A BRIEF Natural History Intermixed with variety OF Philosophical Discourses; AND REFUTATIONS Of such VULGAR ERROURS As our Modern Authors have hitherto omitted.

By Eugenius Philalethes.

LONDON Printed for Matthew Smelt next door to the Castle near Moor-gate. 1669.


I Presume I shall no sooner appear up­on the Stage I am prepared for, but I must without evasion ex­pect to be assaulted by that furious and inconsiderate Monster called Censour; whose lashes I will receive [Page] with the same slight concern, the Lacedemonians did the cruelty of their Correctors, sporting themselves whilst their backs were torn with the unmerciful Whip. Of that efficacy is Resolution, that it presents pain but meer Opinion, and values a scoffing Lucian, or a satyri­cal Memphus, no more then a harmless Hellespont did the vain threats of a proud Xer­xes. Seneca saith well, better aliud agere quam nihil, for [Page] Idleness is the Devils oppor­tunity: the Considerations of which (with my assent to the Judgment of Thucidi­des, who sayes, To know a thing and not to express it, is all one as thongh he knew it not) made me to expose my self to publick view. My Subject is good and great, called by the Name of Na­ture; here I present her, ex­pressing mans Ingratitude, who is fit to strip her of those Robes of Priviledge [Page] that God himself hath en­dowed her with, not: consi­dering that what she acts, is by the vertue of his Power; and that She is one of those Mirrours that represents him to us, which a Philosophick Passion adores as the supream Efficient. But indeed, how can She expect our Vene­ration, till we have divested our selves of that prejudice ignorance possesses us with, which must be done by a se­rious reflex upon her Effects, [Page] as this little Volumn will ac­quaint you, if you read it with an impartial and unbya­sed Reason; for I have, as all others of the same Inclinati­on must do, used Philosophy as the Tellescope by which we must make our Observati­ons, as you will, when you see, find my curiosity descending to little Insects, and that with wonder at their production out of Corruption; from thence I view her care in beautifying this little Globe [Page] we live in, with Robes suta­ble to every Season; and when I ascend the lower Region, and mark the Clouds rang­ing themselves in such bo­dies as though they intended another Deluge, it occasions wonder; so likewise the cold­ness of the middle Region with the heat of the upper, and the Element of Fire, must be Miracles to ignorance. And if we observe the Moon, with the Motion attending that of the Seas flux and re­flux, [Page] it would make us judge, that there is some secret con­tract made ab Origine be­twixt her and the watery Ele­ment. Mercury and Venus I have spoken of in their pla­ces: the next that presents us with cause of Admiration, is the glorious Sun, the Lumi­nary of the Universe, called by some, and not improperly, the Anima Mundi, for we find her approach gives life to Ve­gitives, sense to Animals, and almost a new Nature to Rati­onals. [Page] As for Mars, Jupi­ter, and Saturn, the Eighth Sphere, and Christalline Hea­ven, & the Empyreum, I have treated on, if not like a know­ing Secretary of Nature, yet a submiss Admirer of her. And whereas I make a refuta­tion of Errours, as an additi­on to my Title, some perhaps will say, I am like the Tinker, that for stopping of one hole make two, or for my refut­ing of one Errour, I have made two; it may be I have [Page] in the Opinion of some: But whether I have or no, who shall be judge? for what ap­pears an Errour to one, is to another a very evident truth: sometimes a Week or a Day, nay an hour puts a change upon an Opinion of many years standing. But let my Errours be as great and as ma­ny as I pretend to correct, Reason shall convince me, and command my Acknow­ledgment; for it's our Errours that presents us human. I [Page] have writ this to give Satis­faction to others if I can; but if not, howsoever I have secured it to my self; And let the Reader judge of it as it pleases him. I have writ that which delights me; And if envie cause a misapplication of my intention, it matters not, the contempt of it will make me bold to say, I value it and thee after the rate as thou dost it and me.

The assertions here laid down are plain and perspicu­ous, [Page] convincing and satis­factory to the intelligent. But I know that common prejudice which is usually taken of any thing (though never so true) which is con­trary to any mans belief, it does beget such Passion and animosity, &c. and makes such a breach as is hardly to be repaired. And since our own Opinion may make it disputable what reason we have to pretend of convince another by, I shall only offer [Page] this for common satisfaction, that things demonstrable are the most evident marks of Truth; and that they are so clearly manifested in this lit­tle Book, deserves nothing but sobriety and moderation, and a well weighing of the matter herein contained. Reader, I am loth to leave thee, but that I would not keep thee from the Book it self, which I hope will be to thy ample satisfaction, &c.

Eugenius Philalethes.

A Brief Natural History Intermixed With variety of Philosophical Discourses, &c.

GOD by his presential Essence gives unto all things an Essence; so that if he should withdraw himself from them, as out of Nothing they were first made, so into Nothing they would be again resolved. In the preservation then of the Creature, we are not to consider so much the impotency and weakness thereof, as the [Page 2] goodness, wisdom, and power of the Creator, in whom, and by whom, and for whom, they live, move, and have their being. The spirit of the Lord filleth the world, saith the Author of the Wisdom of Solomon; and the secret working of the Spirit, which thus pierceth through all things, as Virgil AEneid 6, hath excellently exprest,

Principio coelum ac terras camposque Liquentes,
Lucentemque globum Lunae, Titaniaq, astra,
Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus,
Mens agitat molem & magno se corpore miscet.
The Heavens, the Earth, and all the Liquid Main,
The Moons bright Globe and Stats Ti­tanian;
A Spirit within maintains, and their whole Mass
A Mind, which through each part infus'd doth pass,
Fashions and works and wholly doth trans­pierce
All this great body of the Universe.

The Spirit the Platonists call the Soul of the World; by it, it is in some sort quickned and formalized, as the body of Man is by its rea­sonable Soul. There is no question then, but [Page 3] that this Soul of the World, (if we may so speak with reverence) being in truth no other then the immortal spirit of the Creator, is able for to make the Body of the World Immor­tal; and to preserve it from Dissolution; as he doth the Angels, and the spirits of men, were it not, that he hath determined to dissolve it by the same supernatural and extraordinary Power, by which at the first he gave it ex­istence. For my own part I constantly believe that it had a beginning, and shall have an end­ing; and judg him not worthy of the name of a Christian; who is not of the same mind: yet so as I believe both to be matter of faith; Through Faith we understand that the Worlds were framed by the Word of God, Heb. 11. 3. And through the same Faith we understand like­wise, that they shall be again unframed by the same Word. Reason may grope at this truth in the dark; howbeit, it can never clearly ap­prehend it, till it be enlightned by the bright beams of Faith. Though I deny not but that it is probable, though not demonstrative, and convincing Arguments may be drawn from the discourse of Reason to prove either the one or the other.

I remember the Philosophers propose a question, Uirum Mundus filo generall concursu Dei perpet [...] durare possit? and for the most part they conclude it affirmatively, even such as [Page 4] professed the Christian Religion, and for the proof of this assertion, they bring in effect this reason. The Heavens, say they, are of a nature which is not capable of it self of corruption; the loss of the Elements is recovered by com­pensation, of mixt bodies without Life by ac­cretion, of living bodies by succession, the fall of the one being the rise of the other: as Rome triumphed in the ruines of Alba, and the de­pression of one Scale is the elevation of ano­ther; according to that of Solomon, One genera­tion passeth away, and another generation cometh, but the Earth abideth for ever, Eccles. 1. 4.

Again, all Subcoelestial Bodies (as is evident) consist of Matter and Form; now the first Matter having nothing contrary unto it, can­not by the force of Nature be destroyed; and being Created immediately by God, it cannot be abolished by any inferiour Agent. And as for the Forms of Natural Bodies, no sooner doth any one abandon the Matter it informed, but another instantly steps into the place there­of; no sooner hath one acted his part and is retired, but another presently comes forth up­on the Stage, though it may be in a different shape, and to act a different part; so that no proportion of Matter is, or at any time can be altogether void and empty; but like Vertumnes or Proteus it turns it self into a thousand Shapes, and is alwayes supplied and furnished with one [Page 5] Form or other, by a power Divine above Na­ture: but to proceed, such and so great is the Wisdom, the Bounty, and the Omnipotence which God hath expressed in the Frame of the Heavens, that the Psalmist might justly say, The Heavens declare the glory of God, Psal. 19. 1. The Sun, and the Moon, and the Stars serving as so many Silver and Golden Characters, em­broidered upon azure for the daily Preaching and Publishing thereof to the World. And surely if he have made the floor of this great house so beautiful, and garnished it with such wonderful variety of Beasts, of Trees, of Herbs, of Flowers, we need wonder the less at the Magnificence of the Roof, which is the highest part of the World, and the nearest to the Mansion House of Saints and Angels. Now as the excellency of these bodies appear in their Situation, their Matter, their Magnitude, and their Spherical and Circular Figure; so specially in their great use and efficacy; not only that they are for Signes and Seasons and for Days and Years; but in that by their Mo­tion, their Light, their warmth, and Influence, they guide and govern, nay cherish and main­tain, breed and beget these Inferiour Bodies, even of Man himself, for whose sake the Hea­vens were made. It is truly said of the Prince of Philosophers, Sol & homo generunt hominem, the Sun and Man beget Man. Man concurring [Page 6] in the generation of Man as an immediate, and the Sun as a remote cause. And in ano­ther place he doubts not to affirm of this in­feriour World in general. Necessa est Mundum inferiorem super in [...]ibus continuari, ut [...] ­ [...]is inde Virtus [...]rivetur. It is requisite, that these inferiour parts of the World should be co-joyned to the Motions of the higher Bo­dies, that so all their Virtue and vigour might be from thence derived.

There is no question but the Heavens have a marvellous great stroak upon the Air, the Wa­ter, the Earth, the Plants, the Mettals, the Beasts, and upon Man himself, at least wise in regard of his body and natural faculties. To let pass the quailing and withering of all things by their recess, and their reviving and resurrection, (as it were) by the reaccess of the Sun. I am of opinion, that the sap of the trees so precisely follows the motion of the Sun, that it never rests, but is in a continual agitati­on, as the Sun it self; which no sooner arrives at the Tropick, but he instantly returns, and even at the very instant (as I conceive) and I think it may be demonstrated by experimental Conclusions) the sap which by degrees de­scended with the declination of the Sun, be­gins to remove at the approach thereof, by the same steps that it descended: And as the ap­proach of the Sun is scarce sensible at his first [Page 7] return, but afterwards the day increases more in one week, than before in two; in like man­ner also fares it with the Sap, in Plants, which at the first ascends up insensibly and slowly, but within a while much more swiftly and ap­parently. It is certain that the Tulip, Mari­gold, and Sun-flower open with the rising, and shut with the setting of the Sun; so that though the Sun appear not, a man may more infallibly know when it is high noon by their full spreading, then by the Index of a Clock or Watch. The Hop in its growing windeth it self about the Pole, always following the course of the Sun from East to West, and can by no means be drawn to the contrary, choo­sing rather to break then yield.

It is observed, by those that Sayl between the Tropicks, that there is a constant set Wind, blowing from the East to the West, Saylers call it the Breeze, which rises and falls with the Sun, and is always highest at noon; and is commonly so strong, partly by its own blow­ing, and partly by over-ruling the Currant, that they who sayl to Peru, cannot well return the same way they came forth: And generally Marriners do observe, that caeteris paribus, they sayl with more speed from the East to the West, then back again from the West to the East, in the same compass of time. All which should argue a wheeling about of the Air, and [Page 8] Waters by the diurnal Motion of the Heavens, and especial by the motion of the Sun. Where­unto may be added, that high-Sea springs of the year, are always nearer about the two AEquinoctials and Solstices; and the Cock as a trusty Watchman, both at midnight and break of day, gives notice of the Suns ap­proach.

These be the strange and secret effects of the Sun, upon the inferiour Bodies; whence by the Gentiles he was held the visible God of the World: and termed the Eye thereof, which alone saw all things in the World, and by which the World saw all things in it self.

Omnia qui videt, & per quem videt omnia Mun­dus.

And most notably it is described by the Psalmist, in them hath he set a Tabernacle for the Sun, which is as a Bridegroom coming out of his Chamber, and rejoyceth as a strong man to run a race, his going forth is from the beginning of the Heaven, and his Circuite to the end of it, and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof, Psal. 19 4, 5, 6.

Now as the effects of the Sun, the head­spring of Light and warmth, are upon these inferiour Bodies more active, so those of the Moon (as being Ultima caelo, Citima terris, nearer the Earth, and holding a greater resem­blance [Page 9] therewith) are no less Manifest. And therefore the Husbandman in sowing and set­ting, grafting, and planting, lopping of Trees, and felling of Timber, and the like, upon good reason observes the waxing and wain­ing of the Moon, which Learned Zanchius in his Operibus Dei, well allows of; commending Hesiod for his rules therein Quod ex Lunae de­crementis & incrementis totius agricolationis signa notet, quis improbet? who can mislike it that Hesiod sets down the signs, in the whole course of Husbandry, from the waxing and waining of the Moon: the Tides and ebbs of the Sea follow the course of it, so exactly, as the Sea-men will tell you the age of the Moon on­ly by the sight of the Tide as certainly, as if he saw it in the water. It is the observation of Aristotle and Pliny out of him, That Oy­sters, Mussels, Cockles, Lobsters, Crabbs, &c. and generally all Shell-fish grow fuller in the in­crease of the Moon, but emptier in the de­crease thereof. Such a strong predominancy it hath upon the Brain of Man, that Lunaticks borrow their very name from it; as also doth the Stone Selenites; whose property, as St. Au­gustine and Georgius Agricola records it, is to in­crease and decrease in Light with the Moon, carrying always the resemblance thereof with it self. Neither can it reasonably be imagined, that other Planets, and Stars, and parts of Hea­ven, [Page 10] are without their forcible operations upon these lower Bodies, specially considering that the very Plants and Herbs of the Earth, which we tread upon, have their several vertues, as well single by themselves, as in composition with other ingredients. The Physitian in opening of a Vein, hath ever an eye to the Sign then reigning. The Canicular Star, espe­cially in those hotter Climates, was by the Ancients always held a dangerous Enemy to the practise of Physick, and all kind of Eva­cuations. Nay, Galen himself, the Oracle of that profession, adviseth practitioners in that Art, in all their cures, to have a special re­gard to the reigning Constellations and Con­junctions of the Planets. But the most ad­mirable m [...]stery of Nature, in my Mind, is the turning of Iron touched with the Load-stone towards the North Pole; (of which I shall have occasion to discourse more largely here­after in another Tract,) neither were it hard to add much more to that which hath been said, to shew the dependance of these Ele­mentary Bodies upon the Heavenly: Almigh­ty God having ordained, that the higher should serve as intermediate Agents, or secon­dary Causes; but so, as in the Wheels of a Clock; though the failing of the Superiour, cannot but cause a failing in the Inferiour, yet the failing of the Inferiour, may well argue [Page 11] somewhat for it self, though it cannot cause a failing in the Superiour, we have great Rea­son then, as I conceive, to begin with the exa­mination of the State of Coelestial Bodies, in as much as upon them the condition of the subcoelestial depends. Wherein five things will offer themselves to our consideration, their Substances, their Motion, their Light, their Warmth and their Influence. That the Heavens are endued with some kind of Matter, though some Philosophers in their jangling humours, have made a doubt of it, yet I think no sober and wise Christian will deny it: But whether the Matter of it be the same with that of these inferiour Bodies, ad­huc sub Judice lis est, it hath been and still is a great question among Divines. The Ancient Fathers and Doctors of the Primitive Church for the most part following Plato, hold that it agrees with the nature of the Elementary Bodies, yet so as it is compounded of the finest flower, and choicest delicacy of the Elements: But the Schoolmen on the one side, that follow Aristotle, adhere to his Quintessence, and by no means will be beaten from it, since, say they, If the Elements and the Heavens should agree in the same Matter, it should consequent­ly follow, that there should be a mutual Tra­ffique and, Commerce, a reciprocal Action and Passion between them, which would soon [...] [Page 12] [...] [Page 13] [Page 12] draw on a change, and by degrees a ruine upon those glorious Bodies. Now though this point will never (I think) be fully and finally determined, till we come to be inhabi­tants of that place, whereof we dispute; (for hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon Earth. And with labour do we find the things that a [...]e at hand; but the things that are in Heaven, who hath searched out? Wis [...]. 9. 16. Yet for the present, I should state it thus, that they agree in the same Original Matter; and surely Mo­ses, methinks, seems to favour this opinion, making but one Matter, (as far as I can gather from the Text) out of which all bodily sub­stances were Created.

Unus irat toto vultus in Orbe. Ovid. 1. Metam.

So as the Heavens, though they be not com­pounded of the Elements, yet are they made of the same Matter that the Elements are compounded of; They are not subject to the qualities of heat, cold, or drought, or moi­sture, nor yet to weight, or lightness, which arise from those qualities, but have a Form given them, which differeth from the Forms of all corruptible Bodies, so as it suffereth nor, nor can it suffer from any of them being so excellent and perfect in it self, as it wholly [Page 13] satiateth the appetite of the Matter, that is informeth. The Coelestial Bodies then, meet­ing with so noble a Form to actuate them, are not, nor cannot, in the course of Nature, be lyable to any Generation or Corruption, in re­gard of their Substance; to any augmentation or diminution, in regard of their quantity; no nor any obstructive alteration, in respect of their qualities.

I am not ignorant that the controversies touching the Form, what it should be, is no less then touching the Matter; some holding it to be a living and a quickning Spirit, nay a sensi­tive and rational Soul; which opinion is stiffly maintained by many great and learned Clerks, both Jews and Gentiles, and Christians, suppo­sing it unreasonable that the Heavens which impart life to other Bodies, should themselves be destitute of Life: But this Errour is nota­bly discovered and confuted by Claudius Espe­natus, a famous Doctor of Sorbone, in a Trea­tise which he purposely composed on that point de Caelorum animatione: In as much as what is denied those bodies in Life, in Sense, in Reason, is abundantly supplied in their con­stant and unchangeable duration, arising from that inviolable knot & indissoluble Marriage, betwixt the Matter and the Form, which can never suffer any Divorce, but from that hand which first joyned them. And howbeit it [Page 14] cannot be denyed, that not only the reasonable Soul of Man, but the sensitive of the least Gnat that flies in the Air, and the vegetative of the basest Plant that springs out of the Earth, are (in that they are indued with Life) more Divine, and nearer approaching the Fountain of Life, then the Formes of the Heavenly Bo­dies; yet as the Apostle speaketh of Faith, Hope, and Charity, concludes Charity to be the greatest, (though by Faith we do appre­hend and apply the merits of Christ) because it is more universal in operation, and lassing in duration; so though the Formes of the Crea­tures endued with Life do in that regard, come a step nearer to the Deity, then the Formes of the Heavenly Bodies, which are without Life, yet if we regard their purity, their beau­ty, their efficacy, their indeficiency in moving, their universallity and independency in work­ing, there is no question, but that the Hea­vens may in that respect be preferred, even be­fore Man himself, for whose sake they were made; Man being indeed Immortal, in regard of his Soul, but the Heavens in regard of their Bodies, as being made of an incorrupti­ble stuff.

Which cannot well stand with their opini­on, who held them to be compos'd of Fire, or the Waters, which in the first of Genesis are said to be above the Firmament, and in the [Page 15] hundred forty eight Psalm, Above the Heavens, are above the Heavens we now treat of, for the tempering and qualifying of their heat, as did St. Ambrose, and St. Augustine hold, and many others, venerable for their Antiquity, Learning, and Piety. Touching the former of which Opinions, we shall have fitter opportu­nity to discourse, when we come to Treat of the warmth caused by the Heavens. But touch­ing the Second, it seems to have been ground­ed upon a mistake of the Word Firmament, which by the Ancients was commonly ap­propriated to the eighth Sphere, in which are feated the fixed Starrs; whereas the Original Hebrew (which properly signifies Extention, or Expansion) In the first of Genesis, is not only applied to the Spheres in which the Sun and Moon are planted, but to the lowest Region of the Air, in which the Birds flie; and so do I with Pareus and Pererius, take it to be under­stood in this controversie. This Region of the Air being, as St. Augustine somewhere speaks, Terminus intransgressibilis, a firme and irremoveable wall of seperation betwixt the waters that are bred in the bowels of the Earth, and those of the Clouds. And for the Word Heaven, which is used in the hundred forty­eighth Psalm, it is likewise applied to the mid­dle Region of the Air, by the Prophet Jere [...]y, Jer. 10. 13. Which may serve for a Gloss [Page 16] upon the Text alleaged out of the Psalm, When he uttereth his voice, there is a noise of the waters in the Heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the Earth.

Now, the Schoolmen finding that the placing of the waters above the Starry Heavens, was both unnatural and unuseful, and yet not be­ing well acquainted with the propriety of the Hebrew Word, to salve the matter, tell us of a Christaline or glassie Heaven, above the eight Sphere, which say they, is undoubtedly the waters above the firmament, mentioned by Moses; which exposition of theirs, doth cross the course of Moses his Historical Nar­ration, his purpose being as it seems, only to write the History of things which were visible and sensible, as appeareth in part by his omit­ting the Creation of Angels; whereas the Christaline Heaven they speak of, is not only invisible and insensible; but was not at all dis­covered to be, till the days of Hipparchus or Ptolomy.

And as for the fresh lustre and brightness wherewith, as is commonly thought, the Hea­vens shall be renewed at the last day, as a gar­ment by the turning is changed, and by chang­ing refreshed, it may be well by the making them more resplendent then now they are, or ever at any time were since their first Creation, not by the scowring of contracted rust, but ad­ding [Page 17] a new gloss and augmentation of glory. And whereas some Authors have not doubted to make the spots and shadows appearing in the face of the Moon to be unredoubted argu­ments of that contracted rust; if those spots had not been original and native, of equal date with the Moon her self, but had been contract­ed by the continuance of time, as wrinkles are in the most beautiful faces, they had said some­what, but that they were above fifteen hun­dred years agoe, appeareth by Plutarch's dis­course de Maculis in facie Lunae; and that they have any whit since increased, it cannot be sufficiently proved. Perchance by the help of the late invented perspective-glass, they have been more clearly and distinctly discerned then in former ages, but that proves no more that they were not there before, then that the Syde­ra Medcaeo, lately discovered by the vertue of the same Instruments, were not before in be­ing, which the discoverers themselves knew well enough they could not with any colour of reason affirm.

Howbeit it cannot be denyed, but that new Stars have at times appeared in the Firma­ment; as some think, that was at our Savi­ours Birth; in as much as it appointed out the very House in which he was born, by standing over it, and was not (for ought we find) observed by the Mathematicians of those [Page 18] times; I would rather think it to be a blazing Light created in the Region of the Air, carry­ing the resemblance of a Star, seated in the Firmament.

As for that which appeared in Cassiopaea in the year One thousand five hundred and seventy two, (the very year of the great Massa­cre in France) I think it cannot well be gain­said to have been a true Star, it being observed by the most skillful and famous Astronomers of that time, to hold the same Aspect in all pla­ces in Christendom, to run the same course, to keep the same proportion, distance, and situation, every-where, and in every point, with the fixed Stars, for the space of two whole years. But this I take not to have been the effect of Nature, but the Supernatural and miraculous work of Almighty God, the first Author and free disposer of Nature. And the like may be said of all such Comets which have at any time evidently appeared, (if any such evidence can be given) to be above the Globe of the Moon.

St. Augustine in his de Civitate Dei, reports of Varro's book entituled de Gente Populi Romani; and he out of Castor, touching the Planet Venus, which to add the greater weight and credit to the relation, being somewhat strange and rare, I will set it down in the very words of Varro, as I find them quoted by St. Augustine, [Page 19] in coelo mirabile extitit portentum, n [...]m in Stella Ve­neris nobilissima, quam Plautus vesperuginem, Home­rus. Hisperon appellat, pulcherimam dicent: Castor scribit tantum portentum ex [...]tisse, ut mutaret colo­r [...], magnitudinam & figuram, eursum, quod factum ita neque antea, neque postea [...]i [...], hoc factum Ogyge Re­ge, dicebant Adrastus, Cyzicenus, & Dyon Neapo­lites. Mathematici Nobiles, saith he, appeared a marveilous great wonder, the most noted Star cal'd Venus, which Plautus calls Vesperugo, and Homer Vesperus the fair, as Castor hath left upon Record, changed both colour, and big­ness, figure and motion, which accident was never seen before, nor since that time; the renouned Mathematicians Adrastus and Dion averring that this fell out during the Reign of King Ogyges; which wonder, neither Varro nor Augustine ascribe to the changeable matter of the Heavens, but to the unchangeable will of the Creator. And therefore the one calls it as we see mirabile portentum, and the other makes this Comment upon it, that it happened, quia ille voluit qui summo regit imperio ac potestate quod condidit, because he would have it so, who go­verns all things that he hath made, with a So­veraign independing Power. So that two spe­cial reasons may be rendred for these extraor­dinary unusual Apparitions in Heaven; the one that they may declare to the World that they have a Creatour and Commander, who [Page 20] can alter and destroy their Natures, restrain or suspend their operations at his pleasure, which should keep men from worshiping them as Gods, since they cannot keep themselves from alteration. The other to portend and foreshew his Judgments, as did that new Star in Caessopaeia, a most unnatural inundation of Blood in France; And this change in Venus, such a Deluge in Achaia, as it overflowed, and so wasted the whole Country, that for the space of Two hundred years after, it was not Inhabited. It will next fall to our task to Discover of the Eclipses, of which Virgil, in his Georg. Lib. 2. Calls,

Defectus Solis varios Lunaeque Labores.
Defects and travels of the Sun and Moon.

As also the manner of the Ancient Romans while such Eclipses lasted; who as Tacitus in his Annals saith, Lib. 7. Did use to lift up burning Torches towards Heaven, and withal to beat pans of Brass and Basons, as we do in following of a swarm of Bees. So B [...]etius, Lib. 4. Met.

[Page 21]
Comm [...]v [...]t Gentes publicus Error,
Lassantque cr [...]bris p [...]lsibus ara.
A Common Error through the world doth pass,
And many a stroke they lay on pans of Brass.

And Manilius speaking of the appearance of the Moons Eclipse by degrees, in diverse parts of the Earth, in his Lib. 1.

Seraque in extremis quatiunt [...] gentibus ara.
The utmost Coasts do beat their Brass pans Last.

And Juvenal the Satyrist wittily describing a tatling Gosship in his Lib. 2. Sat. 6.

Una l [...]boranti poterit succurr [...]re Lunae.
She only were enough to help
The Labours of the Moon.

They thought thereby they did the Moon great ease, and helped her in her Labour; as Plutarch in his Life of AEmilius observeth: That AEmilius himself a wise man, as the [Page 22] same Author there Witnesseth, did congra­tulate the Moons delivery from an Ecclipse with a solemn Sacrifice, as soon as she shined out bright again; which action of his, that prudent Philosopher and sage Historian, doth not only relate, but approve and commend­eth it as a sign of godliness and devotion; yea this Heathenish and Sottish custom of re­lieving the Moon in this case by noise and out-cries, the Christians it seems borrowed from the Gentiles, as St Ambrose expresses in his Ser. 83. And Maximus Turriuensis hath a Ho­mile to the same purpose. Whereas Aristotle in his eighth Book of his Metaphysicks, makes it plainly to appear, That the Moon suffereth nothing by her Ecclipse; where also he evi­denceth by reason, that it is caused by the sha­dow of the Earth, interposed betwixt the Sun and the Moon: as in exchange or revenge there­of (as Pliny speaketh) the Ecclipse of the Sun is caused by the Interposition of the Moon, be­twixt the Earth and it. The Moon so depriv­ing the Earth; and again, the Earth, the Moon of the beams of the Sun: which is the true cause, that in the course of Nature, the Moon is never Ecclipsed but when she is Full, the Sun and She being then in opposition; nor the Sun, but when it is New Moon; those two Planets being then in Conjunction: I say, in the course of Nature; fo [...] the Ecclipse [Page 23] at our Saviours Passion, was undoubtedly Supernatural: Quam solis obscurationem [...] ex [...]nico syder [...] cursu accidisse satis oftenditur, quod tune er at Pascha Jude [...], nam pl [...]nae Luna solemniter, agitur, saith St. Augustin Lib. 3. Ci­vit. Dei, cap. 15. It is evident, that that Ec­clipse of the Sun happened not by an ordinary and orderly course of the Starrs, it being then the Passover of the Jews, which was solem­nized at the Full Moon; And this was it, that gave occasion, as is commonly believed, to that memorable exclamation of Dennys the Areopagite, being then in Egypt, Aut Diu [...] Na­tur [...] patitur, aut Machina M [...]di dissolvetur; Ei­ther the God of Nature suffers, or the Frame of the World will be dissolved. And here­upon too, as it is thought by some, was erect­ed the Altar at Athens, Ignot [...] De [...], T [...] the unknown God, Act. 17. 23. Though others think, that this Eclipse was confined, in the borders of Judaea; howsoever it cannot be denyed, but that it was certainly besides and above the compass of Nature. Neither ought it to seem strange, That the Sun in the Firmament of Heaven should appear to suffer, when the Sun of Righteousness indeed Suffered upon the Earth.

But for other Ecclipses, though the causes be not commonly known, yet the ignorance of them was it which caused so much Superstition [Page 24] in former Ages, and left that impression in mens minds, as even at this day, wise men can hardly be perswaded, but that those Pla­nets suffer in their Ecclipses, which in the Sun is most childish and ridiculous to imagine; since in it self, it is not so much as deprived of any Light, nor in truth can be, it being the Fountain of Light, from which all other Starrs borrow their Light, but pay nothing back again to it, by way of retribution. Which was well expressed by Pericles, as Plutarch in his Life reports it, for there happening an Ecclipse of the Sun, at the very instant when his Navy was ready to Lanch forth, and him­self was imbarked; his followers began much to be appald at it, but especially the Master of his own Gally, which Pericles perceiving; takes his Cloak, and therewith hood winks the Masters eyes, and then demands of him, what danger was in that, he answering none, Nei­ther said Pericles is there in this Ecclipse; there being no difference betwixt that Vail and my Cloak, with which the Sun is cove­red, but only in bigness. And the truth is that the Sun then suffered no more by the in­tervening of the Moon, then from Pericles Cloak, or daily doth from the Clouds in the Air, which hinder the sight of it; or by the interposing of the Planet Mercury, which hath sometimes appeared as a spot in it. But [Page 25] whether these Ecclipses either cause or presage any change in these inferiour Bodies, I shall have fitter occasion to examine hereafter; and so I pass from the Consideration of the substance, to the Motion of the Heavenly Bodies.

Motion is so universal and innate a property; and so proper an affection to all Natural Bodies, that the great Philosopher knew not better how to define Nature, then by making [...] the Engineere and Principle of Motion; and therefore as other Objects, are only dis­cernable by the sense, as colours, and sounds by hearing, Motion is discernable by both, nay and by feeling too, which is a third sense real­ly distinguished from them both. That there is in the Heavenly Bodies, no motion of Gene­ration or Corruption, and of Augmentation or Diminution, or Alteration, I have alrea­dy shewed. There are also, by reason of the in­credible swiftness of the first Mover, and some other such Reasons; dare deny, (as Copernicus doth) that there is in them any Lation, or Local motion, herein flatly opposing in my judgment both Scripture, Reason, and Sense; But take it as granted, without any dispute, that a Local motion there is; which is the mea­sure of Time, as Time again is the measure of Motion; the Line of Motion, and the Thred of Time, being both spun out together: some [Page 26] doubt there is touching the Mover of these Heavenly Bodies, what or how it should be; some ascribing it to their Matter, some to their Form, and some to their Figure, and many to the Angels, or Intelligences; as they call them, which they suppose to be set over them. For mine own part; I should think that all these, and every one of them, might not unjustly challenge a part in that Motion: the Matter as being neither light nor heavy; the Form as well agreeing with such a Matter; the Figure as being Spherical or Circular; the Intelligence as an assistant: in the Matter is a disposition; for where light Bodies naturally move upward, and heavy downward, that which is neither light nor heavy, is rather disposed to a Circular motion, which is neither upward nor downward. In the Figure is an inclination to that motion, as in a Wheel to be carried round, from the Form an inchoation or onset: and Lastly, from the intelligence, a continuance or perpetuation thereof, as that great Divine Hooker in his Ecclesiastical policy, 5. 69. Expresseth, (saith he,) Gods own Eternity is the bound which leadeth Angels in the course of their perpetuity, the perpetuity the hand that draweth out Coelestial Motion; that as the Ele­mentary substances are governed by the Heavenly, so might the Heavenly by the Angelical. As the Corruptible by the Incorruptible, so the Ma­terial [Page 27] by the Immaterial, and all Finites by an In­finite. It is the joynt consent of the Platonicks, Peripateticks, Stoicks and all noted Sects of Philosophers, who acknowledg the Divine Pow­er, with whom agree the greatest part of our Christian Doctors; That the Heavens are moved by Angles, neither is there in truth any sufficient means beside it, to discover the being of such Creatures by the discourse of Reason.

The most signal Motions of the Heavens (beside their Re [...]rogations Treoidations, Li­brations, and I know not what hard Words, which the Astronomers have devised to recon­cile the diversity of their observations;) are the Diurnal Motion of the fixed Starrs and Planets, and all the Coelestial Spheres, from East to the West, in the compass of [...] four and twenty hours, and the [...] Motion of them all, from the West to [...] These Motions, whether they perform themselves, without the help of Orbes, as Fishes in the Water, or Birds in the Air; or fastned to their Spheres, as a Gemme in a Ring, or a Nail or knot in a Cart Wheele, I cannot easily deter­mine: howbeit I confess, we cannot well ima­gin how one and the same body should be car­ryed with opposite Motions, but by the help of somewhat in which it is carryed. As the Marriner may be carryed by the Motion of [Page 28] his Ship, from the East to the West, and yet himself may walk from the West to the East in the same Ship: or a Flie may be carried from the North to the South upon a Cart­Wheel, and yet may go from the South to the North upon the same Wheele; but howso­ever it be, it is evident, that their Motions are even and regular, without the least jarr or dis­cord, variation or uncertainty, languishing or defect that may be; which were it not so, there could be no certain demonstrations made upon the Globe or Material Sphere: which notwithstanding, by the Testimony of Claudian, are most infallible, as appears by those his elegant Verses upon Archimedes ad­mirable invention thereof.

Jupiter [...] paervo cum cerneret aethera vitr [...],
Risit, [...] superos talia dicta dedit:
Huc [...]alis progressa potentia curae?
Jam [...] fragili luditur Orbe labor
Jura Poli, [...]erum (que) fidem [...]iges (que); Deorum
Ecce Syracusus transtulit arte Senex.
Inclusus variis famulatur spiritus astris
Percurrit propri [...]m mentitus signiser annum
Et simulati [...] novo Cynthia mense redit.
Jam (que) suum volvens audax industria Mundum
Gaudet & Humana sydera mense regit.
When Jove within a little glass survaid
[Page 29] The Heavens, he smil'd, and to the Gods thus said;
Can strength of Mortal Witt proceed thus far?
Loe in a fraile Orbe my works matched are.
Hither the Syracusians art Translates
Heavens form, the course of things, and human fates.
Th' included Spirit serving the Star deck­ed signes,
The living Work in constant Motion windes.
Th' adulterate Z [...]diak runs a Natural year
And Cynthias forg'd horns monthly new light bear,
Viewing her own world; now bold in­dustry
Triumphes and rules with human pow­er the skie.

The Gentiles saith Julian (As Cyril in his third Book against him, reports it) Violentes nihil eo­rum quae circa caelum minus vel augere n [...]que ullam sustinere de [...]rdinatum affectionem, sed congruam illius motionem ac bene optatam ordinem; definitas queque leges Lunae, definites ortus & occasus solis, statutis semper temporibus, merito Deu [...] & D [...]i solium sus­picabantur. [Page 30] Seeing no part of Heaven to be diminished and decreased, to suffer no irregular affection, but the Motion thereof, to be as duly and as order­ly performed as could be de [...]ired, the wax­ing and waining of the Moon, the rising and setting of the Sun to be setled and constant at fixed and certain times; they deservedly ad­mired it as God, or as the Throne of God. The order and Regulation of which Motions we shall easily perceive by taking a particular view of them. I will touch only those of the Planets. The proper Motion of Saturn was by the Ancients observed, and is now like­wise found by our Modern Astronomers, to be accomplished within the space of thirty years, that of Jupiter in twelve, that of Mars in two, that of the Sun in Three hundred six­ty and five dayes and almost six hours: nei­ther do we find that they have quickned or any way slackned these their courses, but that in the same space of time they always run the same races they have passed. These then are the bounds and limits to which these glorious Bodies are perpetually tyed, in regard of their Motion; these be the unchangeable Laws, like those of the Medes and P [...]rsian [...], whereof the Psalmist speaks, He hath given them a Law which shall not be broken, Psal. 148. 6. Which Seneca in his Book De divina providentia, well expresses in other words, AEterna legis impe­rio [Page 33] pr [...]dunt, they move by the appointment of an eternal Law, that is, a Law both invari­able and inviolable. That which Tully hath delivered of one of them, is undoubtedly true of all: Suturni stella in su [...] cursu multa miracu­la efficiens, tum ante [...]dende, tum r [...]tardando, tum vespertin [...]s temporibus delitesend [...], tum matutinis rur­sum se aperi [...]nd [...], nihil tamen immutat sempiternis saeculerum aetatibus, quam [...]adim eiisdem t [...]mporibus efficiat, Lib. 2. de nat. Deor. The Planet Saturn doth make strange and wonderful passages in his Motion, going before, and sometimes com­ing after, withdrawing himself in the Evening, and sometimes again shewing himself in the Morning, and changeth himself nothing in the continual duration of ages; but still at the same season worketh the same effects. And in truth, were it not so, both in the Pla­net and in all other Starrs, it is altogether im­possible that they should supply that use which Almighty God in their Creation ordained them unto, that is, To serve for Signs and Seasons, for dayes and for years to the Worlds end, Gen. 1. 14. And much more impossible it were, that the year, the month, the day, the hour, the minute of the oppositions, the Conjunctions and Ecclipses of the Planets, should be as ex­actly calculated and foretold One hundred years before they fell out, as at what hour the Sun will rise to morrow morning. To [Page 32] which perpetual aequability and constant uni­formity in the Coelestial Motions, the Divine Pl [...]io accords, Nec errant, nec praeter antiquu [...] or­dinem revolvuntur, Neither do they run at ran­dum, nor are they rolled beyond their anci­ent order. Aristotle in his Book De Mundo, breaketh out in this passionate admiration thereof, Quod nunquam poterit aequart caelesti or­din [...], & volubilitati, cum sydera convertantur ex­al [...]issi [...]a norma de alioin aliud seculum. What can ever be compared to the order of the Hea­vens, and to the Motion of the Starrs in their several Revolutions, which move most ex­actly by a rule or square, by line and level from one Generation to another.

There were among the Ancients not a few, nor they unlearned, who by a strong fancie conceived to themselves an excellent melody made up by the motion of the Coelestial Spheers; it was broached by Pythagoras, enter­tained by Plato, and stifly maintain'd by Ma­crobrius, and some other Christians, as Bede, Boetius, and Ans [...]lm Bishop of Canterbury: But Ariste [...]le puts it off with a jest in his Lib. 2. de Caelo Cap. 9. as being L [...]pide & Musice dictum, factis autem impossibile, a pleasant and Musical conceit, but in Effect impossible; in as much as those bodies in their Motion make noise at all. Howsoever it may well be that this conceit of theirs was grounded upon a certain [Page 33] truth, which is the Harmonical and Proporti­onable Motion of those Bodies in their just or­der, and s [...] courses, as if they were ever danc­ing the rounds and the Measures. In which regard the Psalmist tells us, That the Sun knoweth his going down, he appointeth the Moon for seasons, Psal. 104. 19. Which words of his may not be taken in [...] proper, but in a figurative sence; the Prophet therefore implying, that the Sun observeth his pr [...]cribed Motion so precisely to a point, that in the least j [...]t [...] he never erreth from it: And therefore he is said to do the same upon knowledg and understanding, Non quod animatus fit aut ratione [...]ut atur, saith Basil upon the place, S [...]d quod juxt [...] terminum divinitus, prescriptum ingrediens, semper e [...]dem curs [...]s [...]rvat, ac mensuras suas custodit. Not that the Sun hath any Sou [...] or use of understanding; but because he keepeth his courses and measures exactly according to Gods prescription. But the Motion of the Heavens puts me in mind of passing from it to the Light thereof. As the Waters were first spread over the face of the Earth: So was the Light dispersed through the Firmament: and as the Waters were gathered into one heape, so was the Light knit up, and united into one body: as the gathering of the Waters was called the Sea, so that of the Light was called the Sun. As the Rivers come from the Sea, so is all the [Page 34] Light of the Stars derived from the Sun; and lastly, as the Sea is no whit lessened, though it furnish the Earth with abun­dance of fresh Rivers: So though the Sun have since the Creation, both furnished, and garni­shed the World with Light, neither is the store of it thereby deminished, nor the beauty of it any way stained. What the Light is, whether of a corporeal or incorporeal Nature, it is not easie to determine. Philosophers dispute it, but cannot well resolve it. Such is our ignorance, that even that by which we see all things, we cannot discern what it self is. But whatsoever it be, we are sure that of all visible Creatures, it was the first that was made, and comes nearest the name of a Spi­rit, in as much as it moveth in an instant from the East to the West, and piercing through all transparent Bodies, and still remains in it self unmixed and undivided; it chaseth away sad and melancholy thoughts, which the Darkness both begets and maintains; it lifts up our minds in meditation to him that is the true Light, that Lightneth every man that cometh into the World, himself dwelling in Light in accessi­ble, and cloathing himself with Light as with a Gar­ment. And if we may behold in any one Crea­ture any spark of that Eternal Fire, or any farr-off dawning of Gods brightness, the same in the beauty and vertue of this Light may be [Page 35] best discerned [...] Quid pulch [...]rrimus Luce, saith Hugo de sanctoVictore, quae cum in se colorem non ha­beat, omnium [...]am [...]n rerum colores ips [...] quodammodo colorat. What is more beautiful then Light, which having no colour in it self, yet sets a lustre upon all Colours? And St. Ambrose, Unde Vex D [...]i in Scriptura debuit inchoare nisi a Lumine? unde Mundi ornatus [...]si a Luce exordium sumer [...]? frustra enim esset si non videretur. From whence should the voice of God in holy Scrip­ture begin, but likewise from the same Light; for in vain it were, were it not seen, as Bar­tas excellently Expresseth.

O Father of the Light, of wisedom Fountain,
Out of the Bulk of that confused Moun­tain,
What should, what could issue before the Light,
Without which, Beauty were no beauty hight.

St. Augustine in divers places of his works is of opinion, That by the first Created Light, we understood the Angels, and herein is he followed by Beda Eucherius, and Rupertus, and divers others; which opinion of his, though it be questionless unsound, in as much as we are taught, That the Light f [...]r [...]ng out of Dark­ness, [Page 36] 2 Cor. 4. 6. Which of the Angels can in no sort be verified, yet it shews the lightsome nature of Angels; so likewise the Angelical nature of Light still flourishing in youth, and is no more subject to decay then the Angels are. They who maintain, that the Soul of Man is derived ex traduce, hold withall that the Father in begetting the sons Soul looses none of his own, it being tanquam Lumen de Lumine, as one Light from another: nay, more then so, it is the very resemblance that the Nicene Fathers thought not unmeet to ex­press the unexpressible Generation of the se­cond Person in the Trinity from the First; who is therefore termed by the Apostle The bright­ness of his Glory, Heb.1. 3. As then the Fa­ther of the Communicating of his Substance to his Son, looses none of his own; so the Sun by Communicating of his Light to the World, looses no part nor degree thereof. Some things there are of that nature, as they may be both given and kept, as Knowledg and Vertue, and Happiness, and Light, which in Holy Scripture is Figuratively taken for them all. Whether the same Individual Light, be still resident in the body of the Sun, which was planted in it at the first Creation; or whe­ther it continue empty and spend it self, and so l [...]ke a River be repared with fresh supplies, for my part, I cannot certainly affirm, though [Page 37] I must confess, I do rather incline to the for­mer: But this I believe, as the body of the Sun is no whit lessened in extention, so neither is the Light thereof in intention: Men being now no more able to fix their eyes upon it, when it shines forth in its full strength, then they were at the first Creation of it. Now we have spoken of the Light, we shall next dis­course of the warmth and influence thereof, which springs from it, which now succede in their order.

The Light of Heaven, of which we have spoken, is not more comfortable and useful, then is the warmth thereof; with a Masculine vertue it quickens all kind of Seeds, it makes them Vegitate, blossom and fructifie, and brings their Fruit to Perfection, for the use of Man and Beast, and the perpetuating of their own kindness; nay, it wonderfully refresheth and chears up the Spirits of Men, Beasts, Birds, and creeping things; and not only imparts the life of Vegitation, but of Sense and Motion, to many thousand Creatures, and like a ten­der Parent fosters and cherisheth it being im­parted. Some there are that live without the light of Heaven, searching into and working upon those Bodies which the Light cannot pierce, but none without the warmth, it being in nature the universal instrument thereof, which made the Psalmist say, That there is no­thing [Page 38] hid from the heat of the Sun. Few things are hid from the Light, but from the Heat thereof nothing.

I am not ignorant that St. Augustine, St. Basil, St. Ambrose, and many Divines, held that there were Waters, properly so termed, above the Starry Firmament; who held withal, that the Sun and Starrs cause heat as being of a fiery Nature; those waters being set there, in their Opinion, for the cooling of that heat, which Opinion of theirs seems to be favoured by Sy­racides in the forty third of Ecclesiasticus, where he thus speaks of the Sun, At noon it parcheth the Country, and who can abide the burning heat thereof. A man blowing a Furnace is in works of heat: but the Sun bu neth the Mountains three times more, breathing out fiery vapours. Neither were there wanting some among the Ancient Philosophers, who maintained the same Opi­nion, as Plato and Pliny, and generally the whole Sect of Stoicks, who held that the Sun and the Starrs were fed with watery vapours, which they drew up for their nourishment, and that when the vapours should cease and fail, the whole world should be in danger of combustion; and many things are alledged by Baelbo in Cicero's Second Book of the Nature of the Gods, in favour of this Opinion of the Stoick. But that the Sun and Starrs are not in truth fiery and hot, appears by the ground [Page 39] already laid touching the matter of the Hea­vens, that it is of a nature incorruptible, which cannot be if it were fiery, in as much as there­by it would become lyable to alteration and corruption by an opposite and professed ene­my: besides, all fiery bodies by a natural in­clination mount upwards, so that if the Starrs were the cause of heat, as being hot in them­selves, it would consequently follow, that their circular Motion should not be natural but violent: Whereunto I may adde, the noted Starrs being so many in number, name­ly, One thousand twenty and two, besides the Planets, and in Magnitude so great, that every one of those, which appear fixed in the Firmament, are said to be much bigger then the whole Globe of the Water and Earth; and the Sun again so much to exceed both that Glob [...], and the biggest of them, as it may justly be stiled by the Son of Syrac, Instrumentum admirabile, A wonderful instru­ment, Ecclesiast. 43. 1. Which being so, were they of fire, they would doubtless long ere this have turned the World into ashes, there being so infinite a disproportion betwixt their flame, and the little quantity of matter sup­posed to be prepared for their Fewel. That therefore they should be fed with vapours, Aristotle deservedly laughs at it, as a childish and ridiculous device, in as much as the va­pours [Page 40] ascend no higher then the middle Re­gion of the Air, and then distill again upon the Water and the Earth from whence they were drawn up; and those vapours being un­certain, the flames likewise feeding upon them must needs be uncertain, and daily vary from themselves both in quantity and figure, accor­ding to the proportion of their Fewel.

The absurdity then of this Opinion being so foule and gross, it remains that the Sun and Starrs infuse a warmth into these Sub­coelestial Bodies, as not being hot in them­selves, but only, as being ordained by God to bread heat in matter capable thereof, as they impart life to some Creatures, and yet, them­selves remain void of life, like the brain which imparts sense to every Member of the Body, and yet is it self utterly void of sense. But here again, some there are which attribute this effect to the Motion, others to the Light of these glorious Bodies: And true indeed it is, that Motion causes Heat, by the attenuati­on and rarefaction of the Air; But by this reason should the Moon, which is nearer the Earth, warm more than the Sun which is ma­ny thousand miles farther distant? and the higher Regions of the Air, should be always hotter than the lower, which notwithstand­ing if we compare the second with the lowest, is undoubtedly false. Moreover the Motion [Page 41] of the Coelestial Bodies being uniform, so should the heat in reason derived from them likewise be; and the Motion ceasing, the Heat should likewise; and yet I shall never believe, that when the Sun stood still at the Prayer of Joshua, it then ceased to warm these Inferiour Bodies. And we find by experience, that the Sun works more powerfully upon a Body, which stands still then when it moves, and the reason seems to be the same in the rest or Mo­tion of a Body warming or warmed, that re­ceiveth or imparteth heat.

The Motion being thus excluded from be­ing the cause of this Effect, the Light must of necessity step in, and challenge it to its self; the Light then it is which is the cause un­doubtedly of Coelestial heat, in part by a direct beam, but more vehemently by a reflexed: for which very reason it is that the middle Region of the Air is always colder then the lowest, and the lowest hotter in the Summer then in the Winter, and at Noon then in the Morning and Evening, the beams being then more Perpendicular, and consequently in their reflection more narrowly united, by which reflexion and union, they grow sometimes to that fervency of heat, that fire springs out from them as we see in Burning-glasses; And by this artificial device it was that Archimedes, as Galen reports it in his third Book De tem­peramentis, [Page 42] Cap. 1. Set on fire the Emperours Ships: and Proclus a famous Mathematician, practised the like at Constantinople, as witnesseth Zonarus in the life of Anastatius the Emperour. And very reasonable methinks it is, That Light, the most Divine Affection of the Coelestial Bo­dies, should be the cause of warmth; the most noble active and excellent quality of the Subcoelestial. These two like Hippocrates Twins, Simul oriuntur & moriuntur, they are born and dye together, they increase and de­crease both together; the greater the Light is, the greater the Heat; and therefore the Sun as much exceeds the other Starrs in Heat, as it doth in Light.

The Suns continual Declination, or nearer approach to the Earth, is rather an idle Dream than a sound position, grounded rather upon the difference amongst Astronomers, arising from the difficulty of their observations, then upon any certain or infallible conclusion. Ptolomy, who lived about the year of Christ one hundred and forty, makes the distance of the Sun to be from the Earth, One thousand two hundred and ten Semidiameters of the Earth. Albategnius, about the year Eight hundred and eighty, makes it One thousand one hundred and forty six. Copernicus, about the year One thousand five hundred and twenty, makes it One thousand five hundred and seventy nine. [Page 43] Tycobrahe, about the year One thousand six hundred makes it One thousand one hundred eighty two. Now I would demand whether the Sun were more remote in Ptolomies time, and nearer in the time of Albategnius, and then again, more remote in the latter ages of Copernicus and Tychobrahe? which if it were so, then one of these two must needs follow, that either these observations were not grounded upon so certain Principles as they pretend, or that the declination of the Sun is uncertain or variable, not constant and perpetual, as is pretended. But what would Bodwin say, if he l [...]ved, to hear Lansbergius and Kepler, and other famous Astronomers of the latter times, teaching that the Sun is now remote above Two thousand and eight hundred, nay three thousand Semidiameters from the Earth; affirming, that Copernicus and Tycobrahe neglect­ed to allow for refractions, which (as the Op­ticks will demonstrate) do much alter the case.

I will close up this point with the censure of Scaliger in his Exercit. 99. upon the Patrons of this fancy, Quae vero nonnulli prodere ausi sunt, solis corpus longè proprius nos esse, quam quantum ab Antiquis scriptum sit, it a ut in ipsa deferentis corpu­lentia [...]cum mutasse videatur, vel ipsa scripta spon­giis, vel ipsi Authores scuticis sunt castigandi. In as much as some have dared to broach, that [Page 44] the body of the Sun is nearer the Earth then by the Ancients was observed to be, so that it might seem to have changed place in the very bulk of the Sphear; either the Authors of this Opinion deserve themselves to be chasten­ed with stripes, or surely their Writings to be razed with Sponges.

So that (as I conceive) it may fitly and safe­ly be inferred, first, that either there is no such removal at all of the Sun, (as is supposed) or if there be, as we who are situate more Northerly, feel perhaps the effects of the de­fects of the warmth thereof, in the unkind­ly ripening of our fruits, or the like; so, like­wise by the rule of Proportion, must it needs follow, that they who lye in the same distance from the South Pole, as we from the North, should enjoy the benefit of the nearer approach thereof; and they who dwell in the ho [...]test Climates interjacent, of the abating of the immoderate fervency of their heat: From hence I again infer, that supposing a mutabi­lity in the Suns greatest Declination, look what dammage we suffer by his further re­moval from us in the Summer, is at least in part recompenced by his nearer approach in Winter, and by his Periodical Revolutions ful­ly restored. And so I pass from the Conside­ration of the warmth, to those hidden and secret qualities of the Heavens, which to [Page 45] Astronomers and Philosophers are known by the name of Influences.

Howbeit Aristotle thorow all those Works of his which are come to our hands, to my remembrance, hath not once vouchsafed so much as to take notice of such qualities, which we call Influences; and though amongst the Ancients Averroes and Avicenne, and amongst some of the latter times Picus Mirandula, and Georgius Agricola, seek to disprove them: yet both Scripture, and Reason, and the weighty Authority of many good Schollars, as well Christians as Ethnicks, have fully resolved me that such there are. They are by Philosophers distinguished into two Ranks; the First is, that Influence which is derived from the Empyreal Immoveable Heaven, the Pallas and Man­sion House of Glorifyed Saints and Angels, which is gathered from the diversity of Effects, as well in regard of Plants, as of Beasts, and other Commodities under the same Climate, within the same Tract and Latitude, equally distant from both the Poles, which we cannot well originally refer to the inbred nature of the soile, since the Author of Nature hath so ordained, that the temper of the Inferiour Bodies should ordinarily depend upon the Su­periour; nor yet the Aspect of the moveable Spheres and Starrs, since every part of the same Climate, successively, but equally enjoyes [Page 46] the same Aspect: It remains then, that these Effects be finally reduced to some Superiour immoveable cause; which can be none other then that Empyreal Heaven; neither can it pro­duce these effects by means of the Light alone, which is uniformly dispersed through the whole, but by some secret quality which is diversified according to the divers parts thereof; and without this, we should not on­ly find wanting that connexion and unity of order, in the parts of the World, which make it so comly, but withal should be forced to make one of the worthiest peeces of it void of Action, the chief end of every Created thing. Neither can this Action mis-beseem the worthiness of so glorious a piece, since both the Creatour is still busied in the works of Providence, and the Inhabitants in the works of Ministration.

The other kind is that which is derived from the Starrs, the Aspect of several Con­stellations, the Opposition and Conjunction of the Planets, and the like. These we have warranted by the mouth of God himself, in Job 38. 31. according to our last and most exact Translation; Canst thou bind the sweet In­fluences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? canst thou bring forth Mazoreth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his Sons? know'st thou the Ordinances of Heaven? canst thou [Page 47] set the dominion thereof in the Earth? where by the Ordinances of Heaven, it may be thought is meant, the course and order of these hidden qualities, which without Divine and Superna­tural Revelation, can never perfectly be known to any mortal Creature.

Besides as Sr. Walter Raleigh hath well and truly observed, it cannot be doubted, but the Starrs are Instruments of far greater use, then to give an obscure Light, and for men only to gaze at after Sun set: it being manifest that the diversity of Seasons, the Winters and Sum­mers, more hot or cold, more dry or wet, are not so uncertained by the Sun and Moon alone, who alwayes keep one and the same Course, but that the Starrs have also their working therein, as also in producing of se­veral kinds of Mettals and Minerals in the bowels of the Earth, where neither Light nor Heat can pierce. For as Heat pierces where Light cannot, so the Influence pierces where the Heat cannot.

Moreover, if we cannot deny, but that God hath given Vertues to Springs and Fountains, to the cold Earth, to Plants, to Stones, and Mi­nerals, nay to the excremental parts of the basest living Creatures; why should we rob the beautiful Stars of their working Pow­ers? for seeing they are many in number, and of eminent beauty and Magnitude, we [Page 50] may not think, in the Treasury of his Wisdom who is Infinite, there can be wanting; even for every Star, a peculiar Vertue and Opera­tion: As every Herb, Plant, Fruit, and Flow­er, adorning the face of the Earth, hath the like. As then these were not Created to beau­tifie the Earth alone, or to cover and shaddow her dusty face; but otherwise, for the use of Man and Beast, to feed them and cure them: so were not those incomparably glorious Bo­dies set in the Firmament, to none other end then to adorn it, but for Instruments and Organs of his Divine Providence, and Power, so far as it hath pleased his just Will for to determine; which Bartas admirably express­eth,

I'le ne'r believe, that the Arch-Archi­tect.
With all these Fires the Heavenly Arches deckt
Only for shew, and with these glistering Shields
T' amaze poor Shepheards watching in the Fields.
I'le ne'r believe, that the least Power that pranks
Our Golden Borders, or the common Banks,
[Page 49] And the lest Stone that in her warming lap,
Our kind nurse Earth covetously doth wrap,
Hath some peculiar Vertue of its own,
And that the Glorious Starrs of Heaven have none,
But shine in vaine, and have no charge precise,
But to be walking in Heavens Galle­ries,
And through that Pallace up and down to Clamber,
As golden Guls about a Princes Cham­ber.

But how far it hath pleased God in his Di­vine Wisdom to determine of these Influences, it is hard, I confess, to be determined by any human Knowledg.

For if in the peculiar vertues of Herbs and Plants, which our selves sow and set, and which grow under our feet, and we daily ap­ply to our several uses, we are notwithstand­ing in effect ignorant, much more in the Powers and workings of the Coelestial Bo­dies. For (as to this purpose we said before) Hardly do we guess at the things that are on the Earth, and with labour do we find the things that [Page 50] are before us: but the things which are in Heaven who hath searched out? Wisd. 9. 16. It can­not well be denyed, but that they are not Signes only, but at least wise concurrent Cau­ses of immoderate cold or heat, drought, or moisture, lightning, thunder, raging winds, Inundations, Earthquakes, and consequently of Famine and Pestilence; yet such cross ac­cidents may and often do fall out, in the mat­ter upon which they work, that the Prog­nostication of these casual Events, by the most skillful Astronomers, is very uncertain: And for the common Alminacks, a man by obser­vation shall easily find, that the contrary to their Predictions is commonly truest.

Now for the things which rest in the liber­ty of Mans Will, the Starrs have doubtless no power over them, except it be led by the sensitive appetite, and that again stirred up by the constitution and complexion of the bo­dy, as too often it is, specially when the hu­mours of the Body are strong to assault, and the Vertues of the Mind weak to resist. If they have dominion over Beasts, what shall we judge of Men, who differ little from Beasts? I cannot tell, but sure I am, that though the Starrs incline a Man to this or that course of life, they do but incline, inforce they cannot: Education and Reason, and most of all Re­ligion, may alter and over-master that Incli­nation, [Page 51] as they may produce a clean contrary Effect. It was to this purpose, a good and Memorable speech of Cardinal Poole, who being certified by one of his acquaintance, who professed the knowledg of these secret favours of the Starrs, that he should be raised and ad­vanced to a great Calling in the World; made answer, that whatsoever was portended by the figure of his birth, for natural Generation, was cancelled and altered by the grace of his second Birth, or Regeneration in the Blood of his Redeemer.

Again, we may not forget that Almighty God created the Starrs, as he did the rest of the Universal, whose secret Influences may be called his reserved and unwritten Laws, which by his Prerogative Royal he may put in execution, or dispence with at his pleasure. For were the strength of the Starrs such as God hath quitted unto them, all Dominion over his Creatures, that Petition in the Lords Prayer, Lead us not into Temptation, but deliver us from Evil, had been none other but a vain ex­pence of words and time. Nay, be he Paga [...] or Christian that so believeth, the only true God of the one, and the imaginary God of the other, would thereby be despoyled of all worship, reverence, and respect.

As therefore I do not consent with them who would make those glorious Creatures of [Page 52] God vertuless; so I think that we derogate from his Eternal and Absolute Power, to as­cribe to them the Dominion over our Im­mortal Souls, which they have over our Bo­dily Substances, and perishable Natures. For the Souls of Men loving and fearing God, re­ceive Influence from that Divine Light it self, whereof the Suns Clarity and that of the Starrs is by Plato called but a shadow, Lumen est Um­bra Dei, & Deus est Lumen Luminis, Light is the shadow of Gods brightness, who is the Light of Lights.

There have been great talks touching the Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, and many ominous conjectures are cast abroad upon it, which if perhaps they prove true, I should rather ascribe it to our sins, then to the Stars; they were not created to govern, but to serve Man, if he serve and be governed by his Cre­atour: so that we need not to search the Cause so far off in the book of Heaven, we may find it written nearer home in our own Bo­somes: And for the Stars, I may say, as our Saviour Christ doth the Sabboth, the Stars were made for Men, and not Men for the Stars; and if God be on our side, and we on his, Ju­piter, and Saturn shall never hurt us. But what­soever the force of the States be, upon the persons of private Men, or the Stars of Weal­publicks, I should rather advise a modest ig­norance [Page 53] therein, then a curious inquisition hereinto, following the witty and pithy coun­sel of Phaverirus the Philosopher in Gellius, Lib. 4. Sect. 1. where he thus speaks, Aut adversa ev [...]tura dicuot, aut; prospera: fidicunt pros­pera, & fallunt, iniser fies frustra expecta, d [...], & si adversa dicunt & m [...]ntiuntur, [...]iser fies frustra ti­mend [...]: si vera respondent, eaque sunt non prospera, j [...]m inde ex [...]nim [...] miser fies antequam è fat [...] fias; si faelicia promitiunt eaque eventura sunt, [...]m plane du [...] gorum in [...]moda, & expectatio te spe suspensum fatigabit, & futurum gaudii fructum sp [...]s tibi de­fler [...]v [...]rit. Either they portend or bad or good luck, if good, and they deceive, thou wilt be­come miserable by a vain expectation; if bad, and they lye, thou wilt be miserable by a vain fear; if they tell thee true, but unfortu­nate Events, thou wilt be miserable in mind before thou art by destiny; if they promise fortunate success, which shall indeed come to pass, these two inconveniences will follow thereupon, both expectation by hope will hold thee in suspence, and hope will d [...]fl [...]ure and devoure the fruit of thy content. His con­clusion is, which is also mine for this point and this discourse touching the Heavenly Bodies; Nullo ig tur pacto utendum est isti [...]smodi [...]minibus resfuturas praesagientibus: We ought in no case to have recourse to these kind of Men, which undertake the foretelling of care­ful [Page 54] Events. And so I pass from the conside­ration of the Coelestial Bodies, to the Subcoe­lestial, which by Gods ordinance depend up­on them, and are made subordinate to them; touching which and the Coelestial Bodies both together, comparing each with the other, the Divine Bartas thus sweetly and truly sings;

Things that consist of th' Elements uni­ting,
Are ever tost with an intestine fight­ing,
Whence spring in time their Life and their deceasing,
Their diverse change, their waxing and decreasing.
So that, of all that is, or may be seen
With Mortal Eyes, under Nights horn­ed Queen,
Nothing retaineth the same form and face,
Hardly the half of half an hours space.
But the Heavens feel not Fates imparti­all rigour,
Years adde not to their Stature nor their Vigour:
Use weares them not, but their green ever age,
Is all in all still like their pupillage.

[Page 55]Sublunary Bodies are such as God and Nature hath planted under the Moon. Now the state of these Inferiour being governed by the Superiour: as in the Wheels of a Clock or Watch, if the first be out of order, so are the second and third, and the rest that are moved by it; for it is more then probable that the first partake with them in the same condition; which dependance is very well expressed by Boethius, where having spoken of the constant regularity of the Heavenly Bo­dies, de Consol. Lib. 4. Met. 6. He thus goes on.

Haec concordiae temperat aquis, &c.
Thus Englished,
The Concord tempers equally
Contrary Elements,
That moist things yield unto the dry,
And heat with cold conse [...]ts;
Here Fire to highest place doth flie,
And Earth doth downward bend,
And Flowery Spring perpetually
Sweet odours forth doth s [...]n [...].
Hot Summer Harvest gives, and store
Of Fruit Autumnus yields,
And shoures which down from Heaven do poure,
Each Winter drown'd the Fields:
[Page 56] What ever in the World doth breath,
This temper forth hath brought,
And nourished: the same by Death
Again it brings to nought.

Among the Subcoelestial things following Natures Method, I will first begin with the consideration of the Elements, the most sim­ple and Universal of them all, as being the Ingredients of all mixed Bodies, either in the whole or in part, and into which the mixed are finally resolved again, and are again by turnes remade of them, the common matter of them all still abiding the same: of which [...]Barts,

Here's nothing constant, nothing still doth stay,
For Birth and Death have still successive sway:
Here one thing springs not till another dye,
Only the Maker lives Immortally.
The Almighty stable, Body of this all,
(Of changeful chances common Arce­nal,
All like it self, all in it self, contain'd
Which by times flight hath neither lost nor gain'd)
Changeless in Essence, changeable in face,
[Page 57] Much more then Proteus or the subtil race
Of roving Polypes, who (to rob the more)
Transform them hourly on the waving Shore:
Much like the French, (or like our selves their Apes)
Who with strange habits do disguise their shapes.
Who loving novels full of affectation,
Receive the manners of each other Na­tion.

By consent of Antiquity the Elements are in Number four, The Fire, the Air, the Wa­ter, and the Earth, of which the same Poet thus expresses himself:

Four Bodies Primitive the World still contains;
Of which, two downwards bend, the Earth and Watery planes.
As many weight do want, and nothing forcing, higher
They mount, th' Air, and purer streams of Fire,
Which though they distant be, yet all things from them take
Their Birth, and into them their last re­turns do make.

[Page 58]Three of them shew themselves manifestly in Milk, the Butter being the Aerial part there­of, the Why the Watery, and the Cheese the Earthy: but all four in the burning of green Wood, The Flame being Fire, the smoak the Air, the Liquid destilling at the ends the Water, and the Ashes the Earth. Philoso­phy likewise by reason teaches and proves the same, from their Motion upwards and downwards, from their second qualities of lightness and heaviness, and from their first qualities, either Active as heat and cold, or Passive as dry and moist. For as their Mo­tion proceeds from the second qualities, so do their second from their first from the Hea­venly Bodies, next to which, as being the Noblest of them all, as well in purity as ac­tivity, is seated the Element of the Fire (though many of the Ancients, and some later Writers, as namely Cardane, (amongst the rest) seemed to make a doubt of it, Lib. 1. Subtil. And Manilius in his first Book of Astro­nomy.

Ignis ad aetb [...]reas volucer se sustulis auras
Summaque complexus Stellantis culmina Coeli,
Flammarum vallo Naturae Maenia fecit.
The Fire est soones up towards Heaven did flye,
And compassing the Starry World, ad­vanced
A wall of Flames to safeguard Nature by.

Next the Fire, is seated the Air, divided in­to Three Regions, next the Air the Water, and next the Water the Earth; so Bartas,

Who so (sometime) hath seen rich in­gots tride,
Where forc't by Fire their Treasure they divide:
(How fair and softly Gold to Gold doth pass,
Silver seeks Silver, Brass conforts with Brass,
And the whole lump, of parts unequal, severs
It self apart, in white, red, yellow Ri­vers)
May understand how, when the mouth Divine
Open'd to each his proper place t' as­sign)
Fire flew to Fire, Water to Water slid,
Air clung to Air, and Earth with Earth abid,

[Page 60]The Vail both of the Tabernakle and Temple, were made of Blew, and Purple, and Scarlet, or Crimson, and fine twisted Linnen: by which four as Josephus notech, were represented the four, Elements; Lib. Antiquit. 15. Cap. 14. His words are these: Vel [...] [...]ec erat Babiloni­ [...]s variegatum, ex Hyaecintho, & bysso, ce [...]ecqu [...] & purpura, mirabiliter elaboratum, non indignam con­templatione materiae commistionem habent, s [...]d velut [...]mnium imagine [...] praeferens, Cocco enim videbatur ignem imitari, & Bysso terram, & Hyacintho ae­rem, ac Mare purpura, partim quidem coloribus, bysso autem & purpura Origi [...]e, bysso quid [...] quia de terra, Mare autem purpura gign [...]t. The Vaile was Babilonis [...] Work, most artificially imbro­dered with Blew, and fine Linnen, and Scarlet, and Purple, having in it a mixture of things not unworthy of our Considera­tion, but carrying a kind of resemblance of the Universe, for by the Scarlet, seemed the Fire to be represented; by the Linnen the Earth, by the Blew the Air, and by the Purple the Sea; partly by reason the Colours of Scarlet and Blew, partly by reason of the Original of Linnen and Purple, the one coming from the Earth, the other from the Sea. And St. Hierom in his Epistle to Fab [...]la, Epist. 128. hath the very same conceit, borrowed, as it seems, from Josephus, or from Philo, who hath much to the like purpose, in his Third Book [Page 61] of the life of Moses: or it may be from Wis [...] 18. 14. In the long Robe was the whole World: As not only the Vulgar Latin, and Arias Monta­nus, but out of them and the Greek Original, our last English Translation reads it.

The Fire is dry and hot, the Air hot and moist, the Water moist and cold, the Earth cold and dry & thus are they linked, and thus do they embrace one another with their Sim­bolizing qualities, the Earth being linked to the Water by coldness, the Water to the Air by moistness, the Air to the Fire by warmth, the Fire to the Earth by drought: which are all the combinations of the qualities that can possibly be; hot and cold, as also dry and moist, in the highest Degrees, being altoge­ther incompatible in the same subject: and though the Earth and the Fire are most op­posite in distance, to substance, and in activity, yet they agree in one quality, the two mid­dle being therein directly contrary to the two extreams, Air to Earth, and Water to Fire.

These four then, as they were from the beginning, so still they remain the Radical and Fundamental Principles of all Subcoe­lestial Bodies; distinguished by their several and Ancient Situations, Properties, Actions, and Effects; and howsoever after their old wont they fight and combate together, being single, yet in composition they still accord [Page 62] marvellous well, as Boethius Lib. 3. Met. 9.

Tu numeris Elementa liga [...], us frig [...]ra f [...]am­mis,
Arid [...] conveniunt Liquidis, ne puri [...]r ignis
Ev [...]let, aut mersas deducant pondera terra [...].
To Numbers thou the Elements dost tie
That cold with heat may symbolize, and dry
With moist, lest purer Fire should soare to high,
And Earth through too much weight too low should lie.

The Creator of them hath bound them, as it were, to their behaviour, and made them in every mixed body to stoop and obey one Praedominant, whose sway and conduct they willingly follow. The Air being Praedominant in some, as in Oyl, which alwayes swimmes on the top of all other Liquors; and the Earth in others, which always gather as near the Center as possibly they can. And as in these, they vary not a jo [...] from their nature and wonted properties; so neither do they in their other conditions. It is still true of them, that Ni [...] graevitant nec l [...]vitant in suis l [...] ­eis, there is no sense of their weight or light­ness [Page 63] in their proper places, as appears by this, that a Man lying in the bottom of the deep­est Ocean, he feels no burthen from the weight thereof; the Fire shall serve to warm us, the Air to maintain our breathing, the Water to cleanse and refresh us, the Earth to feed and support us, and which of them is most ne­cessary for our use is hard to determine: Likewise they still hold the same proportion one towards another, as they have done: For howbeit the Peripeteticks, pretending here­in the Authority of their Mr. Aristotle, tell us, that'as they rise above one another in Si­tuation, so they exceed one another properti­one decupla, by a ten-fold proportion; yet is this doubtless a foul Errour, or at least-wise a gross mistake, whether we regard their entire bodies, or their parts? if their entire bodies, it is certain, that the Earth exceeds both the Water and the Air by many degrees: the depth of the Waters not exceeding two or three miles, and for the most part not above halfe a mile, as Marriners find by their Line and Plummer, whereas the Diameter of the Earth, as Mathematicians demonstrate, ex­ceeds Seven thousand miles. And for the Air, taking the height of it from the part of the ordinary Comets, it contains by estimati­on about fifty two miles, as Nonius, Vitellio, and Alb [...]en shew by Geometrical proofs. [Page 64] Whence it plainly appears, that there cannot be that proportion betwixt the entire Bo­dies of the Elements which is pretended, nor at any time was since the Creation. And for their parts, 'tis as clear by experience, that out of a few drops of Water, may be made so much Air as shall exceed them a thousand times at least.

There is in the Elements a noble compen­sation of their fourfold qualities, dispencing themselves by even turnes and just measures. For as the Circle of the Year is distinguish­ed by four quarters, one succeeding another, the time running about by equal distan­ces: In like manner the Four Elements of the VVorld by a reciprocal vicissitude exceed one another: and which a man would think to be incredible, while they seem to dye, as Philo writes, they become Immortal, running the same race, and instantly traveling up and down by the same path. From the Earth the way riseth upward,, it dissolving into VVater, the VVater vapours forth into the Air, the Air is rarified into Fire, and again they descend downward the same way, the Fire by quenching being turned into Air, the Air thickned itto VVater, and the Water into Earth. Hitherto Philo, wherein after his usual manner he Platonizes, the same being in effect to be found in Plato's Timaeus, as also in Aristo­tles [Page 65] Book De Mundo, if it be his, in Damascen, and Gregory Nyssen. And most elegantly in the wittiest of Poets, Ovid Met. 15.

—Resolutaque tellus
In liquidas rarescit aqu [...]s tenuatur in au­ras,
Aeraque humor habit dempto qucque pondere rursus
In superos aer tenuissimus emicat ignes.
Inde retro redeunt: idemqne retexitur ord [...]
Ignis enim densum spissatus in Aera transit
Hinc in aquas tellus glomerata cogitur unda.
The Earth resolved is turned into streames,
Water to Air, the purer Air to Flames:
From whence they back return, the fiery flakes
Are turned to Air, the Air thickned takes
The Liquid form of Water, that Earth makes.

The Four Elements herein resembling an Instrument of Musick with four strings, which may be tuned diverse wayes, and yet the har­mony still remains sweet: and so are they compared in the Book of Wisdom, Cap. 19. v. 17. The Elements agreed amongst themselves in [Page 66] this change, as when one tune is changed upon an In­strumont of Musick, and the Melody still remain­eth.

Utque novis facilis signatur cera figuri [...]
N [...] manet ut fucrat, nec formam servat can­dem,
Sed tame [...] ipsa cadem est.

They are the Verses of Ovid in the 15 Met. touching which several Prints stamped upon one and the same lump of Wax Bartas curi­ously dilates in one of his weeks.

Our next subject will be to discourse of Co­mets and Blazing Starrs, he uncertainty of the Predictions of them. Some took the Comet to have been a Star Ordained and Created from the first b [...]ginning of the World, but appear­ing only by times and by turnes: of this mind was Sen [...]cae; Cardan likewise in latter times harp's much, if not upon the same, yet the like string. But Aristotle (in his Natur. Quest. Lib. 7. Cap. 21. 23. (whose weighty reasons and deep judgment I much reverence) conceiv­eth the Matter of the Comet, to be a very hot and dry exhalation, which being lifted up, by the force and vertue of the Sun, into the high­est Region of the Air is there inflamed, partly by the Elements of Fire, upon which it bor­dereth, and partly by the motions of the Hea­vens [Page 67] which hurleth it about; so that there is in the same manner of an Earth-quake, the Wind, the Lightning, and a Comet, if it be imprisoned in the bowels of the Earth, it causeth an Earthquake, if it ascend to the Middle Region of the Air, and be from thence beaten back; Wind if it enter that Region' and be there environed with a thick Cloud; Lightning; if it pass that Region a Comet, or some other fiery Meteor, in case the matter be not sufficiently capable thereof.

The common Opinion hath been, that Co­mets either as Signes or Causes, or both, have always Prognosticated some dreadful mishaps to the World, as out-ragious Winds, extra­ordinary Drought, Dea [...]th, Pestilence, Warrs, the death of Princes and the like.

Nunquam futilibus excanduit ignibus aether.
Nere did the Heavens with idle blazes Flame.

So Manelius hath it. But the Lord Privy Seal, Earl of Northampton, in his Defensative against the Poyson of supposed Prophesies, hath so strongly incountered this Opinion, that for my own part [...] must profess, he hath perswaded me, that there is no certainty of those Predictions, in as much as Comets do not [Page 68] always fore run such events, neither do these events always follow upon the appearing of Comets. Some instances he produceth of Comets, which brought with them such abundance of all things, and abated their prises to so low an Ebbe, as stories have recorded it for Monu­ments, and Miracles to posterity: and the like, saith he, could I say of others, Anno Dom. 1555. 1556. 1557. 1558. After all which years nothing chanced that should drive a man to seek out any cause above the common reach: and therefore I do allow of the diligence of Gemma-Frisius, in taking notice of as many good, as bad effects, which have succeeded af­ter Comets. Moreover he tells us, that Peucer, a great Mathematician of Germany, Prognosti­cated upon the last Comet, before the writing of his Defensative, that Mens bodies should be parched and burned up with heat: But how fell it out? Forsooth, saith he, we had not a more unkindly Summer for many years, in respect of extraordinary cold: never less inclination to War; No Prince deceased in that time, and the Plague in Lombardy, as God would have it, ceased at the rising of the Co­met. Besides all this he reports, of his own experience, as an Eye witness, that when divers persons, upon greater scrupulosity then cause, went about to disswade Queen Elizabeth, lying then at Richmond, from looking on the Comet [Page 69] which then appeared, with a courage answe­rable to the greatness of her State, she cau­sed the Window to be set open, and cast out this Word, Jacta est alea, the Dice are thrown; thereby shewing, that her st [...]dfast hope and confidence, was too firmly planted in the good pleasure and Providence of God, as not to be blasted or affrighted with those beams, which either had a ground in Nature whereupon to rise, or at least-wise no warrant in Scripture to portend the misfortune of Princes. Neither have I heard of any Co­met that appeared before her Death (as at her entrance there did) nor that of Prince Hen­ry, nor of Henry the Great of France; the one being a most peerless Queen, the other a most incomparable Prince, and the third for Pru­dence and Valour, a matchless King: There­fore as Seneca truly notes Natural is magis no­va quam magna mirari, It is natural unto us to be inquis [...]ived and curious rather about things new and strange, than those which are in their own nature truly great; yet even amongst the Ancients, Charlemaine professed, that he feared not the signe of the Blazing-Star, but the Great and Potent Creator there­of. And Vespasian, as Dion reports, when the apparition of a Comet was thought to portend his Death, replied merrily: No, said he, this bushy Star notes not me, but the Parthian [Page 70] King: Ipse enim Cometus est, ego vero calvus sum; for he wares bushy Locks, but I am bald. Lastly, some Comets have been the Messengers of joyful and happy tidings, as at the Birth of our Saviour, and another at the Death of Nero, Cometes summè bonis apparuit, qui prae­nuntius suit Mortis Magn [...]illius [...]yranni, & pesti­lintissimi hominis, saita Tactius: There appear­ed a favourable and auspicious Comet, as an Herauld to Proclaim the Death of that Great Tyrant and most Pestilent Man. Though as to some judgments we are sensible (they by the Effects have been predictive) though the Astronomers have not found them out. Now that which hath been said of Comets may also be applied to other Fiery and Watery Meteors, as Streamings, Swords, flying Dra­gons, fighting Armies, Gapings, two or three Sunns and Moons, and the like appearing in the Air, many times to the great terrour and astonishment of the beholders: of all which and many more of that kind, he that de­sires to read more of, I refer him to Vicomer­catus, Garzaus, Pontanus, & Lycostehenes de pro­digiis & portentis ab orbe condito, asque ad annum 1557 And to other latter writers of Mon­strous and Prodigious accidents. But the strangest Apparition in the Air that ever I heard or read of, was that which I find re­ported by Mr. Fox. in his Acts and Monu­ments, [Page 71] whilst the Spanish Match with Queen Mary was in the heat of treating, and neer upon the concluding, There appeared in Lon­don on the fifteenth of February 1554, a Rain­bow reversed, the Bow turning downwards, and the two ends standing upwards, a Pro­digious and Supernatural Sign indeed of those miserable and bloudy times which quickly followed after.

As touching unseasonable Weather, for ex­cessive Heat and cold, or immoderate Drought and Rain. Thunder and Lightning Frost and Snow, Hail and Winds, yea and Contagious Sicknesses, and Pestilential and Epidemical Diseases, these arise from the infection of the Air, by noisome Mists and Vapours, to which we may adde Earthquakes, burning in the bowels of the Earth, and the like

Earthquakes arise also from the distempers of the Air, but in another manner. They first gave occasion to the composing of that Letany, and therein to the Petition against suadain Death, which by Publick Authority is used through the Christian Churches at this day. By the force of Earthquake contrary to the Proverb, Mountains have met the City of An [...]ioch, where the Disciples were first called Christians, with a great part of Asia bordering upon it, was in Trajans time swallowed with an Earth­quake, as Dien writes, who reports very mer­veilous [Page 72] things thereof. By the same means at one time were Twelve famous Cities of Asia over-turned in the Reign of Tiberius. And at another time as many Towns of Campaniae under Constantine. And of late times we have not been without such won­derful examples of the dreadfulness of this accident, above the Pestilence or any other Miseries incident to Mankind. Seneca excel­lently discourses of them, in the Sixth Book of his Natural Question, Hostem mure expellaem, saith he, and so he goes on; to avoid prolixity I shall here give you only the English, A Wall will repel an Enemy, Rampires raised to a great height by the difficulty of their access will keep out powerful Armies, An Haven shelters us from a Tempest, and the covering of our Houses from the violence of Storms and lasting Rains; the Fire doth not follow us, if we Fly from it: against Thunder and the Threats of Heaven, vaults under ground, and deep Caves are Remedies; those Blastings and Flashes from above, do not pierce the Earth, but are blunted by a little piece of it opposed against them; In the time of Pesti­lence a Man may change Dwellings, there is no mischief but may be shunned, the Light­ning never struck a whole Nation, a Pestilen­tial Air hath emptied Cities, not over-turned them: but this mischief is large in spreading, [Page 73] unavoidably greedy of Destruction, generally dangerous. For it doth not only depopulate Houses and Families, and Towns, but layes waste and makes desolate whole Regions and Countries: sometimes covering them with their own Ruines, and sometimes overwhelm­ing them, and burying them in deep Gulfs, leaving, nothing whereby it may appear so much as to posterity, that that which is not, sometimes was, but the Earth is levelled over most famous Cities, without any mark of their former existence; so far Seneca.

As these quakings of the Earth are very terrible, so are the burnings of the Bowels thereof no less dreadful; the one being as it were the cold, and the other the hot fits there­of. The Mountain AEtna in Sicile hath flam­ed in time past so abundantly, that by reason of the thick smoak and vapours arising there­from, the Inhabitants thereabout sometimes could not see one another (if we may give cre­dit to Sandies relation Lib. 4.) I raged so much that Africa was thereof an astonished Witness. But Virgils admirable description of it may serve for all.

—Horificis tonat AEtna ruinis
Interdumque atram perumpit ad aethera Nu­bem,
Turbine fumantem piceo, & candente favil­la,
[Page 74] Attollitque globos Flammarum & Syd [...]ra Lambit;
Interdum scopulos, avulsaque viscera Mon­tis
Erigit eructans [...]quefactaque saxa sub au­ras
Cum gemitu glomerat, fundoque exaestuat i [...]o.
AEtna here thunders with a horrid noise,
Sometimes black clouds evaporated to the skies,
Fuming with pitchy curles, and spark­ling Fires,
Tosseth up, Globes of Flames to Starrs aspires,
Now belching Rocks, the Mountains entrailes torne,
And groaning hurles out liquid Stones there born
Thorow the Air in showres.

[Page 75]But rightly did Ovid in the 15 [...] Met. Devine of this Mountain and the burnings therein,

Nec quae sulphuriis ardet fornacibus AEtna
Ignea semper erit, neque enim fuit ignea sem­per.
AEtna which flames of Sulphur now doth raise,
Shall not still burn, nor hath it burnt always.

The like may be said of Vesuvius in the Kingdom of Naples, it flamed with the great­est horrour in the first, or as some say in the third year of the Emperour Titus, where be­sides Beasts, Fishes, and Foul, it devoured two adjoyning Cities, Herculanum and Pompeios, with the People in the Theatre: Pliny the Natural Historian, then Admiral of the Roman Navy, desirous to discover the reason, was suffoca­ted, as his Nephew expressed in an Epistle of his to Cornelius Tacitus; the like, as to his too strict enquiry of the increase and decrease of the Sea, being reported of Aristotle.

Having thus imployed my Reason as Di­vinly as I could, in presenting my Reader with an explanation of a few Leaves of the great Volume of Nature: I shall now (with his favour) think it convenient before I proceed [Page 76] to treat of the Powers of the Mind in the Arts, &c. To refute such other Vulgar Er­rours in their several Classes (though less con­siderable) as hithe [...]o I have not met withal.

  • 1. It is a common received Opinion in Philosophy that the principal faculties of the Soul, the Understanding, the Imagination and Memory are distinguished by three several Cells or Ventricles in the Brain, the imagina­tion (as is conceived) being confined to the fore-part, the Memory to the hinder part, and the Judgment and Understanding to the middle part thereof; which Opinion Lau­rentius confutes, in his Hist. Anat. Lib. 10. 9. 2. and Fe [...]elius derides, making them all to be dispersed through all the receptacles of the brain, in as much as sometimes when the whole Brain is disaffected, the operation but of one of these Faculties is hurt, and sometimes a­gain, when but one Ventricle is hurt the opera­tion of all the three Faculties is hindred. Neither ought it to seem more strange, that the same Ventricle in the brain should be capable of all these three Function, then that the same Bone or Sinew and every part or Particle thereof should have in it (in regard of the nourish­ment it receives, and the excrement it drives forth) an attractive, a retentive, an assimila­tive, and an expulsive Vertue.
  • 2. That in Nature there is an East and a [Page 77] West, which as to me it seems cannot be, since that which to us is East, is West to our Antipe­des, and that which is East to them, is West tous.
  • 3. That a man hath a Natural speech of his own, as he is a man, (some think Hebrew) which Language he could speak by Nature if he were not taught some other: but this is a Dream, and hath as Herodotus Lib. 6. been twice confuted by a double experiment. The first was by Psammeticus a King of AEgypt, who desiring to understand which was Mans most Ancient and Natural Language, caused two Children to be seq [...]estred from all focie [...]y of Men, and to be nourished by two she Goats, forbidding all speech unto them: which the Children continuing for a long time Dumb, at last uttered Bec, Bec: The King being infor­med, that in the Phrigian Language Bec sig­nified Bread, imagined the Children called then for Bread; and from thence collected that because they spake that Language which no man had taught them, therefore the Phri­gian Language was the Natural speech of Man. A weak proof and silly conceit. For the Chil­drens Beck (as is probably collected) was only that Language which they learned of their Goat-Nurses, when they came to suck their Tetts, who receiving from them some ease by their sucking, saluted them with Bec, the best Language they had, from whom the Chil­dren [Page 78] learned it; and so much as they heard, so much j [...]st they uttered, and no more: and if they had not heard it, they could never have pronounced it, as we may evidently see in men that are born Deaf; and by another experi­ment tryed upon other Infants, (which is our second instance) Purchas mentions it in his Pilgrims, Lib. 1. Cap. 8. tryed by Melab­dim Elchebar, whom they call the great Mogo­re or Magul. He likewise upon the forenamed Errour, That a Man hath a certain proper Language by Nature, caused thirty Children to be brought up in dumb silence, to find out the Experiment, whether all of them would speak one and the same Language, hav­ing inwardly a purpose to frame his Religion according to that Nation, whose Language should be spoken, as being that Religion which is purely Natural to Man. But the Children proved all Dumb, though they were so many of them, and therefore they could not speak, because they were not taught: whereby it appeareth, that the speaking of any Language is not in Man by Nature; the first Man had it by Divine Infusion, but all his Posterity only by Imitation.
  • 4. In Philosophy it is commonly received, that the Heart is the seat and shop of the Principal Faculties of the Soul: Nay, Divine Scripture applying it self to the ordinary [Page 79] Opinion therein, in many places Attributes Wisdom and Understanding to the Heart: Whereas the noble pair of Physitians Hipocra­tes and Galen have made it evident by experi­mental proofs, that those Divine Powers of reasoning and discourse are seated in the brain, in as much as they are never hindred by the Distemper of the Heart, but of the Brain, nor recovered, being lost, by Medica­ments applyed to the Heart, but to the Brain.
  • 5. That the Radical Moisture, and pri­mogenial heat naturally ingrafted in us wastes always by degrees from the time of our Conception, as Oyl in a Lamp, or Wax in a Taper: whereas till we come to the age of Consistence, we still grow in bulk, in strength, and stature: which for my own part I can­not conceive how it should be, if from our In­fancy, our Natural heat and moisture still de­creased.
  • 6. That one hand by Nature is more use­ful and properly made for Action then the other: whereas we find no difference be­twixt the two Eyes, the two Ears, the two No­strills; and if Men were left to themselves, as many I think, if not more, would use the left hand, as now by education and custom do the right: And in truth I am of Opinion that God and Nature have given us two [Page 80] hands, that we should use both indifferently, that if need required, the one might supply the loss or defect of the other. Such would Plato have the Citizens of his Commonwealth to be, and such I do take those seven hun­dred Benjamite, to have been mentioned in the 20th. of Judges; and if either hand should in Nature be preferred before the other, me­thinks in reason it should be that next the Heart, the Fountain of Life and Activity.

Secondly in History, which is Ecclesiastical, Civil, or Natural. To begin with that of Ecclesiastical.

  • 1. It is commonly received, that Simon Pe­ter encountred with Simon Magus, and that the Magician undertaking to fly up into the Air, the Apostle so wrought by Prayer and Fasting, that he came tumbling down and brake his Neck: But of this story saith St. Augustine, in his Epist. 86. Consulano, est qui­dem & baec Opinio plurimorum, qua nvis eam per­hibeant esse faelsam plerique Romani: Many are of this Opinion, yet most of the Roman Writers would have it but a Tale. And in another place he calls it Greciam fabulam, an invention of the Grecians, who were so fruitful in these kind of Febles, that Pliny himself could say of them, Hist. Nat. Lib. 8. 22. Mirum est qu [...] procedat Graeca credulitas, nullum tam impudens mendaeium est ut teste careat; it is a wonder to [Page 81] see whether the credulity of the Greeks carry them, there being no lye for shameful, but it findes at [...]atron among [...]st them: [...]ay, Juvenel the very [...] took notice of their im­moderate liberty this way, Juven. Sat. 10.
    Et [...] [...]a. Graeci [...] mendax.
    Au [...] in Historia.
    ‘What dares not Lying Greece insert in Histories.’
  • 2. That St. George was a Holy Martyr, and that he Conquered the Dragon; Whereas Dr. Reynolds de Eccl. Rom. Idol Lib. 10. Cap. 50. Proves him to be both a wicked man and an Arrian, by the Testimony of Epiphanius, Atha­natius and [...] and Baronius him­self in plain terms affirms. Apparet totam illam [...] commentum Arrio­n It appears that the whole story of George [...] a forgery of the Ar­rians; yet was he received (as we know) as a Canonized [...] through Christendom, and to be the Pastor both of our Nation, and of the most honourable Order of Knighthood in the World.
  • [Page 82]3. That the Wise-men that came out of the East to Worship our Saviour, were Kings, and from hence (their bodies being Translated to Cullen) they are at this day commonly called the three Kings of Cullen, and the day Consecra­ted to their Memory, is by the French termed Le jour de Trois Rois, The day of the Three Kings. Yet Mantuan a Monk, fears not to declare his Opinion to the contrary, and gives his reason for it.
    Nec Reges ut opiner trant, ntque enim tacu­issent
    Historiae Sacrae Authores; Genus illud honoris est
    Inter Mortales qu [...] non sublimius ullum,
    Adde qu [...]d Herodus, ut magnificentia Regum
    Postulat, hospitib [...] tantis regale dedisset
    Hospitiu [...], secumqu [...] Lares duxisset in amplos.
    Had they been Kings, not holy History
    Would have concealed their so great Majesty,
    Higher on which on Earth none can be named;
    Herods Magnificance would sure have framed
    [Page 83] Some entertainment fitting their Estates,
    And harbour'd them within his Royal Gates.
  • 4. That the Sybills clearly foretold touch­ing the Name of the forerunner, the Birth and Death of Christ, the coming of Antichrist, the overthrow of R [...], and the consummati­on of the World, which notwithstanding, (as Cansabon hath learnedly observed) seems to be contrary to the Word of God, that so profound Mysteries should be revealed to the Gentiles, so long before the Incarnation of Christ; especially since they write more plain­ly and particularly of those matters then the Prophets of God themselves amongst the Je [...]s; and the greatest Cla [...]ks amongst the Gentiles Plato, Aristotle, Th [...]p [...] astus, and others curious searchers into all kind of Learning, never so much as once mention either their Names or then Writings, nor any of their Mysteries. While the Church of Christ was yet in her Infancy, many such kind of Books were forged, thereby to make the Doctrine of the Gospel more passible among the Gentiles; and no marvel then that these of the Sybills passed for current amongst them.
  • [Page 84]1. In History Civil or National, it is com­monly received, that there were four, and but four Monarchies succeeding one the other; the African, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman; yet John Bodwin, a man of singular Learning, especially in matter of History, dares: thus to begin the seventh Chapter of his Method. Inveteratus error de qua [...] Imperiis, ac magnorum virorum opinione pervulgatus, tam altc radices egit, ut vix evelli posse videatur, That in­veterate errour of Four Empires made famous through the Opinion of great Men, hath ta­ken such deep roots, as it seems it can hardly be pluckt up; and thorow a great part of that Chapter labours he the confutation of those that maintain that Opinion.
  • 2. That Brute a Trojan by Nation, and a great Grand-child to AEneas, arrived in this Island, and gave it the Name of Great Brit­tain from himself, here Reigned, and left the Government thereof divided amongst his three Sons, England to L [...]gri [...], Scotland to Albanak, and Wales to Camber: Yet Camden our great Antiquary, Brit. de primis Incolis, beating (as he professeth) his Brains and bending the force of his Wits to maintain that Opinion, he found no warrantable ground for it. Nay by forcible Arguments (produced as in the [Page 85] person of others disputing against himself) he strongly proves it, (in my judgment) altoge­ther unwarrantable and unsound. Boccace, Vives, Adricam [...], Junius, Polidorus, Vignier, Ge­nebrard, Molinaeus, Bodine, and other latter Wri­ters of great account, are all of opinion, that there was no such man as this supposed Brute; And amongst our own Ancient Chronicles, John of Wat [...]sted, Abbot of St. Alban, hold­eth the whole Narration of Brute rather to have been Poetical then Historical, as you shall find in his Granarto 1440. which methinks is agreeable to reason, since Caesar, Taci [...]us, Gil­das, Ninius, Bede, William, of Malmesbury, and as many others as have written any thing touching our Country before the year 1160. make no mention at all of him. The first that ever broached it was G [...]ffery of Monmouth about Four hundred years ago, during the Reign of Henry the Second, who publishing the British, story in Latin, pretended to have it taken out of Ancient Monuments written in the British Tongue: but this Book as soon as it peeped forth into the Light, was, sharply censured both by Giraldus-Cambrensis, and Wil­liam of [...] who lived at the same time; the forme [...] [...] in no better then Eabulosam Historiam, [...] [...] [...]y, and the latter Ridicula Figm [...] ridiculous Fictions, and it [Page 86] now stands branded with a black cole amongst the Books prohibited by the Church of Rome.
  • 3. That the Saxons called the remainder of the Brittains, Welch, as being strangers to them: Whereas that Word signifies not as strangers either in the high or low Dutch, as Verstigan, a man skilful in those Languages, hath observed; and that the Sexons gave them the name of Welch, after themselves came into Brittain, is altogether unlikely: For that, inhabiting so neer them as they did, to wit, but over against them on the other side of the Sea, they could not want a more par­ticular and proper Name for them, then to call them Strangers. It seems then to be more likely, that the Romans being Originally descended from the Gaules, the Saxons accor­ding to their manner of speech, by turning the G. into the W. and instead of Galtish cal­led them Wallish, and by a breviation Wal [...]h or Welch, as the French at this day call the Prince of Wales, Prince de Galles.
  • 4. That the Pigmies are a Nation of Peo­ple not above two or three foot high, and that they solemnly set themselves in battail array to fight against the Cranes, their greatest Ene­mies: [Page 87] of these notwithstanding Caesa [...]ion in his Book De. Gigantibus, Cap. U [...], saith, Fa­bules [...] illa omnia sunt quae de illis, vel Poetae, vel alii Scriptures tradiderunt: All those things are Fabulous, which touching them either the Poets or other Writers have delivered. And with him further accordeth Carda [...], De ror [...] vari [...]tate Cap. 4. Apparet ergo Pigmiorum Histo­riam esse fabulosam, quod & Strabo sentit, & no­stra aeras, [...] [...] [...] [...] firmè [...]is mirabitia in­notuerint, declarae. It appeares then that the History of the Pigmies is but a Ficton, as both Straba thought, and our age, which have now discovered all the wonders of the World, fully declares, Gellius also, and Redogis refer those Pigmies, if any such these be, to a kind of Apes.
  • 1. In Natural History, (to pass by that Vul­gar Errour of the Ph [...]ix, so learnedly refuted by one of our late Writers,) I shall here first gain say than gross. Opinion, that the Wholps of Bears are at first littering without all form or fashion, and nothing but a little congealed Blood, or lump of Flesh, which afterwards the Dam [...]apeth by licking; yet is the Truth most evidently otherwise, as by the Ey wit­ness of [...] and others it hath been proved. And herein, as in many [Page 88] other fabulous Narrations of this Nature, (in which experience checks report) may we justly put that of Lucretius,
    —Qui nobis c [...]rtius ipsis
    Se [...]us esse [...]o [...] qu [...] [...]
    What can more certain [...] sence;
    Discerning truth from false pretence.
  • 2. That Swan [...] a little before thein Death sing most sweetly, of which notwithstanding Pl [...] Hist. 10. 23 [...] thus speak [...] [...] [...] mor [...]e narratur flebilis caentus, falso ut arbitror al [...] perimentis. Swans are said to sing sweetly be­fore their Death, but falsly, as I take it, be­ing [...] [...] so to think by some experiments. And Sealigi [...], Exercitat. 2 [...]. To the like pure, pose, [...] Cygnt [...] Graecia [...] ad Lucian [...] tribounal, apud quem aliquid [...] [...] sta­tus [...]. Touching the sweet singing of the Swan, which with Greece the Mother of Lies you dare to Publish; I cite you to Luciant Tribunal there to set abroach some new stuff. And AElian, Lib. 10. 14. Cantandt studiosos esse [Page 89] [...] [...] [...] in every man's mouth, but for my self I never heard them sing, and perchance no man else.
  • [...] by daily and manifest experience are found to be untrue.
  • 4. That the [...] being hunted and in dan­ger to be taken, biteth off his Stones, know­ing that for them his Life only is sought, and so often [...] hence some have derived his [...] from geld­ing himself: and [...]pon this supposition the AEgyptians in their Hieroglyphicks, when they will signifie a man that [...] himself, they picture a [...] bitinh off his own Stones, though [...] it to a contrary purpose [...] by that exam­ple to give away [...] rather than our lives, and by our Wealth to redeem our danger [...] this relation touching the [...] been by sence and experience, and the testimony of Diosceri­d [...], Lib. 3. Cap. 13. is manifested. First, be­cause their stones are very small, and so placed [Page 90] in their bodies as are a Beres, and therefore im­possible for the Bever himself, to touch or come by them; and Secondly, they cleave so fast unto their back, that they cannot be taken away, but the Beast must of necessity lose his Life; and consequently most ridiculous is their Narration, who likewise affirm, that when he is hunted, having formerly bitten off his stones, he standeth upright, and sheweth the Hunters that he hath none for them, and therefore his Death cannot profit them, by means whereof they are averted and seek for another.
  • 5. That the Hare is one year a Male, and ano­ther a Female: whereas Reud [...]tius affirms, that they are not stones which are common­ly taken to be so in the Female, but certain little bladders filled with matter, such as are upon the belly of a Bever, wherein also the Vulgar is deceived, mistaking (as I should be­fore have taken notice) those for stones as they do these; Now the use of these parts both in Bevers and Hares is this, that against Rain both the one and the other Six suck out a certain humour, and anoing their bodies all over therewith, which serves them for a kind of a defence against Rain.
  • [Page 91] 6. That a Salamander lives in the Fire, yet both Galen and Dioscorides resute this Opinion. And Mathi [...]lus in his commentaries upon Di­oscorides, a very famous Physitian, affirms of them, that by casting of many Salamanders into the Fire for tryal, he found it false. The same experiment is likewise avouched by Jouber [...].
  • 7. That a Wolfe, if he see a man first suddenly strikes him dumb, whence comes the Proverb, Lupus est in fabula, and that of the Poet,
    Lupi Marim viders prior [...].
    The Wolves saw Maeris first.

    Yet Philip Gomerarius professeth, fabul [...]s [...] esse quod vulga [...]riditur [...], subito [...] & voc [...]m amittere. That it is fabulous which is commonly believed, that a Man being first seen of a Wolfe is thereupon astonished and looseth his voice. And that himself hath found it by experience to be a vain Opinion; which Scaliger likewise affirms upon the fame ground. Utinam tet f [...]ica­stigantur mend [...]um afferter [...] isti, [...] Lupis [Page 92] vi [...]i sumus si [...]e jactura vocis: I wish those Pa­trons of Lies were chastised with so many blows, as at sundry times I have been seen of Wolfes without any loosing of my voice.

  • 8. That men are sometimes transformed into Wolves, and again from Wolves into men: touching the falsehood whereof Pliny him­self is thus confident, Nat. Hist. Lib. 8. Cap. 22. Homines in Lopos ve [...]it rur su [...]ov [...]resti [...]ti sib [...], fal­sum esse [...]fidenter existimare deb [...]mus, aut credere omnia quae fabulosa tot secuis comperimus: That menare changed into Wolves, and again restor­ed to themselves, that is to the shape of men, we ought assuredly to believe false, or give credit to whatsoever we have found fabulous, through the course of so many ages. Now that which hath given occasion to this opini­on might be as I suppose either an illusion of Satan in regard of the beholders, or a strong melancholy imagination in the patients, or the education of men amongst Wolves from their very infancy. For that the Devil can at his pleasure transsubstantiare or transform one substance into another, I hold it no sound Divinity.
  • 9. That the Mandrakes represent the parts and shape of a Man: Yet the same Mathiolus [Page 93] in his Commentary upon Dioscoride [...]y affirms, [...] them, Radices parro M [...]ndragarae humanam assig [...] representare, ut vulgo oreditur, [...] [...] That the Roots of the Mandrake represent the shape of a Man, as it is commonly believed is fabuolous, calling them cheating knaves and [...] salvers that carry them about to be sold, there with to deceive barren Women.
  • 10. That the Pelican turneth her beak [...] against her brest, and therewith pierceth it [...]ll the blood gush out, wherewith she nourisheth her young: whereas a Pelican hath a beak bread and flat, much like the slice of, Apothecaries and Chirurgions, wherewith they spread their Plaisters, no way fit to pierce, as Laurentius, Gu­bertus, Counsellor and Physitian to Henry the Fourth of France, in his book of popular Er­rors hath observed.
  • 11. That Vipers in their Birth kill their Mo­ther of whom they are bred; Sealiger out of his own experience assures the contrary: Vi­per as, saith he, ab impatientibus morae faetibus Nu­merosimis, atque idcirco crump [...]ntibus rumpi at­que interire falsum est seimus, qui in Vincentu G [...] ­merini Lign [...]thec [...] videmus enatas viperillas par [...] ­te salva: That Vipers are re [...] and slain by that number of their young ones, impatient of [...] [Page 94] lay, and striving to get forth, we know to be false, who in a wooden box belonging to Vineontius Camerinus have seen the young ones newly brought forth, together with the old one, safe and sound. True it is that the Viper bringing sometimes twenty or more, and be­ing but delivered of one a day, the hindermost impatient of so long delay sometimes gnaws through the tunicle or shell of the Egge in which they are inclosed, and cometh forth with part of it upon them, which Aristotle affirming, thereupon it seems hath grown the mistake, that they gnaw through the belly of their Dam, which is undoubtedly false. The derivation then of the Word Vipera be­ing Quasi vi parism, is but a trick of wit, ground­ed upon an Erroneous suspicion: It being ra­ther (as I conceive) from vinum parient [...], there being no other kind of Se [...]pent that bringeth forth her young hatched out of an Egge, but only the Viper. For the Readers ampler and fuller satisfaction in such curiosities, I referr him to Doctor Browns Learned discourse of the Errors of the Vulgar.

For though I might give many more in­stances both in Philosophy and History, to shew that it is a thing neither new nor unjusti­fiable by the practice of Wisemen, to examine [Page 95] and impugne received Opinions, if they be found Erroneous; Nevertheless for the pre­sent, Let it suffice (that amongst many others throughout this Treatise) I have also remov­ed these few stumbling blocks out of the way. I shall next make good my promise according to the brevity of my former Method, to treat of the decay of the Powers of the minde in the Arts and Sciences, their helps and hindran­ces in matter of Learning, ballanced; as also that there is both in Wits and Arts, as in all things besides, a kind of a circular progress, as well in regard of places as tunes, that they have their rise and fall, increase and decrease, and so through the Divine assistance I shall set a period to this discourse.

Since it is a received conclusion of the choice­est, both Divines and Philosophers, that the reasonable Soul of Man is not converted in­to him by his Parents, but infused immediate­ly by the Creatour, and with all that the Souls of all men, at their first Creation and Infusion, are equal and perfect alike, endued with the fame Essence and abilities, it must needs be, that the inequality and disparity of actions, which they produce, arise from the diverle temper of the matter which they informe, and by which, as by an instrument they work. [Page 96] Now the matter being tempered by the dispo­sition of the bodies of our Parents, the influ­ences of the Heavens, the quality of the Ele­ments, Diet, Exercise, and the like, it remains, that as there is a variety and Vicissitude or these in regard of goodness, so is there like­wise in the temper of the matter, whereof we consist, and the actions which by it our Souls produce: yea, where both the Agents and the instruments are alike, yet by the diversity of education and Industry, their works are many times infinitely diversified.

The principal faculties of the Soul are Ima­gination, Judgment, and Memory. One of the most famous for Memory amongst the Ancients, was Seneca the Father, who re­ports of himself Proaemic, Lib. 1. Controver. That he could repeat a thousand names, or two hundred verses, brought to his Master by his School fellows backwards or forwards. But that which Muretus Lib. 3. Variar. Lection. reports of a young Man of Corsica, a Student in the Civil Law, whom himself saw, at Pae­dua, far exceeds it: he could, saith he recite Thirty thousand Names in the same order as they were delivered, without any stop or staggering, as readily as if he had read them out of a Book: his conclusion is Huic ego nec [Page 99] ex antiquitate quidam, quem opponam haebeo, nisi for­te Cyrum, quem Plinius, Quintilianus, & alii La­tini Scriptores tradiderunt tenuisse omnium militum nomixa: I find none among the Ancients, whom I may set against him, unless Cyrus perchance, whom Pliny, Quintillian, and other Latin Writers, report to have remembred the names of all his Souldiers, which yet Muretus himself doubts was mistaken of them. Zeno­phon, of whom only or principally they could learn it, affirming only that he remembred the names of his principal Captains, or chief Commanders. And AEneus Sylvius, in his History of the Council of Basil (at which himself was present) tells us of Lodovicus Pontanus of Spoleta, a Lawyer likewise by Profession, (who dyed of the Pestilence at the Council, at Thirty years of age) that he could recite not the Titles only, but the in­tire Bodies of the Laws, being for vastness and fastness of Memory, Nemini Antiquorum inferior, as he speaks, nothing inferiour to any of the Ancients. Famianus Straeda, in his first Book of Academical Prolusions, relates of Francis Suar [...]z, who had, saith he, so strong a Memory, that he had St. Augustine (the most copious and various of the Fathers) ready by heart, alledging every where (as occasion presented it self) fully and faithfully, his [Page 100] Sentences, and which is stranger, his very words; nay, if he demanded any thing touching any passage in any of his Volumes (which of them will make a great shew to­wards the filling of a Library) Statim quo lequo, quaque pagina disseruerit ea super re expedite docentem ac digito commonstrantem saepè videmus: I my self have often seen him instantly shewing and pointing with his Finger, to the place and Page in which he disputed of that Matter; this is, I confess, the Testimony of one Jesuit touching another, but of Dr. Rai­nolds, it is most certain, that he excelled this way, to the astonishment of all that were inwardly acquainted with him, not only for St. Augustines works, but also all Classick Au­thors: so that as in this respect it might tru­ly be said of him, which hath been apply­ed to some others, that he was a living Libra­ry, or a third University: for it hath been very credibly reported of him, that upon occa­sion of some writings which passed to and fro, betwixt him and Dr. Gentilis, then a professour in our Civil Laws, he publickly professed, that he thought Dr. Reynolds had read, and did remember more of those Laws then himself, though it were his Profession, in which he admirably excelled.

[Page 101] And for the excellency of the other facul­ties of the Mind, together with that of the Memory, it is a wonderful Testimony that Vines (a Man of eminent parts) in his Com­mentaries on the second Book, and 17. Cap. de Civit. Dei, gives Budaeus; Que viro, (saith he) Gaellia accutiore ingenio, acriore judicio, exactiore diligentia, majore cruditione nu [...]tum nunquam pro­duxit, haec vera etate nos Italia quidem; then which man, France never brought forth a sharper wit, or pierceing judgment, of more exact diligence, or greater Learning, nor in this age Italie it self: And then going on tells us, that there was nothing written in Greek or Latin, which he had not turned over, read and exmined; Greek and Latin were, both alike to him, yet was he in both most excellent, speaking either of them as readily, and perchance with more ease then the French, his Mother Tongue; he would read out a Greek Book in Latin, and out of the Latin Book into Greek. Those things which we see so exquisitely written by him, flowed from him ex tempore; he writ more skilfully both in Greek and Latin, then (as he affirms) the most skilfull in those Languages un­derstand. Nothing in those Tongues being so abstruce and difficult, which he had not ransacked, entred upon, looked into, and [Page 102] brought as it were another Cerberus from Darkness to Light. Infinite are the signifi­cations of Words, the Figures, and pro­prieties of speech, which unknown to for­mer Ages, by the only help of Budaeus, stu­dious men are now acquainted with. And these so great and admirable things, he without the direction of any Teacher, learn­ed meerly by his own industry; Faelix & faecundum ingenium, quod in se uno invenit & doctorem & discipulum, & docendi viam rationem­que, & [...]ujus decimam partem, alii sub magnis Magestris vix discunt, ipse id totum a se Magi­strum ed [...]ctus est: An happy and fruitful Wit, which in himself alone found both a Ma­ster and a Scholler, and a method of teach­ing; and the tenth part of that which others can hardly attain unto under famous Teach­ers, all that learned he of himself, being his own Reader. And yet (saith he) hither­to have I spoken nothing of his knowledg in the Laws, which being in a manner ruined, seem by him to have been restored; no­thing of his Philosophy, whereof he hath given us a tryal in his Book de Asse, that no man could compose them, but such a one as was assiduously versed in all the books of the Philosophers; and then having high­ly commended him for his piety, his sweet [Page 103] behaviour, and many other rare and singu­lar Vertuos added to his greatness, he farther adds, notwithstanding all this, that he was continually conversant in domestick and state Affairs at home, and Ambassages abroad; for it might truly be said of him, As Plixius Caecilus speaks of his Unde Secundur, when I consider his State Affairs, and the happy dis­patch of so many businesses. I wonder at the multiplicity of his Reading and Writing; and again, when I consider this, I wonder at that and so leave him wish that happy distick of Buckan [...].

Galliae quod Graeca est, quod Graeca barbara nonest,
Utraque Budaeo debet utrumque suc.
That France is turn'd to Greece, that Greece is not turnd rude,
Both o [...]e them both to thee, their dear great learned Bud [...].

And if we look over the Peryneeus, Meta­morus, in his Treatise of Universities and learned men of Spain, he spares not to write [Page 104] of Testatus Bishop of Abulum, si ali [...] quam su [...] seculo vivere c [...]ntig [...]sset, ne (que) Hipponi Augustinum, ni (que) Stvidoni Hieronymuns, nec quempiam ex illis pr [...]eribus Ecclesiae antiquis nunc inviacrimus: had he lived any other age save his own, we should not have needed now either to envy Hippo for Augustin, or Stridon for Hiorom, nor any other of those ancient Worthies of the Church: To which Possevin in his Appaeratus adds, that at the age of two and twenty years, he attained to the knowledge of almost all Arts and Sciences. For besides Philosophy and Divinity, the Canon and Civil Laws, History and the Mathematicks, he was skill'd in the Greek and Hebrew Tongues: so as that it was written of him,

Hic super est Mundi, qui scibile discutit om­ne.
The Worlds wonder for that he,
Knows whatsoever known may be.

He was so true a student, and so constant in fitting o [...] it, that with Didymus of Alex­andria, AEnea [...]uiss [...] intestina putar [...]ur, he was [Page 105] thought to have a body of Brass, and so much he wrote and published, that a part of the Epitaph ingraven on his Tomb was;

Pri [...]ae natalis Luci foliae omniae aedaeptans
Nondum sic faeerit paegina trina satis;

The meaning is, that of his published Writings, we shall allow three leaves to every day of his Life from his very Birth, there would be yet some to spare; and yet withal he wrot so exactly, that Ximenes his Schol­ler, attempting to contract his Commentaries upon Mathew could not well bring it into l ess then a thousand leaves in Folio, and that in a very small Print; and others have attempted the like in his other works with like success. But that which Paesquier hath observed out of Monaesteries Lib. 56. 38. Touching a Young Man, who being not above twenty years old, came to Paris in the year 1445, and shewed himself so admi­rably excellent in all Arts, Sciences, and Lan­guages, that if a man of an ordinary good wit and sound constitution should live one hundred years, and during that time (if it were possibly) study incessantly, without eat­ing, [Page 106] drinking, sleeping, or any other recrea­tion, he could hardly attain to that perfecti­on: insomuch that some were of opinion, that he was Antichrist begotten of the De­vil, or somewhat at least above human con­dition; which gave occasion to these verses of Castellanus, who lived at the same time, and himself saw this Miracle of Wit.

I'ay veu par excellence
Vn jeune de Uinge ans
Avoir toute Science & les degrees montans
Soyse vantant scaevoir dire
Cequ' onques faet escrit
Par seule fois le Lire
Comme jeune Antichrist.
A young Man have I seen
At twenty years so skill'd,
That every Art he had, and all
In all degrees excell'd.
What ever yet was writ
He vaunted to pronounce
Like a young Antichrist, if he
Did read the same but once.

[Page 107] Not to insit upon Supernaturals; were there among us that industry, and the union of forces, and contribution of helps, as was in the Ancients, I see no sufficient Rea­son but the Wits of this present Age might produce as great Effects as theirs did, nay greater, inasmuch as we have the Light of their Writings to guide and assist us: we have books by reason of the Art and My­stery of Printing more familiar, and at a cheaper rate: most men being now unwil­ling to give Three hundred pounds for three Books, as Plato did for those of Philolaus the Pithagorean. And by this means are we freed from a number of gross Errours, which by the ignorance or negligence of unskilfull Writers crept into the Text: yet on the other side it is as true that we are forced to spend much time in the learning of Lan­guages, especially the Latin, Greek, and He­brew, which the Ancients spent in the study of things, their learning being commonly written in their own Language. Besides the infinite and bitter controversies amongst Christians in matters of Religion since the Infancie thereof even to these present times, hath doubtless not a little hindered the pro­gress and advancement of other Scien­ces.

[Page 108] Likewise it cannot be denyed, but that the incouragements for the study of Learning were in former times greater. What libe­ral and bountiful allowance did Alexander afford Aristotle, Eight hundred Talents for the entertainment of Fishers, Faulkners and Hunters to bring him in Beasts, Fowls, Fi­shes of all kinds, and for the discovery of their several natures and dispositions: Nay, the daily wages of Roscius the Stage-player, as witnesseth Mucrobrius, in his Saturnal Lib. 3. Cap [...] 14. was a thousand Dexarii which amounteth to Thirty pounds of our Coyn. And AEsop the Tragaedian by the only exercise of the same Trade, if we may credit the same Author, that he left his Son above One hundred and fifty thousand pounds Sterling, whereunto may be added, that the Ancients copying out their Books, for the most part with their own hand, it could not but work in them a deeper im­pression of the matter therein contained, and being thereby forced to content them­selves with fewer Books, of nece [...]sity they held themselves more closely to them. And it is true what Seneca saith, as well in reading as eating, Varietas delectat, certitudo predest, Variety is delightful, but certainty more useful and profitable.

[Page 109] So that upon the matter, reckonings cast up on all sides, and one thing being set against another, as we want some helps which the Ancients had, so we are freed from some hindrances wherewith they were incumbred; as again it is most certain, that they wanted some of our helps, and were freed from some of our hindrances: if then we come short of their perfections, it is not because Nature is generally de­fective in us, but because we are wanting to our selves, and do not strive to make use of, and improve those abilities where­with God and Nature hath endowed us. Male de Natura censet quicu [...]que un [...] illa [...] aut altero partu effatum esse arbitratur, saith Vives; He thinks unworthily and irreve­rently of Nature who conceives her to be barren after one or two Births; No, no, that which the same Authour speaks of places, is likewise undoubtedly true of times, Ubiqu [...] bona nascuntur ingenia, exc [...] ­lantur mod [...], alibi fortassis frequ [...]ntiorae, sed ubi­que nonnulla. Every where and in all ages good Wits spring up, were they dressed and manured as they ought, though happily more frequently in some places and ages then others. Scythia it self anciently yielded one Anacharsis. And no doubt had [Page 110] they taken the same course as he did, more of the same Metal would have been found there.

There is (it seems) both in Wits and Arts, as in 'all things besides, a kind of circular progress: they have their Birth, their growth, their flourishing, their fall­ing, and fading, and within a while after their Resurrection, and reflourishing again. The Arts flourished for a long time a­mongst the Persians, the Caldeans, the AEgyp­itans, and therefore is Moses is said to be learned in all the wisdom of the AEgypti­ans, who well knowing their own strength, were bold to object to the Grecians, that they were still Children, as neither having the knowledge of Antiquity, nor the Anti­quity of Knowledge: But afterwards the Grecians got the start of them, and grew so excellent in all kind of Knowledge, that the rest of the World in regard of them, were reputed Barbarians, which reputation of wisdom they held even till the Apostles time. I am debter, saith St. Paul, Both to the Graecians and to the Barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise. Rom. 1. 14. And again, The Jews require a Signe, and the Graecians seek after Wisdom, 1 Cor. 1. 22. By reason [Page 111] whereof they relished not the simplicity of the Gospel, it seeming foolishness unto them: And n the seventeenth of the Acts the Philosophers of Atbens, (sometimes held the most famous University in the World) out of the opinion of their own great Learn­ing, scorned St. Paul and his Doctrine, terming him a sower of Words, a very Babler or trifler: yet not long after this, these very Graecians declined much, and themselves (whether through their own inclination, or the reason of their Bon­dage under the [...]urk, the common Ene­my both of Religion and Learning, I can­not determine) are now become so strang­ly Barbarous, that their Knowledge is converted into a kind of Ignorance, as is their Liberty into a contented Slavery: yet after the loss both of their Empire and Learning, they still retained some spark of their former Wit and Industry. As Juvenal hath it Sat. 7.

[Page 112]
Ingenium [...]elox; audacia perdita, ser­ [...]
Pr [...]mptus, & Isaeo terrent [...]or, ede quid illum
Esse putas quemvis hominem secum at­tulit ad nos
Grammaticus, Rhet [...]r, Geometres, Picter, Aliptes,
Angur, Schaenobates, Medicus, Magnus, [...]mnia novis
Graeculus [...]suriens in Caelum jusseris, ibit.
Quick witted, wondrous bold, well spoken, then
Isaeus Pluenter, who of all Men
Brought with himself, a Sooth­sayer, a Physitian,
Magician, Rhetorician, Geometri­cian,
Grammarian, Painter, Ropewalker, all knows
The needy Greek [...] bid goe to Hea­ven, he goes.

[Page 113] But now they wholly delight in ease, in shades, in dancing, in drinking, and for the most part, no further endeavour ei­ther the enriching of their minds or pur­ses then their bellies compel them.

The Lamp of Learning being thus neer extinguished in Greece,

In Latium spretis Accademia [...]i­grat Athenis.
Athens forsaken by Philoso­phy
She forthwith travell'd into Italy.

It began to shine afresh in Italy neer about the time of the Birth of Christ, there being a general peace thorow the World, and the Roman Empire fully setled and Established, Poets, Orators, Philosophers, and Historians, never more Excellent. From whence the Light spread it self over Chri­stendom, and continued bright till the In­undation [Page 114] of the Gothes, Hunns, and Vandals, who ransaked Libraries, and defaced al­most all the Monuments of Antiquity, in­somuch as that Lamp seemed again to be put out, for the space of almost a Thou­sand years, and had longer so continued, had not Mensor King of Africa and Spain raised up and spurred on the Arabian Wits to the restauration of good Letters by proposing great rewards and encouragements to them. And afterwards Petarch, a man of singular Wit and rare Natural Endowments, open­ed such Libraries as were left undemolish­ed, beat off the Dust from the Moth-eaten Books and drew into the Light the best Authors. He was seconded by B [...]cca [...]e, and J [...]h [...] of Ravenna, And soon after by Aretine, Philephus, Valla, Poggius, Onimbonus, Vergerius, Bl [...]ndus, and others. And those again were followed by AEneus Sylvius, Angelus Politi­anus, Hermola [...]s Barbarus, Marsilius Ficinus, and that Phoe [...]ix of Learning J. Picus Earl of Mirandula, who as appears in his entrance of his Apogie proposed openly at R [...] Nine hundred questions in all kind of Fa­culties to be disputed, inviting all strangers thither, from any part of the known World, and offering himself to bear the Charges of their Travel both coming [Page 115] and going, and during all their abode there: so as he deservedly received that Epitaph, which after his Death was bestow­ed on him.

Joannes hic jacet Miraudula, caetera [...] ­ [...]nt,
Et Tagus, & Ganges, forsan Antipo­des.
Here lies Mirandula, Tagus the rest doth know,
And Ganges, and perhaps the Anti­podes also.

And rightly might that be verified of him which Lucretius sometimes wrote of Epicurus his Master.

Hic genus humanum ingenis superavit, & omnes
Praestrinxit stellas exortus us aether [...] S [...]l.
In Wit all men he far hath over­grown,
Ecclipsing them like to the rising Sun.

This Path being thus beaten out by these Heroical Spirits, they were backed by Rodulphus Agricola, Reucline, Melanct [...]on, Joachi­mus Camerarius, Musculus, Beatus Rhenanus, Almains; the great Erasmus a Netherlan­der, Lodovicus Vives a Spaniard; Bembus, Sa­doletus, Eugubnius, Italians, Turnebus, Mu­retus, Ramus, Pithaeus, Budaeus, Amiot, Sca­liger, Frenchmen. Sr. Thomas More, and Li­ [...]aker, Englishmen; And it is worth the ob­serving, that about this time the slumber­ing drowzie Spirit of the Graecians began again to be revived and awakened in Bessae­rion, Gemistius, Trapenz [...]ntius, Gaza, Argyro­polus, Gal [...]ondilus; and others: nay, these very Northern Nations which before had given the greatest wound to Learning, began now by way of recompence to advance the ho­nour of it by the fame of their Studies, as Olaus Magnus, Holsterus, Tycho Brabe, Frixius, Crumerus, Polonians; But the number of those Worthies, who like so many sparkling [Page 117] Stars have since thorow Christendom suc­ceeded, and many of them exceeded these in Learning and Knowledge, [...] is so infinite, that the very recital of their names were enough to fill whole Volumes: And if we descend to a particular examination of the several Professions, Arts, Sciences, and Ma­nufactures, we shall sure find the Praedicti­on of the Divine Seneca accomplished, Na­tural. Quest. Lib. 7. Cap. 31. Mult [...] v [...]nientis aevi populus ignota n [...]bis sci [...]t. The People of future Ages; shall come to the knowledge of many things unknown to us; And that of Tacitus, is most true, Annal, Lib. 3. Cap. 12. Nec omnia apud prures meliores [...] pri­oria, sed nostra quoque ae [...] multa laudis, & artium imitanda posteris tulit: Neither were all things in ancient times better than ours, but our Age hath left ro Posterity ma­ny things worthy of Praise and Imitation. I shall conclude with what Ramus writes further, and perhaps warrantably enough in his Preface. Scholast. Mathemat. Ma­jorem doctorum hominum & operum proventum seculo uno vidimus, quam tot is antea 14. Ma­jores nostri viderunt. We have seen within the space of one Age, a more plentious Crop of learned Men and Works, then our­Predecessors saw in fourteen next going [Page 118] before us. But our prejudice is so great, against all things po [...]ited without the Sphere of our Knowledg; that all the advan­tage we can make of it, is, to condemn to the flame both Works and Authors. To acquaint Ignorance with the glory of the Heavens; the Magnitude, Distance, Motion and Influ­ence of the Stars, is to present our selves guilty of that folly, never to be pardoned, by that Multitude; amongst which, to appear wise, is a crime, so Capital, that a punish­ment, less, then what the good Bishop suffered, for holding Antipodes, cannot exp [...]ate, which was no less than Death it self. Judge then, what courage a man ought to be master of, that will expose his Judgment to Publick Censour. Cesar and Alexander had not more occasion to use it, then that man hath, which shall dare to oppose an Opinion, which hath Generallity and Antiquity for its guard, to tell them, (that the Eight Sphere is Sixty five millions two hundred eighty five thousand and five hundred of miles from us; and that the least Star in that Sphere is greater then the Globe we tread on,) and to maintain it a­mongst the rabble, is as dangerous, as to be a Daeniel in the Den, with the Lyons; to speak of the seven Planets, their Natures, with the Effects that attends, their Times, Squares, [Page 119] Conjunctions, and Oppositions to any [...] Ingenious, is madness it self, the Zodiack with its Duodessi [...] division of Signes, with their quaternal Triplicities, and the Suns progress through those Signes, with the alterations that it occasions, as to heat and coldness of the weather, the length and shortness of the days and nights, the flourish and decay of all the fruits of the Earth, astonishes Ignorance, but to the Learned, observation hath made the reason of it obvious to understand. The lan­guage of the Heavens, how excellent a thing it is, all that have Souls of the first Mag­nitude can witness. Augustus himself was so great a lover of this Science, that he cau­sed the Sign Capricorn (it being the Ascendant of his Nativity) to be Stamped upon his Coin, and advanced the same in his Standard.

Tiberius did so dote upon the knowledge of the Heavens, that he learnt the same of Thrasillus at Rodes; and indeed, the Wonders that hath been told, by those that have un­derstood the speech of the Coelestials, might justly encourage all to the same Study; for how could Gauricus have admonished Henry the Second, King of France, from Tilting in the one and fortieth year of his age, but that he read the danger of it in the Starrs; or the Bishop of Vienna assured Don Frederick, [Page 120] that he should be King of Naples, Twenty years before it happened. I could quote ma­ny more examples, of the like nature, if I thought it were to any purpose; but my dread is, that most of the Sons of Men, are so prepossest with an injury against all in­telligibleness, but that which tends to the fil­ [...]ing of their Coffers, that a truth may ex­pect the same welcome amongst them; that a true Saviour found amongst the false J [...]


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