to th' Tyrrhene Lake.
They Know the Crekes, and Windings of the Sea,
Where Purple does abound,
Or Pearls: they Know what of Kind Fishes may
On ev'ry Coast be found.
But whilst they See not what would Feed their Soules
This Blindness they endure,
And that which is Beyond the Starry Poles
From Earth they would procure.
What shall I wish to such Deluded Men?
Rich, Honor'd let them be,
And when False Goods they have Heap'd up, even then
The True Good let them See.

Why true felicity cannot consist in temporal things.

HItherto I have been giving thee a Des­cription of False Happiness: it fol­lowes that I should now declare unto thee wherin the Nature of True Happiness pro­perly consists. I see plainly, quoth I, that Sufficiency may not be gotten by Riches, [Page 117] nor Power by Kingdomes, nor Reverence by Dignities, nor True Renown by Glory, or Popular Applause, nor True Joy by Transitory Pleasures. And hast thou found out the Cause, quoth she, why it is so? In­deed, quoth I, I have a Glimpse of it, but I would fain that thou shouldest give me a clear sight of it. The Reason is very easy to be known. For that which in it's own Nature is Simple, and Ʋndivided, the Error of Men has Divided into sundry Parts, and withdrawes their Mind from that which is True, and Perfect to that which is False, and Imperfect. Can that, thinkest thou, which hath Need of nothing, Want Power? No surely, quoth I. Right, quoth she: for if there be any thing, which in any re­spect failes in it's Ability, in that respect it hath Need of the Assistance of some other thing. 'Tis so, said I. Therefore the Na­ture of Power, and of Sufficiency is One, and the Same. But dost thou think that what includes Sufficiency, and Power in it's own Nature may be Despis'd? or that on the contrary it deserves the greatest Ve­neration? This, quoth I, cannot be doubted. [Page 118] Let us Add therefore Reverence, or Vene­ration to Sufficiency and Power, that we may judge these Three things to be One. We must do so, if we confess the very truth. What then? quoth she: dost thou suppose that It is Obscure, and Ignoble, or that It shines with the Brightness of the greatest Glory? Consider whether to that which hath Need of nothing, which is most Powerful, which is most Worthy of Honor, as has been prov'd, Glory can be Wanting, which it not being able to give unto it selfe, it may seem in some respect to be poore, and des­picable? I cannot but confess, quoth I, that it is most Glorious. It followes then that True Glory, or Renown does not Dif­fer from the things above mention'd. It followes indeed, quoth I. This then, quoth she, which hath Need of nothing, which Can do All things by it's own Strength, which is Venerable, and Renowned, ye must grant also to be full of Joy, and Durable Pleasure. I cannot imagine, quoth I, how any Sadness, or Discomfort should ever get entrance into It. Wherefore if the former Positions remain firm, we must of necessity [Page 119] confess that it cannot but Abound with all manner of Joy. And this also necessarily followes from what has been said, that the Names of Sufficiency, Power, Veneration, Glory, Joy, are indeed Divers, but they do not Differ in their Substance, or Nature. Right, quoth I. This therefore which in it's own Nature is One, Simple, and Ʋndi­vided, the Perverseness of Men Divides into sundry Parts, (as hath been said) and whilst they endeavour to get a Part of That, which hath no Parts, they neither obtein any Portion thereof, for there is no such thing, nor That One, Simple, and Indivisible it selfe, which they do not in any wise Affect, or Endeavour after. How is that, quoth I? Whoso desireth Riches through an Avers­ness to Want, or Penury, takes no care how to become Powerful: he chooseth to be Vile, and Obscure, and deprives himselfe of many Natural Pleasures, that he may not lose the Mony he hath gotten. But thus he failes of the Sufficiency he Aims at, being void of all Power, encompast with many Troubles, Obscure, and Inglorious. But he that desireth Power above al things scat­tereth [Page 120] his Riches, despiseth Pleasures, and accounteth that Honor, and Glory, that is not accompanied with Power to be nothing-worth. Thou canst not but see that many things are wanting to this man. For some­times it comes to pass that he wants Neces­saries, that he suffers much Anxiety, and disturbance of mind: and whilst he is not a­ble to put off his troubles, and vexations, 'tis manifest that he has not the Power, which he so much esteems. We may Rea­son in like manner concerning Honors, Glory, Pleasures. For sith Every one of These is the Same with the other, whoso­ever endeavours to get one of Them, with­out the other, misseth even that, which he desireth. But what, quoth I, If any man should desire to have All of Them together? Such a man indeed would fain have That wherin the True Felicity doth consist: but shall he ever find it in those things, which we have demonstrated to be unable to per­form what they promise? No surely, quoth I. Then, quoth she, True Felicity is not to be sought in those things, which men be­lieve to contribute Severally to the satisfa­ction [Page 121] of our various Desires. I grant it, quoth I, and a greater truth could never have been spoken. Thou hast then the Des­cription of False Happiness, and the Cau­ses of it. Looke now on the other side; for there thou shalt see the only True Happi­ness, as I have promis'd thee. Verily quoth I, it may easily be seen, and thou didst shew it a little before, whilst thou didst open the Causes of that, which men Falsely call Happiness. For, if I am not mistaken, that is the True, and Perfect Happiness which makes a man Perfectly Sufficient, Powerful, Venerable, Renowned, Joyful. And that thou mayst understand that I have a deep Apprehension of the Truth, thou hast deliver'd, what One of These, sith they are All One, and the Same, has the Power verily, and indeed to give unto us, I certainly know to be this Full, and Perfect Happiness. O my Dear Child, quoth she, Happy art thou in thy Judge­ment, if thou add this there unto! what, quoth I? Dost thou think that any of these fraile, and perishing things can bring a man to this Estate? No surely, quoth I, and [Page 122] as for that matter what we are to think thou hast so demonstrated, that there needs no more to be said. These things therefore seem to be but Shadowes of the True Good, or to give certain Imperfect Goods to men in this Mortal Life: but they cannot bestow the True, and Perfect Good. I heartily As­sent, quoth I, to what thou sayst. Sith then thou art come to the Knowledge of True Happiness, and of such things which Deceive the World with the empty shew of it, now it remains that thou shouldst Un­derstand How thou mayst Attein to this True Happiness. That is the thing, quoth I, which I most earnesly expect to hear from thee. But, saith she, as our Plato hath declar'd in his Booke entitled Timoeus, E­ven in things of the least Importance the Divine Assistance ought to be Implor'd, what dost thou think should be done now, that we may become Fit to find the Seat of the Soveraign Good? We must Invoke the Father of All things, quoth I; unless we make our Addresses unto Him, no Under­taking can Begin well. Right, quoth she, and forthwith thus she Sings:

Philosophy craveth Gods assistance for the dis­covery of true happiness.

O Thou, who dost with Boundless Wisedome hold
The World in Order, didst th' Foundation lay
Of Heav'n, and Earth, at whose Command Time Rowl'd
In Circles from One Everlasting Day,
And who, Ʋnmov'd dost cause All things to Move;
Whom no External Cause could urge to Frame
These Various Shapes of Changing things, but LOVE
And Boundless GOOD, Fit for this Boundless FLAME.
From that Fair Model in thy Mind thou drawst
The Formes of All things Made. —
O Father, Grant our Thoughts may reach thy Throne,
Grant we the Fountain of All Good may See,
Grant that, this Blisful Light to us once shown,
We may For ever Fix our Eyes on Thee.
Scatter this Darkness, and these Clogs remove,
And let thy Beams Appear. For Thou art LIGHT,
Thou art True Rest to those that do Thee Love,
Begining, End, both Way, and Guide: the Sight
Of Thee is All thy Creatures can Desire:
'Tis This Alone, to which our Soules Aspire.

That there is some true happiness, and where it is to be found.

SITH therefore thou hast had a Descrip­tion of Imperfect and also of Perfect Good: it is fit that I should now demonstrate where the Perfection of Felicity is Seated. And here we must first make Inquiry, if there Be any such Good, as that which thou didst even now Define, least we should be Deceiv'd with a vain Imagination, there Being indeed no such thing, as that which we make the Subject of our Discourse. But that it doth Exist, or is Actually in Being, and that it is the Fountain, from whence All good things do flow, this is certain, and unquestionable. For whatsoever is said to be Imperfect, by Diminution of that which is Perfect it is call'd Imperfect. So it comes to pass that if there be any thing Imperfect in it's Kind, in the same Kind there must needs be something Perfect. For if ye take away Perfection, [Page 125] it cannot be conceiv'd from whence that which we call Imperfect should have De­riv'd it's Being. For the Nature of things tooke not it's Begining from that which is in any respect Faulty, or Defective, but proceeding from that which is Sound, and Free from all Imperfection, it descends at length to these Low, and Weak things. If there be a certain Imperfect Happiness, as we have already shown, it cannot be doubted but that there is an Happiness Entire, and Perfect. This Conclusion, quoth I, is Firm, and Irrefragable. But where It's Abode is, Think with thy selfe thus. That GOD, who hath the Governance of All things is Good, this is Natural to the Minds of Men to conceive. For it is impossible that our Thoughts should fix upon any thing Better than GOD: and who can doubt but such a Being is Good, which nothing can surpass in Goodness? but so doth Reason demonstrate GOD to be Good, that it doth also evince the Perfection of Goodness to be in Him. For unless He were Such a one He could never have the Governance of All things. For some thing, that hath the [Page 126] Perfection of Goodness, would be more Excellent, than He, in as much as it would be found to have the Priority of Being. For it is manifest that All Perfect things have their Being Before those things, which are Unsound, and Imperfect. Wherefore that we may not be endless in our Reaso­ning, it must be Granted that the Most High GOD is Full of the Highest, and Perfect Good. But we have Concluded that Perfect Good is Bliss, or True Happiness. Therefore it must needs follow that True Happiness is no where to be found but in the Most High GOD. I heartily As­sent, quoth I, to what thou sayst, nei­ther is it capable of any Contradiction. But, I pray thee, quoth she, see how thou mayst prove soundly, and Irrefragably that the Most High GOD is Full of the Highest, or Soveraign Good. How, quoth I? Thou mayst not suppose that this Father of All things hath Receiv'd that Soveraign Good, of which he is said to be Full, from without, or that he has It by Nature in such a manner, that thou mayst think that the Substance, or Essence of GOD Having, [Page 127] and of the Soveraign Good Had, is not the Same. For if thou dost conceit that It is Receiv'd from without, thou mayst judge That which hath given, to be more Ex­cellent than He which hath Receiv'd It. But we most worthily Confess Him to be the Most Excellent of All things. And if this Soveraign Good be in Him by Nature, but may be conceiv'd to be not altogether the Same with Him, sith we speak of Him, who is Acknowledg'd to have the Gover­nance of All things, let any man Imagine, who it was that Join'd together these Di­vers things? Lastly that which Differs from any thing Is not That thing, from which it Differs. Wherefore That which Differs in Substance, or Essence from Soveraign Good Is not Soveraign Good: And 'tis the greatest Impiety to have such a Thought of GOD, than Whom there can be nothing more Ex­cellent. For it is impossible that the Nature of any thing should be Better than That from which it Receiv'd its Being. Where­fore That from which All things Receiv'd their Being I may firmly Conclude to be in its own Nature the Soveraign Good. 'Tis [Page 128] most certainly so, quoth I, as thou sayst. But it has been Granted that the Soveraign Good is True Happiness. Very right, quoth I. Therefore, quoth she, it must needs fol­low that GOD is True Happiness. There can be no Reason, quoth I, to Deny the Premises, and I clearly perceive that this is their true, and proper Consequence. See, quoth she, if the same thing may not be more firmly prov'd by this Argument, that there cannot be Two Soveraign Goods, Diffe­ring one from the other. For 'tis manifest that One of those Goods, which are Diffe­rent from each other, cannot be That, which the Other is: for which cause Nei­ther of them can be Perfect, sith One is Wanting to the Other. But that which is not Perfect cannot be Highest or Soveraign. The things then that are Soveraignly Good cannot be Different from each other. But we have prov'd that both True Happiness, and GOD are the Soveraign Good: where­fore it must needs follow that Soveraign Hap­piness, and Soveraign Divinity is One, and the same Thing. Nothing, said I, could ever be concluded more True, as to the [Page 129] Matter; more Firm, as to the way of Pro­ving it; or more becomming the Divine Majesty. Upon these things then, quoth she, as Geometricians having Demonstrated their Propositions, are wont to inferr cer­tain [...], or Corollaries, as they call them, so shall I give thee a Corollarie. For sith Men become Happy by the acquiring of True Happiness, and True Happiness is Divinity it selfe, 'tis manifest that they be­come Happy by the acquiring of Divinity. But as Men become Just by the acquiring of Justice, Wise by the acquiring Wisedome, so it must needs be that having gotten, or acquir'd Divinity, they become Gods. E­very one then that is Truly Happy is a God: but indeed by Nature there is but One God, yet nothing hinders but that there may be very Many by the Participation of Divinity. And this, quoth I, is a Fair, and Pretious Corollarie indeed. But there is nothing more Fair than That which Reason perswades should be Annext to the things that have been spoken. What is that, quoth I? Sith True Happiness, said she, conteins Many things, whether All these things make up [Page 130] One Body with a certain variety of Parts, or whether there be any one of them, which compleats the Substance, or Nature of True Happiness, the rest being refer'd Therunto? I would thou stouldst ex­plain what thou sayst by rehearsing those se­veral things. Do we not judge True Hap­piness, quoth she, to be Good? yea, said I, the Soverain Good. Add this, said she, to All the rest of the things aforemention'd. For the same Bliss or True Happiness is judg'd to be Soveraign Sufficiency, Soveraign Power, and also Veneration, Renown, and Pleasure, or Delight Soveraign. What then? Are All these things as so many Limbs, or Parts of True Happiness, or are they refer'd to Good, as That, wherein the Nature of them All is contein'd? I un­derstand now, quoth I, what thou dost propose, as the subject of our Inquiry, but I would fain know how thou dost Determine the Question. Thus. If All these things were as so many Parts of True Happiness, they would Differ one from the other. For this is the Nature of Parts, that being Di­vers they make up One, and the Same Body. [Page 131] But it hath been already prov'd that they are All but One thing. Ther's no doubt of that, quoth I, But I expect what thou wilt say next. This is manifest quoth she, that All those other things are refer'd to Good. For therefore is Sufficiency Desir'd, because it is judg'd to be Good, for the same Cause is Power Desir'd, and so Veneration, Re­nown, Delight. 'Tis Good then, which is the Cause, For which any thing is Desir'd: sith that which retains not any thing in it selfe either Really, or Apparently Good, can in no wise be Desir'd. And on the contrary those things, which are not Good in their own Nature, yet if they Seem to be so, are Desir'd, as if they were Truly Good. Whence it comes to pass that Goodness is rightly judg'd to be the Cause, why any thing should be Desir'd. But that For which any thing is Desir'd is the Chief Object of the Desire. As if a man have a Will to Ride For his Health, 'tis not so much the Riding, as Health that he Desires. Sith therefore that All things are Desir'd For the obteining of Good, Good is the Chief, or Principal Object of all Desires whatsoever. But it [Page 132] has been granted that True Happiness is That, For which any thing is Wisht, or Desir'd: wherefore it is evident that True Happiness is the Only thing Requir'd, or Sought after. And thus it cannot be De­ny'd, that the Substance, or Nature of Good, and of True Happiness is One, and the Same. I see not how it is possible for any man to Dissent from this. But we have prov'd that GOD, and True Happiness is One, and the Same thing. Right, quoth I. Therefore we may Safely Conclude that the Nature of GOD consists in GOOD­NESS, and in Nothing else.

Philosophy exhorteth men to embrace true happiness.

COme hither All, yee wearied Soules,
Whose high Aspires base Lust controules,
And holds you fast in her dire Chains.
Here is a Cure for All your Pains,
Here doth the Safest Harbour lye,
[Page 133]A Refuge from All Misery.
Not Tagus, which abounds with Gold,
Nor All that (a) Hermus's Banks do hold
Of that Bright Metall, nor Rich Inde,
Where men such Pretious Stones may find,
Can Clear our Sight: yea they add more
Darkness to Soules made Blind before.
That, wherewith Men are Ravished
Earth in her lowest Caverns bred.
The Brightness that's Above the Skye,
From Darksome, Ruin'd Soules doth fly.
Whoe're perceives this Light, He sayes,
"Phaebus lookes Dull with all his Rayes.

That goodness is the end of all things.

I Assent, quoth I. For All these things hang one to another by a chain of the strongest Reasons, that were ever produc'd. Then said She, At how great a rate wouldest thou value it, if thou couldest know what [Page 134] Goodness is? At an Infinite rate, said I: for thereby I shall know GOD also, who is Goodness it selfe, or Soveraign Good. But this I shall shew thee with the greatest evi­dence, only let those things remain as Granted, which have been Concluded al­ready. They shall so remain, said I. Have we not prov'd, said she, that those things, which are Desir'd by the Generality of men, are not Truly, and Perfectly Good, because they Differ one from the other, and sith eace of them is Wanting to the other, that they cannot produce Full, and Absolute Good? But that then they become True Good, when they are collected as it were into One Form, and Efficiency, so that what Suffici­ency is, the Same is Power, Veneration, Renown, Delight; and unless they are One, and the Same thing, that they have nothing in them, for which they may be numbred amongst things that are to be De­sir'd? It has been plainly Demonstrated, quoth I, neither can it be Doubted in the least. Is it not by the acquiring of Ʋnity that those things become Good which are in no wise Good, whilst they Differ, but be­come [Page 135] Good, when they are Ʋnited? So it seemeth, quoth I. But dost thou grant that whatsoever is Good, is Good by the Par­ticipation of the Soveraign Good? I grant it. Thou oughtest therefore to grant likewise that ONE, and GOOD is the Same. For the Nature of those things is the Same, whose Natural Effect is not Divers. I can­not Deny it, quoth I. And dost thou know, said she, that whatsoever is, does remain, and Subsist, so long, as it is One; but that it Perisheth, and is dissolv'd, as soon as it ceaseth to be One? How is that? As in Animals, or Sensitive Creatures, whilst the Soule, and the Body remain together, we call it a Sensitive Creature. But when this Unity is dissolv'd by the seperation of one from the other, 'tis manifest that it loseth the Being of a Sensitive Creature. And our very Body, whilst it remains in One Shape by the Conjunction of it's Limbs re­teins the Resemblance of a Man. But if the Parts of the Body be Disunited it ceaseth to be what it was before. And in like man­ner Every other thing will be found to Sub­sist, or remain in Being so long, as it is [Page 136] One: but when it ceaseth to be One, it Perisheth. I cannot think but that it must needs be so. And is there any thing, quoth she, which so far as it Acts according to Na­ture, can cease from all Inclination to re­tein it's Being, and become Desirous of it's own Destruction? If, quoth I, I con­sider Animals, or Sensitive Creatures either Rational or meerly Sensitive, which in some sort may be said to Will, or to be Unwil­ling, I find not any thing, which (unless it be constrain'd from without) leaves the De­sire to continue it's Being, and of it's own Accord Hastens to Destruction. For Every Sensitive Creature labours to keep it selfe in Safety, and does all that it can to avoid Destruction. But I know not what I shall think of Herbs, and Trees, and of things neither Sensitive, nor Vegetative. But, quoth she, neither is there any reason why thou shouldest doubt of this, sith thou mayst behold Herbs, and Trees to grow first in Places most convenient for them, where they may not dye away, as long, as their Nature is capable of any further Subsi­stence. For some spring up in Fields, some [Page 137] on Mountains, some the Marishes bring fourth, some grow on Rocks, some are produc'd by the Barren Sands, which if a­ny man endeavour to transplant in other Places, they will wither, and dye away. But Nature gives to All things that which is convenient for them, and takes care that they may not Perish, whilst they have any Possibility to Subsist. Do not all Herbs and Trees thrusting their Mouthes as it were in­to the Earth draw Nourishment by their Rootes, and diffuse their Strength, and Rinde through their Pith, or Marrow? Does not every such Part, which is most soft, and tender, as the Pith, lye hid in the inmost seat, but without it is cover'd with that which is firm, and solid; but the outmost Part of all is the Rinde, which is seated there to be a defense against the Violence both of the Sun, and of the Wind? And thou seest how careful, and diligent Nature is that All things may be propaga­ted by the Multiplication of Seed. Which things have these Engines, as we may call them, not only to preserve their Being for a time, but to make their Duration, as to [Page 138] their several Kinds, Perpetual. And do not those things likewise which are thought to be neither Sensitive, nor Vegetative, Desire that, which Properly belongs to them? For why doth Lightness carry up the Flames, and the Earth is prest down by it's Weight, but that these Places, and Motions Properly belong to each of them? That which is Agreeable to any thing pre­serves it's Being, as those things, which are Contrary therunto, destroy, and Cor­rupt it. Those things, which are Hard, as Stones, cleave fast to their Parts, so that it is very Difficult to Divide them. But Liquid things as Aire, and Water, yield presently to the Impressions of that which would Divide them, but (that which kept them asunder being remov'd) they instantly return into those things, from which they are Seperated. We treat not now of the Voluntary Motions of a Knowing Soule, but of the Natural Intention. Thus we Digest the Food, we receive, though we think not of it; thus we draw our Breath, whilst we Sleep, though we Know it not. For e­ven in Living-Creatures the Love they have [Page 139] to their own Being does not proceed from the Animal Inclinations of their Soules, but from the Principles of Nature. For it is often seen (great causes constraining ther­unto) that a mans Will, or Rational Appetite Embraceth Death it selfe which Nature Ab­hors: And on the contrary That by which alone the Kinds of Mortal things are Per­petuated, to wit, the Worke of Genera­tion, which Nature allwayes Desires, the Will very often most earnestly Refrains from. Thus the Love which things have to Themselves doth not proceed from their Animal Motion, but their Natural Intention. For Providence hath given this even the greatest cause of preserving their Being, that they Naturally Desire to Subsist, as long, as 'tis Possible. Wherefore there is no rea­son thou shouldst doubt in the least, that All things that are, do Naturally Desire to retain their Being, to avoid Destruction, I confess, quoth I, that I do now most clearly perceive those things, which awhile since seem'd very Uncertain. But that, said she, which Desireth to Subsist, and con­tinue in Being, it Desireth to be One. For [Page 140] if this (Being One) were taken away, no Essense could remain to any thing whatsoe­ver. 'Tis true, quoth I. All things there­fore Desire ONE. I consent. But we have Demonstrated that ONE, and GOOD is the Same. You have so. All things therefore have a Natual Propensity to GOOD: which indeed thou mayst thus Describe: Good is That, which All things Desire. A greater Truth, quoth I, could never be conceiv'd. For either All things are re­fer'd to Nothing, and being destitute of One Head they waver to, and fro without a Ruler to keep them in their due Course, or if there be any thing, which the Ʋniverse, and every Part therof has a Natural Propinsi­ty unto, that must needs be the Chiefest, or Soveraign of all things, which are rightly term'd Good. O my Child, quoth she, how do I Rejoyce to hear these words! for by them I clearly perceive that thy Mind has Receiv'd a full Impression of the very Truth: but in what thou hast now said that is most evidently imply'd, which but a little be­fore thou didst tell me thou wast Igno­rant of. What quoth I? What is the [Page 141] END of All things. For certainly it is That, which All things Desire: which be­cause we have found to be GOOD, we must of necessity confess that GOOD is the END of All things.

How we may attein to the knowledge of truth.

HE that would Search out Truth with Care Profound,
And fain would Fix Allwayes upon Sure Ground,
The Rayes of's Inmost Sight let him Turn in
Ʋpon Himselfe: let him Revolve, and Spin
His Thoughts to th' Ʋtmost Length: And let his Mind
Know this, that she Within Herselfe may Find
Whate're she Seekes Without: That which did lye
In a Thick Cloud of Error shall outvye
The Sun in Brightness: For the Minds clear Light
The Darksome Flesh has not Extinguisht quite.
Ther's sure some Seed of Truth lies deep within
Which soon-springs up by Solid Discipline:
For how could you such speedy Answears give.
But that tke Truth, though Hid, does in you Live.
If it be so, as Plato's Muse Defin'd,
Whate're we Learn we do but Call to Mind.

How the world is governed by God.

THEN said I, I do most heartily Assent to Plato in this matter: for this is the Second time that thou hast call'd me to the Remembrance of these things. First when I lost my Memory by the Conragion of the Body, and then by the Dullness, and Stu­pidity which my Mind had contracted being opprest with such a weight of Immoderate Sorrow. Then she spake thus: If thou lookest back to the things that have been already Granted, it will not be long before thou shalt come to the Remembrance of that, which awhile since thou saydst that thou hadst no Knowledge of. What quoth I? By what Rule, said she, is the World Govern'd? I remember, quoth I, that I did confess my Ignorance of this: but though I do in a manner foresee what thou art about to say, yet I desire to hear it for my further Instruction. Thou didst diliver thine Opinion, said she, but a little before, [Page 143] that it could not be doubted in the least but that the World is Govern'd by GOD. Yea, quoth I, and I am of the same mind now, and ever shall be that this is most certain, and unquestionable: and by what Reasons I am induc'd to this Judgement, I shall de­clare in a few words. This World consisting of so Divers, and Contrary Parts could ne­ver have been brought into One Forme, if there were not ONE who did Join toge­ther such Divers things. And the Diversity of their Natures, which are so Repugnant to one another, would Seperate, and Disu­nite them being Join'd together, if there were not ONE, who did Hold together the things, which He has United. For the Course of Nature could not proceed in such certain, and never fayling Order, neither could it make such a shew of well-disposed Motions, by Places, Times, Efficiency, or Operation, Spaces, Qualities, if there were not ONE, who Being Himselfe Im­mutable did Order, and Dispose this Varie­ty of Changes. This (ONE) whatever it is, on which All things Depend both as to their Being, and Motion, I Call GOD, [Page 144] which is a Word us'd by All People. Then spake she thus: Sith thou hast so deep a Sense of these things, I suppose the re­maining Part of my Labour is not great, to bring thee Safe into Thine own Country, where thou shalt Enjoy the only True, and Perfect Happiness. But let us Reflect on those things, which we have already Dis­cust. Have we not Agreed upon this that Sufficiency is included in the Nature of True Happiness: And that GOD is True Happiness it selfe. And therefore, quoth she, He will not Need any Helps, or In­struments from Without to Govern the World; for if He had Need of any thing He could not have Full, and Perfect Hap­piness. It must be so, quoth I, as thou sayst. Therefore By Himselfe Alone He Governs, and Disposes All things. It can­not be deny'd, quoth I. But it has been prov'd that GOD is the Soveraign Good. I know it has, quoth I. By the Soveraign Good then He Disposes, and Governs All things, sith He Governs All things By Him­selfe, whom we have Acknowledg'd to be the Soveraign Good, and He is as it were a [Page 145] certain Rule, and Method of Government, whereby the Whole World is kept in Order. I most heartily Assent, quoth I: and a lit­tle before I did foresee what thou wast a­bout to say, though somewhat darkly. I believe it, quoth she; for now, as I con­ceive, Thine Eyes are more Open to di­scern the Truth. But what I shall now say is no less perspicuous. What, quoth I? Sith GOD, said she, is rightly believ'd to Govern All things By the Rule of GOODNESS, and All things, as I have taught, have a Natural Bent, or Intention to GOOD, can it be doubted but that they are Govern'd, as they Would them­selves, and being Made to Comply with their Governour, All the Motions they have according to the Propensity of their Nature are no other, than the Results of that Complyance. So it must needs be, quoth I: neither could it be thought an Happy Government, if it were the Yoke of things Refractory, not the Safety of things Tractable, and Obedient. There is No­thing then, which, following the Course of Nature, can Endeavour to go Contrary [Page 146] to GOD. Nothing, said I. If any thing should Endeavour it, quoth she, would it ever Prevaile against Him, whom we have granted by the Right of True Happiness to be Almighty? Nothing, quoth I, could e­ver in the least Prevaile against Him. Then, quoth she, there is not any thing in Nature, which hath either the Will, or the Power to Resist the Soveraign Good. No surely, as I conceive. Then, said she, That is the Soveraign Good, which Powerfully Gover­neth, and Sweetly Disposeth All things. Then said I: How am I Delighted not only with the main Scope, and Drift of thine Arguments, but even with the very words that thou usest, that at length Prating Fol­ly may be Abasht, and put to Silence. Thou hast heard, quoth she, in (a) Old Stories how the Gyants endeavour'd to In­vade Heaven, but even they, as it was most meet, were thrown down by Benign Fortitude. But wilt thou that we strike Arguments one against another, perhaps out of such a Conflict some bright Sparke [Page 147] of Truth will spring forth. Do as thou think­est fit, say'd I. No man, said she, can ever doubt but that GOD is Almighty. No man, said I, that is in his right wits. But there is Nothing, which He that is Al­mighty hath not a Power to Do. Nothing, said I. What hath GOD a Power then to Do EVIL? No surely, EVIL then, quoth she, is Nothing, viz. Hath not any Proper Being or Nature, sith He who Can Do All things, Cannot Do EVIL. Dost thou sport with me, said I, making an In­extricable Labyrinth with the subtle wayes of Thine Argumentation, Entring now, where thou didst Go forth, and then Going forth, where thou didst Enter; or dost thou by these Intricate Reasonings shew that there is a Wonderful Circle in the Di­vine Simplicity? For a little before begin­ing with True Happiness, thou didst affirm it to be the Highest, or Soveraign Good, which thou saydst was plac'd in the Most High GOD: And thou didst Prove that GOD is this Soveraign Good, and the one­ly True, and Perfect Happiness: then thou gavest me this, as a Token of thy Bounty, [Page 148] That no man is Truly Happy, but there­with he must be a GOD. Again thou didst assert that the very Form of Good is the Na­ture of GOD, and of True Happiness: and thou didst shew that ONE is the very GOOD, which All things Naturally De­sire: thou didst also Demonstrate that GOD Governeth the Universe By the Rule of GOODNESS, and that All things are Willingly Subject unto Him, and that EVIL hath not any Nature Properly so call'd: And these things thou didst evince by such Arguments, wherof there were none Extrinsecal to the Matter in hand, but one drawing Assent by the Connexion it hath with another, all of them being found­ed in the Subject of our Discourse. Then spake she thus: We do not Sport, but we have perform'd a Taske of the greatest Im­portance, by the Gracious Assistance of GOD, whose Name we did Invoke. For such is the Form of the Divine Substance, that It neither falls into the Condition of things Without, nor doth It admit any thing Without to come into the same State with It selfe; but, as Parmenides saith, [Page 149] [...],’ It wheeles-about the Movable Circle of things, whilst It preserves It selfe in a State Immovable. And if we have us'd such Ar­guments which were not fetcht from with­out, but lie within the compass of the Mat­ter, of which we did Treat, there is no cause that thou shouldst Admire, sith thou hast receiv'd it from the Testimony of Plato, that Words should be A-kin to the Things, of which we Discourse.

Philosophy exhorteth to perseverance in con­templation and vertue.

O ever Blest is He
Who once hath learnt to See
The Fountain of All Good:
Blest He, who hath withstood
The Earth, and now obteins
True Freedome from her Chains.
When (a) Orpheus's Wife was gone
[Page 150]To th' Shades how did he Groan!
When he had made the Trees
To Dance in Companies
Whilst Doleful Notes he Play'd;
When he had Rivers made
To stand still: and the Hind
His side to th' Lion Join'd,
And Fear'd no Harm: the Hare
Did also cease to Fear
The Dog, by Musick Tam'd:
When His Breast was Enflam'd
With all the Fires of Love;
Nor could those Soft Notes Move
Their Lord, and Mitigate
The Sense of his Hard Fate,
Which all things else or'ecame,
And did their Fierceness Tame,
He sayes Gods are Cruel,
And down he goes to Hell.
There fits he words to sounding Strings,
Whate're his Mother Taught he Sings.
He Sings in Doleful Strains
His own Hearts constant Pains,
And Grief-encreasing Love:
Thus Orpheus Hell doth Move,
And doth sweet Prayers repeat,
[Page 151]And those Dark Powers entreat.
Now (b) Cerberus doth gaze,
New Songs do Him amaze:
The Furies now shed Tears:
The (c) Wheele Ixion spares:
And (d) Tantalus the Stream
Forgets, and minds the Theme
Of Orpheus's Mournful Song:
That Rav'nous Bird that hung
On wretched (e) Tityus, drawes
The Liver with his Clawes
No longer now, whilst he
Feeds on sweet Melodie.
At length Hells cruel Lord
Some Pity doth afford,
We Vanquisht are, quoth He,
Let this Mans Wife go free,
From us he hath Her won
With his Melodious Song:
But only let Her go
On this Condition, so
That he ne're turn his Eye
[Page 152]Till he see the Bright Skye.
"But Lovers ne're were kept in Awe:
"Love to Himselfe's the greatest Law.
Alas, when he had past
Hells deepest wayes, at last
Orpheus can't choose but See
His Dear (f) Euridice:
But that one Looke did cost
Her Life: she's ever lost:
Well may he now Deplore,
He ne're shall see Her more.
To you belongs this Tale,
Who fain would leave the Vale
Of Constant Night, and find
The Day-Light of the Mind.
For he that will Looke back
To Hell, and his Pace slack,
Whatever Good he chose
This sight doth make him Lose.

THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE Consolation of Philosophy.

Boetius merveileth at the impunity and pros­perity of evil men.

WHEN Philosophy had most sweetly warbled out this Song, reteining all the while a Grave, and Venerable Coun­tenance, then I, labouring still under a great Distemper of mind, interrupted her, as she was about to say somewhat else. And, O, said I, those things, which thy Speech bringing in the True Light, hath hitherto poured forth, appear to be no other than Divine, being Seen as they are in them­selves; [Page 154] and Irrefragable, as Demonstrated by Thine Arguments: and such are those things, which thou hast told me that though my Anxious resentments of the Injuries I have receiv'd did lately put them out of my Remembrance, yet I was not wholly Igno­rant of them. But this is the greatest cause of the Perplexity I am in, that wher­as the Governour of All things is Good, E­vils should either be at all or that they should pass without their due Punishment. How much Admiration this one thing de­serves, I am Sure thou dost well consider. But ther's a greater matter than this, that is joyned with it; for whilst Wickedness flourisheth, and bears the sway, Vertue doth not only want it's Reward, but is trodden under foot by Base, and ungodly men, and in the place of Villany suffers the most grievous Punishment. That such Tran­sactions should be in His Kingdome who Knoweth All things, who Can Do All things, and Willeth nothing but what is Just, and Good, no man can sufficiently either Admire, or Complain. Then said she: And indeed this would be a matter of infinite Astonish­ment, [Page 155] and more horrible than all Monsters, if, as thou dost conceit, in the well-or­der'd House of so great a Master, Vessels of no worth should be most carefully lookt after, and the Pretious be neglected, and suffer'd to lye in the Dirt: but it is not so. For if those things, which were concluded a little before be Fixt in thy Mind, thou shalt Understand by His Instructions, whose Kingdome we speak of, That Good men are allwayes Powerful, and Evil men are allwayes Weak, and Contemptible; and that Vices are allwayes Punisht, Vertues are allwayes Rewarded; that All things that happen to Good men, are Good for them, but that Mischiefs allwayes betide the Wicked; and many things of this na­ture, which will allay all thy Complaints, and establish thy Mind in the most firm, and solid Apprehensions of Truth, and Good­ness. And sith I have already shewn thee, wherin True Happiness doth consist, and thou hast learnt in Whom it is to be found, all things being run over, which I think ne­cessary to promise, I shall shew thee the way that leadeth to Thine House. And I [Page 156] shall fasten Wings to thy Soule, by which she may raise her selfe on high, that all Perturbations, and Disorderly Thoughts being done away, with these Wings, by my Conduct, in my Path, thou mayst be Carryed Safe into Thine own Country.

How Philosophy bringeth men to the contem­plation of God.

FOr I have nimble Wings that soare
Above the Starry Skyes,
Which when the Mind puts on, no more
Will she Earth's Treasures prize.
Beyond the Clouds she doth Aspire,
'Boue th' Aire she bends Her Force,
And so transcends the Lofty Fire
Stir'd by the Heav'ns Swift Course.
Then she Ascends the Starry Plain,
And runs with Phaebus bright:
Or followes th' Tract of the Old Swain, *
[Page 157]And to His joyns Her Light.
And wheresoe're the Night lookes Clear,
She runs among the Stars,
And when her fill she' hath taken here,
She goes beyond Heav'ns Bars,
And on the Top of Aether Treads,
The Fields of Awful Light.
Here Sits He o're Imperial Heads,
Who guides the World aright,
Who Ʋnmov'd Rules the nimble Sun;
Whose Power doth All things sway:
If hither thou wilt come anon,
Recov'ring thy Lost Way,
I well remember't thou wilt say,
This is my Country Dear,
Hence I came, I'll stay Here.
And if thou shalt be pleas'd to see
This Darkned World agen,
Thou wilt find that stern Tyrants be
Themselves but Banisht Men.

That good men are powerful, and evil men weake.

THEN said I, O, how Great things dost thou Promise! which I doubt not but thou art Able to Performe. But see thou do not slacken and coole him, whom thou hast excited, and enflam'd. In the first place then thou mayst easily understand that Good men are allwayes Powerful, that the Wicked are void of all Power: of which Assertions one is prov'd by the other. For sith Good, and Evill are Contraries, if it be manifest that Good is Powerful, 'tis no less evident that Evill is Feeble, and Impotent: but if the Frailty of Evill be made to ap­pear, the Strength and Firmness of Good cannot but be known likewise. That the Truth of that I say may be most clearly and abundantly demonstrated, I shall go some­times this way, and sometimes that, in the pursuit of the Matter, I have under­taken to treat of. There are Two things, [Page 159] wherin all the Effect of Humane Actions doth consist, to wit, Will, and Power, of which if one be wanting nothing can be Done. For if the Will faile, no man At­tempteth any thing: but if Power be wanting, 'tis in vain to will any thing. So that if thou seest any man Willing to Get that, which he does not Get, thou canst not doubt, but that he wanteth the Ability to Obtein what he would have. 'Tis as clear, as the Sun, quoth I. But canst thou doubt but that he had Power, whom thou seest to have Effected what he Will'd, and Design'd? No. But what any man is Able to do, in that he is Powerful: but what he is not A­ble to do, in that he is judg'd to be Feeble, and Impotent. I confess it, quoth I. Dost thou not Remember, quoth she, that it has been already Prov'd, that All the Bent, or Intention of the Will of Man, which is ex­ercis'd in Divers Studies, and Endeavours, tends unto True Happiness? I well Re­member, quoth I, that This has been De­monstrated. Dost thou Remember that True Happiness is the Soveraign Good, so that sith True Happiness is sought for by [Page 160] All men, Good must needs be Desir'd by them? I cannot be said to Remember it, quoth I, because it is never out of my Mind. Have All men therefore Good, and Bad one Intention, viz. To Attein to the Possession of GOOD? It must needs follow, quoth I. But it is most certain that by getting of GOOD, Men become Good. 'Tis certain. Do Good men therefore get that, which they Desire? So it seems. But Evill men, if they could get the Good, that they Desire would cease to be Evill. 'Tis true. Sith therefore Both sorts of Men Desire Good, but some Attein therunto, others come short of it, it cannot be doubted but that Good men are Powerful; but they that are Wicked are Feeble, and Impotent. Who­ever doubts of this, said she, is neither ca­pable of considering the Nature of Things, nor the Consequence of Reasons. More­over said she: If there be Two persons, who have one Purpose, or Design to Per­form that which their Nature requires: and one of them Performs his Intention; but the other is not Able to execute that Natural Office, but takes some such course, [Page 161] which is not Agreeable to Nature, where­by he doth not Accomplish his Purpose, but Imitates one that doth Accomplish it: whe­ther of these Two dost thou judge to be the more Able man? Though I conjecture, said I, what thou wouldest be at, yet I desire thou wouldest speak it out more plainly. Wilt thou deny, said she, that to Go is a Motion Natural to men? No, said I. And dost thou doubt that 'tis Natural to the Feet to perform that Office? Neither can I deny that. If any one then should Go on his Feet, and another, who wants this Natu­ral Office of Feet, should endeavour to Go on his Hands, who of these might be right­ly judg'd to be the more Able man? Pro­ceed, said I, for it is unquestionable, that he who has a Power to perform those A­ctions, which Nature requires, has more Strength than he, who is not Able so to do. But the Soveraign Good, which All men Aim at, Good, and Bad, Good men Attein unto by the Natural Office of Virtues: but the Wicked earnestly endeavour after this very Good by gratifying their various Lusts, and unruly Affections, which is not the Office [Page 162] that Nature requires us to perform, that we may Attein to the True Good. Dost thou think otherwise? No surely, said I: the Consequence also is very clear. For from what I have granted, it must of necessity follow that Good men are Powerful, that Wicked men are altogether Feeble, and Im­potent. Thou dost well, quoth she, thus to run before me; and this, as Physitians are wont to hope, is a sign that Nature ga­thers Strength, and begins to resist the Di­sease. But because I perceive thee to be so Quick of Apprehension, I shall be sure to ply thee with Arguments. See how Weak are all Vitious Persons, who cannot so much as Attein to That, to which their Natural Intention leads, and in a manner compels them. And what? if they were left destitute of this great, and almost irre­sistable Assistance of Nature encouraging, and directing them? but consider, I say, how great Impotency lend, wicked men la­bour under. For the things they seek for, but are not able to obtein are of no small moment: but indeed they faile in that mat­ter, which is the Chiefest of All their Con­cerns, [Page 163] they miss the fruits of all the Toyle, and hard labour they undergo night, and day: in which the Strength of Good men may easily be seen. For as thou wouldest judge Him to be a Most Able Foot-man, who Go­ing on his Feet, should be Able to come at length to that Place, Beyond which 'tis im­possible that any one should Go: so thou must of necessity judge Him, who hath At­tein'd to that GOOD, Beyond which 'tis impossible that any one should extend his Desires, to be a Person Absolutely Accom­plisht with the Greatest Strength, or Abili­ty. From whence it is most evident that whosoever are Wicked, the same are desti­tute of all manner of Strength. For why do they leave Virtue, and follow Vice? is it because they are Ignorant of the True Good? but what is more Feeble than Ig­norance, or Spiritual Blindness? Do they Know what they should follow, and endea­vour after, but their Lusts draw them aside some other way? thus they appear to be most Feeble Creatures, who are so Unable to Resist their Vitious Inclinations. Do they Knowingly, and Willfully forsake that [Page 164] which is Good, and turn to the way of Vice? But if so, they do not only cease to be Pow­erful, but they wholly relinquish their True, and Proper Being. For they who thus forsake the common End of All things that are, cease also to have their Being. Which perhaps will seem to some to be very strange, that we should say that Evill, or Wicked men, which are by far the greatest Number, should cease to Be. But so it is for certain. For those, who are Evill men, I do not deny to be Evill men: but I deny that they may Purely, and Simply be said be be Men. For as thou mayst say that a Carcass is a Dead Man, but thou mayst not call it Simply, and Absolutely a Man: so I shall grant that those, who are Addicted to Vice, are Evill men, but I cannot ac­knowledge Absolutely that they are Men. For that Is, or hath it's True, and Proper Being, which reteins Order, and preserves it's Nature: from which whatsoever doth revolt, it relinquisheth it's Proper Being, which lyeth in it's Nature. But Evill men thou wilt say have some kind of Power: nei­ther shall I deny it; but this their Power [Page 165] does not proceed from Strength, but Im­becillity: For they have the Power to Do Evill, which they would not have, if they had the Effectual Power of Doing Good. Which Possibility doth plainly shew that they have not any Power, Truly, and Properly so call'd. For if Evill have not any Proper Being, or Nature, as we prov'd a little be­fore, sith Wicked men have only the Power to Do Evill, 'tis manifest that they have no True Power. It cannot be deny'd. And that thou mayst better understand what kind of Power this is, we have determin'd a lit­tle before that ther's nothing more Power­ful than the Soveraign Good. I know thou hast, said I. But the Same (Soveraign Good) Cannot Do that which is Evill. No surely. Will any one conceit, said she, that Men Can Do All things? None, but such a one, who is out of his wits. But they Can Do Evill. Would to God, said I, they had no such Power. Sith therefore He that Can Do nothing, but that which is Good, Can do All things; but they Cannot Do All things, who Can Do Evill, 'tis manifest that their Power is the less in as much as [Page 166] they are Able to Do Evill. Add hereunto that All True Power is in the number of things that are to be Desir'd, and we have prov'd that All things to be Desir'd are re­fer'd to Good, as to that wherin their Per­fection doth consist. But the Possibility of Performing a Wicked Action Cannot be re­fer'd to Good: therefore it is not to be De­sir'd. But all True Power is to be Desir'd. 'Tis manifest therefore that the Possibility of Doing Evill is no True Power. Hence it appears that Good men are allwayes Pow­erful, that Wicked men are most Feeble, and Impotent. And the Truth of that Saying of Plato cannot be doubted. ‘That Wise men onely Do what they Desire, but that the Wicked Exercise their Lusts, but are never Able to Accomplish their Desires.’ For they Do whatsoever their Lusts prompt them unto, whilst by those Courses, wher­by they gratifie their Sensual Inclinations, they hope to Attein to that Good which they Desire; but they never Attein therunto, for 'tis impossible that Villany should Ap­proach to True Happiness.

Kings are not potent, if they be passionate.

THose Tyrants, which thou seest on High
Thrones, Cloath'd with Robes of Majesty,
Their Guards Encompassing their Seats,
Whilst all their Lookes are Silent Threats,
Their Proud Hearts swoln with causless Ire;
If they were stript of their Attire,
Of their False Shewes of Majesty,
These Sov'raign Lords a man might see
To be themselves fast Bound with Chains,
That vex them with incessant Pains.
Dire Lechery (that Smiles, and Kills)
Their Cups with Sweet Wine Poyson'd fills:
Wrath makes a Tempest in the Soule,
Ʋnruly Thoughts, like Billowes, roule:
Sometimes they sink in deep Despair,
Sometimes Hope throwes them here, and there.
Thou seest how such Fierce Tyrants be
Enslav'd unto the Tyranny
Of Many Lords: what they would, they can't do:
But where those Lords command, there must they go.

That good men are not without reward, nor e­vil without punishments.

SEEST thou then what Filth all Villany walloweth in, and how great a Splen­dor there is in True Virtue, and Integrity? In this it plainly appears that Good men are allwayes Rewarded, Evill men are allwayes Tormented. For that, for which any A­ction is Perform'd, seemeth to be the Re­ward of that same Performance: as a Crown, or Garland, for which a man Runs, is pro­pos'd as a Reward to him that Runs a Race. But we have prov'd Happiness is that very GOOD for which All Actions are Per­form'd: That GOOD therefore is the common Reward that is propos'd to All Humane Actions. But This cannot be kept from Good men. For he may not any longer be called a Good man, who is not Partaker of this Soveraign Good. Let the Wicked then Rage, a Wise, and Virtuous man keeps on his Crown, and it Fadeth not away. For [Page 169] the Iniquity of Other men can never deprive a Pious Soule of it's Proper Ornament. If he did Rejoyce in what he hath Receiv'd from Without, this any other man, even he, who confer'd it on him, might deprive him of. But sith it is confer'd on him by that Goodness, which is Within himselfe, he will never want his Reward, as long, as he continues to be Good. Lastly sith every Reward is therefore Desir'd because it is be­liev'd to be Good, who will ever judge that he who Possesseth the True Good can miss his Reward? But what is this Reward? cer­tainly the Fairest, and Greatest of All Re­wards. Remember the Corollary which I gave thee but a little before, and gather in the full Proofe of what I have said thus: Sith the Soveraign Good is True Happines, 'tis manifest that All Good men even in this that they are Good do become Truly Happy. But it has been concluded that those, who are Truly Happy are Gods. Such there­fore is the Reward of Good men, which shall not be worn out by the longest Time, nor diminisht by any mans Power, nor defil'd by any mans Iniquity, viz. To become Gods. [Page 170] And sith these things are so, what Wise man can ever doubt of the Pains, and Anxieties that are implyed in the nature of All Wick­ed Actions. For sith Good, and Evill, Pun­ishment, and Reward are Opposite, it must needs be that whatsoever we see in the Re­ward of Good, that which is directly Con­trary therunto may be seen in the Punish­ment of Evill. As Virtue therefore is the Reward of the Virtuous, so Vice and Im­purity is the Torment of the Wicked. But now whosoever suffers Punishment doubts not but that he is opprest with Evill. If therefore they would rightly Judge of them­selves, could it seem to them that they are free from Trouble, and Vexation, whom Wickedness the greatest of all Evils doth not only oppress, but Pierce through, seizing, and Perverting all their Faculties? But Observe what Pains, and Anxieties at­tend the Wicked, in opposition to what we have said of the True Pleasure, and Satis­faction of those that are sincerely, and firmly Possest of True Goodness, and Vir­tue. For thou hast been taught a little be­fore, that whatsoever Is, or hath any Pro­per [Page 171] Being, is One, and that ONE is GOOD. The Consequence of which is this, whatsoever hath any Proper Being, that also is Good. And thus whatsoever failes to be Good, ceaseth to Be: whence it is manifest that Evill men cease to Be, what they Were. But that they were Men is shown by the Shape of an Humane Body, which still re­mains. Wherefore the Temper of their Minds being Chang'd into such Evill Dispo­sitions they have lost the True Nature of Man. But sith Goodness, and Piety only can Advance any one beyond the Condition of Men, it must needs be that those whom Wickedness hath Degraded from their Hu­manity, should fall beneath the Merit, or Dignity of a Rational Creature. Therefore whomsoever thou seest Transform'd by Vice, thou mayst not any longer Esteem him, as a Man. Dost thou see any one to commit Rapine, being Enflam'd with the Love of Riches? thou mayst say that he is a Wolfe. Is any one Fierce, and Unquiet, exercising his Tongue perpetually in Brauls, and Contentious speeches? thou mayst compare him to a Dog. If he delight in [Page 172] subtle Cheats, and Wiles, thou mayst com­pare him to a Fox. Is he unable to sup­press his Anger, breaking forth into the greatest Fury upon the least provocation? let him be Judg'd to have the Soule of a Li­on. Is he exceeding Timorous, and ready to Flye, where there is not the least cause of any Fear? let him be liken'd to the Hart. Is he Dull, and Slothful? he leads the Life of an Ass. Is he light, and Inconstant, all­wayes changing his Resolutions? he is like the Foules of the Aire. Does he Wallow in the Mire of Filthy Lusts? he is taken with the Pleasure ef a Dirty Sow. Thus it comes to pass that whosoever having deserted all True Goodness, and Piety ceaseth to be a Man, sith he cannot Attein to the Divine Condition, he is turned into a Beast.

That vices are of greater force, than en­chantments.

ULysses with his Friends Arrives
Ʋnto the Isle, where Circe Dwelt:
With Cups Enchanted she receives
Her Guests, whose Power they quickly felt.
This Man is chang'd into a Bore:
A Lions Shape another takes:
A third, when he would fain Deplore
These Changes, his own Shape forsakes.
And now he doth not Weep, but Howle:
One's Chang'd into a Tygress mild,
Such, as the Indians do Controule,
As though 'twere not by nature Wild.
But Mercury commiserates
Ulysses, and him saves from harme:
Though for him also Circe waits
To plague him with her direful Charme.
Yet those that Sailed with Him sup
The Dregs of Her Enchanted Cup.
The New-Made Swine their Akorns Eat,
Estranged now from Their own Kind,
[Page 174]In Voice, in Body, and in Meat,
In all things else, except the Mind,
Which for this Monstrous Change doth Grieve:
O feeble Charme, which though it can
Make Humane Shape the Shape receive
Of Beast, it cannot Change the Man.
The Life, and Vigor of Mankind
Is Inward in the Heav'n-born Mind.
This Poison (Vice) is stronger far,
Man of Himselfe It quite deprives;
Although the Outward Man It spare
Men lose by It Their proper Lives.

Of the misery of wicked men.

BUT the Vulgar regards not these things. What then? shall we be like them, whom we have demonstrated to be no other than a sort of Irrational Creatures? What if any one having wholly lost his Sight, should forget that he had ever seen any thing, and conceit that there was nothing wanting to him of Humane Perfection, should we there­fore [Page 175] judge those that retein their Sight to be Blind likewise? For the Vulgar refuse their Assent to this also, which depends up­on as firm, and solid grounds, as any thing we have formerly demonstrated, viz. ‘That those Persons are more Miserable that Do an Injury, than those that Suffer it.’ I would fain hear, said I, what grounds thou canst shew for this. Dost thou deny, quoth she, that every Wicked man is worthy of Punish­ment? No surely. But it appears by many Reasons that they are Miserable, who are Wicked. 'Tis true, said I. Whosoever then are worthy of Punishment, thou doubt­est not but they are Miserable. It cannot be deny'd, quoth I. If therefore thou didst sit, as a Judge, on whom wouldst thou con­ceive that Punishment should be inflicted, on him, who has Done, or on him who has Suffer'd an Injury? I doubt not, said I, but that I should satisfie the Person Injur'd by the Griefe of him, that hath done the Injury. The Injurious therefore would seem to be more Miserable, than he, who hath receiv'd the Injury. It followes indeed, said I. By this Reason therefore and others [Page 176] of the like Importance, viz. that Vice and Impurity does by it's own Nature make men Miserable, it is most evident that he who offers an Injury, not he, who receives it, doth thereby become Miserable. But now, quoth she, our Advocates Act quite contrary to this. For they endeavour to move the Pity, or Commiseration of the Judges towards those, who have Suffer'd some Great Injury, wheras indeed they should be rather Pityed, who have con­tracted the Guilt of being so Injurious: whom their Accusers should not be mov'd to bring before the Judge by Wrath, and Indignation, but by a Generous Pity, and Desire of their Welfare, as Sick folk are brought to the Physitian, that by the In­fliction of External Punishment they may be Cur'd of their Inward Distempers. And thus the Employment of those that Plead for Offenders would either totally cease, or if it should be continued for the Good of Mankind, it would be turn'd into the Form of an Accusation. The Wicked themselves if they could have but a Glimpse of Virtue, which they have Forsaken, and could per­ceive [Page 177] that they should be in some capacity of cleansing themselves from the Filth of their Vices by receiving their due Punish­ment, their Pains being recompenc'd with the obteining of True Goodness, and Piety, they would not esteem them to be the Ob­ject of their Horror, and Aversation, and they would refuse the Assistance of those men, that make Apologies for such who De­serve Punishment, and yeild themseles to be Dispos'd of according to the Pleasure of their Accusers, and of the Judges. Whence it comes to pass that among Wise men there is no Place left for Hatred. For who but an egregious Foole will Hate Good men? And it is also against all Reason to Hate Wicked men. For if a Vitious, and Depraved Tem­per be the Sickness of the Soule; sith we judge those that are Sick in Body in no wise to de­serve our Hatred, but rather our Pity, much rather are they not to be Hated, but Pityed, whose Minds are opprest with Vice, and Impurity, a more Cruel Distemper than a­ny that can afflict the Body.

No man is to be hated, the good are to be lo­ved, and the evil to be pityed.

WHy do you, Mortals, labour so
To Get your Deaths with your own Hands?
Although you would, you cannot go
From Fate: It's Course no Power withstands.
Those, whom the Wild Beasts would Annoy,
And Tear both with their Teeth, and Clawes,
Each other would with Swords Destroy.
Is't that they Differ in their Lawes,
And Manners that they so Pursue
Each other? This we can't Approve.
If thou wilt yeild to All their Due:
The Wicked Pity, Good men Love.

Boetius complaineth, that prosperity and ad­versity are common both to good and badd.

THEN said I. I see what Felicity is implyed in the Nature of Good, and what Misery in the Nature of Evil Actions. But in this Outward Estate about which the Generality of men are so much concern'd, it seemeth to me that there is somewhat of Good, and somewhat of Evill. For no Wise man would choose rather to be Banisht, Poore, Disgrac'd, than to remain Safe in his own Country, Rich, Honor'd, Power­ful. For by such means Wisedome Acts her Part with greater Renown, and with more Advantage to the World, the Happiness of those that are in Authority being in a man­ner transfus'd into the People that are un­der them: especially sith Prisons, Lawes, and all Legall Penalties, are Ordain'd for those, that are Injurious. Therefore I am Astonisht to see things thus turned upside down, Good men lying under such Punish­ments, [Page 180] as are due to the Wicked, the Re­wards of Virtue being snatcht away by those that have immerst themselves in the deepest Vices. But I should less wonder if I did be­lieve All things to be huddled in Confusion by Chance, or Casualty. Now it encreas­eth my Astonishment that GOD is the Go­vernor of All things: sith He often distri­butes Ease, and Contentment to Good men, and Trouble, and Vexation to Wick­ed men; and on the contrary much Hard­ship, and Affliction to Good men, and the greatest Prosperity to the Wicked, unless there may be a Reason given for these things, how doth his Government differ any whit from Chance, or meer Casualtie? 'Tis no wonder, said she, if any thing seem to be Disorder'd, and Confus'd, the Order ther­of being not discover'd. But although thou dost not understand the Cause of this Ma­nagement of the Ʋniverse, yet sith it is Go­vern'd By Almighty GOODNESS, thou mayst not doubt but that All things are Done for the Best.

Admiration ceaseth, when the causes of things are known.

WHo knowes not how Stars neer the Poles do slide,
And how Bootes his slow waine does guide,
Why he sets late, and does so early rise,
May wonder at the courses of the skies.
If the full Moon bereaved is of light
Infested with a darkness like to night,
An errour straight through Vulgar minds doth pass,
To ease her labou'ring light they beat on Braess:
But no one wonders why the Winds do blow,
Nor why hot Phaebus beams dissolve the snow,
These are well known, the other hidden lye,
And therefore more our hearts they terrifie.
Those strange Events, which Time but seldome brings,
And the vaine people count as suddain things,
If we our mind; from ignorance could free,
No longer would by us admired be.

Of providence and Fate, and why prosperitie and adversitie are common both to good and bad.

'TIS right, said I. But sith it is thy Taske to unfold the hidden Causes of things, and to Clear the Obscurest Truthes; I pray thee Determine this matter: and be­cause this Strange thing is that, by which I am most disturb'd, and perplext, Discourse therof at large. Then Smiling a little she spake thus: This Inquiry is the most diffi­cult of all, which will hardly be satisfyed with any thing that can be said in Answear therunto. For the Matter is such that one doubt being Cutt of, many others Grow up like the Heads of the Snake Hydra: neither will there be any end of these Doubts, and Scruples, unless they are Burnt up with the most Lively Fire of an Ardent Mind. For here Questions are wont to be made of the Simplicity of Providence, of the Series of Fate, of sudden, and unexpected Accidents, of [Page 183] the Divine Knowledge, and Predestination, of the Liberty of the Will: And of how great Weight such Questions are, Thou thy selfe art not unsensible. But because the Knowing of these things is a part of the Medicine which thy Distemper requires, al­though I am much streightned with the shortness of Time, yet I shall endeavour to say somewhat in Answear to the Deep Que­stion thou hast propos'd. But though thou art much taken with the sweet Harmony of our Verses, thou must defer this Pleasure a little while, 'till I shall have made a due, and orderly Contexture of such Reasons, as tend to the Solution of thy Doubts. Do as thou thinkst fit, said I. Then as if she past to another Subject, thus she Discourst. The Generation of All things, and All the Pro­gress of Changeable Natures, and whatsoe­ver has any kind of Motion, receiveth it's Causes, Order, Formes from the Stability of the Divine Mind. Which remaining Sted­fast, and Immovable in the Hight of it's own Simplicity doth Assign a Manifold, and Variable Manner of Proceeding to the Af­fairs here below. Which Manner of Pro­ceeding, [Page 184] whilst it is Beheld in the Purity of the Divine Intelligence, is called PRO­VIDENCE: but when it is refer'd to the things that it Moveth, and Disposeth, the Antients gave it the name of FATE. That these Two do differ thus from one a­nother, it will easily appear, if any man shall consider the Importance of each of them. For Providence is that Divine Rea­son seated in the SOVERAIGN LORD of the Whole Creation, which Disposeth All things: but Fate is that Disposition in­haerent in things Movable, by which Pro­vidence Embraceth them All at once, though they are Divers, though they are Infinite: But Fate puts them into their several Ranks, according to Motion, Places, Formes, and Times: so that the Unfolding of the Order of things in Time, being Simple, and Un­divided in the Prospect of the Divine Mind, is called Providence: but the same Ʋnity, or Simplicity, being as it were Sever'd, and Unfolded in the Successions of Time, is called Fate. Though these Two are Divers, yet one depends on the other. For the Or­der of Fate proceeds from the Simplicity of [Page 185] Providence. For the Artificer perceiving in his Mind the Form, or Fashion of the thing, he is about to Make, begins to Effect what he has Contriv'd; and what he Saw all at once in his Mind, he Works out at Divers Times with his Hands: So GOD by Pro­vidence Disposeth All things at once firmly, and Unalterably: but by Fate these same things, which He hath Dispos'd, He Ma­nageth in a Manifold, and Variable Manner. Whether therefore Fate be exercis'd by cer­tain Divine Spirits, Attending upon Pro­vidence, or by the whole Course of Nature, or by the Motions of the Stars &c. Cer­tainly it is manifest that Providence is the Immovable, and Simple Form of things to be Done: but that Fate is the Movable Con­nexion, and Temporal Order of those things, which Divine Simplicity hath Ordain'd. Whence it comes to pass, that All things, which are under Fate, are subject also to Providence; which Fate it selfe is subject un­to. But some that are under Providence are beyond the Compass of Fate. Such are those things, which being Fixt, and Immo­vable by their Neerness to the FIRST [Page 186] DIVINITY Transcend the Order of Fatal Alterations. For as of Orbs, or Circles which turn themselves about the same Cen­tre, that which is Inmost comes neer to the Simplicity of the Centre, or Middle-Point, and is as it were the Centre to the other Orbs, about which they are turn'd: but the Outmost, by how much the farther it is from the Centre, with so much the Larger Compass it is Wheel'd about; And if any Joyn it selfe to that Middle-point, it ceaseth from it's former Revolution: In like man­ner that which goes farther from the FIRST MIND is more Entangled in the Cords of Fate; and by so much any thing is at Liberty from Fate, by how much Neerer it Approacheth to that Centre of All things. If so be that it constantly Adhere to the Firmness, and Stability of the Supream Mind, sith it Moves not to, and fro, it keeps above the Necessity of Fate. There­fore as Reasoning or Discourse is to the In­tellect; as that which is Produc'd to that which hath Being of it selfe; Time to Aeter­nity; a Circle to the Centre: so is the Mo­vable Series of Fate to the Stable Simplicity [Page 187] of Providence. This Series of Fate Moveth Heaven, and the Stars, Ordereth, and Disposeth the Elements in their Commixtures and Transmutations. The same reneweth things that spring up, and dye away, by the wonted Courses of Seed, and that which it Bringeth forth. This * Binds together the Actions, and Fortunes of men with an In­dissoluble Connexion of Causes: which, sith they proceed from those Immovable Causes, must needs be themselves also Immovable. For so are things Govern'd in the Best Man­ner, that can be, if Simplicity remaining in the Divine Mind, gives out a Necessary, and Unalterable Order of Causes; but this Order by it's own Incommutability keeps all things Mutable within their several Ranks, and Conditions, which otherwise would run into Confusion. Whence it comes to [Page 188] pass, that although to you, who come short of the right Apprehension of Order, All things may seem to be turned upside down, never the less this Manner of Pro­ceeding Assigned to them by Providence Di­rects them to the True Good. For even Wicked men themselves never propose Evill, as the End of any of their Actions: who, as hath been shown at large, are turn'd out of the way by their own Wicked Error, but ORDER Proceeding from the Centre of the Soveraign Good makes not any man to Decline from It's own ORIGINAL. But, thou wilt say, what worse Confusion can there be than this, that sometimes Ad­versity, and sometimes Prosperity should happen to the Righteous, and also that the Wicked should sometimes Attein to that, which they Desire, and be sometimes Op­prest with that which they would Avoid? what then, do men shew such perfect Strength of Judgement, and Integrity of Heart in their Lives and Conversation, that those whom they Judge to be Righteous, or to be Wicked must needs be such, as they e­steem them to be? But we see the Judge­ments [Page 189] of men Differ in nothing more than in this: and those who are esteem'd by some to deserve a Reward, are by others esteem­ed worthy of the severest Punishment. But let us grant that any one could clearly De­termine who are Righteous, and who are Wicked: what then, would he be able to Discern the Inmost Temper, and Constitution of Soules, as we use to express it, when we speak of Bodies? For to one that under­stands it not, 'tis no less wonder; why to some Healthy Bodies Sweet things are A­greeable, to others Bitter things: Why some Diseases are Cur'd with soft, and gen­tle Medicines, others with those, which are most sharpe, and piercing: But it is no whit strange to the Physitian who sear­ches into the state, and Condition of Bodies both in Health, and in Sickness. And what is the Health of Soules but Virtue, or True Goodness? what is their Sickness, but Vice? But who is there, that can either give that which is Good for us, or drive away that which is Evill, but GOD, the Governour, and Physitian of Soules? who looking from the High Tower of his Providence Sees what [Page 190] the Inward Condition of Every man doth require, and Applies that which He Sees to be Requisite, and Suitable to his Condi­tion. Hence it is that the Order of Fate is such Matter of wonder, and Astonishment to the World, viz. that Ignorant Men can­not but be Amus'd at that which is Done by the Infinitely Wise GOD. For that I may lightly touch at a few things, which Hu­mane Reason is somewhat capable of being exercis'd about, concerning the Divine DEPTH: As for this man whom thou thinkest to be most Observant of Law, and Equity, the contrary is most Evident to Providence that Knoweth All things. And My Lucan saith that ‘The Cause of the Con­querour was Pleasing to the GODS, but of the Conquer'd to Cato.’ Whatsoever then thou mayst see at any time to be Done here upon Earth, there is certainly a Right Or­der in the Things themselves; but thine O­pinion concerning them is Perverse, and Confus'd: But suppose there be any one so syncerely Virtuous that he is both Accepta­ble to GOD, and Approv'd of Men: yet, it may be, he wants a Courageous, and un­danted [Page 191] Spirit: to whom if any Adversity should happen, perhaps he will no longer take care to preserve his Innocency, by which he could not retein his Fortune. Therefore the Wisedome of the Divine Dis­pensation deals Gently with him, whom Adversity might incline to Wickedness, that he may not be Affiicted, who is not Quali­fyed to Endure Affiiction. Another hath Attein'd to the Perfection of All Virtue, an Holy Person, Fully Partaking of the Divine Nature, the All-wise GOD Judges that it would be contrary to the Rules of Justice, that this man should be toucht with any Ad­versity, so that He does not suffer such a man to be Affiicted even with any Bodily Di­stempers. For as one, more Excellent than I, Sayes ' [...]. But many times it comes to pass that the chiefe Management of things is by Provi­dence put into the Hands of Good men, that Abounding Wickedness may be represt. To others the Supream Wisedome, and Goodness distributeth a Medley of Pleasing, and Bit­ter things According to the Temper and Dis­position of their Soules: some He Curbs, [Page 192] and Restrains least they grow Wanton by long Prosperity: others He makes to suffer Hardship, that by the Use, and Exercise of Patience they may be confirm'd in All Virtue, and strength of Mind. Others are too Fearful of that, which they are Able to Endure: others are too apt to make light of that, which they are not Able to Endure. These men that they may Know themselves He brings into Adversity. Some have pur­chac'd a Venerable Name in this World at the Price of a Glorious Death. Some being Undanted in the greatest Torments have gi­ven to others an Example of this Truth, that Virtue is Invincible in any Calamity what­soever: which how rightly, and Orderly it comes, and how it tends to the Good of those, whom we see to labour under it, may not be doubted. This also, that sometimes Sad things befall the Wicked, sometimes they have the things that they Wish for, doth proceed from the same Causes. No man wonders at this, that Sad things should be­fall them, whom every one Judges to de­serve so Ill. Whose Punishments are a Ter­ror to others that they may not be guilty of [Page 193] the like Offences, and they conduce to the Amendment of those, upon whom they are Inflicted: But the Prosperity of the Wicked is a clear Demonstration to those that De­light in Virtue, what they are to Judge of that kind of Happiness which they see to Attend upon the Worst of men. And here I conceive this also to be the Tendency of the Divine Dispensation, that some men are Naturally so Head-strong, and Violent in their wayes, that the want of Mony would excite them to commit the greatest Wicked­ness: Providence by distributing Riches to such kind of Persons applies a Remedy to their Distemper. This man observing his Conscience Defil'd with all manner of Im­purities, and comparing Himselfe with His Fortune, is perhaps struck with a Fear least the Loss of that should be extream Grievous, the Enjoyment whereof is so De­lightsome unto him: therefore he will be­take himselfe to a New Course of Life, and whilst he Fears that his Fortune shall be Taken from him, he makes speed to Depart from his Iniquity. Others are suddenly brought to their Deserved Ruine by the [Page 194] Prosperity they have Abus'd. Some are permitted to have the Power of Inflicting Punishment for the Exercise of Good men, and the Vexation of the Wicked. For as there is no League between the Lovers of Virtue, and the Slaves of Vice; so these Slaves of Vice can never Agree amongst themselves. How should it be otherwise? their Consciences being torn in peeces by the Fury of their vile Affections, they Dis­sent from Their own Minds, and often Do those things, which when they have Done, they Determine that they ought not in any Case to have Done such things. Whence it is that the Divine Providence hath often pro­duc'd this great Miracle, that even Wicked men make other Wicked men to become Vir­tuous. For whilst some Unrighteous Persons seem to themselves to suffer most Unjustly by those that are as Bad as themselves, or Worse; Burning with Indignation against those, who have dealt so Injuriouslly with them, they return to the wayes of Virtue, whilst they endeavour to render themselves Unlike to those, against whom they have conceiv'd such Hatred. For 'tis only the [Page 195] Power of the ALMIGHTY to which Evils become Good, whilst by the use He makes of them He draweth forth some Good Effect. For a certain Order Embraceth All things, so that whatsoever hath swerv'd from that Course, which by Providence was Primarily or Antecedently Assign'd unto it, it falls still within the Compass of Order, least any Chance, or Temerity should have any thing to do in the Kingdome of Providence. [...]. The Wit of Man can never comprehend, nor his Eloquence Express all the Contrivan­ces of the Divine Worke. Let it suffice that so much hath been made Known unto thee, that GOD, the Author of All Natures, so Ordereth, and Disposeth All things, as to Direct them to the True Good: whilst He makes those things, which He hath Pro­duc'd to retein some Resemblance of Him­selfe, by the Series of Fatal Necessity He Banisheth All Evill out of His Dominions. Whence it comes to pass that though Evill seems to Abound here upon Earth, if thou dost consider how All Events are Order'd, and Dispos'd by Providence, thou wilt not [Page 196] find any thing that deserves the name of E­vill. But I see thou art over-burthen'd with the Weight of the Question, and wea­ried with the Prolixity of the Reasons I have produc'd for the Solution of it, and that thou dost expect to be Refresht with the Sweetness of Verse. Take a Draught then to strengthen thine Attention to that Part of my Discourse, which is yet behind.

Philosophy praiseth Gods providence.

IF with Pure Thought thou wilt Descry
Jehovah's * Power, and Equity
Looke up to Heav'n Above.
There Natures League is kept: no Wars
Were ever heard of there: the Stars
Ne're broke the Bonds of Love.
Sols Fiery Chariot keeps it's Course,
Nor doth it with ungovern'd Force
Phaebes Coole Wain o'rethrow.
[Page 197]The Bear on High doth ne're Desire
In the Deep Sea to plunge his Fire,
Though other Stars do so.
Vesper ne're failes to come at Night,
And Lucifer still brings Day-Light,
In which All things Rejoyce.
Thus Love keeps them in their Right Way:
Thus they all Discord drive away,
And all Tumultuous Noise.
This Peace the Elements doth guide:
By This do Contraries abide
In their Alternate Force.
Drought yields to Moisture, Cold to Heat,
Fire strives the highest Place to get,
Earth downwards bends it's Course.
And by those Causes doth the Spring
New Leaves, and Flowres most fragrant bring:
Hot Summer brings Ripe Corn:
Autumn's the Time for Apples: then
Black Winter brings the Cold agen,
And makes large Showres return.
Both Nourishment this Temper gives,
And Birth, to ev'ry thing that Lives
Ith' Waters, or the Earth:
And 'tis the Same that Takes away
What was Brought forth: All things Decay,
[Page 198]That ever had their Birth.
Whilst the Creator Sits on High,
And Orders things both in the Skye,
And in this World below,
Almighty Lord, Eternal King,
The LAW, and JƲDGE, the Boundless Spring,
From whence All Beings flow.
He stops those Motions, which He gave:
And settles things that fleet, and wave.
For if Right Motions He
Did not to Circlings turn again,
Their Being things would not retain,
But Vanish Instantly.
All things Partake of this Great Love,
That they may Rest in Good, they Move.
For nothing could them save
From Perishing, but Love that drawes
Them back again to the First Cause
Which Being to them gave.

All fortune is good.

DOST thou not see now what is the Consequence of all that I have said. What, quoth I? That Every Fortune, or Outward Condition [as it comes from GOD] is Good. How is that, said I? observe what I say, quoth she, sith Every Condition being either Pleasing, or Grievous, comes for the Rewarding, or Exercising of Good men; or else for the Punishing, or Reforming of the Wicked; whatsoever it is, it must needs be Good, which, 'tis mani­fest, is the Instrument either of the Divine Justice, or Mercy. The Reason thou givest, said I, is most true: And if I consider Pro­vidence, and Fate, which thou didst shew me a little while since, this Conclusion is most Firm, and Irrefragable. But if thou wilt, let us put it into the number of those Positions, which, as thou saydst a little be­fore are contrary to the Common Opinion. How so, quoth she? Because quoth I, this [Page 200] speech is often in the Mouthes of men, that some have Ill Fortune. Wilt thou there­fore, said she, that we yeild a little to the speeches of the Vulgar, least we seem to go too far from the Use and Custome of Mankind. As thou thinkest fit, said I. Dost thou not then judge that to be Good, which is Profitable? yea surely, said I. But that Fortune, which either Exerciseth, or Cor­recteth is Profitable. True, said I. There­fore it is Good. Who can deny that? But this belongs to them who being either Esta­blisht in Virtue make War with Affliction; or being Convinc'd of the Misery that comes on them by their Vices Break forth into the way of Virtue. I cannot but Ac­knowledge this, said I. But what, a Plea­sing Condition, which is given as a Reward to Good men, do the Vulgar esteem it to be Evill? In no wise: but, as it is, they judge it to be Exceeding Good. What of the other Condition, which, sith it is Sharpe, and Grievous, is for the Restraining of the Wicked by Just Punishment, do they sup­pose it to be Good? Nay, quoth she, they judge it to be most Miserable. See then, if [Page 201] following even the Opinion of the Vulgar we have not Prov'd somewhat very contrary to the Common Opinion? what, said I? For from those things, said she, which have been granted, it must of necessity be infer'd that to Those who have Attein'd to the Full Possession of Virtue, or have made some Progress towards it, or are Really In­clin'd therunto, Every Condition is Good; but to Those, who remain in their Wicked­ness Every Condition is Exceeding Evill. This is true, said I, though ther's hardly any one, that dares Acknowledge it. Where­fore, said she, A Wise man ought not to be Troubled, when he is to Fight with For­tune, as it becomes not a Stout Souldier to be any way disturb'd when the Trumpet sounds an Alarm. For Hardship, and Dif­ficulty is to the one an Occasion of enlarging his Renown, to the other of improving his Wisedome. And hence it is that True Good­ness in the Hearts of Men is called VIR­TUE, because it's Virtue, Power, and Efficacy is such, that it can never be Over­come by any Adversity. For being Plac'd on the Borders of Virtue, you are not come [Page 202] hither to indulge to your vain Desires, and to lose your strength in the Enjoyment of Sensual Pleasures; but here you must pre­pare your selves for a Fierce Encounter with Both Fortunes, that you may not be Cast down by Adversity, nor Corrupted by Prosperity. Stick to the Mean with all your Force. Whatsoever is beneath it, or goes beyond it, implies a Contempt of True Happiness, gives you not any Re­compence for all your Labours. 'Tis put to your Choice, what kind of Fortune you would rather have. For whatsoever seem­eth to be Grievous, if it do not Exercise, or Reform, it Punisheth.

Philosophy exhorteth to labours.

HArd Labours made (a) Alcides Great:
He did the Boasting (b) Centaurs Beat,
He Skin'd the Lion strong, and Feirce
With his own * Clawes: His Arrowes pierce
The (c) Harpyes: He those Apples tooke,
And scorn'd the Furious Dragons Looke:
He Chain'd Black (d) Cerbe'rus: and 'tis said
That He Curs'd (e) Diomedes made
Food for's own Horses; which he fed
With Men, whose guiltless Bloud he shed.
He made (f) Achelous loath to shew
His Head: His strong Arm (g) Hydra Slew:
(h) Antaeus on the Sands He cast:
[Page 204]And made stout (i) Cacus breath his last.
He Kill'd the Wild Bore: and at length
High Atlas crav'd his Helpfull Strength:
To bear up Heav'n He labour'd hard,
And Heav'n it selfe was His Reward.
Go, Valiant Men, where you are Led
By Great Examples: let no Dread
Or Sloth oppress your noble Brest:
Endure these Pains, you'll come to Rest.
O're th' Earth extend your Victorys,
And Heav'n above shall be your Prize.


THer's no disturbance in the Heav'ns Above,
And Heav'nly Soules Do nothing else, but Love:
No Anger, no Remorse, no Discontent
Can seize a Soule, that's Truly Innocent,
And Aims at nought, but that she may Combine
With All she finds, Like to Herselfe, Divine:
And, Seeing things in such Confusion hurl'd,
Does not Contend with, but Despise the World.


BLest Solitude! In Thee I found
The only Way to Cure the Wound
Of My Perplexed Heart.
Here I Escap'd the Worlds loud Noise
That Drowns Our Blessed SAVIOƲRS Voice
And makes Him to Depart.
Whilst thus Retir'd I do Attend
To th' Words of MY Eternal FRIEND,
[Page 206]How My Heart Leaps for Joy!
Love, and Rejoyce sayes He, but Know
Ther's no such thing, as Joy Below,
The Pleasures There Destroy.
If Thou wilt Creatures Love, Be Sure
Thou Keep Thy Heart In Me Secure:
Know that I'm ALL IN ALL.
Then Whatsoe're those Creatures prove,
Thou never shalt Repent Thy Love,
Thy Hopes shall never Fall.
Thou shalt still have Thy Hearts Desire,
And Sit down by th' AETHEREAL FIRE,
When e're Thy Heart growes Cold.
"But when I see a Friends Deep Griefe,
"I'm Griev'd, methinks, Beyond Relief,
"This Griefe no words unfold.
If Thy Griev'd Friend will Love, sayes He,
[Page 207]In Darke Affliction He shall See
The Neerest Way to Bliss.
But If He Mind the Worlds fond Toyes,
And take the Sport of Apes for Joyes,
He's not Thine, Thou 'rt not His.
And thus we Talk, My LORD, and I:
So do I Live Above the Skye
Though Here I Move, and Breath.
And when this Vapor's gone, I shall
Enjoy to th' Full My ALL IN ALL,
Not Dye, but Conquer Death.

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