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liness commandeth love, and love maketh lovely. This, with all the rest aforementioned, are so plain, that to prove them is but to be tedious.
Sect. 28. Nature telleth us that we should deal justly with all, giving to every one his due, and doing to them as we would be done by.
Sect. 29. Particularly it telleth us that we must do nothing injuriously against the life, or health, or liberty of our neighbour, but do our best for their preservation and comfort.
Sect. 30. Man being so noble a creature, and his education so necessary to his welfare, and promiscuous, unregulated generation tending so manifestly to confusion, ill education, divisions and corruption of mankind; and unbridled exercise of lust, tending to the abasement of reason, and corruption of body and mind, Nature telleth us that carnal copulation should be very strictly regulated, and kept within the bounds of lawful marriage; and that the contract of marriage must be faithfully kept, and no one defile his neighbour's bed, nor wrong another's chastity, or their own, in thought, word, or deed.
This proposition, though boars understand it not, is proved in the annexed reasons. Nothing would tend more to household divisions and ill education, and the utter degenerating and undoing of mankind than ungoverned copulation. No one would know his own children, if lust were not bounded by strict and certain laws; and then none would love them, nor provide for them; nor would they have any certain ingenuous education. Women would become most contemptible and miserable, as soon as beauty faded and lust was satisfied; and so one half of mankind made calamitous, and unfitted to educate their own children, and ruin and depravation of nature could not be avoided. They that think their choicest plants and flowers fit for the enclosure of a garden, and careful culture, weeding and defence, should not think their children should be educated or planted in the wilderness. It is not unobservable that all flying fowls do know their mates, and live by couples, and use copulation with no other; and that the beasts, and more terrestrial fowl do copulate but only so oft as is necessary to generation: and shall man be worse than beasts?
Sect. 31. Nature bindeth us not to violate the propriety of our neighbour, in any thing that is his, by fraud, theft, or robbery, or any other means; but to preserve and promote his just commodity as our own.
Sect. 32. Government and justice being so necessary to the order and welfare of the world, nature teacheth us that bribery, fraud, false witnesses, and all means that pervert justice must be avoided, and equity promoted among all."
Sect. 33. The tongue of man being made to be the index of his mind, and human converse being maintained by human credibility and confidence, nature telleth us that lying is a crime, which is contrary to the nature and societies of mankind.
Sect. 34. And nature telleth us that it is unjust and criminal to slander or injuriously defame our neighbour, by railing, reviling, or malicious reports; and that we ought to be regardful of his honour as of our own.
Sect. 35. Nature telleth us that, both in obedience to God, the just Disposer of all, and for our own quietness, and our neighbour's peace, we should all be contented with our proper place, and due condition and estate, and not to envy the prosperity of our neighbour, nor covetously draw from him to enrich ourselves.
Because God's will and interest is above our own, and the public welfare to be preferred before any private person's; and therefore all are to live quietly and contentedly in their proper places, contributing to the common good.
Sect. 36. Nature teacheth us that it is our duty to love human nature in our enemies, and pity others in their infirmities and miseries, and to forgive all pardonable failings, and not to seek revenge, and right ourselves by our brother's ruin: but to be charitable to the poor and miserable, and do our best to succour them, and help them out of their distress. t
All these are our undeniable duties to God, and our neighbours.
Sect. 37. Nature also telleth us, that every man, as a rational lover of himself, should have a special care of his own felicity, and know wherein it doth consist, and use all prudent diligence to attain it, and make it sure.
Sect. 38. Nature telleth us, that it is the duty of all men to keep reason clear, and their wills conformable to its right apprehensions; and to keep up a constant government over
• Aristotle, Ethic.' 4., saith, "Every lie is evil, and to be avoided." The Roman laws against perjury, and false witness, and bribery, tell us what nature saith thereabout. Read, in Lamprid., how vehement Alexander Severus was against bribery; Fundamentum justitiæ est fides, id est, dictorum conventorumque constantia et veritas.-Cicer.
* De altero temere affirmare periculosum est, propter occultas hominum voluntates, multiplicesque naturas.-Cicer.
their thoughts, affections, passions, senses, appetite, words, and actions, conforming them to our Maker's laws. "
Sect. 39. Nature telleth us, that all our time should be spent to the ends of our creation, and all our mercies improved to those ends; and all things in the world be estimated by them, and used as means conducing to them.
Sect. 40. Nature commandeth us to keep our bodies in sobriety, temperance, and chastity; and not be inordinate or irregular in eating, drinking, lust, sleep, idleness, apparel, recreation, or any lower things.
Sect. 41. It commandeth us, also, watchfully and resolutely to avoid or resist all temptations, which would draw us to any of these sins.
Sect. 42. And it teacheth us patiently to bear our crosses, and improve our trials to our benefit, and see that they breed not any sinful distempers in our minds or lives.
Sect. 43. And nature telleth us, that this obedient pleasing of our Maker, and holy, righteous, charitable, and sober living should be our greatest pleasure and delight; and that we should thus spend our lives, even to the last; waiting patiently in peaceful, joyful hopes for the blessed end which our righteous Governor hath allotted for our reward. *
"A man that loved his belly, desiring to be admitted into Cato's family; Cato answered, "Non possum cum tali vivere, cujus palatum plus sapit quàm cerebrum."-Erasm. Nullus mihi per otium dies exit. Partem noctium studiis vendico, non vaco somno sed succumbo.-Sen. "What mean you to make your prison so strong?" said Plato, to one that pampered his body.-Ficin. in Vit. Plat. Vires corporis sunt vires carceris, inquit Petrarch. 1. 1. dial. 5. Cato, homo virtuti simillimus--qui nunquam rectè fecit ut facere videretur, sed quia aliter facere non poterat; cuique id solum visum est rationem habere; quod haberet justitiam.-Velleius Pater. 1. 2. Magna pars libertatis est, bene moratus venter.-Sen. Plato saith, "God is the temperate man's law, and pleasure the intemperate man's. Temperantia voluptatibus imperat; alias odit atque abigit; alias dispensat, et ad sanum modum dirigit, nec unquam ad illas propter ipsas venit.-Senec. Scit optimum esse modum cupidorum, non quantum velis, sed quantum debeas sumere.-Sen. Animis tenduntur insidiæ- —ab ea quæ penitus in omni sensu implicata insidit imitatrix boni, voluptas, malorum autem mater omnium; cujus blanditiis corrupti, quæ naturâ bona sunt, quia dulcedine hac et scabie carent, non cernimus satis.- Cic. de Leg. 1. p. 226. Ampliat ætatis spatium
sibi vir bonus: hoc est, vivere bis, vitâ posse priore frui.-Martial.
* As a summary of what the light of nature may teach man, see the Stoics Ethics, collected by Barlaam; (much of which may be found in Seneca, and is confessed and praised by Cicero, though he chide them for their new words and schism;) where you will see, that the Stoics were wiser and better meu than the Epicureans would have men believe. Oculos vigilia fatigatos, cadentesque, in opere detineo.-Malè mihi esse malo, quam molliter: si mollis es, paulatim effeminatur animus, atque in similitudinem otii sui et pigri
All this is evidently legible in nature, to any man that hath not lost his reason, or refuseth not considerately to use it. And he that will read but Antonine, Epictetus, and Plutarch, (who are so full of such precepts, that I refer you to the whole books, instead of particular citations,) may see, that he who will deny a life of piety, justice, and temperance to be the duty and rectitude of man, must renounce his reason and natural light, as well as supernatural revelation.
Sect. 44. Reason also teacheth us, that when the corruptions, sluggishness, or appetite of the flesh, resisteth or draweth back from any of this duty, or tempteth us to any sin, reason must rebuke it, and hold the reins, and keep its government, and not suffer the flesh to bear it down, and to prevail.
III. Of God's Relation to Man, as his Benefactor and his End, or as his Chief Good.
THE three essential principles in God do eminently give out themselves to man in his three divine relations to us,-his power, intellect, and will; his omnipotency, omniscience, and goodness; in his being our Owner, our Ruler, and our chief Good. The two first I have considered already; our omnipotent Lord or Owner, and our most wise Governor, and our counter-relations with the duties thereof. I now come to the third.
For the right understanding whereof, let us a little consider of the image of God in man, in which we must here see him. Y It is man's will, which is his ultimate, perfective, imperant faculty; it is the proper subject of moral habits, and principal agent of moral acts; and therefore in all laws and converse, the will is taken for the man, and nothing is further morally good or evil, virtuous or culpably vicious, than it is voluntary. The intellect is but the director of the will; its actions are not the perfect actions of the man; if it apprehend bare truth, tiæ, in quâ jacet, solvitur. Dormio minimum, et brevissimo somno utor: satis est mihi vigilare desiisse. Aliquando dormisse scio, aliquando suspico.—Sen. y Porò cœli generationis authorem summè bonum atque excellentissimum (asseruit Plato): ejus quippe quod sit in rebus conditis pulcherrimum, eum esse conditorem, quem intelligibilium omnium constet esse præstantissimum. Itaque, quoniam hujusmodi Deus est, cœlum vero præstantissimo illi simile est; quoniam pulcherrimum cernitur, nulli creaturæ erit similius, quàm Deo soli.-Laert. in Plat.
without respect to goodness, its object is not the highest, or felicitating, or attractive object, and therefore the act can be no higher if it apprehend any being or truth as good, it apprehendeth it but as a servant or guide to the will, to bring it thither to be received by love. The perfect excellency of the object of human acts is goodness, and not mere entity or verity. Therefore, the most excellent faculty is the will; it is good that is the final cause in the object of all human acts: therefore, it is the fruition of good which is the perfective, final act; and that fruition of good, as good, is, though introductorily by vision, yet finally and proximately by complacencies, which is nothing else but love in its most essential act, delighting in its attained object. And for the executive power, though, in the order of its natural being, it be before the will, yet in its operation, ad extra, it is after it, and commanded by it.
Accordingly, while we see God but in this glass, we must conceive that his principle of understanding and power, stand in the foresaid order as to his will: and his omnipotence and omniscience, to that eminently moral goodness, which is the perfection of his will. The natural goodness of his essence filling all.
Therefore, here note, that this attribute of God, his goodness doth make him our chief Good, in a twofold respect, both efficiently and finally. In some sort it is so with the other attributes his power is efficiently the spring of our being and actions; and, finally and objectively, it terminateth our submission and our trust. His wisdom is the principle of his laws, and also the object and end of our inquiries and understandings; but his goodness is the efficient of all our good in its perfection of causality, and that end of our souls, which is commonly called ultimate-ultimus. So that to submit to his power, and to be ruled by his wisdom, is, as I may say, initially our end. But to be pleasing to his good-will, and to be pleased in his good-. will; that is, to love him, and to be beloved by him, is the abso lute perfection and end of man.
Therefore, under this his attribute of goodness, God is to be spoken of, both as our Benefactor, and our End; which is to be indeed our Summum Bonum.
z Nihil est Deo similius at gratius, quàm vir, animo perfecto bonus, qui hominibus cæteris antecellit, quod ipse à diis immortalibus distat.-Luc.. Apul. de Deo Soer.