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that he who stilleth the raging of the sea, and the noise of his waves, and the madness of his people, had provided a plank for me, I had been lost to all the opportunities of content or study. But I know not whether I have been more preserved by the courtesies of my friends, or the gentleness and mercies of noble
“ 'Oc ροι παρειχον ου την τυχουσαν φιλανθρωπιαν ημιν, αναψαντες γαρ πυραν προσελαβοντο παντας ήμας δια τον υετον τον εφεστωτα και δια το ψυχος. . And now since I have come ashore, I have been gathering a few sticks to warm me, a few books to entertain my thoughts, and divert them from the perpetual meditation of my private troubles, and the public dyscrasy; but those which I could obtain were so few and so impertinent, and unuseful to any great purposes, that I began to be
contributed very much, because former tempests had left me little occasion to be much concerned in the present agitation, or to fear much those which might come after.
“ There I found myself invited to husband that uncertain interval of unexpected rest, to meditate by what means I might possess every where, and in the very storm, the peace and contentment of my mind; and to try whether I could be so happy while
got peace for myself, to procure it unto others.
“ For that contemplation I made use of four books, the half wild country where I found myself affording but few
The first and chief was the Holy Scripture, the meditation whereof brings that peace which passeth all. understanding. My second book was the great volume of Nature. The third was the lessons of Divine Providence. The fourth that which every one carrieth along with himself, and that is man."
sad upon a new stock, and full of apprehension that I should live unprofitably, and die obscurely and be forgotten, and my bones thrown into some common charnel-house, without any name or note to distinguish me from those who only served their generation by filling the number of citizens, and who could pretend to no thanks or rewards from the public beyond “jus trium liberorum.” While I was troubled with these thoughts, and busy to find an opportunity of doing some good in my small proportion, still the cares of the public did so intervene, that it was as impossible to separate my design from relating to the present, as to exempt myself from the participation of the common calamity ; still half my thoughts was (in despite of all my diversions and arts of avocation) fixed upon and mingled with the present concernments ; so that besides them I could not go. In another part of his Polemical Discourses, he
We have not only felt the evils of an intestine war, but God hath smitten us in our spirit. But I delight not to observe the correspondencies of such sad accidents, which, as they may happen upon divers causes, or may be forced violently by the strength of fancy, or driven on by jealousy, and the too fond opinings of troubled hearts and afflicted spirits, so they do but help to vex the offending part, and relieve the afflicted, but with a fantastic and groundless comfort; I will therefore deny leave to my own affections to ease them
selves by complaining of others; I shall only crave leave that I may remember Jerusalem, and call to mind the pleasures of the temple, the order of her services, the beauty of her buildings, the sweetness of her songs, the decency of her ministrations, the assiduity and economy of her priests and Levites, the daily sacrifice, and that eternal fire of devotion that went not out by day nor by night; these were the pleasures of our peace; and there is a remanent felicity in the very memory of those spiritual delights which we then enjoyed as antepasts of heaven, and consignations to an immortality of joys. And it may be so again when it shall please God, who hath the hearts of all princes in his hand, and turneth them as the rivers of waters; and when men will consider the invaluable loss that is consequent, and the danger of sin that is appendant, to the destroying such forms of discipline and devotion in which God was purely worshipped, and the church was edified, and the people instructed to great degrees of piety, knowledge, and devotion. *
ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
In Orpheus's theatre all beasts and birds assembled, and, forgetting their several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably together, listening unto the airs and accords of the harp; the sound whereof no sooner ceased, or was drowned by some louder noise, but every beast returned to his own nature: wherein is aptly described the nature and condition of men, who are full of savage and unreclaimed desires of profit, of lust, of revenge; which as long as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, of sermons, of harangues, so long is society and peace maintained; but if these instruments be silent, or sedition and tumult make them not audible, all things dissolve into anarchy and confusion.
* Polemical Discourses.
We see it ever falleth out that the forbidden writing is always thought to be certain sparks of truth, that fly up into the faces of those that seek to choke it, and tread it out; whereas a book authorised is thought to be but "temporis voces," the language of the time. +
ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
He that goeth about to persuade a multitude that they are not so well governed as they ought to be, shall never want attentive and favourable hearers ; because they know the manifold defects whereunto every kind of regiment is subject. But the secret lets and difficulties, which in public pro
* Advancement of Learning, book i.
ceedings are innumerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily the judgment to consider. And because such as openly reprove supposed disorders of state, are taken for principal friends to the common benefit of all, and for men that carry singular freedom of mind ; under this fair and plausible colour, whatsoever they utter passeth for good and current. That which wanteth in the weight of their speech is supplied by the aptness of men's minds to accept and believe it. Whereas, on the other side, if we maintain things that are established, we have not only to strive with a number of heavy prejudices deeply rooted in the hearts of men, who think that herein we serve the time and speak in favour of the present state, because thereby we either hold or seek preferment: but also to bear such exceptions, as minds so averted before-hand usually take against that which they are loth should be poured into
The stateliness of houses, the goodliness of trees, when we behold them, delighteth the eye : but that foundation which beareth up the one, that root which ministereth unto the other nourishment and life, is in the bosom of the earth concealed : and if there be occasion at any time to search into it, such labour is then more necessary than pleasant, both to them which undertake it, and for the lookers on.
In like manner the use and benefit of good laws, all that live under them may enjoy
* Ecclesiastical Polity, book i. sect. l.