• The first treates of this pretended decay in generall, together with some prepa­ratiues thereunto.
  • The second of the pretended decay of the Heauens and Elements, together with that of the Elementary bodies, man only excepted.
  • The third of the pretended decay of mankinde in regard of age and duration, of strength and stature, of arts and wits.
  • The fourth of this pretended decay in matter of manners, together with a large proofe of the future consummation of the World from the testimony of the Gentiles, and the vses which we are to draw from the consideration thereof.

By G. H. D. D.

ECCLESTASTES 7. 10. Say not thou, what is the cause that the former dayes were better then these, for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

OXFORD, Printed by IOHN LICHFIELD and WILLIAM TVRNER, Printers to the famous Vniversity. Anno Dom. 1627.


WERE I destitute of all other argu­ments to demonstrate the providence of God in the preservation of the World, and to proue that it doth not vniver­sally and perpetually decline, this one mightfully suffice for all, that thou, my Venerable Mother, though thou waxe old in regard of yeares, yet in this latter age in regard of strength and beauty, waxest young againe. Within the compasse of this last Centenarie and lesse, thou hast brought forth such a number of worthie Sonnes for piety, for learning, for wisdome; and for buildings hast bin so inlarged and inriched, that he who shall compare thee with thy selfe, will easily finde, that though thou be truly accounted one of the most auncient Vni­versities in the World yet so farre art thou from withering and wrinkles, that thou art rather become fairer and fresher, and in thine issue no lesse happy then heretofore.

The three last Cardinals that this Nation had were thine, if that can adde any thing to thine honour. Those thine vn­naturall Sonnes, who of late dayes forsooke thee, & fledde to thine Enemies campe, Harding, Stapleton, Saunders, Raynolds, Martyn, Bristow, Campian, Parsons, euen in their fighting against thee, shewed the fruitfulnes of thy wombe, and the efficacie [Page] of that milke which they drew from thy breasts. What one Colledge euer yeelded at one time and from one Countrey three such Divines as Iewell, Raynolds, and Hooker, or two such great wits & Heroicall spirits as Sir Thomas Bodley, and Sir Henry Sauill. How renowned in forraine parts are thy Moore, thy Sidney, thy Cambden? what rare Lights in the Church were Humfreyes, Foxe, Bilson, Field, Abbot? What pillars those fiue sonnes of thine who at one time lately possessed the fiue prin­cipall Sees in the Kingdome? So as if I should in this point, touching the Worlds pretended decay be cast by the votes of o­thers, yet my hope is that by reflecting vpon thy selfe, I shall be cleared and acquitted by thine.

And in confidence heereof I haue to thy censu [...] submitted this ensuing Apologie, which perchaunce to the Vulgar may seeme somewhat strange, because their eares haue bin so long inured vnto, and consequently their fancies fore-stalled with the contrary opinion. But to thee I trust, who judgest not vpon report, but vpon tryall, neither art swayed by number and lowdnes of voyces, but by weight of argument, it will appeare not onely just and reasonable in that it vindicates the glory of the Creator, and a trueth as large and wide as the world it selfe, but profitable and vsefull for the raising vp of mens mindes to an endeavour of equalling, yea and surpassing their noble and worthy Predecessours in knowledge and ver­tue; it being certaine that the best Patternes which wee haue in them both, either extant at this present, or recorded in mo­numents of auncienter times, had neuer beene, had they con­ceiued that there was alwayes an inevitable declination as well in the Arts as matter of Manners, and that it was impossible to surmount those that went before them.

I doe not beleeue that all Regions of the World, or all ages in the same Region afford wits alwayes alike: but this I think, neither is it my opinion alone, but of Scaliger, Vives, Budaeus, Bodine, and other great Clearkes, that the witts of these lat­ter ages being manured by industry, directed by precepts, re­gulated by methode, tempered by dyet, refreshed by exercise, and incouraged by rewardes, may bee as capable of deepe speculations, and produce as masculine and lasting birthes, as [Page] any of the ancienter times haue done. But if we conceiue thē to be Gyants, & our selues Dwarfes, if we imagine all Sciences already to haue receiued their vtmost perfection, so as wee need not but translate and comment vpon that which they haue done, if we so admire and dote vpon Antiquitie as wee e­mulate and envy, nay scorne and trample vnder foot whatso­euer the present age affords, if wee spend our best time and thoughts in clyming to honour, in gathering of riches, in fol­lowing our pleasures, and in turning the edge of our wits one against another, surely there is little hope that wee shall euer come neare them, much lesse match them. The first step to in­able a man to the atchieuing of great designes is to be perswa­ded that by endeavour he is able to atchieue it, the next not to bee perswaded that whatsoeuer hath not yet beene done, cannot therefore be done. Not any one man, or nation, or age, but rather mankinde is it which in latitude of capacity an­sweres to the vniversality of things to be knowne. And truely had our Fathers thought so reverently of their predecessours, and withall of themselues so basely, that neither any thing of moment was left for them to be done, nor in case there had beene, were they qualified for the doing thereof; wee had wanted many helpes in learning, which by their travell wee now injoy. By meanes whereof I see not but wee might also advaunce, improue and inlarge our patrimony, as they left it inlarged to vs: And thereunto the Arts of Printing and Na­vigation, the frequency of goodly Libraries, and liberality of Benefactours, are such inducements & furtherances, that if wee excell not all ages that haue gone before vs, it is only because we are wanting to our selues.

And as our helpes are more & greater for knowledge & lear­ning, so likewise for goodnes & vertue, I meane, since the beames of Christian Religion displayed themselues to the World, which for the rooting out of vice & planting of vertue no Christian, I hope, will deny to be incomparably more effectuall then any other Religion that euer yet was heard of in the World: Or if others should chance to make a doubt of the certainty of this truth, yet cannot you who preach it, & publish it to others. Doubtlesse being rightly applyed without apish superstition [Page] on the one side, or peevish singularity on the other, it workes vpon the Conscience more forceably, & consequently hath a greater power of making men not outwardly & formally, but really & inwardly vertuous. And if we should look back into Histories, & compare time with time, we shall easily finde that where this Profession spred it selfe, men haue generally beene more accomplished in all kind of morall & civill vertues then before it took place.

It is true indeed that in processe of time, thorow the ambi­tion, covetousnes, luxury, idlenesse, & ignorance of them who should haue bin lights in the Church, it too much degenerated from its Originall purity, & therevpon manners (being formed by it) were generally tainted, this corruption like a leprosie diffusing it selfe from the head into all the body: But together with the reviving of the Arts & Languages, which for sundry ages lay buried in barbarisme, the rust of superstition was likewise in ma­ny places scowred off from Religion, which by degrees had crept vpon it, & fretted deepe into the face of it, and the Arts being thus refined, & Religion restored to its primitiue bright­nes, manners were likewise reformed euen among them, at least in part & in shew, who as yet admit not a full reformati­on in matter of Religion. A foule shame then it were for vs who professe a thorow reformation in matter of doctrine, to be thought to grow worse in matter of manners, GOD forbid it should be so, I hope it is not so, I am sure it should not be so: That grace of God which hath appeared more clearely to vs then to our fore-fathers, teaching vs to adorne our profession with a gracious and vertuous conversation, to deny vngodlinesse and worldly lusts, and to liue soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world: sober­ly in regard of our selues, righteously in regard of others, and godly in regard of religious exercises.

If then we come short of our Auncestors in knowledge, let vs not cast it vpon the deficiencie of our wits in regard of the Worlds decay, but vpon our own sloth; if we come short of them in vertue, let vs not impute it to the declination of the World, but to the malice and faintnesse of our owne wills; if we feele the scourges of God vpon our Land by mortality, famine, vnsea­sonable weather, or the like, let vs not teach the people that [Page] they are occasioned by the Worlds old age, and thereby call into question the prouidence, or power, or wisedome, or iustice, or goodnes of the Maker thereof; but by their and our sins, which is doubt­les both the truer & more profitable doctrine, & withall more consonant to the Sermons of Christ & his Apostles, & the Pro­phets of God in like cases. And withall let vs freely acknowledge that Almighty God hath bestowed many blessings vpon these latter ages, which to the former he denyed, as in sending vs vertuous and gracious Princes, and by them the maintenance of piety, & peace, & plenty, & the like. Lest thorow our ingra­titude he vvithdraw them from vs, and make vs know their worth by wanting them, which by injoying them wee vnder­stood not.

But I will not presume to advise where I should learne, only I will vnfainedly wish and heartily pray, that at leastwise your practise may still make good mine opinion, maintained in this Booke, & refute the contrary & common errour opposed therein, that you may still grow in knowledge and grace, and that your vertues may alwaies rise & increase together with your buildings. These latter without the former, be­ing but as a body without a soule.

Yours to doe you service to the vtmost of his poore abilitie

G. H.


TRuth it is, that this ensuing Treatise was long since in my younger yeares begunne by me for mine owne private exercise and satisfaction, but afterward considering not onely the rarity of the subject, and va­riety of the matter, but withall that it made for the redeeming of a captivated truth, the vindicating of Gods glory, the advancement of learning, & the honour of the Christian & re­formed Religion, by the advise and with the approbation and incouragement of such speciall friends, whose piety, learning, and wisedome I well know, and much reverence, I resolved (permissu superiorum and none other­wise) to make it publique for the publique good, and the encountring of a publique errour, which may in some sort be equalled, if not prefer­red before the quelling of some great monster. Neither doe I take it to lye out of my profession, the principall marke which I ayme at throughout the whole body of the Discourse, being an Apologeticall defence of the power & providence of God, his wisedome, his truth, his ju­stice, his goodnes & mercy, and besides, a great part of the booke it selfe is spent in pressing Theologicall reasons, in clearing doubts arising from thence, in producing frequent testimonies from Scriptures, Fathers, Schoolemen, and moderne Divines, in proving that Antichrist is al­ready come from the writings of the Romanists themselues, in confir­ming the article of our faith touching the Worlds future and totall consummation by fire, and a day of finall judgement from discourse of reason and the writings of the Gentiles, and lastly by concluding the whole worke with a pious meditation touching the vses which we may and should make of the consideration thereof, seruing for a terrour to some, for comfort to others, for admonition to all And how other men may stand affected in reading, I know not, sure I am that in writing, it often lifted vp my soule in admiring and praysing the infinite wise­dome and bounty of the Crator in maintaining and managing his owne worke, in the gouernment and preservation of the Vniverse, which in [Page] truth is nothing else but (as the Schooles speake) continuata productio, a continuated production: & often did it call to my mind those holy rap­tures of the Psalmist; O Lord our governour, how excellent is thy Name in all the world? Thou Lord hast made me glad through thy workes, & I will re­ioyce Psal. 8. 1. Psal. 92. 4. 5. 6. in giuing praise for the operations of thy hands, O Lord, how glorious are thy workes, & thy thoughts are very deepe. An vnwise man doth not well consider this, & a foole doth not well vnderstand it. And againe, The 111. 2. 3. workes of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that haue pleasure therein, His worke is worthy to be praised & had in honour, & his righteousnes endu­reth for euer.

And though whiles I haue laboured to free the world from old age, I feele it creeping vpon my selfe, yet if it shall so please the same great and gratious Lord, I intend by his assistance spating mee life & health hereafter to write Another Apologie of his power & providence in the go­vernment of his Church, which perchaunce by some may be thought both more proper for mee, and for these times more necessary, though he that shall narrowly obserue the prints of the Almighties footsteppes, traced throughout this ensuing discourse, may not vnjustly from thence collect, both comfort and assurance, that as the Heauens remaine vn­changeable, so doth the Church triumphant in Heauen, & as all things vnder the cope of heauen vary and change, so doth the militant heere on earth; it hath its times and turnes, sometimes flowing and againe eb­bing with the sea, sometimes waxing, and againe waning with the Moone, which great light, it seemes, the Almighty therefore set the low­est in the heavens, and nearest the Earth, that it might dayly put vs in minde of the constancy of the one, and inconstancy of the other, her selfe in some sort partaking of both, though in a different manner; of the one in her substance, of the other in her visage.

And if the Moone thus change, and all things vnder the Moone, why should we wonder at the chaunge of Monarchies and Kingdomes? much lesse petty states and private families: they rise, and fall, and rise again, and fall againe, that no man might either too confidently presume, be­cause they are subject to continuall alteration, or cast away all hope, and fall to despaire, because they haue their seasons and appointed times of returning againe.

Nemo confidat nimium secundis,
Nemo desperet meliora, lapsus:
Miscet haec illis, prohibetque Clotho
Stare fortunam.
Let him that stands take heed lest that he fall,
Let him that's falne hope he may rise againe;
The providence divine that mixeth all,
Chaines joy to griefe by turnes, & losse to gaine.

I must confesse that sometimes looking stedfastly vpon the present [Page] face of things both at home and abroad, I haue beene often put to a stand, and staggered in mine opinion, whither I were in the right or no; and perchaunce the state of my body, and present condition, in re­gard of those faire hopes I sometimes had, served as false perspectiue glasses to looke through, but when againe I abstracted and raised my thoughts to an higher pitch, and as from a vantage ground tooke a larger view, comparing time with time, and thing with thing, and place with place, and considered my selfe as a member of the Vniverse, and a Citizen of the World, I found that what was lost to one part, was gained to another; and what was lost in one time, was to the same part recouered in another; and so the ballance by the divine providence over-ruling all, kept vpright. But comon­ly it fares with men in this case, as with one who lookes onely vpon some libbet, or end of a peece of Arras, he happily conceiues an hand or head which he sees, to be very vnartificially made; but vnfolding the whole, soone findes that it carries a due and just proportion to the body; so, qui de pauca resp [...]cit, de facili pronuntiat (saith Aristotle) he that is so narrow eyed as he lockes onely to his owne person or family to his owne corporation or nation, or the age wherein himselfe liues, will peradventure quickly conceiue, and as some pronounce, that all things decay and goe backward, which makes men murmure and re­pine against Ged, vnder the names of Fortune and Destinie, whereas he that as a part of mankinde in generall, takes a view of the vniversall, compares person with person, family with family, corporation with corporation, nation with nation, age with age; suspends his judge­ment, and vpon examination clearely findes, that all things worke toge­ther Rom. 8. 28. for the best to them that loue God: and that though some members suffer, yet the whole is no way thereby indammaged at any time; and at other times those same members are againe relieued, as the Sunne when it sets to vs, it rises to our Antipodes, and when it remooues from the Northerne parts of the world, it cherishes the Southerne, yet stayes not there, but returnes againe with his comfortable beames to those very parts which for a time it seemed to haue forsaken: O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodnesse, and declare the wonders that he hath done for the children of men! or at leastwise cry out in admirati­on with the Apostle, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdome and know­ledge Rom. 11. 33. of our God, how vnsearchable are his pathes, and his wayes past finding out!

Yet the next way, in some measure to finde them out, (so farre as is possible for vs poore wormes heere crawling in a mist vpon the face of the Earth) is, next the sacred Oracles of supernatutall and revea­led Truth; to study the great Volume of the Creature, and the Histo­ries not onely of our owne, but of forraigne Countreyes, and those not onely of the present, but more auncient times. Enquire I pray thee of the former age, and prepare thy selfe to the search of their Fathers, for wee Iob. 8. 8 are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our dayes vpon earth are but a shadow. If then to make my party good, and to waite vpon Divini­ty, [Page] I haue called in subsidiary aydes, from Philosophers, Historiogra­phers, Mathematitians, Grammarians, Logicians, Poets, Oratours, Souldiers, Travellers, Lawyers, Physitians, and if I haue in imitation of Tertullian, Cyprian, Eusebius, Augustine, Lactantius, Arnobius, Minutius, en­deavoured to cut the throates of the Paynims with their owne swords, and pierced them with their owne quills, I hope no learned man, or louer of Learning will censure me for this. Philosophie and the Arts I must account a part of mine owne profession; and for Physicke and the Lawes, I haue therein consulted the chiefe, as well in this Vniver­sity, as out of it, of mine owne acquaintance; nay in History, the Ma­thematiques and Divinity it selfe, I haue not onely had the approbati­on of the publique professours therein; for the maine points in my booke, which concerne their severall professions, but some peeces I must acknowledge as receiued from them, which I haue made bold to insert into the body of my discourse; let no man think then that I main­taine a paradoxe for ostentation of wit, or haue written out of spleene, to gall any man in particular, nor yet to humour the present times; the times themselues, mine indisposition that way, and resolution to sit downe content with my present fortunes; if they serue not to giue o­thers satisfaction therein, yet doe they fully to cleare mee to my selfe, from any such aspersion: yet thus much, I hope, I safely may say without suspition of flattery, that by the goodnesse of GOD, and our gratious Soveraigne vnder GOD, wee yet enjoy many great bles­sings which former ages did not, and were wee thankfull for these as we ought, and truely penitent for our excesse in all kinde of mon­strous sinnes (which aboue all, threatens our ruine) I nothing doubt but vpon our returne to our God by humiliation and newnesse of life, he would soone dissolue the cloud which hangs ouer vs, and returne vnto vs with the comfortable beames of his favour, and make vs to re­turne each to other with mutuall imbracements of affection and due­ty, and our Armies and Fleetes to returne with spoyle and victory, and reduce againe as golden and happy times, as euer wee or our fore-fathers saw: but if we still goe on with an high hand, and a stiffe necke in our prophanesse, our pride, our luxury, our vncharitablenesse, our vnnaturall divisions in Church and Common-wealth, there needes no propheticall spirit to divine what will shortly become of vs; Turne vs; O turne vs againe O Lord God of hostes, shew the light of thy Countenance and wee shall bee whole; shew the light of thy Countenance and wee shall be provident in counsell, successefull in warre, sober in peace, a terrour to our enemies, and a comfort to our allies and confederates. Turne thee againe thou God of hostes, looke downe from heaven, behold & visite this vine and the place of the vineyard that thy right hand hath planted: and the branch that thon madest so strong for thy selfe.

We need goe no farther then the nation of the Iewes for a notable in­stance in this kinde; who at times more zealous then they in the wor­ship of God & the exercises of Religion? and who againe at other times more rebellious? It is said of them in the Psalme, then beleeued [Page] they his words; but presently it followes in the very next verse, they soone forgot his works: & according to their obedience or rebelliō, so were they either prosperous or vnfortunate in the course of their affaires; during their faith & fidelity towards God, every man of them was in warre as a thousand strong, & as much as a great Senate for counsel in peaceable deliberations; contrarywise, if they swerued (as often they did) their wonted courage and magnanimity forsooke them vtterly; their souldiers and military men trembled at the sight of the naked sword; when they entred into mutuall conference, and sate in counsell for their owne good; that which children might haue seene, their gravest Senatou [...]s could not discerne, their Prophets saw darkenesse in steed of visions, and the wise and prudent were as men bewitcht.

If then wee come short of that courage and valour, which made our Auncestours so renowned by sea and land, not onely in France, and Spaine, and the Netherlands, but in Palaestina it selfe; sure it is not, because the World declines, but because our luxury increases, the most evident symptome of a declining state; for as all Empires haue risen to their greatnesse by vertue, and specially by sobrietie and frugalitie; so is it cleare that by vice, and specially by luxury, which of necessity drawes on softnes and cowardise) they haue all againe declined and come to nothing; and out of their ashes haue others sprung vp, which likewise within a while (such a circulation there is in all things) haue bin turned into ashes againe.

As when the winde the angry Ocean moves,
Bartas in his Colonies.
Waue hunteth waue, and billow billow shoves:
So doe all Nations justle each the other,
And so one people doth pursue another,
And scarse a second hath the first vnhoused,
Before a third him thence againe hath rowsed.
—Sic Medus ademit
Claudian l. 3. in laud [...] S [...]ilicouis
Assyrio, Medo (que) tulit moderamina Perses,
Subjecit Persen Macedo, cessurus & ipse
Thus did the Medes root out th' Assyrian race,
The Persian quickly foyl'd the Medes, in place
Of him subdu'd, vp starts the Macedo,
Who eftsoones yeeldes vnto the Romane foe.

And lastly the Romanes themselues as by vertue and piety, in their su­perstitious way they wanne, and mightily inlarged their Empire, so being come to the top, they lost it againe by vice and irreligion: so true is that of the Comicall Poet.

Haec nisi vrbe aberunt, centuplex
Plau [...]ut i [...] Persa.
[Page] Murus rebus servandis parum est.
Vnlesse these vices banisht bee,
What euer forts you haue,
An hundred walls together put,
Will not haue power to saue.

With whom accords the Tragicall

—Vbi non est pudor,
Seneca in Thy­este.
Nec cura juris, sanctitas, pietas, fides,
Instabile regnum est.
Where is no modestie, nor equitie,
Nor sanctitie, nor pietie,
No nor fidelitie,
In such a Kingdome certainlie
There can be no stability.

Who so is wise then will ponder these things, and they shall vnderstand the loving kindnesse of the Lord.

Againe, for matter of learning and knowledge if we come short of the Ancients; we need not impute it to natures decay; our owne riot, our idlenesse and negligence in regard of them, will sufficiently dis­charge nature, and justly cast backe the blame vpon our selues. Falsa est enim atque inepta illa quorundam similitudo, quam multi tanquam acu­tissimam atque appositissimam excipiunt, nos ad priores collatos, esse vt na­nos L. Vives de [...]. corrupt. [...]. lib: 1. in humeris gigantum: non est ita, nec nos sumus nani, nec illi homi­nes gigantes, sed omnes ejusdem staturae, & quidem nos altius evecti eorum beneficio: maeneat modo in nobis, quod in illis, studium, attentio animi, vi­gilantia, & amor veri: quae si absint, jam non nani sumus, nec in gigan­tum humeris sedemus, sed homines iustae magnitudinis humi prostrati. For a false and fond similitude it is of some, which they take vp as a most witty and proper one, that wee being compared to the Ancients, are as Dwarfes vpon the shoulders of Giants: it is not so, neither are we Dwarfes, nor they Giants, but wee are all of one stature, saue that wee are lifted vp somewhat higher by their meanes, conditionally there be found in vs the same studiousnesse, watchfulnesse and loue of trueth, as was in thē: which if they be wanting, then are we not dwarfs, nor set on the shoulders of giants, but men of a cōpetent stature groue­ling on the earth.

We wonder (as well wee may) at Aristotles wit expressed in his vo­luminous workes, but his indefatigable paines in study, we consider not, holding in his hand when he layde him downe to rest, a ball of brasse, which as soone as sleepe overtooke him, fell into a basin of brasse, purposely set vnder, that so being awakened with the noyse thereof, he might againe returne to his booke▪ and though he were, as witnesseth Censorinus, of so crasie a body, (that it is more strange hee should liue to his Climactericall yeare, then that he then died) yet by the [Page] invincible strength of his minde, did he wade through a world of dif­ficulties, and hath thereby left such fruites thereof to the world, as hath deservedly wonne him immortall honour. Seneca a man of an admirable vivacity of spirit, writes of himselfe, that one day he heard Epist. 108. Attalus the Philosopher in his publique Lectures, commend a bedde which yeelded not to the body, and therevpon addes, tali vtor etiam se­nex, in qua vestigium apparere non possit; such a one doe I now vse, though well stricken in yeares, in which my body leaues no print behinde it: hee likewise by the perswasion of the same Attalus abstained from Oi­sters, from wine, from bathings, he fed sometimes vpon a crust of drye bread, sometimes vpon wilde fruit, taken from the hedge, and quenched his thirst with faire running water, and this hee did for loue of know­ledge, in a most luxurious age, liuing in the court it selfe, abounding in riches and honour, and hauing all kindes of pleasures at commaund. The like doth Plinius Caec [...]us in his Epistle to Marcus, write of his vncle Tutour to the Emperour Vespasian, as was Seneca to Nero: to his rare na­turall endowments, hee added incessant watchfulnesse, and labour in reading and writing, his diet was sparing and thinne, his sleepe short and little, in so much that his Nephew Caecilius freely confesseth of himselfe: soleo ridere cum me quidam studiosum vocant, qui, si comparer illi, sum desidiosissimus: I am wont to smile when they tearme me a hard stu­dent who being compared with him, am in truth a very truant. But to come neerer home, King Alfred thought to be founder or restorer of the Vniversity of Oxford is reported to haue cast the naturall day, consi­sting of 24 houres, into three parts; whereof the one he spent in affaires of state, a second in the service of his body, and the residue in prayer, study, and writing, which spaces of time, hauing then none other engine for that purpose, he measured by a great waxe light divided into so ma­ny parts, receiving notice by the keeper thereof, as the seuerall houres passed in burning.

Such examples as these of the Auncients wee admire, wee commend, wee willingly reade and recite, but follow the fashion of our owne times.

Laudamus veteres sed nostris vtimur annis.

The common complaint is, that we want time, but the trueth is, Non parum habemus temporis, sed multum perdimus, we doe not so much want Seneca. Idem. as waste it, either malè agendo, or nihil agendo, or aliud agendo, either in do­ing naughtines, or nothing, or impertinencies; we doe bonas horas malè collocare, trifle out our pretious houres in eating & drinking, & sleeping, and sporting, and gaming, and dressing our bodies, and then giue out & perswade our selues, that Nature forsooth is decayed, that our bodies cannot endure that study which our Predecessours did: and truely I thinke many justly complaine of weake and crasie bodies, but withall that more haue made them so, by intemperance then study, or found them so by nature; let vs then lay the fault where it is, and accuse our [Page] selues, not Nature, or rather God vnder that name. And yet what the bodies of men euen in these latter ages being throughly put to it, are able to endure, the extant workes of Tostatus, Erasmus, Gesner, Calvin, Luther, Baronius, Bellarmine, and others sufficiently testifie; it is to this effect a true speech of Arnoldus Clapmarus in his nobile trienni­um, incredibile est quantum brevissimo tempore humana possit assequi in­dustria, it is incredible what the industry of man in a very short time may attaine vnto. Master Foxe in his Latine Epistle to the Reader, prefixed before his Acts and Monuments, reports of himself, that having but a sickly body, in lesse then eighteene moneths space he read authours, conferred copies, searched records, gathered matters, dige­sted it into order, revised it, &c. for that great worke, and this to bee true, saith he, noverunt ij qui testes adfuerunt & temporis conscij, & laboris socij, they know full well who were present as witnesses, being both pri­vie to my time, and companions of my labo [...] ▪ And Ioseph Scaliger in the life of his father Iulius tels vs likewise of himselfe, that when he began first with the Greeke tongue in one & twenty dayes he learned over all Ho­mer with the comment, and within foure moneths (to vse his owne words) he devoured all the rest of the Greeke Poets They were doubtlesse great matters, which Peter Ramus went through in a short time, as appeares in his life; yet not so much by the quickenesse and strength of wit (though therein he excelled) as by his assiduity and temperance, which was such that he would drinke no wine, till by his Physitians he was injoyned so to doe; and from his youth to his dying day never vsed by his good will any other bedding then straw, and in his studies so watchfull hee was, that if he heard in the morning the smiths or carpenters, or other artisans at worke before he were stirring, hee would blame himselfe of negligence and sloathfulnes, that they should prevent him, and be more diligent in their mechanicall trades, then he in the studie of the liberall sciences: And (to adde one more) of our rare Iewell, Doctour Hum­phreyes testifies, that he was, & studiosorum calcar, et studiorum norma, et indefessae diligentiae singulare specimen, a spur to students, a rule of studies, and a singular president of vnwearied studiousnesse; and againe, victus nimis scholasticus et simplex fuit, corpus macilentum et perimbecillum, vt mi­reris tot laboribus exhauriendis potuisse sufficere: his diet was very sparing, and somewhat too scholer-like, his bodie thinne and very weake, so as a man might justly wonder, how it could indure and bring about such and so many labours.

And certaine it is (what ever our wits pretend to the contrarie) that never any became excellent in any profession, or was famous for any notable worke, who was not abstemious or industrious.

Multa tulit fecit (que) puer, sudavit et alsit.
Hee did both doe and suffer many things.
Both heate and cold: &c.

And I verily thinke did the students in our Vniversities, carefully and [Page] constantly obserue those houres for prayer (especially in the morning) which our wise and godly founders by their locall statutes require in our severall Colledges, we should soone by Gods blessing find a change both in manners and learning; and thereby stop the mouthes of such both at home and abroad, as cry out that wee haue lost our ancient re­putation, and that the Iesuites by the strictnes of their discipline haue gotten the start of vs, and wonne the spurres from vs. Antiquitùs stri­ctissime Pi [...]seus Relat. Hist. tom. 1 c. 9 de Acad. Oxon. fuit observatum vt exceptis graduatis, nemo animi, vel etiam negotij cujusquam sui causa è Collegio suo sine superioris perita et obtenta licentia, (so­cio etiam assignato) egredi posset; ingredi civium domos, prandium aut coenam apud eos sumere, non nisi maxima vrgente causa, & quasi ex speciali indulto, cuiquam licuit: popinas autem intrare, & in hospitijs publicis convivari, vel in aedibus alicujus civis pernoctare piaculum e­rat, nam in his si quis deliquisset, ex Academia nisi magna aliqua ratio subfuisset cum dedecore eijciebatur. I neede not English it, but wish it practised. And conclude this point with that of Quintilian, Orat. 2. 5. which cannot too often bee remembred; Non enim nos tarditatis natura damnavit, sed vltra nobis quod oportebat indulsimus, ita non tam ingenio nos illi superarunt, quam proposito. Nature hath not made vs more vncapable then our Auncestours, but we haue beene too indul­gent to our selues, by which meanes it comes to passe that they sur­mount vs not so much by the goodnes of wits, as studiousnesse and en­deavour.

Now for the worke it selfe I am well assured (as all other Bookes and actions) it will be diversly censu [...]d as men stand diversly affected: if but three guests meet at a feast, they will hardly accord in one dish; & truely I thinke that as mens fancies (could they be seene) would bee found to differ more then their faces; so are their judgments more dif­ferent then their tastes: but this common courtesie (due by the Lawes of civility and humanity) I shall craue (which I hope no ingenuous mind will deny mee) that I bee not condemned before I bee vnder­stood.

Ne mea dona tibi studio disposta fideli,
Lucret. lib. 1.
Intellecta prius quam sint, contemptarelinquas.
Doe not cast off with surly scorne
What heere I offer thee,
Before thou vnderstand aright
What heere is said by me.

Legant & postea despiciant, ne videantur non ex judicio, sed ex odij prae­sumptione Hieronymus ignorata damnare: first read, and then despise lest thou seeme to condemne that which thou knowest not, rather out of ma­litious prejudice, then advised judgment, and if vpon a serious peru­sall and ballancing of mine arguments any shall yet vary from mee, I quarrell him not, but hope wee may both injoy our opinions without [Page] any breach of faith or charity; onely I say that the question is surely noble, and worthy to be discussed by a more learned penne, as being a disquisition touching the shippe wherein wee all sayle whether it bee staunch or no, and heerein will be the tryall, Opinionum commen­ta dies delet, naturae iudicia confirmat; time weares out dreames of fancy, but strengthens the dictates of Nature and Trueth; as the Sunne beames being imp [...]isoned, as it were, for a time, worke tho­rough a thicke mist, though with some difficulty, but being once broken through, and the mist dispelled, they shine out and continue cleare.

I haue walked (I confesse) in an vntroden path, neither can I trace the prints of any footsteppes that haue gone before mee, but onely as it led them to some other way, thwarting, and vpon the by, not directly: some parts belonging to this discourse, some haue slightly handled, none throughly considered of the whole: which I speake not to derogate from their worth (it being puerilis jactantiae accusando Hieronymus. illustres viros suo nomini famam quaerere; a childish kinde of bragging to hunt after applause by contradicting famous men) but onely to shew that whiles they intended another thing, they might happily in this bee carried away with the common streame: for surely such a sweete harmony there is betweene all the members of this body, such a cohaerence and mutuall dependance betwixt all the linkes of this chaine, that hee who takes a view of the whole, will easily graunt that hee might bee deceiued by looking vpon some parts thereof.

Yet some perchaunce will conceiue, I might haue delivered my minde with lesse expence of w [...]des and time, and truely I must acknowledge that in multiloquio non deerit peccatum; it cannot bee but in speaking so much, somewhat should bee spoken amisse. Yet withall it must bee remembred, that being to grapple with such a Giantlike monster, I could not thinke him dead till I had his head off: and that which to some may seeme superfluous or im­pertinent, will happ [...]ly by others bee thought not vnprofitable or vnpleasant, the paines is mine, and if it bee over-done, done I am sure it is; if I haue sayde more then enough, enough is said to serue the turne.

And if any shall haue a minde to publish any thing against that I haue written, I shall desire it may bee done fairely, not by sucking of the soares, and flying over the sound parts, nor by nibbling vpon the twigges, and vtmost braunches, but by striking at the roote or body of the tree, or at leastwise some of the principall limbes thereof; and in the meane season, I say with Saint Augustine, Quisquis haec legit vbi pariter certus est, pergat mecum; vbi pariter haesitat quaerat mecum; Lib. 1. decri. c. 3 vbi errorem suum cognoscit, redeat ad me; vbi meum, revocet me: whosoeuer thou art that reads this discourse, where thou art assured go on with me, where thou art in doubt, search with me; where thou dost acknowledge thine errour, returne to me; where thou findest mine, recall me; and con­clude with Lactantius: Etiamsi nulli alij, nobis certè proderit, delectabit) se [Page] conscientia, gaudebitque mens in veritatis se luce versàri, quod est animae pabulum incredibili quâdam jucunditate perfusum: if this Treatise profite none else, yet shall it mee, my conscience shall comfort it selfe, and my minde bee refreshed in the light of Trueth, which is the foode of the soule, mixed with delight incredible.

Rode caper vites, tamen hic, cum stabis ad aras,
Jn tua quod fundi cornua possit, erit.


Pag. 5. lin. 13. read Psammeticus, p. 18. l. 16. r. thought. p. 26. l. 27. r. miror. p. 27. l. 3. r. words. p 31. l. 5. r. in antiquitie. p. 45. l. 13. r. almost halfe a pound. p. 62. l 40. r. are. p. 73. l. 17. r. commenteth. p. 80. l. 42. r. mentitus. p. 81. l. 17. r. be diminished. p. 84. l. 15. r aestate p. 90. l. 41. r. speakes p. 95. l. 2. r. about. p. 100. l. 34. r. religion. p. 101. l. 31. r. incommoda. p. 104. l. 5. r. Ex. ibid. l. 12. r. milke. p. 112. l. 10. r. drought. p. 118. l. 40. r. better. p. 124. l. 7. r. naturalis. p. 129. l. 27. r. Blancanus. p. 133. l. 37. r. Sylvine. p. 136. l. 19. r. better cheape. with. ibid. l. vlt. r. his. p. 144. l. 26. r. touching. p. 145 l. 4. r. reason. ibid. l. 26. r. mortall, that if hee sinned not, hee could not. p. 153. l. 4. r. Archepius. p, 163. l. vlt. r. nineteene. p. 1. 7. l. 42. r. namely. p. 176. l.. 10. r. the. ibid. l. 11. r, that. p. 191. l. 21. r. regum. p. 210. l. 12. r. Yol­land. p. 234. l. 41. r. Fuchsius. p. 241. l. 44. r. Polyaenus. p. 269. l. 24. r. innume­rabiles. p. 277. l. 37. r. [...]. p. 285. l. 8. r. lawmaker. p. 338. l. 10. in marg. r. c. 22. p. 385. l. 19. r. immundis. p. 403. l. 47. r. daughter. p. 413. l. 4. r. ple­nius. p. 415. l. 16. r. venturous. p. 418. l, penult. r. by the Romans. p. 419. l. 21: r: except: p: 443: l: 31: r: terras: ibid l: 39: r: nought: p: 448: l: 35: r: infinitely in their: p: 401: l: 29: r: of.

These are the greatest I haue met with, not doubting but some of consequence haue escaped me, and for those of lesser note I haue passed them ouer, desiring the reader if he will not take the paines to amend al, yet he would be pleased to set these foure or fiue right: p: 45: lin: 13: p: 104: l: 12: p: 136: l: 19: p: 145: l: 26: p: 163: l: vlt:


LIB. 1. Of this pretended decay in generall, together with some prepara­tiues herevnto.

CAP. 1. Of diverse other opinions, justly suspected, if not rejected, though commonly received.
  • Sect. 1 In Divinitie. pag. 1.
  • Sect 2 In Philosophie. p. 4.
  • Sect. 3 In Historie Ecclesiasticall. p. 5.
  • Sect. 4 In Historie Civill or Nationall. p. 7.
  • Sect. 5 In Naturall Historie. p. 8.
  • Sect. 6 With an application thereof to the present purpose. p. 11.
CAP. 2. Of the Reasons inducing the Authour to the writing and publish­ing of this discourse.
  • Sect. 1 Whereof the first is the redeeming of a captivated truth. pag. 12.
  • Sect. 2 The second is the vindicating of the Creators honour. p. 14.
  • Sect. 3 The third is, for that the contrary opinion quailes the hopes and blunts the edge of vertuous endeavours. p. 15.
  • Sect. 4 The fourth is, for that it makes men more carelesse, both in regard of their present fortunes, and in providing for posterity. p. 19.
  • Sect. 5 The fifth and last, is the weake grounds which the contrary opinion is founded vpon, as the fictions of Poets, the morosity of old men, the over­valuing of Antiquity, and disesteeming of the present times. p. 22.
CAP. 3. The Controversie touching the worlds decay stated, and the Me­thode held thorow this ensuing treatise proposed.
  • Sect. 1 Touching the pretended decay of the mixt bodies. pag. 27.
  • Sect. 2 Of the Elements in regard of their quantity and dimensions. p. 28.
  • Sect. 3 In regard of their qualities. p. 31.
  • Sect. 4 Of mankind in regard of Manners and the Arts. p. 32.
  • Sect. 5 In regard of the duration of their liues, their strength, and sta­ture. p. 35.
  • Sect. 6. The precedents of the Chapter summarily recollected, and the Me­thode observed in the ensuing Treatise proposed. p. 37.
CAP. 4. Touching the worlds decay in generall.
  • Sect. 1 The first generall Reason that it decayes not, is drawne from the pow­er of that Spirit that quickens and supports it; the second and third, from the consideration of the severall parts whereof it consists. pag. 38.
  • [Page] Sect. 2 The fourth, for that such a decay as is suppposed, would in time point out the very date of the worlds expiration, and consequently of the second comming of Christ. p. 42.
  • Sect. 3 The fifth, for that vpon the supposition of such a decay as is preten­ded, the vigor and strength of the parts thereof must of necessity long since haue bin vtterly exhausted and worne out. p. 44.
  • Sect. 4 The sixth argument is drawne from the Authority of Salomon, and his reason taken from the Circulation and running about of all things as it were in a ring. p. 45.
CAP. 5. Generall arguments made for the worlds decay, refuted.
  • Sect. 1 The first generall objection drawne from reason, answered, which is, that the Creature the neerer it approaches to the first mould, the more per­fect it is, and according to the degrees of its remoueall and distance from thence, it incurres the more imperfection and weakenesse p. 47.
  • Sect. 2 The second answered, which is, that the severall parts of the world decay, which should argue a lingering consumption in the whole. p. 50
  • Sect. 3 The third answered, which is taken from the authority of Saint Cy­prian. p. 50.
  • Sec. 4 The same authority of Saint Cyprian farther answered, by opposing against it the authority of Arnobius, supported with ponderous & pres­sing reasons. p. 55.
  • Sec. 5. The fourth answered, which is borrowed from the authority of Es­dras. p. 60.
  • Sec. 6 The rest answered, pretended to be taken frō authority of holy Scrip­tures. p. 62.

LIB. 2. Of the pretended decay in the Heavens and Elements, together with that of the Elementary bodies, man only excepted.

CAP. 1. Touching the pretended decay of the heavenly bodies in regard of their substance.
  • Sect. 1 Of their working vpon this inferiour world, and the dependance of it vpon them. pag. 64.
  • Sec. 2 Their pretended decay in their substance refuted by reason. p. 67.
  • Sec. 3 An objection drawne from Iob, answered. p. 69.
  • Sec. 4 Another taken from Psal. 102. answered. p. 71.
  • Sec. 5 A third taken from the apparition of New starres, answered. p. 74.
  • Sec. 6 The last drawen from the Eclypses of the Sunne and Moone, answe­red. p. 75.
CAP. 2 Touching the pretended decay of the heavenly bodies in regard of their motions.
  • Sec. 1 The first reason drawne from the causes of that Motion. p. 78.
  • Sec. 2 The second, from the certainety of demonstrations vpon the Celestiall Globe: The third, from a particular view of the proper motions of the [Page] Planets, which are observed to be the same at this day as in former ages, without any variation: The fourth, from the infallible and exact predi­ction of their Oppositions, Conjunctions, and Eclypses for many ages to come: The fifth from the testimony of sundry graue Authors, averring the perpetuall constancy & immutability of their motions. p. 80.
  • Sec. 3 The same truth farther proved from the testimony of Lactantius & Plutarch. p. 84.
  • Sec. 4 An objection of du Moulins, touching the motion of the polar star, answered. p. 85.
CAP. 3. Touching the pretended decay in the light of the heavenly bodies.
  • Sect. 1 The first reason taken from the nature of the heavenly light, & those things wherevnto it is resembled, p. 86.
  • Sec. 2 The second, for that it ha [...]h nothing contrary vnto it, and heere Pa­reus and Mollerus are censured for holding that the light of heaven [...] impaired. p. 87.
  • Sec. 3 Herevnto other Reasons are added, and the testimony of Eugubinus vouched. p. 88.
CAP. 4. Touching the pretended decay in the warmth of the heavenlie bodies.
  • Sect. 1 That the starres are not of a fierie nature or hot in themselues. p. 90.
  • Sec. 2 That the heate they breed springs from their light, and consequently their light being not decayed, neither is the warmth arising therefrō, p. 91.
  • Sec. 3 Two objections answered, the one drawne from the present habitable­nes of the torride Zone, the other from a supposed approach of the Sun neerer the earth [...]hen in former ages. p. 93.
  • Sec. 4 A third objection answered, taken from a supposed remoueall of the Sunne more Southerly from vs then in former ages. p. 94.
CAP. 5. Touching the pretended decay of the heavenly bodies in regard of their influences.
  • Sect. 1. Of the first kind of influence from the highest immoueable heaven, called by Divines, Coelum Empyreum. p. 97.
  • Sec. 2 Of th' second kind, derived from the Planets and fixed starres. p. 98.
  • Sec. 3 That the efficacy of these influences cannot be fully comprehended by vs. p. 99.
  • Sec. 4 That neither of them is decayed in their benigne and favourable ef­fects, but that curious inquisition into them is to be forborne. p. 100.
CAP. 6. Touching the pretended decay of the Elements in generall.
  • Sect. 1 That the Elements are still in number foure. p. 102.
  • Sec. 2 That the Elements still retaine the same properties that anciently they did, and by mutuall interchange and compensation the same bounds & dimentions. p. 106.
  • Sec. 3 An objection drawne from the continuall mixture of the Elements each with other, answered. p. 109.
CAP. 7. Touching the pretended decay of t [...] Aire in regard of the tem­per thereof.
  • [Page]Sect. 1 Of excessiue drouth and cold in former ages, and that in forraine Countryes. pag. 110.
  • Sect. 2 Of excessiue cold & raine in former ages heere a [...]tome, and of the common complaint of vnseasonable weather in all ages, together with the reason thereof. p. 112.
  • Sect. 3 Of contagious diseases, and specially the plague, both here at home [...] abroad, in former ages. p. 113.
  • Sect. 4 Of Earth-quakes in former ages, and their terrible effects, elegant­ly described by Seneca. p. 116.
  • Sect. 5 Of dreadfull burnings in the bowels of Aetna & Vesuvius, and the rising of a new Iland out of the Sea with hideous roring neere Putzol in Italy. p. 117.
  • Sect. 6. Of the nature of Comets and the vncertainety of predictions from them, as also that the number of those which haue appeared of late yeares is lesse then hath vsually beene observed in former ages, and of other fiery and watery meteors. p. 119.
  • Sect. 7 Of strange and impetuous windes and lightnings in former ages a­boue those of the present. p. 121.
CAP. 8. Touching the pretended decay of the waters & the fish the in­habiters thereof.
  • Sect. 1 That the Sea, & Rivers, and Bathes are the same at this present as they were for many ages past, or what they lose in one place and time, they recover in another, by the testimony of Strabo, Ovid, and Ponta­nus. p. 123.
  • Sect. 2 That fishes are not decayed in regard of their store, dimensions, or du­ration. p. 125.
CAP. 9. Touching the pretended decay of the earth, together with the plants, & beasts, & minerals.
  • Sect. 1 The divine meditation of Seneca and Pliny vpon the globe of the earth. An objection out of Aelian touching the decrease of mountaines, answered. That all [...]hings which spring from the earth returne thither a­gaine, and consequently it cannot decay in regard of the fruitfulnes in the whole: Other objections of lesse consequence, answered. p. 128.
  • Sect. 2 Another obiection touching the decay of the fruitfulnes of the holy Land, fully answered. p. 131,
  • Sect 3 The testimonies of Columella & Pliny produced that the earth in it selfe is as fruitfull as in former ages, if it be well made and manured: together with the reason why so good and so great store of wine, is not now made in this kingdome as formerly hath bin. p. 133.
  • Sect. 4 An argument drawne from the present state of husband-men, and another from the many and miserable dearths in former ages, together with an objection taken from the inhauncing of the prizes of victuals in latter times, answered. p. 136.
  • [Page] Sect. 5 That there is no decrease in the fruitfulnesse, the quantities, or ver­tues of plants and simp [...] ▪ nor in the store and goodnesse of mettals & mi­neralls, as neither in the bignesse or life of beasts, together with an obje­ction touching the Elephant mentioned in the first of Macchabes, answe­red. p. 139.
  • Sect. 6 A [...]ection taken from the Eclypses of the planets answered. p. 142.

LIB 3. Of the pretended decay of mankind in regard of age & duration, of strength and stature, of arts and wits.

CAP. 1. Touching the pretended decay of Men in regard of their age, and first by way of comparison betweene the ages of the Ancients, and those of latter times.
  • Sect. 1 Of the short life of man in regard of the duration of many other Creatures, and that he was created mortall, but had he not fallen, should haue beene preserved to immortalitie. pag. 144.
  • Sect. 2 Of the long liues of the Patriarches, and of the manner of compu­ting their yeares, and that Almighty God drew out the lines of their liues to that length for reasons proper to those first times. p. 145.
  • Sect. 3 That since Moses his time, the length of mans age is nothing aba­ted, as appeares by the testimony of Moses himselfe, and other graue Au­thours, compared with the experience of these times. p. 147.
  • Sect. 4 The same confirmed by the testimony of other ancient and learned writers. p. 149.
  • Sect. 5 That in all times and nations some haue beene found, who haue ex­ceeded that number of yeares which the wisest of the ancients accounted the vtmost period of mans life, and that often those of latter ages haue ex­ceeded the former in number of yeares, as is made to appeare aswell from sacred as prophane story. p. 150.
  • Sect. 6 The same assertion farther proved & inlarged by many instances both at home & abroad, specially in the Indyes. p. 153.
  • Sect. 7 That if our liues be shortned in regard of our Ancestours, we should rather lay the burden of the fault vpon our selues & our owne intempe­rance, then vpon a decay in nature. p. 156.
CAP. 2. Farther Reasons alleadged, that the age of man for these last thousand or two thousand of yeares, is little or nothing abated.
  • Sect. 1 The first reason taken from the severall stops & pawses of nature in the course of mans life, as the time of birth after our conception, our in­fancie, childhood, youth, mans estate, & old age, being assigned to the same compasse of yeares as they were by the Ancients; which could not possi­blely be, were there an vniversall decay in mankinde in regard of age; and the like reason there is in making the same Clymactericall yeares, & the same danger in them. p. 159.
  • Sect. 2 The second is drawne from the age of Matrim ony and generation, [Page] which among the Ancients was as forward as ours now is, if not more timely. p. 163.
  • Sect. 3 The third is borrowed from the age which the Ancients assigned for charge and imployment in publique affaires, Ecclesiasticall, Civill, & Militarie, they were therevnto both sooner admitted, & therefrom sooner discharged, then men now a dayes vsually are: which should in rea­son argue, that they likewise vsually finished the course of their life soo­ner. p. 167.
CAP. 3. Contayning a comparison betwixt the Gyants mentioned in Scripture, both among themselues and with those of latter ages.
  • Sect. 1 Of the admirable composition of mans bodie, & that it cannot bee sufficiently proved that Adam as he was the first, so he was likewise the tallest of men, which in reason should be, were there in truth any such per­petuall decrease in mans stature as is pretended. p. 171.
  • Sect. 2 What those Gyants were which are mentioned in the sixth of Gene­sis, and that succeeding ages vntill Davids time afforded the like. p. 173.
  • Sect. 3 That latter times haue also afforded the like, both at home & abroad, specially in the Indies where they liue more according to nature. p. 175.
CAP. 4. More pressing Reasons to proue, that for these last two or three thousand yeares, the stature of the Anciēts was little or nothing different from that of the present times.
  • Sect. 1 The first reason taken from the measures of the Ancients, which were proportioned to the parts of mans body, & in the view of them wee are first to know that they were standards, that is, for publique contracts certaine & constant, & consequently, if the graines of our barley corne, the first principle of measure, be the same with theirs, as hath already bin proued, it cannot be but our ordinary measures should be the same with theirs, & so likewise our statures. p. 177.
  • Sect. 2 That in particular the ordinary Hebrew, Grecian, & Roman measures were the same with ours or very little different. p. 179.
  • Sect. 3 The second reason taken from the ordinary allowance of dyet to souldiers & servants, which appeares to be of like quantity with vs, as was that among the ancient Grecians & Romās, together with a doubt touching Gods allowance to the Israelites, answered. p, 184.
  • Sect 4 Diverse other Reasons drawne from experience added, as from the bedsteeds, the seates, the doores, the pulpits, the altars of the ancients, and other doubtes cleared. p. 186.
  • Sect. 5 The same farther proved, first for that the son often proues taller then the father. Secondly, for that age and stature holding for the most part correspondence, it being already proved that the age of mankind is not decreased, from thence it followes, that neither is their stature. Third­ly, for that if mankind decreased in stature by the course of nature, so must of necessity all other Creatures, they being all alike subiect to the same law of nature. Fourthly, for that if men had still declined since the Creati­on, by this time they could haue beene no bigger then rats or mice, if they had at all bin. p. 188.
CAP. 5. Wherein the principall objections, drawne aswell from Reason as from authority and experience, are fully answered.
  • [Page]Sect. 1 Of sundry fabulous narrations of the bones of Gyant-like bodies, digged vp, or found in Caues. p. 190.
  • Sect. 2 Diverse reasons alleadged, why such bones might be found in for­mer ages, and not now, and yet the ordinary stature of mankind remaine the same. p. 193.
  • Sect. 3 An answere to the argument, drawne from the testimonies com­monly produced on behalfe of the adverse opinion. p 196.
  • Sect. 4 Of the wonderfull strength of diverse in latter ages, not inferiour to those of former times. p. 201.
  • Sect. 5 Two doubtes cleered; the first touching the strong physicke which the Ancients vsed; the second touching the great quantity of blood which they are sayd vsually to haue drawne at the opening of a vaine. p. 203.
  • Sect. 6 The third doubt cleered, touching the length of the duodenum, or first gut; as also of the severall opinions of Iacobus Capellus and Iohā ­nes Temporarius touching the decrease of humane strength and sta­ture. p. 206.
  • Sect. 7 Another rubbe removed, taken from the impuritie of the seed con­tracted by the succession of propagation, as also touching some late memo­rable examples of Parents, famously fertile in the linnage issuing from their bodies, beyond any examples in that kinde of former ages. p. 209.
CAP. 6. Contayning a discourse in generall, that there is no such Vniver­sall and perpetuall decay in the powers of the minde, or in the Arts and Sciences as is pretended.
  • Sect. 1 The excellency of the Ancients in the powers of the minde, compa­red with those of the present; as also their helpes and hinderances in mat­ter of learning, ballanced. p. 211.
  • Sect. 2 That there is both in Wits & Arts, as in all things besides a kind of circular progresse, aswell in regard of places as times. p. 216.
CAP. 7. Touching the three principall professions, Divinity, Law, and Physicke.
  • Sect. 1 The strange ignorance of the Ancients in many things in matters of divinity. p. 218.
  • Sect. 2 Of the palpable darkenes of some ages before this last, and specially of the ninth Centurie, as also Gods speciall blessing vpon these latter ages in reviving the Arts & languages. p. 224.
  • Sect. 3 The Lawyers of this last age preferred before those of former times. p. 226.
  • Sect. 4 Ancient and moderne Physitians compared, specially in the know­ledge of Anatomie and Herbarie, the two legs of that science. p. 230.
  • Sect. 5 Of the profitable vse of extractions, and the Paracelsian Physicke, either wholely vnknowne to the Ancients, or little practised by thē. p. 230.
CAP. 8. Touching Historie Poetry, and the Art Militarie.
  • [Page] Sect. 1 That the Moderns haue far exceeded the Ancients in Chronology and Cosmography, the two eyes of Historie. p. 232.
  • Sect. 2 The defect of the Ancients in naturall and Ecclesiasticall histo­rie justly corrected by the Modernes; and in civill History: the moderns are matched with the ancients: And of the knowledge of weights, and measures, andthe true valuation of coynes recovered and restored by lat­ter writers, which thorow the neglect of former ages had well nigh peri­shed. p. 234.
  • Sect. 3 A comparison betweene the Greeke & Latine, as also between the Ancienter and latter Latine Poets, and that Poetry, as other Arts hath fallen and risen againe in this latter age. p. 236.
  • Sect. 4 In Military matters the Romans excelled the Grecians, and haue themselues bin matched, if not surpassed in latter ages, in weapons, in for­tifications, in stratagems, but specially in sea-fights. p. 240.
CAP. 9. Touching Grammar, Rhetorique, Logicke, the Mathematiques, Philosophy, Architecture, the Arts of painting and Naviga­tion.
  • Sect. 1 Touching Grammar, Rhetorique, & Logicke. p. 243.
  • Sect. 2 Touching Astronomy and Geometry, as also the Physicks and Metaphysicks. pag. 244.
  • Sect. 3 Of the Arts of painting and Architecture revived in this latter age. p. 247.
  • Sect. 4 Of the Art of Navigation brought to perfection in this latter age. p. 250.
CAP. 10. Touching diverse Artificiall workes and vsefull inventions, at leastwise matchable with those of the Ancients, namely and chiefely, the invention of Printing, Gunnes, and the Sea-card or Marriners Compasse.
  • Sect. 1 Of some rare inventions & artificiall workes of this latter age, com­parable both for vse and skill to the best of the Ancients. p. 254.
  • Sect. 2 Of the benefits and the Inventor of the most vsefull art of Prin­ting. p. 256.
  • Sect. 3 Of the vse and invention of Gunnes. p. 260.
  • Sect. 4 Of the vse and invention of the Marriners compasse or Sea-card, as also of another excellent invention sayd to bee lately sound out vpon the Load-stone, together with a conclusion of this comparison touching Arts and wits, with a saying of Bodins, and another very notable one of La­ctantius. p. 363.

LIB 4. Of this pretended decay in matter of manners, together with a large proofe of the future consummation of the world, from the testimonies of the Gentiles, and the vses which wee are to draw from the consideration thereof.

CAP. 1. That there is no such vniversall and perpetuall decay in the man­ners [Page] of men as is pretended, which is first proved in generall, and then from Religion the ground of manners.
  • Sect. 1 That there is a vicissitude and revolution in vertues and in vices, as there is in Arts and Sciences. p. 270.
  • Sect. 2 The extreame folly of the Ancients in adoring and invocating i­mages. p. 273.
  • Sect. 3 Their grosse and ridiculous blockishnesse in the infinite multitude of their Gods. p. 276.
  • Sect. 4 The most shamefull & base condition of their Gods. p. 277.
  • Sect. 5 Their barbarous and most vnnaturall cruelty in sacrificing their children to their Gods. p. 279.
  • Sect. 6 Their monstrous beastlinesse in the worship of Priapus and Bere­cynthia, as also of their doting folly in their divinations; together with a touch vpon the childish fables of the Iewish Rabbins, the absurd opini­ons and horrible practices of ancient Heretiques in the primitiue Chri­stian Church, and the incredible ignorance & superstition of the Ro­mish. p. 282.
CAP. 2. Touching the Lawes of the ancient Graecians and Saxons, where­of some were wicked and impious others most absurd and ridicu­lous.
  • Sect. 1 The vnjust and absurd Lawes of Solon the Athenian Lawgi­ver. p. 285.
  • Sect. 2 The vnreasonable and irreligious Lawes of Lycurgus the Lace­daemonian Law-giver. p. 286.
  • Sect. 3 The impious and dishonest Lawes of Plato. p 288.
  • Sect. 4 The Vnnaturall and vnchast Lawes of Aristotle. p. 290.
  • Sect. 5 The barbarous and vncivill lawes of the Gaules and the Saxons our Predecessours. p. 292.
CAP. 3. Touching the insufficiencie of the precepts of the ancient Phi­losophers for the planting of vertue, or the rooting out of vice; as also of the common errour touching the golden age.
  • Sect. 1 Touching the insufficiency of the precepts of the ancient Philoso­phers, for the planting of vertue, and the rooting out of vice; as also of the manners of the Ancients observed by Caelius Secundus Curio out of Iuvenall and Tacitus. p. 294.
  • Sect. 2 Touching that idle tale of the golden age forged by the Poets, and taken vp by some Historians. p. 297.
CAP. 4. Of the excessiue cruelty of the Romans toward the Iewes, the Christians, other Nations, one another, and vpon them­selues.
  • Sect. 1 Of the Roman cruelty toward the Iewes. p. 301.
  • Sect. 2 Their cruelty toward the Christians, first in regard of the vnsati­able malice of their Persecutors. p. 302.
  • [Page] Sect. 3 Secondly, in regard of the incredible number of those that suffe­red. p. 304.
  • Sect. 4 Thirdly, in regard of the various and divelish meanes and instru­ments which they devised and practised for the execution or torture of the poore Christians. p. 305
  • Sect. 5 Of their extreame cruelty towards others, their very religion lea­ding them therevnto, as witnesseth Lactantius. p. 306.
  • Sect. 6 Of their cruelty one towards another by the testimony of Tacitus and Seneca, and first in their civillwarres. p. 309.
  • Sect. 7 Secōdly, of the cruelty of their Emperours towards their subjects, their Captaines towards their souldiers, their Masters towards their slaues, and generally of their whole Nation. p. 313.
  • Sect. 8 Thirdly, of their cruelty one towards another in their sword fights: In which first is considered the originall and increase of those games, as­well in regard of their frequencie, as both the number and quality of the Fighters. p. 316.
  • Sect. 9 Secondly, of the fervent and eager affection of the people to these games, as also that they were in vse in the Provinces, and namely among the Iewes, but refused by the Graecians, and why? p. 318.
  • Sect. 10 Thirdly, these bloody spectacles were cryed out against by the tongues and pens of Christians Divines, and then cryed downe by the lawes and power of Christian Emperours. p. 321.
  • Sect. 11 The Romans being thus cruell towards others, likewise turned the edge of their cruelty vpon themselues, partly by a voluntary exposing thē ­selues to present death in those publique shewes, either for money or vpon a bravery, or by laying violent hands vpon themselues, which by their gra­vest writers was held not only lawfull and commendable, but in some ca­ses honourable. p. 322.
CAP. 5. Of the excessiue covetousnesse of the Romans, and their vnsatia­ble thirst of having more, though by most vnjust and indirect meanes.
  • Sect. 1 Of the excessiue covetousnes of the Romans in generall by the te­stimonies of Petronius Arbiter, Iuvenal, Galgacus, & Hannibal, and in particular Caecilius Claudius, Marcus Crassus, & specially Se­neca the Philosopher are taxed for this vice. p. 325.
  • Sect. 2 Of their wonderfull greedinesse of gold, manifested by their great toyle and danger in working their mines, fully and liuely described by Pli­ny. p. 327.
  • Sect. 3 Their vnmercifull pilling and poling, robbing and spoyling the Pro­vinces, not sparing the very temples and things sacred. p. 328.
  • Sect. 4 Of the base and most vnconscionable practises of Tiberius and Caligula, nay even of Vespasian himselfe for the heaping vp of trea­sure. p. 330.
  • Sect. 5 That the whole nation was deeply infected with the same vice. p. 33 [...]
CAP. 6. Of the Roman luxurie in matter of incontinencie and drunken­nes.
  • [Page]Sect. 1 A touch vpon the Roman luxury in the sins of the flesh. p. 334.
  • Sect. 2 Of their excesse in drinking p. 336.
  • Sect. 3 The same amply confirmed by the testimony of Pliny. p. 338.
  • Sect. 4 In particular, this excesse of the Romans in drinking is confirmed by the practise of Anthony, specially at his being with Cleopatra, as also by the practise of Clodius sonne to Esope the Tragaedian in drink­ing of dissolved pearle. p. 341.
  • Sec. 5 Of excessiue drinkers among the Romans in regard of the quan­tity of the liquor, and how both their Princes and people were all general­ly tainted with this vice. p 344.
  • Sect. 6 Of the costlinesse and curious workemanshippe of the vessells out of which they dranke, which was likewise a meanes to drawe them on to ex­cessiue drinking. p. 345.
CAP. 7 Of the excessiue gluttony of the Romanes.
  • Sect. 1 Of their costly tables, their huge platters, the quality, order, & num­ber of their waiters, as also of their art & schooles of Carving p. 347.
  • Sect. 2 That after ages sometimes reformed the abuse of former times: Of the great number and chargeable hire of their Cookes: Of Apicius his wastfulnesse in belli-cheere, that such wastfulnes was common among them. p. 350.
  • Sect. 3 Of their long and often sitting and vsuall practise of vomiting euen among their women, as also of the number of their courses at a sitting, to­gether with the rarity and costlinesse of their severall services. p. 352.
  • Sec. 4 Of the sumptuous provision of two platters furnished out, the one by Vitellius, the other by Esope the Tragaedian, as also of the horrible ex­cesse of Caligula and Heliogabalus. p. 354.
  • Sec. 5 Of the excessiue luxury of more ancient times. p. 355.
  • Sec. 6 Of their wonderfull nicenes in the strangenesse, weight, and newnes of their fish [...]s, as also of diverse other their strange curiosities about them, and of the vastnes of their fish-ponds, & great store of fishes in thē. 358.
  • Sec. 7 Of their excessiue gluttoni [...] in fowle as well as in fish, together with their luxurious appurtenances to their solemne feasts, as also that their gluttony rose with their Empire, and againe fell with it. p. 361.
  • Sec. 8 That their riot did not onely shew it selfe in the delicious choyce of their fare, but in their voracitie & gurmandizing in regard of the quan­tity some of them devoured at a meale. p. 364.
CAP. 8 Of the Romans excessiue luxurie in building.
  • Sec. 1 Of their excesse in the great variety of their farre fetcht and deere bought marble. p. 365.
  • Sec. 2 Of their excessiue sumptuousnes in their temporary or trāseunt buil­dings, [Page] made only for pastime to last but for a short time. p. 366.
  • Sect. 3 Of their infinite expence in their permanent Amphitheaters, and the appurtenances belonging therevnto, namely their Courtaines & A­rena. p. 368.
  • Sect. 4 Of their incredible expence in the hiring, and arming, & dieting of their sword-players, in the hunting, bringing home, feeding & keeping of their wilde beasts in other admirable shewes to the astonishment of the beholders; in refreshing the Spectatours with pretious & pleasant perfumes and the like; and lastly, in casting their largesse among the people; nei­their was this the practise of the Emperours onely, but of private men. p. 370.
  • Sect. 5 Of their superfluous expence as in the number & largenesse, so like­wise in the beauty and ornament of Bathes, which were likewise of little o­ther vse then for pleasure. p. 372.
  • Sect. 6 Of the endlesse masses of treasure which they powred out in the e­recting and adorning of temples for the worship of those Idolls which they forged to themselues, or at leastwise knew well enough were no gods. p. 373
  • Sect. 7 Of their wonderfull vanitie in erecting infinite numbers of statues, and those very chargeable and that to themselues. p. 376.
  • Sec. 8 Their prodigall sumptuousnes in their private buildings in regard of the largenesse & height of their houses, as also in regard of their marble pillars, walls, roofes, beames, and pauement full, of art and cost. p. 377.
  • Sect. 9 The profuse expences of Domitian and Nero in their buildings, as also of Caligula in his madde workes. p. 381.
  • Sec. 10 That the Romans luxurious excesse in their houshold-stuffe and the ornamēts of their houses was sutable to that of their buildings p. 382
CAP. 9. Of the Romans excessiue luxurie in their dressing and apparell.
  • Sec. 1 How effeminate they were in regard of their bodies, specially about their haire. p. 385.
  • Sec. 2 Of the pressing, plaiting, store, die, and prize of their garments, as al­so of their rings and jewells of inestimable value. p. 386.
  • Sect. 3 The great excesse and immodesty of their women in the same kinde. p. 389.
  • Sec. 4 More of the excessiue nicenesse of their women, as also of Caligula his monstrous phantasticalnesse in his apparell, together with their ex­treame vanity in the multitude of their servants and slaues wayting on them. p. 391.
  • Sec. 5 Of their prodigall, or rather prodigious guifts of their Emperours, & the extreame vnthriftinesse of private men. p. 395.
CAP. 10. Of the Romanes extreame arrogancie and confidence in admi­ring and commending themselues, together with their grosse and base flattery specially to their Emperours; and lastly, their impudent, nay impious vaine-glory and boasting of their Nati­on and Cittie.
  • Sect. 1 Of their extreame arrogance in admiring and commending, and [...] ­ven deifying themselues. pag. 398
  • [Page] Sect. 2 Of their grosse and base flattery, specially toward their Emperours both living and dead. pag. 400.
  • Sect. 3 Of their impudent, nay impious vaine-glory and boasting of their owne Nation and Citty. p. 404.
CAP. 11. Wherein the objections brought in behalfe of the Romans tou­ching their pretended justice, prudence, and fortitude are ex­amined and fully answered.
  • Sect 1 The first objection touching the pretended justice of the Romans, an­swered out of Lactantius. p. 406.
  • Sec. 2 The same answere farther confirmed by the testimony of Saint Au­gustine. p. 410.
  • Sect. 3 Another answere, that none can bee truly just which are not truly religious, nor any truly religious which professe not the Christian Reli­gion. p. 412.
  • Sect. 4 The second objection touching the pretended wisedome of the Ro­mans, answered, by taking a briefe view of their courses, but specially by the testimony of Pliny. p. 413.
  • Sec. 5 The third objection touching the pretended fortitude of the Romans answered, in as much as their Empire is by their owne writers in great part ascribed to Fortune, and by Christians may be referred to Gods speciall providence for the effecting of his owne purposes rather then to a­ny extraordinary worth in them. p. 416.
  • Sec. 6 Secondly, the Romans having no right or little just to the Nations they subdued, we cannot rightly tearme their strength in conquering them fortditue. 418.
  • Sec. 7 Thirdly, that the Christians in suffering for Religion surpassed the Roman fortitude, and equalled it in suffering for their countrey. p. 420.
  • Sec. 8 That as the Christians haue surpassed the Romans in the passiue part of fortitude, so haue they matched them in the actiue; and that the partiall overvaluing of the Roman manhood by their owne Historians, is it chiefely which hath made the world to thinke it vnmatchable. p. 423.
  • Sect. 9 The English not inferiour to the Roman in valour and magnani­mitie by the judgement of Sir Walter Rawleigh. p 426.
CAP. 12. Wherein the generall objections touching the worlds decay in matter of Manners, are answered at large.
  • Sect. 1 Two objections drawne from reason, and both answered: The one, that since the first plantation of Christian Religion, men haue from time to time degenerated: The other, that the multitude of Lawes, & Lawyers, & Law-suites, and the multiplicity of words in writings and convaian­ces, argue the great sickenesse and malice of the present times in regard of the former. p. 431.
  • Sect. 2 Another objection answered, taken from the Scriptures, which in diverse places seem to say, that the last times shall be the worst. p. 433.
  • Sect. 3 The passages of Scripture alleadged to that purpose, particularly and distinctly answered. p. 436.
  • [Page] Sec. 4 The last doubt touching the cōming of Antichrist, answered. p 437
  • Sec. 5 The argument of greatest weight to proue that Antichrist is alrea­dy come. p. 438.
CAP. 13. That the world shall haue an end by Fire, and by it bee intirely consumed.
  • Sec. 1 That the world shall haue an end, is a point so cleere in Christian re­ligion, that it needeth not to be proved frō the principles thereof, neither is he worthy the name of a Christian who makes any doubt of it. p. 441.
  • Sect. 2 That the world shall haue an end by the testimony of the Gen­tiles. p. 442.
  • Sect. 3 That the world shall haue an end by fire, proved likewise by the testi­monie of the Gentiles. p. 444.
  • Sect. 4 That the world shall be by fire totally and finally dissolved and anni­hilated, proved by Scripture. p. 446.
  • Sect. 5 The same farther proved by reason. p. 447.
  • Sect. 6 The arguments commonly alleadged from the Scripture for the Re­novation of the world, answered. p. 450.
CAP. 14. Of the vses we are to make of the consummation of the world, & of the day of judgement.
  • Sec. 1 That the day of the worlds end shall likewise be the day of the gene­rall judgement thereof, and that then there shall bee such a judgement is proved aswell by reason as the testimony of the Gentiles. p. 454.
  • Sect. 2 The consideration of this day may first serue for terrour to the wic­ked, whether they regard the dreadfulnes of the day it selfe, or the quality of the Iudge, by whom they are to be tryed. p. 456.
  • Sect. 3 Or the nature and number of their accusers. p. 459.
  • Sect. 4 Or lastly, the dreadfulnes of the sentence which shall then be pro­nounced vpon them. p. 461.
  • Sect. 5 Secondly, the consideration of this day may serue for a speciall com­fort to the godly, whether they meditate vpon the name and nature of t'c day it selfe in regard of them, or the assurance of Gods loue and favour towards them, and the gracious promises made vnto them. p. 464.
  • Sect. 6 Or the quality & condition of the Iudge in respect of them by whom they are to be tryed, or lastly the sweetnes of the sentence which shall then be pronounced on their behalfe. p. 467.
  • Sect. 7 Thirdly, the consideration of this day may serue for admonition to all. p. 470.
  • Sect. 8 As likewise for instruction. p. 471

OF THE VALVE OF THE ROMAN SESTERCE, Compared with our English coyne now in vse.

BEcause in the fourth and last booke of this ensuing treatise in discovering of the Romane luxu­ [...]ie, frequent mention is made of their excessiue expences, and the ordinary computation of their Authors, whose testimonies I vse, is by Sesterces. I held it requisite for the better vnderstan­ding of those summes by such who are not acquainted with the Romane coynes, in this table to ex­presse the value of the Sesterce, and withall to reduce some of their most noted summes to our ster­ling that so the Reader desirous to know any particular summe, may either finde it expressed in this Table, or easily find it out by proportioning the summe he desires to know with the neerest vnto it either aboue or vnder.

The Sestertius was among the Romans a coyne so common, that nummus and Sestertius came at length to be vsed promiscuously the one for the other; so called it was quasi Semistertius, because of three asses it wanted halfe a one, and is thus commonly expressed [...]S, or thus HS, by which is vnder­stood two asses and an halfe. For the value os it, ten asses make a denarius or Roman pennie, so tearmed because it contained denaaera, which were the same with their asses; so as the Sesterce containing two asses and an halfe, must o [...] necessity be foun [...] in the denarius foure times; now the denarius being the eigh [...] part of an ounce, and an ounce of silver being now with vs valued at fiue shillings; it followes from thence that the value of the denarius is seaven pence halfepenny; & consequently of the Sesterce being the fourth part thereof, pennie halfe pennie farthing halfe farthing. Touching their manner of counting by Sesterces, a controversie there is betwixt Budaeus and Agricola, whether Sestertius in the masculine and Sestertium in the neuter be to bee valued alike, which Agricola affirmes, Budaeus, vpon better reason in my iudgement, denies, and to him I incline, holding with him that Sestertium in the neuter containes a thousand Sestertios: But heere two things are specially to be noted; first, that if the numerall, or word that denoteth the number being an adictin [...] and of a different ca [...]e, be joyned with Sestertiûm (by an abbreviatiō put for Sestertiorum) in the genitiue case plurall, then doth it note so ma­ny thousand Sesterty; for example, decem Sestertiûm signifieth decem millia tenne thousand Sesterces: Secondly, if the numerall joyned with Sestertiûm be an adverb, then it designeth so many hundred thousand, ex: gr [...]: decies Sestertiûm signifies decies contena millia, ten hundred thousand or a million of Sesterces; and sometimes the substantiue Sestertiûm is omitted but necessarily vnderstood; the ad­jectiue then or adverbe set alone being of the same value as if the substantiue were expressed, as thu [...], decem standing by it selfe is fully as much as decem Sestertium, & decies in like case, as if it were decies Sestertiûm, which I haue premised that the reason of my rendring the Latin summes might the better be conceived, now to the table.

SestercesAre worth In English monies.
A hundred0-15-7-0b.
Fiue hundred,3-18-1-0b.
A thousand,7-16-3-0.
Fiue thousand,39-1-3-0.
Ten thousand,78 2 6-0.
Twenty thousand,156-5-0-0
Fiftie thousand,390-12-6-0.
A hundred thousand,781-5-0-0.
Fiue hundred thousand,3906-5-0-0.
A Million,7812-10. 0-0
Fiue Millions,39062-10-0-0.
Ten Millions.78125-0-0-0.
Twenty Millions,156250-0-0-0.
Fiftie Millions,390625-0-0-0.
A hundred Millions,781250-0-0-0.
Two hundred Millions1562500-0-0-0.
Fiue hundred Millions,3906250-0-0-0.
A thousand Millions,7812500-0-0-0.

A Talent is 750 ounces of silver, which after fiue shillings the ounce, is 187 pounds.

Boethius Lib. 3. Metro. 9.

O Qui perpetua mund [...]m ratione gubernas,
Terrarum Coeli (que) Sator qui tempus ab aevo
Ire jubes: stabilisque manens das cuncta moveri;
Da Pater augustam menti conscendere sedem,
Da fontem lustrare boni, da luce reperta
In te conspicuos animae defigere visus.
Disijce terrenae nebulas & pondera molis,
Atque tuo splendore mica. Ta namque serenum,
Tu requies tranquilla pijs, Te cernere, finis,
Principium, vector, dux, semita, terminus, idem.
THou that madest heaven & earth, whose wisedome still doth guide
The world, by whose commaund time euermore doth slide:
Thou that vnmov'd thy selfe, causest all things to moue:
Graunt, Father, I may climbe these sacred seates aboue,
Graunt, I of good may view the spring, that finding light,
My minde perpetually on thee may fixe her sight.
Dispell these cloudes, discharge this loade of lumpish clay,
And spread thy beames: for thou to Saints the clearest day,
The calmest quiet art, and thee to comtemplate
Port, passage, leader, way, beginning is and date.

AN APOLOGIE OF THE POWER AND PROVIDENCE OF GOD IN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD: OR, An Examination and Censure of the common errour touching Natures perpetuall and vniversall decay.
LIB. I. Which treates of this pretended decay in generall, toge­ther with some preparatiues thereunto.

CAP. I. Of diuerse other opinions justly suspected, if not rejected, though commonly receiued.

SECT. I. In Divinitie.

THE opinion of the Worlds decay is so generally receiued, not onely among the Vulgar, but of the Learned both Diuines and others, that the very commonnes of it, makes it currant with many, without any further examination: That which is held, not onely by the multitude, but by the Learned, passing smoothly for the most part without any checke or controle. Nec alius pronior fidei lapsus, quàm ubi rei falsae gra­vis author extitit, saith Pliny, Men doe not any-where more easily erre, then where they follow a guide, whom they presume they may safely trust: They cannot quickly be perswa­ded, [Page 2] that he who is in reputation for knowledge and wisdome, and whose doctrine is admired in weighty matters, should mistake in points of laesser consequence; and the greatest part of the World, is rather led with the names of their Masters, and with the reverend respect they beare their persons or memories, then with the soundnesse and truth of the things they teach. Wherein that of Vadianus in his Epistle of Para­dice, is, and euer will be verified. Magnos errores magnorum virorum au­thoritate persuasi transmittimus: We deliuer ouer as it were by traditi­on from hand to hand, great errours being thereunto induced by the authority of great men. Whiles we are young, our judgment is raw and greene, and when we are old, it is forestalled, by which meanes it comes often to passe that inter iuvenile iudicium & senile preiudicium veritas cor­rumpitur; betweene the precipitancie & rashnes of youth to take what­soeuer is offered, and the obstinate stiffenes of age in refusing what it hath not formerly beene acquainted with, truth is lost. The evidencing of which assertion, is the proper subject of this Chapter, wherein I hope I shall make it appeare that many opinions are commonly receiued, both in ordinary speech, & in the writings of learned men, which not­withstanding are by others either manifestly convinced, or at leastwise justly suspected of falshood and errour, and this aswell in Divinity as in Philosophy and History.

First then in Divinity (not to meddle with doctrinall points in con­troversie 1 at this day) it is commonly receiued and beleeued, that Iu [...]as among the other Apostles receiued the blessed Sacrament at our Lords hands, of which notwithstanding, saith the learned Zanchius, Etsi multi In quartum praec [...]ptum. magni viri hoc docuerint & scripserint, ego tamen nullo modo concedo, aut con­cedere possum, quia apertè pugnat cum historia Iohannis Evangelistae: Though many great Clarks haue taught and written it, yet my selfe neither doe nor can by any meanes grant it, in asmuch as it plainely contradicts the History of Iohn the Evangelist. Cap. 13. 30.

That Melchizedek spoken of in the Epistle to the Hebrewes, was Sem 2 the sonne of Noah: Yet Pererius in his Commentarie on the 14 of Ge­nesis, endeauours to ouerthrow it by many weighty reasons drawne from the Text.

That our first Parents stood but one day in Paradice, of which opini­on 3 the same Author affirmes, Pervulgata est, eademque ut m [...]ltorum sic Comment. in Gen. cap. 3. imprimis nobilium & illustrium Authorum firmata consensu; it is com­monly receiued and strengthned by the consent of many worthy and famous Authors: yet labours he to disproue it, in as much as so many, and so different acts are by Moses recorded to haue passed betweene their Creation and Ejection, as could not well be dispatched within the compasse of one day. And Tostatus, though he were first of the com­mon opinion, yet afterward vpon better advice he changed it.

That the Prophecie of old Iacob, The Scepter shall not depart from Iudah 4 Gen. 49. 10. vntill Shiloh come., was fulfilled in Herods raigne at the birth of CHRIST by the continuance of the gouernment in the Tribe of Iudah till the raigne of Herod, reputed the first stranger that tooke vpon him the King­ly Exercit. 1. ad apparat. Annal. [...]. 2. office among the Iewes: but Causabon in his Exercitations prooues that [Page 3] neither the kingly government was continued in that Tribe, in as much as it was often interrupted, and at length ended in Zedechiah, nor that Herod was a stranger, in as much as himselfe, his father and his Grand­father were all circumcised, and yet he confesses of the cōmō opini­on, haec sententia ab insignibus pietate & doctrina viris profecta, vbi semel est admissa sine vlla controversia aut examine apud omnium aetatum eruditos prae­ter admodum paucos semper deinceps obtinuit; this opinion first set on foot by men of singular pietie and learning, and being once generally em­braced without any question or examination of it, afterward prevailed with the learned of all ages, some few onely excepted.

That Iephtah flew his daughter, and sacrificed her to the Lord, but Iunius in his annotations on that place thinkes he only consecrated 5 her by vowing her virginity, which may well stand with the nature Iud. 11. 38. Hebr. 11. 32. Deut. 12 31. of the originall word, and the contrarie cannot well stand either with Iephtahs faith or Gods acceptance.

That the Ark rested vpon the hils of Armenia; wheras Sir Walter 6 Rawleigh is cōfidēt that therin most writers were vtterly mistaken. Nei­ther History of the world▪ part. 1a. lib. [...]. cap. 70. was he led so to thinke (as he professeth) out of humour or singu­laritie, but therein groundeth himselfe vpon the originall, and first truth, which is the word of God, and after vpon reason and the most probable circūstances thervpon depending. And in truth, he that shall consider that the sonnes of Noah cōming out of the Arke, trauelled from the East into the land of Shinar (where they built the tower of Babell,) and that Armenia lies to the Northwest of that plaine, will ea­sily Gen. 11. [...]. conceiue that it could not well bee, that the Arke should rest vpon those hils; but the chiefe occasion of the mistake seemes to be in the vulgar translation, which hath rendred Armenia instead of Ararat.

That of the three sonnes of Noah, Sem, Cham and Iaphet, Sem was 7 the eldest, Cham the second, and Iaphet the yongest, whereas Iunius is of opinion that Iaphet was the eldest, grounding himselfe vpon the text, Genesis 10. 21. Cham the youngest, which he proues from Genesis 9. 24. and that Iaphet was the eldest is not his opinion alone, but of Lyranus, Tostatus, Genebrard and the Hebrew doctors.

That the fruit of the tree of knowledg of good and evill, was an 8 apple: wheras the text specifies no such matter; and it should seeme by the circumstances thereof, that it was rather som other kind of fruit Gen. 3. 6. more pleasant both to the tast and sight.

That the waters of the red sea were of colour red: whereas travel­lers 9 into those parts by sight find the contrary: it rather borrow­ing Vide Agathar­chidem de rub [...] mari. Dec. 2a. lib. 80. cap. 1. that name from the red bankes and clifts about it, as both Castro and Barros are of opinion; or from the Coasts of Idumaea by which it passeth, as Scaliger first observed and after him Fuller.

To these may be added that it is commonly belieued that Moses had hornes when he came downe from the mountaine, because they 10 read in the vulgar Latine, Ignorabat quòd cornuta esset facies sua: He Ex od. 34. 29. knew not that his face was horned; wheras the sense is, he knew not that his face shined, the same word in the Hebrew signifying both an horne and a shining beame

[Page 4] That our Saviour wore his haire long, because we read he was a 11 Nazarite; whereas the truth is, that he was a Nazarite, or rather a Naza­rene, as with Beza our last translatours read it, by education, not by pro­fession Math. 2. 23. and institution, in regard of the place in which he was nursed and conuersed, not any vow wherevnto he was bound.

And lastly that Absolon was hung by the haire of the head, whereas 12 the text sayes in plaine tearmes, his head caught hould of the oke: in 2 Sam. 18. 9. like manner (it seemes) as Henry Grand-child to the Conquerour is sayd to haue ended his dayes in the new forrest, Cambden in Hams [...].

SECTIO 2. In Philosophy.

SEcondly in Philosophy it is commonly receiued that the heart 1 is the seate and shopp of the principall faculties of the soule: nay divine scripture applying it selfe to the ordinary opinion therein, in many places attributes wisdome and vnderstanding to the heart: whereas that noble pare of Physitians Hippocrates and Galen haue made it evident by experimentall proofes, that those divine powers of reason­ing and discourse are seated in the braine, in as much as they are not hindered by the distemper of the heart, but of the braine, nor recouered being lost by medicaments applyed to the heart, but to the braine.

That the three principall faculties of the soule, the vnderstanding, the imagination and memorie are distinguished by three severall Cells 2 or Ventricles in the braine, the imaginatiō (as is cōceiued) being cōfined to the forepart, the memory to the hinder part, and judgment or vnder­standing to the middle part thereof; which opinion Laurentius confutes, and Fernelius derides, makeing them all to be dispersed thorow all the Hist. Anot. lib. 10. q. 2 [...]. receptacles of the braine, in as much as somtime when the whole braine is disaffected, the operation but of one of those faculties is hurt; and sometimes againe when but one ventricle is hurt, the operation of all the three faculties are hindred. Neither ought it to seeme more strange that the same ventricle in the braine should be capable of all these three functions, then that the same bone or sinew and every part and par­ticle thereof should haue in it (in regard of the nourishment it receiues, and the excrement it driues forth,) an attractiue, a retentiue, an assimula­tiue and an expulsiue vertue.

That one hād by nature is more vsefull and more properly made for action then the other: whereas we find no such difference betwixt the 3 two eyes, the two eares, the two nostrills; and if men were left to them­selues, as many I think if not more, would vse the left hand, as now by education and custome do the right: And in truth I am of opi­nion that God and nature haue giuen vs two hands, that we should vse both indifferently, that if neede required, the one might supply the losse or defect of the other. Such would Plato haue the Cittizens of his com­mon-wealth to be, and such do I take those seaven hundred Beniami­tes to haue beene mētioned in the 20th of Iudges & if either hād should in nature be preferred before other, mee thinkes in reason it should be that which is nearest the heart the fountaine of life and activitie.

[Page 5] That in nature there is an East and a West, which as to mee it seemes 4 cannot be, since that which to vs is East, is West to our Antipodes, and that which is East to them, is West to vs.

That the radicall moisture, and primogeniall heat naturally ingraf­ted 5 in vs wastes alwayes by degrees from the time of our conception, as oyle in a lampe or wax in a taper: whereas notwithstanding till wee come to the age of consistence,, we still grow in bulke, in strength and stature: which for mine owne part I cannot conceiue how it should bee: if from our infancie our naturall heat and moysture still decreased.

That a man hath a naturall speech of his owne as he is a man, (some thinke Hebrew) which language he would speake by nature if he were 6 not taught some other: but this is a dreame, and hath beene twise con­futed by a double experiment. The first was by Psamm [...]ticus a king of [...]. lib. 2. Aegypt, who desireing to vnderstād which was mans most ancient and naturall language, caused two children to be sequestred frō all societie of men, and to be nourished by two she goates, forbidding all speech vnto them: which children continuing for a long time dumb, at last vttered Bec Bec: the King being informed that in the Phrygian language Bec signified Bread, imagined that 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 na­turall speech of man. A weake proofe & seely conceit. For the childrēs Bec (as is probablely collected) was onely that lāguage which they lear­ned of their Goate-Nurces when they came to suck their tetts, who re­ceiueing from them some ease by their sucking, saluted them with Bec, the best language they had, from whome the children learned it, and so much as they heard, so much just they vttered, and no more: and if they had not heard it, they could never haue pronounced it, as we may evidently see in men that are borne deafe; and by another experi­ment tryed vpon other infants, (which is our second instance) by Me­labdim E [...]hebar, whom they call the Greate Magore or Mogul. He like­wise Purcas Pilgr. [...]. 1. cap. 8. vpon the forenamed errour, that man hath a certaine proper lan­guage by nature, caused thirtie children to be brought vp in dumbe si­lence, to finde out the experience, whether all of them would speake one and the same language, hauing inwardly a purpose to frame his religion conformable to that nation whose language should be spoken, as being that religion which is purely naturall vnto man. But the chil­dren proued all dumbe, though they were so many of them, and there­fore they could not speake, 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 posteritie onely by Imitation.

SECT. 3ia. In history Ecclesiasticall.

THirdly in History, which is Ecclesiasticall, Civill or naturall. In Histo­ry Ecclesiasticall it is commonly receiued that Symon Peter encoun­tred 1 with Symon Magus, and that the Magitian vndertaking to fly vp [Page 6] the ayre, the Apostle so wrought by prayer and fasting that he came tumbling downe and brake his neck: but of this story sayth St. Au­gustine, Est quidem & haec opinio plurimorum, quamvis eam perhibeant esse fal­sam plerique Romani: many are of this opinion, yet most of the Roman Epist. 86. Casu­lano. writers hould it but as a tale. And in another place he calls it Graecam fabulam, an invention of the Graecians who were so fruitful in these kind of fables, that Pliny himselfe could say of them, mirum est quo procedat Graeca credulitas, nullum tam impudens mendacium est vt teste careat; it is a Hist. Natu. lib. 8. 22. wonder to see whither the credulity of the Greekes carry them, there being no lye so shamefull, but it findes a patron among them: Nay, the very Latin Poet tooke notice of their immoderate libertie this way.

—Et quicquid Graecia mendax
Audet in historia.
Iuven. Sat. 10.
What dares not lying Greece
Insert in histories.

That the Sybils clearely foretold many things touching the name, 2 the forerunner, the birth and death of Christ, the comming of Antichrist, the overthrow of Rome, & the cōsūmatiō of the world, which notwith­standing, Exer. 1 [...]. ad ap. annal. cap. 10. Ephes. 3. 9. Colos [...]. 1. 26. Rom. 16. 25. (as Causabon hath learnedly obserued) seemes 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; specially since they write more plainely and particularly of those matters, then the Prophets of God themselues among the Iewes; and the greatest Clarkes among the Gentiles Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus, and others, curious sear­chers into all kinds of learning, never so much as once mention ei­ther their names or their writings, nor any of these mysteries. While the Church of Christ was yet in her infancie many such kind of bookes were forged therby to make the doctrine of the Gospell more passible among the Gentiles; and no marvell then that these of the Sybils passed for current among the rest.

That Saint George was a holy Martyr, and that he conquered the 3 dragon; whereas Dr. Reynolds proues him to haue beene both a wicked De Eccl. Rom. Idol. l. 10. cap. 50. man and an Arrian by the testimonie of Epiphanius, Athanasius and Gre­gory Nazianzen. And Baronius himselfe in plaine tearmes affirmes, ap­paret totam illam de actis Georgij fabulam fuisse commentum Arrianorum, It appeares that the whole story of George is nothing else but a forgery of the Arrians; yet was he receiued (as we know) as a Canonized Saint through Christendome, & to be the Patron both of our nation and of the most honorable order of Knighthood in the world.

That the wise men which came out of the East to worship our Savi­our, were Kings and from hence (their bodies being translated to Cul­len,) 4 they are at this day commonly called the three Kings of Cullen, and the day consecrated to their memory is by the French tearmed Le jour de trois Rois, the day of the three Kings. yet Mantuan a Munke feares not to declare his opinion to the contrary, and giues his reason for it.

Nec reges vt opinor erant, neque enim tacuissent
[Page 7] Historiae sacrae Authores Genus illud honoris,
Inter mortales quo non sublimius ullum,
Adde quod Herodes ut magnificentia Regum
Postulat, hospitibus tantis regale dedisset
Hospitium, secumque lares duxisset in amplos.
Had they beene Kings nor holy History,
Would haue conceal'd their so great Majesty,
Higher then which on Earth none can be named;
Herods magnificence would eke haue framed
Some entertainment fitting their estates,
And harbour'd them within his Royall gates.

SECT. 4. In History Ciuill.

IN History Ciuill or Nationall, it is commonly receiued, that there were foure, and but foure Monarchies succeeding one the other; the 1 Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman; Yet Iohn Bodin a man of singular learning, specially in matter of History, dares thus to begin the seuenth Chapter of his Method. Inveteratus error de quatuor Impe­rijs, ac magnorum Virorum opinione pervulgatus tam altè radices egit, ut vix evelli posse videatur; that inveterate errour of foure Empires made fa­mous thorow the opinion of great men, hath now taken such deepe roots, as it seemes it can hardly be pluckt vp; & thorow a great part of that Chapter labours he the Confutation of those who maintaine that opinion.

That the Saxons called the Remainder of the Brittaines, Welch, as be­ing 2 strangers vnto them: whereas that word signifies not a strangers ei­ther in the high or low Dutch, as Verstigan a man skilfull in those Lan­guages Cap. 5. hath obserued; & that the Saxons gaue them the name of Welch, after themselues came into Brittaine, is altogether vnlikely. For that in­habiting so neere them as they did, to wit, but ouer 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 seemes then more likely that the Brittaines being originally descended from the Gaules, the Saxons according to their manner of speech, by turning the G into W, insteed of Gallish termed them Wallish, and by abbreviation Walch or Welch, as the French at this day call the Prince of Wales, Prince de Galles.

That Brute a Troian by Nation, and great grand-childe to Aeneas, ar­riued in this Iland, gaue it the name of Brittaine from himselfe, here 3 raigned, and left the gouernment thereof diuided among his three sonnes, England to Loegrius, Scotland to Albanak, and Wales to Camber: Yet our great Antiquary beating (as he professeth) his braines and ben­ding Cambden: Bri­tan▪ de primis Incolis. the force of his wits to maintaine that opinion, hee found no war­rantable ground for it. Nay by forcible arguments (produced as in the person of others disputing against himselfe) he strongly proues it (in my judgment) altogether vnsound and vnwarrantable, Boccace, Vives, Adry­anus Iunius, Polydorus, Buchanan, Vignier, Genebrard, Molinaeus, Bodine, and other. Writers of great account, are all of opinion, there was no such [Page 8] man as this supposed Brute: And among our owne ancient Chronicles, Iohn of Wethamsted, Abbot of S. Albon holdeth the whole narration of In granario. A [...]o 1440. Brute to haue beene rather Poëticall, then Historicall, which me thinkes is agreable to reason, since Caesar, Tacitus, Gildas, Ninius, Bede, William of Malmesbery; and as many others as haue written any thing touching our Countrey before the yeare 1160, make no mention at all of him, nor seeme euer so much as to haue heard of him. The first that euer broached it was Geffry of Monmoth about foure hundred yeares agoe, during the raigne of Henry the second, who publishing the Brittish story in Latine, pretended to haue taken it out of ancient monuments written in the Brittish tongue: but this Booke assoone as it peeped forth into the light, was sharply censured both by Giraldus Cambrensis, and William of Newberry who liued at the same time; the former tearming it no better then Fabulosam historiam, a fabulous history, and the latter, ridicula fig­menta, ridiculous fictions, and it now stands branded with a blacke cole among the bookes prohibited by the Church of Rome.

That the Pigmies are a Nation of people not aboue two or three foot 4 high, and that they solemnely set themselues in battle array to fight a­gainst the Cranes their greatest enemies: of these notwithstanding wit­nesseth Cassanion, Fabulosa illa omnia sunt quae de illis vel Poetae, vel alij Scrip­tores De Gygantibus Cap. ultimo. tradiderunt: all those things are fabulous, which touching them either the Poëts or other writers haue deliuered. And with him fully accordeth Cardan in his eight Booke De rerum varietate: Apparet ergò Cap. 4. Pigmeiorum historiam esse fabulosam, quod & Strabo sentit, & nostra aetas, cùm omnia nunc firmè orbis mirabilia innotuerint, declarat. It appeares then that the Historie of the Pigmies is but a fiction, as both Strabo thought, and our age, which hath now discouered all the wonders of the world, fully declares. Gellius also, & Rhodogin referre these Pigmies (if any such 9. 4. there be) to a kinde of Apes. 4. 3.

SECT. 5. In History Naturall.

IN Naturall History, it is commonly receiued, that the Phaenix liues 1 fiue hundred or six hundred yeares, that there is of that kinde but one at a time in the World, that being to die, he makes his nest of sweet spices, and by the clapping of his wings sets it on fire, and so burnes himselfe: and lastly, that out of the ashes arises a worme, and from that worme another new Phaenix: Neither am I ignorant that sun­dry of the Fathers haue brought this narration to confirme the do­ctrine of the Resurrection: but rather as I beleeue, to fight against the Gentiles with their owne weapons, and to pierce them with their owne quils, or from thence to borrow an illustration, then as giuing credit to the truth of the story, which was originally coyned in Egppt as fruitfull in fables, as Africa in monsters, and from thence deriued to the Greci­ans and Romans; one of them is said to haue beene brought to Rome by the commaund of Claudius Caesar, and exposed to publique view, as ap­peareth vpon record, Sed quem falsum esse nemo dubitaret, saith Pliny, no man need make any doubt of it but that he was counterfeit, and in the [...]at. bist. 10. 2. [Page 9] same Chapter, haud scio an fabulose unum in toto orbe nec visum magnoperè, I doubt it is but a fiction, that there is but one of the kinde, in the whole World, and that so seldome seene. With whom accord Tacitus, & Car­dan, Lib. 6. Annal. cap. 7. Lib. 10. de sub-Exercit. 233. & Scaliger, and reason it selfe drawne both from Divinity and Phi­losophy, from Divinity, in as much as two at least of euery kinde came in­to the Arke, male and female, as they at first were created: from Phi­losophy: in as much as without more individuals then one the whole kind by a thousand casualties must needes be in daunger of vtter extinguish­ment, and therefore where we finde but one of a kinde, as the Sunne and the Moone, God and Nature haue set them out of gunshot, farre enough from any reach of malice or feare of danger.

That the whelpes of Beares are at first littering without all forme or 2 fashion, and nothing but a little congealed blood, or lumpe of flesh, which afterward the dame shapeth by licking, yet is the truth most e­vidently otherwise, as by the eye-witnesse of Ioachimus Rheticus, and o­thers, Gesnerus. it hath beene proued. And heerein as in many other fabulous nar­rations of this nature, (in which experience checkes report) may wee justly take vp that of Lucretius,

—Quid nobis certius ipsis
Sensibus esse potest, quo vera & falsa notemus.
What can more certaine be then sence,
Discerning truth from false pretence. 3

That the Bever being hunted and in danger to be taken, biteth off his stones, knowing that for them onely his life is sought, and so often esca­peth; hence some haue deriued his name, Castor à castrando seipsum, from gelding himselfe, and vpon this supposition, the Egyptians in their Hi [...] ­rogliphicks, when they will signifie a man that hurteth himselfe, they pi­cture a Bever biting off his owne stones, though Alciat in his Emblemes turne it to a contrary purpose, teaching vs by that example to giue a­way our purse to theeues rather then our liues, & by our wealth to re­deeme our danger: but this relation touching the Bever is vndoubtedly false, as both by sense and experience, and the testimony of Dioscorides it is manifested. First, because their stones are very small, and so placed Lib. 3. cap. 23. in their body as are a Bores, and therefore impossible for the Beuer him­selfe, to touch or come by them, and secondly, they cleaue so fast vnto their backe, that they cannot be taken away, but the beast must of ne­cessity loose his life; and consequently most ridiculous is their narrati­on, who likewise affirme, that when he is hunted, hauing formerly bit­ten off his stones, he standeth vpright, and sheweth the hunters that hee hath none for them, and therefore his death cannot profit them, by meanes whereof they are averted and seeke for another.

That Swans a little before their death sing most sweetly, of which 4 Natur. bist. 10. 23. notwithstanding Pliny thus speakes, Olorum morte narratur flebilis cantus, falsò ut arbitror aliquot experimentis. Swans are said to sing sweetly be­fore their death, but falsely, as I take it, being led so to thinke by some experiments. And Scaliger to like purpose, de signi verò cantu suavissimo quem cum mendaciorum parente Graecia iactare ausus es ad Luciani tribunal Exercit. 232. apud quem aliquid novi dicas [...]. Touching the sweete singing of the [Page 10] Swan, which with Greece the mother of lies you dare to publish, I cite you to Lucians tribunal, there to set abroach some new stuffe. And Aeli­an cantandi studiosos esse iam communi sermone pervulgatum est: ego verò cig­num Lib. 10. c. 14. nunquan audivi canere fortasse neque alius, that Swans are skilfull in singing is now rife in every mans mouth, but for myselfe I never heard them sing, and perchance no man else.

That the Salamander liues in the fire, yet both Galen and Dioscorides 5 refute this opinion. And Mathiolus in his commentaries vpon Dioscorides De Temp. lib. 3. lib. 2. cap. 56. Des erreurs Po­pulaires. affirmes that by casting many Salamanders into the fire for tryall, hee found it false. The same experiment is likewise avouched by Ioubertus.

That the Mandrakes represent the shape and partes of a man, yet the 6 same Mathiolus, a very famous Physitian affirmes of them, Radi [...]es porrò In comment: in Dioscoridem. Mandragorae humanam effigiem representare vt vulgò creditur fabulosum est, that the rootes of the Mandrake represent the shape of a man as it is commonly beleeued is fabulous, calling them cheating knaues and quacksalvers that carry them about to be sold, therewith to deceiue barren weeman.

That Vipers in their birth kill their mother of whome they are bred; 7 Scaliger out of his owne experience assures vs the contrary, Viperas saith Exercit. 201. hee, ab impatientibus morae foetibus numerosissimis, atque id [...]irco erumpenti­bus rumpi atque interire falsum esse scimus, qui in Vincentij Camerini lignea­theca vidimus enatas Viperillas parente salva, that Uipers are rent and slaine by the number of their yong ones impatient of delay and stri­uing to get forth, we know to be false, who in a woodden boxe belong­ing to Vincentius Camerinus haue seene the yong newly brought forth, together with the ould one, safe and sound. True indeed it is that the Vide Angelum Abbatium de Viper [...] natura & Bustamenti­tinum de ani­maentibus. S. S. Viper bringing somtime twentie or more, and being delivered but of one a day the hindermost impatient of so long delay somtimes gnaw [...]s thorow the tunicle or shell of the egg in which they are inclosed, and so come forth with part of it vpon them; which Aristotle truly affirming therevpon it seemes hath growne the mistake that they gnaw thorow the belly of the damme which is vndoutedly false. The derivaton then of the word Vipera quasi vi pariens, is but a trick of wit, grounded vpon an erroneous supposition; it being rather (as I conceiue) from vi [...]um pariens, there being no other kind of serpēt which brings forth her yong hatched out of the egg, but only the Viper.

That the Hare is one yeare a male and another a female: wheras Ron­deletius 8 affirmes that they are not stones which are commonly taken to bee so in the female, but certaine little bladders filled with matter, such as are vpon the belly of a Bever, wherin also the vulgar is deceiu­ed, taking those bunches for stones, as they do these bladders. Now the vse of these parts both in Bevers and Hares is this, that against raine both the one and the other sexe suck there out a certaine humour and annoint their bodies all over therewith, which serues them for a de­fence against raine.

That a Woolfe if he see a man first suddenly strikes him dumb, whence 9 came the proverbe Lupus est in fabula: and that of the Poet,

Lupi Moerim videre priores,
The Wolues saw Moeris first.

[Page 11] Yet Phillip Camerarius professes, fabulosum esse quod vulgo creditur, homi­nem Medita [...]: Histor. cap. 23. à lupo praeuisum subitò consternari & vocem amittere, That it is fabu­lous which is commonly beleeued that a man being first seene by the Woolfe is therevpon astonished and looseth his voyce; And that him­selfe hath found it by experience to be a vaine opinion. which Scaliger Exercitat. 344. likewise affirmes vpon the same ground. Vtinam tot ferulis castigarentur mendaciorum assertores isti quot à Lupis visi sumus sine jactura vocis. I wish those Patrons of lies were chastised with so many blowes as at sundry times I haue beene seene of woolues without any losse of my voyce.

That men are somtimes transformed into Woolues, and againe from 10 Wolues into men: touching the falshood wherof Pliny himselfe is thus Nat. hist. liber 8. cap. 22. confident, homines in Lupos verti rursumque restitui sibi, falsum esse confi­denter existimare debemus, aut credere omnia quae fabulosa tot saeculis comperi­mus: that men are changed into Wolues and againe restored to them­selues, that is to the shape of men, wee ought assuredly beleeue to be false, or to giue credit to whatsoever wee haue found fabulous in the course of so many ages. Now that which hath given occasion to this opinion might be as I suppose either an illusion of Sathan in regard of the beholders, or a strong melancholy imagination in the patients, or the education of men among Wolues from their very infancie. For that the Devil can at his pleasure transubstantiate or transforme one substance into another I hould it no sound divinitie.

That the Pellican turneth her beake against her brest therewith 11 pierceth it till the blood gush out wherewith shee nourisheth her young: wheras the Pellican hath a beake broade and flat, much like the slice of Apothecaries and Surgions with which they spread their plai­sters, no way fit to pierce, as Laurentius Ioubertus Counsellour and Phi­sition to Henry the fourth of France in his booke of Popular errours hath obserued.

Lastly that the Mole hath no eyes, nor the Elephant knees; both which notwithstanding by dayly and manifest experience are found vntrue.

SECTIO 6. An Application of what hath beene sayd to the present purpose.

MAny more instances might bee giuen both in Divinitie, Phi­losophy and History, to shew that t'is a thing neither new nor vn­justifiable by the practise of wise men to examine and impugne receiued opinions, if they be found erroneous, such as I take this to be of Natures vniversall decay. So that I hope it shall neither seeme vnplea­sing nor vnprofitable nor yet impertinent that I haue dwelt so long vp­on this point. I know that of Chrysostome to be most true: The hardest les­son is to vnlearne, and therefore haue I harped so long vpon this string to make it cleare that men may erre, specially where that falls out which Iustin in his dialogue with Tryphon hath obserued, that posteriores sequn­tur [Page 12] priores securi examinis, that the latter follow the former without exa­mination, Custome with most men preuailes more then Truth: though Christ hath said, as Tertullian rightly noteth, I am Truth and not Custome: yea such is the force thereof, that according to the inbred notions and praeconceptions, which it hath formed and imprinted in our mindes for the most part we shape the discourse of Reason it selfe. Thus Pytha­goras by bringing vp his Schollers in the speculatiue knowledge of numbers, made their conceipts so strong, that when they came to the contemplation of things naturall, they imagined that in euery particu­lar thing they euen beheld as it were with their eyes how the element of number gaue essence and being to the workes of Nature. A thing in reason impossible, which notwithstanding thorow their misfashioned praeconceite, appeared vnto them no lesse certaine then if Nature had written it in the very foreheads of all the Creatures of God.

Divine is that speech of Aristotle in his Metaphysicks; Quantam au­tem vim habeat consuetudo leges declarant, in quibus fabulosae & pueriles nar­rationes plus valent cognitione vera earum rerum propter consuetudinem. What is the strange force of Custome, the Lawes themselues declare; in which childish and fabulous narrations are preferred before the true knowledge of the same things, and that onely through custome. From whence (to draw neerer to our present purpose) the great Lawyer Pa­normitan wishes that the seuerity of the ancient Canons bee not too far Duarenus de Beneficijs, 8. 6. pressed vpon delinquents, because men of latter ages (saith he) are no w [...]y matchable with the Ancients, as not in strength nor stature, so neither in wit nor manners. But I much maruell that so great a Clearke should be so easily carried away with so vaine a shew, and by making men beleeue that they were not able to obserue the Canons, make them vnable in­deed: which together with the greedy desire of gaine, hath beene no doubt the ground, or at least the pretence of such a multiplicity of dis­pensations in latter ages; men choosing rather to stretch their purse­strings, and to buy out a dispensation for their money then to improue their endeavours for the doing of that which the Canon requires. And hence the Lenten fast duly kept with much ease by our Predecessors, is with most men now adayes made so impossible, notwithstanding the observation thereof conduce so much to the publique good.

CAP. 2. Of the Reasons inducing the Author to the writing and publishing of this Discourse.

SECT. 1. Whereof the first is the redeeming of a captivated trueth.

SVch is the admirable beauty and soueraignty of Truth in it selfe, and such infinite content doth it yeeld the Soule being found and embraced, that had I proposed no other End to my selfe in this ensuing Treatise then the discouery and vnfolding thereof, I should hold it alone a very ample recompence, and sufficient reward of my la­bour. [Page 13] The Greekes call it [...], which by an easie and vnstrained de­rivation implies the breath of God: so that as Minerva, by which is meant the Arts, is fained to haue sprung from the head of Iupiter: so Truth vndoubtedly flowes from the mouth of the Creator, not onely that supernaturall and revealed Truth, which concernes our spirituall & supernaturall good, but that likewise which concernes our good ei­ther morall or naturall. For as euery good thing, so far as it is good, is from Iam. 1. 17. God, the Author and originall cause of all goodnes: so euery Truth is from the same God, the Fountaine of all Truth: Howbeit hee im­part the diverse kinds thereof after a different manner; the Truth of Ex­perience by sense, of Reason by discourse of the intellectuall power, of Re­ligion by faith. These are as seuerall lines drawne from the same Cen­ter, or seuerall beames from the same Sunne: All which notwithstan­ding in their seuerall rankes and degrees carry in them, or rather haue stamped and printed vpon them some character or resemblance of the Diuine Excellencie.

And as Truth is the breath of God, so is the Soule of man too, which Gen, 2. 7. may well be thought to be in part the cause that the Soule is so wonder­fully taken and affected with the loue and liking of it. All the King­domes in the World, and the glittering pomp of them cannot so much refresh and delight a studious minde, as this one inestimable Iewell of Truth, which Lucretius hath liuely described:

Suave mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis, &c.

It is a view of delight, saith he, to stand or walke vpon the shore side, & Lib. 2. [...]. to see a ship tossed with tempests vpon the Sea; or to be in a fortified towre, and to see two Armies joyne battle vpon a plaine: but it is a pleasure incomparable for the minde of man to be setled, landed, and fortified in the certainty of Truth, and from thence to descry and be­hold the errours, perturbations, labours and wandrings vp and downe of other men. We see in all other pleasures there is satiety, and after they be vsed their verdure departeth, which sheweth well they be but deceits of pleasure, and not pleasures, and that it was the novelty that pleased, and not the quality. But of the Contemplation of Truth there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appetite are perpetually interchange­able; and certainely the more contentment and comfort doe we reape therein, For that the apprehension of Truth helpes to repaire that I­mage of God which by the fall of man was in that very part sorely bat­ter'd and bruis'd, I meane in regard of the knowledge of naturall Truths, but in regard of supernaturall vtterly defaced.

Now such being the condition of Truth, both in regard of God, it selfe, and vs, we may not part with it vpon any tearmes, nor can we pur­chase it at too deare a rate; Buy the truth, but sell it not. Some perchance in this very point may suppose, that the opinion maintaining Natures Prov. 23. 23. decay argues in the maintainers more modesty and humility, and is ap­ter to breed in men a religious feare and devotion, being perswaded as well by sense and reason, as by Scripture and faith, that the World must haue an end, and that in appearance the end thereof cannot be far off. Which though it were so, yet may it not be vpheld with an vntruth, [Page 14] Rectè placet laudem humilitatis in parte non ponere falsitatis, ne humilitas con­constituta in parte falsitatis perdat praemium veritatis, saith S. Augustine. Lib de Nat. & Gratia c. 36. Wee desire not to settle the praise of humility vpon false grounds, lest being built vpon falshood, it loose the reward of Truth. If euill be in no case to be done that good may come thereof, no, not the least euill for the greatest good, if a lye may not be made for the winning of a mans Soule, no, nor for the gaining of a world of Infidels to the faith, as Diuines truly teach, then may not the defence of any vntruth bee vn­dertaken, what faire pretence soeuer of piety, or charity, or humility it may put on. For as we are to speake veritatem in charitate, the truth in loue, so are we to follow charitatem in veritate, loue grounded vpon Ephes. 4. 15. truth. It being one of the properties of true charity to reioyce in truth. 1 Cor. 13. 6. Truth then and true piety, Truth and true charity, Truth and true humi­lity, being inseparable companions, let none presume to put them asunder, whom God hath thus linked and ioyned together. Will yee talke deceitfully for Gods cause, saith Iob, will ye make a lye for him? if we may not vtter an vn­truth Iob 13. 7. for Gods cause and the advancement of his glory, much lesse for the best good of man, the glory of God being as much and more to bee preferred before the best spirituall good of man, as mans spirituall good before his temporall. Absit à me vt veritatem per mendacium v [...]lim iri confirmatam, saith Chrysostome, farre bee it from mee to attempt the In Matt [...]um. strengthning of truth by falshood. The reason hereof is well yeelded by S. Augustine, fracta velleviter imminuta authoritate veritatis omnia De Mendacio ad Consen [...]m. dubia remanebunt, the credite and soueraignty of Truth being neuer so little crackt, or the practise of lying neuer so little countenanced, a man can build vpon nothing, but all things willbe full of doubt and distrust. And againe, nunquam errari tutius existimo, quam cùm in amore nimio ve­ritatis, & reiectione nimia falsitatis erratur, a man cannot lightly erre more safely then in too much loue of Truth and hatred of lies, whe ther they arise from errour and mistake, or malice and forgerie, whe­ther they consist in the disagreement and disconformitie betwixt the speech and the conceptions of the minde, or the conceptions of the minde and the things themselues, or the speech and the things.

SECT. 2. The second is the vindicating of the Creators honour.

AS my first Reason for the writing and publishing this Discourse was for the redeeming of a captivated truth: so my second is for the vindicating of the Creators honor, the reputation of his wisedome, his iustice, his goodnes, and his power; being all of them in my judgment by the opinion of Natures decay not a little impeached and blemished. His wisedome, for that intending (as by the sacred Oracles of his word hee hath in sundry passages cleerely manifested it) to put an end to the World by fire, it cannot, I thinke be well conceiued why hee should or­daine or admit such a daylie vniversall and irrecouerable consumption in all the parts of Nature which without fire, or any other outward meanes would vndoubtedly bring it to that finall period.

[Page 15] His iustice, for that withdrawing from latter ages that strength and ability of performing religious duties, and practising morall vertues, which to the former he granted, yet to demaund and expect no lesse from the latter then he did from the former, what is it but to reape where he sowed not, to require as much of him that had but fiue talents, as of him that had tenne, or to deale as Pharaoh did with the Israelites, still to exact Ex. 5. 7. 8. the same taske of bricke, and yet to withhold the wonted allowance of straw. Neither can we with that confidence reprehend the raigning vi­ces of the times if we cast the reason thereof not so much vpon the vo­luntary malice and depravation of mens wils, as vpon the necessitie of the times praeordained by God, which vpon the matter, what is it but to lay the burden vpon God, and to accuse him, that so we may free and excuse our selues?

His Bounty and Goodnesse, as if out of a niggardly and sparing disposi­tion he envied the succeeding generations of the World that happines which vpon the preceding he freely and richly conferred; whereas I am rather of opinion, that as in holy Scripture, for the most part, he accep­ted and preferred the younger brother before the elder, and as Christ our Sauiour turned the water into wine toward the end of the feast, which farre excelled that in the beginning: so the gifts and graces of Ioh. 2. 10. God, haue beene more plentifully powred out vpon mankinde in this latter age of the World, then euer since the first Creation thereof. As was foretold by the Prophet in the old Testament, and remembred by the Ioel 2. 18. Act. 2. 17 Apostle in the New; And it shall come to passe in the last dayes (saith God) I will powre out of my Spirit vpon all flesh.

Lastly, the reputation of his Power, is thereby most of all stained and wounded, as if his treasurie could at any time be emptied and drawne dry, as if he had but one blessing in store, or were forced to say with old Isaak when he had blessed Iacob with corne and wine haue I blessed him, & what shall I doe now to thee my son? No no, his arme is not shortned neither is his mighty power any way abated; yet they who thus com­plaine Gen. 27. 38. of natures decay, what doe they else but implicitly impeach and accuse his Power, which in truth is nothing else but Natura Naturans (as the Schooles phrase it) Actiue Nature, and the creature the workmanship therof, Natura Naturata, Nature Passiue; That which the Samaritans ignorantly and blasphemously spake of Symon Magus, may properly and truly bee spoken of Nature, that it is the Great power of God, or the power of the Great God, as is divinely observed by the witty Scaliger a­gainst Cardan in that exercitation which in its front beares this in­scription, opposed to Cardanes assertion: Non ex fatigatione mundum solu­tum iri, that the world shall not desolue by being tired, quasi natura Exercit. 77. (saith hee) sit asinus ad molas, non autem Dei Opt. Max. potestas, quae eo­dem nutu gubernat infinito quo creavit, we may not conceiue that Nature, is as an ass wasted and wearied out, at the mill; but the power of the Mighty God which governes all things with the same infinite cōmand, wherewith they were created. And with him accords Valesius discour­sing of the Worlds end towards the end of his booke de Sacra Philoso­phia, Quae à Deo ipso per se ac sine causa secunda compacta sunt, non possunt ab [Page 12] alia causa solui, sed solum ab eo ipso à quo sunt coagmentata: Those things which are made of God himselfe immediately by himselfe without the concurrence of secōd causes, cannot be vnmade by any inferiour cause, but by him alone by whome they were first made. And againe, Certe ita est, virtutem divinam apponi necesse est, vt deleatur quod Deus ipse fecit; there needes no lesse then a divine power for the abolishing of that which the Diety it selfe hath wrought, which he seemes to haue bor­rowed from Plato in Timoeo where he thus speakes of the world Ita apte cohaeret vt dissolvi nullo modo queat, nisi ab eodem à quo est colligatus, so pro­portionably doth each part answer other, that it is indissoluble, but one­ly from his hand who first framed it. As then Allmighty God created all things of nothing by the power of his word. So doth he still vphold them and will till the dissolution of all things in their essenses, faculties, and operations by the Word of his Power, reaching from one end to the other mightily, and disposing all things sweetely. Indeed with the Heb. 1. 3. Wisedom. 8. 1. workes of man it is not so, when he hath imployed about them all the cunning, and cost, and care that may be, he can neither preserue them nor himselfe, both they and he moulder away and returne to their dust, but I know saith the Preacher that whatsoever God doth, it shall be for ever, no­thing Eccles. 3. 14. can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it. Add the sonne of Sirach. Hee garnished his works for ever and in his hand are the cheife of them vnto all generations, they neither labour nor are weary, nor cease from their workes, none 16. cap. 27, 28, yer. of them hindreth another, and they shall never disobey his word.

SECTIO 3. The third is for that the contrary opinion, quailes the hopes, and blunts the edge of vertuous endeavours.

MY third reason for the penning and publishing of this discourse is that the contrary opinion therevnto seemes not a little to rebate and blunt the edge of mens vertuous endeavours. For being once throughly perswaded in themselves, that by a fatall kind of necessity and course of times, they are cast into those straites, that notwithstand­ing all their striuing and industry, it is impossible they should rise to the pitch of their noble and renowned predecessours, they begin to yeeld to the times and to necessity, being re solued that their endeavours are all in vaine, and that they striue against the streame; nay the Master him­selfe of Morallitie, the great Patriarch of Philosophers, hath told vs, that circa impossibilia non est deliberandum, it is no point of wisdome for a man to beat his braines, and spend his spirits about things meerely im­possible to be atchiued, and which are altogether out of our reach. The way then to excite men to the imitation of the vertue, and the exploits of their famous Ancestours is not (as I conceiue) to beate downe their hopes of parallelling them, and so to clip the wings of their aspiring de­sires: but rather to teach them that there wants nothing thervnto but their owne endeavour, and that if they fall short, the fault is not in the age, but in themselues. The spies that were sent by Moses to discover the land of Canaan, at their returne told the people, that the inhabi­tants [Page 17] Numb. 13. 28. 33. the of were much stronger then themselues, that they were Gyants the sonn [...]s of Anak, and themselues but as Grashoppers in comparison of them, by meanes of which report, the harts of the people melted with­in them, and they were vtterly discouraged from marching forward, though the discouerers reported withall, that the land from whence they came flowed with milke and honey, and the pomegrannats, the figgs, the wonderfull clusters of grapes brought from thence, for a tast and evidence of the goodnesse of the soyle pleased them exceeding well. Thus when our Ancestors are painted forth as Gyants, not onely in stature and strength, but in wit and vertue, though the acts wee find recorded of them, please vs marveilous well, yet wee durst not venture, or so much as once thinke vpon the matching of them, because we are taught and made to beleeue, that wee forsooth are but as pigmies, and dwarfes in regard of them; and that it were as possible to fit a childs shooe to Hercules foote, as for vs any way to come neere them, or to trace their stepps, Possunt, quia posse videntur. They can because they seeme they can.

Certainely the force of imaginatiō is wōderfull, either to beget in vs an abilitie for the doing of that which we apprehēd we cā do, or a di­sability for the not doing of that which we cōceiue we cānot do: which was the reasō that the Wisards and Oracles of the Gentiles being cōsulted, they ever returned either an hopefull answer, or an ambiguous, such as by a favourable cōstructiō, might either include or at leastwise not vtter­ly exclude hope. Agesilaus (as I remēber) clapping his hāds vpon the Al, tar, & taking it off againe, by a cūning divice shewed to his souldiers, vi­ctory, stāped vpon it, whereby they were so encouraged, and grew so cō ­fident, that beyong all expectation, they indeed effected that wherof by this sleight, they were formerly assured. Prognostications and Prophesies often helpe to further that which they foretell, and to make men such as they beare thē in hand they shall be; nay by an vnavoydable destinie must bee. Francis Marquesse of Saluzze yeeldes vs a memorable exam­ple in this kind, who being Lieuetenant Generall to Francis the first Guicciardin. King of France over all his forces which hee then had beyond the mountaines in Italy, a man highly favoured in all the Court, and infinit­ly obliged to the King for his Marquesite which his brother had forfeit­ed, suffered himselfe to be so farr afrighted and deluded, as it hath since been manifestly proued, by Prognostications, (which then throughout all Europe were giuen out to the advantage of the Emperour Charles the fifth and to the prejudice of the French,) that hauing no occasiō offered, yea his owne affections contradicting the same, hee first began in secret to complaine to his private friends of the inevitable miseries which he foresaw prepared by the Fates against the Crowne of France. And with­in a while after (this impression still working into him) he most vnkind­ly revolted from his Master, and became a turne-coate to the Emperours side, to the astonishment of all men, his owne greate disgrace, ond the no lesse disadvātage to the French enterprize on the other side I doubt not but that the prophesies of Sauanarola, as much assisted Charles the eight Idem. to the conquest of Naples, which he performed so speedily and happily, [Page 18] as he seemed rather with chalke to marke out his lodgings, then with his sword to winne them.

To like purpose was that Custome among the Heathen of deriving the pedegree of valiant men from the Gods, as Varro the most learned Augustin. de Ci­vit. Dei lib. 3. c. 4. of the Romanes hath well observed. Ego huiusmodi à Dis repetitas ori­gines vtiles esse lubens agnosco, vt viri fortes etiamsi falsum sit, se ex Dis ge­nitos credant, vt eo modo animus humanus veluti diuinae stirpis fiduciam ge­rens, res magnas aggrediendas presumat audaciùs, agat vehementiù:, & ob haec impleat ipsa securitate foeliciùs. I for my part (sayth he) judge those pe­degrees drawne from the Gods not to be vnprofitable, that valiant men (though in truth it be not so) beleeving themselues to be extracted from divine races, might vpon the confidence thereof vndertake high attemps the more boldly, intend them the more earnestly and accom­plish them the more securely and successiuely. And of the Druides Cae­sar hath noted, that among other doctrines they taught the soules im­mortality De bello Galli­co, lib. 6. by propagation, because they taught, hoc maximè ad virtutem excitari homines metu mortis neglecto, that by meanes of this apprehensi­on men were notablely spurred forward and whetted on to the adven­turing and enterprising of commendable actions, through the con­tempt of death: Which same thing Lucan hath likewise remarked. Lib. 1.

—Vobis authoribus vmbrae
Non tacitas Erebi sedes, ditis (que) profundi
Pallida regna petunt; regit idem spiritus artus
Orbe alio: longae, (conitis si cognita) vitae
Mors media est; certè populi, quos despicit Arctos,
foelices errore suo, quos ille timorum
Maximus, haud vrget Lethi metus; inde ruendi
In ferrum mens prona viris, animae (que) capaces
Mortis, et ignavum est rediturae parcere vitae.
—Your doctrine is
Our ghost's goe not to those pale realmes of Stygian Dis,
And silent Erebus: the selfe same soules doth sway
Bodyes else-where, and death (if certaine trueth you say)
Is but the mid'st of life. Thrice happy in your error
Yee Northerne wights whom Death the greatest Prince of ter­ror
Nothing affrights. Hence are your Martiall hearts inclind
To rush on point of sword, hence that vndanted mind
So capable of Death, hence seemes it base and vaine
To spare that life which will eft soones returne againe.

By all which wee see the admirable efficacy of the imagination, ei­ther for the elevating or depressing of the mind, for the making of it more abject and base, or more actiue and generous, and from thence infer that the doctrine of Natures necessary decay rather tends to make men worse then better, rather cowardly then couragious, rather to draw them downe to that they must be, then to lift them vp to that they should and may bee, rather to breed sloath then to quicken indu­stry. I will giue one instance for all, and that home-bredde, the rea­son why we haue at this day, no Vineyards planted, nor wine growne in [Page 19] England as heretofore, is commonly ascribed to the decay of Nature, either in regard of the heavens or Earth or both, and men possessed with this opinion sit downe and try not what may be done; whereas our great Antiquary imputes it to the Lazines of the Inhabitants rather then to any defect or distemper in the Climat, and withall professes that Camden in Glocester­shire. he is no way of the mind of those grudging sloathfull husbandmen, (whom Columella censures) who thinke that the earth is growne weary and barren with the excessiue plenty of former ages. I haue some­where read of a people so brutish and barbarous that they must first be taught and perswaded that they were not beasts but men, and capable of reason before any serviceable or profitable vse could be made of them. And surely there is no hope, that ever wee shall attaine the heigth of the worthy acts and exploits of our Predecessours, except first we be resolved that Gods Grace and our own endeavours concur­ring there is a possibility wee should rise to the same degree of worth. Si hanc cogitationem homines habuissent vt nemo se meliorem fore eo qui op­timus fuisset arbitraretur, ij ipsi qui sunt optimi non fuissent, if men had al­wayes thus conceaved with themselues that no man could be better then he that then was best, those that now are esteemed best, had not so beene. They be the words of Quintilian, and therevpon hee in­ferres, as doth the Apostle 1. Corinth. 12. at the last verse, Nitamur sem­per ad optima, quod facientes, aut evademus in summum, aut certe multos Orat. 12. 10. infra nos videbimus, Let vs covet earnestly the best gifts, and propose to our selues the matching at least, if not the passing of the most excellent patterns, by which meanes we shall either gaine the toppe, or see many beneath vs. Non enim nos tarditatis natura damnavit, sed vltra nobis quam oportebat indulsimus, ita non tam ingenio illi nos superarunt quàm pro­posito, saith thē same Author in another place. Nature hath not made vs more vncapable the our Ancestours, but wee haue beene too indul­gent Libr: 2. c. 5. to our selues, by which meanes it comes to passe that they sur­mount vs not so much in wit as in endeavour.

SECT. 4. The fourth is that it makes men more carelesse as in matter of repentance, so likewise both in regard of their present fortunes, and in providing for posterity.

AS the opinion of the worlds vniversall decay quailes the hopes and blunts the edge of mens endevours, so doth it likewise of our ex­hortations and threatnings, when men are perswaded that fa­mines and pestilences, and vnseasonable weather, and the like, are not the scourges of God for sinne, but rather the diseases of wasted & decrepit Nature, not procured so much by the vices and wickednesse of men, as by the old age and weakenesse of the world. And this o­pinion being once throughly rooted and setled in them, they neither care much for repentance, nor call vpon God for grace, thereby ei­ther to prevent these heavy judgements, hanging over their heads, or to remoue them having seised vpon them, but the Prophets of God (I am sure) tooke another course, they told not the people▪ that these [Page 20] plagues were the symptomes and characters of the worlds declining and decreasing, but the markes and rods of Gods vengeance for their transgressions and rebellions, and that the onely way both to prevent and remoue them, was to remoue their haynous and grievous sinnes out of Gods sight, the onely meanes to turne them from themselues, was for themselues to returne and be reconciled to their God. besides the same opinion serues to make men more carelesse both in regard of their present fortunes, and in providing for posterity. For when they consider how many thousand yeares nature hath now beene as it were in a fever Hectique, daily consuming and wasting away by degrees; they inferre that in reason shee cannot hold out long, and therefore it were to as lit­tle purpose to plant trees, or to erect lasting buildings, either for Civill, Charitable, or Pious vses, as to provide new apparell for a sicke man, that lies at deaths dore, and hath already one foote in the graue: I beseech you brethren saith the Apostle by the comming of the Lord Iesus, and by our gathering together vnto him, that yee be not soone shaken in mind or be trou­bled, 2. Thes. 2. 1. neither by spirit nor by word nor by letters as from vs, as though the day of Christ were at hand. Let no man deceiue you by any meanes. What a so­lemne preface doth he make vnto it? and with how serious a conclu­sion doth he seale it vp? Now among other reasons yeelded by Di­vines for this his earnestnes heerein, one speciall one is, that men might not lavish out, and scatter their estates, vpon a vaine supposition of the approach of that day. As Phillip Camerarius a learned man, & counsellour to the state of Norinberg, reports vpon his owne know­ledge, Medit. Hist. cap. 41. that a Parish Priest in those parts skilfull in Arithmetique presu­med so farre vpon his Calculations and the numerall letters of that prediction in the Gospell, Videbunt in quem pupugerunt, they shall looke 1562. vpon him whom they pierced, that hee confidently assured his parisho­ners, not onely of the yeare, but the very day and houre of the worlds end, and our Saviours comming to judgement. Wherevpon such as gaue credit to him carelessely wasted their meanes, perswading them­selues that they should now haue no further vse of them. At the day & houre prefixed they all met in a Chappell to heare their Prophet prea­ching and praying, during which time there arose a great tempest with fearefull thunder and lightning, in so much as all present looked out euery minute, for the fulfilling of the prophecie: but a while after the storme cleering vp, and the day appearing faire, the silly people find­ing themselues to be thus abused, for very indignation they rush vpon their false prophet, and would haue slaine him or vsed him shamefully as he deserved, had he not slipped out of their fingers, and the fury of the inraged multitude beene appeased by some of the wiser sort. The like is reported by Espencaeus out of Bullinger of the Hutites a branch of the sect of Anabaptists, in his Commentaries on the third chapter of the second epistle to Timothie: so daungerous a thing it is to prede­termine the last day, or to set a period to the course of nature. It is most certaine that wee are by many hundreths of yeares neerer the worlds end, then was the Apostle when he wrote that exhortation to the Thessal: and yet when that end shall bee, is still as vncertaine to [Page 21] vs, as it was to them. Vpon which point St. Augustine I remember hath an excellent meditation, comparing the severall ages of the world to the ages of man; not so much as I conceiue in regard of growth or declination, as in regard of progression, making the infancie thereof from Adam to Noah, the Childhood from Noah to Abraham, the Youth from Abraham to Dauid, the mans estate from Dauid to Christ, the old age from Christ to the end of it. And as the duration in all the other ages of man is certaine, but the lasting of old age vncertaine: so is it in the World. And as Chrysostome well noteth, we call not the end of the yeare the last houre, or day or weeke thereof, but the last moneth or quarter: so we call this last age of the World the End thereof. But how long this age shall last, it is still doubtfull, it being one of those secrets which the Almighty hath lockt vp in the cabinet of his owne counsell, a se­cret which is neither possible neither profitable for vs to know, as being not by God revealed vnto vs in his Word, much lesse then in the booke of Nature.

It is agreed vpon on all sides by Diuines that at least two signes fore­running the Worlds end, remaine vnaccomplisht; the Subversion of Rome, and the Conversion of the Iewes. And when they shall be accom­plisht God onely knowes, as yet in mans judgment there being little ap­pearance of the one or the other. It is not for vt to know the times and sea­sons Act. 1. 7. which the Father hath put in his owne power: In his owne power they are, they depend not vpon the law of Nature, or chaine of second Causes, but vpon his will and pleasure, who as he made the World by his word, so by his beck can and will vnmake it againe. Sola religione mihi persuade­tur mundum caepisse, atque finem incendio habiturum, saith Scaliger: it is on­ly Exercit. 62. faith and religion that assures man that as the World had a begin­ning, so it shall haue an end; And Divine Bartas, Sept. [...]. 1.

L'immuable decret de la bouche diuine,
Qui Causera sa fin, Causa son origine.
Th'immutable diuine decree, which shall
Cause the Worlds end, caus'd his originall.

Let not then the vaine shadowes of the Worlds fatall decay keepe vse i­ther from looking backward to the imitation of our noble Predecessors, or forward inproviding for posterity, but as our predecessors worthily pro­uided for vs, so let our posterity blesse vs in providing for them, it being still as vncertaine to vs what generations are yet to ensue, as it was to our predecessors in their ages. I will shut vp this reason with a witty E­pigram made vpon one who in his writings vndertooke to foretell the very yeare of the Worlds consummation. Owen vpon Nap [...]ir.

Nonaginta duos durabit mundus in annos,
Mundus ad arbitrium sistat obitque tuum.
Cur mundi sinem propiorem non facis, vt ne
Ante obitum mendax arguerere? sapis.
Ninety two yeares the World as yet shall stand,
If it doe stand or fall at your command.
But say, why plac'd you not the Worlds end nigher?
Lest ere you died you might be prou'd a lyer.

SECT. 5. The fifth and last reason is the weake grounds which the contrary opinion is founded vpon.

THE fifth and last reason which moued me to the vndertaking of this Treatise was the weake grounds which the contrary opinion of the Worlds decay is founded vpon. I am perswaded that the fictions of Poets was it which first gaue life vnto it. Homer hath touched vpon this string, with whom Virgill accords, and they are both seconded by Iuve­nal and Horace: But aboue all, that pretty invention of the foure Ages of the World, compared to foure mettals, Gold, Siluer, Brasse, and Iron, hath wrought such an impression in mens mindes, that it can hardly bee rooted out. For ancient Philosophers and Divines, I finde not any, that are so much as alleadged in defence of it, but Pliny and Cyprian, to whom some haue added Gellius and Augustine: but how truly it shall appeare Godwilling when we come to speake of their testimonies in their pro­per places. And for Scripture proofe, it is both very sparing and wre­sted.

That which aboue all (as I conceaue) hath made way for this opini­on is the morosity and crooked disposition of old men, alwayes complai­ning of the hardnesse of the present times, together with an excessiue admiration of Antiquity, which is in a manner naturall and inbred in vs, vetera extollimus, recentium incuriosi, The ancient we extoll beingcare­lesse Tacitus Ann. lib. 2. verbis ul­timis. of our owne times. For the former of these, old men for the most part being much changed from that they were in their youth in com­plexion and temperature, they are fill'd with sad melancholy thoughts, which makes them thinke the World is changed, whereas in truth the change is in themselues. It fares with them in this case as with those whose taste is distempered, or are troubled with the Iaundise, or whose eyes are bloodshot, the one imagining all things bitter or sowre which they taste, and the other red or yellow which they see.

—Terraeque Vrbesque recedunt.
Virg. Aen. 3.

Themselues being launched out into the deepe, the trees and houses seeme to goe backward; whereas in truth the motion is in themselues, the houses and trees still standing where they were. Seneca tels vs a plea­sant tale of Harpaste his wiues foole, who being become suddenly blind, Epist. 50. shee deemed the roome in which she was to be darke; but could by no meanes be perswaded of her owne blindnesse. Such for the most part is the case of old men, themselues being altered both in disposition of bo­dy, and condition of minde, they make wonderfull narrations of the change of times since they remember: which because they cannot bee controlled, passe for currant.

The other pioner, as I may so call it, which by secret vndermining makes way for this opinion of the Worlds decay, is an excessiue admi­ration of Antiquity, together with a base and envious conceit of what­soeuer the present age affords, or possibly can afford in comparison thereof. Vetulam praeferunt immortalitati, they preferre the wrinkles of [...] of Vlys­ses. [Page 23] Antiquity before the rarest beauty of the present times, the common voice euery where is, and euer hath beene, and will be to the Worlds end

Faelix nimium prior aetas
Boetius lib. 2. metro 5.
Contenta fidelibus arvis—
-Vtinam quoque nostra redirent
In mores tempora priscos.
Thrice, happy former ages and blessed
With faithfull fields content and pleased.—
Would our times also had the grace
Againe old manners to embrace.

yet if we will speake properly and punctually, Antiquity rather con­sists in the old age, then infancie, or youth of the World. But take it as commonly vnderstood, I thinke it will not be denied by any that vn­derstand the course of times, but that in latter ages many abuses haue beene reformed, many Arts perfected, many profitable Inventions dis­couered, many noble and notable acts atchieued,

Multa dies variusque labor mutabilis aevi
Rettulit in melius.
Time and much toile of this vnsteddie World
Hath bettered many things.

As truly Virgil, and elegantly Claudian,

—Rerumque remotas
De raptu Pro­serp. lib. 3.
Ingeniosa vias paulatim explorat egestas.
Wittie necessity by degrees traceth out
Of things the prints and windings most remote.

But let vs heare what the wisest man that euer liued of a meere man hath determined in this point. Say not thou what is the cause that the former Eccles. 7. 10. dayes were better then these: for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. V­pon which words saith Isidorus Clarius, Quia manifestum est habuisse priora tempora, sicut & haec nostra habent incommoda sua, because it is evident that former times had their mischiefes and miseries waiting vpon them as well as ours. Yet because for the most part, the best of former times is re­corded, and the worst concealed from vs, as the Sieue lets goe the finest flower, but retaines the bran; or because wee are generally more sensible of the crosses, then the blessings of our owne times; or lastly because the sight and presence of things diminisheth that reputation which we Minuit praesen­tia [...]. Lib. de Orato­ribus. conceiued of them. Such is the disease and malignity of our nature, Vitium malignitatis humanae, as Tacitus cals it, vt vetera semper in laude, praesentia sint in fastidio.

—Et nisi quae terris semota suisque
Temporibus defuncta videt, fastidit & odit.
Sed redit ad fastos & virtutem imputat annis,
Horace lib. 2. op. 1.
Miraturque nihil nisi quod Libitina sacravit.
Saue what remoued is by place, nor lacks
Antiquity to warrant it, he lothes and hates:
Vertue he counts by yeares and Almanacks,
Wonders at nought but what death consecrates.

[Page 24] But as the same Poet wittily speakes comparing the Graecians with the Romans, the same may wee demaund comparing our selues and [...]at­ter ages generally with the ancients.

Quod si tam antiquis novitas invisa fuisset
Quam nobis, quid nunc esset vetus, aut quid haberet
Quod legeret tereret (que) viritim publicus vsus?
If ancients had envied as much as wee
Things that are new, what now would anciēt be,
Or could be read and vsed publicklie?

It was the cunning of Michael Montaigne as himselfe witnesseth to vse a similitude of Plutarches or a sentence of Senecaes as his owne Essayes▪ l 2. c. 10 that so it might appeare how men censured that in him, which in those ancient Authours they highly applauded: but very witty was the de­uice of Michael Angelo a most famous moderne painter, who drawing a table after the Antique manner hid it in a corner of a friends house where he thought it would soone be discovered, and withall set his owne name in a corner of it, but in letters scarce discernable. The table being found he was quickely sent for, shewed him it was by the master of the house and commended for an exquisite peece farre be­yond any of the present age; but when the Authour of it chalenged it to be his owne, and for proofe thereof shewed him his name in it, hee craued pardon of him and acknowledged his errour. Such is the ad­vantage which antiquity hath against the present times, that if wee meete with any thing which excells, wee thinke it must bee ancient, or if with any thing that is ancient, it cannot but excell: Nay therefore we thinke it excells because wee thinke it ancient though it be not so.

Vt quidam artifices nostro faciunt saeculo,
Qui pretium operibus maius inveniunt, novo
Phaedrus l. [...]. Fa­bul. in prologo.
Si marmori adscripserunt Praxitelen, suo
Detrito, Myronem argento.
As some artificers in these our dayes
Who sell their workes at a farre dearer rate,
If on new marble they Praxiteles,
Or Myron write, vpon their battered plate.

I haue seene, sayth Ludouicus Viues, the verses of a man then living, which because they were found in a very ancient Librarie, covered De Causis Cor­rupt. Ar [...]. lib. 7. with dust and eaten with mothes, he that tooke them vp, in a manner adored them bare-headed, as being Virgills, or some one of that age, And another with disdaine cast away an epistle of Tullies, before which there was of purpose prefixed a french name: Addito etiam convitio bar­bariei Transalpinae: adding this scoffe withall that it savoured of transal­pine barbarisme. Which perverse and partiall judgement I conceiue not to spring so much from a due respect to the ancient Authors, as an envious disesteeming of the present To the best and wisest while they liue, the world is continually a froward opposite, a curious observer of their defects, and imperfections, their vertues it afterward as much ad­mireth. Hooker 5 7

Virtutem incolumem odimus,
Hor. l. 3. od. 24.
[Page 25] Sublatam ex oculis quaerimus invidi.
Vertue growing in our sight w'envy
Remov'd from hence wee straight wayes deifie

When Hercules had vanquished so many fierce monsters

Comperit invidiam supremo fine domandam.
idem l. 2. Epist. 1
He grapled last with envy as the worst.
Esse quid hoc dicam viuis quod fama negatur
Et sua quod rarus tempor a lector amat.
Hi sunt invidi [...] nimirum (Regule) mores
Mar [...]ialis, l. 5. e­pig. 10.
Praeferat antiquos semper vt illa novis.
Whence is't that Poets liuing are misprized,
And few doe like the workes of their owne times?
Through Envie (Regulus) are they despised,
Which still to new preferres the elder rimes.

Men read the Authors of their owne times either as inferiours o [...] punies to themselues with a kind of scorne to learne of them.

—Quia turpe putant parere minoribus, & quae
Imberbes didicêre, senes perdenda fateri.
To younger then themselues to yeeld great shame they hold,
Horat. l. 2. ep. [...].
And what they learn'd in youth t'vnlearne when they are old.

Or as their Equalls, in whose persons or manners because happily they espy some imperfections, they judge accordingly of their workes. For as dead flies cause the oyntment of the Apothecary to send forth a stin [...] ­king Eccles. 10. 1. savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisedome. Which was in a manner the Apostles case, his letters (say they) are weighty and powerfull: but his bodily presence is weake, and his speech contemp­tible. And no doubt but to those who thus conceived of him, his ve­ry 2. Cor. 10. 10. letters were not so powerfull and weighty, as otherwise they would haue beene; And as now they are to vs, who know not what his per­son or speech was. Or if no exception bee to be taken to them, yet we hold it a kind of disreputation or disparagement vnto vs, by yeelding them their due (though worthily and justly merited,) to praeferre them before ourselues, which is the onely reason, that the same men, being while they [...]iue mightily maligned and impugned, they are after their death, and that many times by the same corrivals, as highly honoured and commended.

Vrit enim fulgore suo, qui praegravat artes
Infra se positas, extinctus amabitur idem.
Horat. l. 2. ep. [...]
Who others doth in acts and skill surmount,
With brighter beames inferiour spirits doth vex,
But being dead is held of great account.

Which Martial verifies in the practice of Vacerra.

Miraris veteres Vacerra solos,
Nec laudas nisi mortuos Poetas,
Ignoscas petimus Vacerra, tanti
Lib. 8. epig 6 [...].
Non est vt placeam Tibi perire,
Old Poets only thou doest praise,
And none but dead ones magnifie:
[Page 26] Pardon Vacerra, thee to please
I am not yet in mind to die.

Hee is a happy man saith the great Scaliger, (and that not so much out of his reading as his owne sence and feeling,) who while hee liues is made partaker of those deserved prayses. In sine [...]. Elementor [...]m.

Quas vita non dat, funus ac cinis dabunt.
What life graunts not, death and the graue will giue.

Even Tully himselfe, the patterne of eloquence to all succeeding a­ges, and one of the most absolute, and eminent in his profession, that e­ver the world yeelded, was notwithstanding sharpely censured, and taunted at, by his coevalls, vt tumidiorem et Asianum et redundantem, et Quintie Orat. 12. 10. in repetitionibus nimium, et in salibus aliquando frigidum, et in compositione fractum, exultantem ac pene quod procul absit, viro molliorem: as swelling after the Asiatique manner, too redundant and frequent in repetitions, in jests somtime too cold, and in the composure of his matter broken and effeminate. And to like purpose Velleius Paterculus speaking of a notable exploit of Sextius Saturninus, obserues the same humorous dis­position Lib. 2. c 92. in those of his time, Quod ego factum, saith hee, cuilibet vete­rum Consulum gloriae comparandum reor, nisi quod naturaliter audita visis laudamus libentius, & presentia invidiâ, preterita veneratione persequimur, et his nos obrui, illis instrui credimus, which noble exploit of his I could justly compare with the most famous and glorious acts of the ancient Consulls; but that out of a naturall inclination wee more willingly com­mend things wee receiue by heare-say then by sight, prosecuting things present with envie, but being past with veneration; as being per­swaded that wee are affronted by the one, but instructed by the other.

For my selfe I professe with Pliny the younger, Sum ex ijs qui minor antiquos, non tamen vt quidam, temporum nostrorum ingenia despicio, ne (que) e­nim Lib. 6. Ep. 21. quasi lassa aut effaeta natura, vt nihil jam laudabile pariat: I am one of the number of those who admire the ancients, yet not as some, doe I despise the wits of our times, as if Nature were tired and barren and brought forth nothing now that were praise-worthy. To which passage of Pliny Viues seemes to allude, male de natura censet quicun (que) vno illam aut altero partu effaetam arbitratur, hee that so thinkes or sayes, is doubtles injurious and ingratefull both to God and nature, And qui non est gratus datis, non est dignus dandis, hee that doth not acknowledge the peculiar and singular blessings of God bestowed vpon this present age in some things beyond the former, is so farre from meriting the increase of more, as hee deserues not to enjoy these. And commonly it falls out that there the course and descent of the graces of God ceases, and the spring is dried vp, where there is not a corespondent recourse and tide of our thankfullnes. Let then men suspend their rash judgo­ments. nec perseverent suspicere preteritos, despicere presentes, onely to ad­mire the ancients and despise those of the present times. Let them ra­ther Sydonius, l. 3. ep. 3. imitate Lampridius the Oratour, of whom witnesseth the same Sy­donius that he read good Authours of all kindes, cum reverentia anti­quos, Lib. 8. ep. 31. sine invidia recentes, the old with reverence, the new without envy. I will conclude this point and this chapter with that of Solomon, Hee Eccles. 3. 11. [Page 27] hath made every thing beautifull in his time: answereable wherevnto is that of the sonne of Syrach (which may well serue as a Commentary vp­on those workes of Solomon) All the workes of the Lord are good, and hee will giue every needfull thing in due season: so that a man cannot say, this is Ecclesiasticus, 39. 33. 34. 35. worse then that, therefore prayse ye [...] the Lord with the whole heart and mouth, and blesse the name of the Lord.

CAP. 3. The Controversy touching the worlds decay stated, and the methode held thorow this ensuing Treatise proposed.

SECT. 1. Touching the pretended decay of the mixt bodies.

LEast I should seeme on the one side, to sight with shaddowes, and men of straw made by my selfe, or on the other to maintaine paradoxes, which daily experience refutes, it shall not bee a­misse in this Chapter, to vnbowell the state of the question, touching the Worlds decay, and therewithall to vnfold and lay open the severall knots, and joynts thereof, that so it may appeare wherein the adverse party agrees, and wherein the poynt controverted consists, where they joyne issue, and where the difference rests. It is then agreed on all hands, that all subcoelestiall bodies, indiuidualls, I meane, vnder the circle of the moone, are subiect not onely to alteration, but to diminu­tion and decay, some I confesse last long, as the Eagle and Rauen a­mong birds, the Elephant and Stagge among beasts, the Oake among Vegetables, stones and mettalls among those treasures which Nature hath laid vp in the bosome of the earth: yet they all haue a time of groweth and increase, of ripenesse and perfection, and then of declination and de­crease, which brings them at last to a finall and totall dissolution. Beasts are subject to diseases, or at least to the spending of those naturall spi­rits wherewith their life and being as the Lampe with oile is mainetai ned. Vegetables to rottennesse, stones to mouldering, and mettalls to rust and canker, though I doubt not but some haue layen in the bowells of the earth vntainted since the worlds Creation, and may continue in the same case till the Consummation thereof: Which neede not seeme strange, since some of the Aegyptian Pyramides (stones drawne from their naturall beds and fortresses and exposed to the invasion of the aire and violence of the weather) haue stood already well nigh three thousand yeares, and might for ought wee know stand yet as long a­gaine And I make no question but glasse and gold and christall and pearle and pretious stones might so be vsed that they should last many thousand yeares if the world should last so long. For that which Po­ets faine of time that it eates out and devoures all things, is in truth but a poeticall fiction, since time is a branch of Quantity, it being the measure of motion, and Quantity in it selfe isno way actiue, but meerely passiue, [Page 28] as being an accident flowing from the matter. It is then either some inward conflict, or outward assault which is wrought in time that eates them out. Time it selfe without these is toothlesse, and can neuer doe it. Nay euen among Vegetables it is reported by M. Camden that whole trees lying vnder the Earth haue beene and daylie are digged vp in Cheshire, Lancheshire, & Cumberland, which are thought to haue layen there since Noahs floud, And Verstigan reports the like of finre trees dig­ged vp in the Netherlands, which are not knowne to grow any where in Cap. 4. that Countrey, neither is the soyle apt by nature to produce them, they growing in cold hillie places, or vpon high mountaines, so that it is most likely, they might from those places during the deluge by the rage of the waters be driuen thither. Yet all these consisting of the Elements, as they doe, I make no doubt, but without any outward violence in the course of nature by the very inward conflict of their principles where­of they are bred, would by degrees, though perchance for a long time insensibly, yet at last feele corruption. For a Body so equally tempered, or euenly ballanced by the Elements, that there should be no praedomi­nancie, no struggling or wrastling in it, may be imagined, but surely I thinke was neuer really subsisting in Nature, nor well can be.

SECT. 2. Touching the pretended decay of the Elements in regard of their quantity and dimensions.

I Come then in the next place from the mixt Bodies to the Elements themselues wbereof they are mixed. Of these it is certaine that they decay in their parts, but so as by a reciprocall compensation they both loose and gaine, sometime loosing what they had gotten, and then again getting what they had formerly lost, Egregia quaedam est in elementis qua­ternarum virium compensatio, aequalibus iustisque regulis ac terminis vices suas dispensantium, saith Philo in his book de Mundi incorruptibilitate, there is in the Elements a singular retribution of that foure-fold force that is in them; dispensing it selfe by euen bounds and just rules. The Element of the fire, I make no doubt, but by condensation it sometimes looses to the aire, & the aire againe by rarefaction to it. Again the aire by conden­sation looses to the water, & the water by rarefaction to it. The earth by secret conveyances sucks in & steales away the waters of the Sea, but re­turns them againe with full mouth. And these two incroach likewise & make inrodes interchangeably each vpō other. The ordinary depth of the sea is cōmonly answerable to the ordinary hight of the main land a­boue the water: and the whirlepooles & extraordinary depths answe­rable to the hight of mountaines aboue the ordinary hight of the Earth. The Promontories and necklands which butt into the Sea, what are they but solide creekes, and the creekes which thrust forth their armes into the Land, but fleeting promontories. The Ilands what are they but solide lakes, and the lakes againe but fleeting Ilands. Nay, Ilands sometimes are swal­lowed vp by the Sea, sometimes new rise out of the Sea. Sometimes parts of the Continent are recouered out of the Sea, as was a place in Egypt [Page 29] called Delta, Ammania regio, and others, nay the greatest part of the Ne­therlands Aristoteles [...] Meteor. was so recouered, as appeares by their finding innumerable shels of sea-fish almost in euery place where they dig, and other parts a­gaine irrecoverably lost by the inundation thereof as it fell out in the same Countreyes about foure hundred yeares since in the raigne of our King Henry the first, the steeples and towres which yet appeare aboue the water shewing to Passengers the revenge of that vnmercifull Ele­ment vpon a part for the losse of the whole land. Helice likewise and Bu­ra citties of Greece were drowned (as it seemes) in Ogyges sloud, of which the Poet Ovid. Met. 15.

Siquaeras Helicen & Buram Achaidos Vrbes
Invenies sub aquis.
Bura and Helice on Achayan ground,
Are sought in vaine, but vnder water found.

And Seneca in the sixth boo [...]e of his Naturall questions thus speakes of Cap. 32. these two Citties, Helicen, Burimque totas mare accepit, supra oppida duo na­vigatur, duo autem quae novimus, quae in nostram no [...]iam memoria literis ser­vata perduxit, quam multa alia alys locis mersa sunt? Helice and Buris the Sea hath wholly swallowed vp, so that now wee saile ouer two Townes, two I say which are come to our knowledge by the memory of ancient records, but how many other trow wee may bee swallowed vp in diuers other places, which we neuer heard of? Inter insulas nulla iam Delos, saith Tertullian in his booke de Pallio, among the Ilands there is now no such thing to be found as Delos: and againe Acon in Atlan­tico Lybiam aut Asiam adequans quaeritur nun [...]. Acon in the Atlanticke Sea equalling Africke or Asia is now found wanting. The story of K. Arthur, and the Knights of the round table is but an idle Booke, yet it was not (it seemes) without cause that he calls the Cornish Tristram, Sir Tristram de Lionesse, inasmuch as Master Carew of Antony in his Survay of Surv. lib. 1. Cornewall witnesseth, that the Sea hath ravened from that shire that whole Country of Lionesse, and that such a Countrey of Lionesse there was, he very sufficiently proueth by many strong reasons. Sometimes dry Townes become Hauens, and sometimes againe Hauen-townes haue become dry, as Hubert Thomas a man of very good parts, chiefe Se­cretary to Frederi [...]k the third Count Palatine of Rhene, and Prince Elector, in his description of the Country of Liege affirmeth that the Sea hath in time come vp to the wals of Tongres now well nigh an hundreth English miles from the Sea; which among other reasons he proues by the great iron rings there yet to be seene, vnto which the ships that there some­times arriued were fastned. Also Forum Iulium, a Towne seated in litto­re Narbonènsi, the present estate whereof is described very well (as all o­ther things) by that excellent Chancellour of France, Michael Hospi­talis. Epist. lib. 5.

Apparet moles antiqui diruta portus,
Atque vbi portus erat siccum nunc littus & horti
The ruines of an ancient hauen appeares to be,
But where the haven was, now gardens may you see.

In like manner the river Arno now falleth into the sea sixe miles from [Page 30] Pisa, whereby it appeareth that the Land hath there gotten much vpon Survay of Tuscany. the Sea in this coast, for that Strabo in his time reporteth it was but 20 furlongs (which is two miles and an halfe) distant from the Sea. Lastly, sometimes Ilands haue beene annexed to the Continent, as Samos which (as witnesseth Tertullian) is become sand, and Pharos which in Homers time was an Iland, but in Plinyes annexed to the Continent by the slime of Nilus, and sometimes againe peeces haue beene cut off from the Conti­nent, and made Ilands, as Sicily which was separated from the maine of Italy.

Haec loca vi quondam & vasta comvulsa ruina,
Virg, Aen, lib. 3.
(Tantum aevi longinqua valet mutare vetust as)
Dissiluisse ferunt, cùm protinùs utraque tellus
Vna foret, venit medio vi pontus & vndis
Hesperium Si [...]ulo latus abs [...]idit, arvaque & urbes
Littore diductas, angusto interluit aestu.
These places by huge force with ruine violent,
(So great a change in things long tract of time can make)
Sundred they say, which erst were both one Continent
Till in betweene the Sea with force impetuous brake,
And with his mighty waues th'Hesperian did divide
From the Sicilian shore, and now twixt townes and fields
Thus rent asunder ebbes and flowes a narrow tide.

Sic & Hispanias à contextu Africae mare eripuit, saith Seneca. Thus did the Nat. quaest. lib. 6 c. 29. Camden. Twine. Verstigan. Sea snatch away Spaine from the Continent of Africa. And this [...] ▪ as many imagine, was likewise broken off from the Continent of [...] ▪ grounding themselues partly vpon their priuate reasons, and par [...] [...] ­pon the authorities of Antonius Volscus, Dominicus Marius Niger, [...] Servius Honoratus, who seekes to proue it from that of Virgil

Et penitùs toto divisos orbe Britannos.
And Britaines wholly from the World divided.
Eciog. 1.

And of Claudian in imitation of Virgil,

—Nostro diducta Britannia mundo.
Britaine from our World seuer'd.

Of both these as well Ilands annexed to the Continent, as peeces of the Continent broken off from it by force of the Sea and made Ilands, Pliny hath written at large in the second Booke of his Naturall History, cap. 85. 86. 87. And Ovid in the 15 of Met. toucheth them both.

Fluctibus ambitae fuerant Antissa, Pharosque,
Et Phaenissa Tyros, quarum nunc Insula nulla est.
Antissa, Pharos and Phaenissian Tyre,
Now are not, but with Seas surrounded were.

And on the other side,

Leucada continuam veteres habuere coloni
Nunc freta circumeunt, Zancle quoque iuncta fuisse
Dicitur Italiae: donec confinia pontus
Abstulit, & media tellurem repulit unda
Th' old inhabitants of Leucadian Iles
Conjoyned to the Continent them found.
[Page 31] And Zancle joyned was to Italy,
Which now cut off by Sea the waues surround.

By reason of which mutuall traffique and interchange, the Elements may truly be said to remaine alwayes the same in regard of their intire bodies, as Theseus his ship so renowned antiquity was held by the schollers of Athens to be the same, though it were renewed in euery part thereof, and not a planke or pin remained of the first building. Or as a riuer may properly be said to be the same, though it vary from it selfe by the accesse of fresh supplies euery moment.

Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis, at iste
Horat. lib. [...]. ep. 2.
Labitur & labetur in omne volubilis aevum.
The Clowne waites till the foord be slidden all away,
But still it slides, and will for euer and a day.

SECT. 3. Touching the pretended decay of the Elements in regard of their qualities.

THere is no feare then of the naturall decay of the Elements in re­gard of their quantity and dimensions; all the controversie is in regard of their quality, whether the aire and water be so pure and wholsome, and the earth so fertile and fruitfull as it was some hundreths or thousands of yeares since. Touching the former, I thinke I shall make it appeare that the World in former ages hath beene plagued with more droughts, excessiue raines, windes, frosts, snowes, hailes, famines, earthquakes, pe­stilences, and other contagious diseases, then in latter times: all which should argue a greater distemper in the Elements; and for the fruitful­nesse of the earth I will not compare the present with that before the fall or before the floud: I know and beleeue that the one drew on a curse v­pon it, (though some great Divines hold that curse was rather in regard of mans ensuing labour in dressing it, then of the Earths ensuing barren­nesse) Gen 3. 17. 18. Pererius in lo­cum. and the other by washing away the surface and fatnesse thereof, and by incorporating the salt waters into it, much abated the natiue and originall fertility thereof, and consequently the vigour and vertue of plants as well in regard of nourishment as medicine. Upon which oc­casion it seemes after the Floud man had leaue giuen him to feede vpon Gen. 9. 3. the flesh of beasts and fowles and fishes, which before the floud was not lawfull. Neither can it be denied that Gods extraordinary fauour or curse vpon a land (beside the course of Nature) makes it either fruitfull or barren, A fruitfull land maketh hee barren, saith the Psalmist, for the wickednesse of them that dwell therein; And on the other side, he turneth the Psal. 107 34 35. wildernes into a standing water, and dry ground into water springs. And for grounds which are continually rent & wounded with the plowshare, worne and wasted with tillage, it is not to be wondered if they answere not the fertility of former ages: But for such as haue time and rest giuen to recouer their strength, and renew their decayed forces, or such as yet retaine their virginity without any force offered vnto them, I doubt not but experience and tryall will make it good that they haue lost no­thing [Page 32] of their primitiue goodnesse, at leastwise since the floud, and con­sequently, that there is in the earth it selfe by long-lasting no such per­petuall and vniversall decay in regard of the fruitfullnesse thereof, as is commonly imagined.

And if not in the earth it selfe, then surely not in the trees and hearbs, and plants and flowers which suck their nourishment from thence as so many infants from their mothers breast: Let any one kind of them that ever was in any part of the world since the Creation be named that is vtterly lost; no, God and Nature haue so well provided against this that one seede sometimes multiplies in one yeare many thousands of the same kind. Let it be proued by comparing their present qualities with those which are recorded in ancient writers, that in the revolution of so many ages, they haue lost any thing of their wonted colour, their smell, their tast, their vertue, their proportion, their duration. And if there be no such decay as is supposed to be found in the severall kindes of vege­tables, what reason haue wee to beleeue it in beasts, specially those that make vegetables their food. If Aristotle were now aliue, should he need to compose some new treatise De historia Animalium? in those things where he wrote vpon certaine groundes and experimentall observati­ons? haue the beasts of which he wrote any thing altered their disposi­tions? Are the wild become tame, or the strong feeble? no certaine­ly. It was true in all ages both before and since which the Poet hath

Fortes creantur fortibus, & bonis,
Est in juvencis, est in equis patrum
Horrat. Lib. 4. Od. 4.
Virtus, nec imbellem feroces
Progenerant aquilae Columbam.
From nobles noble spirits proceed,
Steeres, Horses like their Sires do proue,
The Eagle feirce doth never breed
A timerous and fearefull Doue.

Hath the Lyon forgotten his Majestie, or the Elephant his sagacity, or the Tyger his fiercenesse, or the Stagge his swiftnesse, or the Dogge his fi­delitie, or the Foxe his wilinesse? were the Oxen then of the same Coun­trey stronger for labour, the horses better featured or more serviceable then now? doubtlesse these lessons as their Mistresse cannot but teach them, so these schollers cannot but learne them, neither is it in their power to forget them.

SECT. 4. Touching the pretended decay of mankind, in regard of manners and the arts.

WIth man it is otherwise: for he hauing a free will, (at leastwise in morall and naturall actions) by reason of that liberty vari­eth both from his kind and from himselfe, more then any o­ther creature besides: And hence is it (other circumstances concurring) that in the same countrey men are sometimes generally addicted to ver­tue, sometimes to vice, sometimes to one vice, sometimes to another, [Page 33] sometimes to civillity, sometimes to barbarisme, sometimes to studi­ousnesse & learning, sometimes to ease and ignorance, sometimes they are taller of stature, sometimes lower, & lastly, sometimes longer, some­times shorter liued, ct this I say ariseth partly from the Libertie of mans will, & partly from Gods providence ouerruling & disposing all things ac­cording to the secret counsell of his owne vnsearchable wisdome.

Signat tempora proprijs
Aptans officijs Deus,
Boeth. de Con­sol. Lib. 1. Met. 6.
Nec quas ipse coercuit
Misceri patitur vices.
To proper offices
God hath each season bounded▪
And will not that the courses
He sets them be confounded.

Haec omnia mutantur saith S. Augustine, nec mutatur divinae providentiae ra­tio, qua fit Vt ista mutentur. All these things are changed, and yet the rea­son of the Divine Providence, by which they are changed, changeth not. To affirme then that humane affaires remaine allwaies in the same estate, continually drawne out as by an even thread, without variati­on, is vntrue: and on the other side to say that they allwayes degenerate and grow worse and worse, is as vnsound. For surely had it beene so, since the Creation or the fall of man, civill society, nay the world it­self could not haue subsisted, but would long since haue beene brought to vtter ruine and desolation. Omne in praecipiti vitium stetit, vice was at highest, and neere its downefall stood. And as Bodin hath Iuvenal. Salyr. 1. both rightly observed and learnedly expressed. Quod si res humanae in Method. Hist. Cap. 7. deterius prolaberentur, jampridem in extremo vitiorum ac improbitatis gradu constitissemus, quo quidem antea peruentum esse opinor. Sed cum flagitiosi ho­mines nec vlterius progredi nec eodem loco stare diutius possent, sensim regredi necesse habuerunt, vel cogente pudore qui hominibus inest ànatura, vel necessi­tate, qd in tantis sceleribus societas nullo modo coli poter at, vel etiam qd verius est, impellente Dei bonitate. If men should allwaies grow worse & worse, we had long since arriued to the vtmost point and highest pitch of vil­lany, to which it may be men haue already attained, but when they could neither make a farther progresse, nor longer abode in the same state they must needs by degrees returne againe, either very shame cō ­straining thē, which is implāted in man by nature, or meere necessitie in as much as humane societie could not stand with such an higth of wic­kednesse, or else which I rather beleeue, the Grace and Goodnesse of God moving and leading them therevnto.

Vice sometimes aboundes in one nation, and sometimes in another, and in the same nation the same vice doth not allwaies equally abound: but it either riseth or falls, raignes or vanisheth according to the dispo­sition of Rulers and execution of lawes: As is well and wisely noted by a late Historiographer of our owne in the the very entrance of his History of England, wee shall find (saith he) the same correspondencies to hold in [...]. D. the actions of men, vertues and vices the same, though rising and falling accor­ding to the worth or weakenesse of Governours; the causes of the ruines and [Page 34] mutations of states to be alike, and the traine of affaires carried by president in a course of succession vnder the like colours; and that which he observes in the history of this nation is no doubt true in all. Wee neede go no far­ther then that of the Iewes for a notable instance in this kind: who at times, more zealous then they in the worship of God, and the exercises of religion? and who againe, at other times more rebellious? It is said of them in the psalme, Then beleeued they his wordes, but presently it fol­lowes Psal. 106. 12. V. 13. 14. in the very next verse, They soone forgot his workes: and according to their obedience or rebellion so were they either prosperous or vn­fortunate in the course of their affaires: during their faith & fidelity to­wards God, every man of thē was in warre as a thousand strong, and as much as a greate Senate for counsell in peacable deliberations: contra­riwise if they swerved, (as they often did) their wonted courage and magnanimity forsooke them vtterly, their souldiers and military men trēbled at the sight of the naked sword, when they entred into mutuall cōference & sate in councell for their owne good, that which children might haue seene, their gravest Senatours could not discerne, their Pro­phets saw darkenesse in steed of Visions, and the wise and prudent were asmen bewitcht.

Now that which is spoken touching the revolutions and returnes of vertues and vices, is likewise true in Artes and sciences. Hinc factum est, (saith Contarenus,) vt quibusdam aetatibus acerrima hominum ingenia vige­re, alijs tanquā flaccesscere videantur. Hence it is that in some ages the wits De perfectione Re [...]an Lib. 2. Cap. 4. of men seeme wonderfull sharpe, and againe in others flat and blunt. And it is a true observation which Ramus to this purpose hath, commi­grationes gentium variae cemmemorantur, commigrationes literarum & disci­plinarúm commemorari possent, non minores. wee read of diverse commi­grations or remoualls of Nations, and surely no lesse of Arts and Scien­ces might be observed. Whervpon Aristotle who held the Arts Eter­nall, as hee did the world, yet tells vs there was allwayes a rising and a 1. de Coelo. & 1. Meteor. falling of them as of the starres: so as sometimes they flourished in one place and age, and sometimes in another: as the starres sometime shine in our Hemisphere, sometimes in the other. Where was there ever more learning and sciencè then in Greece, and where is there now in the world more barbarisine? what most exellently learned men, pillers and lightes of the Church of Christ hath Africa brought forth as Tertullian, Minu­tius, Optatus, Lactantius, Arnobius, his Master Fulgentius, St. Cyprian, and St. Augustine? and with what learned men is Africa in our time acquain­ted? Contrariwise in the flourishing daies of the Romans how vtterly without all knowledg of letters were the Germans and Netherlanders, & how do they now a daies flourish in all kind of learning & cunning? While the Arts through the Christian world lay in a manner buried in negligence and obscuritie, then did their lustre shine forth most clearly in Ireland, thither did our English Saxons repaire as to a Faire or Market of good letters: Whence of the holy men of those times wee often read in our Ancient writers. Amandatus est ad disciplinam in Hiberniam. He was sent into Ireland to study there. And in the life of Sulgen, who Camden in Hi­bernia. liued about six hundred yeare agoe.

[Page 35] Exemplo Patrum commotus amore legend [...]
Iuit ad Hybernos sophia mirabile claros:
J [...]cobus Curio [...]. 2. K [...]: Chron.
And for to skill and learning he aspired
Treading the steps of Ancestours he sayled
To Ireland, then for wisedome much admired.

And it may seeme that the English Saxons borrowed from them the manner of forming their letters, since they vsed the same character which the Irish vse at this day, yet now when learning is as it were re­vived againe from the graue, thorow all Christendome, onely this part of it (which was then as another Goshen in Aegypt) remaines for the most part vnlightned, in the darkenes of ignorance, incivility, and super­stition. Thus Almighty God in sundry ages and in severall places casts abroad the seedes of learning and knowledge, which in their due time grow vp and spread abroad to the glory of his owne name and the be­hoofe of mankind. Neither can I heere let passe the words of Bodin to like effect touching the Arts and inventions of wit as were those be­fore alleadged touching vertue and vice; Haec illa est, (saith hee) rerum omnium tam certa conversio vt dubitare nemo debeat quin idem in hominum ingenijs, quod in agris eueniat qui maiori vbertate gratiam quietis referre so­lent. This is that certaine wheeling about of all things, so that no man neede doubt but the same befalls mens wits that doth their groundes which are wont to recompence the favour of their rest with the more plenteous croppe.

SECT 5. Touching this pretended decay in regard of the duration of mens liues their strength and stature.

THe same vicissitude and revolution as is in Arts and wits is like­wise to be found in the ages of men, and the duration of their liues; as my Lord of S. Alban hath truely noted, decursus saeculorum & successio propaginis nihil videntur omnino demere de diuturnitate vit [...]. The course of times and succession of progenies seeme to abate nothing Historia vitae & Mortis, pag. 156. from the lasting of mens liues. Certaine times there are in all Regi­ons in which the thread of mens liues is either drawne out longer or contracted to a shorter scantling: For the most part they liue longer when the times are more barbarous, their diet more simple, and the exer­cise of mens bodies more in vse: but shorter when the times are more Civill and men more given to luxury and ease, which passe and returne by turnes, Succession it selfe effects nothing therein, alone. in case it did, the first man in reason should haue lived longest, and the son should still come short of his fathers age: so that whereas Moses tells vs that the dayes of mans age in his time were threescore yeares and tenne, by this rec­koning Ps. 90. 1 [...]. they might well enough by this time be brought to tenne, or twenty, or thirty at most. It cannot be denied but that in the first ages of the world both before and after the floud men vsually lived longer then wee finde they haue done in latter ages: But that I should rather choose to ascribe to some extraordinary priviledge then to the ordinary [Page 36] course of nature. The world was then to be replenished with inhabi­tants, which could not so speedily be done but by an extraordinary multiplication of mankinde: neither could that be done, but by the long liues of men. And againe Arts and sciences were then to be plan­ted, for the better effecting whereof, it was requisite, that the same men should haue the experience and observation of many ages. For as ma­ny Aristotle. Sensations breed an experiment, so doe many experiments a Science.

Per varios vsus artem experimentia fecit
Exemplo monstrante viam.
Through much experience Arts invented were
Manilius, l. 1.
Example shewing way.

Specially it was requisite men should liue long for the perfecting of Astronomy, and the finding out of the severall motions of the heavenly bodies, whereof some are so slow, that they aske a long time precisely to obserue their periods and reuolutions. It was the complaint of Hip­pocrates, Ars longa vita brevis. And therefore Almighty God in his wise­dome then proportioned mens liues to the length of Arts; and as God gaue them this speciall priviledge to liue long: so in likelihood hee gaue them withall a temper & constitution of body answereable there­vnto. As also the foode wherewith they were nourished, specially be­fore the floud, may well bee thought to haue beene more wholesome and nutritiue, and the plants more medicinall: And happily the influence of the heavens was at that time, in that clymate where the Patriarches li­ued, more favourable and gratious. Now such a revolution as there is in the manners, wits, and ages of men, the like may well bee presumed in their strength and stature. Videtur similis esse ratio in magnitudine corporum siue statura quae nec ipsa per successionem propaginis defluit. There seemeth Hist. vit. et mor­is. pag. 158. to be the like reason in the groweth & bignesse of mens bodies, which decreaseth not by succession of ofspring; but men are sometimes in the same nation taller, sometimes of a shorter stature, sometimes stronger, and sometimes weaker, as the times wherein they liue, are more tem­perate or luxurious, more given to labour or exercise, or to ease and i­dlenesse. And for those narrations which are made of the Gyantlike statures of men in former ages, many of them were doubtles merely poeticall and fabulous. I deny not but such men haue beene, who for their strength and stature haue beene the miracles of nature, the worlds wonders, whom God would therefore haue to bee, (saith S. Austine) that hee might shew, that as well the bignesse as the beautie of the body, are not to be ranged in the number of things good in themselues, as being common both to good and badde. Yet may wee justly suspect that which Suetonius hath not spared to write, that the bones of huge beasts, or sea-monsters, both haue and still doe, passe currant for the bones of Gyants. A very notable story to In Augusto, cap. 72. this purpose, haue wee recorded by Camerarius who reports that Fran­cis Medit. Hist. cap. 82. the first, king of France, who reigned about an hundred yeares since, being desirous to know the truth of those things, which were com­monly spread, touching the strength and stature of Rou'land, nephew to Charlelamaine, caused his sepulchre to be opened, wherein his bones and bow were found rotten, but his armour sound, though couered [Page 37] with rust, which the king commaunding to bee scoured off, and put­ting it vpon his owne body, found it so fit for him, as thereby it appea­red that Rouland exceeded him little in bignesse and stature of bodie, though himselfe were not excessiue tall or bigge.

SECT. 6. The precedents of this chapt: summarily recollected, and the me­thode observed in the ensuing treatise proposed

NOw briefely and summarily to recollect and as it were to winde vp into one clue or bottome what hath more largely beene discoursed thorow this chapter, I hold first that the heavenly bo­dies are not at all, either in regard of their substance, motion, light, warmth or influence in the course of nature at all impaired, or subject to any impai­ring or decay: Secondly, that all individuals (vnder the Cope of heaven) mixed of the elements are subject to a naturall declination and dissoluti­on: Thirdly, that the quantity of the Elements themselues is subject to im­pairing in regard of their parts, though not of their intire bodies: Fourth­ly, that the ayre and earth and water and diverse seasons diversely affe­cted sometime for the better, sometime for the worse, and that either by some speciall favour or judgement of God, or by some cause in nature, secret or apparent: Fiftly, that the severall kindes of beasts, of plantes, of fishes, of birds, of stones, of mettalls, are as many in number, as at the Cre­ation, & every way in Nature as vigorous, as at any time since the floud: Sixtly, and lastly that the manners, the wits, the health, the age, the strength, and stature of men daily vary, but so as by a vicissitude and reuolution they returne againe to their former points from which they declined & againe decline, and againe returne, by alternatiue and interchangeable courses, Erit hic rerum in se remeantium orbis, quamdiù erit ipse orbis, This Lipsuis de con­stant. 1. 16. circle and ring of things returning alwayes to their principles will ne­uer cease as long as the world lasts.

Repetunt proprios cuncta recursus
Boetius l. 3. Met. 2.
Reditu (que) suo singula gaudent
Nec manet vlli traditus ordo
Nisi quod fini iunxerit ortum
Stabilem (que) sui fecerit orbem.
To their first spring all things are backeward bound
And every thing in its returne delighteth
Th'order once setled can in nought be found
But what the end vnto the birth vniteth
And of its selfe doth make a constant round.

And consequently there is no such vniversall and perpetuall decay in the frame of the Creatures as is commonly imagined, and by some strongly maintained.

The methode which I propose is first to treate heereof in generall that so a cleerer way, and easier passage may be opened to the particulars; then of the Heavens as being the highest in situation, and the noblest in outward glory and duration, as also in their efficacie, and vniversality of [Page 38] operation, and therefore doth the Prophet rightly place them next God himselfe, in the order of Causes, it shall come to passe in that day, saith the H [...]sca, 2, 21. Lord, that I will heare the heavens, and they shall heare the earth, and the earth shall heare the corne, and the wine, and the oile, and they shall heare Israell. From that we may descend to the foure Elements, which as a musicall instrument of foure strings, is both tuned and touched by the hand of heaven: And in the next place those bodies, which are mixed and tem­pered of these Elements, offer themselues to our consideration, whe­ther they bee without life, as stones and mettalls, or haue the life of vege­tation only, as Plants; or both of vegetation and sense, as beasts and birds and fishes; and in the last place, man presents himselfe vpon this Theater, as being created last, though first intended, the master of the whole fa­mily, & chiefe Commaunder in this great house, nay the master-peece, the abridgment, the mappe and modell of the Vniuerse. And in him wee will examine this pretended decay, first in regard of age and length of yeares, secondly in regard of strength and stature, thirdly in regard of wits, and Arts, and fourthly and lastly in regard of manners and condi­tions, to which all that is in man is or should bee finally referred, as all that is in the world is, vnder God, finally referred to man. And be­cause it is not sufficient to possesse our owne fort, without the disman­tling and demolishing of our enimies, a principall care shall bee had throughout the whole worke, to answere, if not all, at least the princi­pall of those obiections which I haue found, to weigh most with the ad­verse part. And in the last place, least I should any way bee suspected to shake or vndermine the ground of our Christian religion, or to wea­ken the article of our beliefe touching the consummation of the world, by teaching that it decayes not, to wipe off that aspertion, I will endea­vour to prooue the certainety thereof, not so much by Scripture, which no Christian can be ignorant of, as by force of Reason and the testimony of Heathen writers; and finally I will conclude with an exhortation grounded therevpon for the stirring of men vp, to a preparation of themselues against that day, which shall not only end the world, but iudge their actions, and dispose of the everlasting estate of their persons.

CAP. 4. Touching the worlds decay in generall.

SECT. 1. The three first generall reasons that it decayes not.

THe same Almighty hand which created the worlds massie The first rea­son drawne from the pow­er of that Spi­rit which quickens and supports it. frame and gaue it a being out of nothing, doth still support and maintaine it, in that being, which at first it gaue, and should it with draw himselfe but for a moment, the whole frame would instantly returne into that nothing, which before the Creation it was, as Gregorie hath righly observed, Deus suo presentiali esse, dat omnibus rebus esse ita quod si se rebus subtraheret, sicut de nihilo facta sunt omnia, sic in nihilum [Page 39] diffluerent vniversa. God by his presentiall Essence giues vnto all things an Essence, so that if hee should withdraw himselfe from them, as out of nothing they were first made, so into nothing they would be againe resolved. In the preservation then of the Creature, wee are not so much to consider the impotencie, and weakenesse thereof, as the goodnesse, wise­dome, and power of the Creator, in whom, and by whom, and for whom, they liue and moue and haue their being. The spirit of the Lord filleth the world, (saith the Authour of the wisedome of Solomon, and the secret working Cap. 1. 7. of the spirit, which thus pierceth through all things, hath the Poet excel­lently exprest,

Principio caelum ac terr as camposque liquentes
Aeneid 6.
Lucentemque globum Lunae, Titaniaque astra
Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus
Mens agitat molem & magno se corpore miscet.
The heauen, the earth, and all the liquide maine,
The Moones bright globe, and starres Titanian
A spirit within maintaines, and their whole masse,
A minde which through each part infus'd doth passe,
Fashions and workes and wholly doth transpierce
All this great Body of the Vniverse.

This Spirit the Platonists call the Soule of the World, by it, it is in some sort quickned and formaliz'd, as the body of man is by its reasonable Soule. There is no question then, but this Soule of the World, (if wee may so speake) being in truth none other then the immortall Spirit of the Creator, is able to make the body of the World immortall, and to pre­serue it from disolution, as he doth the Angels, and the spirits of men: and were it not that he had determined, to dissolue it by the same super­naturall and extraordinary power, which at first gaue it existence, I see not but by the ordinary concurrence of this spirit, it might euerlastingly endure: and that consequently (to driue it home to our present pur­pose) there is no such vniversall and perpetuall decay in the course of Na­ture; as is imagined, and this I take to be the meaning of Philo, in that booke which he hath composed De Mundi incorruptibilitate, of the Worlds incorruptibility; there being some who haue made the World eternall without any beginning or ending, as Aristotle, and the Peripa­teticks, others giue it a beginning, but without ending, as Plato and the Academicks, whom Philo seemes to follow; and lastly others both be­ginning & ending, as Christians and other Sects of Philosophers, whom Aristotle therefore flouts at, saying that he formerly feared his house might fall downe about his eares, but that now he had a greater matter to feare, which was the dissolution of the world. But had this pretended vniversall & perpetuall decay of the World beene so apparant as some would make it, his flout had easily beene returned vpon himselfe, & his opinion by dayly & sensible experience as easily confuted, which wee may well wonder none of those Philosophers who disputed against him, (if they acknowledged and beleeued the trueth thereof) should a­ny where presse in defence of their owne opinions, it being indeed the most vnanswerable and binding argument that possibly could be enfor­ced [Page 40] against him, were there that evident certaintie in it as is commonly imagined, whereas he in the sharpnesse of his wit seeing the weakenesse thereof, would not so much as vouchsafe it a serious answere, but puts it off with a jeast. For mine owne part I constantly beleeue that it had a beginning, and shall haue an ending, and hold him not worthy the name of a Christian who holds not as much: yet so as I beleeue both, to bee matter of faith; through faith we vnderstand that the Worlds were framed by the word of God; and through the same faith we likewise vnderstand that Heb. 11. 3. they shall be againe vnframed by the same word. Reason may grope at this truth in the darke, howbeit it can neuer cleerely apprehend it; but inlightned by the beame of faith. I deny not but probable, though not demonstratiue and convincing arguments, may be drawn from discourse of reason to proue either the one or the other, and among the rest that taken from the Worlds decay, to proue the finall consummation thereof, I take to be most vnsound, in as much as it beggs a principle, which is not to be graunted, and supposeth such a decay, which in my judgment to the worlds end and the day of Judgment will neuer be soundly and suffici­ently proued.

I remember the Philosophers propose a question, Vtrum Mundus solo generali concursu Dei perpetuo durare possit? Whether the World by the ordinary and generall cooperation of Gods power and prouidence Ruvio de caelo & mundo lib. 1. cap. 12. could still last or no? and for the most part they conclude it affirma­tiuely, euen such as professed the Christian Religion, and for proofe of their assertion they bring in effect this reason. The Heauens, say they 2. reason frō the conside­ration of the seuerall parts of the World. are of a nature which is not capable in it selfe of corruption, the losse of Elements is recouered by compensation, of mixt Bodies without life by accretion, of liuing Bodies by succession, the fall of one being the rising 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 commeth, but the earth a­bideth Eccles. 1. 4. for euer.

—Mutantur in aevum
Singula, & incoeptum alternat natura tenorem,
Quodque dies antiqua tulit, post auferet ipsa.
Pontanus cap. 48 meteor.
Each thing in euery age doth vary
And Nature changeth still the course she hath begun,
And will eftsoones vndoe what she erewhile had done.

Againe, all subcoelestiall bodies (as is evident) consist of matter and 3 Reason from the like consi­deration. forme; Now the first matter hauing nothing contrary vnto it, cannot by the force of nature be destroyed, and being created immediatly by God, it cannot be abolished by any inferiour agent. And as for the formes 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 & is retired, but another presently comes forth vpon the stage, though it may bee in a different shape, and to act a dif­ferent part, so that no portion of the matter is, or at any time can be al­together voide & empty, but like Vertumnus or Proteus it turnes it selfe into a thousand shapes, and is alwayes supplied and furnished with one forme or other.

[Page 41] Nec sic interimit mors res, ut materiaï
Lucret. lib. 2.
Corpora consiciat, sed coetum dissipat ollis:
Inde alijs aliud coniungit. & efficit, omnes
Res vt convertant formas, mutentque colores
Et capiant sensus, & puncto tempore reddant:
Vt nos [...]as referre, eadem primordia rerum.
Death doth not so destroy things
As it the matter to nought brings.
It onely doth dissolue the frame,
And so it leaues to be the same,
And joyning other things it changeth
Their shape, forme, colour, and so rangeth
Their being at times, that you may know
They all from like principles doe flow.

Neither in trueth in the course of Nature can it possibly be otherwise; since it intends not the abolition of any thing, as being a defect, and con­trary to it's owne good, but for the succession and generation of some o­ther thing in the roome thereof. As Nature then cannot create by ma­king something out of nothing: so neither can it annihilate by turning something into nothing. Whence it consequently followes as there is no accesse, so there is no diminution in the vniversall, no more then there is in the Alphabet by the infinite cōbination & transposition of letters, or in the waxe by the alteration of the seale stamped vpon it. If a man should take but one drop of water in the whole yeare from the Ocean, or but one sand from the sea shore, or but one grasse from the earth without any new supply, nay without a supply proportionable, that the additiō may fully countervaile & repaire the subtractiō, their store must in continuance of time of necessity bee emptied and vtterly exhausted; and in like manner the World being finite, and there being no accesse to the whole, if there should bee any such perpetuall and vniversall de­cay and decrease in all the parts thereof, as is pretended, it must needes at last by degrees be annihilated and brought to nothing, which is both in reason, and by the consent of all Divines, as incommunicably the effect of a power divine and aboue nature, as is the worke of the Crea­tion it selfe, so as whatsoeuer is taken from one, must of necessity be gi­uen to another.

Ne res ad nihilum redigantur protinus omnes.
Lest things ere long to nothing should be brought.
Luc [...]. lib. [...].

Put the case then that some principall part of the World should still de­crease, surely some others must thereupon continually increase, or there would follow some diminution, and consequently some annihilation in respect of the whole, & if vpon the continuall decrease of some, others should still increase, there would likewise thereupon follow such a dis­proportion, and jarring as they could neuer well accord, and in the end the whole would be turned into those which gained by the losse, and grew great by the fall of others, & consequently they would proue the ruine both of others and themselues, as the splene growing and swel­ling to an immoderate bignes vpon the pining of the other parts, in the [Page 42] end ruines both it selfe and them, as then a due proportion is held be­twixt the parts as well in the naturall body of man as the body poli­tique of the state for the vpholding of the whole, so is there likewise by the divine providence in this vast body of the World, not that any of the limbs or members thereof (the heauens onely excepted) remaine without their alteration or diminution, but because they mutually by tur [...]es and exchanges both take one from another, and again repay one to another what they formerly tooke, by which meanes neither is any thing lost in the whole, nor any one part so either infeebled by decrease, or by increase ouer strengthned as they loose that proportion which makes the musicke of the whole, or that vse and seruice which to the whole they all stand obliged to performe, and to this purpose it is sure­ly as a diuine oracle, for the wisdome & trueth thereof, which the Poet hath put into the mouth of Pythagoras.

Nec species sua cuique manet: rerumque novatrix
Ovid. Met... 15.
Ex alijs alias reparat natura figuras.
Nec perit in tanto quidquam (mihi credite) mundo:
Sed variat, faciemque novat: nascique vocatur
Incipere esse aliud, quàm quod fuit ante: morique
Desinere illud idem: cùm sint huc forsitan illa,
Haec translata illuc, summâ tamen omnia constant.
They hold not long their shapes, but soone Dame Nature.
Of one shape lost brings forth another feature;
Beleeue it, in so great and huge a masse
Nothing doth perish, but change and vary face;
We say a thing new borne is, when as
It doth become another then it was:
And so wee say, a thing doth suffer death.
When it the forme forsakes, as men their breath,
And though the counters be plac't lower or higher,
Yet still the totall summe doth stand entire,

SECT. 2. Fourth reason for that such a decay as is supposed would in time point out the very day of the worlds expiration, and consequently of the second comming of Christ.

ANother speciall reason mouing me to beleeue that the Worlds sup­posed decay is but imaginary, is that it would in time point out the very date of its expiration, so that men should be able frō the extremity of the disorder & cōfusion (into which it would by degrees degenerate) by the rule of proportion, as it were by the euen decrease of sand or wa­ter in an houre-glasse prognosticate the instant beyond which it could no longer subsist; whereas before the Vniversall Deluge which swept a­way euery liuing soule breathing vpon the face of the Earth, (except Noah & his Family, and the beasts which lodged with him vnder the roofe of the same Arke) wee reade of no such fore-running declination [Page 43] which was the reason that men tooke no notice of it till it over tooke them, and as it was then, so shall it be at the sudden, and vnexpected comming of the second deluge of fire. For as in the d [...]es which were before Math. 24 38. the floud, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giuing in marriage vn­till the day that Noah entred into the Arke, and knew not vntill the flood came and swept them all away: So shall also the comming of the sonne of man bee: it 2. Peter. 3. 10. shall be like the comming of the theefe in the night, when men shall say, Peace 1. Thess. 5. 3. and safety, then sudden distruction shall come vpon them.

The more I wonder what should make the Authour of the Scholasti­call In Libr. Gen. Cap. 35. history thus to write, Tradunt Sancti quod quadraginta annis ante judi­cium non videbitur arcus coelestis, id quod etiam naturaliter ostendet desiccatio­nem aeris. Holy men affirme that forty yeares before the day of ludg­ment no rainebow shall appeare, which shall serue as a naturall signe of the drought in the ayre already begun. Those Holy men he names not, neither can I so much as conjecture who they should bee, since no such opinion, nor any mention thereof (as I presume) is to be found in the writings of any of the Ancient Fathers now extant, neither in truth is it any way grounded, either vpon Scripture or shew of reason drawne from thence. And besides it assumes that as yeelded, which is not onely vn­certaine, but certainely false, that the conflagration of the world shall be wrought, or at leastwise prepared by second and naturall causes, whereas it shall doubtlesse be the supernaturall worke of Gods omnipotencie, as was likewise the drowning of it. Howbeit Henricus Mecliniensis scholer to Albertus Magnus in his Comentaries vpon the great Conjunctions of Albumazar, seemes to referre it to the watery constellations then reigning, as some o­thers do, the future generall conbustion to the predominance of fiery constellations: whereas notwithstanding they ascribe the vniversall de­clination and dotage of nature to the want of that warmth which former ages enioyed: So that according to their groundes following the course of nature the world should rather haue beene burned in Noahs time, it being then in the prime and strength of naturall heate, and re­served for a floud at the last day, it being now accordig to their opinion seazed vpon, with cold and waterish humours, or at least their feined fi­ery constellations would better haue suted with those times, and the waterish with ours. But thus wee see how curiositie intangleth, and er­rour ever crosseth and contradicteth it selfe. Haec est mendaciorum na­tura vt cohaerere non possint (sayth Lactantius) Such is the property of 5. 3. falsehoods that they can never hang together.

At nulla est discordia veris,
Boethius Lib. 5. Metr. 3.
Semper que sibi certa cohaerent.
In true things discord is there none,
They friendly still agree in one.

SECT. 3. Fifth reason that vpon the supposition of such a decay, the vigour of the world must needs long since haue beene exhausted and worne out.

A fifth reason which makes mee thinke that Nature neither hath nor doth degenerate and pine away in the severall kindes of Cre­atures in regard of their number, dimensions, faculties or operations, is that in the course of so many ages allready past, the vigour and strength of it must needes haue beene vtterly exausted and worne out. If in every Centenary of yeares from the Creation or since the floud some small abatement onely should haue beene made, (which notwithstanding the Patrons of the adverse opinion hold to be greate, as will appeare when wee come to the examination of the particulers,) and if wee should question a man of an hundred yeares of age about this point, what a won­derfull change will he tell you of, since his remembrance: so that if wee should goe backward and proportionablely allow the like change within the like compasse of yeares, since the beginning of the world, it could not possiblely subsist at this day. But put the case, as I say, that not so greate as is imagined, but some small abatement should be made for every Centenary, surely evē in that proportion nothing else could now be left vnto vs but the very refuse & bran, the drosse & dregges of nature. and as heavy things sinke in rivers, but strawes and stickes are carried downe the streame, so in this long current of time, the kernell and pith of Nature must needes haue beene spent and wasted, onely the rinde and shells should haue beene left to vs. The Heavens could not by their warmth and influence haue beene able sufficiently to cherish the earth, nor the earth to keepe the plantes from staruing at her breasts, nor the plants to nourish the beastes, nor could the beastes haue beene serviceable for the vse of man, nor man himselfe of abilitie to exercise the right of his dominion over the beastes and other Creatures. The Sunne by this time would haue beene no brighter then the Moone or Starrs, Cedars would haue beene no taller then shrubs, Horses no bigger then Doggs, Elephants then Oxen, Oxen then Sheepe, Eagles then Pigeons, Pigeons then Sparrowes, and then whole race of mankind must haue become Pigmies, and mustered themselues to encounter with Cranes.

If we should allow but one inch of decrease in the growth of men for e­uery Centenary, (& lesse cānot well be imagined) there would at this pre­sent be abated allmost fiue foote in their ordinary stature, which notwith­standing was held the competent height of a man, aboue sixteene hundred yearers since, & so still continues, so that the ordinary stature of the men of the first age should by this rule haue beene about tenne foote, which ex­ceeds that of Goliah by some inches. Sir Walter Rauleigh who in sundry places positiuely defendes natures vniversall decay, (which I must con­fesse I somewhat marvell at, in a man of that peirceing wit and cleare iudgment, but that as others he tooke it vp vpon trust, without bringing History of the world. [...]. 1 Lib. 1. cap. 5. it to the touchstone) to prooue men to be but reedes now a dayes, as he [Page 45] termeth them, in comparison of the Cedars of former ages, giues vs an instance, drawne from the times and practise of Galen in comparison of ours, telling vs that Galen did ordinarily let bloud, six pound weight, whereas wee (saith hee) for the most part stop at six ounces. The truth of his allegation touching Galens practise, I shall heereafter haue [...]itter oc­casion to examine, in the chapter purposely dedicated to the conside­ration of mens decay in strength; at this time I will only touch the matter of proportion. There is some doubt among Chronologers, of the precise time wherein Galen liued, as appeares by Gesner in his life; but in this they all agree, that he practised at least two hu [...]dred yeares since Christ, so that taking our leuell from thence, we may safely affirme that hee flou­rished about fourteene hundred yeares since, in the compasse of which time, men haue lost by that account about a pound of bloud for euery Centenary, which proportion of losse, if wee should obserue in the like distances of time before Galen from the Creation, it were not possible that so much as a drop of bloud should be left in any mans body at this day. From these particulars wee may guesse at the rest, as retaylers doe of the whole peece, by taking a view of the ends thereof, or as Pythagoras drew out the measure of Hercules whole body from the S [...]antling of his foote.

SECT. 4. Sixth argument taken from the authority of Solomon and his rea­son drawne from the Circulation of all things as it were in a ring.

TO these reasons may be added the weighty authority of the wi­sest man that euer liued, of a meere man; how often doth he beat vpon the circulation and running round of all things as it were in a ring: how earnestly and eloquently doth hee presse it, and expresse it as it were in liuely colours in that most divine booke of the Preacher. The Sunne (saith hee) ariseth, and the Sunne goeth downe, and hasteth to the Cap. 1 & cap. 5. 6. 7. place where he arose. Which Boetius discoursing vpon the same Theme hath elegantly set forth.

Cadit Hesperias Phoebus in vndas
Sed secreto tramite rursus
Lib. 3. Met. 2.
Cursum solitos vertit ad ortus.
The sunne doth set in Westerne maine,
But yet returnes by secret wayes.
Vnto his wonted rise againe.

But the Preacher stayes not there. The winde goeth toward the South and turneth about toward the North, it whirleth about continually and returneth againe according to his circuites. All the rivers runne into the Sea, yet the sea is not full. Vnto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they returne againe. Wherevpon hee inferres, the thing that hath beene, it is that that shall bee, and that which is done, is that which shall bee done, and there is no new v. 9. 10. thing vnder the sunne. Is there any thing whereof it may bee sayd, behold this is new? it hath beene already of old time before vs; & againe, that which hath [Page 47] beene is now, and that which is to bee hath already beene, and God requireth Cap. 3. 15. that which is past. Now this wheeling about of all things in their seasons and courses, and their supposed perpetuall decrease, are in my vnderstan­ding incompatible, they cannot possiblely stand together, nor be truly af­firmed of the same subject. For if they returne againe to their times and turnes, to the state from which they declined, as Boetius speakes of a bowed twigge. Lib de Con. Phil. 3. Met. 2.

Validis quondam viribus acta
Pronum flectit virga cacumen
Hanc si curuans dextra remisit
Recto spectat vertice coelum.
The tender plant by force and might
Constran'd its top doth downeward bend:
Romoue the hand which bowed it
And straight to heaven-wards will it tend.

If I say they thus returne to their former condition, as hath bin more at large proved by Lodovicus Regius, a French man in a booke which Louys Le Roy. hee purposely intitles, De La Vicissitude des choses, and dedicates it to Henry the third King of France, then can it not bee they should alway grow worse and worse, as on the other side if they alway degenerate and grow worse and worse, it cannot be they should haue such returnes as So­lomon speakes of, wise and learned men in all ages haue observed, and ex­perience daily confirmes. The Poets faine that Saturne was wont to devou [...]e his sonnes and then to vomite them vp againe, which fiction of theirs (saith Rodogin) the wiser sort vnderstand to be referred to time shadowed vnder the name of Saturne, à quo vicibus cuncta gignantur & Lib. 7. c. 4 [...]. absumantur quae renascantur denuò, because as all things spring from time and by it are consumed, so in it they are renewed and restored a­gaine. And by this meanes the world for the intire, is still preserved safe and sound.

Exutae variant faciem per secula gentes,
At manet incolumis mundus, sua (que) omnia servat
Mani [...]us, l. 1.
Quae nec long a dies auget, minuitve senectus:
Nec motus puncto currit, cursuve fatigat.
Idem semper erit quoniam semper fuit idem,
Non alium videre patres aliumve nepotes
The people chang'd, at times the face doth vary,
The world stands sound, and alwaies holds its owne,
Nor by long daies encreas'd, nor age lesse growne,
Runnes round, yet moues not, nor by running's weary,
Was still the same and still the same shall bee
That which our gransirs saw our sonnes shall see.

CAP. 5. Generall arguments making for the worlds decay refuted.

SECT. 1. The first generall objection drawne from reason answered.

HOwbeit, as the great Patriarch of Philosophers hath taught vs that Verum est index sui & obliqui, Truth may serue as a square or rule both for it selfe and falshood, as a right line discovers the obli­quity of a crooked, yet because

Qui statuit aliquid parte inaudita altera,
Sen. Med [...]. Act. 2.
Aequum licet statuerit, haud aequus fuit:
Who but one party heares yet doth decree,
Iust is he not, though iust his sentence bee.

Let vs see what the Adverse part can say for themselues. Their gene­rall arguments then for the worlds decay are drawne, partly from rea­son, and partly from authority. The maine argument drawne from reason, vpon which all the rest, in a manner depend, so as I may call it, the Pole-deede of their evidence, is this, That the Creature the neerer it approa­ches to the first mould, the more perfect it is, and according to the degrees of its remouall and distance from thence, it incurres the more imperfection and weakenes, as streames of a fountaine the farther they runne thorow vncleane passages, the more they contract corruption. For the loosing of which knot, I shall craue pardon if I inlarge myselfe and make a full answere there­vnto, considering that in the striking off, of this head, the body of the opposite reasons fall to the ground, and at the shaking of this foundati­on, the whole building totters. First then I will examine the truth of this proposition, whether every thing the farther it departs from its originall, the more it looses of its perfection, because vpon it the weight of the argument is grounded; and secondly I will consider how iustly it is applied to this pre­sent purpose. For the first whether wee behold the workes of Art or Nature or Grace, wee shall finde that they all proceede by certaine steps from a more imperfect and vnpolished being to that which is more ab­solute and perfect. To begin with the workes of Grace: in the course of Christianity wee grow both in knowledge and vertue, in illumination & sanctification, as the blind man in the Gospell having recovered his sight, first saw men walking like trees confusedly and indistinctly, but after­wards more cleerely: in knowledge wee grow by leauing the principles of the doctrine of Christ, and going on vnto perfection, by leauing milke fitte for Hebr. 6. 1. babes, and vsing stronger meate belonging to them that are of full age, who by Hebr. 5. 13. 14. reason of an habit haue their senses exercised to discerne both good and evill. In vertue wee grow, not only by adding vertue to vertue, as it were linke to linke, but by increasing in those vertues as it were by inlarging the 2. Pet. 1. 5. links, that the man of God may be made perfect, thorowly furnished vnto every 2. Tim. 3. 17. good worke. For the workes of Arts wee see the Limmer to begin with a rude draught, and the Painter to lay his grounds with shaddowes and darksome colours, the weauer out of a small threed, makes a rich and faire peece, and the Architect vpon rubbish laies a goodly pile of buil­ding, [Page 48] which at first consists of naked walles, but at last is furnished with variety of houshold stuffe, and garnished with hangings and pictures. Lastly for the workes of Nature out of what a confused Chaos was the goodly frame of this world raised? out of what vnworthy little seedes spring the tallest trees, and most beautifull flowers, nay what a base begin­ning at the first Creation had and still hath man himselfe the Lord of the Creatures so as himselfe euen blushes to mention it, how impotent and vnable to helpe himselfe is he brought into the world? how slowly doth hee come forward to the vse of his senses, his strength, his reason? yet at length by degrees if hee liue and be of a sound constitution, hee arriues vnto it. By which it appeares that at leastwise individuals, in the severall workes both of Grace and Art and Nature, the farther they proceed from their originall, the more perfect they are, till they arriue to their state of perfection, though heerein they differ, that Art and Na­ture then decline, but Grace is turned into Glory.

And for the species or kinds of things, which is it that specially con­cernes our present question, as I cannot affirme that by degrees they grow on still to greater perfection, so neither can I finde that they dai­ly grow more imperfect. For Grace wee know, it was more abundantly powred out by the incarnation and passion of the Sonne of God in this lat­ter age of the world, then at any time before since the first creation there­of. And of Art it is commonly thought that neere about the same time the Romane empire was at the highest and Souldiers, Poets, Oratours, Philosophers, Historians, Polititians, never more excellent, which withall should argue that Nature was at that time rather strengthned then enfee­bled, in as much as both Art and Grace are built vpon Nature, I meane the naturall faculties of the soule, which commonly follow the temper of the body, & the more vigorous they are, the more happily are both Art and Grace exercised by them.

Now for the application of the proposition to the present purpose touching the worlds decay, it is evident, that if it were indeed of that force as is pretended, it would therevpon follow that in the course of Nature Adam should haue beene the tallest and longest-liu'd man that e­uer breathed vpon the face of the earth; whereas notwithstanding wee reade not of any Gyants till a little before the floud; and Noah who liued after the floud saw twenty yeares more then Adam himselfe did, the lat­ter being nine hundred and fiftie and the former but nine hundred and thirtie yeares old when he died. Nay Methusaleth the eight from Adam out stripped him by forty yeares wanting but one, and wee see by daily experience that a weake or foolish father often begets a strong and a wise sonne, and that the grandchild some­times equalls the age of the father and grandfather both together. If a thousand candles or torches should be successiuely lighted one from a­nother, it cannot be discerned by their dull or bright burning which was first or last lighted, nay the last sometimes yeelds a brighter light then the first, if it meete with matter accordingly prepared. The water which runnes a thousand miles thorow cleane passages, is euery whit as wholesome and sweete at its journeys end, as when it first issued from [Page 49] the fountaine. The seede that is cast into the earth seldome failes to bring forth as good as it selfe and sometimes better, and if at any time it proue worse, it is not because it is further distant from its originall, (which is the very point in controversie) but because it meetes with a worse soyle, or a worse season, and the soile and season are worse perchance then in former times, nor by reason of the revolution of so many ages since the Creation, but either by reason of Gods Curse vpon sinne, or some other accidentall cause, which being removed, they returne againe to their natiue and wonted properties. For, did they grow worse & worse only by a farther distance from their first being, then would the Crea­tures haue decayed in processe of time, whether man had sinned or no, and man himselfe should haue beene of lesse strength and stature and conti­nuance, though hee had not failed in the tempera [...] vse of the creature, or of any other meanes making for the preservation of his life and health, [...] I suppose the Patrons of the adverse part, will not maintaine, o [...]ce I am sure that the common te [...]et of Div [...]es is, that whatsoever de­fect or swarning is to be found, in the nature either of man himselfe, or the Creature made to serue him, ariseth from the sin of man alone, as being the only caus [...] of all the jarre and disorder in the world: Now to impute it to sin and yet withall to affirme that [...] is occasioned by [...]he [...]ll of the Creature from its [...] ex [...]ce implies in my judg­ment a manifest and irreconciliable contradiction.

To conclude this answeare, this axio [...]e, [...]; quo magis elonga­tur a suo principio, eo magis defi [...]it & langu [...]scit, Euery thing the farther it is remou'd from its originall, the more faint and feeble it growes, in vi­olent motions is most true, As an arrow shot out of a bow or a dart flung vpward from the hand of a man, the higher they mount the slower they moue; and so I conceiue it to haue beene m [...]nt by Aristotle: but in naturall motions, as the moving of a stone downeward, and such is rather Natur [...]s motion in the course of the world,) the contrary is vn­doubtedly tru [...], Cres [...] [...]undo, the farther it moues the more strength it gathers, and forti [...]ies it selfe in going Besides if the strength of the hand could goe along with the dart, or if the bow with the arrow, as the hand and power of God leades and preserues Nature in her course, keep­ing [...]t a w [...]king as the spring doth the wheels in a watch or Clocke; th [...]e is no question, but their motions would proue, as quicke and for­cible in the end as at the beginning, and not cease at all before the strength of the hand or bow which carry them forward were removed from them: Finally, if this axiome were not to be limited, it should e­qually extend to the Angells and the soules of men, and the first matter, and the heavens as well as to the sublunary mixt bodies: but the same power which vpholds and maintaines them, in their originall state, sup­ports likewise the whole body of this inferiour world together with­all the severall spe [...]ies or kindes thereof, and did it not so doe, all the ab­surdities already touched, as impotency in that spirit which animates the world, to support it, an [...]ihilation in the course of Nature, defect and swar­ving in the Crea [...] without the sin of man, foreknowledge of the worlds end, & the end of it long before this time, would infalliblely follow there­vpon.

SECT. 2. The second generall obiection answered, which is that the seue­rall parts of the World decaying, it should argue a consumption in the whole.

ANother argument drawne from reason, for the worlds decay, is, that all the parts of it decay, and by degrees grow to dissolution, which should likewise argue a wasting and lingring consumption in the whole, since there seemes to be the same reason of the whole which is of all the parts, where of it consists. But the answere hereunto will easily appeare out of that which hath already beene deliuered, and by taking a review of the seuerall parts of the Vniversall. First then for the heauens, vndoubtedly they feele no such decay either in substance, quantity, motion, light, warmth or influence, as I hope I shall make it manifest in the next Chapter, and for the Elements what they loose in regard of their quantity, is againe made vp by equivalence or compensation, and that in respect of their quality they decay not either by being of lesse efficacie, or more malignant dispo­sitions, then in former ages, remaines to be shewed in their proper place; and lastly for the bodies mixed and tempered of the Elements, though it be graunted, that all individuals or particulars in time decay or perish, yet doth it not follow, that the same condition should likewise bee an­nexed to the species or kinde, which is still preserued by a new supply and successiue propagation of particulars, not alwayes inferiour to their predecessours, which this argument presumes, but sometimes excelling, and commonly equalling them in goodnes, as hath alwayes beene tou­ched in part, and shall hereafter by Gods helpe bee more fully and di­stinctly prooued.

SECTIO 3. The third generall obiection answered, taken from the autho­rity of S. Cyprian.

THe arguments drawne from authority are either humane or divine testimonies. Among humane that of S. Cyprian is most famous, as wel in regard of his great piety and learning, as his approach to the pure and primitiue times of the Church of Christ. This holy Martyr then and venerable Bishop greeuing that the Christian Religion should be charged with these lamentable accidents wherewith the World at that time was pressed and shaken, shapes this reply to Demetrianus their accuser. Illud primo loco scire debes senuisse iam mundum; non illis viribus stare quibus prius steterat, nec vigore & robore eo praevalere, quo antea praevale­bat, hoc enim nobis tacentibus, & nulla de Scripturis sanctis praedicationibusque divinis documenta promentibus, mundus ipse iam loquitur, & occasum sui re­rum labentium probatione testatur. Non hyeme nutriendis seminibus tanta imbrium copia est, non frugibus aestate torrendis solis tanta flagrantia est, nec sic verna de temperie sua laeta sata sunt, nec adeò arbores foetibus autumno foecundae sunt; minus de effossis & fatigatis montibus eruuntur marmorum crustae, mi­nus [Page 51] argenti & auri opes suggerunt, exhausta iam metalla, & pauperes venae te­nuantur in dies singulos & decrescunt, deficit in agris agricola, in amicitijs con­cordia, in artibus peritia, in moribus disciplina. Putasne tu posse tantam sub­stantiam rei senescentis existere, quantumprius potuit novella adhuc & vegeta iuventute pollere? Minuatur necesse est quicquid fine iam proximo in occidua & extrema divergit; sic sol in occasu suo radios minus claro & igneo splendore iaculatur, sic declinante iam cursu exoletis cornubus Luna tenuatur, & arbor quae fuerat ante viridis & fertilis, are scentibus ramis fit postmodum sterili se­nectute deformis, & fons qui exundantibus prius venis largiter profluebat, vix modico sudore distillat. Haec sententia mundo data est haec Dei lex est, ut om­nia orta occidant, & aucta senescant, & infirmentur fortia, & magna minuan­tur, & cùm infirmata & diminuta fuerint, fi [...]iantur. You ought first to haue knowne this, that the World is now waxen old, that it hath not those forces which formerly it had, neither is endued with that vigour and strength wherewith it formerly was, & thus much though we held our peace, and brought no proofe thereof from holy Scripture and di­vine Oracles, the World it selfe proclaimes and testifies its declination by the experience of all things declining in it. Wee haue not now so great store of showres for the nourishing of our seedes in Winter, nor in Summer so much warmth of the Sunne for the ripening of our corne. In the Spring our fields are not so fresh and pleasant, nor in Autumne our trees so loaden with fruites, lesse peeces of marble are hewed out of the exhausted and tired mountaines, and the emptied Mines yeeld lesse quantity of gold and siluer, theit veines daylie diminishing and de­creasing, The husbandman is defectiue in manuring the Earth, concord failes in friendship, skill in Arts, and discipline in manners. Can you i­magine that the state of a thing waxing old should be so firme & sound as when it flourished in its youth? That must needes bee weakened which (the finall period of it approaching) hastens to the last end. so the Sunne when it is setting, darts not forth so fiery and cleare beames. So the Moon drawing toward the end of her race, drawes in her horns and growes lesse, and the tree which formerly was greene and fruitfull, her boughes withering becomes deformed by barren old age, and the well-spring which formerly flowed abundantly with full streames, be­ing dryed vp through age, hardly distils a drop of moisture. This sen­tence is passed vpon the World, this is the Law which God hath set it, that all things that are borne, should die; all that increase, should de­crease, that strong things should be weakned, and great lessened, and be­ing thus weakned and lessened, they should at last be vtterly dissolued.

This discourse of Cyprian, and the excellent flowres of Rhetorique in it, shew him to haue beene both a sweet and powerfull Oratour, of a great wit, a flowing eloquence: but whether in this he shew himselfe so deepe a Philosopher or sound Divine, I leaue that to the Reader to judge, and referre his judgment to the future examination of the particulars: only by the way it shall not be amisse to remember, that the Christians of those times (happily by reason aswell of the bloody persecutions which pressed them sore, as the frequent passages both in the Gospell and Epistles, which speake of the second comming of Christ, as if it had [Page 52] beene then hard at hand? stood in continuall allarums and expectation of the day of Iudgment and the end of the World, as evidently ap­peares by the very words of Cyprian himselfe in this discourse, & their thoughts still running therevpon, all things seemed sutable thereunto, and to draw towards that end. It cannot be denied, but those times wherein Cyprian liued were indeed very bitter and miserable in regard of f [...]mine, and warre, & mortality, yet about forty yeares after, it plea­sed Almighty God to pacifie those stormes, and dispell those cloudes by the conversion of the renowned Constantine to the Christian Religi­on, as it had beene by the breaking forth of the Sun beames, so as they who sowed in teares, reaped in joy, at which time had Cyprian liued, no doubt he would haue changed his note, his pen would haue as much triumphed in the tranquillity and flourishing estate of the Church vn­der that noble Emperour, as it deplored the torne state of the World in the time wherein himselfe liued. The former famine, and warre, and mortality, being then by Gods gratious blessing happily turned into health, and peace, and plenty. He would then haue told you that whereas before, showres of their blood were powred out for Christs sake, now it pleased God to open the windowes of Heauen for the moistning and nourishing of their seedes, that as Christ the Sonne of Righteousnesse was acknowledged as the Saviour of the World, and the shining beames of the Gospell displayed themselues: so the Sunne in the firmament had re­covered its warmth and strength for the ripening of their corne; that as the outward face of the Church was become beautifull and glorious, so the very fieldes seemed to smile and to receiue contēt therin by their fresh and pleasant hue; that as men brought forth the fruites of Christia­nity in greater abundance, so their trees were more plentifully loaden with fruites; that as the rich mines of Gods word were farther searched into, so new veines of marble and gold and silver were discovered; that Christian religion hauing now gotten the vpper hand, had made the Husbandman and Artificer, more carefull & industrious in their callings, had opened the Schooles for Professours, in all kind of learning, had restor­ed wholsome discipline in manners, & faithfullnesse in friendship. Finally, he would haue told you that the world with the Eagle had now cast her worne bill and sick feathers, and vpon the entertainement of Christ, and his Gospell, was growne young againe. Which I am the rather induced to beleeue for that Cyprian himselfe in the same discourse against Deme­trianus in another place referres the disasters of those times to the obstinacie of the world, in not receiuing the truth of Christia­nity and submitting itselfe to the yoake of Christ Iesus. A more likely and certaine cause doubtlesse then that other of the worlds imaginary old age and decay: His words are these. Indig­natur ecce Dominus & irascitur, & quod ad eum non convertamini com­minatur, & tu miraris et quereris in hac obstinatione, & contemptu vestro si rara desuper pluvia descendat, si terra situ pulueris Squalleat, si vix jejunas & pallidas herbas sterilis gleba producat &c. Behold the Lord is angry and threatens because you turne not vnto him, and dost thou wonder or complaine, if in this your obstinacie & contempt, the raine seldome fall [Page 53] the earth be deformed with dust, & the land bring forth hungry & star­ved grasse, if the haile falling do spill the vine, if the ouerturning whirle­wind do marre the Oliue, if drought dry vp the springes, if pestilent dampes do corrupt the ayre, if diseases consume men, when all these things come by sinnes provoking, & God is the more offended since such and so great things do no good at all. And the same reason is vpon the like occasiō yeelded by Lactantius, Discite igitur si quid vobis reliquae men­tis est, homines ideo malos & iniustos esse quia dij coluntur: & ideo mala omnia 5. 8. rebus humanis quotidie ingravescere quia Deus mundi hujus effector & guber­nator der [...]lictus est quia susceptae sunt contra quam fas est impiae religiones: po­stremo quia ne vel a pau [...]is quidem coli deum sinitis. Learne thus much then (if you haue any vnderstanding left) that men are therefore wicked & vnjust because such Gods are worshipped, and that such mischeefes dayly befall thē, because god the Creator and Governour of the world is forsaken by them, because impious religions against all right are en­tertained of them, finally because you will not permit the worship of the true God so much as to a few. Heere then was the true cause of their bloudy warres that they shed the innocēt bloud of Christians & trāpled vnder foote the pretious bloud of Christ; as their warres together with the vnkindly season were the cause of dearth and famine, and both fa­mine and warre of pestilence and mortalitie: how frequently and fervent­ly doth the Scripture beate vpon this cause, God every where promi­sing to reward the obedience of his people with plenty and peace and kindly seasons, & their rebellion with scarcitie & sicknes, & the sword. But that these scourges of the world were at any time caused by or im­puted to the old age or decay therof, to my remembrance we no where read. As then the referring of these plagues with Demetrianus and the Gentiles to the curse of God vpon Christian religion, was a blasphe­mous wrong to Gods truth: So with Cyprian to referre them to the old age and naturall decay of the world, (be it spoken with all due reve­rence to so great a light in the church of God) is in my judgment an as­persion vpon the Power and providence and justice of God. And Pammeli­us in his annotations to excuse Cyprian herein (conceiuing beelike that he was not in the right) tells vs that therin he alludes to the opinion of the ancient Philosophers & Poets: perchance thereby intending Lucretius the great admirer and sectary of Epicurus, who of all the Poets I haue met with, hath written the most fully in this argument.

I am que adeo effa ta est aetas, effoetaque tellus:
Lucret. l. 2. ver­sus finem.
Vix animalia parva creat, quae cuncta creavit
Soecla; deditque ferarum ingentia corpora partu.
Haud (vt opinor) enim mortalia soecla superne
Aurea de coelo demisit funis in arva:
Nec marc, nec fluctus plangentes saxa crearunt:
Sed genuit tellus eadem, quae nunc alit ex se.
Praeterea n [...]idas fruges, vinetaque laeta
Sponte suà primum mortalibus ipsa creavit:
Ipsa dedit dulces foetus, & pabula laeta.
Quae nunc vix nostro grandescunt aucta labore
[Page 54] Conterimusque boves, & vires agricolarum:
Conficimus ferrum vix arvis suppeditati:
Vsque adeò parcunt faetus, augentque labores.
Iamque caput quassans grandis suspirat arator
Crebrius in cassum magnum cecidisse laborem:
Et cum tempora temporibus praesentia confert
Praeteritis, laudat fortunas saepe parentis:
Et crepat, antiquum genus vt pietate repletum
Perfacile angnstis tolerârit finibus aevum,
Cum minor esset agri multo modus ante viritim:
Nec tenet, omnia paulatim tabescere, & ire
Adscopulum spa [...]io aetatis defessa vetusto.
The world with age is broke, the earth out worne,
And shee of whome what ever liues was borne
And once brought forth huge bodied beasts, with paine
A small race now begets. No golden chaine
These mortalls downe from heaven to earth did let,
As I suppose: nor sea, nor waues that beat
The rockes did they create, t'was earth did breed
All of herselfe, which now all things doth feed.
The chearefull vine shee of her owne accord,
Shee corne to mortall wights did first afford:
Sweete fruites beside and food did she bestow,
Which now with labour great great hardly grow:
The plough-swanes strength wee spend, our oxen weare,
When we our feildes haue sowne no crop they beare,
So wax our toyles, so waneth our reliefe,
The husband shakes his head, and sighs for griefe,
That all his travels frustrate are at last.
And when times present he compares with past,
Hee his Sires fortune raises to the skie,
And much doth talke of th'ancient pietie,
And how though every man lesse ground possest,
Yet better liu'd with greater plentie blest.
Nor markes how all things by degrees decay
And tir'd with age towards the rocke make way.

But herein Lucretius likewise contradicted himselfe in other places of the same booke, and had the world beene indeede so neare its last brea­thing as it were, and giueing vp of the Ghost, as Cyprian would make it in his time, much more as Lucretius in his: vndoubtedly it could never haue held out by the space of allmost fourteene hundred yeares since the one, & aboue sixtee ne hundred since the other, & how long it is yet to last, he only knowes, who hath put the times and seasons in his owne power.

SECT. 4. The same authority of Cyprian farther answered by opposing against it the authority of Arnobius supported with ponderous and pressing reasons.

NOw because this authority of Cyprian is it which prevailes so much with so many, it shall not bee amisse to oppose therevnto that of Arnobius, not naked and standing vpon bare affirmation as doth that of Cyprian, but backt with weighty & forcible arguments, Adversus Gen­tes [...] procula principio. a very renowned both Oratour and Philosopher, he was the master of Lactantius and diverse other very notable and famous men, and being pressed by the Gentiles of his time with the same objection against Christian religion, as was Cyprian by Demetrianus, hee shapes vnto it an answere cleane contrary by shewing that all the fundamentall and pri­mordiall parts of the world, as the heavens & elements remained still entire since the profession of Christian religion, as before they were, & for other calamities of famine and warres and pestilence and the like, the common scourges of the world, they had beene as great or greater in former ages, and that before the name of Christianity was heard of in the world then at that time they were. His Latine, because the alle­gation is long and in some places it savours of the Affrican harshnes, I will spare, and onely set downe the English.

And first of all in faire and familiar speech this we demaund of these men: since the name of Christian religion began to be in the world, what vncouth, what vnvsuall things, what against the Lawes instituted at the beginning hath Nature, as they terme & call her either felt or suffered? Those first Element, whereof it is agreed that all things are compounded, are they changed into con­trary qualities? Is the frame of this engine and fabricke which covereth and in­closeth vs all in any part loosed or dissolved? Hath this wheeling about of Hea­ven swarving from the rule of its primitiue motion either begun to creepe more slowly, or to be carried with headlong volubilitie? Doe the Stars begin to raise themselues vp in the West, and the Signes to in [...]line towards the East [...] The Prin [...]e of Stars the Sun whose light clotheth, and heat quickneth all things, doth hee cease to be hot, is he waxen cooler, and hath he corrupted the temper of his wonted moderation into contrary Habits? Hath the Moone left off to re­paire her selfe, and by continuall restoring of new to transforme herselfe into her old shapes? Are colds, are heats, are temperate warmths betweene them both by confusion of vnequall times gone? Doth Winter beginne to haue long dayes, and Summer nights to call backe the slowest lights? Haue the winds brea­thed forth their spirits as having spent their blasts? Is not the aire straitned into clowds, and doth not the field being moistned with showres wax fruitfull? Doth the Earth refuse to receiue the seeds cast into her? Will not trees budde forth? Haue fruites appointed for food by the burning vp of their moisture changed their tast? Doe they presse gore bloud out of oliues? Are lights quen­ched for want of supplie? The Creatures enured to the land, and that liue in wa­ters, doe they not gender and conceiue? The young ones conceived in their wombs do they not after their owne manner and order conserue? To conclude, Men themselues whom their first and beginning nativitie dispersed through the vn­habited [Page 56] coasts of the Earth, doe they not with solemne nuptiall rights couple themselues in wedlocke? Doe they not beget most sweete ofsprings of children? Doe they not manage publicke, private, and domesticall businesses? Doe they not every one as he pleaseth by divers sorts of arts and disciplines direct their wits, and studiouslie repay the vse of their nativitie? Doe they not reigne, do they not commaund to whom it is allotted? Doe they not every day more increase in the like dignities and power? Doe they not sit in iudgement to heare causes? Do they not interpret lawes and statutes? Doe they not publickely vse all other wayes whereby the life of man is held in and kept in compasse, all according to the orders and customes of the countrey in their severall nations? These things therefore being so, and that no noveltie hath broken in to interrupt the perpe­tuall tenor of things by severing and discontinuing them: What is it that they say, Confusion is brought vpon the world since Christian religion entred into it, and discovered the misteries of hidden verity? But the Gods, say they, exaspe­rated with your injuries and offences bring vpon vs pestilen [...]es, droughts, scar­city of corne, lo [...]usts, mice, haile, and other hurtfull things assaulting the af­faires of men. Were it not follie longer to insist vpon things evident and needing no defence, I would soone by vnfolding former times demonstrate that the evills yee speake of are neither vnknown nor sudden, nor that these con­fusions brake in, nor that mortall businesses began to be infested with such vari­etie of dangers, since our Societie obtained the happines of this name to be be­stowed vpon them. For if we be the cause, and for our demerits these p [...]gues were invented, whence knew antiquity these names of miseries, whence gaue it signification to wars? With what knowledge could it name the Pestilence [...]nd Haile? or assume them into the number of thosewords wherewith they vttered their speech? For if these evills be new, and drawe their causes from late offen­ces, how could it be that it should forme words to those things whereof it selfe neither had experience, nor had learnt that they were in any time done? Scar­citie of corne and extreame dearth distresseth vs. What? were the ancient and eldest ages at any time free from the like necessity? Doe not the v [...]ry names by which th [...]se evills are called testifie and crie that never any mortall man was priviledged frō it? Which were it a matter so hard to beleeue, I could pro­duce the testimonies of Authours, what n [...]tions, how great, how often haue felt horrible famine, and haue beene destroted with a great desolation. But stormes of Haile fall very often, and light on all things. And doe wee not see it registred and recorded in ancient writings that countries haue osten beene battered with showers of stones? Want of raine kils vp the corne, and makes the earth vnfruitfull; And was antiquitie free from these evills, especially seeing wee know that huge rivers haue beene dried vp to the very bottome? The contagion of Pestilence vexeth Mankind; Runne over the Annals writ­ten in severall tongues, and yee shall learne that whole countries haue often­times beene made desolate, and emptied of inhabitants. All kind of graines are destroied and devoured by locusts, by mice, Passe through forraine histo­ries, & they will informe you how often former times haue bin troubled with these plagues, and brought to the miseries of povertie, Citties shaken with mighty earthquakes totter even vnto ruine. What? Haue not former times seen Citties together with the Inhabitants swallowed vp in huge gaping clefts of the earth? Or haue they had their e [...]ate free from these casualties? when was [Page 57] mankind destroyed with deluges of waters? not before vs? when was the world burnt & dissolued into embers & ashes? not before vs? whē were mightie cities overwhelmed by the seas inundation? not before vs? when did they make war with wild beasts, and encounter with Lyons? not before vs? when were people plagued with ven [...]mous serpents? not before vs? For that yee vse to object vnto vs the causes os so often warres, the laying wast of Citties, the irruption of Germans and Scythians I will by your good leaue and patience be bold to say, that yee are so transported with desire to slander, that yee know not what it is yee say. That vpward of tenthousand yeares agoe a huge swarme of men should breake out of that Iland of Neptune, which is called Atlantick, as Plato declares, and vtterly destroy and consume innumerable nations, were we the cause? That the Assyrians and Bactrians sometimes vnder the leading of Ni­nus and Zoroastres should warre one against the other, not only with sword and strength, but also by the hidden artes of Magick, and the Chaldeans, was it our envie? That Helena by the direction and impulsion of the Gods was ra­vished, and became a fatall calamitie both to her owne and future times, was it attributed to the crime of our religion? That the great and mighty Xerxes brought in the sea vpon the land, and past over the seas on foot, was it done through the injury of our name? That a yong man, rising out of the borders of Macedon, brought the kingdome and people of the East vnder the yoke of capti­vity and bondage, did wee procure and cause it? That now the Romans should like a violent streame drowne and overwhelme all nations, did wee forsooth thrust the Gods into the fury? Now if no man dare to impute to our times the things that were done long since: how can we be the causes of the present miseries, seing there is no new thing falne out, but all are ancient, and not vn­heard of in any antiquitie? although it be not hard to proue that the warres which yee say are raised through the envie of our religion, are not only not in­creased since Christ was heard off in the world, but also for the greater part (by repressing mans furiousnesse) lessened. For seing wee so great a multitude of men haue learned by his instructions & lawes, that we are not to requite evill fo [...] evill, that it is farre better to suffer then to do wrong, rather to shed a mans owne then to pollute his hands and conscience with the bloud of another: the vngratesull world hath ere while receiued this benefit from Christ, by whome the fiercenesse and wildnesse of nature is tamed, and they haue be­gun to refra [...]ne their hostile hands from the bloud of the creature Kinne vnto thē. Certainely if all who know, that to be men stands not in the shape of bodies, but in the power of reason, would listen a while vnto his wholesome and peace­able decrees and not puffed vp with arrogance and selfeconceit, rather beleeue their owne opinions then his admonitions: the whole world long agoe (tur­ning the vse of iron vnto milder workes) should haue liued in most qu [...]et tran­quillity, and haue met together in a firme and indissoluble league of most safe cōcord. But if, say they, through you the state of man suffereth no disadvantage, whence are t [...]ese evils wherewith now a long time miserable mortality is af­flicted and oppressed? You aske my opinion in a matter not necessary to this businesse. For the present disputation now in hand was not vndertaken by mee to this end, to shew or proue vpon what causes or reasons each thing was done, but to manifest that the reproch of so great a crime as wee are charged with, is farre from vs, which if I performe, and by deeds and evident remon­strances [Page 58] vnfold the truth of the matter, whence these evils are, or out of what fountaines or principles they proceed, I care not. For what if the first matter, digested into the foure elements of all things, containe wrapped vp in its rota­tions the causes of all miseries? what if the motions of the starres by certaine signes, parts, times, lines produce these evils, and bring vpon things subject vnto them necessities of diverse sortes? what if inset times the vicissitude of things fall out, and as it is in the motions of the sea, sometime there is a flow of prosperity, somtime it ebbeth back againe, and evils returne in the roome thereof? What if the dregs of this matter which wee treade vnder our feet haue this law given vnto it, to breath forth most noysome vapours, where­with this aire being corrupted should both infect the bodies and disable the endevours of men? what if (which indeed is nearest vnto truth) what­soever seemeth crosse vnto vs, is not evill to the world it selfe: and that wee perswading ourselues that all things are done for our benefits, do by reason of our wicked opinions wrongfull accuse the event of nature? Plato the high­est top and chiefest piller of Philosophers, maintaineth in his cōmentaries, that those fearefull inundations and conflagrations of the world, are the purging of the earth: neither was that wise man affraid to call the subversion, slaughter, ruine, destruction and funerals of mankind, an innovation of things, and that thereby repareing their strength they recover accrtaine youth agane. Heaven, saith hee, raines not, and wee labour of I know not of what scarcity of corne. What? dost thou require that the Elements serue thy necessities? and to the end thou mayst liue more daintily and delicately, that the times obsequi­ously apply themselues to thy commodities? What if he that is desireous of navigation complaine in like sort that now along time there are no windes, and that the blasts of heaven are ceased. Must wee say there fore that such tranquillitie of the world is pernicious, because it hinders the desires of Passengers? What if any who hath beene accustomed to tosse himselfe in the sun, and to procure drynesse to his body, should in like manner complaine that the pleasure of faire and cleare weather is by very often cloudinesse taken away? Must the cloudes therefore be sayd as enimies to hang and ouerspread the skie, because thou canst not at thy pleasure frie thy selfe in the flames and prepare occasions for drinking? All these events which come to passe and fall out vnder the cope of Heaven are to be weighed not by our petty commodities, but by the reasons and orders of na­ture itselfe. Neither if any thing happen which toucheth vs and our affaires but with vnwelcome successes, is it forthwith evill, and to be accounted noxi­ous. Whether the worldraine or not raine, it raineth or not ratneth to itselfe, and which happily thou knowest not, either it consumes away the too much moysture with the fervencie of drought, or temper thes drought of a very long time with the pouring out of raines. It sendeth pestilences, diseases, famines, & other formes of evils threatning destruction: how dost thou know whether so it take away that whichis superfluous, and by itsowne losses set a measure to the riot and excesse of things? Darest thou say this or that is evill in the world, the originall and cause whereof thou art not able to vnfold and resolue? and because happily it hinders thy pleasures of the deleights and lustes, wilt thou say it is pernicious & cruell? what then? If cold be contrary vnto thy body, & vse to congeale the heat of thy bloud, must not winter therefore be in the [Page 59] World? And because thou canst not endure the fervent heat of the Sun, must the Summer be taken out of the yeare? and nature againe be ordered by other lawes? Hellebore is poison vnto men: ought it not for this cause to bee brought forth? The wolfe layes wait for the flocke of sheep: is Nature in the fault which hath bred so troublesome a beast vnto those fleecie creatures? The biting of the Serpent taket away life: shall I therefore speake evill of the first beginnings of things because they haue added so cruell monsters vnto living Creatures? It is too arrogant a part, seeing thy selfe art not thine owne, and livest in possession of another, to presume to prescribe to those that are mightier then thy selfe; and to require that that be done which thou desirest, not that which thou findest by anci­ent constitutions already settled in things. Wherefore if you men will haue your complaints to take place, it is requisite yee first teach vs whence or what yee are: whether this World be made & framed for you, or ye came as stranger [...] vn­to it out of other Countries? Which seeing you are not able to tell, & you cannot resolue vs for what cause you liue vnder this hollow vault of Heaueu: leaue off to suppose that any thing belongeth vnto you, seeing the things that are done, are not alike done, but are to be reckoned & accounted in the summe intended in the whole. By reason of Christians, say they, these evils are come, & the gods send these calamities vpon corne. I demaund when ye say these things, doe ye not see how desperatly with open & manifest lies ye slander vs? It is now three hun­dred yeares more or lesse, since we Christians began to be, & beare this name in the World haue there been all these yeares continuall warrs, continuall dearths? hath there been no peace at all in the Earth, no cheapnes, no plenty of things? For he that accuseth vs must first of all demonstrate that these calamities haue been perpetual & continuall, that mortall men haue neuer had any breathing time, & that without any holydayes, as they say, haue endured the formes of manifold dangers. But do we not see in these middle yeares & middle times, that innume­rable victories haue bin obtained over conquered enemies? that the territories of the Empire haue bin inlarged, & Nations whose names were neuer heard of, bin brought in subiection? that oftentimes the yeares haue yeelded marveilous great increase, & such cheapnes & plenty of things, that there was no buying or selling at all, the prices of things being so much fallen? For how could things be done, & how could mankind continue vntill this time, if fertility & plenty did not supply all whatsoeuer need required? But sometimes heretofore haue bin in need & necessity. And theyhaue bin recompenced again with abundance. Again some wars haue bin waged against our will. And they haue afterwards bin corre­cted by victories & good successe. What then shall we say? that thegods are som­time mindfull of our miseries. & somtime againe vnmindfull? If at what time there is Famine it be said they are angry, it followeth that in time of plenty they are not aengry nor displeased: & so all is brought to this issue, that by turnes they lightly lay aside & take vp their angers, & by remembrance of offences returne afresh vnto them again. Although what that is wbieh they say seemes to be in­explicable, & cannot be knowne or vnderstood. If therefore they would haue the Almans, Persians, Scythians subdued because Christians did dwell & liue a­mong these Nations: Why did they giue the Romans the victory seeing Christi­ans dwelt & liued among their Nations also. If it were their pleasure that mice & locusts should therefore swarme in Asia & Syria, because in like manner Christians dwelt in those Nations: why did they not at the same time swarme [Page 60] in Spaine & France seeing innumerable Christians liued in these Provinces also? If for this very cause they send drought vpon the corne, & barrennesse among the Getulians & them of Aquitaine: why did they the same yeare giue such plentifull harvests to the Moores & Numidians, the like Religion being setled in these Countries also? If in any one Citty they haue caused through the hatred of our name very many to perish with famine: why in the same place haue they through the dearenes of all provision made not only those that are not of our body, but even true Christians also much more the richer & wealthier? It behoued therefore that either none should haue had any thing that was comfor­table; if we be the cause of Euils, for we are in all Nations: or seeing yee see that things profitable are mingled with those that are incommodious, leaue off at length to ascribe that vnto vs which impeacheth your estates, since we be no hin­drance at all to your wealth and prosperity.

SECT. 5. The fourth objection answered, which is borrowed from the authority of Esdras.

THat which yet farther disables the validity of this testimony of Cyprian, is that in the opinion of Sixtus Senensis, a learned Writer, he borrowed it from the Apocryphall Esdras. For Canonicall Scrip­ture, he seemes indeed to glance at the name thereof by the way, but al­leadges [...]blioth. [...]nct. lib. 1. none; And if Senensis had thought that any booke of the Canon had favoured this opinion of Cyprian, hee would neuer haue sent vs to Esdras, but since the appeale is made to Esdras, to Esdras let vs goe. Hee then in his fourth booke and fifth Chapter, v. 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55, thus speakes of this matrer. He answered me, and said, aske a woman that bea­reth children, and she shall tell thee. say vnto her, wherefore are not they whom thou hast now brought forth like those that were before, but lesse of stature; & she shall answer thee: They that be borne in the strength of youth, be of one fashi­on, and they that be borne in the time of age when the womb faileth are other­wise. Consider thou therefore also, how that ye are lesse of stature then they that were before you, and so are they that come after you lesse then ye, as the creatures which now begin to be old, and haue passed ouer the strength of youth. Now as others depend vpon the authority of Cyprian, so Cyprian himselfe de­pending vpon this of Esdras, it will not I hope be thought either vnsea­sonable or impertinent, if we a little examine the weight thereof. First then, it is certaine that this book is not to be found either in Hebrew or Greeke, neither is it by the Tridentine Counsell admitted into the Canon, & no doubt but vpon very sufficient reason is it excluded both by them and vs, in regard of the doctrines which it teacheth, manifestly repug­nant to the rules of orthodoxe faith; as in the fourth and seuenth Chapters it teacheth, that the soules of the Saints departed this life are detained as it were imprisoned in certain cels & vauts of the Earth vntill the number of the Elect be accomplished, and that then they shall receiue their Crowns of glory al­together, and not before. In the sixt Chapter he tels vs a most ridiculous vnsavory tale, of two vaste Creatures made vpon the fifth day of the Creation; the one called Enoch, or Behemoth, and the other Leviathan. [Page 61] In the seventh he deriues his pedegree from Aaron, by nineteene gene­rations, whereas the true Esdras, or Esras deriues his but by fifteene. And to bring it home somewhat neerer to our purpose. In the fourteenth chapter hee shewes himselfe manifestly a false Prophet, touching the Consummation of the world, which (saith hee) hath lost his youth, and the times begin to wax old: for the world is divided into twelue parts, and tenne parts of it are gone already, and halfe of a tenth part, and there remaineth that which is after the halfe of the tenth part. So that by his computation di­uiding the whole time of the worlds duration into twelue equall porti­ons, onely one and a halfe were then remaining; which had it beene true, the world should haue ended almost fifteene hundred yeares agoe. For the time from the worlds Creation to Esdras, (according to the Scriptures calculation) containe about three thousand foure hundred and seventy yeares, and this summe of yeares containe ten parts and an halfe of of the twelue, alotted for the whole duration of the world, whence it consequently followes, that the residue of the time from Esdras to the worlds end, could not exceede the number of fiue hundred yeares: and yet from Esdras to this present yeare of the Lord, one thousand six hundred twenty six, wee finde there are passed almost two thousand yeares.

Heerevnto may bee added the sharpe but well deserved Censure of Iunius in his preface to the Apochryphall bookes. Nihil habet Esdrae quam falfo emendicatum nomen & injuriâ maximâ. Authorem enim, quem puduit sui operis longè amplius debuerat puduisse, cum suis somnijs nomen tanti viri praefigeret, & impudenter Ecclesiam vellet fallere. Hee hath nothing in him worthy of Esdras, but only a borrowed name and that most injurious­ly assumed. Hee was ashamed of his owne name, but hee should rather haue shamed to prefixe the name of so worthy a man before his dreames, and thereby attempt the deceiving of the Church. And againe in his annotations on the first chapter of that booke, Quis vero huic libro tantam fidem deinceps arroget, quae in ipsa fronte naeuos tam immanes & in re tam euidenti mendacia tam puerilia, ne quid gravius dicam, animadvertit. Quisquis es qui hunc librum legis, sume authoritatem probandi at (que) judican­di sermones ejus, Non enim obstringit fidem tuam illius authoritas, si qua est, in tam crassis erroribus. Who will heereafter giue credit to this booke, who obserues in the very forehead of it so notorious blemishes, and in a matter so evident, (not to say worse of it) so childish lies. Whosoe­ver thou art that readest this booke, take to thy selfe authoritie of try­ing and judging his speeches. For his authority cannot binde thy Cre­dence, if there be any in such grosse errours. It shall not bee amisse then to follow this advise of Iunius, and to bring this counterfeite to the touch-stone, whereby wee shall easily discerne, that both the ground hee assumes is vnsound, and his illation from thence deduced inconsequent. His ground is that children borne or begotten in old age, are alwayes weaker then those in youth: Whereas Isaak borne of Sarah when shee was now so old that shee was thought both by others and her selfe to be past con­ceiving, Gen. 18. 11. 12. and begotten of Abraham when his body was now dead, was Rom. 4. 19. for any thing wee finde to the contrary of as strong & healthfull a con­stitution as Iaacob borne in the strength of Isaack and Rebecca. And Ioseph [Page 62] or Benjamin as able men as Reuben, though Iaacob in his blessing call him, The beginning of his strength and the excellencie of power, as being his first Gen. 49 3. begotten. Nay often wee see that the youngest borne in age not equalls onely, but excells both in wit and spirit and strength and stature the Eldest borne in youth. So vnsure and sandie is this ground; and for his in­ference drawne from thence, it is no lesse vnwarrantable and insufficient. There being in the resemblance betwixt a woman and the world as large a difference, as is the dissimilitude betweene the fruite of the one and the generations of the other: The one taking her beginning by the course of nature in weakenesse & so growing to perfection and ripenesse shee quickely declines and hastens to dissolution. Shee must necessari­ly expect the tearme of certaine yeares before she can conceiue her fruite, and then againe at the end of certaine yeares shee leaues to con­ceiue. Whereas the other being created immediatly by a supernaturall power, was made in the very first moment (that it was fully made) in full perfection which except it bee for the sinne of man it, never lost, nor by any force of subordinate causes possiblely could or can loose. The quickening efficacy of that word, Crescite & multiplicamini, though de­liuered many thousand yeares since is now as powerfull in beasts, in plants in birds in fishes in men as at first it was. And thus much this false Prophet seemes himselfe to acknowledge in the chapter following, where he thus brings in the Lord speaking vnto him; All these things Cap. 6. 6. were made by me alone, and by none other: by mee also they shall be ended, and by none other. And if they shall be ended immediatly by the hand of the Almighty, as immediatly by it they were made, then doubtles there is no such naturall decay in them, which would at last without the concur­rence of any such supernaturall power bring them to a naturall d [...]ssolution, no more then there was any naturall forerunning preparation to their Creation. And thus wee see, how this Goliah hath his head stricken off with his owne sword, and this lying Prophet condemned out of his owne mouth. I haue dwelt the longer vpon this examination, because I finde that the testimony drawne from this Counterfeite was it that in appearance misledde Cyprian, & both their testimonies togeather, that which hath yeelded the principall both confidence and countenance to the Adverse part.

SECT. 6. The last obiection answered pretended to bee taken from the authority of holy Scriptures.

AS the testimony taken frō Esdras wants authority: so those which re drawn frō authority of sacred & Canonicall Scriptures want right explicatiō & applicatiō. Whereof the first that I haue met with, are those misconstrued words of the Prophet Isaiah, The world languisheth and fadeth away, or (as some other translations reade it,) The world is feebled Cap. 24 4. & decayed. Which by Iunius & Tremelius are rendred in the future tence Languebit, Concidet orbis habitabilis, and are vndoubtedly to be referred to the destruction & desolation of those Nations against which he had [Page 63] in some chapters precedent, denounced the heauy judgements of God, As the Moabites, Egyptians, Tyrians, Syrians, Assyrians, Ethiopians, Baby­lonians, and the Isralites themselues. Iunius thus rightly summing the chapter, Propheta summam contrahit judiciorum quae supra denunciauerat, The Prophet recapitulates or drawes into one head or summe the judgements which before hee had denounced at large, and in particu­lar; which comming from the justice and immediate hand of God for sin vpon a part of the world, can in no sort be referred to the ordinary course of Nature in regard of the Vniversall.

That which carries with it some more colour of Reason is that by St. Paul, The Crearure is said to be subiect to vanity, to the bondage of corrup­tion, Rom. 8. 20. 21. 22. to groaning, and to travelling in paine: All which seeme to imply a decay and declination in it: But in the judgement of the soundest Inter­preters, the Apostle by vanity and bondage of corruption, meanes, first, that impurity, infirmity, and deformity, which the Creature hath contracted by the fall of man; Secondly, the daily alteration and change, nay declina­tion and decay of the Individuals and particulars of every kind vnder heaven; Thirdly, the designation & hasting of the kindes or species them­selues to a finall & totall dissolution by fire; And lastly, the abuse of them, tending to the dishonour of the Creator, or the hurt of his servants, or the service of his enimies: All these may not improperly be tearmed vanity and a bondage of corruption, vnder which the Creature groaneth and tra­velleth, wishing and waiting to be delivered from it.

But that of S. Peter is it which is most of all stood vpon, where he brings in the prophane scoffers at Religion, and especially at the article of the worlds Consummation, thus questioning the matter; where is the pro­mise of his comming? For since the fathers fell asleepe, all things continue as 2. Pet. 3. 4. they were from the beginning of the Creation. But in truth that place, if it bee well weighed, rather makes against the worlds supposed decay then for it, in as much as if the Apostle had known or acknowledged any such decay in it, it is to be presumed, that being invited, and in a manner for­ced therevnto by so faire and fit an occasion, hee would haue pressed it against those scoffers, or in some sort haue expressed himselfe therein. But since hee onely vrges the Creation of the world, and the overwhel­ming of it with water, to proue that the same God, who wasthe Au­thour v. 5. 6. of both those, is as able at his pleasure to vnmake it with fire, it should seeme hee had learned no such divinity, as the worlds decay, or at least-wise had no such assurance of it, and warrant for it, as to teach it the Church; Nay in the 7 verse of the same chapter, hee tells vs, that the heavens and earth which are now, are by the same word, by which they were Created, kept in store and reserved to fire. It was not then their auerring, that things continued as they were, that made them scoffers, but their ir­religious inference from thence, that the world neither had beginning, neither should haue ending; but all things should alwaies continue as formerly they alwayes had done. And thus much may suffice for the consideration of the worlds decay in Generall, it rests now, that wee des­cend to a distinct view of the particulars, amongst which the Heavens first present themselues vpon the Theatre, as being the most glorious and operatiue bodies, and seated in the most eminent roome.

LIB. II. Of the pretended decay of the Heauens and Elements, and Elementary Bo­dies, Man onely ex­cepted.

CAP. 1. Touching the pretended decay of the Heauenly Bodies.

SECT. 1. First of their working vpon this inferiour World.

SUch and so great is the wisdome, the bounty, and the power which Almighty God hath expressed in the frame of the Heauens, that the Psalmist might justly say, The Heauens de­clare the glory of God; the Sun, & the Moone, & the Stars ser­ving Psal. 19. 1. as so many silver & golden Characters, embroidered vpon azure for the daylie preaching and publishing thereof to the World. And surely if he haue made the floore of this great House of the World so beautifull, and garnished it with such wonderfull variety of beasts, of trees, of hearbes, of flowres, we neede wonder the lesse at the magnificence of the roofe, which is the highest part of the World, and the neerest to the Mansion House of Saints and Angels. Now as the ex­cellencie of these Bodies appeares in their situation, their matter, their magnitudes, and their Sphericall or Circular figure: so specially in their great vse and efficacy, not onely that they are for signes and seasons, and for dayes & yeares, but in that by their motion, their light, their warmth, & Gen. 1. 14. influence, they guide and gouerne, nay cherish and maintaine, nay breed & beget these inferiour bodies, euen of man himselfe, for whose sake the Heauens were made. It is truly said by the Prince of Philosophers, Sol & homo generant hominem, the Sunne and man beget man, man concur­ring in the generation of man as an immediate, and the Sunne as a remote cause. And in another place he doubts not to affirme of this inferiour World in generall, Necesse est mundum inferiorem superioribus lationibus continuari, ut omnis inde virtus derivetur: it is requisite, that these in­feriour parts of the World should bee conjoyned to the motions of the higher Bodies, that so all their vertue and vigour from thence might be derived. There is no question but that the Heauens haue a marvailous great stroake vpon the aire, the water, the earth, the plants, the mettalls, the beasts, nay vpon Man himselfe, at leastwise in regard of his body and na­turall faculties: so that if there can be found any decay in the Heauens, it will in the course of Nature, and discourse of reason consequently follow, that there must of necessity ensue a decay in all those which depend v­pon the Heauens: as likewise on the other side, if there be found no decay [Page 65] in the Heauens, the presumption will be strong, that there is no such decay (as is supposed) in these Subcaelestiall Bodies, because of the great sympa­thy and correspondence which is knowne to be betweene them by ma­ny and notable experiments. For to let passe the quailing and withering of all things, by the recesse and their reviving and resurrection (as it were) by the reaccesse, of the Sunne; I am of opinion, that the sap in trees so precisely followes the motion of the Sunne, that it neuer rests, but is in continuall agitation as the Sun it selfe: which no sooner arriues at the Tropick, but he instantly returnes, and euen at that very instant (as I con­ceiue, and I thinke it may be demonstrated by experimentall conclusi­ons) the sappe which by degrees descended with the declination of the Sun, begins to remount at the approach thereof by the same steps that it descended: and as the approach of the Sunne, is scarce sensible at his first returne, but afterward the day increases more in one weeke, then before in two, in like manner also fares it with the sap in plants, which at first ascends insensibly and slowly, but within a while much more swiftly and apparantly. It is certaine, that the Tulypp, Marigold, and Sun-flowre open with the rising, and shut with the setting of the Sunne; So that though the Sunne appeare not, a man may more infallibly know when it is high noone by their full spreading, then by the Index of a Clock or Watch. The hop in its growing winding it selfe about the pole, alwayes followes the course of the Sunne from East to West, and can by no meanes bee drawne to the contrary, choosing rather to breake then yeeld.

It is obserued by those that sayle betweene the Tropicks, that there is a constant set winde, blowing from the East to the West, saylers call it the Breeze, which rises and falls with the Sunne, and is alwayes highest at noone, and is commonly so strong, partly by its owne blowing, and partly by ouer-ruling the Currant, that they who saile to Peru, cannot well returne home the same way they came forth. And generally, Mar­riners obserue, that caeter is paribus they sayle with more speed from the East to the West, then backe againe from the West to the East, in the same compasse of time. All which should argue a wheeling about of the aire, and waters by the diurnall motion of the Heauens, and specially by the motion of the Sunne. Whereunto may be added, that the high Seasprings of the yeare are alwayes neere about the two Aequinoctials and Solsti­ces, and the Cock as a trusty Watchman, both at midnight and breake of day giues notice of the Sunnes approach.

These be the strange and secret effects of the Sunne, vpon the inferi­our Bodies, whence by the Gentiles hee was held the visible God of the World, and tearmed the Eye thereof, which alone saw all things in the World, and by which the World saw all things in it selfe.

Omma qui videt, & per quem videt omnia mundus.

And most notablely is he described by the Psalmist, in them hath he set a Psal. 19. 4. 5. 6. Tabernacle for the Sun, which is as a bridegroome comming out of his chamber, & rejoyceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the Heauen, and his circuite vnto the ends of it, and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

Now as the effects of the Sun, the head-spring of light and warmth, [Page 66] are vpon these inferiour Bodies more actiue: so those of the Moone, (as being Vltima coelo, Citima terris, neerer the Earth, and hol­ding a greater resemblance therewith) are no lesse manifest. And there­fore the husbandman in sowing & setting, graffing and planting, lopping of trees, & felling of timber, and the like, vpon good reason obserues the waxing & waning of the Moone. which the learned Zanchius well allows of, commending Hesiod for his rules therein. Quod Hesiodus ex Lune de­crementis De operibus Dei. & incrementis totius agricolationis signa notet, quis improbet? who can mislike it; that Hesiod sets downe the signes, in the whole course of husbandry, from the waxing and waning of the Moone? The tydes and ebbes of the Sea follow the course of it, so exactly, as the Sea-man will tell you the age of the Moone onely vpon the sight of the tide, as cer­tainly, as if he saw it in the water. It is the observation of Aristotle & of Pliny out of him, that oysters, and mussels, and cockles. and lobsters, & Arist. l. 4. de partibus anima­lium cap. 5. Plin. lib. 2 c. 41. & 99. crabbs, and generally all shell-fish grow fuller in the waxing of the Moon, but emptier in the waning thereof. Such a strong predominancie it hath euen vpon the braine of Man, that Lunatikes borrow their very name from it, as also doth the stone Selenites, whose property, as S. Augustine and Georgius Agricola record it, is to increase and decrease in light De civit. Dei lib. 21. c. 5. De natura Fos­sil. lib. 5. with the Moone, carrying alwayes the resemblance thereof in it selfe. Neither can it reasonably be imagined that the other Planets, and starrs, and parts of Heauen, are without their forcible operations, vpon these lower Bodies, specially considering that the very plants and hearbes of the Earth, which we tread vpon, haue their seueral vertues, as well single by themselues, as in composition with other ingredients. The Physitian in opening a veine, hath euer an eye to the signe then raigning. The Cani­cular star specially in those hotter Climates, was by the Ancients al­wayes held a dangerous enemy to the practise of Physick, and all kind of Evacuations. Nay Galen himselfe, the Oracle of that profession, advi­seth In 3. de diebus Criticis. practitioners in that Art, in all their Cures to haue a speciall regard to the reigning Constellations & Coniunctions of the Planets. But the most admirable mystery of Nature, in my mind, is the turning of yron touched with the loadstone, toward the North-pole, of which I shall haue farther occasion to intreate, more largely in the Chapter touching the Compa­rison of the wits & inventions of these times with those of former ages. Neither were it hard to add much more, to that which hath beene said, to shew the dependance of these Elementary Bodies vpon the heauenly. Almighty God hauing ordained, that the higher should serue as interme­diate Agents, or secondary Causes, betweene himselfe and the lower: And as they are linked together in a chaine of order, so are they likewise chai­ned together in the order of Causes, but so as in the wheeles of a Clocke, though the failing in the superior, cannot but cause a failing in the inferi­our, yet the failing of the inferiour, may well argue though it cannot cause a failing in the superiour. We haue great reason then, as I conceiue, to begin with the Examination of the state of Coelestiall bodies, in as much as vpon it the conditionof the subcoelestiall wholly de-pends. Wherein fiue things offer themselues to our consideration, Their substance, their motion, their light, their warmth, and their influence.

SECT. 2. Touching the pretended decay in the substance of the Heavens.

TO finde out whether the substance of the heavenly bodies bee de­cayed or no, it will not be amisse a little to inquire into the nature of the matter and forme, of which that substance consists, that so it may appeare whether or no in a naturall course they be capable of such a supposed decay. That the Heavens are endued with some kinde of matter, (though some Philosophers in their jangling humour, haue made a doubt of it,) yet I thinke no sober and wise Christian will deny it: But whether the matter of it, bee the same with that of these inferi­our bodies, adhuc sub Iudice lis est; it hath beene, and still is a great que­stion among Diuines. The ancient Fathers and Doctors of the Primi­tiue Church, for the most part, following, Plato, hold that it agrees with the matter of the Elementary bodies, yet so as it is compounded of the finest flower, and choisest delicacy of the Elements: But the Schoole­men on the other side, following Aristotle, adhere to his Quintessence, and by no meanes, will bee beaten from it, since, say they, if the Ele­ments Lib. 1. de Coelo, cap. 2. and the heauens should agree in the same matter, it should con­sequently follow, that there should bee a mutuall traffique and com­merce, a reciprocall action, and passion betweene them, which would soone draw on a change, and by degrees, a ruine vpon those glorious bodies. Now though this point will neuer (I thinke) bee fully and fi­nally determined, till wee come to be Inhabitants of that place, where­of wee dispute, (for hardly doe wee guesse aright at things that are vpon earth, and with labour doe wee find the things that are at hand, but the things Wisedome, 9. 16. which are in heaven, who hath searched out?) Yet for the present, I should state it thus, that they agree in the same originall mater, and surely Mo­ses, mee thinkes, seemes to favour this opinion, making but one matter, (as farre as I can gather from the text) out of which all bodily substances were created.

Vnus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe.

So as the heavens, though they bee not compounded of the Elements, 1. Metamorph. yet are they made of the same matter, that the Elements are compoun­ded of. They are not subject to the qualities of heat, or cold, or drought, or moisture, nor yet to weight, or lightnes, which arise from those qua­lities, but haue a forme giuen them, which differeth from the formes of all corruptible bodies, so as it suffereth not, nor can it suffer from any of them, being so excellent and perfect in it selfe, as it wholy satiateth the appetite of the matter it informeth. The Coelestiall bodies then, meet­ing with so noble a forme to actuate them are not, nor cannot, in the course of nature, bee lyable, to any generation or corruption, in regard of their substance, to any augmentation or diminution in regard of their quan­tity, no nor to any destructiue alteration in respect of their qualities.

I am not ignorant that the controversies, touching this forme what it should bee, is no lesse then that touching the matter; Some holding it to bee a liuing and quickning spirit, nay a sensitiue and reasonable soule, [Page 68] which opinion is stiffely maintained by many great & learned Clarks, both Iewes, and Gentiles, & Christians, supposing it vnreasonable that the heavens which impart life to other bodies, should themselues bee de­stitute of life: But this errour is notablely discovered and confuted by Claudius Espencaeus, a famous Doctor of the Sorbone, in a Treatise which hee purposely composed on this point; In as much as what is denied De Coelorum a­nimatione. those bodies in life, in sense, in reason, is abundantly supplied in their constant & vnchangeable duration, arising from that inviolable knot, & indissoluble marriage, betwixt the matter & the forme, which can never suffer any divorce, but from that hand which first joyned them. And howbeit it cannot be denied, that not only the reasonable soule of man, but the sensitiue of the least gnat that flies in the aire, and the Vegetatiue of the basest plant that springs out of the earth, are (in that they are in­dued with life) more divine and neerer approaching to the fountaine of life, then the formes of the heavenly bodies; yet as the Apostle spea­king of Faith, Hope, and Charity, concludes Charity to bee the greatest; (though by faith wee apprehend and apply the merits of Christ) because it is more vniversall in operation, and lasting in duration; so though the formes of the Creatures endued with life doe in that regard, come a step neerer to the Deity, then the formes of the heavenly bodies, which are without life, yet if wee regard their purity, their beauty, their efficacy, their indeficiencie in moving, their Vniversallity and independencie in working, there is no question, but the heavens may in that respect bee preferred, euen before man himselfe, for whose sake they were made; Man being indeed immortall in regard of his soule, but the heavens in regard of their bodies, as being made of an incorruptible stuffe.

Which cannot well stand with their opinion, who held them to bee composed of fire, or that the waters which in the first of Genesis, are said to bee aboue the firmament, and in the hundred fortie eight Psalme, aboue the heavens, are aboue the heavens wee now treate of, for the tempering and qualifying of their heat, as did S. Ambrose, and S. Augustine, and Hexam. l. 2. c. 3. De Civit. Dei, l. 11. c. vlt. many others, venerable for their antiquity, learning, and piety. Touching the former of which opinions, wee shall haue fitter oportunity to dis­cusse it at large, when we come to treate of the warmth caused by the heavens. But touching the second, it seemes to haue beene grounded vpon a mistake of the word Firmament, which by the Ancients, was commonly appropriated to the eight sphere, in which are seated the fixed starres, whereas the originall Hebrew (which properly signifies Extention, or Expansion) is in the first of Genesis, not onely applied to the spheres in which the Sunne and Moone are planted, but to the lowest re­gion of the aire, in which the birds flie, and so doe I with Pareus & Pe­rerius v. 15. v 20. take it to bee vnderstood in this controversie. This region of the aire being, as S. Augustine somewhere speakes, Terminus intransgres­sibilis, a firme and immoveable wall of separation betwixt the waters that are bred in the bowels of the earth, and those of the Cloudes: and for the word heaven, which is vsed in the hundred forty and eight Psalme, it is likewise applyed to the middle region of the aire by the Pro­phet Ieremy, which may serue for a Glosse vpon that text, alleaged out Ierimy. 10. 13. [Page 69] of the Psalme. When hee vttereth his voice, there is a noise of waters in the hea­vens, and hee causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth.

Now the Schoolemen finding that the placing of waters aboue the starry heavens, was both vnnaturall and vnvsefull, and yet being not well acquainted with the propriety of the Hebrew word, to salue the matter, tell vs of a Christalline or glassie heaven, aboue the eight sphere, which, say they, is vndoubtedly the waters aboue the firmament mentio­ned by Moses; which exposition of theirs, though it doe not inferre a decay in the heavenly bodies, yet doth it crosse the course of Moses his historicall narration, his purpose being, as it seemes, only to write the history of things which were visible and sensible, as appeares in part by his omitting the Creation of Angells, whereas the Christalline heaven they speake of, is not only invisible and insensible, but was not at all discouered to be, till the dayes of Hipparchus or Ptolomy. Since then the heavens in regard of their substance, are altogether free (for any thing yet appeares,) from any mixture or tincture of the Elements, being made of an incorruptible and inalterable quintessence, which neither hath any conflict in it selfe, nor with any other thing without it, from thence may wee safely collect that it neither is, nor can be subiect to any such decay as is imagined.

SECT. 3. An objection drawne from Iob, answered.

HOwbeit the deserved curse of God, deprived the earth of her fer­tility, in bringing forth without the sweat of Adam, and his of­spring, yet I finde not that it stretched to the Starres, or that a­ny thing aboue the Moone was altered or changed, in respect of Adams fault, from their first perfection. True indeed it is which Eliphaz teach­eth, Iob. 15. 15. & 25. 5. that the heavens, & Bildad, that the starres are not cleane in Gods sight: it may bee, because of the fall of Angels, the inhabitants of heaven, whom therefore he charged with folly: Which exposition, Iunius so farre favours, as insteed of Coelum, hee puts Coelites, into the very body of the Iob. 4 18. text: But in my judgement it would better haue sorted with the Mar­gin, in as much as by Coelites, wee may vnderstand either Saints or An­gells, both Citizens of heaven, either in actuall possession, or in certaine hope and expectation; in possession, as Angels and Saints departed, in expectation, as the Saints heere in warfaire on the earth: And of these doth Gregory in his Moralls on Iob, expound the place, hoc coelorum no­mine repetijt quod Sanctorum prius appellatione signavit, saith hee: Iob re­peates Cap. 15. 15. that by the name of heaven, which before hee expressed vnder the name of Saints. And thus both hee and S. Augustine expound that of the nineteene Psalme, The heavens declare the glory of God. And with them most of the Ancients, that petition of the Lords Prayer, Thy will bee done on earth as it is in heaven. But what neede wee flie to allegories, & figuratiue senses, when the letter of the text will well enough stand with the analogie of faith, the texts of other Scriptures, and the rule of sound reason. The very materiall heavens then, may not vntruly or vnproperly [Page 70] bee said, to bee vncleane in Gods sight. First, Quia habent aliquid potenti­alitatis admixtum, as Lyra speakes, they haue some kinde of potentia­lity, (I know not how otherwise to render his word) mixed with them, hee meanes in regard of their motion, and the illumination of the moone and starres from the Sunne. But chiefely, as I take it, they are said to be vncleane, not considered in themselues, but in comparison of the Creator, who is Actus purissimus & simplicissimus; all Act, and that most pure, not only from staine and pollution, but all kinde of impotency, imperfe­ction, or Composition whatsoever, And in this sense the very blessed & glorious Angels themselues, which are of a substance farre purer then the Sunne it selfe, may bee said to be vncleane in his sight, in which re­gard the very Seraphins are said, to couer their faces and feete with their Isay. 6. 2. winges. But to grant that the heavens are become vncleane, either by the fall of man or Angells, yet doth it not follow (as I conceiue) that this vncleannes doth daily increase vpon them, or which is in trueth the point in controversie, that they feele any impairing by reason of this vn­cleannes, it being rather imputatiue, as I may earne it, then reall and in­herent. Nonne vides coelum hoc, saith Chrysostome, vt pulchrum, vt ingens, vt astrorum choreis varium, quantum temporis viguit, quin (que) aut plus anno­rum Apud Augusti­num Steuchum, l. 10. de Perenni Philosoph [...]a. millia processerunt, & haec annorum multitudo ei non adduxit senium; Sed vt corpus novum ac vegetum floridae virentis (que) juventae viget aetate: Sic coelum, quam habuit à principio pulchrit [...]dinem semper eadem permansit, nec quicquam tempus eam debilitavit. Dost not thou see the heavens, how faire, how spacious they are, how bee-spangled with diverse constella­tions? how long now haue they lasted? fiue thousand yeares or more are past, and yet this long duration of time hath brought no old age vpon them; But as a body new and fresh, flourisheth in youth: So the heavens still retaine their beauty, which at first they had, neither hath time any thing abated it. Some errour or mistake doubtlesse there is in Chrisostomes computation in as much as he lived aboue 1200 yeares since, & yet tels vs that the world had then lasted aboue 5000 yeares, but for the trueth of the matter he is therein seconded by all the schoole divines, and among those of the reformed churches none hath written in this point more clearely and fully then Alstedius in his pre­face to his naturall divinity. Tanta est hujus palatij diuturnitas at (que) fir­mitas vt ad hodiernum vs (que) diem supra annos quinquies mille & sexcentos ita perstet vt in eo nihil immutatum dimin [...]tum aut vetustate & diuturnitate temporis vitiatum conspiciamus. Such, saith hee, and so lasting is the du­ration and immoveable stability of this palace, that being created a­boue 5600 yeares agoe, yet it so continues to this day, that wee can es­pie nothing in it changed, or wasted, or disordered by age, and tract of time.

SECT. 4. Another obiection taken from Psalme the 102 answered.

ANother text is commmonly and hotly vrged by the Adverse part, to like purpose as the former, and is in truth the onely argu­ment of weight, drawne from Scripture in this present question, touching the heavens decay in regard of their Substance. In which consi­deration wee shall bee inforced to examine it somewhat the more ful­ly. Taken it is from the hundred and second Psalme, and the wordes of the Prophet are these. Of old thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, & v. 25. 26. 27. the heavens are the worke of thine handes. They shall perish, but thou shalt en­dure: yea all of them shall waxe old as doth a garment, as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy yeares shall haue no end. To which very place vndoubtedly, the Apostle al­ludes in the first to the Hebrewes, where he thus renders it, Thou Lord in v. 10. 11. 13 the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the workes of thine hands: They shall perish, but thou remainest, and they shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them vp, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy yeares shall not faile. In which passages the words which are most stood vpon and pressed, are those of the growing old of the heavens like a garment, which by degrees growes bare till it bee torne in peeces and brought to ragges. S. Augustine in his Enarration vpon this Psame according to his wont, betakes him to an Allegoricall Exposition, interpreting the heavens to bee the Saints, and their bodies to bee their garments wherewith the soule is cloathed. And these garments of theirs, saith hee, waxe old and perish, but shall be changed in the resurrection, and made comformable to the glorious bo­dy of Iesus Christ. Which exposition of his, is pious I confesse, but sure­ly not proper, since the Prophet speakes of the heavens, which had their beginning together with the earth, and were both principall peeces in the great worke of the Creation. Neither can the regions of the aire, be here well vnderstood, (though in some other places they bee stiled by the name of the heavens) since they are subiect to continuall variation and change, and our Prophets meaning was, as it should seeme, to com­pare the Almighties vnchangeable eternity, with that which of all the visible Creatures was most stable and stedfast. And besides, though the aire bee indeed the worke of Gods hands, as are all the other Creatures, yet that phrase is in a speciall manner applied to the starry heavens, as Ps. 19. 1. [...]. being indeed the most exquisite and excellent peece of workemanship that ever his hands fram'd. It remaines then, that by heavens heere, wee vnderstand the lights of heaven, thought by Philosophers to bee the thicker parts of the spheres, together with the spheres them­selues, in which those lights are fixed and wheeled about. For that such spheres and orbes there are I take it as granted, neither will I dis­pute it, though I am not ignorant, that some latter writers thinke other­wise, and those, neither few in number, nor for their knowledge vn­learned. But for the true sense of the place alleadged, wee are to know [Page 72] that the word there vsed to wax old, both in Hebrew, Greeke & Latin doth not necessarily imply a decay or impairing in the subject so waxing old, but somtimes doth only signifie a farther step & accesse to a finall period in regard of duration. Wee haue read of some who being well striken in yeares haue renewed their teeth and changed the white colour of their haire, and so growne yong againe. Of such it might truly be sayd that they grew elder in regard of their neerer approch to the determi­nate end of their race, though they were yonger in regard of their con­stitution and state of their bodies. And thus do I take the Apostle to be vnderstood, that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away; Heb. 8. 13. where hee speakes of the Ceremoniall law, which did not grow old by de­grees, at least before the incarnation of Christ, but stood in its full force and vigour vntill it was by him abrogated and disanulled. To which purpose Aquinas hath not vnfitly observed vpon the place, Quod dici­tur vetus significat quod sit prope cessationem, the tearming of a thing old, implies that it hastens to an end. This then as I take it may truly be affir­med of the signification of the word in generall and at large, and may justly seeme to haue been the Prophets meaning in as much as he addeth But thou art the same and thine yeares shall haue no end. From whence may be collected, that as God cannot grow old because his yeares shall haue no end: so the heavens because they shall haue an end may be therefore sayd to grow old. But whereas it is added, not only by the Psalmist but by the Apostle in precise tearmes, They shall wax old as doth a garment, and a­gaine as a Vesture shalt thou change them, the doubt still remaines whether by that addition, the sense of the word bee not restrained to a graduall and sensible decay. I know it may be sayd, that a garment waxing old, not only looses his freshnesse, but part of his quantitie and weight, it is not only soyled; but wasted either in lying or wearing, & so in continuance of time becomes vtterly vnserviceable, which no man I think will as­cribe to the heavens, I meane that their quantity is any way diminished. All agree then that the Similitude may be strained too farre, as the wringing of the nose bringeth forth bloud and the wresting of a string too high marres the musick: but yet the question still remaines, how it is to be vnderstood and how farre we me may safely extend it. For to say that waxing old in that passage is only to be vnderstood of a nearer approch to an alteration, or an abolishment, seemes to be too cold an interpretation, in as much as then needed not the Prophet to haue added for a clearer explication of his mind, in the manner of their wax­ing old, as doth a garment: it rests then to be shewed as I conceiue where­in the similitude stands, which the interpreters I haue met with do not sufficiently vnfold, and those that vndertake the vnfolding of it, runne vpon the rocks by publishing harsh and vnwarrantable positions; Mee thinkes the Psalmist himselfe giues some light vnto it, Thou coverest thy selfe, sayth hee, with light as with a garment, and stretchest out the heauens Psal. 104. 2. like a Curtaine: his meaning then in my judgment may be this, that the Heavens which for their expansion may well be campared to a Curtaine or garment shall wax old, the comparison standing betweene the heavens and a garment, not in regard of their deficiencie, but their spreading, the [Page 73] heavens covèring this inferiour world, as a garment doth the bodie it is spread over. Or if the comparison stand in their deficiencie, which seemes, I confesse, the more kindly exposition, to my seeme­ing, Aquinas in few wordes looseth the knot, sicut uestimentum sayth hee, quod sumitur ad vsum, & cessante vsu deponitur. The heavens then shall wax old as doth a garment in that their vse shall cease together with man, as doth the vse of a garment with him that vseth it. Which expo­sition hee seemes to haue borrowed from Dydimus blind in his bodily eyes, but in his mind sharpe sighted, quod canit Psaltes, veterescent & mu­tabuntur, designat eorum vsum abijsse & defecisse, Vt enim indumentum vbi officio functum fuerit obvoluitur: sic coelum ac terrae functae munerihus suis abibunt. In that the Psalmist professeth, They shall waxe old and be changed, his meaning is when there shall be no further vse of them. For as a garment hauing performed that vse to which it was ordained, is fol­ded vp and layd aside: so the heaven and the earth having finished those services, for which they were created, shall vanish and passe away. And vpon this Comment of Dydimus, Eugubinus thus commeth. Hoc autem Lib. 10. De Pe­renni Philoso­phia. summus docet Theologus primum mundum antiquandum, vetustate & senio interiutrum, sed non'eo senio quo res mortales corrumpuntur atque abolentur, in coelo tale senium nullum est, sed alium quoddam cujus similitudo ex vestibus os­tenditur, cum deponimus eas vbi nobis esse vsui desijssent, tanquam invtiles eas exuimus atque obuoluimus, sic mundus, id est coelum, non eo delebitur quod eadem vetustate atque omnia animalia & arbores, aliquando sit defectu­rus, sed quia cessabit vsus ejus quo rerum tantos ordines peragebat. The purpose of this greate Divine was to teach, that the heavens should wax old and consume with age, but not with such an old age, as that by which things mortall suffer corruption and dissolusion. In heaven there is no such waxing old to be found, but another kind there is, the resemblance whereof is taken from garments, when we put them off, as hauing no further vse of them, laying them aside and folding them vp: in like manner the heaven shall not therefore be disolued, because it shall at any time suffer defect thorow that old age, which beastes and plantes feele, but because the vse of it shall cease, by which it kept these inferiour bodies in due order. And perchance the Apostle himselfe, rendring the words of the Psalmist, intends as much, As a vesture shalt thou fold them vp: as the curtaines and carpets and hangings are folded Heb. 1. 12. vp, and layd aside when the family remoues. Which seemes likewise, to haue been foretold by the Prophet Isayah, the heavens shall be rouled to­gether 34. 4. as a scrole, and they shall passe away with with a noyce sayth S. Peter, like the hissing of parchment, riueled vp with heat, for so signifies the origi­nall 2. Pet. 3. 10. word in that place. Howsoever, they shall not wax old by the course of nature, but by the mightie power of the God of Nature, he that created them shall dissolue them, and nothing else; which the Prophet seemes to point at in this very passage, Tu mutabis & mutabuntur, thou shalt change them, not Nature, but thou shalt change and they shall be changed. And as for that fresh lustre and brightnesse wherwith (as is commonly thought) the heauens shall be renewed at the last day, as a garment by turning is changed, and by changing refreshed, it may well be by ma­king [Page 74] them more resplendent then now they are, or euer at any time were since their first creation, Not by scowring off of contracted rust, but adding a new glosse and augmentation of glory. And whereas some Di­vines haue not doubted to make the spots and shadowes appearing in the face of the Moone to be vndoubted arguments of that contracted rust, if those spots had not beene originall and natiue of equall date with the Moone her selfe, but had beene contracted by age and continuance of time, as wrinkles are in the most beautifull faces, they had said some­what, but that there they were aboue fifteene hundred yeares agone, ap­peares by Plutarchs discourse De maculis in facie Lunae, & that they haue since any whit increased, it cannot be sufficiently prooued. Perchance by the helpe of the new devised perspectiue glasses, they haue beene of late more cleerely & distinctly discerned thē in former ages, but that prooues no more that they were not there before, then that the Sydera Medcaea lately discouered by vertue of the same instruments, were not before in being, which the Discoverers themselues knew well e­nough, they could not with any colour of reason affirme. Galilaeus a Florentine.

SECT. 5. A third objection taken from the apparition of new starres answered.

HOwbeit it cannot be denied but that new starres haue at times ap­peared in the firmament, as some thinke, that was at our Saviours birth, yet in as much at it pointed out the very House in which he was borne by standing ouer it, and was not (for ought we finde) ob­serued by the Mathematicians of those times, I should rather thinke it to haue beene a blazing light created in the Region of the Aire, carry­ing the resemblance of a starre, then a new and true created starre, seated in the firmament.

As for that which appeared in Cassiopaea in the yeare one thousand fiue hundred seventy two, (the very yeare of the great Massacre in France) I thinke it cannot well be gainsaid, to have beene a true starre, it being ob­serued by the most skilfull and famous Astronomers of that time to hold the same aspect in all places of Christendome, to runne the same course, to keepe the same proportion, distance and situation, euery-where, & in euery point, with the fixed starres by the space of two whole yeares: but this I take to haue beene not the effect of Nature, but the supernaturall & miraculous worke of Almighty God, the first Author and free disposer of Nature; and the like may be said of all such Comets which haue at any time evidently appeared, (if any such evidence may be giuen) to be a­boue the Globe of the Moone, from whence it can no more be inferred that the heauens are composed of a matter corruptible, naturally subject to impairing and fading, then that their motion is irregular, or that it is in the power of mortall man to dispose of the course of those immortall Creatures, because by a speciall priviledge at the prayer of Iosuah, both Cap. 10. v. 12. the Sun and Moone were stayed in their wonted courses, and the shadow went backe ten degrees in the Dyall of Ahaz, for the assurance of the [Page 75] truth of the Prophet Isaiahs message sent to King Hezekiah. Isay 38 8.

The same answere may not be vnfitly shaped, to that wonder which S. Augustine reports out of Varroes booke, intituled de Gente Populi Ro­mani, De Civit. Dei 11. 8. and he out of Castor touching the Planet Venus, which to adde the greater weight and credit to the relation, being somewhat strange and rare, I will set it downe in the very words of Varro, as I finde them quo­ted by S. Augustine. In coelo mirabile extitit portentum, nam in stella Ve­ner is nobilissima, quam Plautus Vesperruginem, Homerus Hesperon appellat, pulcherrimam dicens, Castor scribit tantum portentum extitisse, ut mutaret colorem, magnitudinem, figuram, cursum, quod factum ita neque antea, neque postea sit, hoc factum Ogyge Rege dicebant Adrastus, Cyzicenus, & Dyon Neapolites Mathematici nobiles. In Heauen, saith he, appeared a maruai­lous great wonder, the most noted starre called Venus, which Plautus tearmes Vesperrugo, and Homer Hesperus the faire, as Castor hath left it v­pon record, changed both colour, and bignes, and figure, and motion, which accident was neuer seene before, nor since that time, the renowned Ma­thematicians Adrastus and Dyon averring, that this fell out during the raigne of King Ogyges. Which wonder neither Varro nor Augustine a­scribe to the changeable matter of the Heauens, but to the vnchange­able will of the Creator. And therefore the one cals it as we see Mirabi­le portentum, and the other makes this Comment vpon it, that it hap­ned, quia ille voluit qui summo regit imperio ac potestate quod condidit, be­cause he would haue it so, who gouernes all things that he hath made with a Soueraigne and independing power. So that two speciall reasons may be yeelded for these extraordinary vnvsuall apparitions in heauen, the one that they may declare to the world that they haue a Creator & Com­mander, who can alter or destroy their natures, restraine or suspend their operations at his pleasure, which should keepe men from worshipping them as Gods, since they cannot keepe themselues from alteration. The other to portend and foreshew his Iudgements, as did that new starre in Cassiopoea, a most vnnaturall inundation of blood in France; and this change in Venus, such a deluge in Achaia, as it ouerflowed and so wa­sted the whole Countrey, that for the space of two hundred yeares follow­ing it was not inhabited.

SECT. 6. The last obiection drawne from the Eclipses of the Sunne and Moone answered.

THe last doubt touching the passibility of the matter of the Heauens, is drawne from the Eclipses of the Sun and Moone, in which they are commonly thought to suffer, and to bee as it were in travell during that time. Which if it were so, it must of necessity by degrees consume the vigour and beauty of those glorious bodies, and finally the bodies themselues. To this purpose is alleadged that of the Poet, where he cals these Eclypses, Virg. Georg▪ l. 2

Defectus Solis varios Lunaeque labores.
Defects and trauels of the Sunne and Moone.

[Page 76] As also the manner of the ancient Romans while such Eclypses lasted, to Tacit. Annal. 1. 7. lift vp many burning torches toward Heauen, and withall to beate pans of brasse and basons, as we doe in following a swarme of bees.

Commovet Gentes publicus error,
Lassantque crebris pulsibus aera.
Boetius lib. 4 m [...]t. 5.
A common errour through the World doth passe,
And many a stroake they lay on pans of brasse

Saith Boetius and Manilius, speaking of the appearance of the Moones Eclipse by degrees in diverse parts of the Earth.

Seraque in extremis quatiuntur gentibus aera,
L [...]b. 1.
Th' vtmost coasts doe beat their brasse pans last.

And the Satyrist wittily describing a tatling Gossip,

Vna laboranti poterit succurrere Lunae.
Shee onely were enough to helpe
Iuv, lib. 2. Sat. 6
The labours of the Moone.

They thought thereby they did the Moone great ease, and helped her in her labour, as Plutarch in the life of Aemilius obserueth. Nay Aemi­lius himselfe a wise man, as the same Author there witnesseth, congratu­lated the Moones deliuery from an Eclipse, with a solemne sacrifice, as­soone as shee shone out bright againe, which action of his that prudent Philosopher and sage Historian not relateth only, but approoueth & com­mendeth as a signe of godlinesse and devotion, yea this Heathenish and sottish custome of releeuing the Moone in this case by noise & outcries, the Christians it seemes borrowed from the Gentiles, as appeares by S. Ambrose in his eighty and third Sermon, where he most sharply checks his Auditors for their rude and vncivill, nay prophane and irreligious Ser. 83, vel 82. Maximus Tau­rinensis hath an Homily to the same pur­pose, and in the same words. carriage in this very point: And because his discourse there is not only smart and piercing, but marvailous punctuall and pertinent in regard of the question in hand, I hope it will not be thought time or paper mis­spent, if I set it downe as there I find it. Who would not grieue at it that you should so far forget your soules health, as you should not blush to call Heauen as a witnesse to your sinne. For when I lately preached vnto you touching your co­vetousnesse, euen the same day at Evening there was so great a shouting of the people, that your prophanenesse pierced the Heauens. I inquired what the meaning of that noise might bee: it was told me that with your out-cryes you relieued the Moone, being then in travell, and succoured her faintings with your shouting: which when I heard, in truth I could not choose but laugh and wonder at your vanity, that like devoute Christians you thought to bring aide to God, for it seemes you cryed, least by meanes of your silence hee might perchance loose one of his noblest Creatures; or as if being weake and impotent he could not maintaine those lights himselfe had created, but by the assistance of your voyces. And surely ye doe very well in that you succour the Deity, that by your helpe he may gouerne heauen. But would ye doe it to purpose indeed, then must ye watch euery night & all night. For how often trow ye is the moon eclypsed while you sleep, & yet she falls not from heaven: Or is shee alwayes eclypsed in the night, & not likewise in the day time? But then only it seemes is the moone eclypsed with you, when your bellies are well stuffed with a full supper, & your braines steeled with full pots; then only the Moone labours in heaven, when the wine labours in your [Page 77] heads; then is her circle troubled with charmes, when your sight is dazled with over much qua [...]ing. How canst thou then discerne what befals the Moone in heaven, when thou canst not discerne what is done neere thee on earth, heerein is that plainely verified which holy Solomon foretold, a foole cha [...]geth as the Moone: Thou changest like the Moone, when beeing ignorant of the Eccles. 27. 11. motion thereof, thou who werst a Christian before, now beginnest to be sacrile­gious; for sacrilege thou committest against thy Creator, when thou imputest such impotency to the Creature: Thou then changest like the moone, when thou who before shinedst in the devotion of faith, now fallest away thorow the weakenes of vnbeleefe: thou changest like the moone, when thy braine is as voide of wit, as the moone is of light, and I could wish thou diddest indeed change as the moone for shee quickely returnes againe to her fulnes, but thou by leasure to the vse of thy wits; shee soone recovers her light, but thou slow­ly the faith which thou hast denyed. Thy change then is worse then that of the moone; shee suffers an Eclipse of her light, but thou of thy soules health. But willsome man say, is not the moone in labour then? yes indeed shee labours, it cannot bee denyed: but shee labours with the other creaturess, as the Apostle Rom. 8. speakes, wee know that the whole Creature groaneth and travelleth in paine vntill now; and againe, the Creature it selfe shall also bee deliuered from the bondage of Corruption. It shall bee freed from bondage. You see then that the moone doth not labour with charmes, but with dutifull observances, not with dangers, but with vsefull offices, not to perish, but to serue. For the Creature is made subiect to vanity not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subie­cted the same, So that the Moone is not willingly changed from her condition, but thou wittingly and willingly robbest thy selfe of thine owne reason. Shee by the condition of her nature suffers an Eclipse, thou by consent of thine owne will, art drawne into mischiefe. Bee not then as the moone when shee is eclyp­sed, but as when shee fils her circle with light. For of the righteous man it is written, Hee shall bee established for ever as the moone, & as the faithfull wit­nesse Ps. 89. 37. in heaven.

By which witty discourse of S. Ambrose, it plainely appeares that in his judgement, the moone suffered nothing by her Eclypse, which opini­on of his is confirmed not only by the testimony of Aristotle, in the eight of the Metaphysickes, but by the evidence of reason, it being cau­sed by the shadow of the earth, interposed betweene the Sunne and the Moone, as in exchange or revenge thereof, (as Pliny speaketh,) the E­clypse of the Sun is caused by the interposition of the moone, betwixt the Lib. 2. cap. 10. earth and it. The moone so depriuing the earth, and againe the earth the moone of the beames of the Sunne: Which is the true cause that in the course of nature, the Moone is never eclypsed but when shee is full, the Sunne and shee being then in opposition; nor the Sunne, but when it is new-moone; those two Planets being then in conjunction: I say, in the course of Nature, for the Eclypse at our Sauiours passion, was vndoub­tedly supernaturall: Quam Solis obscurationem non ex canonico Syderum cur­su accidisse satis ostenditur quod tunc erat Pascha Iudaeorum. Nam plena Lu­na solenniter agitur, saith S. Augustine. It is evident that that Eclipse of the Sunne happened not by the ordinary & orderly course of the stars, Lib. 3. de. Civit. Dei, cap. 15. it being then the Passover of the Iewes, which was solemnized at the full [Page 78] moone; And this was it, that gaue occasion, as is commonly belecued, to that memorable exclamation of Dennys the Areopagite, being then in Egypt: Aut Deus Naturae patitur, aut machina mundi dissolvetur, either the God of Nature suffers, or the frame of Nature will bee dissolved. And heerevpon too, as it is thought by some, was erected that Altar at A­thens, Ignoto Deo, To the vnknowne God: Though others thinke that E­clypse was confined within the borders of Iudea; howsoever it cannot Act. 17. 23. be denyed, but that it was certainely beside and aboue the course of Nature. Neither ought it seeme strange, that the Sunne in the firma­ment of heaven, should appeare to suffer, when the Sunne of Righteousnes indeed suffered vpon earth.

But for other Eclypses, though their Causes bee now commonly knowne, yet the ignorance of them was it, which caused so much super­stition in former ages, and left that impression in mens mindes, as euen at this day wise men can hardly bee perswaded, but that those Planets suffer in their Eclypses, which in the Sunne is most childish and ridicu­lous to imagine, since in it selfe, it is not so much as depriued of any light, nor in trueth can bee: it being the fountaine of light, from which all the other starres borrow their light, but pay nothing backe againe to it, by way of retribution. Which was well expressed by Pericles, as Plu­tarch in his life reports it, For there happening an Eclypse of the Sun, at the very instant, when his Navy was now ready to lanch forth, & him­selfe was imbarked, his followers began to bee much apald at it, but specially the Master of his owne gally, which Pericles perceiuing, takes his cloake & with it hoodwinkes the Masters eyes, & then demaunds of him what danger was in that, hee answering none, neither saith Peri­cles is there in this Eclypse, there being no difference betwixt my cloake and that Vaile, with which the Sun is covered, but only in bignes. And the truth is that the Sun then suffered no more by the intervening of the Moone, then from Pericles his cloake, or daily doth from the cloudes in the aire which hinder the sight of it, or by the interposition of the Planet Mercury, which hath sometimes appeared as a spot in it; But whether these Eclypses either cause or presage any change in these inferi­our Scalig. Exer. 72. bodies, I shall haue fitter occasion to examine heareafter, and so passe from the consideration of the substance, to the motion of the hea­venly bodies.

CAP. 2. Touching the pretended decay of the heavenly bodies in regard of their motions.

SECT. 1. The first reason, that there is no decay in the motions of the heavenly bodies, drawne from the causes thereof

MOtion is so vniversall and innate a property, and so proper an affe­ction to all naturall bodies, that the Great Philosopher knew not better how to define Nature, then by making her the Enginer [Page 79] and Principle of Motion: And therefore as other obiects, are onely discer­nable by one sense, as colours by seeing, 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, of augmentation, or diminution, or of alteration, I haue already shewed. There are also who by reason of the incredible swiftnes of the first Mouer, and some other such rea­sons, dare deny that there is in them any Lation or Locall motion, heere­in Copernicus. flatly opposing in my judgement both Scripture and Reason, & Sense; But to take it as graunted, without any dispute, that a Locall motion there is, which is the measure of time, as time againe is the measure of mo­tion, the line of motion and the threed of time, beeing both spun out to­gether: Some doubt there is touching the moouer of these heavenly bo­dies, what or who it should bee, some ascribing it to their matter, some to their forme, some to their figure, and many to the Angells, or Intelli­gences, as they call them, which they suppose to bee set over them. For mine owne part, I should thinke that all these and euery of them might not vnjustly challenge a part in that motion: The matter as beeing nei­ther light nor heavy, the forme aswell agreeing with such a matter, the figure as being Sphericall or Circular, the Intelligence as an assistant: In the matter is a disposition; For whereas light bodies naturally moue vp­ward, and heavy downeward, that which is neither light nor heavy is rather disposed to a Circular motion, which is neither vpward nor downeward. In the figure is an inclination to that motion, as in a wheele to bee carried round, from the forme an inchoation or onsett, and lastly from the Intelligence a continuance or perpetuation thereof, as a great Di­vine of our owne both age and Nation hath well expressed it, Gods owne Hooker, Eccles. Policie, 5. 69. aeternity,) saith hee) is the hand which leadeth Angells in the course of their perpetuity, their perpetuity the hand that draweth out Celestiall motion, that as the Elementary substances are governed by the heavenly: so might the heauenly by the Angellicall. As the corruptible by the incorruptible, so the materiall by the immateriall, and all finits by one infinite. It is the joynt consent of the Platoniks, Peripatetiks, and Stoikes, and of all the noted sects of Philosophers; who acknowledged the Divine Providence, with whom agree the greatest part of our most learned & Christian Doctors, that the Heavens are moued by Angells, neither is there in truth any suf­ficient meanes beside it to discover the beeing of such Creatures by discourse of Reason. Which to mee is a strong argument, that the Hea­uens can by no meanes erre, or faile in their motions, beeing managed by the subordinate ministery of such indefatigable and vnerring guides, whose power is euery way proportionable to their knowledge, and their constancy to both.

SECT. 2. The Second reason taken from the Certainty of demonstrations vpon the Coe­lestiall globe: The Third, from a particular view of the proper motions of the Planets, which are observed to bee the same at this day, as in former ages without any variation: The Fourth, from the infallible and exact praediction of their Oppositions, Conjunctions, and Eclypses for many ages to come: The Fifth, from the testimony of sundry graue Authours, auerring perpetuall Constancy and im­mutability of their motions.

THe most signall motions of the heavens (beside their retrogradations, trepidations, librations, and I know not what, which Astronomers haue devised to reconcile the diversitie of their observations) are the diurnall motion of all the fixed starres and Planets, and all the Coelestiall spheres from East to West in the compasse of every foure and twenty houres, and the proper motion of them all from the West to the East a­gaine. These motions whether they performe, by themselues, without the helpe of orbes, as fishes in the water, or birds in the aire; or fastned to their spheres, as a gemme in a ring, or a nayle or knot in a Cart-wheele, I cannot easily determine: howbeit I confesse wee cannot well imagine how one and the same body should bee carried with opposite motions, but by the helpe of somewhat in which it is carried, As the Marriner may be carried by the motion of his shippe from the East to the West, and yet himselfe may walke from the West to the East in the same ship: Or a flie may be carried from the North to the South vpon a Cart-wheele, and yet may goe from the South to the North vpon the same wheele: But howsoever it bee, it is evident that their motions are most even and regular, without the least jarre or discord, variation or vncer­tainety, languishing or defect, that may bee. Which were it not so, there could bee no certaine demonstrations made vpon the Globe or materi­all Sphere: Which notwithstanding by the testimony of Claudian are most infallible, as appeares by those his elegant verses vpon Archyme­des admirable invention thereof.

Iuppiter in parvo cum cerneret aether a vitro,
Risit, & ad superos, talia dicta dedit:
Huccine mortalis progressa potentia curae?
Iam meus infragili luditur orbe labor
Iura poli, rerum (que) fidem leges (que) Deorum
Ecce Syracusius transtulit arte senex.
Inclusus varijs famulatur Spiritus astris
Et vivum certis motibus vrget opus
Percurrit proprium mentirus signifer annum
Et simulata nouo Cynthia mense redit.
Iam (que) suum volvens audax industria Mundum
Gaudet & humana sydera mense regit.
When Ioue within a little glasse survaid
[Page 81] The Heavens, hee smil'd, and to the Gods thus sayd:
Can strength of Mortall wit proceed thus farre?
Loe in a fraile orbe my workes mated are.
Hither the Syracusians art translates
Heavens forme, the course of things, and humane fates.
Th'included spirit serving the star-deck signes,
The liuing worke in constant motions windes
Th'adulterate Zodiaque runnes a naturall yeare,
And Cynthiaes forg'd hornes monthly new light beare,
Viewing her owne world, now bold industry
Triumphes and rules with humane power the skye.

The Gentiles sayth Iulian, (as S. Cyrill in his third booke against him, re­ports it) videntes nihil eorū quae circa Coelū minui vel augeri neque vlla susti­nere deordinatam affectionē, sed congruam illius motionem ac bene op [...]atū ordi­nem, definitas quoque leges Lunae, definitos ortus & occasus Solis, statutis semper temporibus, merito Deum & Dei solium suspicabantur: seeing no part of hea­ven to deminished or decreased, to suffer no irregular affection, but the motion thereof to be as duly and orderly performed as could be desi­red, the waxing and waning of the moone, the rising and setting of thee sunne to bee setled and constant at fixed and certaine times, they deser­uedly admired it as God, or as the throne of God. The order and regu­laritie of which motions wee shall easily perceiue by taking a particular view of them. I will touch only those of the Plannets. The proper mo­tion of Saturne was by the Ancients obserued, and is now likewise found, by our moderne Astronomers, to be accomplished within the space of thirtie yeares, that of Iupiter in twelue, that of Mars in two, that of the Sunne in three hundred sixty fiue dayes and allmost six ho­wers, that of Venus and Mercury in very neere the same space of time, that of the Moone in twentie seven dayes and all most eight howres: Neither do we find that they haue either quickned or any way slackned these their courses, but that in the same space of time they allwayes run the same races which being ended, they begin them againe as freshly as the first instant they set forth; Cum per certa annorum spacia or­bes suos De Consol. ad Albiaum. cap. 6. explicuerint iterum ibunt per quae venerant, sayth Seneca: when in certaine tearmes of years they shall haue accomplished their courses, they shall againe runne the same races they haue passed. These then be the boundes and limits, to which these glorious bodies are perpetu­ally tyed, in regard of their motion, these be the vnchangeable lawes like those of the Medes and Persians whereof the Psalmist speakes, Hee hath Psal. 148. 6. giuen them a law which shall not be broken: which Seneca in his booke of the Diuine Providence, well expresses in other wordes, Aeternae legis imperio procedunt, they mooue by the appointment of an eternall law, that is, a law both invariable & inviolable. That which Tully hath delivered of one of them is vndoubtedly true of all: Saturni stella in suo cursu multa mira­biliter Lib. 2. denaru­ra Deorum. efficiens, tum ante [...]edendo, tum retardando, tum vespertinis temporibus delitescendo, tum matutinis rursum se aperiendo, nihil tamen immutat sempe­ternis soeculorum aetatibus, quin eadem ijsdem temporibus efficiat: The plan­net Saturne doth make many strange and wonderfull passages in his [Page 82] motion, sometimes going before, and sometimes comming after, some­times withdrawing himselfe in the evening, and sometimes againe shewing himselfe in the morning, and yet changeth nothing in the con­tinuall duration of all ages, but still at the same season worketh the same effects. And in truth, were it not so, both in that Plannet and in all the other starres, it is altogether impossible they should supply that vse which Almighty God in their Creation ordained them vnto, that is, to serue for signes and seasons, for dayes and for yeares, to the worlds end. And Gen. 1. 14. much more impossible it were that the yeare, the moneth, the day, the hower, the minute of the Oppositions, Conjuctions and Eclypses of the Plannets, should be as exactly calculated and foretold one hundreth yeares before they fall out, as at what howre the Snnne will rise to mor­row morning. Which perpetuall aequability & cōstant vniformity in the Celestiall motions, is both truly observed & eloquētly descibedby Boetius.

Si vis celsi jura Tonantis
Pura solers cernere mente,
Lib. 4. de consol. Philosophiae. Met. 6.
Aspice summi culmina Coeli;
Illic justo foedere rerum
Veterem servant syder a pacem.
Non sol rutilo concitus igne
Gelidum Phebes impedit axem.
Nec quae summo vertice mundi
Flectit rapidos vrsa meatus
Vnquam occiduo lota profundo
Caetera cernens syder a mergi
Cupit Oceano tingere flammas.
Semper vicibus temporis aequis
Vesper ser as nunciat vmbras
Revehitque diem Lucifer almum.
Sic alternos reficit cursus
Alternus amor, sic astrigeris
Bellum discors exulat or is.
If thou with pure and prudent minde
The lawes of God wouldst see
Looke vp to heaven and thou shalt finde
How all things there agree.
In peace the starres their courses runne
Nor is the Moones cold sphere
Impeached by the scorching Sunne,
Nor doth the Northerne beare
Which swift about the Pole doth moue
Though other starres he see
Drencht in the Westerne Ocean, loue
His flames there quenched bee.
Nights late approch by courses due
The evening starre doth show
And morning starre with motion true
Before the day doth goe:
Thus still their turnes renewed are
[Page 83] By enterchanging loue:
And warre and discord banisht farre
From starry skies aboue,

And no lesse wittily by Manilius, Lib. 1.

Nec quicquam in tanta magis est mirabile mole
Quam ratio; & certis quod legibus omnia parent,
Nusquam turba nocet, nihil vllis partibus errat.
There is not ought that's to be seene in such a wondrous masse,
More wonderful and strange then this that Reason brings to passe:
That all obey their certaine lawes which they doe still preferre,
No tumult hurteth them, nor ought in any parr doth erre.

Wherewith the Divine Plato accords, Nec errant, nec praeter antiquum or­dinem In Epino [...]. revolvuntur, neither doe they runne randome, nor are they rolled beside their ancient order. And Aristotle breaketh out into this passio­nate Arist. de Mundo admiration thereof, Quid unquam poterit aequari coelesti ordini, & vo­lubilitati, cùm syder a convertantur exactissima norma de alio in aliud secu­lum: What can ever be compared to the order of the Heauens, and to the motion of the Starres in their seuerall revolutions, which moue most exactly as it were by a rule and square, by line and leuell from one generation to another.

There were among the Ancients not a few, nor they vnlearned, who by a strong fancie conceiued to themselues an excellent melody made vp by the motion of the Coelestiall Spheares. It was broached by Arist. l. 2. de coelo, cap. 9. Pythagoras, entertained by Lib. 10. de Rep. Plato, stiffely maintained by In lib. 2. de Somnio Scipio­nis cap. 3. Macrobius and some Christians, as Lib. de Musica Beda, Lib. de Musica cap. 2. Boetius, and Lib. deimag. mundi cap. 24. Anselmus Archbishop of Canterbury: but Aristotle puts it off with a jest, as being Lepidè & musicè dictum, fa­ctu autem impossibile, a pleasant and musicall conceit, but in effect impos­sible, inasmuch as those Bodies in their motions make no kinde of noise at all. Howsoeuer it may well bee that this conceit of theirs was groun­ded vpon a certaine truth, which is the Harmonicall and proportionable motion of those Bodies in their just order, and set courses, as if they were euer dauncing the rounds or the measures. In which regard the Psalmist tels vs that the Sun knoweth his going downe, he appointed the Moone for seasons, and the Sunne knoweth his going downe. Which wordes of his may not be taken in a proper, but in a figuratiue sense; The Prophet there­by Psal. 104. 19. implying, that the Sunne obserueth his prescribed motion so precisely to a point, that in the least jot he neuer erreth from it: And therefore is he said to doe the same vpon knowledge and vnderstanding, Non quòd a­nimatus sit aut ratione vtatur, saith Basill vpon the place, sed quòd juxta ter­minum divinitùs praescriptum ingrediens, semper eundem cursum servat, ac mensur as suas custodit: Not that the Sun hath any soule, or vse of vnder­standing, but because it keepeth his courses and measures exactly accor­ding to Gods prescription.

SECT. 3. The same truth farther prooued from the testimony of Lactantius and Plutarch.

LActantius from hence gathereth two notable Conclusions, the one, Lib. 2. Instit. cap. 5. that the Starres are not Gods as the Gentiles commonly imagined, the other, that they are governed by God, which the Epicurians de­nyed: for the former of those, saith he, argumentum illud quo colligunt v­niversa coelestia Deos esse in contrarium valet. Nam si Deos esse idcircò opinan­tur, quia certos & rationabiles cursus habent, errant: Ex hoc enim apparet Deos non esse quod exorbitare illis apraestitutis itineribus non licet; caeterùm si Dij essent huc atque illuc passim sine vlla necessitate ferrentur, sicut animantes in terra, quorum quia liberae sunt voluntates, huc atque illuc vagantur vt li­bet, & quocunque mens duxerit eo feruntur. That argument from whence the Heathen doe collect that the Starres must needes be Gods, doth most plainly prooue the contrary: For if they take them to be Gods, because of the certainty of their courses, they be therein much deceiued: for this plainely prooveth, that indeed they be no Gods, because they be not able to depart from their set courses. Whereas if they were Gods, they would mooue both this way and that way in the Heauens, as freely as liuing Creatures doe vpon the earth, who because they haue the liber­ty and freedome of their will they wander vp and downe whither they themselues please. And for the latter, tanta rerum magnitudo, saith hee, tanta dispositio, tanta in servandis ordinibus, temporibusque constantia, non po­tuit aut olim sine provido Artifice oriri, aut constare tot seculis sine incola po­tente, aut in perpetuū gubernari sine perito & sciente rectore, quod ratio ipsa de­clarat. Such a greatnes in their creation, such a comelinesse in their or­der, such a constancie in observing both their courses and their sea­sons, could neuer either at first haue beene framed without a cunning hand, or so long haue beene preserued without a powerfull inhabitant, or so wisely haue beene governed without a skilfull Regent, as euen reason it selfe maketh it plaine and evident. And Plurarch affirmeth ge­nerally of all men, that the very first motiue that lead them vnto God was that orderly motion whereby the starres are carried. Homines caeperunt Lib. 1. De Pla­citis Philoso­phorum c. 6. Deum agnoscere cùm viderent stellas tantam concinnitatem efficere, ac dies, noctesque aetate ac hyeme, suos servare statos ortus atque obitus. Men beganne first to acknowledge a God when they considered the starres to main­taine such a comelinesse, and both day and night in summer and win­ter to obserue their designed risings and settings.

SECT. 4. An objection of Du Moulins touching the motion of the Polar Starre answered.

ANd thus I hope the Heauens are sufficiently discharged from a­ny imputation of Decay in regard of their motion, the constant regularity whereof, we finde to haue beene obserued and admi­red by the most learned of all ages: It remaines now that I should pro­ceede to the examination of the other qualities thereof, which before I attempt, it shall not be amisse to remoue a rub cast in our way by Du Moulin a famous French Divine, in his Booke intituled, The accomplish­ment of Divine Prophesies, touching the motion of the Polar starre, his In cap. 5. Apo­cal parte 5. words are these, or to this purpose. Astrologie also doth lend vs some light in this matter; For in the yeare of the World three thousand six hundred sixty fiue, Ptolomaeus Philadelphus raigning in Egypt some foure hundred sixty nine yeares after the building of Rome, there lived one Hipparchus a famous Astrologer, who reports that in his time the starre commonly called the Polar starre, which is in the taile of the lesser Beare, was 12 degrees & two fifths di­stant from the Pole of the Aequator. This star from age to age hath insensibly still crept neerer to the Pole, so that at this present it is not past three degrees di­stant from the Pole of the Aequator. When this star then shall come to touch the Pole, there being no farther space left for it to goe forward) which may well enough come to passe within fiue or six hundredth yeares) it is likely that then there shall be a great change of things, and that this time is the period which God hath presixed to Nature. A bold coniecture of a man so well versed in holy Scriptures and in other matters so modest; as if God had written in the Heavens the period of times, or had so written it as any mortall eye could discerne it, his beloued Son professing, that it is not for vs to know Act. 1. 7. the times and seasons, which the Father hath put in his owne power. And as the Conjecture is bold, so is it built vpon as sandy a foundation which is, that the Pole-star shall draw so neere the Pole as to touch it, or shall euer be brought to those straits, as it shall finde no passage to goe forward, whereas it is certaine, it shall euer remaine in some certaine distance from the Pole, twenty sixe or twenty seuen minutes at the least. True in­deed it is, that about fiue hundred yeares hence, if the World last so long, it shall then approach the nearest, but then shall it with-draw it selfe again by degrees to as remote a distance as it euer was before; As it heretofore hath beene the most Southerly star in that Asterisme, and is now become the most Northerly: so in processe of time it may become the most Southerly againe: But from hence to inferre that the Poles of the Aequator are moueable, is inconsequent, and incompatible with the most receiued and best approued grounds of Astronomy. Besides, other fixed stars haue their times of accesse and recesse, to and frōthe Pole, aswell as this: so that the motion of this can no more point out the period of Nature, then of those: All which Du Moulin himselfe either by his owne observation or advertisement from others well perceiuing, in a [Page 86] latter Edition of that booke printed at Sedane in the yeare one thousand six hundred thenty one, hath well mended the matter, by changing some words. For insteed of this in the first edition; From hence it appea­reth that the Poles of the Equatour are moueable, in the second, he hath thus changed it: It being certaine, and observed by long experience, that the fixed stars moue from the West to the East in a motion paralell to the Eclyptique. In his first edition, he sayes: When this starre shall come to touch the Pole, there beeing no further space left for it to goe forward, but in his second hee changeth it thus, when this starre shall approach the Pole as neere as it can: Againe in his first thus, which may well come to passe within these fiue or six hundred yeares, in his second thus, which may well come to passe within siue hundred yeares: Lastly in his first thus, it seemes that this time is the period which God hath prefixed to Nature, in his second thus, it seemes that some no­table period shall then expire. And surely I cannot but as much commend his modesty in this second change, as I found it wanting in his first conie­cture, and I am of opinion that S. Augustine never purchased more true honour by any booke that ever hee writ, then that of his Retractations, the shame is not so much to erre, as to persevere in it being discouered. Specially if it be an errour taken vp & entertained, by following those, whom for their great gifts wee highly esteeme and admire, as it seemes Du Moulin tooke his errour at leastwise touching the moueablenes of the Poles of the Equatour, from Ioseph Scaliger: But the motion of the heavens puts mee in minde of passing from it to the light thereof.

CAP. 3. Touching the pretended decay in the light of the heavenly bodies.

SECT. 1. The first reason that it decayes not, taken from the nature of that light, and those things wherevnto it is resembled.

AS the waters were first spread over the face of the earth: so was the light dispersed thorow the firmament: and as the waters were gathered into one heape, so was the light knit vp, and vnited into one body: As the gathering of the waters was called the Sea, so, that of the light was called the Sunne. As the rivers come from the sea▪ so is all the light of the starres derived from the Sun: And lastly, as the Sea is no whit leassened though it furnish the Earth with abundance of fresh rivers: So though the Sunne haue since the Creation, both furnished, & garnished the world with light, neither is the store of it thereby dimini­shed, nor the beauty of it any way stayned. What the light is, whether a substance or an Accident, whether of a Corporall or incorporall nature, it is not easy to determine. Philosophers dispute it, but cannot well resolue it. Such is our ignorance, that euen that by which wee see all things, we cannot discerne what it selfe is. But whatsoeuer it bee, wee are sure that of all visible Creatures, it was the first that was made, and comes neerest the nature of a Spirit, in as much as it moues in an instant from [Page 87] the East to the West, and piercing thorow all transparent bodies, still remaines in it selfe, vnmixed and vndivided; it chaseth away sadde and mellancholy thoughts, which the darkenesse both begets and maine­taines; it lifts vp our mindes in meditation to him who is the true light, that lightneth every man that commeth into the world, himselfe dwelling in light vnaccessible, and cloathing himselfe with light as with a garment. And if wee may behold in any Creature any one sparke of that eternall fire, or any farre off dawning of Gods glorious brightnes, the same in the beau­ty, motion, and vertue of this light may best be discerned. Quid pulchri­us luce, saith Hugo de sancto Victore, quae cum in se colorem non habeat, om­nium tamen rerum colores ipsa quodammodo colorat. What is more beau­tifull then the light, which hauing no colour in it selfe, yet sets a luster vpon all colours. And S. Ambrose, vnde vox Dei in Scriptura debuit inch o­are nisi à lumine? Vnde mundi ornatus nisi à luce exordium sumere! frustra e­nim esset si non [...]ideretur. From whence should the voice of God in holy Scripture begin, but from the light? From whence should the ornament of the world begin, but likewise from the same light? For in vaine it were, were it not seene.

O Father of the light, of wisedome fountaine,
Out of the bulke of that confused mountaine
What should, what could issue before the light
Without which, Beauty were no Beauty hight.

SECT. 2. The second, for that it hath nothing contrary vnto it, and heere Pareus and Mollerus are censured for holding that the light of heaven is impaired.

S. Augustine in diverse places of his workes is of opinion, that by the first created light were vnderstood the Angells, and heerein is hee followed by Beda, Eucherius, Rupertus & diverse others. Which opinion of his though it bee questionlesse vnsound, in as much as wee are taught that that light, sprang out of darkenesse, which of the Angells can in no sort bee verified, yet it shewes the 2 Cor 4. 6 lightsome nature of Angells, so likewise the Angelicall nature of light, still flourishing in youth, & no more subject to decay or old age, then the Angells are. Since then in the properties thereof, it comes so neere the nature of Spirits, of Angels, of God, mee thinkes they who dare accuse the heavens, as being guilty of decay and corruption in other res­pects, should yet haue spared the light thereof. The more I wonder that men reverenced for their learning, & reputed lights of the Church, should by their writings goe about to quench or blemish this light. Vi­dentur haud parum elanguisse minus (que) nitidi esse quam fuerant initio, saith Pareus in Epi­stolam ad He­braeos, c. 1, v. 11. one speaking of the heavenly bodies. They seeme to hame suffered not a little defect, and to haue lost of that brightnes, in which they were at first created. And another: Non est nunc illa claritas luminis, nec sunt illae stellarum vires quae fuerunt. There is not now that brightnes Moll [...]r, in Psal. 102. v. 27. of the light, nor those vertues of the starres that haue beene. Ventu­rous [Page 88] assertions, and such I beleeue, as would haue pusled the Authours of them to haue made them good, specially considering that as there is nothing contrary to the Quintessentiall matter, and circular figure of the Heavens: So neither is there to the light thereof. Fire may bee quen­ched with water, but there is nothing able to quench the light of Hea­uen, saue the power of him that made it. Againe fire may bee extin­guished by withdrawing or withholding the fewell vpon which it feedes: But the light of heaven hauing no matter by which it is nouri­shed; there is no feare of the failing thereof thorow any such defect & for the matter of the Coelestiall spheres and starres, in which it is planted, it hath already sufficiently appeared, that it neither is, nor in the course of Nature can be subject to any impairing alteration: And so much Pare­us himselfe hath vpon the matter confessed in two severall places in his Commentaries vpon the first of Genesis, whereof the first is this, v. 6. speakeing of the firmament and the Epithetes of iron and brasse, given it in holy Scriptures, and by prophane Authours, Haec Epitheta, saith hee, Metaphoricè notant Coeli firmitatem, quia tot millibus annorum immutabili lege circumvoluitur, nec tamen atteritur motu aut absumitur, quia à Deo sic est firmatum initio. These Epithetes metaphorically signifie the firme­nes & stablenes of heaven, because by an vnchangeable law it hath now wheeled about so many thousand yeares, and yet is it not wasted or worne by the motion thereof, because it is established by God. And againe within a while after, hee vseth almost the same wordes, firma­mentum non dicitur de duritie aut soliditate, impermeabili, sed de firmitate quâ perpetuo motu circumactum coelum non atteritur, nec absumitur, sed ma­net quale à Deo initio fuit firmatum. Nay a little before that last passage, diuiding the whole firmament or Expansum, containing all the Coele­stiall Spheres and regions of the aire, into two parts; The higher, saith hee, (thereby intending the heavenly bodies) is purissima, & incorrup­tibilis, & inalterabilis; most pure, incorruptible, and inalterable. Now if it should bee demaunded, how the Heaveus may bee said to languish, and to haue lost of their natiue brightnes, and yet still to remaine incor­ruptible & inalterable, for mine owne part, I must professe, I cannot vn­derstand it, nor know which way to reconcile it. A number of the like passages may bee observed in the writings of our latter Diuines: but I sparetheir names for the reverence I beare their gifts, and places, and persons, and so proceed.

SECT. 3. Heerevnto some other reasons are added, and the testimonie of Eugubinus vouched.

I Remember Mr. Camden reports, that at the demolition of our In Yorkeshire Monasteries, there was found in the supposed monument of Constan­tius Chlorus, father to the Great Constantine, a burning Lampe which was thought to haue burnt there euer since his buriall, about three hun­dredth yeares after Christ, and withall hee addes out of Lazius, that the ancient Romans vsed in that manner to preserue lights in their Se­pulchres [Page 89] a long time by the oylelinesse of Gold, resolved by Art into a liquid substance. Which if it bee so, how much more easie is it for the Father of lights to preserue those naturall lights of Heaven, which himselfe hath made without any diminution. In artificiall lights wee see, that if a thousand Candles bee all lighted from one, yet the light of the first is not thereby any whit abated, and why should wee then conceiue that the Sun by imparting his light so many thousand yeares, should loose any part thereof. They who mainetaine that the soule of man is derived ex traduce, hold withall that the Father in begetting the sonnes soule looses none of his owne, 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 vnmeete to expresse the vnexpressa­ble generation of the second person in Trinity from the first, who is therefore tearmed by the Apostle, the brighnes of his glory. As then the Father by communicating his substance to his sonne, looses none of his Hebr. 13. owne, so the Sunne by communicating his light to the world, looses no part nor degree thereof. Some things there are of that nature, as they may bee both given and kept, as knowledge, and vertue, and happinesse, and light, which in holy Scripture is figuratiuely taken for them all. whether the same individuall light bee still resident in the body of the sunne, which was planted in it at the first Creation, or whether it conti­nually empty and spend it selfe, and so like a riuer bee continually re­paired with fresh supplies; for mine owne part I cannot certainely af­firme, though I must confesse, I rather incline to the former: But this I verily beleeue, that as the body of the Sunne is no whit lessened in ex­tention: So neither is the light thereof in intention: Men being now no more able to fixe their eyes vpon it, when it shines forth in its full strength, then they were at the first Creation thereof. I will conclude this chapter with that of Eugubinus in his tenth booke de Perenni Philo­sophia. Futuri interitus, ac senescentiae aliqua jam indicia praecessissent, non constaret idem Sol, non eadem fulgoris esset plenitudo, idem radiorum vigor, haec igitur Senectus nusquam est. Had there beene in the heavens any such decay or waxing old, as is supposed, wee should haue seene some fore­running tokens thereof: The Sunne would not haue beene like him­selfe, hee would not haue retained the same fullnesse of brightnes, nor the same vigour in his beames: This old age then is no where to bee found. Where hee takes it as graunted, that none would bee so vnrea­sonable, as to affirme that the strength and cleerenes of the light of hea­ven is any way abated. Now what hath beene spoken of the light, may no lesse truely bee verified of the warmth and influence thereof, which spring therefrom, and now succeed in their order to bee examined.

CAP. 4. Touching the pretended decay in the warmth of the heavenly bodies.

SECT. 1. That the starres are not of a fiery nature, or hot in themselues.

THe light of Heaven, whereof wee haue spoken, is not more comfor­table & vsefull, then is the warmth therof; with a masculine vertue it quickens all kind of seeds, it makes them vegetate, & blossome, and fructifie, and brings their fruite to perfection, for the vse of man & beast, and the perpetuating of their owne kinds, nay it wonderfully re­fresheth and cheares vp, the spirits of men and beasts, and birds, and creeping things, & not only impartsthe life of vegetation, but of sense & motion, to many thousand creatures, and like a tender parent forsters and cherisheth it being imparted. Some there are that liue with­out the light of heauen, searching into and working vpon, those bodies which the light cannot pierce, but none without the warmth, it being in a manner the vniversall instrument of Nature, which made the Psal­mist say that there is nothing hid from the heate of the sunne. Few things are Psal. 19. 6. hid from the light, but from the heate thereof nothing. Our life with­the ligh of heaven would be tedious and vncomfortable: but without the warmth impossible. Since then such is the continuall and necessary vse of the Coelstiall warmth, aswell in regard of the generation, as the preser­uation of these inferiour bodies, accomodating it selfe to their severall tempers and vses, in severall manners and degrees, it may easily be con­ceiued to be a matter of marveilous greate importance in deciding the maine question touching Natures decay, to inquire thorowly into the state and condition of it, (vpon which so many and great workes of Nature wholy depend) whether it be decayed or no, or whether it still abide in the fullnesse of that strength and activitie in which it was cre­ated. For the better cleering of which doubt, it will be very requisite first to inquire into the efficient cause thereof, which being once disco­vered, it will soone appeare whether in the course of nature it be capable of any such diminution or no.

I am not ignorant that S. Augustine, S. Basill, S. Ambrose, and gene­rally as many Divines, as held that there were waters, properly so tear­med, De civit. Dei. Lib. 11. c. vlt. Hom. 3. in Ge­ [...]. Hexem. 2. 2. aboue the starry firmament, held with all that the Sunne and Starres caused heate as being of a fiery Nature, those waters being set there, in their opinion, for cooling of that heate: which opinion of theirs seemes to be favoured by Syracides in the forty third of Ecclesiasticus, where he v. 3. 4. thus seakes of the Sunne, At noone it parcheth the countrey, and who can abide the burning heate there of. A man blowing a furnace is in workes of heate: but the sunne burneth the mountaines three tymes more, breathing out fiery va­pours. [Page 91] Neither were there wanting some among the ancient Philoso­phers who maintained the same opinion, as Plato and Plyny, and general­ly In Tim. Nat. Hist. 2. 9. the whole sect of Stoicks, who held that the Sunne and Starres were fed with watery vapours, which they drew vp for their nourishment, and that when these vapours should cease and faile the whole world should be in daunger of combustion, and many things are alleaged by Balbus in Ciceroes second booke of the nature of the Gods, in favour of this opi­nion of the Stoicks. But that the Sunne and Starres are not in truth and in their owne nature fieric and hot, appeares by the ground already layd touching the matter of the heavens, that it is of a nature incorruptible, which cannot bee, if it were fiery, inasmuch as thereby it should become lyable to alteration and corruption by an opposite and professed enimie. Besides all fiery bodies by a naturall inclination mount vpwards, so that if the starres were the cause of heat, as being hot in themselues, it would consequently follow that their circular motion should not bee Naturall but violent. Wherevnto I may adde, that the noted starres being so many in number, namely one thousand twenty and two, be­sides the Planets, and in magnitude so greate that every one of those, which appeare fixed in the firmament, are sayd to bee much bigger, then The least 18 times. 167 times. the whole Globe of the water and earth, and the Sunne againe so much to exceede both that globe and the biggest of them, as it may iustly bee stiled by the sonne of Syrach, instrumentum admirabile a wonderfull in­strument; which being so, were they of fyre, they would doubtlesse long Ecclesiastcus 43. 2. ere this haue turned the world into ashes, there being so infinite a dis­proportion betweene their flame and the little quantity of matter suppo­sed to bee prepared for their Fewell. That therefore they should bee fed with vapours, Aristotle deservedly laughs at it, as a childish and ridi­culous device, in as much as the vapours ascend no higher then the mid­dle region of the ayre, and from thence distill againe vpon the water and earth from whence they were drawne vp, and those vapours being vncertaine, the flames likewise feeding vpon them must needes be vncer­taine, and dayly vary from themselues both in quantity and figure accor­ding to the proportion of their fewell.

SECT. 2. That the heate they breed springes from their light, and consequently their light being not decayed, nei­ther is the warmth arising there from.

THe absurdity then of this opinion beeing so foule and grosse, it re­maines that the Sunne and Starres infuse a warmth into these Sub­caelestiall bodies, not as being hot in themlselues, but only as beeing ordeined by God to breed heate in matter capable thereof, as they impart life to some creatures and yet themselues remaine voyd of life, like the braine which imparts Sense to every member of the body, and yet is it selfe vtterly voyd of all Sense. But here againe some there are which attribute this effect to the motion, others to the light of these glorious [Page 92] bodies: And true indeed it is, that motion causes heat, by the attenuati­on & rarefaction of the ayre: But by this reason should the Moone which is neerer the Earth, warme more then the Sunne, which is many thousand miles farther distant, & the higher Regions of the Aire should be alway hotter then the lower, which notwithstanding if wee compare the second with with the lowest is vndoubtedly false. Moreouer the moti­on of the coelestiall bodies being vniforme, so should the heat deriued from them in reason likewise be, & the motion ceasing, the heat should likewise cease, & yet I shall neuer beleeue, that when the Sun stood still at the prayer of Iosua, it then ceased to warme these inferiour Bodies. And we find by experience, that the Sun works more powerfully vpon a body which stands still then when it moues, & the reason seemes to be the same in the rest or motion of a body warming or warmed, that receiueth or imparteth heat.

The motion being thus excluded from being the cause of this effect, the light must of necessitie step in, and challenge it to it selfe; the light then it is, which is vndoubtedly the cause of coelestiall heate in part by a direct beame, but more vehemently by a reflexed: for which very rea­son it is, that the middle Region of the aire is alwaies colder then the lowest, and the lowest hotter in Summer then in Winter, and at noone then in the morning and evening, the beames being then more perpen­dicular, and consequently in their reflexion more narrowly vnited, by which reflexion and vnion, they grow sometimes to that fervencie of heate, that fire springs out from them as wee see in burning glasses; and by this artificiall device it was that Archimedes, as Galen reports it, in his third booke de Temperamentis, set on fire the Enemies Gallyes, and Cap. 2. Proclus a famous Mathematician, practised the like at Constantinople, as wit­nesseth Zonaras in the life of Anastasius the Emperour. And very rea­sonable me thinkes it is, that light the most Divine affection of the Coele­lestiall Bodies, should be the cause of warmth, the most noble, actiue, and excellent quality of the Subcoelestiall. These two like Hippocrates twinnes; simul oriuntur & moriuntur, they are borne and dye together, they in­crease and decrease both together, the greater the light is, the greater the heate; and therefore the Sun as much exceedes the other starres in heate, as it doth in light. To driue the argument home then to our pre­sent purpose, since the light of the Sun is no way diminished, and the heate depends vpon the light, the consequence to me seemes marvailous faire and strong, which is, that neither the heate arising from the light, should haue suffered any decay or diminution at all.

SECT. 3. Two obiections answered, the one drawne from the present habitablenes of the Torrid Zone, the other from a supposed ap­proach of the Sun neerer the earth then in former ages.

NOtwithstanding the evidence of which trueth, some haue not doubted to attribute the present habitablenesse of the Torride Zone, to the weaknesse and old age of the Heauens, in regard of former ages. But they might haue remembred that the Cold Zones should thereby haue become more inhabitable by cold, as also that holding as they doe, an vniversall decay in all the parts of Nature, & men according to their opinion, decaying in strength as well as the Heauens, they should now in reason be as ill able to indure the present heate, as the men of former ages were, to indure that of the same times wherein they liued, the proportion being alike betweene the weaknes, as between the strength of the one and the other. But this I onely touch in passing, hauing a fitter occasion to consider more fully of it hereafter, when we come to compare the wits and inventions of the Ancients with those of the present times.

That which touches neerer to the quick, & strikes indeed at the very throat of the cause, is an opinion of very many, and those very learned men, that the Body of the Sunne is drawne nearer the Earth by many de­grees then it was in former ages, & that it daylie makes descents, & ap­proaches towards it, which some ascribe to a deficiencie of strength in the Earth, others in the Sun, most in both. Bodin out of Copernicus, Reinol­dus Method. Hist. cap. 8, & Stadius, great Mathematicians tell vs, that since Ptolomies time, who liued about an hundred & forty yeeres after Christ, the Sunne by cleare demonstrations is found to haue come neerer vs by one hundred & thirty semidiameters of the earth, which make twenty six thousand six hun­dred and sixty German miles, which are double to the French, as the French are to the Italian and ours. This wonderfull change Philip Melancthon, saith he, ad coelestium, terrestriumque corporum tabescentem naturam referen­dum putavit, thought fit to impute to the declining estate of the coelestiall & terrestriall Bodies. But if the terrestriall depend vpon the coelestiall, (as hath already beene prooued, & is the common opinion of all, both Divines and Philosophers) then what is wanting in the wonted vigour of the coelestiall, being supplied by the approach thereof, the terrestrial should still without any decay remaine vnimpaired in their condition. The force of which reason serues also strongly against them who maintaine an habitablenesse vnder the Torride Zone, through the weaknesse of the Sun, and yet withall hold a supply of that weakenesse by the neerer ap­proach thereof.

But consulting in this point with both the learned Professours in the Mathematickes at Oxford, they both jointly agree, that this assertion of [Page 94] the Sunnes continuall declination; or neerer approach to the Earth, is ra­ther an idle dreame, then a sound position, grounded rather vpon the diffe­rence among Astronomers, arising from the difficulty of their observati­ons, then vpon any certaine & infallible conclusions. Ptolomy who liued a­bout the yeare of Christ one hundred & forty, makes the distance of the Sun from the Earth to be one thousand two hundred & ten semidiameters of the Earth. Albategnius about the yeare eighr hundred & eighty makes it one thousand one hundred forty sixe. Copernicus about the yeare one thou­sand fiue hundred and twenty, makes it one thousand one hundred seventy nine. Tychobrahe about the yeare one thousand six hundred, makes it one thousand one hundred eighty two. Now I would demaund, whether the Sun were more remote in Ptolomies time, & neerer in the time of Albategni­us, & then againe more remote in the latter ages of Copernicus & Tycho: which if it were so, then one of these two must needs follow, that either their observations were notgrounded vpon so certaine principles as they pretend, or that the declination of the Sunne is vncertaine & variable, not constant & perpetuall, as is pretended. But what would Bodin say if hee liued to heare Lansbergius, Kepler, & other famous Astronomers of the present age, teaching that the Sun is now remote aboue two thousand and eight hundred, nay three thousand semidiameters from the Earth, affirming that Copernicus and Tycho neglected to allow for refractions, which (as the Opticks will demonstrate) doe much alter the case.

I will close vp this point with [...]he censure of Scaliger vpon the Pa­trons of this fancy, Quae vero nonnulli prodere ausi sunt, solis corpus longè Exercit. 99. propius nos esse, quàm quantum ab Antiquis scriptum sit, ita vt in ipsa deferen­tis corpulentia locum mutasse videatur, vel ipsa scripta spongijs, vel ipsi Autho­res scuticis sunt castigandi. In as much as some haue dared to broach, that the Body of the Sun is nearer the Earth then by the Ancients it was obserued to be, so that it might seeme to haue changed place in the very bulke of the Spheare, either the Authors themselues of this o­pinion deserue to be chastned with stripes, or surely their writings to be razed with sponges.

SECT. 4. A third objection answered, taken from a supposed removall of the Sun more Southerly from vs then in form [...]r ages.

AS some haue inferred a diminution in the Heauenly warmth from a supposed neerer approach of the Sunne to the Earth, so haue others (at leastwise in regard of the Earth) from the remo­vall thereof more Southerly then in former ages. But crauing in this point likewise the opinion of my worthy friend Master Doctour Bain­bridge Professour in Astronomie at Oxford, hee returned mee this an­swere.

It is the generall opinion of Moderne Astronomers, that the Sun in our time goeth not so far Southernly from vs in Winter, as it did in the time of Ptolomy and Hipparchus, neither in Summer commeth so much [Page 95] Northernly towards vs, as then.

For Ptolemy (aboue ann. Christ. 140) observed the greatest declinati­on of the Sunne from the Aequinoctiall towards either Pole 23. 51. 20. agreeable to the observations of Hipparchus 130 yeares before Christ, and of Eratosthenes before Hipparchus. Wherevpon Ptolemy thought the Sunnes greatest declination immutable.

But succeeding Ages haue observed a difference; for about Anno Christi 830. many learned Arabians obserued the greatest declinati­on of the Sunne to bee 23. 35. to whom agreeth Albategnius, a Syri­an, about an. Christ. 880. Yet did not Albategnius from hence con­clude any mutation in the greatest declination of the Sunne; for so small a difference might well happen by errour of observations.

Afterwards about ann. Christ. 1070. Arzachel a Moore of Spaine, observed the greatest declination of the Sunne, 23. 33. 30. who to salue these different observations invented a new Hypothesis, which yet was not received by Astronomers of after times, who for many ages followed the greatest declination of Arzachel without any alteration till the times of Regiomontanus and Copernicus, for Copernicus by his ob­servations some yeares before, and after ann. Christi 1520. affirmed, the greatest declination of the Sunne, to bee no more then 23. 28. 24. agreeable to the observations of Regiomontanus, and Peurbachius some yeares before him. Copernicus collating his observations with those of former ages, renewed the Hypothesis of Arzachel; that the Sunnes greatest declination was mutable; yet so that it was never greater then 23. 52. nor lesse then 23. 28. The difference being only 24. And that in 1717 yeares it decreaseth from the former to the latter; and in o­ther 1717 yeares encreaseth from this to that againe.

According to which Hypothesis of Copernicus, aboue 65 yeares be­fore Christ, the greatest declination of the Sunne was 23. 52. From which time accounting backewards, it was lesse and lesse; so that a­bout 1782 yeares before Christ, the greatest declination of the Sunne, was but 23. 28. from which time accounting still backewards, it was more and more; till about 3499 yeares before Christ, it was againe 23. 52.

So after Christ, about the yeare 1652, the greatest declination of the Sunne by this Hypothesis shall bee but 23. 28. and from thence againe encrease till it become 23. 52. about the yeare 3369, after Christ. This opinion of Copernicus is received by most of this time, some following him [...], others somewhat varying in the difference of the grea­test declination, making it when it is least (as in our time) not lesse then 23, 30, and in the Periodicall restitution thereof.

But to speake freely, I cannot so easily bee drawne into this opini­on, but rather thinke the greatest declination of the Sunne, to be [...], immutable, and for ever the same; For the little difference of a few minutes betwixt vs, and Ptolomy may very well arise (as I for­merly said) from the errour of observations by the Ancients. The greatest declination of the Sunne from the Aequinoctiall towards either Pole, being alwaies the same; the Sunne cannot goe more Southernely [Page 96] from vs, nor come more Northernly towards vs, in this, then in former ages.

But supposing a mutability in the Sunnes greatest declination, accor­ding to the former Periods; it followeth that as the Sunne about 65 yeares before the Epoche of Christ went from our verticall point more Southernly then now it doth; So, many Ages before Christ, it went no more Southernly, then now it doth; and that many ages after our time, it shall goe as farre Southernly, as at the Epoche of Christ.

Secondly, when the greatest declination was most. As then in Winter the Sun went more Southernly from vs then now, so in Sum­mer it came more Northernly and neerer vs, then now.

Againe, when the greatest declination is least, (as in our Age) it go­eth not so farre Southernly from vs in Winter, as formerly, neither in Summer comes so farre Northernly.

From which answere it may (as I conceiue) bee fitly and safely in­ferred, first that either there is no such remoueall at all of the Sunne, (as is supposed) or if there bee, as wee who are situate more Northern­ly, feele perchance the effects of the defects of the warmth thereof, in the vnkindly ripening of our fruites and the like, so, likewise by the rule of proportion, must it needs follow, that they who lie in the same distance from the South-Pole, as wee from the North, should enjoy the benefite of the neerer approach thereof; And they who dwell in the hottest Climates interiacent, of the abating of the immoderate fervency of their heate; and consequently, that to the Vniversall, nothing is lost by this exchange: And as in this case it may happily fall out, so vn­doubtedly doth it in many other: from whence the worlds supposed de­cay is concluded, Wee vnderstand not, or at least-wise wee consider not, how that which hurts vs helpes another nation, wee complaine (as was before truely observed out of Arnobius) as if the world were made, and the government thereof administred for vs alone; & heere­by it comes to passe, that as hee who lookes onely vpon some libbat or end of a peece of Arras, conceiues perhaps an hand or head which he sees to bee very vnartificially made, but vnfolding the whole, soone findes, that it carries a due and iust proportion to the body: So, qui ad pauca respicit de facili pronuntiat (saith Aristotle) hee that is so narrow eyed as hee lookes onely to his own person or family, to his owne cor­poration or nation, will paradventure quickely conceiue, and as soone pronounce, that all things decay and goe backewarde, whereas hee that as a Citizen of the world, and a part of mankinde in generall takes a view of the Vniversall, and compares person with person, familie with familie, nation with nation suspends his judgement, or vpon examina­tion cleerely findes, that though some members suffer, yet the whole is thereby no way indammaged at any time, and at other times those same members are againe relieued. And from hence my second infe­rence is, that supposing a mutability in the Sunnes greatest declination; looke what dammage wee suffer by his farther remoueall from vs in Summer, is at least-wise in part recompensed by his neerer approach in Winter, and by his Periodicall Revolutions fully restored. And so I [Page 97] passe from the consideration of the warmth, to those hidden and secret qualities of the heavens, which to Astronomers, and Philosophers are knowne by the name of Influences.

CAP. 5. Touching the pretended decay of the heavenly bodies, in regard of their Iufluences.

SECT. 1. Of the first kinde of influence, from the highest im­moueable Heaven, called by Divines Coelum Empyraeum.

HOwbeit Aristotle thorow those workes of his, which are come to our hands, to my remembrance, hath not once vouchafed so much as to take notice of such qualities, which wee call Influen­ences, and though among the Ancients Auerroes and Auicenne, and among those of fresher date Picus Mirandula, and Georgius Agricola Lib. 3. contra Astrolag. c. 5. Lib. 4. &. 5. de Causis subter. seeke to disproue them: Yet both Scripture, and Reason, and the weigh­ty authority of many great schollers aswell Christians as Ethnickes, haue fully resolved mee that such there are. They are by Philosophers distin­guished into two rankes, the first is that influence which is derived from the Empyreall immoueable heaven, the pallace and Mansion house of Glorified Saints and Angells, which is gathered from the diversity of Effects, aswell in regard of Plants, as beasts, and other commodities vn­der the same Climate, within the same Tract and latitude, equally di­stant from both the Poles, which wee cannot well referre originally to the inbred nature of the soile, since the Authour of Nature, hath so or­dained, that the temper of the inferiour bodies should ordinarily depēd vpon the superiour, nor yet to the Aspect of the moueable spheres and stars, since every part of the same Climate, successiuely, but equally injoyes the same aspect: It remaines then that these effects bee finally reduced to some superiour immoueable cause, which can be none other then that Em­pyreall heaven; neither can it produce these effects by meanes of the light alone, which is vniformely dispersed thorow the whole, But by some secret quality, which is diversified according to the diverse parts thereof; and without this, wee should not onely finde wanting that connexion, and vnity of order, in the parts of the world, which make it so comely, but withall, should bee forced, to make one of the worthi­est peeces thereof voyde of action, the chiefe end of euery created being. Neither can this action misbeseeme the worthinesse of so glori­ous a peece, since both the Creator thereof, is still busied in the workes of Providence, and the Inhabitants in the workes of ministration. Iohn. 5. 17. Heb. 1. 14.

SECT. 2. Of the second kind, derived from the Planets and fixed starres.

THe other kind is that which is derived from the starres, the as­pect of severall constellations, the opposition and conjunction of the Planets, & the like. These wee haue warranted by the mouth of God himselfe, in the thirty eight of Iob, according to our last, and v. 31. most exact Translation; Canst thou binde the sweete influences of the Pleia­des, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzoreth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sonnes? Knowest thou the or­dinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? where­by the ordinances of heaven, it may well bee thought is meant the course and order of these hidden qualities, which without divine and supernatu­rall revelation, can neuer perfectly bee knowne to any mortall crea­ture.

Besides, as a wise man of late memory hath well and truly observed, it cannot bee doubted, but the starres are instruments of farre greater Sr W. R. vse, then to giue an obscure light, and for men to gaze on after sunne set, it being manifest that the diuersity of seasons, the Winters & Sum­mers, more hot or cold, more dry or wet, are not so vncertained by the Sunne and Moone alone, who alway keepe one & the same course, but that the stars haue also their working therein, as also in producing severall kindes of mettalls, and mineralls in the bowels of the earth, where neither light nor heat can pierce. For as heat peirces where light cannot, so the influence pierces where the heat cannot.

Moreouer if wee cannot deny, but that God hath given vertues to springs and fountaines, to cold earth, to plants, and stones, and mine­ralls, nay to the very excrementall parts of the basest liuing creatures, why should wee robbe the beautifull starres, of their working powers? For seeing they are many in number, and of eminent beauty and magni­tude, wee may not thinke that in the treasury of his wisedome, who is infinite, there can be wanting, euen for euery starre a peculiar vertue and operation: As euery hearbe, plant, fruite, and flower, adorning the face of the earth, hath the like. As then these were not created to beautifie the earth alone, or to couer and shadow her dusty face, but otherwise, for the vse of man and beast, to feede them and cure them: so were not those incomparablely glorious bodies set in the sirmament, to none o­ther end then to adorne it, but for instruments and organs of his divine prouidence so farre as it hath pleased his just will to determine.

I'le ne'r beleeue that the Arch-Architect
With all these fires the Heav'nly Arches deckt
Onely for shew, and with these glistring shields
T' amaze poore sheepheards watching in the fields.
I'le ne'r beleeue that the least flower that pranks
Our garden borders, or the common banks,
And the least stone that in her warming lap
[Page 99] Our kind nurse Earth doth covetously wrap,
Hath some peculiar vertue of it owne;
And that the glorious Starres of Heau'n haue none:
But shine in vaine, and haue no charge precise,
But to be walking in Heau'ns Galleries,
And through that Palace vp and downe to clamber,
As golden Guls about a Princes Chamber.

But how farre it hath pleased the Divine Providence to determine of these influences, it is hard I confesse, to be determined by any humane wisedome.

SECT. 3. That the particular and vttermost efficacie of these in­fluences cannot be fully comprehended by vs.

IF in the true and vttermost vertues of hearbs and plants, which our­selues sow and set, and which grow vnder our feet, and wee dayly apply to our severall vses, we are notwithstanding in effect ignorant, much more in the powers and working of coelestiall bodies. For (as was sayd before) hardly do wee guesse aright, at things that are vpon the earth, and Wisedome. 9. 16. with labour do wee find the things that are before vs: but the things which are in heauen who hath searched out? It cannot well be denyed, but that they are not signes only, but at leastwise concurrent causes, of immoderate cold or heat, drought or moysture, lightning, thunder, raging winds, inundations, earthquakes and consequently of famine and pestilence, yet such crosse ac­cidents, may and often do fall out, in the matter vpon which they worke, that the prognostication of these casuall events, euen by the most skilfull Astronomers is very vncertaine. And for the common Almanackes a man by observation shall easily find that the contrary to their predicti­on is commonly truest.

Now for the things which rest in the liberty of mans will, the Starres haue doubtlesse no power over them, except it be lead by the sensitiue appetite, and that againe stirred vp by the constitution and complexion of the body, as too often it is, specially where the humours of the body are strong to assault, and the vertues of the minde weake to resist. If they haue dominion over Beastes, what should we judge of Men, who dif­fer litle from Beasts, I cannot tell, but sure I am, that though the Starres 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, as they shall produce a cleane contrary ef­fect. It was to this purpose a good and memorable speech of Cardinall Poole, who being certified, by one of his acquaintance, who professed Duditius in vi-ta Poli. knowledge of these secret favours of the starres, that he should be raysed and advanced to great calling in the world, made answer, that whatso­ever was portended by the figure of his birth, [...]or naturall generation, was cancelled and altered, by the grace of his second birth, or regeneration in the bloud of his Redemer.

[Page 100] Againe we may not forget that Almighty God created the starres, as he did the rest of the Vniversall, whose secret influences may be cal­led his reserved and vnwritten Lawes, which by his Prerogatiue Royall he may either put in execution or dispence with at his owne pleasure. For were the strength of the Sarres such as God had quitted vnto them, all dominion over his Creatures, that petition of the Lords Prayer, Lead vs not into temptation, but deliver vs from evill, had been none other but a vaine expence of words and time. Nay be he Pagane or Christian that so beleeueth, the only true God of the one and the imaginary Gods of the other, would thereby be dispoyled, of all worship and reuerence and respect. As therefore I do not consent with them who would make those glorious Creatures of God vertulesse: so I think that we de­rogate from his eternall and absolute power and providence to ascribe to them the same dominion over our immortall soules which they haue over our bodily substances, and perishable natures. For the soules of men louing and fearing God, receiue influence from that divine light it selfe, whereof the Suns clarity and that of the Sarres is by Plato called but a shadow, Lumen est vmbra Dei, & Deus est lumen luminis, Light is the shadow of Gods brightnesse, who is the light of light.

SECT. 4 That neither of these kindes of influences is decayed in ther benigne and favorable effects, but that curious inqui­sition into them is to be forborne.

NOw then since the Immoveable Heaven by the confession of all that acknowledg it; is altogether inalterable, since the aspect of the fixed constellations, the conjunction and opposition of the Plannets, in the course of their revolutions, is still the same, and constant to it selfe; since for their number their quantity, their distance, their sub­stance, th [...]is motion, their light, and warmth, they are no whit impaired, why should wee make any doubt but that their influence is now likewise as sweet (as God in his conference with Iob teameth it,) as benigne, as Iob. 38. 31. gratious, as favorable, as ever in regard of the Elements, thee Plants, the beasts and man himselfe: and why should we not beleeue that education, reason and eeligion, are now as powerfull, as ever to correct and qualifie their vnlucky and maligne aspects, that the hand of God is no way shart­ned, but that he is now as able as ever to controle and check his crea­tures, and make them worke together for the best, to them that loue him: As Rom. 8. 28. he did sometime in this very case, for his chosen people: they fought from heaven, the starres in their courses fought against Sisera. Hee that set the Sun Iudges. 5. 20. and Moone, at a stand in their walks, and commanded the shadow to re­tire in the dyall of Ahaz, he that made a dry path through the red sea, musled the mouthes of thee Lyons, and restrained the violence of the fire, so as for a season it could not burne; hath he bound himselfe to the influetce of a Starre, that he cannot bind it vp or divert it, or alter it at his pleasure, and vpon the humble supplication of his servants? no, [Page 101] no, Sanctus dominabitur astris: if according to Ptolomy the great Master of Iudiciary Astrology, wisedome and fore-sight ouer-rule the starres, then surely much more devotion and piety. If the Saints by their prayers commaund the Divels, and both shut and open Heauen for raine and drought, as did Elias, then may they aswell by vertue of the same pray­er Iam. 5. 17. stoppe the influences of the starres, the instrumentall causes of drought & raine. Bee not dismaide then at the signes of heauen, for the Hea­then be dismaide at them. And surely they in whom corrupt Nature Ier. 10. 2. swayes & raignes, haue much more reason to be dismaide at them, then others in whom Grace and the sence of Godlines prevailes. And whiles they feare many times they know not what, by meanes of their very feare they fall into that which they stand in feare of: feare being the be­trayer of those succours which reason affords. Much noise there is at this pre­sent, touching the late great Conjunction of Saturne & Iupiter, & many Iuly 9. 1623 ominous conjectures are cast abroad vpon it, which if perchance they proue true, I should rather ascribe it to our sinnes then the starres, wee need not search the cause so far off, in the Booke of Heauen, we may find it written neerer at home in our own bosomes: And for the starres, I may say as our Saviour in the Gospell doth of the Sabboth, the stars were made for men, and not men for the starres. they were not created to governe, but to serue him; if he serue & be governed by his Creator; and if God be on our side, and we on his, Iupiter & Saturne shal neuer hurt vs; But whatsoeuer the force of the starrs be, vpon the persons of private men, or the states of weale-publiques, I should rather advise a modest ignorance therein, then a curious inquisition thereinto, following the witty & pithy counsel of Phavorinus the Philosopher in Gellius, where he thus speakes. Aut Lib. 14. 6. 1. adversa eventura dicunt, aut prospera, si dicunt prospera & fallunt, miser fies frustrà expectando, si adversa dicunt & mentiuntur, miser fies frustrà timendo, si vera respondent, eaque sunt non prospera, jam indè ex animo miser fies ante­quam è fato fias, si falicia promittunt eaque eventura sunt, tum planè duo e­runt incommoea, & expectatio te spe suspensum fatigabit, & futurum gaudij fructum spes tibi defloraverit. Either they portend then bad or good luck, if good & they deceiue, thou wilt become miserable by a vaine expe­ctation, if bad & they lye, thou wilt be miserable by a vaine feare; if they tell thee true, but vnfortunate events, thou wilt be miserable in mind before thou art by destiny; if they promise fortunate successe, which shall indeed come to passe, these two inconveniences will fol­low therevpon, both expectation by hope will hold thee in suspence, & hope will deflowre & devoure the fruit of thy Content. His conclusion is, which is also mine both for this point, and this Chapter, & this dis­course touching the Heavenly Bodies; Nullo igitur pacto vtendum est isti­usmodi hominibus res futuras praesagientibus: we ought in no case to haue recourse to those kinde of men which vndertake the fore-telling of ca­suall events, And so I passe from the consideration of the coelestiall bo­dies to the subcoelestial, which by Gods ordinance depend vpon them, and are made subordinate vnto them; touching which & the coelestiall bodies both together, comparing each with other the Divine Bartas, thus sweetly and truly sings;

[Page 102] Things that consist of th'Elements vniting,
Are euer tost with an intestiue fighting,
Bartas 2 Day of the first week.
Whence springs (in time) their life and their deceasing,
Their diverse change, their waxing and decreasing:
So that, of all that is, or may be seene
With mortall eyes, vnder Nights horned Queene,
Nothing reteineth the same forme and face,
Hardly the halfe of halfe an houres space.
But the Heau'ns feele not fates impartiall rigour,
Yeares adde not to their stature nor their vigour:
Vse weares them not; but their greene-euer age,
Is all in all still like their pupillage.

CAP. 6. Touching the pretended decay of the Elements in generall.

SECT. 1. That the Elements are still in number foure, and still retaine the ancient places and properties.

HAuing thus prooued at large, in the former Chapters touching the Heauens, that there neither is, nor in the course of Nature can be, any decay either in regard of their matter, their motion, their light, their warmth or influence, but that they all continue as they were euen to this day by Gods ordinance., it remaines that I now proceed to the con­sideration Psal. 109. 91. of the sublunary bodies, that is, such as God & Nature hath pla­ced vnder the Moone. Now the state of these inferiour, being guided and governed by the superiour, if the superiour be vnimpaireable, as hath beene shewed, it is a strong presumption, that the inferiour are likewise vnimpaired. For as in the wheeles of a Watch or clock, if the first be out of order, so are the second & third, & the rest that are moued by it: so if the higher bodies were impaired, it cannot bee but the lower depen­ding vpon them, should tast thereof, as on the other side the one being not impaired, it is more then probable that the other partake with them in the same condition. Which dependance is well expressed by Boeshius, where hauing spoken of the constant regularity of the heauen­ly bodies. he thus goes on.

Haec concordia temperat aequis
Elementa modis, vt pugnantia
De Consol. lib. 4 Hec. 6.
Vicibus cedant humida siccis,
Iungant (que) fidem frigora flammis,
Pendulus ignis surgat in altum,
Terraeque graves pondere sidant
Iisdem causis vere tepenti
Spirat florifer annus odores,
Aestas Cererem fervida siccat,
[Page 103] Remeat pomis gravis autumnus,
Hyemem defluus irrigat imber,
Haec temperies alit & profert,
Quicquid vitam spirat in orbe
Eadem rapiens condit & aufert
Obitu me [...]gens orta supremo,
The concord tempers equally
Contrary Elements,
That moist things yeeld vnto the dry,
And heat with cold consents;
Hence fire to highest place doth flie,
And Earth doth downward bend,
And flowrie Spring perpetually
Sweet odours forth doth send,
Hote Summer harvest giues, and store
Of fruit Autumnus yeelds,
And showres which down from Heau'n doe powre,
Each Winter drowne the fields:
What euer in the world doth breath,
This temper forth hath brought,
And nourished: the same by death
Againe it brings to nought.

Among the subcoelestiall bodies following Natures methode, I will first begin with the consideration of the Elements, the most simple and vni­versall of them all, as being the Ingredients of all mixt bodies, either in whole or in part, and into which the mixt are finally resolued again, & are again by turnes remade of them, the common matter of them all still abiding the same.

Heere's nothing constant, nothing still doth stay;
For birth and death haue still successiue sway:
Here one thing springs not till another dye
Onely the matter liues immortally.
Th'Almightie's table, body of this All,
(Of changefull chances common Arcenall,
All like it selfe, all in it selfe contained,
Which by times flight hath neither lost nor gained)
Changelesse in essence, changeable in face,
Much more then Proteus or the subtill race
Of roving Polypes, who (to rob the more)
Transforme them hourely on the wauing shore:
Much like the French, (or like our selues their apes)
Who with strange habit doe disguise their shapes.
Who louing novels full of affectation,
Receiue the manners of each other Nation.

By consent of Antiquity they are in number foure, the Fire, the Aire, the Water, and the Earth.

Quatuor aeternus genitalia corpora mundus
Continet: ex illis duo sunt onerosa, suoque
[Page 104] Pondere in inferius tellus, atque vnda feruntur:
Et totidem gravitate carent: nulloque premente
Alta petunt aer, atque aere purior ignis.
Quae quamquam spatio distant; tamen omnia fiunt
Et ipsis, & in ipsa cadunt.
Foure bodies primitiue the world still containes
Of which, two downeward bend the earth and watery plaines,
As many weight doe want and nothing forcing, higher
They mount, th' aire and purer streames of fire
Which though they distant bee, yet all things from them take
Their birth, and into them their last returnes doe make.

Three of them shew themselues manifestly in mixt, the butter beeing the Aieriall part thereof, the whey the watery, and the cheese the earth­ly: but all foure in the burning of greene wood, the flame being fire; the smoke, the aire; the liquor distilling at the ends, the water; and the ashes, the earth. Philosophy likewise by reason, teaches and proues the same, from their motion vpward and downeward, from their second qua­lities, of lightnes and heauines, and from their first qualities, either a­ctiue, as heat and cold, or passiue, as dry and moist. For as their motion proceeds from their second qualities, so doe their second from the first, & their first from the heauenly bodies, next to which, as being the noblest of them all, as well in puritie as activity, is seated the Element of the fire, (though many of the Ancients, and some latter writers, as namely Cardane, among the rest seeme to make a doubt of it)

Ignis ad aethereas volucer se sustulit aur as
1 de subtil. Manil. 1. Astron [...]m.
Summaque complexus stellantis culmina Coeli,
Flammarum vallo naturae moenia fecit.
The fire eftsoones vp towards heaven did stie,
And compassing the starrie world, advanced
A wall of flames, to safeguard nature by.

Next the fire, is seated the aire, divided into three regions, next the aire the water, and next the water the earth.

Who so (sometime) hath seene rich Ingots tride,
When forc't by fire their treasure they devide
(How faire and softly gold to gold doth passe,
Silver seekes silver, brasse consorts with brasse;
And the whole lumpe, of parts vnequall, severs
It selfe apart, in white, red, yellow rivers)
May vnderstand how, when the mouth divine
Op'ned (to each his proper place t'assigne)
Fire flew to fire, water to water slid,
Aire clung to aire, and earth with earth abid.

The vaile both of the Tabernacle and Temple, were made of blew, and Exod. 36. 35. 2. Chron. 3. 14. Lib. 6. de Bel. Iudaico, c 6. & l. 15. Antiquit. c. 14. purple, and scarlet, or crimson, and fine twisted linnen: by which foure, as Iosephus noteth, were represented the foure elements; his wordes are these: Velum hoc erat Babylonium variegatum, ex hya [...]intho, & bysso, cocco­que & purpura, mirabiliter elaboratum, non indignam contemplatione mate­riae commistionem habens, sed velut omnium imaginem praeferens; Cocco enim [Page 105] videbatur ignem imitari, & bysso terram, & hyacintho aerem, ac mare pur­pura, partim quidem coloribus, bysso autem & purpura origine, bysso quidem quia de terra, mare autem purpuram gignit, The vaile was Babylonish worke, most artificially imbrodered, with blue, and fine linnen, and scarlet, and purple, hauing in it a mixture of things, not vnworthy our consideration, but carrying a kinde of resemblance of the Vniver­sall; for by the scarlet, seemed the fire to be represented; by the linnen, the earth; by the blew, the aire; and by the purple, the sea, partly by rea­son of the colours of scarlet and blue, and partly by reason of the ori­ginall of linnen and purple, the one comming from the earth, the other from the sea. And S. Hierome in his epistle to Fabiola, hath the very Epist 128. same conceite, borrowed, as it seemes, from Iosephus, or from Philo, who hath much to like purpose, in his third booke of the life of Moses: or it may be from that in the eighteenth of the booke of Wisedome, In the v. 14. long robe was the whole world: As not only the vulgar lattin, and Arias Montanus, but out of them and the Greeke originall, our last English Translation reades it.

The fire is dry and hot, the aire hot and moist, the water moist and cold, the earth cold and dry: thus are they linked, and thus embrace they one another with their symbolizing qualities, the earth being lin­ked to the water by coldnes, the water to the aire by moistnes, the aire to the fire by warmth, the fire to the earth by drought: which are all the combinations of the qualities that possiblely can bee; hot & cold, as also dry and moist, in the highest degrees, beeing altogether incompa­tible in the same subject: And though the earth & the fire bee most opposite in distance, in substance, & in activity; yet they agree in one qua­lity, the two middle being therein directly contrary to the two ex­treames, aire to earth, and water to fire.

Water, as arm'd with moisture and with cold,
The cold-dry earth with her one hand doth hold;
With th' other th' aire: The aire as moist and warme,
Holds fire with one; water with th' other arme:
As countrie-maidens, in the moneth of May,
Merrily sporting on a holy-day
And lusty dancing of a liuely round
About the May-pole, by the Bag-pipes sound;
Hold hand in hand, so that the first is fast
(By meanes of those betweene) vnto the last.
But all the linkes of th' holy chaine which tethers
The many members of the world togethers,
Are such, as none but onely hee can breake them
Who at the first did (of meere nothing) make them.

SECT. 2. That the Elements still hold the same propor­tions each to other, and by mutuall ex­change the same dimensions in themselues.

THese foure then, as they were from the beginning, so still they remaine the radicall and fundamentall principles of all subcoe­lestiall bodies, distinguished by their severall and ancient Situa­tions, properties, actions, and effects, and howsoeuer after their old wont they fight and combate together, beeing single; yet in composition they still accord marueilous well.

Tu numeris elementa ligas; vt frigora flammis,
Arida conveniant liquidis, ne purior ignis
Euolet, aut mersas deducant pondera terras.
Boethius, l. 3. Met. 9.
To numbers thou the elements doest tie
That cold with heat may symbolize, and drie
With moist, least purer fire should sore too high,
And earth through too much weight too low should lie.

The Creator of them, hath bound them, as it were, to their good beha­viour, and made them in euery mixt body to stoope and obey one pre-dominant, whose sway and conduct they willingly follow. The aire being predominant in some, as in oyle, which alwaies swimmes on the toppe of all other liquors; and the earth in others, which alwaies ga­ther as neere the Center as possiblely they can. And as in these, they vary not a jot from their natiue and wonted properties, so neither doe they in their other conditions. It is still true of them, that nec gravi­tant nec levitant in suis locis, there is no sense of their weight or lightnes in their proper places, as appeares by this, that a man lying in the bot­tome of the deepest Ocean, he feeles no burden from the weight there­of: The fire still serues to warme vs as it did, the aire to maintaine our breathing, the water to clense and refresh vs, the earth to feede and sup­port vs, and which of them is most necessary for our vse is hard to de­termine: Likewise they still hold the same proportion one toward a­nother, as formerly they haue done: For howbeit the Peripatetikes, pretending heerein the Authority of their Mr Aristotle, tell vs that as 2 de Generat. c. 6. they rise one aboue another in situation, so they exceede one another, proportione decupla, by a tenne-fold proportion, yet is this doubtles a foule errour, or at least-wise a grosse mistake, whether wee regard their entire bodies, or their parts; If their entire bodies, it is certaine that the earth exceedes both the water and the aire by many degrees: The depth of the waters, not exceeding two or three miles, & for the most part not aboue halfe a mile, as Marriners finde by their line and plum­met, whereas the diameter of the earth, as Mathematicians demonstrate, exceedes seven thousand miles. And for the aire, taking the height of Clauius in Sa­crobosc. c. 1. Lib. de Crepusc. l. 10. propos. 60. 7. Perspect. it from the place of the ordinary Comets, it containes by estimation about fiftie two miles, as Nonius, Vitellio, and Allhazen shew by Geo­metricall [Page 107] proofes. Whence it plainly appeares that there cannot be that proportion betwixt the intire Bodies of the Elements which is pteten­ded, nor at any time was since their Creation. And for their parts, 'tis as cleare by experience, that out of a few drops of water may be made so much aire as shall exceed them fiuehundred or a thousand times atleast

But whatsoeuer their proportion be, it is certain that notwithstanding their continuall transmutation, or transelementation, as I may so call it, of one into another, yet by a mutuall retribution it still remaines the same that in former ages it hath beene, as I haue already shewed more at large in a former Chapter: & Philo most elegantly expresseth, Egregia Lib. de Mundi incorrupcibili­tate [...] quidem est in elementis quaternarum virium compensatio, aequalibus, justisque regulis ac terminis vices suas dispensantium: sicut enim anni circulus quater­nis vicibus distinguitur, alijs partibus post alias succedentibus, & per ambitus eosdem vsque recurrente tempore: pari modo & elementa mundi vicissim sibi succedentia mutantur, & quod diceres incridibile, dum mori videntur, reddun­tur immortalia, iterum atque iterum metiendo idem stadium, & sursum atque deorsum per eandem viam cursitando continuè, à terra enim acclivis via inci­pit, quae liquescens in aquam mutatur, aquaporrò evaperat in aerem, aer in ig­nem extenuatur, ac declivis altera deorsum tendit à Capite, igne per extinctio­nem subsidente in aerem, aere verò in aquam se densante, aquae verò liquore in terram crassescente. There is in the Elements a notable compensation of their fourefold qualities, dispencing themselues by euen turnes and just measures. For as the circle of the yeare is distinguished by foure quar­ters, one succeeding another, the time running about by equall distan­ces: in like manner the foure Elements of the World by a reciprocall vicissitude succeed one another: & which a man would thinke incredi­ble, while they seeme to dye, they become immortall running the same race, and incessantly travailing vp and downe by the same path. From the Earth the way riseth vpward, it dissolving into water, the water va­pors forth into aire, the aire is rarified into fire; again they descēd down ward the same way, the fire by quēching being turnedinto aire, the aire thickned into water, & the water into earth. Hitherto Philo, wherein af­ter his vsuall wont he Platonizes, the same being in effect to be found in Platoes Timaeus, as also in Aristotles booke de Mundo, if it be his, in Damas­cene, Lib. 1. de sid. orth. c 3 De operibus sex dicrum. Ovid. Met. 15. and Gregory Nyssen. And most elegantly the wittiest of Poets.

—resolutaque tellus
In liquidas rarescit aquas tenuatur in auras,
Aeraque humor habet dempto quoque pondere rursus
In superos aer tenuissimus emicat ignes.
Inde retrò redeunt: idemque retexitur ordo
Ignis enim densum spissatus in aera transit
Hinc in aquas tellus glomeratâ cogitur vndâ.
The Earth resolu'd is turned into streames,
Water to aire, the purer aire to flames:
From thence they back returne, the fiery flakes
Are turn'd to aire, the aire thickned, takes
The liquid forme of water, & that earth makes.

The foure Elements herein resembling an instrument of Musicke with [Page 108] foure strings, which may bee tuned diverse wayes, and yet the harmony still remaines sweet, and so are they compared in the booke of Wisdome, Cap. 19, v. 17. The Elements agreed among themselues in this change, as when one tune is changed vpon an instrument of Musick, and the melody still remaineth.

Sith then the knot of sacred marriage,
Which joynes the Elements, from age to age
Brings forth the worlds babes: sith their enmities,
With fel divorce, kill whatsoeuer dies:
And sith but changing their degree and place,
They frame the various formes, wherewith the face
Of this faire world is so imbellished,
As six sweet notes, curiously varied
In skilfull musick, make a hundred kindes
Of heau'nly sounds, that ravish hardest mindes;
And with division (of a choice device)
The Hearers soules out at their eares entice:
Or as of twice-twelue letters thus transpos'd,
This world of words is variously compos'd,
And of these words, in diverse order sowen,
This sacred volume that you read is growen.
Who so hath seene, how one warme lump of waxe
(Without increasing or decreasing) takes
A hundred figures, well may judge of all
Th'incessant changes of this neather ball:
Yet thinke not that this changing oft remises
Ought into nought: it but the forme disguises
In hundred fashions, and the substances
Inly, or outly, neither win nor leese.
For all that's made, is made of the first matter
Which in th'old nothing made the All-Creator.
All that dissolues, resolues into the same,
Since first the Lord, of nothing made this frame:
Nought's made of nought, and nothing turnes to nothing,
Things birth or death change but their formall clothing:
Their formes doe vanish, but their bodies bide,
Now thick, now thin, now round, now short, now side▪
Vtque novis facilis signatur Cera figuris,
Nec manet vt fuerat, nec formam servat eandem,
Sed tamen ipsa eadem est.

They be the verses of Ovid in the 15 of the Met. but may well be ren­dred by those of Bartas touching seuerall prints stamped vpon the same lumpe of waxe.

SECT. 3. An objection drawne from the continuall mix­ture of the Elements each with other answered.

THus then we see that the Elements are stil the same, no way impai­red in regard of their portions or proportions: neither doe I find any objection against this of any moment or worthy our notice: Let vs now examine whether or no they be impaired in their qualities, for which I haue often heard it alleadged, that their frequent interchange, their continuall blending and mixing together now for the space of so many thousand yeares, cannot in reason but much haue altered their inbred vigour and originall constitution, as Ilanders, & in them specially their maritine parts are thought by Aristotle, & cōmonly by experience are found to be most tainted in their manners, by reason that lying o­pen to trade, they draw on the commerce & intercourse of sundry for­raine Nations, who by long conversation, debauch them in regard of their Customes, their language, their habite & naturall disposition. But this allegation is in truth a bare and naked supposition. For though it bee true that such a continuall traffique and inter-change there is betwixt the Elements, yet doth it not therefore follow that their qualities should thereby degenerate, or become more impure, inasmuch as that impuri­ty which by intercourse they haue contracted, by perpetuall agitati­on they purge out againe, and by continuall generation each out of o­ther renew their parts, and so by degrees returne to their former estate and purity, Againe, for the fire, if we consider it in it's own spheare, (though as the rest of the Elements, it be indeed subject to a successiue generation & corruption, in regard of the parts thereof) yet is it alwaies most pure, which is the reason that it neither can be seene, as fiery Mete­ors are, neither can any creature either breed or liue in it. And as for the Aire, Water, and Earth, if they were pure, it is certaine they could not be so serviceable as they are. If the Aire were pure, neither men, nor birds, nor beasts could breath in it, as S. Augustin reports of the hill Olym­pus, Perhibetur in Olympi vertice aer esse tam tenuis vt neque sustentare alites De Gen, ad li­teram. lib. 3. c. 2 possit, neque ipsos qui fortè ascenderint homines, crassioris aurae spiritu alere si­cut in isto aere consueverunt: It is said that vpon the top of the hill Olym­pus, the aire is so thin & pure, that it can neither beare vp the birds that offer to flye in it, nor be vsefull for the breathing of men, if any come thither, being vsed to thicker ayre. Neither could any Meteors, did it still continue pure, be bred in it: as raine & snow & dewes and frosts and the like, which notwithstanding are many wayes commodious and profi­table for the vse of all liuing creatures, so as they could not liue without them. And for the water if it were pure, it could neither feed the fishes nor beare vp vessels of burden. As likewise if the earth were pure, it would be altogether Barren, and fruitlesse, like sand or ashes, not able to nourish the plants that hang vpon the breasts of it. The Elements then being ordeined for the ornament of the world, but cheifely to serue [Page 110] the mixt bodies, there is nothing lost, but much gained to the whole, by the losse of their purity, nay the restitution and recovery thereof (if so they were created) would vndoubtedly proue the vtter vndoing of the whole, as the vntainted virginity of either sexe would of the race of mankind; yet for farther satisfaction, it shall not be amisse to consider these three asunder, in reference to the mixt bodies, the ayer I meane, the water and the earth, that so it may appeare whether the ayre be decayed in it's temper, the water in it's goodnesse and vertue, the earth in it's fatnesse and fruitfullnesse.

CAP. 7. Touching the pretended decay of the ayre, in regard of the temper thereof.

SECT. 1. Of excessiue drought and cold in former ages and that in forraine Countreyes

THat the ayre is not distempered, more then in former ages, will as I conceiue appeare by this, that vnseasonable weather, for exces­siue heate and cold, or immoderate drought and raine, thunder and lightning, frost and snow, haile & windes, yea & contagious sicknesses, pestilenti­all, Epidemicall diseases, arising from the infection of the ayre, by noysome mistes and vapoures, to which we may adde, earthquakes, burning in the bowels of the earth, blazing Comets, & the like, were as frequent, if not more, in former ages, then in latter times, as will easily appeare to such who please to looke either into the Generall history of the world at large, or the severall Cronicles of particular nations. Such burning like that of Phaeton, such floods like that of Ogyges and Deucalion recorded by Orosius, Pliny, S. Augustine, & Varro, the world hath not felt or knowne since those times. To like purpose I remember Iustus Lypsius a man rather partiall for Antiquity then for the present age, hath written an Epistle vpon occasion of a great drought which happened in the yeare Epist. Select. 47. one thousand six hundred and one, and lasted by the space of aboue foure moneths, to which he makes his entrance, Non tamen nimis insolens aut nova, et si nobis sic visa. It is no new or vnusall thing, though to vs so it seeme: wherevpon he produceth sundry instances for excessiue heate and drought in former ages aswell from the Romaine history, as the Germaine Annales. Among which the most remarkable, are that in the yeare one thousand two hundred twenty eight, the heate was such, that their harvest was fully ended before Midsommer, or to speake in his words, before the Festivall of S. Iohn the Baptist, which we commonly call Midsomer day. And againe two yeares after, in the moneths of Iuly, & August, it continued so fervently hot that men rosted egges in the sand.

And least wee should think that their immoderate cold, was not answe­rable [Page 111] to their heate, he goes on and tels vs that in the reigne of Lewis son to Charlemaigne, in the yeare eight hundred twenty one, the winter was so long and sharpe that not only small brookes and streames, but the Rheine, Danubius, Albis, the Seene, and generally all the great rivers both of France and Germany were so hard frozen that for the space of thirty dayes or more, Loaden Carts passed over them, as it had beene vpon Bridges.

Vndaque jam tergo ferratos sustinet orbes,
Virgill Geor­gicks. 3.
Puppibus illa prius, patulis nunc hospita plaustris.
The river on it's backe now iron wheeles sustaines,
And what did ships ere while, now Wagons entertaines.

But in the yeare one thousand eighty six, the winter continued so bitter that from S. Martyns day, which is the Eleventh of November, to the first of Aprill, the Rheine was passible on foote. And for vnseasonable cold, in regard of the time of the yeare, hee reports out of Hermannus Contractus, that in the yeare one thousand sixty three, in the midst of A­prill for the space of fower dayes the weather was so cruell with raging windes and abundance of snow that it kild their Cattle and birds and de­stroyed their vines and trees. And lastly he vouches out of Robertus de Monte that in the yeare one thousand one hundred twenty fiue, it was so sore and byting a winter, that innumerable Eeles by reason of the long continuance of the Ice, came creeping out of the ditches & hiding them­selues in the meddowes, were there found dead, and rotten by the the wonderfull excesse of Cold, & vpon the trees scarce appeared there any leaues till the moneth of May: his Conclusion is, Quorsum ego ista? vt opinio illa novitatis eximatur, quae malè in omni dolore aut querela blandi­tur, nunquam tale, nemini tantum: nugae et plebeii sermones, quos historiae refu­tent & seriò lectae, hunc quoque Constantiae fructum in animo gignant. But now to what end are these examples alleadged by me? Surely to no o­ther purpose but to worke out of mens mindes that opinion of novelty and strangenesse, wherewith we vsually flatter our selues in our griefe and complaintes, never was the like, no age ever saw or felt it, in such a measure: Trifling speeches, beseeming the vulgar, but confuted by hi­story, which being accuratly read, may serue to arme vs with constancy against these and the like accidents.

I thinke wee shall hardly reade or heare of a sharper frost in latter a­ges, then that which Ovid mentions, in the place whither hee was ba­nished, at his beeing there.

Nudaque consistunt formam servantia testae
Vina, nec hausta meri sed data frusta bibunt.
Ovid de Trist▪
Bare wines still keeping forme of Caske stand fast,
Not gulpes, but gobbets of their wine they tast.

Agreeable wherevnto is that of Virgill,

Caedunt (que) securibus humida vina,
Georgick. 3.
And liquid wines with axes doe they cleaue.

Serres in the life of Francis the first reports, that at the siege of Luxen­buge, in the yeare 1543, the weather was so cold, that the provant wine ordained for the armie being frozen, was divided with hatches, and [Page 112] by the souldiers carried away in baskets. And Tacitus speaking of the Annal, 13. 8. Romanes warre in Armenia, tells vs that the winter was so sharpe, and the earth so long couered with yce, that they could not pitch their tents, vnlesse they had first digged the ground; many of their limmes grew starke with extremitie of cold, and many died in keeping the watch, and there was a souldier noted carrying a fagot, whose hands were so stiffe frozen, that sticking to his burthen, they fell from him as though they had beene cut from his armes.

SECT. 2. Of excessiue draugh & cold and raine in for­mer ages heere at home, and of the com mon complaint of vnseasonable weather in all ages, together with the reason thereof.

ANd if wee looke neerer home, wee shall find that in the yeare one thousand one hundred & fourteene, in the fourteenth yeare of King Henry the first, the riuer of Thames was dryed vp, & such Survey of London. ex l. Bermun. want of water there, that betweene the Tower of London & the bridge, and vnder the bridge it selfe, that not onely horse, but a great number of men women and children, did daily wade ouer on foote. And for excessiue and vnseasonable frosts, raine, snow, haile, windes & the like our stories are full, specially Stowes Chronicles: & many of them were so im­moderate, as wee haue had none of latter times comparable there­vnto.

Is is true indeede that in generall, all Ilands, and ours I beeleeue, a­boue any other in the world, is subject to such vncertainety of weather, that many times wee can hardly distinguish Christmas from Mid-sum­mer, but onely by the length of daies: So warme it is at Christmas, & a­gaine so stormy & cold at Mid-summer. And for raine, thorow the yeare, I thinke, wee haue more then any where vpon the Continent: So that I may justly call our Iland Matulam Planetarum, the Vrinall of the Planets. I will giue one instance for all: In the two and twentieth yeare of Edward the third, from Midsummer to Christmasse, for the more part, Hollenshed. it continually rain'd: so that there was not one day and night dry toge­ther. But this I take to bee, specially for that it is environed by the Sea, & withall stands so farre to the Northwest. Since then it is still si­tuate where it was, it is likely that the aire was heere for the most part, tempered or distempered in former ages, as now it is: Yet I know the complaint is common, that our summers by reason of cold and moist, are not so kindely as they haue beene:

Sternuntur segetes & deplorata colonis
Votajacent, longique perit labor irritus anni:
The corne lies down, the plow-man doth complaine,
His hopes are voide, & toiling all the yeare,
Hee onely hath his labour for his paine.

[Page 113] Neither will I altogether deny it, it may bee God hath a quarrell to vs for our sinnes, or seekes by this chastisement to draw vs neerer to him­selfe: But what is this to the vniversall decay of Nature? doubtlesse the same complaint hath still beene in the times of our Fathers, & Grand­fathers, and Great Grandfathers, and so vpward in regard of the Genera­tions before them. Nonne quotidie hoc murmuratis, & hoc dicitis, quam Augustinus in Psal. 33. in illa verba: Quis est homo qui vult vitam, & diligit di [...]s videre b [...] ­nos. diu ista patimur! quotidie peiora & peiora: apud parentes nostros fuerunt dies laetiores, fuerunt dies meliores. O si interrogares ipsos parentes tuos, similiter tibi de diebus suis murmurarent: Fuerunt beati Patres nostri, nos miseri su­mus; malos dies habemus; Doe you not daily murmurre and thus say, how long shall wee suffer these things! All things grow worse & worse; Our Fathers saw better & merrier dayes: But I wish thou would'st aske the question of thy Fathers, & thou shalt finde them murmurre likewise in regard of their daies: saying, Oh our Fathers were happy, wee miserable: wee see nothing but badde dayes. But had this com­plaint beene as true as ancient, as just as vsuall in all ages, wee had not beene left at this day to renue it: wee should by this time haue had no weather to ripen our corne or fruites, in any tollerable manner. For my selfe then, mine opinion is, that men for the most part, being most affe­cted with the present, more sensible of punishments then of blessings, & growing in worldly cares, & consequently in discontent, as they grow in yeares and experience, they are thereby more apt to appre­hend crosses then comforts, to repine & murmurre for the one, then to returne thankes for the other. Whence it comes to passe that vnsea­sonable weather, & the like crosse accidents, are printed in our memo­ries, as it were with red letters in an Almanacke: but for seasonable & faire, there stands nothing but a blanke: the one graven in is brasse, the other written in water.

SECT. 3. Of contagious diseases, and specially the plague, both heere at home and a­broad, in former ages.

NOW for contagious diseases, & specially the plague it selfe, it is well known, that this land hath now by Gods favour been in a man­nerall together This was writ ten in the last yeare of King James. free from it since the first yeare of his Majesties raigne: whereas heretofore it hath commonly every seaven or eight yeares at farthest spread it selfe through the greatest part of the land, and swept away many thousands in the yeare one thousand three hun­dred forty eight, it was so hot in Wallingford a Towne of Barkeshire, that in a manner it dispeopled the Towne, reducing their twelue Churches to one or two which they now only retaine. In Lon­don Camden in Barkshire. it had so sharpe and quick an edge, and mowed downe such multi­tudes that within the space of twelue moneths, there were buried in one Churchyard commonly called the Cistersians, or Charterhouse, aboue Reb. Auesbury & Tabian. fifty thousand. They writ further, that through the kingdome it made such a ravage, as it tooke away more then halfe of men, Church-yards Sam Daniell, Ann. 22. Eduar­di, 3. [Page 114] could not suffice to burie the dead, new grounds are purchased for that purpose: And it is noted, that there died, onely in London betweene the first of Ianuary and the first of Iuly 57374. Other Citties and townes suffering the like, according to their portions: The earth being every where filled with graues, and the aire with cries. In the tenth yeare likewise of Edward the second, there was so great a pestilence, and ge­nerall sickenesse of the common sort, caused by the ill nutriment they Ann: 1317. receiued, as the liuing scaree sufficed to bury the dead.

Now if wee cast our eyes abroad vnder the Emperours Vibius Gallus, & Volutianus his son, about two hundred & fiftie yeares after Christ, Pompon: Let [...] Zonaras, com. 2. there arose a plague in Ethiopia, which by degrees spread it selfe into all the provinces of the Romane Empire, and lasted by the space of fit­teene yeares together, without any intermission; and so great was the mortallity, that in Alexandria, as Dyonisius himselfe, at that very time Bi­shop of that sea reports it, there was not one house of the whole citty Eusebius, l. 7. c: 17. free, & the whole remainder of the inhabitants did not equall the number of old men in former times: By meanes whereof S. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, who liued in the same age, tooke occasion to write, that his excellent Treatise de Mortalitate: And Lypsius his censure of this pestilence is, Non alia vnquam maior lues mihi lecta, spatio temporum De Constantia, l. 2. c. 22. siue terrarum: I neuer read of a more greivous contagion, whether wee regard the long lasting or the large spreading thereof: Yet was that certainely for the time more impetuous and outragious vnder Iustinian, the fiercenes whereof was such that onely in Constantinople and the pla­ces neere adjoyning therevnto, it cut off at least fiue thousand, & some­times tenne thousand persons in one day: Which my selfe should hard­ly bee drawne, either to report or to beleeue, but that I finde it recor­ded by faithfull Historiographers of those times. Neither lesse won­derfull Procopius, l: 11: de bello Persico. Agathias, lib. 5. Lib: 5. c. 8 was that pestilence in Africa, which snatcht away onely in Nu­midia, Octingenta hominum millia, saith Orosius, eight hundred thousand men. Or that vnder Michael Duca in Greece, which was so sharpe and violent, Vt viui prorsus pares non essent mortais sepeliendis, they bee the words of Zonaras, the liuing were no way sufficient to burie the dead. But that which scourged Italy in Petrarches time, in the yeare one thou­sand Lypsiius, vt su­pra. three hundred fiftie nine, as himselfe relates it, in my minde ex­ceedes all hitherto spoken of, there being scarely left aliue tenne ofa thousand thorow the whole countrey. Whereby the way I cannot let passe, that vnder David, though by most Diuines held to bee superna­turall 2. Sam. 24: 15: and miraculous, in which there died of the people seuenty thou­sand men within the space of three dayes.

Now for other infectious [...]idemicall diseases in former ages, Pasquier assignes a whole chapter to them, which hee thus intitles, Des maladies qui ont seulement vnifois Cours par La disposition de L' air. Of those disea­ses Lib: 4: c: 25: which haue but once had their course through the distemper of the aire. Heere with vs, wee haue not heard of late dayes of any such dis­eases, as the shaking of the sheetes, or the sweating sickenesse, touching which, it is very memorable that Mr Camdem hath deliuered in his des­cription of Shrewesbury; as for the cause thereof, saith hee, let others [Page 115] search it out, for my own part I haue obserued, that this malady hath run through England thrise in the ages afore-going, & yet I doubt not but long before also it did the like, although it were not recorded in wri­ting. First in the yeare of our Lord 1485, in which King Henry the se­venth first began his raigne, a little after the great Coniunction of the su­periour Planets in Scorpio. A second time yet more mildly, although the Plague accompanied it in the 33d yeare after, Anno 1518, vpon a great opposition of the same Planets in Scorpio & Taurus, at which time it pla­gued the Netherlands and high Almany also. Last of all 33 yeares after that againe in the yeare 1551, when another Coniunction of those Pla­nets in Scorpio tooke their effects: so that by Gods goodnes for the space now of these last seuenty three yeares wee haue not felt that disease. Twise thirty three yeares & more, and the same Coniunction and opposi­tion of the Planets haue passed ouer, & yet it hath not touched vs. In the 31 yeare of King Henry the first, a terrible murraine of cattell spred through the whole kingdome, in so much as whole sties of hogs, and whole stalls of oxen were euery-where suddenly emptied, & it conti­nued so long, vt nulla omninò huius regni villa huius miscriae immunis alte­rius incommoda ridere posset, (saith Malmesburiensis) so as no one village was so free from this misery that it could laugh at the mishap of o­thers. Novel. hist. l. [...]

Now adayes we heare not of so frequent, of such fowle & fretting kindes of Leprosies any-where in the World as were anciently among the Iewes, they had the Leprosie of the skin, of the fl [...]sh, of the scab, of the Levit. 13. running sore, of the haire, of the head, and beard: their garments both lin­nen & wollen were infected with it, so as sometimes it increased and spread it selfe in the very garment, though separared from the body of Ibid. v. 55. the diseased. Nay which is more strange, the wals of their houses were not free from it: it tainted the very stones & the morter with greenish & reddish spots, so as they were forced sometimes to plucke downe a part of the House, sometimes the whole, when no other meanes was found Levit. 14. 33. &c. to cleanse it. Now their great multitudes of Lepers appeares in this, that they had so many, and so solemne lawes for their tryall; for their clean­sing, & for the shutting of them vp without the campe. And though we may well conceiue that some of them were stricken with this disease immediatly by the finger of God, as Num. 12. 10. Myriam, Moses sister for her mur­muring, 2. Kings. 5. 27. Gehazi for his bribery, 2 Kings. 15. 5. Azariah for his backwardnes in re­formation of Religion, 2 Chron. 16. 19. Vzziah for his presumptuous forwardnes in ta­king vpon him the Priests office, yet those foure that sate together expe­cting the charity of Passengers at the gate of 2 King. 7. 4. Samaria, & those ten that our Lnke. 17. 12. Saviour healed at once, shew that the number of their ordinary Le­pers was very great.

Lastly, none can be ignorant, that the sicknesse which wee call the French disease, they the Neapolitane, and the Neapolitanes the Indian, (be­cause we borrowed it from the French, they from the Spaniards at Na­ples, and they againe from the Indians) is neither so catching, nor so vi­rulent, not so contagious, nor so dangerous, as in former times it hath beene.

SECT. 4. Of earthquakes in former ages, and their terrible effects liuely descri­bed by Seneca.

TO the pestilences and other contagious diseases of former ages may be added the Earthquakes arising likewise from the distem­per of the aire, though in another kind. Of these we haue heard little in these latter times, or at leastwise they haue beene nothing so frequent & fearefull as in the dayes of our more ancient predecessors, in so much as they chiefly gaue occasion to the composing of that Le­tany, and therein to the petition against suddaine death, which by pub­lique authority is vsed through the Christian Church at this day by the force of Earthquakes contrary to the Proverbe, Mountaines haue met; Plin. 2. 83. The Citty of Antioch where the Disciples of Christ were first called Christians, with a great part of Asia bordering vpon it, was in Traianes time swallowed vp with an Earthquake, as writeth Dion, reporting very Lib. 68. marvailous things thereof. By the same meanes at one time were twelue Pliny l. 2. c, 14. Tac. Annal. 2. 10. Lypsius de Con­stant. l. 1. c. 16. famous Citties of Asia ouer-turned vnder the reigne of Tiberius. And at an other time as many townes of Campania vnder Constantine. And of the dreadfulnes of this accident, aboue the pestilence or any other inci­dent to mankind, Seneca excellcntly discourses in the sixth book of his Cap. 1. Naturall questions: Hostem muro repellam, saith hee, praeruptae altitudinis. Ca­stella, vel magnos exercitus, difficultate aditus morabuntur, à tempestate nos vindicant portus, nimborum vim effusam & sine fine cadentes aquas tecta pro­pellunt, fugientes non sequitur incendium, adversus tonitrua & minas Coeli subterraneae domus & defossi iu altum specus remedia sunt, ignis ille coelestis non transverberat terram, sed exiguo ejus objectu retunditur, in pestilentia mu­tare sedes licet, nullum malum sine effugio est, nunquam fulmina populos percus­serunt, pestilens coelum exhausit vrbes non abstulit; hoc malum latissimè patet, inevitabile, avidum, publicè noxium, non enim domus solùm & familias, aut vrbes singulas haurit, sed gentes totas regionesque subvertit, & modò ruinis o­perit, modò in altam voraginem condit, ac ne id quidem relinquit ex quo appa­reat quòd non est saltem fuisse, sed supra nobilissimas vrbes sine vllo vestigio prioris habitus solum extenditur. A wall will repell an enemy, rampiers raised to a great height by the difficulty of their accesse will keepe out powerfull armies, An Hauen shelters vs from a tempest, & the couering of our Houses from the violence of stormes & lasting raines, the fire doth not follow vs, if we fly from it, against thunder & the threats of Heauen, vaults vnder ground & deep caues are remedies, those blastings & flashes from aboue, doe not pierce the earth, but are blunted by a little peece of it oppofed against them; In the time of pestilence a man may change dwellings, there is no mischiefe but may be shunned, the lightning neuer stroke a whole Nation, a pestilential ayre hath emptied Cities, not ouer-turned them: but this mischiefe is large in spreading, vnavoydable, greedy of destruction, generally dangerous. For it doth not onely depopulate Houses, & Families, & townes, but layes waste & [Page 117] makes desolate whole Regions and countreyes: sometimes covering them with their own ruines, and sometimes ouer-whelming them, and burying them in deepe gulphes, leauing nothing whereby it may so much as appeare to posterity, that that which is not, sometimes was, but the Earth is levelled ouer most famous Citties, without any marke of their former existence.

SECT. 5. Of dreadfull burnings in the bowels of Aetna, and Vesuvius, and the rising of a new Iland out of the Sea with hide­ous roaring neere Put­zol in Italy.

AS the quakings of the earth were more terrible in former ages, so were the burnings in the bowels thereof no lesse dreadfull, the one being as it were the cold & the other the hot fits thereof. The mountaine Aetna in Sicilie hath flamed in time past so abundantly that by reason of thick smoake and vapours arising therefrom, the Inhabi­tants thereabout could not see one another (if wee may giue credite to Cicero) for two dayes together. And in the yeare of the world 3982, it Sands his Re­lation, lib. 4. raged so violently, that Africa was thereof an astonished witnesse. But Virgils admirable description thereof may serue for all.

—Horrificis tonat Aetna ruinis
Interdumque atram prorumpit ad aethera nubem;
Turbine fumantem piceo, & candente favilla,
Attollitque globos flammarum & sydera lambit,
Interdum scopulos, avulsaque viscera montis
Erigit eructans, liquefactaque saxa sub aur as
Cum gemitu glomerat, fundoque exaestuatimo.
Aetna here thunders with a horride noise,
Sometimes black clouds evaporeth to skies,
Fuming with pitchie curles and sparkling fires,
Tosseth vp globes of flames, to starres aspires:
Now belching rocks, the mountaines entrals torne,
And groaning, hurles out liquid stones there borne
Thorow the aire in showres.

But rightly did another Poet diuine of this mountaine and the bur­nings therein,

Nec quae sulphurijs ardet fornacibus Aetna
Ovid. Met. Lib. 15.
Ignea semper erit, neque enim fuit ignea semper.
Aetna which flames of sulphure now doth raise.
Shall not still burne, nor hath it burnt alwayes.

The like may be said of Vesuvius in the kingdome of Naples, it flamed with the greatest horrour in the first, or as some say in the third yeere of the Emperour Titus: where besides beasts, fishes and fowle, it de­stroyed two adjoyning Citties Herculanum and Pompeios with the peo­ple sitting in the Theater, Pliny the naturall Historian, then Admirall of [Page 118] the Romane Navy desirous to discover the reason was suffocated with the smoake thereof, as witnesseth his Nephew in an epistle of his to Cornelius Tacitus.

—Sensit procul Africa tellus,
Tunc expuluerijs geminata incendia nimbis,
Sensit et Aegyptus Memphisque & Nilus atrocem
Tempestatem illam, Campano è littore missam,
Nec caruisse ferunt Asiam Syriamque tremenda
Peste, nec exstantes Neptunj è fluctibus arces
Cyprumque Cretamque & Cycladas ordine nullo
Per pontum sparsas nec doctam Palladis vrbem
Tantus inexhaustis erupit faucibus ardor
Ac vapor.

They be the verses of Hieronymus Borgius touching the horrible roaring and thundring of this mountaine, and may thus be englished.

Then remote Africke suffer'd the direfull heate
Of twofold rage with showers of dust repleate
Scorcht Egipt, memphis, Nilus felt amaz'd,
The woofull tempest in Campania rais'd,
Not Asia, Syria, nor the towers that stand
In Neptunes surges, Cyprus, Creet, Ioues land
The scattered Cyclades, nor the Muses seate
Minervaes towne that vast plague scapt such heate
Such vapours brake forth from full jawes—

Marcellinus farther obserues that the ashes thereof transported in the ayre obscured all Europe, and that the Constantinopolitanes being won­derfully affrighted therewith (in so much as the Emperour Leo forsooke the Citty) in memoriall of the same did yearely celebrate the twelfth of November. Who in these latter ages hath euer heard or read of such a fire issuing out of the earth as Tacitus in the 13 of his Annals and al­most the last words describes. The citty of the Inhonians in Germanie confederate with vs (sayth he) was afflicted with a sudden disaster, for fires issuing out of the earth burned towns, feilds, villages every where, and spred even to the wals of a colony newly built, and could not be extinguished neither by raine nor river water, nor any other liquor that could be imployed vntill for want of remedie, and anger of such a de­struction, certaine pesants cast stones a farre of into it; then the flame somewhat [...]laking, drawing neare they put it out with blowes of clubs and otherlike, as if it had been a wild beast, last of all they threw in clo­thes from their backes which the more worne and fowler, the berrer they quenched the fires.

But the most memorable both Earthquake and burning is that which Mr. George Sands in the forth booke of his Travels reports to haue hapē ­ed neare Puttzoll in the kingdome of Naples likewise, in the yeare of our Lord 1538, and on the 29th of September, when for certaine daies fore­going the countrey thereabout was so vexed with perpetuall Earth­quakes, as no one house was left so intire, as not to expect an immediate ruine, after that the sea had retired two hundred pases from the shore, [Page 119] (leauing abundance of fresh water rising in the bottome (there visiblely ascended a mountaine about the second hower of the night with hide­ous roaring, horriblely vomiting stones, and such store of Cinders as overwhelmed all the buildings therabout, and the salubrious Bathes of Tripergula, for so many ages celebrated, consumed the vines to ashes, killing birds and beastes; the fearefull inhabitants of Puttzoll flying through the darke with their wiues and children naked, defiled, crying out and detesting their Calamities; manifold mischiefes had they suffe­red, yet none like this which nature inflicted: yet was not this the first Iland that thus by the force of Earthquakes haue risen out of the sea, the Pliny lib. 2. cap. 85, 86, 87 like is reported both of Delos and Rhodos, and some others.

SECT. 6. Of the nature of Comets and the vncertaintie of praedictions from them, as also that the number of those which haue appeared of late yeares, is lesse then hath vsually beene observed in former ages, and of other fiery and watry pro­digious meteors.

IT remaines that in the next place I should speake somewhat of Co­mets or Blazing starres, whether in latter times more haue appeared, or more disastrous effectes haue followed vpon their appearance, then in former ages. Some tooke the Comet to haue beene a starre, or­dained and created from the first beginning of the world: but appea­ring only by times and by turnes, of this mind was Seneca. Cardan, like­wise Natur. Quest. Lib. 7. cap. 21. 23. in latter times harps much, if not vpon the same, yet the like string. But Aristotle (whose weighty reasons and deepe judgment I much reve­rence) conceiueth the matter of the Comet, to be a passing hot and dry exhalation, which being lifted vp, by the force & vertue of the Sun, in­to the highest region of the ayre is there inflamed, partly by the Ele­ment of fire, vpon which it bordereth, and partly by the motion of the heavens which hurleth it about; so as there is the same matter of an Earthquake, 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 ayre, and be from thence beating back, wind, if it enter that region and be there invironed with a thick cloud, lightning; if it passe that region a Comet, or some other fiery Meteor, in case the matter be not sufficiently capable thereof.

The common opinion hath beene, that Comets either as Signes or cau­ses, or both haue allwayes prognosticated some dreadfull mishaps to the world, as outragious windes, extraordonary drougth, dearth, pestilence, warres, death of Princes and the like.

Nunquam futilibus excanduit ignibus aether.
Mani [...]
Ne're did the Heavens with idle blazes flame:

But the late Lord Privy Seale Earle of Northampton, in his Defensatiue against the poyson of supposed prophesies, hath so strongly incountred this o­pinion, Cap. 16. that for mine owne part I must professe, he hath perswaded mee, [Page 120] there is no certainty in those praedictions, in asmuch as Comets doe not alwayes forerunne such euents, neither doe such euents alwayes follow vpon the appearing of Comets. Some instances he produceth of Comets, which brought with them such abundance of all things, & abated their prises to so low an ebbe, as stories haue recorded it for monu­ments, and miracles to posterity: And the like, saith hee, could I say of others, Ann. Dom. 1555. 1556. 1557. 1558. after all which yeares nothing chanced that should driue a man to seeke out any cause aboue the common reach: and therefore I allow the diligence of Gemma-Fri­sius taking notice of as many good, as badde effects, which haue suc­ceeded after Comets. Moreouer hee tells vs that Peucer, a great Mathe­matician of Germany, prognosticated vpon the last Comet, before the writing of his Defensatiue, that mens bodies should bee parched and burned vp with heat: But how fell it out? Forsooth, saith hee, wee had not a more vnkindely summer many yeares, in respect of extraor­dinary cold: neuer lesse inclination to warre, no Prince diseased in that time, and the plague which had beene somewhat quicke before in Lombardy, as God would haue it, ceased at the rising of the Comet. Besides all this, hee reports of his owne experience, as an eye-witnesse, that when diverse vpon greater scrupulosity, then cause, went about to disswade Queene Elizabeth, lying then at Richmond, from looking on a Comet which then appeared, with a courage answereable to the great­nesse of her state, shee caused the window to be set open, and cast out this word, jacta est alea; the dice are throwne, thereby shewing that her stedfast hope & confidence, was too firmely planted in the providence of God, to bee blasted or affrighted with those beames, which either had a ground in nature wherevpon to rise, or at least-wise no warrant in Scripture to portend the mishappe of Princes. Neither doe I remem­ber that any Comet appeared either before her death (as at her entrance Ann: 1558: there did,) nor that of Prince Henry, nor of Henry the Great of France, the one being a most peerelesse Queene, the other a most incompara­ble Prince, & the third for prudence & valour, a matchlesse King. And for the last Comet which appeared, it was so farre from bringing any excessiue heate with it, that for a long time there hath not beene known An: 1618: more cold yeares thē three or foure immediatly ensuing it. And though it bee true, that some great Princes died not long after it, yet after that immediatly going before, I cannot call to mind any such effect: but as Seneca truely notes, Naturale est magis nova quam magna mirari, it is na­turall Natur: Quest: l: 7: c, 1: vnto vs to bee inquisitiue & curious rather about things new and strange, then those which are in their owne nature truely great: Yet e­uen among the Ancients, Charlemaigne professed, that hee feared not the signe of the blazing starre, but the Great & potent Creator thereof. And Vespasian, as Dyon reports, when the apparition of a Comet was thought to portend his death, replied merrily: No, said hee, this bushy starre notes not mee, but the Parthian King: Ipse enim comatus est, ego verò calvus sum: For hee weares bushy locks, but I am bald Lastly, some Comets haue beene the Messengers of happy & ioyfull tidings, as that at the birth of our Saviour, & another at the death of Nero, Cometes summè [Page 121] bonus apparuit, qui praenuntius fuit mortis magni illius Tyranni & pestilen­tissimi hominis, saith Tacitus: There appeared a favourable & auspicious Comet, as an Herauld to proclaime the death of that great Tyrant and most pestilent man.

The praediction then, & successe of mischievous & vnfortunate ac­cidents from the appearance of Comets, appearing to bee thus vncer­taine; it followes in the second place to be considered, whether more haue appeared in these latter times, then in former ages. For mine owne part I remember but two, for the space of these last thirty yeares, and during his late Majesties reigne but one, whereas my Lord of North­ampton, (as wee haue heard before,) speakes of foure within the com­passe of foure yeares. Before the death of Iulius Caesar, Virgill witnes­seth. Georg. l. 1.

Non alias coelo ceciderunt plura sereno
Fulgura, nec diri toties arsere Cometae.
Ne're in cleare skymore lightnings did appeare,
And direfull comets never rifer were.

Beda & Paulus Aemilius mention two, which by the space of fourteene dayes appeared together, in the reigne of Charles Martell, father to Charlemaigne, the one in the morning going before the Sunne, & the others in the euening following after it. The like wherevnto I doe not remember wee any where read of. Now that which hath beene said of Comets may likewise bee applied to other fierie & watery Meteors, as streamings, swords, flying dragons, fighting armies, gapings, two or three Sunnes & Moones, & the like appearing in the aire many times to the great terrour & astonishment of the beholders: of all which & many more of that kinde, hee that desires to reade more, I referre him to Vi­comercatus, Garzaeus, Pontanus, & Lycosthenes, de Prodigijs & Portentis ab Garzaeus. orbe condito, vsque ad annum 1557. Of strange & prodigious accidents from the beginning of the world, to the yeare of our Lord 1557. But the strangest apparition in the aire in this kinde that ever I heard, or read of, was that which I finde reported by Mr Fox, whiles the Spa­nish match with Queene Many was in the heat of treating, & neere vp­on Acts & Mon. p. 1637. the eoncluding, There appeared in London on the fifteenth of Febru­ary 1554, a Rainebow reuersed, the bow turning downeward, & the two ends standing vpward: a prodigious & supernaturall signe indeed of those miserable & bloudy times which quickely followed after.

SECT. 7. Of strange and impetuous winds and lighnings, in for­mer ages, aboue those of the present.

IN the last place wee may adde the impetuous thunders & lightnings, together with outragious windes in former times, such as latter ages haue scarce beene acquainted with. And because the latter of these haue of late plaid their parts more fiercely both by sea & land, it shall not be amisse to remember, that euen in the Phophet Davids time, Ann: 1624. when in likeliehood they lanched not forth into the maine, but coa­sted [Page 122] along by the shore, they were notwithstanding by the violence of tempests, lifted vp to heaven, and carried downe againe to the depths: which Psal. 107. ver. 26. the Poet hath in a manner translated word for word.

Tollitur in coelum, sublato gurgite et ijdem
Voluimur in barathrum.
With surging waues to heaven wee lifted are,
And in a trice to helward downe we fare.

It was a terrible storme, & seldome heard of which encountred S. Paul & his company in their voyage towards Rome, though they sayled in sight of land, raysed by a tempestuous winde called Euroclydon, inso­much as beside their imminent daunger neither Sunne nor Starres, which should haue beene their, guides in many dayes appeared vnto Acts, 27. 20. them. The concurrence & combating of contrary windes, which is now a dayes not often observed to happen, & I thinke in course of Nature & discourse of Reason can hardly bee, yet Virgill mentions it more then once,

Vnà Eurusque Nothusque ruunt creberque procellis
Affricus & vastos voluunt ad littora fluctus.
Aeneid▪ 1.
Th'Eastwinde, the West, the Southwest and by West.
Rush forth together, and with boistrous stormes
Huge waues to shoreward roll—

And againe,

Omnia ventorum concurrere praelia vidi,
Georg. 1
I saw the windes all combating together.

Such a winde it seemes was that, which smote at once all the foure cor­ners of the house of Iobs eldest sonne.

Let any who is desirous to inquire into, and compare things of this Iob. 1. 19: nature, but reade what is recorded in the Turkish history of two won­derfull great stormes, the one by land in Sultania, set downe in the en­trance of Solymans life; the other at Algiers, not farre from the mi'dst of the same life. at Charles the 5th his comming thither, as also at his par­ting from thence; and I presume hee will admire nothing in this kinde, that hath falne out in these latter times.

Vidi ego, saith Bellarmine, quòd nisi vidissem non crederem, à vehemen­tissimo vento effossam, ingentem terrae molem, eamque delatam super pagum De ascen: men­tis in Deum per Scal. Creat gradu 2 quendam, vt fovea altissima conspiceretur, vnde terra eruta fuerat, & pagus totus coopertus, & quasi sepultus manserit ad quem terra illa deuenerat. I my selfe haue seene, which if I had not seene, I should not haue beleeued, a very great quantity of earth, digged out and taken vp by the force of a strong winde, and carried vpon a village thereby, so that there re­mained to be seene a great empty hollownes, in the place from whence it was lifted, and the village vpon which it lighted, was in a manner all couered ouer & buried in it. This example I confess [...], could not be long since, since, Bellarmine professes that himselfe saw it, Yet it might well be some skores of yeares before our last great windes, which not­withstanding by some, for want of reading and experience are thought to bee vnmatchable: And I know not whether that outragious winde which happened in London in the yeare 1096. during the reigne of ohn Stow. [Page 123] William Rufus, might not well bee thought to paralell, at least, this re­corded by Bellarmine: It bore downe in that City alone, six hundred houses, & blew off the roofe of Bow Church, which with the beames were borne into the aire a great heigth, six whereof being 27 foote long, with their fall were driuen 23 foote deepe into the ground, the streetes of the citty lying then vnpaued. And in the fourth yeare of the same King, so vehement a lightning, (which as hath beene said, is of the same matter with the winde) pierced the steeple of the Abbay of Winscomb in Glostershire, that it rent the beames of the roofe, cast downe the Crucisixe, brake off his right legge, and withall ouerthrew the image of our Lady standing hard by, leauing such a stench in the Church, that neither incense, holy-water, nor the singing of the Monkes could allay it: But it is now more then time I should descend a steppe lower, from the aire to the water.

CAP. 8. Touching the pretended decay of the waters and the fish, the inhabiters thereof

SECT. 1. That the sea, and riuers, and bathes are the same at this present, as they were for many ages past, or what they loose in one place or time, they reco­uer in another.

THough the Psalmist tell vs, that the Lord hath founded the earth vp­on the Seas, and established it vpon the flouds, because for the more Psal. 24. 2. commodious liuing of man and beasts, hee hath made a part of it higher then the seas, or at least-wise restrained them from incursion vpon it, so as now they make but one intire Globe; yet because the wa­ters in the first Creation couered the face of the earth, I will first begin with them. The mother of waters, the great deepe hath vndoubtedly lost nothing of her ancient bounds or depth, but what is impaired in Sec lib. 1. cap. 3. Sect. 2. one place, is againe restored to her in another. The riuers which the Earth sucked from her by secret veines, it renders backe againe with full mouth, & the vapours which the Sunne drawes vp, empty them­selues againe into her bosome.

The purest humour in the Sea, the Sun
Exhales in th'Aire: which there resolu'd, anon
Returnes to water, & descends againe,
By sundry wayes into his mother maine.

Her motions of ebbing & flowing, of high springs and dead Neapes, are still as certaine & constant, as the changes of the Moone and course of the Sunne: Her natiue saltnes & by reason thereof her strength, for the better supporting of navigable vessells, is still the same: And as the Sea the mother of waters, so likewise the rivers the daughters thereof, [...]ither hold on their wonted courses and currents, or what they haue [Page 124] diminished in one age or place, they haue againe recompenced and re­payed in another, as Sr [...]bo hath well expressed it, both of the sea and ri­vers, Lib. 17 Quoniam omnia moventur & transmutantur, (aliter talia ac tanta ad­ministrari non possent) existimandum est, nec terram ita semper permanere, vt semper tanta sit nec quicquam sibi addatur aut adimatur, sed nec aquam, nec candem sedem semper ab istis obtineri, presertim cum transmutatio ejus, cogna­ta sit ac naruralis, quini [...]ò terrae multum in aquam convertitur, & aquae mul­tum in terram transmutatur. Quare minime mirandum est si eas terrae par­tes quae nunc habitantur, olim mare occupabat, & quae pelagus sunt prius habi­tabantur. Quemadmodum de fontibus alios deficere contingit, alios relaxari; item & flumina & lacus. Because thnigs moue and are changed (with­out which such and so great matters could not well be disposed) we are to thinke that the earth doth not remaine alwayes in the same state, without addition or diminution, neither yet the water, as if they were alwayes bounded within the same lists, specially seeing their mutuall chang is naturall & kindly but rather that much earth is turned into wa­ter, & cōtrarywise no lesse water in to earth it is not thē to be wondered at, if that part of the earth which is now habitable was formerly over­flowed with water, and that againe which now is sea, was sometimes habitable; as among fountaines some are dried vp and some spring forth afresh, which may also be verified of rivers and lakes. wherewith accordes that of the Poet.

Vidi ego quod fuerat quondam solidissima tellus
Esse fretum; vidi factas ex aequore terras.
Et procul à pelago Chonchae jacuere marinae,
Metamorp. 15.
Et vetus inventa est in montibus anchora summis:
Quodque fuit campus, vallem decursus aquarum
Fecit; & eluvie mons est deductus in aequor.
Eque paludosa siccis humus aret arenis
Quaeque sitim tulerant stagnata paludibus hument.
Hic fontes natura nouos emisit, et illic
Clausit, & antiquis tam multa tremoribus orbis
Flumina prosiliunt, aut exsiccata residunt.
What was firme land sometimes that haue I seen
Made sea, and what was sea made land againe,
On mountaine tops old anchours found haue been,
And sea fish shells to lie farre from the maine,
Plaines turne to vales by water falls, the downe
By overflowes is chang'd to champaine land,
Dry ground erewhile, now moorish fen doth drowne,
And fens againe are turn'd to thirsty sand,
Here fountaines new hath nature opened,
There shut vp springs which earst did flow amaine,
By earthquakes rivers oft haue issued,
Or dryed vp they haue sunke downe againe.

The Poet there bringes instances in both these: And to like purpose is that of Pontanus.

Sed nec perpetuae sedes sunt fontibus vllae
Lib. 48. Mete [...]:
[Page 125] Aeterni aut manant cursus, mutantur in aeuum▪
Singula, & inceptum alternat natura tenorem,
Quodque dies antiqua tulit, post auferet ipsa
Fountaines spring not eternally
Nor in one place perpetually do tary,
All things in every age for evermore do vary,
And nature changeth still the course she once begun,
And will herselfe vndoe what she of old hath done.

which though it be true in many, yet those great ones as Indus and Gan­ges, and Danubius, and the Rhene, & Nilus are little or nothing varied from the same courses and currents which they held thousands of yeares since; as appeares in their descriptions by the ancient Geogra­phers; But aboue all meethinkes the constant rising of Nilus continued for so many ages, is one of the greatest wonders in the world, which is so precise in regard of time, that if you take of the earth adjoyning to the river and preserue it carefully, that it come neither to be wet nor wasted, and weigh it dayly, you shall finde it neither more nor lesse heavy till the seventeenth of Iune, at which day it begineth to groweth Reported by Mr. Ge. Sands as a common experiment, affirmed by Alpinus a Phi­sitiā, Marchi­tus the French Consull Elia­nus a Iesuite, and Varrat an Englishma [...] more ponderous and augmenteth with the augmentation of the river, whereby they haue an infallible knowledge of the state of the deluge.

Now for the Medicinall properties of Fountaine or Bathes no man I thinke makes any doubt, but that they are both as many and as effica­cious as ever. some it may be haue, lost their vertue and are growne out of vse: but others againe haue in stead thereof beene discovered in o­ther places, of no lesse vse and vertue, as both Baccius & Blanchellus in their bookes de Thermis haue observed. And for those hot ones at the citty of Bath I make no question but Nechams verses may as justly be verified of their goodnesse at this present, as they were fower hun­dred yeares since, about which time he is sayd to haue written them.

Bathoniae Tharmas vix prefero Virgilianas
Confecto prosunt Balnea nostra seni.
Prosunt attritis, collisis, invalidisque,
Et quorum morbis frigida causa subest.
Our Baines at Bath with Virgills to compare
For their effects I dare almost be bold:
For feeble folke, and crazie good they are,
For brus'd, consum'd, farre spent, and very old
For those likewise whose sicknesse comes of cold.

SECT. 2. That the fishes are not decayed in regard of there store, dimensions, or duration.

BUt it is sayd, that though the waters decay not, yet the fish, the in­habitants thereof, at leastwise in regard of their number are much decayed, so as wee may take vp that of the Poet.

—Omne peractum est,
Iuvenal▪ Sat. 5.
Et iam defecit nostrum mare—
[Page 126] All our Seas at length are spent and faile.

The Seas being growne fruitlesse and barren as is pretended in regard of former ages, & that so it appeares vpon record in our Hauen townes: But if such a thing be, (which I can neither affirme nor deny, hauing not searched into it my selfe) themselues who make the objection, shape a sufficient answere therevnto, by telling vs that it may so be by an ex­traordinary judgment of God, (as he dealt with the Egyptians) in the death of our fish for the abuse of our flesh-pots, or by the intrusion of the Hollander, who carries from our coast such store as we might much better loade our selues with: and if we should a little enlarge our view, & cast our eyes abroad, comparing one part of the world with another, we shall easily discerne, that though our Coast faile in that abundance, which formerly it had by ouer-laying it, yet others still abound in a most plentifull manner, as is by experience found vpon the Coast of Virginia at this present. And no doubt, but were our Coasts spared for some space of yeares, it would againe afford as great plenty as euer. Fi­nally, if the store of fish should decay by reason of the decay of the world, it must of necessity follow that likewise the store of plants, of beasts, of birds, and of men should dayly decay by vertue of the same reason. Nay rather, since the curse lighting vpon man extended to plants and beasts, but not to fishes, for any thing I finde expressely regi­stred in holy Scripture. As neither did the vniversall Deluge hurt, but rather helpe them, by which the rest perished. There are still no doubt euen at this day as at the first Creation, in the Sea to be found

As many fishes of so many features,
That in the waters one may see all Creatures:
And all that in this All is to be found,
As if the World within the deepes were drown'd.

Now as the store of fishes is no way diminished: so neither are they decayed either in their greatnes or goodnes. I will instance in the whale, the King of fishes, or as Iob termes him, the King ouer the children of pride. That which S. Basil in his Hexameron reports, namely that the whales are in bignes equall to the greatest mountaines, and their backes when they Lib. 51. c. 25 shew aboue water are like vnto Ilands, is by a late learned Writer not Brier [...]woods inquir [...] c. 13. vndeservedly censured, as intollerably hyperbolicall. Pliny in the ninth booke and third Chap. of his Naturall history tels vs that in the Indian Seas some haue beene taken vp to the length of foure acres, that is, nine hundred and sixty feete; whereas notwithstanding Arrianus in his dis­course de rebus Indicis assures vs, that Nearchus measuring one cast vpon that shore, found him to be but fifty cubits. The same Pliny in the first Chapter of his 32 booke sets downe a relation of King Iubaes, out of those bookes which he wrote to C. Caesar, son to Augustus the Emperour, touching the History of Arabia, where he affirmes, that in the bay of Arabia, Whales haue beene knowne to be 600 foot long, and 360 foote thick, and yet as it is well known by the soundings of Navigatours, that Sea is not by a great deale 360 foot deep. But to let goe these fancies: and fables and to come to that which is more probable. The dimensi­ons of the Whale, saith Aelian, is fiue times beyond the largest Ele­phants: Lib. 16. c 12 Lib. 16. c. [...] [Page 127] but for the ordinary, saith Rondeletius, hee seldome exceedes 36 cubits in length, and 8 in heighth. Dion a graue Writer reports it as a Lib. 54 wonder, that in the reigne of Augustus, a Whale lept to land out of the German Ocean, full 20 foot in bredth, and 60 in length. This I confesse was much, yet to match it with lattet times, Gesner in his Epistle to Poli­dor Lib. 4. Virgill avoucheth it as most true, that in the yeare of our Lord 1532, in the Northerne parts of our own land, not farre from Tinmouth hauen, was a mighty Whale cast on land, found by good measure to be 90 foot in length, arising to 30 English yards, the very bredth of his mouth was sixe yards and an halfe, and the belly so vast in compasse, that one standing on the fish of purpose to cut off a ribbe from him, and slip­ping into his belly, was very likely there to haue beene drowned with the moisture then remaining, had hee not beene suddenly rescued. From whence we may gather, that Iobs admirable description of this fish vnder the name of Leviathan, is still true, & that in vastnes, since Au­gustus Iob. 41. his time, he is nothing decreased: And yet I well beleeue, that those on the Indian Seas may much exceed ours, which might per­chance giue occasion to those large relations of Pliny & Iuba. Herevnto may be added the observation of Macrobius touching the growth of Satur. l. 3. c. 16. Nat. hist. 9. 17. the Mullet. Plinius Secundus saith he, temporibus suis negat facile mullum repertum, qui duas pondo libras excederet, at nunc & majoris passim videmus, & praesentia hac insana nescimus. Plinius Secundus denies that in his time a Mullet was easily to be found which exceeded two pound weight; but now adayes we euery-where see them of greater weight, and yet are not acquainted with those vnreasonable prises which they then payde for them.

I will close vp this chapter with a relation of Gesners in his Epistle to the Emperour Ferdinand prefixed before his bookes De Piscibus, touching the long life of a Pike which was cast into a pond or poole neere Hailebrune in Swevia, with this inscription ingraven vpon a collar of brasse fastned about his necke. Ego sum ille piscis huic stagno omnium primus impositus per mundi Rectoris Frederici Secundi manus, 5 Octobris, an­no 1230. I am that fish which was first of all cast into this poole by the hand of Frederick the second governour of the World. 5 of Octob. in the yeare 1230. He was again taken vp in the yeare 1497, & by the in­scription it appeared hee had then liued there 267 yeares: so as it seemes, that as fishes are not diminished in regard of their store or growth: so neither in respect of their age and duration. But I leaue flo­ting on the Waters, and betake mee to the more stable Element the Earth.

CAP. 9. Touching the pretended decay of the Earth, together with the Plants, and beasts, and minerals.

SECT. 1. The divine meditations of Seneca and Pliny vpon the globe of the Earth. An objection out of Ae­lian touching the decrease of mountaines answered. That all things which spring from the earth returne thi­ther againe, & consequently it cannot decay in regard of the fruitfulnesse in the whole. Other ob­jections of lesse consequence answered.

BOth Seneca and Pliny haue most divine meditations vpon this con­sideration, that the Globe of the Earth in regard of the higher E­lements and the Heauens wheeling about it, is by the Mathematici­ans compared to a prick or point.

‘These so many peeces of Earth (saith Pliny) or rather, as most haue Lib. 2. c. 68. written, this little prick of the World, (for surely the Earth is nothing else in comparison of the whole) is the only matter of our glory; this I say, is the very seat thereof: here we seeke for honours and dignities, heere we exercise our rule and authority, here wee covet wealth and riches, here all mankind is set vpon stirs and troubles, here we raise ci­vill warres still one after another, and with mutuall massacres & mur­thers we make more roome therein: And to let passe the publique fu­rie of Nations abroad, this is it wherein wee chace and driue out our neighbour Borderers, and by stealth dig turfth from our Neigh­bours soyle to put into our owne: And when a man hath extended his lands, and gotten whole countreyes to himselfe farre and neere, what a goodly deale of earth enjoyeth he? and say, that he set out his bounds to the full measure of his covetous desire, what a great portion there­of shall he hold, when he is once dead, and his head layed.’ Thus Pliny, with whom Seneca sweetly accords. Hoc est punctum quod inter tot gentes, ferro & igne dividitur, ôquam ridiculi sunt mortalium termi­ni! Nat. quaest. l. 1. praef. Punctum certè est illud in quo navigamus, in quo bellamus, in quo reg­na disponimus. It is but a point which so many Nations share with fire and sword. Oh how ridiculous are the bounds of mortall men! It is verily but a point inwhich we saile, in which we wage warres, in which we dispose of Kingdomes. But from these sublime speculations, [Page 129] wee are to descend to the examination of the Earths supposed decay.

Aelian in the eight booke of his history, telleth vs, that not onely Cap. 11. the mountaine Aetna, (for thereof might be given some reason, because of the daily wasting and consuming of it by fire,) but Parnassus & Olym­pus did appeare to be lesse and lesse, to such as sayled at sea, the height thereof sinking as it seemed, and therevpon infers, that men most skil­full in the secrets of Nature, did affirme that the world it selfe should likewise perish and haue an end. His conclusion I cannot but approue, and most willingly accept of, as a rich testimonie for the confirmation of our Christian doctrine, from the penne of a Gen­tile: But that he inferres it, from so weake groundes, I cannot but wonder at the stupidity of so wise a man. For to graunt that those mountaines decrease in their magnitude, yet shall I never yeeld a vniuersall decrease in the whole globe of the Earth, since the proportions aswell of the Diameter as Circumference thereof, are by Ge­ometricall demonstrations found to be the same which they were in for­mer ages, or at least-wise not to decrease. And for the difference, which is observed betwixt the Calculation of Ancient & Moderne writers; it is certainely to be referred to the difference of miles, or of instru­ments, or the vnskilfullnesse of the Authours; not to the different di­mensions of the Earth, which I thinke no Geometrician euer somuch as dreamed of. Notwithstanding which truth, I must, & doe readily subscribe to that of Iob, Surely the mountaine falling commeth to nought, Cap. 14. v. 18. 19 and the rocke is remoued out of his place, but let vs take Iobs reason with vs, which he immediately adds; The waters weare the stones, thow washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth: This diminution then of the Mountaines (as Blaucanus obserues) is caused partly by Raine-water, and partly by Riuers, which by continuall fretting, by little and little wash away & eate out both the tops, and sides, and feete of mountaines; whence the parts thus fretted through, by continuall falling downe, weare out the mountaines, and fill vp the lower places of the valleyes, making the one to increase as the other to decrease; whence it comes to passe that some old houses, heretofore fairely built, be now almost buried vnder ground, and their windowes heretofore set at a reasona­ble height, now growen euen with the pauement. So some write of the triumphall Arch of Septimius, at the foote of the Capitol mountaine in Rome, now almost couered with earth, in somuch as they are inforced to descend downe into it, by as many staires as formerly they were v­sed to ascend; whereas contrariwise the Romane Capitoll it selfe seated on the mountaine which hanges ouer it (as witnesseth George Agricola) discouers its foundation plainely aboue ground, which without questi­on were at the first laying thereof deepe rooted in the earth, whereby it apppeares, that what the mountaine looseth the valley gaines; and consequently that in the whole globe of the earth nothing is lost, but onely remoued from one place to another, so that in processe of time the highest mountaines may be humbled into valleyes, and againe the lowest valleyes exalted into mountaines.

If ought to nought did fall;
[Page 130] All that is felt or seene within this all,
Still loosing somewhat of it selfe, at length
Would come to nothing: if death's fatall strength
Could altogether substances destroy,
Things then should vanish euen as soone as die.
In time the mighty mountaines tops be bated;
But, with their fall, the neighbour vales are fat­ted
And what, when Trent or Avon overflow
They reaue one field, they on the next bestow.

And whereas another Poet tels vs that

Eluviemons est diductus in aequor:
The mountaine by washings oft
Ovid. 15. Met.
into the sea is brought.

It is most certaine, and by experience found to be true, that as the ri­vers daily carrie much earth with them into the sea, so the sea sends backe againe much slime and sand to the earth, which in some places, and namely in the North part of Deuonshire is found to bee a marvei­lous great commoditie for the inriching of the soyle.

Now as the Earth is nothing diminished in regard of the dimensions, (the measure thereof from the Surface to the Center being the same, as it was at the first Creation,) So neither is the fatnes & fruitfulnes there­of, at least-wise since the flood, or in regard of duration alone, any whit impaired; though it haue yeelded such store of increase by the space of so many reuolutions of ages, yet hee that made it, continually re­neweth the face thereof, as the Psalmist speakes, by turning all things 104: 30. which spring from it into it againe. Saith one,

Cuncta suos ortus repetunt, matremque requirunt:

And another:

E terris orta, terra rursus accipit.

And a third joynes both together,

Quapropter merito maternum nomen adepta est
Cedit enim retro, de terra quod fuit ante
Lucr. l. 2.
In terras,

And altogether they may thus not vnfitly be rendred.

All things returne to their originall,
And seeke their mother: what from earth doth spring,
The same againe into the earth doth fall

Neither doe they heerein dissent from Syracides, with all manner of li­uing 16. 30. things hath hee couered the face of the earth, and they shall returne into it againe. And that doome which passed vpon the first man after the fall, is as it were ingraven on the foreheads, not onely of his posterity, but of all earthly Creatures made for their sakes; Dust thou art, and vn­to dust shalt thou returne.

As the Ocean is mainetained by the returne of the rivers, which are drayned & deriued from it: So is the earth by the dissolution and re­uersion of those bodies, which from it receiue their growth and nou­rishment. The grasse to feede the beasts, the corne to strengthen, and the wine to cheere the heart of man, either are or might bee both in [Page 131] regard of the Earth & Heauens, as good and plentifull as euer. That decree of the Almighty, is like the Law of the Medes & Persians irre­uocable; They shall bee for signes, and for seasons, and for dayes, and for yeares: And againe, Heereafter seed time, and harvest, and cold, and heat, and Gen. 8. 22. summer, and winter, and day, and night, shall not cease so long as the Earth remaineth. And were there not a certainety in these reuolutions, so that

—In se sua per vestigia voluitur annus,
The yeare in its owne steps into in selfe returnes:

It could not well be, that the Storke and the Turtle, the Crane and the Swallow, and other fowles, should obserue so precisely as they doe the Ier. 8. 7. appointed times of their comming and going. And whereas it is com­monly thought, and beleeued, that the times of the yeare are now more vnseasonable then heeretofore, and thereby the fruites of the Earth neither so faire, nor kindely as they haue beene; To the first I an­swere, that the same complaint hath beene euer since Salomons time: Hee that observeth the winde shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clowdes Eccles. 11. 4. shall not reape. By which it seemes, the weather was euen then as vn­certaine as now; and so was likewise the vncertaine and vnkindely ri­ping of fruites, as may appeare by the words following in the same place: In the morning sow thy seede, and in the euening let not thy hand rest: v: 6. for thou knowest not whether shall prosper this or that, or whether both shall bee alike good: And if sometimes wee haue vnseasonable yeares, by reason of excessiue wet and cold, they are againe paid home by immoderate drought and heate, if not with vs, yet in our neighbour countries, and with vs. I thinke, no man will bee so vnwise, or partiall, as to affirme that there is a constant and perpetuall declination, but that the vnsea­sonablenes of some yeares, is recompensed by the seasonablenes of o­thers. It is true that the erroneous computation of the yeare wee now vse, may cause some seeming alteration in the seasons thereof, & in pro­cesse of time, must needes cause a greater if it bee not rectified: but let that errour be reformed, and I am perswaded that communibus annis, we shall finde no difference from the seasons of former ages: at leastwise in regard of the ordinary course of nature: For of Gods extraordinary judgements, we now dispute not, who sometimes for our sinnes emp­tieth the botles of heaven incessantly vpon vs: and againe at other times makes the heavens as brasse ouer our heads and the earth as yron vnder our feete.

SECT. 2. Another obiectiòn, to uching the decay of the fruit­fulnes of the holy land, fully answered.

WHen I consider the narrow bounds of the land of Canaan, (it being by S. Hieromes account, who liued long there, but 160 Epist. 129. ad Dardanum. miles in length, from Dan to Bersheba, and in bredth but 40, from Ioppa to Bethleem,) and withall the multitude incredible (were it not recorded in holy Scripture) both of men & cattell which it fedde, [Page 132] there meeting in one battle betweene Iudah & Israel twelue hundred 1: Chron. 13. 3. thousand chosen men: Nay the very sword-men, beside the Levites and Benjamites were vpon strict inquirie found to be fifteene hundred and 2. Chron. 21. 5. seuentie thousand, whereof the youngest was twenty yeares old, there being none by the Law to bee mustered vnder that age: and which is more strange, the very guards of Iehosaphars person amounted to almost 2: Chron. 17. 14. an eleuen hundred thousand. And for the number of Cattell, there were slaine in one sacrifice at the dedication of Salomons temple, two 2. Chron: [...]. 5▪ and twenty thousand bullocks, and an hundred & twenty thousand sheepe. When I say, I compare these multitudes of men & cattell with the narrow bounds of that countrey; I am forced to beleeue that it was indeed a most fruitfull soile, flowing with milke and hony, & richly a­bounding in all kinde of commodities: Yet the reports of some, who haue taken a survey of it in these latter ages, beare vs in hand, that the fruitfullnes thereof, is now much decayed in regard of those times: From whence they would inferre a generall decay in all soyles, & con­sequently in the whole course of nature. But it may truely be said that this wonderfull fruitfullnes proceeded from a speciall favour of Al­mighty God toward this people, as appeares in the 11 of Deuteronomy, this land doth the Lord thy God care for, the eyes of the Lord thy God are alwayes v: 12. vpon it, from the beginning of the yeare euen to the end of the yeare. And more cleerely in the 26 of Leviticus: If you walke in mine ordinances, and v: 3. keepe my commaundements, I will send you raine in due season, and the land shall yeeld her increase, and the trees of the field shall giue their fruite, and your threshing shall reach vnto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach vnto the sowing time, and you shall eate your bread in plenteousnes, and dwell in your land safely. But the miraculous prouidence of God shewed it selfe most euidently ouer this land in answering their doubt, what they should Levit. 25. v. 20▪ 21. eate the seuenth yeare, if they suffered the land to rest, as God had in­joyned them; the reply is, I will send my blessing vpon you in the sixth yeare, and it shall bring forth fruite for three yeares. Now then as this extraordi­nary fruitfulnes proceeded from an extraordinary favour: so this favour ceasing, the fruitfulnes might likewise cease without any naturall decay of the soyle: The countrey about Sodome & Gomorrha was for fruitful­nes as the Paradice, or garden of the Lord, till the curse of God fell vp­on it, then it became a wast land, and so remaines to this day: Yet can it not be gainesaid but that beside this speciall blessing of God, this soyle of Palestina was naturally▪ very rich in it selfe, in asmuch as it fed Gen. 13. 10. Wisedome, 10 7. Iosua, 12. 24. one & thirty Idolatrous Kings, with their people, before the entrance of Gods chosen nation into it; one of which alone possessed, as it should seeme threescore citties and the pomegranats, the figs & the grapes, which the spies (sent by Moses to discouer the land) brought backe with them, were marveilous goodly & faire. And as this soyle was thus rich Numb. 13. 24. before the entrance of this people, so since the displanting of them from thence, & the Saracens possessing it, it hath not altogether lost its ancient fruitfulnes whatsoeuer is pretended to the contrary, if wee may credit Brocardus, who about three hundred yeares since was him­selfe an eyewitnesse thereof. His words are these. Non est credendum De Terra san­cta, part. 2. c. 1. [Page 133] contrarium nunciantibus, neque enim eam diligenter considerarunt, his oculis vidi quanta fertilitate Terra benedicta fructificat: frumentum enim vix terra exculta sine stercore & simo mirabiliter crescit & multiplicatur. Agrisunt velut horti in quibus feniculum, salvia, ruta, rosa passim crescunt. There is no heed to be given to them who affirme the contrary; For they haue not throughly cōsidered of the matter; with these eyes did I behold the exceeding fertilitie of that blessed land: The Corne with a very little makeing of the earth prospers and multiplies beyond beliefe, the fields are as it were gardens of delight, in which fennell, sage, rue, and roses every where grow; And so having largly described the admirable fruit­fulnesse thereof in all kinds, at length he concludes: Denique illic exstant omnia mundi bona, & verè terra fluit rivis lactis & mellis. Finally there are to be had all the good things the world can afford, so that it may still be truly tearmed, a land flowing with rivers of milke and honey. And if it be degenerated from it's ancient fertility (which vpon the report of Bredenbachius Adrichomius and others, I rather beleeue) I should rather impute it to the Curse of God vpon that accursed nation which posses­seth it, or to their ill manuring of the earth, from which the proverbe seemes to haue growne, that where the Grand Signiors horse once treads the grasse never growes afterward) then to any Naturall decay in the goodnes of the soyle.

SECT. 3. The testimonies of Columella and Pliny produced that the earth in it selfe is as fruitfull as in former ages, if it be made and manured.

NOw that which by Brocardus hath beene delivered touching the holy land in particular, is by Columella in his bookes of Husban­dry with no lesse assurednesse averred touching the nature of the Earth in generall: nay to shew his confidence herein, he makes that asser­tion, the entrance to his whole worke, thus beginning the very first chapter of his first booke. Saepenumero Civitatis nostrae principes audio culpantes, m [...]do agrorum infoecunditatem, modo Coeli per multa jam tempora noxiam frugibus intemperiem, quosdam etiam praedictas querimonias velut ra­tione certa mitigantes, quod existiment vbertate nimi [...] prioris aevi defatiga­tum & effoetum solum, [...]equire pristina benignitate prebere mortalibus alimen­ta; quas ego causas Publi Sylvini procul à veritate abesse certum habeo, quod neque fas est existimare rerum naturam quam primus ille mundi genitor perpetua foecunditate donavit (quasi quodam morbo) sterilitate affectam, neque prudentis credere tellurem, quae divinam & aeternam juventam sortita commu­nis omnium parens dicta sit, quia & cuncta peperit & deinceps paritura sit, ve­lut hominem consenuisse, ne posthaec reor violentia Coeli nobis ista, sed nostro po­tius accidere vitio, qui rem rusticam pessimo cuique servorum velut carnifici noxae dedimus quam majorum nostrorum optimus quisque & optimè tracta­uerit. I haue often heard the chiefe of our Citty complaining of the vnfruitfulnesse of the earth, and sometimes againe of the vnkindli­nesse [Page 134] of the weather now for a good space hurtfull to the fruites, and some haue I heard with shew of reason qualifying these com­plaints in that they beleeue the earth being worne out and become barren by the excessiue fruitfulnesse of former ages, not to be able to yeeld nourishment to mankind, according to the proportion of her accustomed bounty; but for mine owne part Publius Sylvinus I am well assured that these pretended causes are farre from truth, it being a peece of impiety so much as once to imagine that nature (which the first founder of the world blessed with perpetuall fruitfullnesse) is af­fected with barrennesse, as a kind of disease, neither is it the part of a wise man to think that the Earth, (which being indued with a divine and aeternall youth, is deservedly tearmed the Common Parent of all things, in­asmuch as it both doth and hereafter shall bring all things forth) is now waxen old like a man, so as that which hath befalne vs I should rather im­pute it to our owne default then to the vnseasonablenesse of the weather, inasmuch as wee commit the charg of our husbandry to the basest of our slaues, as it were to a publique executioner, whereas the very best of our ancestours with most happy successe vnderwent that charge themselues, and performed that worke with their owne hands. Now Sylvinus to whom he dedicated his workes having received and read this resolute assertion by reason he knew it to be against the common tenet, and specially of one Tremellius, vpon whose judgment it seemed he much relyed, made a Quaere thereof, & sent it to Columella, to which in the very first chapter of his second booke he returnes answer with this title title prefixed.

Terram nec senescere nec fatigari, si
That the earth is neither wearied nor
waxeth old, if it be made.

And then thus goes on. Queris à me Publi Sylvine quod ego sine cun­ctatione non recuso docere, cur priori libro veterem opinionem fere omnium qui de cultu agrorum loquuti sunt à principio confestim repulerim, falsamque sen­tentiam repudiaverim censentium longo aevi situ, longique jam temporis exer­citatione fatigatam & effoetam humum consenuisse. You demaund a que­stion of mee Sylvinus, which I will endevour to answer without delay, which is, why in my former booke presently in the very entrance, I haue rejected the ancient opiniō almost of all, who haue written of hus­bandry, & haue cast of their imagination as false, who conceiue that the earth by long tracte of time and much vsage is growne old and fruitles: where he is so farre from recalling his assertion, or making any doubt of the certaine truth thereof: that hee labours farther to strengthen it with new supplies of reasons and at length concludes, Non igitur fatigatione, quemadmodum plurimi crediderunt, nec senio, sed nosta scilicet inertia minus benignè nobis arva respondent: licet enim maiorem fructum percipere, si fre­quenti & tempestiva & modica stercoratione terra refoveatur. It is not through the tirednesse or age of the earth, as many haue beleeued, but through our owne negligence that it hath not satisfied vs, so bountiful­ly as it hath done. For we might receiue more profit from it, if it were [Page 135] cherished with frequent and moderate and seasonable dressing.

And with Columella agrees Pliny in the eighteenth booke of his Na­turall History, & third Chapter, where discoursing of the great abun­dance and plenty in fore-going ages, and demaunding the reason there­of, he therevnto shapes this reply; ‘Surely, saith he, the cause was this, and nothing else: Great Lords and Generals of the field, as it should seeme, tilled themselues their grounds with their own hands. And the Earth again for her part, taking no small pleasure as it were to be aired and broken vp, Laureato vomere & triumphali aratore, with ploughs lau­reat, & ploughmē triumphant, strained her self to yeeld increase to the vttermost. Like it is also that these braue men and worthy Personages were as curious in sowing a ground with corne, as in setting a battle in aray; as diligent in disposing and ordering of their lands, as in pitching a field. And commonly euery thing that commeth vnder good hands, the more neat & cleane that the vsage thereof is, and the greater paines that is taken about it, the better it thriueth and prospereth afterwards. And hauing instanced in Attilius Serranus, and Quintius Cincinnatus, he goes on in this maner. But now see how the times be changed: they that doe this businesse in the field, what are they but bond-slaues fette­red, condemned malefactors, and in a word noted persons, such as are branded and marked in their visage with an hot yron, yet we forsooth marvaile that the labour of these contemptible slaues and abject vil­laines doth not render the like profit, as that trauell in former ages, of great Captaines and Generals of Armies.’ By which it appeares that Columella and Pliny imputed the barrennes of the Earth in regard of for­mer ages) if any such were) not to any deficiency in the Earth it selfe, but to the vnskilfulnes or negligence of such as manured it. To which purpose Aelian reports a pretty story of one Mises who presented the Great Lib. 1. c. 33. King Artaxerxes, as hee rode through Persia, with a Pomegranate of wonderfull bignesse: which the King admiring, demaunded out of what Paradise he had gotten it, who answered, that he gathered it from his owne garden, the King seemed therewith to bee marvailous well content, & gracing him with royall gifts, swore by the Sunne, this man with like diligence and care might aswell in my judgment of a little Ci­ty make a great one. Videtur autem hic sermo innuere, saith the Author, omnes res curâ & continuâ sollicitudine, & indefesso labore meliores & prae­stantiores quàm Natura producat, effici posse. It seemes by this, that all things by labour and industry may bee made better then Nature pro­duces them. And it is certaine that God so ordained it, that the indu­stry of man should in all things concurre with the workes of Nature, both for the bringing of them to their perfection, and for the keeping of them therein being brought vnto it. As the Poet speaking of the dege­nerating of seedes hath truly expressed it.

Vidi lecta diu & multo spectata labore
Degenerare tamen, ni vis humana quotannis
Virg. in his Georgicks l. 1
Maxima quaeque manu legeret.
Oft haue I seene choice seedes, and with much labour tryed,
Eftsoones degenerate, vnlesse mans industry,
[Page 136] Yearely by hand did lease the greatest carefully.

And this I take to bee the true reason (as before hath beene touched) why neither so good, nor so great store of wine is at this day made in this kingdome, as by records seemes to haue beene in former ages; the neglect I meane, of planting & dressing our vines as they might be, and at this present are in forraine countreyes, and with vs formerly haue beene, & this neglect hath perchance arisen from hence, that we & the French being often and long at defiance, & all friendly commerce cea­sing betwixt vs, partly to crosse them in the venting of their commodi­ties, & partly to inrich themselues, men were either by publique autho­rity set on worke, or they set themselues on worke, to try the vtmost of their endeavour in the making of wines, but since peace and trade hath beene setled betwixt both kingdomes, that practise hath by degrees growne out of vse, for that men found by experience that both better wines & better cheape might be had from France then could be made heere; and I make no doubt but as tillage with vs, so the planting of Vineyards is increased with them, and for this reason, together with the Causes before alleadged, it seemes to be, that the French wines are bet­ter with vs at this present then they were in the raigne of Edward the se­cond, as shall by Gods helpe bee fully manifested in the next Section. And that which hath beene spoken of the making of wines may likewise be vnderstood of the making of Bay sale in this kingdome in former a­ges, for which (as I am credibly informed) records are likewise to be seene; for to ascribe either the one or the other to the Sunnes going more Southerly from vs in Summer, is in my judgement both vnwar­rantable and improbable: vnwarrantable as hath already beene shewed in this very booke Cap. 4. Sect, 4. improbable, for that if this plant should decay for this reason, all other plants, & trees, & hearbes, & flowres should consequently partake of the like decay, at leastwise in some proportion, which our best Physitians and Herbalists haue not yet found to be so, nay the contrary is by them avouched; and as our wines are in a manner vtterly decayed here, so their strength in France, in Spaine, in Italy, in Hungary, in Germany, should vpon the same supposition be much abated, which notwithstanding I haue no-where found to be observed,

SECT. 4. An argument drawne from the present state of husbandmen, and another for the many & miserable dearths in former ages together with an obiection taken from the high prizes of victuals answered.

BVt that which farther perswadeth me, that neither the goodnes of the soyle, nor the seasonablenesse of the weather, nor the industry of the husbandman is now inferiour to that of former ages, is this, that both this fyne and rent being raised, his apparell and education of [Page 137] his children more chargeable, & the rates of publique payments more burdensome, yet he fares better, and layes vp more money in his purse, then vsually in those times he did.

Besides it is certaine, that if we compare time with time, the famines of former ages were more grievous then ours: I omit those of Ierusalem and Samaria, because occasioned by the sieges of those Cities, as also those which either Civill warres, or forraine invasions hath drawne on. Of the rest that of Lypsius. is vndoubtedly true. Iam de fame De Const l. 2. 22 nihil profectò nos aut aetas nostra vidimus, si videmus antiqua. Now touch­ing famine verily we and our age haue seene nothing, if wee behold an­cient records. Vnder the Emperour Honorius, so great was the scarcity & dearth of victuals in Rome it selfe, that in the open market-place this voice was heard, Pone pretium humanae carni, set a price to mans flesh. And long before, euen when L. Minutius was made the first over-seer Zozimus 6. An­nal. Lib. 4, of the graine, Livy reports, multos è plebe, ne diutinâ fame cruciarentur, ca­pitibus obvolutis sese in Tyberim praecipitasse. That many of the Commons least they should bee tortured with long famine, covering their faces, cast themselues headlong into Tyber. What a miserable dearth was that in Egypt, held by the Ancients for abundance of Corne, the Granary of Gen 47. 23. the world) when for want of bread their greatest Nobles were forced to sell not only their lands, but themselues, and become bond-slaues to Pharaoh. How vniversall was that fore-told by Agabus, which also came to passe vnder Claudius Caesar, as both Dion and Suetonius beare witnesse to S. Luke. But to come nearer home, few histories, I thinke, ex­ceed Act. 11. 28, our owne in this point. About the yeare 514, during the raigne of Cissa king of the South-Saxons in his countrey raigned such an extreame Beda. l. 4. c. 13. famine, that both men and women in great flockes and companies cast themselues from rhe rocks into the Sea, in the yeare 1314, about the beginning of the reigne of Edward the second, the dearth was generally such ouer the land, that purposely for the moderation of the prices of victuals, a Parliamēt was assembled at London: but it increased so vehe­mently that vpon S. Lawrence Eue, there was scarcely bread to be got­ten for the sustentation of the Kings owne family. And the yeare fol­lowing Thomas de la Moore. it grew so terrible, that horses & dogges, yea men and children were stollen for food, and which is horrible to thinke, the theeues new­ly brought into the gaoles, were torne in peeces, and presently eaten halfe aliue by such as had beene longer there. In London it was proclai­med that no Corne should be converted to Brewers vses, which Act the King (moued with compassion towards his Nation) imitating, caused to be executed through all the kingdome: otherwise saith Walsingham, the greater part of the people had perished with penury of bread. And a­gaine to conclude this sad discourse, in the yeare 1317, in the tenth yeare of the same King, there was such a murraine of all kinde of cattell; Sam. Daniell. together with a generall fayling of all fruits of the Earth by excessiue raines and vnseasonable weather, as provision could not be had for the Kings house, nor meanes for other great men to maintaine their Tables: Inasmuch as they put away their servants in great numbers, who ha­uing beene daintily bred, and now not able to worke, skorning to beg, [Page 138] fell to robbery and spoyle, which added much to the misery of the Kingdome.

It will be said, if the plenty of corne and victuals, be as great as in for­mer ages, how comes it to passe that their prices are somuch inhanced? But if wee compare our prices with those of the ancient Romanes, wee shall finde that theirs farre exceeded ours. The Romane penny by the consent of the learned, and the judgement of our last Translatours in diverse parts of their Marginall notes, was the eight part of an ounce, ac­counting fiue shillings to the ounce, so that it was worth of our money seven pence halfe penny. Now by the testimony of Varro and Macrobius, their Peacocks egges (which are now of no reckoning with vs,) were De Re Rust. l. 3. c. 6. Sat. l. 3. 13. sold with them for fiue Roman pence a peece: and the Peacocks them­selues for fifty. Thrushes and Ousells or blackebirds were commonly sold for three pence a peece. Nay Varro mentions one L. Axius, a Romane Varro, l. 3. c. 2, Knight, who would not let goe a paire of doues, minoris quadringentis de­narijs, Cap. 7. for lesse then foure hundred pence. But these insana pretia, as Macrobius calls them, mad, and vnreasonable prices, wee shall haue Cap. 16. fitter occasion to speake of, when wee come to treate of the luxury of the Ancients, In the meane time it shall not be amisse to remember what our Saviour tells vs in the Gospell, that two Sparrowes or passerculi, as Beza renders it, were then sold for a farthing, thereby implying Mat. 10. 29. their great cheapenes: Yet for the same money, it beeing the tenth part of a Romane penny, and answering in value to halfe penny farthing of our coyne, more may bee had at this day with vs: But I leaue forraine Nations and returne to our owne. If then together with the inhan­cing of prices, wee likewise take into our consideration the inhancing of Coyne, it will appeare that the prices of things are not so much in­hanced as is supposed. About three hundred yeares agoe, in the latter part of the reigne of Edward the second, and beginning of Edward the third, an ounce of silver was valued at one shtlling and eight pence, where­as now it is valued at fiue shillings: so that one hundred pounds then was both in weight and worth fully as much as three hundred pounds are now; and consequently, if they gaue a groat for that which wee now giue a shilling, they gaue just the same price which wee now giue. The price of Claret wine, as appeares vpon record among the statutes of Ed­ward the second, was at that time twelue pence the gallon, so that by pro­portion the price should now be three shillings, and looke how much it comes shott of that price, it is certaine that somuch the cheaper it is at this day, then it was in that age. Wherevnto may be added the plenty of coyne and multitude of men, both which are doubtles in re­gard of those times much increased. For the former of which, though it be true that some great ones heaped vp huge masses of treasure, yet I thinke it will not be denied, but that there are now more rich men then in those times: Some wise men being of opinion that there is now more plate in the land, then there was in Edward the thirds time both money and plate: And for the latter, hee that shall duely consider the daily inlarging of our cities and townes, and the adding of new Iles to the greatest part of our Parish Churches, within these last two or three [Page 139] hundred yeares, will easily beleeue that the number of our people is not a little increased. Either of which asunder, but much more both together must needs bee a meanes of raising the prices of all things. yet this complaint as it hath beene in all ages, so will it still continue, since Ier: 44. 18. wee left to burne incense to the Queene of heaven, and to powre out drinke of­ferings vnto her, wee haue had scarcenesse of all things, and haue beene consu­med with the sword and with the famine.

SECT. 5. That there is no decrease in the fruitfulnesse, the quan­tities or vertues of plants & simples, nor in he store & goodnes of mettalls & minerals, as neither in the bignes or life of beastes, together with an obiection touching the E­lephant in the first of Mac­chabes, answered.

NOw if such bee the condition of the Earth it selfe, and the fruites thereof, what reason haue wee to conceiue otherwise of the trees and plants, springing vp and nourished from thence. I cannot finde that either Dioscorides, Theophrastus, or Pliny among the Ancients; or among latter writers, Ruellius, Fuchsius, or our owne Gerard euer obserued any decay, either in the groweth, the vertues or duration of these Vegetables; the Oake and Beetch, rise to as great an higth and big­nes, spread their branches and rootes as farre, last as long, bring forth as faire mast; as they did a thousand yeare agone. Those vnder-ground trees, whose bulkes are sometimes takē vp intire, in Cheshshire, Lancashire, Camden▪ & other places, & are commonly thought to haue lyen buried there e­uer since Noahs flood, are not found in length or largenesse to exceed the bodies of ours at this day. In former ages I graunt was greater choyce of good timber, because greater plenty of woods, but those being cut downe, tillage hath succeeded in the place thereof, which in regard of our increase of people, seemed of the two, the more necessary, & for fewell, it is in most places supplied with other kindes which were not then thought vpon.

The like may be said for the vertues of Plants, Issop, Garlike, Hemlocke, and the rest, they are still indued with the same temper, with the same degrees of heat or cold, & are availeable for the same vses, as in former ages; as may easily appeare by comparing Galen de simplicium medica­mentorum facultatibus, with Wecker a moderne Physitian. The former makes Garlicke hot in the fourth degree, so doth the latter. The former Practic. Gene­ral. l. 4. Issop hot in the third degree, and so doth the latter. The former hem­tocke extreamely cold, so doth the latter. These may suffice for a tast, and thus may wee paralell simples, as for their first, so for their second & third qualities, and application to diseases. The difference of their strength is doubtles very great in regard of the different Clymats they grow in: But that it should by succession of ages be abated in their se­verall species, and in the same Clymate, is more I thinke then euer any [Page 140] Herbalist in his writings, or learned Physitian in his practise hath yet ob­serued.

And if there be no decay found in the Vegetables, very likely it is that the same may likewise be verified of the beasts those at leastwise which make them their food, and are nourished by them. Surely he that shall compare the present proportions of the elephant, the cammell, the horse, the dogge, with the descriptions of Aristotle, as also the present exten­tion of their liues, with that which both hee, and other Ancients re­cord of them, will easily finde that there is in them no sensible decrease. Vita equorum, (saith hee) plurimis ad decimum octavum, at (que) etiam vice­simum annum, sed nonnulli viginti quin (que), & triginta egerunt: Et si cura Hist. Amnialiū, lib. 12. c. 8. diligenter adhibeatur vel ad quinquaginta protrahitur aetas horses commōly liue eighteene or twenty yeares, yet some last fiue & twenty or thirty, & if they bee very well kept, they may come to forty or fifty; which hee makes in a manner their vtmost period. Whereas Albertus tells vs, that himselfe was assured by a souldier, that the horse hee then vsed, was three score yeares old, and yet was serviceable in the warres. And Au­gustinus Niphus yet latter, that hee was crediblely informed by the horsemen of Ferdinand the first, that there was then in the Kings stable an horse that was seaventy yeares old.

Butaeo, a man much commended for his rare learning by many lear­ned writers, labouring to demonstrate by Geometricall proportions, that the Arke was capable of so many severall kinde of beasts, as are faid to haue beene in it, as also their provision for one yeare spaces, takes the ground of his demonstration from the present dimensions of their bo­dies, and their present allowance for foode, proportioning the capaci­ty of the Arke therevnto, and is therein applauded not onely by Goro­pius Becanus, but by Pererius and Sr Walter Rawleigh: whereas, were there such a continuall diminution in the quantity of their bodies, and conse­quently in their foode as is supposed, his ground were falfe, and his demonstration friuolous. Wherevnto may be added that the same al­lowance of foode, which Cato, and Varro, and Columella, in their bookes of husbandry agreed vpon to be sufficient for an oxe, or a horse, or a sheepe in their times, is now likewise thought to be but competent: And the same proportions of body, which the Ancient Painters & Caruers allowed to horses and dogges, is now likewise by the skilfullest in those Arts found to be most convenient. Indeede in the first booke of Macchabes & sixth chapter, is somewhat a strange relation v. 37. made of Elephants, which are there described to be so bigge, that each of them carryed a wooden towre on his backe, out of which fought thirty two armed men, besides the Indian which ruled the beast. Whence some haue conceited that the Elephants of those times were farre greater then those of the present age: But doubtles the Authour of that booke speakes of the Indian race, which are farre beyond the Ethiopian, as Iunius in his annotations on that place hath observed out of Pliny. And there are of them, saith Aelian, nine cubits high, which is thirteene foote and an halfe. And those which haue beeene in the great Mogulls countrey assure vs, that at this day they are there farre more [Page 141] vast and huge then any that wee haue seene in these parts of the world. But leaving the Vegetables and beasts springing and walking vpon the face of the earth, let vs a little search into the bowels thereof, and take a view of the mettalls and mineralls therein bredde. Of the nature, causes, and groweth, whereof Georgius Agricola hath written most exactly, but neither he, nor any man else, I thinke euer yet obserued that by conti­nuance of time theirveines are wasted & impaired, one treatise he hath expresly composed de veteribus & novis metallis, wherein he shewes that as the old are exhausted, new are discouered. ‘It is true indeede which lib 33. in Pro­aem. Pliny hath observed, that wee descend into the entrailes of the earth, wee goe downe as farre as to the seat and habitation of the infernall spirits, and all to meete with rich treasure, as if shee were not fruit­full enough, & beneficiall vnto vs in the vpper face thereof, where shee permitteth vs to walke and tread vpon her: Yet notwithstanding by the couetousnesse and toyle of men can her mines neuer be drawn dry, nor her store emptied.’

The Earth not onely on her backe doth beare
Abundant treasures gliftring every where,
But inwardly shee's no lesse fraught with riches,
Nay rather more (which more our foules bewitches)
Bartas 3 day of the 1 weeke.
Within the deepe folds of her fruitfull lappe,
So bound-lesse mines of treasure doth shee wrappe,
That th' hungry hands of humane avarice
Cannot exhaust with labour or device.
For they be more then there be starres in heav'n,
Or stormy billowes in the Ocean driv'n,
Or eares of corne in Autumne on the fields,
Or savage beasts vpon a thousand hils,
Or fishes diving in the silver floods,
Or scattred leaues in winter in the woods.

I will not dispute it, whether all mineralls were made at the first crea­tion, or haue since receiued increase by tract of time, which latter I confesse I rather with Quercetan incline vnto, they being somewhat In his epistle to Aubertus de ortu & causis meta [...]orum. of the nature of stones, which vndoubtedly grow, though not by aug­mentation or accretion, yet by affimilation or apposition, turning the neighbour earth into their substance, Yet thus much may wee confi­dently affirme, that the minerals themselues wast not in the ordinary course, but by the insatiable desire of mankind. Nay such is the divine providence, that even there where they are most vexed and wrought vp­on, yet are they not worne out, or wasted in the whole. Of late within these few yeares Mendip hills yeelded, I thinke, more lead then ever, & at this day I doe not heare that the Iron mines in Sussex, or the Tinne workes in Cornewall are any whit abated, which I confesse to be some­what strange, considering that little corner furnishes in a manner all the Christian world with that mettall: & for mines of gold & silver, though by some it be thought that they faile in the East Indies in regard of for­mer ages: Yet most certaine it is that in the West Indies, that supposed defect is abundantly recompensed.

SECT. 6. An obiection taken from the Eclipses of the Planets, answered.

BEfore we conclude this Chapter, there remaines yet one rubbe to be remoued touching the Eclypses of the Sunne and Moone For as some haue beene of opinion, that the bodies of those Planets suffered by them, so many haue thought that these inferiour bodies suffe­red from them, & consequently that the more Eclypses there are, (which by tract of time must needes increase in number) the more do all things depending vpon those planets decay and degenerate in their vertues & operations. But as the former of these opinions is already proued to be certainely false, so is this latter altogether vncertaine. What effects Eclypses produce, I cannot punctually define. Strange accidents I graunt, aswell in the course of Nature, as in the Ciuill affaires, haue of­ten followed vpon them, as appeares in Cyprianus Leouicius, who hath purposely composed a Tract of them. And Mr Camden obserues that the towne of Shrewesbery suffered twice most grievous losse by fire within the compasse of fiftie yeares, vpon two severall Eclypses of the Sunne in Aries, but whether those Accidents were to be ascribed to the precedent Eclypses, I cannot certainely affirme. Once wee are sure that the moone is Eclypsed by the interposition of the Earth, as is the Sun by the moone. Since then the night is nothing else but the interpositi­on of the Earth betweene vs and the Sunne, I see no reason but wee should daily feare as dangerous effects from every night or thicke cloud, as from any Eclypse. But I verily beleeue that the ground of this errour, as also of the former, sprang frō the ignorance of the Causes of Eclypses; Sulpitius Gallus being the first amongst the Romanes, and a­mongst the Greekes, Thales Milesius, who finding their nature did pro­gnosticate and forshew them. After them, Hipparchus compiled his E­phimerides, containing the course and aspects of both these Planets for six hundred yeares ensuing, and that no lesse assuredly, then if hee had beene privy to Natures counsailes. ‘Great persons and excellent doubt­les were these, saith Pliny, who aboue the reach of all humane capaci­ty, found out the reason of the course of so mighty starres, and diuine Lib. 2. c. 12. powers. And whereas the weake minde of man was before to seeke, fearing in these Eclypses of the starres, some great wrong, or violence, or death of the Planets, secured them in that behalfe. In which dread­full feare stood Stesicorus and Pyndarus the Poets, notwithstanding their lofty stile, and namely at the Eclypse of the Sunce, as may appeare by their Poemes.’ In this fearefull fit also of an Eclypse, Nicias the ge­nerall of the Athenians (as a man ignorant of the cause thereof) feared to set saile with his fleet out of the haven, and so greatly indangered & distressed the state of his countrey: But on the contrary, the forena­med Sulpitius being a Colonell in the field, the day before that King Perseus was vanquished by Paulus, was brought forth by the Generall into open audience before the whole host, to foretell the Eclipe that [Page 143] should happen the next morrow, whereby he delivered the army from all pensiuenesse and feare, which might haue troubled them, in the time of battaile, and within a while after he compiled also a booke thereof. Thus far Plyny touching the harmlesse and innocent nature of Eclipses, himselfe in the next chapter reducing their certaine revolutions, and re­turnes to the space of two hundred twenty two moneths.

I will shut vp all with a memorable story to this purpose taken out of Iohn de Royas in his Epistle to Charles the fifth, prefixed to his Commenta­ries vpō the plaine Sphere. Colonus the leader of King Ferdinands army, at the Iland of Iamaica, being in great distresse for want of victuals, which he could by no meanes attaine of the Inhabitants, & by his skill foresee­ing an Eclips of the Moone shortly to ensue, tooke order that it should be declared to the Governours of the Iland, that vnlesse they supplyed him and his with necessaries, imminent danger hanged over their heads, in witnesse wherof they should shortly see the Moone Eclypsed The Bar­barians at first, refused his demaunds and contemned his threatning: but when at the set time they indeed beheld the Moone by degrees to faile in her light, and vnderstood not the cause thereof, they first gaue credit to his words, and then supply of victuals to his army, casting themselues to his feete and craving pardon for their offence.

Finally to the present objection, if any harmefull malignant effect be for the present or afterward produced by the Eclips in those parts where it is seene, yet no man I thinke will deny it, but to be repairable by by the tract and revolution of time, or if irrepairable, yet this decay in the Creatures, ariseth not from any deficiencie in themselues, from any waxing old or removall from their first originals, (which is the very poynt in question) but from an adventitious and externall cause. And so I passe from the other Creatures to the Consideration of Man the Com­maunder and Compendium of all the rest, for whose sake both they were first made, and this discourse was first vndertaken.

LIB. III. Of the pretended decay of mankind in regard of age and duration of strength and sta­ture, of arts and witts.

CAP. I. Touching the pretended decay of men in regard of their age, and first by way of comparison betweene the ages of the Ancients, and those of latter times.

SECT. 1. Of the short life of man in regard of the duration of many other Creatures and that he was Created Mortall, but had he not falne, should haue beene preserued to immortality.

SInce vpon exammination wee haue found that there is no such perpetuall and vniversall decay as is pretended in the Hea­ [...]ens, in the Earth, in the Ayre, in the Water, the fishes, the plants, the Beastes, the Mineralls: I see no reason but that from thence wee might safely and sufficiently conclude that neither is there any such decay in man. But because this discourse was principally vndertaken and intended for the sake of mankind, I will consider and compare them of former ages with those of latter, first in regard of age, secondly in regard of Strength and stature, thirdly in regard of wits and inventions: fourthly and lastly in regard of manners and conditions. And if vpon due consideration and comparison it shall appeare that there is no such decay in any of these as is supposed, the Question I trust touch­the worlds decay in generall will soone be at at end.

The ordinary age of man being compared with that of the heavens, the stones, the mettalls, some beasts & trees is very short, but the longest being cōpared with God and Eternity is but as a span, a shadow, a dreame of a shadow, nay meere nothing, which the Romane Oratour hath both truly observed, and eligantly expressed. Apud Hypanim fluuium qui ab Europae Psal. 39. 5. 1. Tusculan. parte in pontum influit, Aristoteles ait bestiolas quasdam nasci quae vnum di­em viuant; ex ijs igitur hora octaua quae mortua est, provecta aetate mortua est, quae vero occidente sole decrepita, eo magis si etiam Solstitiali die. Confer no­stram longissimam aetatem cum aeternitate, in eadem propemodum brevitate qua istae bestiolae reperiemur. Aristole writes that by the river Hypanis which on the side of Europe fals into Pontus, certaine little animals are bred, which liue but a day at most: Amongst them then, such as dye the eight houre, dy old; such as dye at sun set, dye in their decrepit age spe­cially [Page 145] if it be vpon the day of the Sūmer Solstice. Now cōpare our age with eternity, and we shall be found in regard of duration almost in the same state of shortnesse that those Creatures are.

The body of man even before the fall was doubtlesse in it selfe by rea­of contrary Elements, contrary humours, and members of contrary temper whereof it was composed, dissoluble and morrall: As also by reason of outward accidents, the dayly wasting of his natiue heate, and the disproportionable supply of his radicall moisture: But these defects his Creator supplyed, arming him against outward accidents by divine providence, the guard of Angels and his owne excellent wisedome, against the contrarieties fighting in his body, by the harmony of his soule: against the wasting of his natiue heat and radicall moysture by that su­pernaturall vertue & efficacy which he gaue to the fruit of the tree of life: He was then Naturally Mortall: (for otherwise even after his fall should he haue continued immortall, as the Apostate Angells did) but by speciall priviledge and dispensation immortall. mortalis erat, saith S. Au­gustine, Lib. 7. de Gen. ad Lit. c. 25. conditione corporis animalis, immortalis autem beneficio-conditoris: He was mortall in respect of his naturall body, but immortall by the favour of his Creator: Yet doubtles had he not sinned, he had not still liued here vpon earth, though in likelihood his age might be extended to some thousands of yeares, but should haue beene at length translated from hence to heaven where he could neither haue sinned nor dyed [...] Sic est immortalis conditus, Sayth Gregory, vt tamen si peccaret, & mori Moral. lib. 4. cap. 26. possit, & sic mortalis est conditus, vt si non peccaret etiam non mori possit, at­que ex merito liberi arbitrij beatitudinem illius regionis attingeret, in qua vel peccare vel mori non possit. He was so created immortall that if he sinned he might dye, and againe so was he created mortall that, he could not dye: But by the merit of his freewill should haue beene translated to that place of blisse where he could neither sinne nor dye.

SECT. 2. Of the long liues of the Patriarchs, and of the manner of Computing there yeares, and that Almighty God drew out the lines of their liues to that length for reasons proper to those first times.

THough vpon the fall of man the duration of his continuance here vpon the earth was much shortned, yet certaine it is that many of the Ancient Patriarches before the floud liued aboue nine hundred, and some to allmost a thousand yeares, Neither ought this to seeme incredible, though Plyny mentioning some who were re­ported to haue liued fiue sixe or eight hundred yeares, at length con­cludes Lib. 7. cap. 48. ‘that all these strange reports arise from the ignorance of times past, and for want of knowledg how they made their account. For some, saith he, reckoned the Summer for one yeare and the Winter for another. There were also that reckoned every quarter for a yeare, as the Arcadians whose yeare was but three moneths, and some againe [Page 146] you haue, as namely the Egyptians, who count every chaunge or New moone for a yeare, and therefore no marvell if some of them are repor­ted to haue liued a thousand yeares.’ Thus Pliny. But Iosephus to justi­fie the trueth of Moses his history touching the age of the first Patriar­ches, Lib. 1. Antiq. cap. 4. vouches the authority of Manathon the writer of the Egyptian story, Berosus of the Chaldean, Moschus and Esthieus of the Phenician, as al­so Hesiodus, Hecataeus, Elamius, Acuselaus, Ephorus and others, all af­firming that those of the first age liued to a thousand yeares, but how they made their computation Iosephus doth not expresse: Wherevpon some haue beene so bold as to tell vs, that the yeares Mo­ses there speakes of, are not to be computed as ours, but were some­what aboue the monethly yeare contayning in them thirty six dayes which is a number quadrat, being made vp of six times six: So that one of our yeares containes tenne of them, and those yeares being divided into twelue moneths, there could not aboue three dayes bee attributed to each of them. But this opinion (for I will not spare it though it make for mee,) how not onely false it is, but manifestly repugnant to the sacred Scriptures, any man may of himselfe easily discerne. For if we embrace this computation, it will from thence follow that Caynan and Enoch begat children when they were but six yeares old and an Gen. 5. 12. Gen. 5. 21. halfe, or seaven at most, for the Scripture tells vs, that the one begat them when he was but sixty fiue yeares old, and the other at seventie: so that if tenne of their yeares made but one of ours, it would conse­quently follow, that they begat children when they were yet but seven yeares of age: Besides, since none of those Ancient Patriarches attained to a thousand yeares, if their yeares were so to be accounted, as these men would haue it, none of them should haue arrived to ninety seaven yeares; and yet many we know are now found to passe an hundred. A­gaine, the Scripture testifies, that Abraham died in a good old age full of Gen. 25. 7. 8. dayes, being one hundred seaventy fiue yeares old, which number according to their computation, makes but seaventeene yeares and an halfe; a ri­diculous old age. Lastly, in the seaventh and eight of Genesis in that one yeare alone, in which the flood lasted, mention is made of the first, se­cond, Gen. 7. 11 & 8. 4: 5: 13: 14. and tenth moneth, & least any should imagine, that those moneths lasted onely three dayes, wee haue there named the seaventeenth day of the second, and the twenty seaventh of the seaventh moneth. Gen: 7. 11: & 4. 5.

To take it then as graunted that Moses his computation of the yeare was the same with ours, and that those first Patriarches liued much lon­ger then any of latter times; yet from thence cannot any sufficient proofe be brought, that there hath beene & still continues, a constant and perpetuall decrease in mans age, since for speciall Reasons and by speciall priviledge Almighty God graunted that to them, which to their succes­sours was denyed: which I will rather choose to expresse in Iosephus his words then in mine owne. Where hauing assigned some other causes thereof, peculiar to those times & persons, at length he concludes. Deinde propter virtutes & gloriosas vtilitates quas iugiter perscrutabantur, Lib. 1. Antiq. c: 4: id est astrologiam & Geometriam, Deus ijs ampliora viuendi spatia condona­uit, quae non ediscere potuissent, nisi sexcentis viuerent annis, per tot enim an [Page 147] norum curricula magnus annus impletur. Againe in regard of the excel­lent and profitable vse of Astronomy and Geometry, which they daily searched into, Almighty God graunted them a longer space of life, in as much as they could not well finde out the depth of those Arts, vnlesse they liued six hundred yeares, for in that reuolution of time, the great yeare comes about. Where what hee meanes by the great yeare, since the most learned make a great doubt, I for my part will not vndertake po­sitiuely to determine. But to this reason of losephus may well be added another principall one, which is, that God spared them of this first age the longer for the multiplying of the race of mankind, and replenishing the Earth with Inhabitants. And as hee graunted them for these reasons a longer space of life by speciall priuiledge: so likewise he fitted their foode, their bodies, and all other necessaries proportionable therevnto; as ex­traordinary carefulnes and skilfulnes in the moderation and choice of their diet together with a singular knowledge in the vertues of plants, and stones, and mineralls, and the like, as well for the preservation of their health, as the curing of all kinde of diseases; which well agrees with that of Roger Bacon, speaking of the Patriarches in his booke de sci­entia experimentali. Quum fuerunt magna sapientia praediti, excogitaverunt omne regimen sanitatis & medicinas secretas quibus senectus retardabatur & quibus cum venit potuit mitigari & filij eorum hoc regimen habebant & ex­perimenta contra senectutem, nam Deus illustravit in omni sapientia, & ergo diu vivere potuerunt. They being indued with singular wisedome, found out the whole course of the regiment of health and secret medicines, whereby the pace of old age was slackned, and when it arived the ri­gour of it was abated, and from them their sonnes as by a tradition de­rived this skill, and these experiments against old age, for God enlight­ned them with all kinde of wisedome; and from hence it came to passe that they lived long. Yet euen among them before the floud, wee finde that the first man, who in case of a decrease should in reason haue liued longest, was notwithstanding in number of yeares exceeded not onely by Methusalath, and Iered before, but by Noah after the flood, except wee will adde vnto Adams age threescore yeares, as some diuines doe, vpon a supposition that hee was created in the flower of mans age, agreeablely to those times.

SECT. 3. That since Moses his time, the length of mans age is no­thing abated, as appeares by the testimony of Mo­ses himselfe, and other graue authours, compared with the experience of these times.

HOwsoever it fared with the Patriarches, sure we are that since Moses his time; who was borne in the yeare of the world 2434, or thereabout, aboue three thousand yeares agoe, when the world was now well replenished, and the most necessary sciences de­pending vpon observation and experience, in a manner perfected, the [Page 148] length of mans age is nothing abated, as cleerely it appeares by that most famous and euident testimony of his: the time of our life, (saith hee) is three score yeares and tenne, and though men bee so strong that they come to foure score yeares, yet is their strength then but labour and sorrow, so soone pas­seth it away, and wee are gone. And that these are indeede the words of Psal. 90. 10. Moses, appeares by the very Title of the Psalme prefixed to it. A Psalme of Moses the man of God. For though S. Augustine seeme to make some doubt of it, because hee findes it not recorded in his history: And A­ben Ezra a Iewish Rabbin, thinke the Authour to haue beene one of Da­vids singers so named, yet S. Hierome doubts not constantly to auerre it to be that same Moses, who was the penman of holy writ, and the Captaine of the Hebrewes, & that we might not call it into question, the Holy Ghost seemes purposely to haue annexed that Epithete, The man of God, that is, not only a godly religious and excellent man, but a man endued with a propheticall spirit, and so is it taken, 1 Sam. 2. 27. & 1. Kings. 13. 1. In which regard Moses himselfe giues himselfe this same Title, Deuter: 33. 1. This is the blessing wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And for S. Augustines obje­ction, hee would leaue very few Psalmes to David himselfe, were his argument of any force. Yet some Expositours there are, who referre it to that story of the Israelites, written in the 32 of Exodus, Others in the 14 of Numbers, which I the rather am induced to beleeue, for that of all those six hundred thousand Israelites, which vnder the conduct of Moses came out of Aegypt, onely two, Caleb and Iosua entred into the land of promise, all the rest, men, women, & children, young & old, leauing their carkases in the Wildernes within the space of forty yeares. True indeede it is, that both Moses. himselfe and his brother Aa­ron outliued the number of yeares set downe in that Psalme; yet saith judicious Calvin, de communi ratione loquitur, hee speakes of the ordinary course, how it commonly fared with men in that respect even in those times. And thus doe I take Herodotus to be vnder­stood In Thalia. jumping in the same number with Moses, spatium vivendi lon­gissimum propositum esse octoginta annos, that the vtmost space of mans life is foure score yeares: Though Solon come a degree shorter, making the age of man threescore and ten, as both Laertius and Censorinus in his booke De die natali testifie of him. Plato who had (as Seneca witnesseth) Laert. l. 1. c. 14. a strong and able body, borrowing his name from his broad brest, not without much care & diligence arrived to the age of eighty one yeares. Epist. 51. And Barzillai who liued in Dauids time, is said to haue beene Senex val­dè, a very aged man, yet was he by his owne confession, but foure score 2. Sam. 19. 32. v. 35. yeares old. Nay Dauid himself is said to haue beene old, striken in yeares, & Satur dierum, full of dayes, insomuch as they covered him with clothes, 1. King. 1. 1. 1 Chro: 19. 28. 2. Sam. 5. 4. but he got no heate: yet was he but threescore and ten when he died, thirty when he began to raigne, and forty yeares he raigned, being naturally of a sound and healthfull constitution. Solomons age we cannot by Scrip­ture certainly determine: some Divines conjecture, that he little excee­ded forty, but the most learned, that hee passed not fifty or threescore at most, yet is it noted of him, that cùm senex esset, when hee was old, his [Page 149] wiues turned away his heart after other Gods: Of all the Kings of Iu­dah 1 King. 11. 4. and Ierusalem which followed after, the greatest part came not to fifty, very few to threescore, and none full home to threescore and tenne. In the whole Catalogue of Romane, Greeke, French, and Germane Emperours, onely foure are found which attained to fourescore, and those not among the first of that ranke. In the bed-roll of Popes, fiue only liued to see those yeares, and those of latter dayes in comparison, namely Iohn 23. Grego­ry 12 & 13. Paulus 3 and 4. and which is more remarkeable, our Queene Elizabeth of fresh and blessed memory out-liued all her predecessours since the conquest, raigning the yeares of Augustus, and liuing the age of Dauid.

SECT. 4. The same confirmed by the testimony of other ancient and learned Writers.

HEsiodus the first Writer as I take it (saith Pliny) who hath treated of this argument, in his fabulous discourse touching the age of Lib. 7. c. 48 49. man, affirmeth, (but vpon what ground I know not) that a crow liueth nine times as long as wee, and the Harts or Staggs foure times as long as the crow, but the ravens thrice as long as they: And if we should consult with Astrologers, Epigines saith, that it is not possible to liue an hundred and two and twenty yeares: and Berosus is of opinion, that one can­not passe an hundred and seuenteene. In the Oracle of Sybilla Erithraea by the testimony of Phlegon Trallianus are found these verses.

Viginti & centum revolutis protinus annis,
Quae sunt humanae longissima tempora vitae.
When sixe score winters are expir'd, which fate
Of humane life hath made the longest date.

Moreouer Trebellius Pollio in his booke to Constantius thus writeth, Do­ctissimi Mathematicorum centum viginti annos homini ad vivendum da­tos judicant, neque amplius cuiquam concessum dicunt, illud etiam adijcientes, Mosen ipsum, (vt Iudaeorum libri testantur) Dei familiarem viginti quinque ac centum annos vixisse, qui cùm interitum hunc vt immutatum fortè quere­retur, ferunt illi ab incerto Numine responsum, neminem deinceps amplius esse victurum. The most learned Mathematicians are of opinion, that a man can liue but an hundred and twenty yeares, and that none can goe beyond that period, yet they adde, that Moses himselfe, as the writings of the Iewes testifie, being familiar with God, liued to the age of one hundred twenty fiue yeares, who when he complained of this change, they report this answere to haue beene giuen him by some divine power, that no man after that should passe those bounds. Thus Pollio: ignorantly mistaking the age of Moses, but alluding as it seemes to that speech of God in the sixth of Genesis, his dayes shall be an hundred & twenty yeares. Which words V. 3. notwithstanding I should rather choose to referre to the continuance of the world till the comming of the floud, then to the duration of the age of particular men. For it is certaine that after this, not onely Noah, but Sem and Arphaxad, and Salah, and Eber, and Peleg, and Nahor, and Te­rah, [Page 150] and Abraham, and Isaac, and Iacob, some of them by much; and all of them by some number of yeares exceeded this proportion.

Crinitus in his seuenth booke de honesta disciplina reports out of Teren­tius Varro from the authority of Dioscorides a great Astrologer, that the Egyptians; (who tooke speciall care about the imbalming of dead bo­dies) by a subtill and witty kinde of reasoning found out, within what bounds of space to the very vtmost the age of man is confined, taking their estimate from the weight of the heart, they affirmed then that the life of man is limited to one hundred yeares, so that it could not passe that tearme, which the heart of those, say they, who dye not vntimely, doth manifest; in as much as together with age, if it be examined, it either re­ceiues increase or decrease; It receiuing the increase of two drams euery yeare till a man come to fifty, and then again the decrease of two yearely till he arriue to an hundred, and so returning to its originall weight, it can then make no farther progresse. Now this observation though it be doubtlesse more curious then true, yet doth it shew that the common o­pinion of the Ancients was, that men did seldome passe one hundred years. Seculum centum annorum spatium vocârunt, dictum à sene, quòd longissimum spatium [...]id putârint senescendorum hominum, saith Varro, Seculum was the Lib. 5. de delingua latina. space of an hundred yeares, so called à sene, because they held that to be the vtmost point of growing old. And with Varro herein accords the son of Syrach, The nūber of a mans dayes at the most are an hundred yeares. So as that Ecclus 18. 8. prerogatiue extraordinary of Longevity was as I take it, specially anne­xed, as to those first ages of the world, so to the Church and people cho­sen by God in those times. For had men in all places and in all ages arri­ued to the liues of the Patriarches, the Earth by this time had not beene able to sustaine them with food, nor hardly to contain their multitude; yet can it not be denied but that in all times, and in all Nations some haue beene alwayes found who haue exceeded that number of yeares which many of the Ancients (as we haue heard) accounted the vtmost period of mans life.

SECT. 5. That in all times and nations some haue beene found who haue exceeded that number of yeares which the wisest of the ancients accounted the vtmost period of mans life, and that often those of latter ages haue exceeded the former in num­ber of yeares, as is made to ap­peare as well from sacred as prophane story.

TO let goe fabulous and vncertaine reports of the Arcadian kings and such like, certaine it is, that Marcus Valerius Corvinus, liued [...]. 7. c. 48: one hundred yeares compleate, Metellus the Pontife or Supreame Priest liued full as long. Epimenides the Cretian liued one hundred & fif­ty, whereof the last fifty he spent vnder ground in a Caue. Zenophanes the Colophonian one hundred and two at the least: for he travelled at [Page 151] twenty fiue, and returned at seuenty seuen after his setting forth, but af­ter his returne how long he liued it is vncertaine. Gorgias the Sicilian a famous Rhetorician in his time, liued to one hundred and eight. Hippo­crates the renowned Physitian to one hundred and fowre, both appro­ving and honouring the excellency of his Art by his age. Asinius Pollio inward with Augustus, though of a luxurious life, surmounted an hun­dred. And for women Ciceroes wife Terentia liued till she was one hun­dred and three. Clodia wife to Ofilius went beyond her, and saw one hundred & fifteene years, & yet had she in her youth fifteene children: Luceia a common vice in playes followed the stage and acted thereon an hundred yeares, such another vice that played the fooles part, and made sporte betweene whiles in interludes, named Galeria Copiola was brought aga [...] act her feates vpon the stage when Cn. Pompeius and Q. Sulpitius were consulls, at the solemne playes vowed for the health of Augustus Caesar, when she was in the hundred and fourth yeare of her age. The first time that ever she entred the stage to shew proofe of her skill in that profession, was ninety one yeares before, and then was she brought thither by M. Pomponius an Edile of the Commons in the yeare that C. Marius and Carbo were Consuls. And once againe Pom­peius the great, at the solemne dedication of his stately Theater, trained the old woman to the stage, thereby to make a shew of her to the won­der of the world.

And if from prophane stories wee should come to the sacred, we shall there likwise find that some in all ages haue reached to that number of yeares, and that often (which I desire to be observed) those of latter times haue exceeded the former. To let goe the Patriarchs of whome as far as Iaacob I haue in part allready spoken, Ioseph attained to an hun­and tenne, his brother Leui to one hundred thirty seaven, and Moses & Gen. 50. 26. Exo. 6. 16. Deut. 34. 7. Num. 33. 39. Aron were each of them one hundred and twenty at the least. Phineas Arons nephew, it may be by speciall favour for his great Zeale, is supposed to haue liued three hundred yeares: and justly no doubt, if the warre of the Israelites against the tribe of Beiamin, (in which expedition Phineas was Iud. 28. consulted with) were acted in the same series of time, in which the histo­ry is recorded. Iosua liued one hundred and tenne. Iob after his resti­tution Ios. 24. 29. Iob. 42. 16. liued one hundred and forty yeares, notwithstanding that before his affliction he had children of the age of men and women. Elizeus seemes to haue beene aboue an hundred, inasmuch as he lived three­skore yeares after the assumption of Elias; and such he was at that as­sumption as the children taunted him for his bald pate. Tobias the el­der liued to one hundred fifty and eight, the yonger to one hundred Tob. 14. 13. & 16. twenty seaven. Long after this Anna the Prophetesse mentioned by S. Luke seemes to haue out pitched an hundred, as our common translation 2 cap. v. 37. reads it, she being a widdow fowerskore and fowre years, married sea­uen, and by common account no lesse then fourteene or fifteene when she was married, which being put together make vp an hundred and six yeares or there about: though I am not ignorant that Iunius and our last translation agreably to the originall render it thus, & erat vidua an­norum quasi octoginta & quatuor, she was a widdow of about fowreskore [Page 152] and fower yeares that is according to an vsuall Hebraisme, about fouer­score and fower yeares old, as Noah is said to haue beene filius quingen­torum Gen. 5. 32. annorum, the sonne of fiue hundred yeares, that is, natus quingentos annos, fiue hundred yeares old. Iohn the divine and beloued desciple an apostle a prophet and an evangelist, who of all the apostles onely died in his bed, all the rest suffering martyrdome for the name of Christ, was doubt­lesse very aged when he resigned his spirit for as witnesseth Eusebius In Chron: out of Irenaeus he deceased in the 2 yeare of Traian which was the 101 frō the nativity, the 68 frō the passion of Christ; Cedrenus affirms that he liued to 106, but surely considering he wrote his Gospell after he was 90 In Comp. by the testimony of Epiphanius, it is more then probable that he drew Haer. 51 nere vppon 100 if he exceeded it not.

After this againe Plyny to shew the errour of some [...]athematitians, who thought that the life of man could not even then be extended be­yond Lib. 7. c 49. an hundred yeares, produceth a taxation or review of the severall ages of men betweene Apennine and the Poo made vnder the emperours Vespatian, the father and the sonne, in which vpon examination were found at Parma three men that had liued each of them one hundred and twenty yeares, at Brixels one that was one hundred twenty fiue years old: Moreover at Parma two, one hundred and thirty yeares of age; at Plaisance one elder by an yeare: at Faventia there was one woman one hundred thirty two yeares old: at Bononia L. Taurentius the son of Marcus & at Ariminium M. Aponius reckoned each of them one hundred and fifty yeares. About Playsance, is a towne situate vpon the hills named Vellei­acum wherein six men brought a certificate that they had liued one hun­dred and ten yeares a peice, foure likewise came in with a note of an hun­dred and twenty yeares, & one of an hundred and forty: But because we will not dwell (sayth he) vpon a matter so evident and commonly confessed in the review taken of the eight Region of Italy, there were found in the role fifty foure of one hundred yeares of age, fifty seaven of one hundred & tenne, two of one hundred twenty fiue, fowre of one hundred and thirty, as many that were an hundred thirty fiue, or one hundred thirty seaven, and last of all three men of one hundeed and forty.

Now had Plyny vir vnus apud Latinos in observandis investigandisque Naturae arcanis diligens & accuratus, the only man among the Latines who is a diligent and curious tracer of the prints of Natures footsteps, Cri [...]itus. had this man I say obserued any such decrease as is pretended in mens ages in regard of former times, he would doubtlesse haue noted it, ei­ther in that chapter where so fare an oportunity was offered him, or some where else through his history: which I presume cannot be found, & I doubt not but if the like review and list were made in those parts at this day, as many of like ages would be found within the like compasse; or if there were found defect in that place, it may happily be supplied in another; or if a generall defect in this age by reason of some accidentall occasion, yet may it be repaired & recompenced againe in future times by their remoueall: The defect then (if any be) is not in the course of Nature, but in our wronging it; and yet I make no doubt but a number in succeeding ages haue equalled and some exceeded those recounted by Plyny in number of years.

SECT. 6 The same assertion farther proved and inlarged by many instances, both at home & abroad.

ARchapius the Philosopher boasted, as witnesseth Roger Bacon in his booke de erroribus medicorum, that he had liued 1029 yeares: and farther adds that himselfe had spoken with many eye-wit­nesses worthy Credit who knew a man qui magnifico medicamine sump­to vixerat nongentis et multis alijs annis & habuit litteras Papales in testimo­nium huius rei, who having vsed a princely preservatiue liued nine hun­dred yeares, and had the Popes letters testimoniall to shew for it.

To say nothing of the wandring Iew, by some named Iohannes Butta­deus, of whom about six yeares since, being seene and conferred with at Antwerpe, & againe about sixteene before that, in France was every where in those times so much talke, as if he had beene present at our Sauiours passion, and had liued in this wandring manner euer since; I will onely referre the curious Reader, who desires to be farther infor­med in that point to the relations of Guido Bonatus, (who liued about 400 yeares since) in the first part, 5 tract & 141 consideration of his Iu­diciarie Astrologie, & to the seaventh booke of the Historie of the peace betwixt the Kings of France & Spaine in the yeare 1604, where the sto­rie is not onely related but learnedly disputed; & to an old manuscript Chronicle de gestis Regis Iohannis lately in the keeping of the euer renow­ned Sr Henry Savill, where report is made that in the yeare of Grace 1228, an Archbishop of Armenia arriuing as a pilgrime in this king­dome to visite the reliques of our Saints, and being demaunded if hee could say any thing touching the wandring Iew, of whom at that very time was much rumour; a certaine Knight in his traine made answere for him in french, that he knew him well, and had often conuersed with him; and therevpon describes him both for his person, and manners, & the occasion of his liuing in that fashion, Much like as doth Paule of Eitsen, Bishop of Sleswing, who is sayed to haue met & conferred with him at Hamborough, in the yeare 1542, in the French history before al­leaged, but leauing him to his wandring life, I returne to more certaine Relations.

Paul the Hermite liued to one hundred & thirty, S. Anthony to one hundred & fiue, one Cornarius a Venetian by weighing his meate and drinke which hee tooke euery meale (as himselfe in his medicinall ob­servations testifies) suruiued an hundred in perfect sense and sound health. Gartius Aretinus great Granfather to Petrarch, arriued to one hundred & foure. Gulielmus Postellus, a french man in our age held out to almost an hundred & twenty; the tops of his beard in his higher lip being then somewhat blackish & not altogether white. But aboue all, most memorable is the age of Iohannes de Temporibus, which Verstigan out of the Dutch Authours thus reports: ‘Heere by the way, saith he, I must note to the Reader that Iohannes de Temporibus, that is to say, Iohn of times so called for the sundry times or ages he liued, was shield-knaue, [Page 154] or Armour bearer to Charles the great, of whom he was also made Knight. This man being of great temperance, sobriety, & content­ment of minde in his condition of life, but aboue all, of a most excel­lent constitution of body, residing partly in Germany where hee was borne, & partly in France, liued vnto the ninth yeare of the reigne of the Emperour Conrade, & died at the age of three hundred sixty oney eares, seeming thereby a very miracle of Nature, & one in whom it plea­sed God to represent vnto latter ages the long yeares & temperate liues of the ancient Patriarches. Mine Authour goeth on; 'tis said that there hath a man lately liued in the East Indies, of some thought to bee yet liuing, of greater age then this Iohn of Times: The certainety heereof I cannot affirme, but it is crediblely reported, that a wo [...] lately li­ued at Segouia in Spaine of an hundred & threescore yeares of age.’ And Franciscus Alvarez saith, that he saw Albuna Marc: chiefe Bi­shop of Ethiopia being of the age of an hundred & fifty yeares. Antho­ny Fume an Historiographer of good account, reporteth that in the yeare one thousand fiue hundred & seaventy, there was an Indian presented to Solyman Generall of the Turkes army, who had outliued three hundred yeares. And Sr Walter Rawleigh tels vs, that himselfe knew the old Countesse of Desmond of Inchiquin in Munster, who liued in the yeare 1589 & many yeares since, & yet was married in Edward the fourths time, & held her joynter from all the Earles of Desmond till then: And that this is true (sayth he) all the Noblemen & Gentlemen of Munster can witnesse. My Lord of S. Albans casting her age, brings her to one hundred & forty at least, adding withall, ter per vices dentijsse, that shee recouered her teeth after casting them three severall times. The same Authour reports that a while since in Hereford-shire at their Maygames there was a Morice daunce of eight men, whose yeares put together made vp eight hundred, that which was wanting of an hundred in some superabounding in others. Mr Carew in his survey of Cornwall, assures vs vpon his own knowledge that fourescore, & fourescore and ten yeares of age is ordinary there in every place, & in most persons accompanied with an able vse of the body and their sences. One Polezew, saith he) lately liuing reached to one hundred & thirty, a kinsman of his to one hundred & twelue. One Beauchamp to one hundred and six, and in the parish where himselfe dwelt hee professed to haue remembred the de­cease of foure within fourteene weekes space, whose yeares added to­gether made vp the summe of three hundred & forty. The same Gen­tleman made this merrie Epigram or Epitaph vpon one Brawne an Irish man, but Cornish begger.

Heere Brawne the quondam begger lies
Who counted by his tale,
Some six score winters and aboue;
Such vertue is in ale.
Ale was his meate, his drinke, his cloth,
Ale did his death repriue,
And could hee still haue drunke his ale,
Hee had beene still aliue.

[Page 155] And I make no doubt but the like observation might be made in other countryes vnder his Majesties dominions, aswell as in those two sheires, if the like particular survey, & search were made.

And if wee please a little to cast our eyes abroad, wee shall likewise finde that euen at this day the Indians, a barbarous people and liuing ac­cording to Nature, reach to a marveilous great age, matchable to any that wee reade of since the flood, either in sacred or prophane story. Sr Walter Rawleigh in his discouery of Guiana reports that the king of [...]omaia, being one hundred and tenne yeares old, came in a morning on foot to him from his house which was fourteene English miles, and re [...]urned on foote the same way: But that which is written by Mon­s [...]r Besanneera a french Gentleman in the relation of Captaine Laudon­r [...] reis second voyage to Florida, is much more strange, and not vnwor­thy to be set downe at large. Our men, saith he, regarding the age of their Paracoussy or Lord of the countrey, began to question with him thereabouts, wherevnto he made answere that he was the first liuing Originall from whence fiue generations were descended, shewing them withall another old man which farre exceeded him in age, and this man was his father, who seemed rather an Anatomy then a liuing bo­dy: for his sinewes, his veines, his arteries, his bones, & other parts appeared so cleerely thorow his skin, that a man might easily tell them, & discerne them one from another. Also his age was so great that the good man had lost his sight, & could not speake one onely word but with exceeding great paine. Monsieur d' Ottigni hauing seene so strange a sight, turned to the younger of these two old men, praying him to vouchsafe to answere to that which he demaunded touching his age: then called he a company of Indians, & striking twice vpon his thigh & laying his hand vpon two of them, he shewed by signes that these two were his sonnes; againe smiting vpon their thighes, hee shewed him others not so old, which were the children of the two first, and thus continued he in the same manner vntill the fift generation: But though this old man had his father aliue more old then himselfe, and that both their haire was as white as was possible, yet it was told them that they might yet liue thirty or forty yeares more by the course of na­ture, although the younger of them both, was not lesse then two hundred & fifty yeares old.

Torquemado in the first journey of his discourse tels vs, that being at Rome about the yeare 1531: it was bruted thorow all Italy that at Ta­rentum there liued an old man, who at the age of an hundred yeares was growne young againe, he had changed his skin like vnto the snake & had recouered a new, beeing withall become so young & fresh, as those which had seene him & knowne him before, could then scarce beleiue their owne eyes; and hauing continued aboue fifty yeares in this estate, he grew at length to be so old, as he seemed to be made of barkes of trees; wherevnto he further adds (and that the aboue written relation, saith he, may not seeme impossible, we haue a more admirable thing in the same kinde, recorded by Fernand Lopez of Castegnede, historiogra­pher to the King of Portugall in the eigth booke of his Chronicle, where [Page 156] he saith, that Nonnio de Cugne, being Viceroy at the Indies in the yeare 1536, there was a man brought vnto him as a thing worthy of admira­tion, for that it was auerred by good proofes & sufficient testimony, that he was three hundred and forty yeares old, he remembred he had seene that Citty wherein he dwelt vnpeopled, being then when hee spake it one of the chiefe of all the East Indies; hee had growne young againe foure times, changing his white haire & recouering new teeth. When the Viceroy did see him, hee then had the haire of his head & of his beard blacke, although he had not much, & there being by chaunce a Physitian at that time present, the Viceroy willed him to feele the old mans pulse, which he found as good & as strong as a young mans in the prime of his age. This man was borne in the Realme of Bengala, & did affirme that he had hadd at times neere seaven hundred wiues, whereof some were dead and some he had put away. The King of Por­tugall advertised of this wonder, did often enquire, and had yearely newes of him by the fleete which came from thence: He liued aboue three hundred and seuenty yeares. The same Castegnede adds, that in the time of the same Vice-roy, there was also found in the Citty of Bengala another man, a Moore or Mahometane called Xequepeer borne in a Pro­vince named Xeque, who was three hundred yeares old, as he said: all those that did know him did also certifie it, hauing great presumption so to doe. This Moore was reputed among them an holy man by reason of his austerenesse and abstinence: The Portugals did converse familiar­ly with him. Now besides that the histories of Portugall touching the Indies are faithfully collected and certified by very authenticall wit­nesses, there were in my time, saith Torquemado, both in Portugall and Castile many which had seene these old men.

SECT. 7. That if our liues be shortened in regard of our Ance­stours, we should rather lay the burden of the fault vpon our intemperance, then vpon a decay in Nature.

THe High-landers likewise in Scotland, and the wild Irish common­ly liue longer then those of softer education, of nice and tender bringing vp, (which often fals out in the more civill times and countreyes) being no doubt a great enemy to Longevity, as also the first feeding and nourishing of the Infant with the milke of a strange dug; an vnnaturall curiosity, hauing taught all women but the beggar to find out nurses, which necessity only ought to commend vnto them. Wherevn­to may be added hasty marriages in tender yeares, wherein nature being but yet greene and growing, wee rent from her, and replant her bran­ches, while her selfe hath not yet any root sufficient to maintaine her own top. And such halfe-ripe seedes for the most part wither in the bud, and waxe olde euen in their infancy. But aboue all things the pres­sing of Nature with over-weighty burdens, and when we find her strength defectiue, the help of strong waters, hot spices and provoking sauces, is [Page 157] it which impaires our health, and shortens our life.

—Simul assis
Horat. lib. 2. Sat. 2.
Miscueris elixa; simul conchylia turdis
Dulcia se in bilem vertent, stomachoque tumultum
Lenta feret pituita; vides ut pallidus omnis
Coena desurgat dubia?
Mixe sod with rost, and fish with flesh, straightwayes
The sweet will turne it selfe to bitter gall:
Tough flegme will in the stomacke tumults raise.
Seest not how doubtfull suppers make men pale?

But elegant to this purpose are those verses of Lucan,

—O prodiga rerum
Luxuries nunquam parvo contenta paratu,
Et quaesitorum terra pelagoque ciborum
Ambitiosa fames, & lautae gloria mensae.
Discite quàm parvo liceat producere vitam,
Et quantum natura petat.
Non auro myrrhaque bibunt, sed gurgite puro
Vita redit, satis est populis fluviusque Ceresque.
O wastfull riot neuer well content,
With low-priz'd fare, hunger ambitious
Of Cates by land and sea far fetcht and sent,
Vaine-glory of a table sumptuous:
Learne with how little life may be preseru'd,
In gold and myrrhe they need not to carroufe,
But with the brook the peoples thirst is seru'd,
Who fed with bread and water are not steru'd.

Multos morbos multa fercula fecerunt, saith Seneca, our variety of dainty Epist. 95. dishes hath bred variety of diseases. And againe, Maximus ille medico­rum, & hujus scientiae Conditor, foeminis nec capillos defluere dixit, nec pedes laborare: atqui haejam & capillis destituuntur, & pedibus aegrae sunt, non mu­tata foeminarum natura, sed vita est. The greatest of Physitians & the foun­der of that Science affirmes that women neither loose their haire, nor grow diseased in their feete: but now we see they are both bald and gowty, not because their nature is chaung'd, but the course of their life. Beneficium sexus sui vitijs perdiderunt, & quia foeminam exuerunt, damnatae sunt morbis virilibus. They haue forfeited the priviledge of their sexe by their owne vitiousnesse, and hauing together with their modesty put off their womanhood, they are deservedly plagued with mens dis­eases.

Besides, our Ancestors vsed some things now growne out of vse with vs, which were no doubt speciall meanes to preserue their health and prolong their liues, as the annointing of their bodies, their frequent vse of saffron and hony, their wearing of warmer clothes, and dwelling in closer houses with little doores and windowes, choosing rather to ad­mit lesse aire then much light, preferring their health before their plea­sure, as also for the most part they vsed lesse Physick and more exercise: so that if our liues be shortned in regard of them, we haue reason to ac­quit [Page 158] and discharge nature, and to lay the whole burden of the fault v­pon our selues.

—Natura beatis
Omnibus esse dedit, si quis cognoverit vti.
Nature allowes that all should blessed be,
Knew they to vse her bounty prudentlie.

And doubtlesse through our owne ignorance or negligence it is, if wee make not that vse of Natures bounty which we might and should: and herewith that of Roger Bacon accords in his booke de retardatione acci­dentium senectutis: Mundo senescente senescunt homines, non propter mundi senectutem, sed multiplicationem viventium inficientium ipsum aerem qui nos circundat, & negligentiam regiminis & ignorantiam illarum rerum, illarum­ve proprietatum quae regiminis defectum supplent. The world waxing old, men likewise waxe old, not so much by reason of the worlds old age, as the multiplication of liuing creatures infecting the aire which environs vs, and our negligence in the governement of our health, and our igno­rance in the vertue of those things which should supply the defect of that government; and againe in his booke de scientia experimentali. Cau­sa autem hujusmodi prolongationis & abbreviationis existimaverunt multi à parte coeli, nam existimaverunt quod coeli dispositio fuit optima à principio, & mundo senescente omnia tabescunt, aestimantes stellas fuisse creatas in locis con­venientioribus, & in meliori proportione earum ad invicem secundùm diversi­tatem aspectuum, & proiectionem radiorum invisibilem, & quod ab illo statu paulatim recesserunt, & secundùm hunc recessum ponunt vitae decurtationem vsque ad aliquem terminum fixum in quo est status, sed hoc habet multas con­tradictiones & difficultates de quibus non est modo dicendum. The cause of this prolonging and shortning our liues; many conjectured to be in re­gard of the Heauens, for they thought that the Heauens were best dis­posed at the first, and that as the world waxeth old, all things decayed, supposing that the Starres were created in more convenient places, & in a fitter proportion each to other according to the diversities of their aspects, and the invisible projection of their beames, and that by degrees they are fallen off from that estate, and according therevnto they pro­portiō the decrease of life vntill it come to some settled period, beyond which there is no farther progresse; but this assertion includes many contradictions and difficulties of which I cannot now speake.

Yet me thinkes it may be demonstrated by evident reason, besides the arguments already alleadged, that at the least for these last thousand or two thousand yeares, the age of mankinde is little or nothing abated, which I will indeavour to make good in the next Chapter.

CAP. 2. Farther Reasons alleaged that the age of man for these last thousand or two thousand yeares is little or nothing abated.

SECT. 1. The first reason taken from the severall stops and pawses of nature in the course of mans life, as the time of birth after our conception, our infancie, childhood, youth, mans estate, and old age, being assigned to the same compasse of yeares as they were by the Anci­ents; which could not possible bee, were there a vniversall decay in mankind in re­gard of age; And the like rea­son there is in making the same Clymactericall yeares and the same danger in them.

THat the age of mankinde for these last thousand or two thousand yeares is nothing shortned, will farther appeare by the severall stages and stops which the Ancients haue marked out, aswell in the growth of the infant in the mothers wombe, and time of birth, as in the distribution of mans age after the birth, agreeable vnto that which is generally receiued by the learned, and for the most part wee finde to be verified by experience at this day. As among Plants, those which last longest haue likewise their seedes longest buried vnder the earth before their springing aboue ground: so likewise among beasts, those which liue longest, are carried longest in the wombe of their dammes; the bitch carries her young but foure moneths, the mare nine, the ele­phant two yeares (not ten as some haue vainely written) and looke what proportion is found betwixt their conception and birth, the like is com­monly found betwixt their birth and death. Nature then in her procee­dings in naturall actions beeing alike, aswell to them as to mankind, it should in reason seeme, that as their time is the same which the Anci­ents, (namely Hippocrates and Aristotle) haue left vpon record, from their conception to their birth, and againe ordinarily (or caeteris paribus, as in Schooles we speake) from their birth to their death; so it should fare with mankind too: If then it shall appeare that the Ancients assigned the same space of time for the deliuerie of a woman with child, which wee now doe, me thinkes the consequent from hence deduced should bee more thē probable, that as the space of their abode in the womb of the mother, and comming from thence into the world, is the same as then it was, so likewise ordinarily, and in the course of nature (if shee bee not wronged or interrupted, nor on the otherside by a superna­turall power advanced aboue herselfe) it should bee the same [Page 160] during their abode heere in the world, and their returne to the wombe of their common mother the earth: Now though it be true that the space of time from the conception to the birth of man is more variable then that of any other Creature (perchaunce because his foode & fan­cie are more variable, or because nature is more sollicitous of him, as being her darling) yet most certaine it is, the same periods which by Hip­pocrates were assigned for his first comming into the light, are now also by Physitians observed, & that so precisely as they exactly agree with him, not only in the number of moneths but of dayes; the moneths assigned by him were the seaventh, the ninth, the tenth, & sometimes the Lauren. hist. A­nat. l. 8. eleuenth, & so they still remaine; and as the eight was by him held dan­gerous & deadly, so is it now; & as the tenth moneth is our vsuall com­putation, so was it likewise theirs, as appeares by that of Neptune in Homer speaking to a Nimph.

Anno circummacto speciosum partum edes
nimirum decimo mense.
Odis. [...].
The yeare ended thou wilt be deliuered
of a faire child, that is to say, in the 10th moneth.

From whence it may be obserued that the Aeolians (of whom was Ho­mer) counted their yeare from thence, as did also the Romanes till Nu­ma's raigne, I meane from the vsuall time of a womans going with child.

Quod satis est vtero matris dum prodeat infans,
Hoc anno statuit temporis esse satis.

Sayeth the Poet speaking of Romulus.

That space which is vnto our birth assign'd,
Fast. lib 1.
The same by him was to the yeare confin'd.

And to the end we may fully know what space is there by him vnder­stood, hee presently adds.

Annus erat decimum cum luna receperat orbem,
Hic numerus magno tunc in honore fuit,
Seu quia tot digiti per quos numer are solemus,
Seu quia bis quino famina mense parit.
Our yeare tenne full moones did containe
This number then was honoured
For that a woman going in paine
So long, was then disburdened.

But I proccede from the time of the birth to the Ancients distribution of mans age after the birth.

Some of them divided the age of man into three, some into foure, some into five, some into six, some into seaven parts: which they resem­bled to the seaven Planets; comparing our infancie to the Moone, in which wee seeme only to liue & grow as plants; the second age or childhood to Mercury, wherein wee are taught and instructed; the third age or youth to Venus, the dayes of loue, desire, & vanity: the fourth to Rodog. 10. 61. 62. the Sunne, the strong flourishing and beautifull age of mans life; the fifth to Mars, in which wee seeke honour and victory, and in which our thoughts travell to ambitious ends; the sixth to Iupiter, in which [Page 161] we begin to take account of our times, judge of our selues, & grow to the perfection of our vnderstanding: The last & seaventh to Saturne, wherein our dayes are sad and overcast, & in which we finde by deere & lamentable experience, & by the losse which neuer can be repaired, that of all our vaine passions and affections past, the sorrow only abi­deth.

Philo Iudaeus in that excellent booke of the workemanshippe of the world, discoursing of the admirable properties of the sacred number of seaven, among many other things alleaged to that purpose, he affirmes that at the end of euery seaventh yeare, there is some notable chaunge in the body of man, and for better proofe thereof, hee produceth the authority of Hippocrates, and an Elegie of Solons which thus begins.

Impubes pueri septem voluentibus annis
Claudunt enatis dentibus eloquium
Post alios totidem Diuorum numine dextro
Occultum pubis nascitur indicium.
Annus ter septem primâ lanugine malas
Vestiet aetatis robore conspicuus. &c.
When children once to seaven yeares haue aspired,
The tale of all their teeth they haue acquired.
By that the next seaven ended haue their date
Pubertie comes and power to generate.
The third seaven perfect's growth, and then the chin
With youthly downe to blossome doth begin.

But among all the Ancients I haue mette with, Macrobius in his first booke of Scipio's dreame, extolling (as Plilo doth) the rare and singular Cap: 6: effects of the septenary number, most cleerely and learnedly expresseth the remarkeable pawses and chaunges of Nature euery seaventh yeare in the course of mans age, as the casting of the teeth in the first seaven, the springing of the pubes in the second, of the beard in the third, the vt­most period of growth in the fourth, of strength in the fifth, a consistence in the sixth, and a declination in the seaventh. Now that which these An­cients obserued touching these secret stations and progresses of Nature in the state of mans body and course of his life, is still found to be true, aswell by the Verdict and judgement of learned men, as by the proofe and triall of Experience, which could not possiblely bee, were there a constant abatement in the length of our whole age, by such an vniuer­sall & irreuocable decay of Nature as is pretented: for then should men doubtles grow to ripenes and perfection sooner, as they are supposed sooner to hasten to death and dissolution, which must needes draw on an alteration and confusion in all the noted changes thorow the course of mans life: And therefore the holy Scripture assigning the Patriarches a longer life, assignes them likewise proportionablely therevnto a lon­ger Loc, Con: c: 12, Classis. 1 time before they were ripened for generation, as Peter Martyr hath rightly noted.

It is true and euer was, which Galen in his sixth booke of the regi­ment of health hath observed, that these chaunges cannot so be tyed to any such precise number of yeares, but that a variation of latitude is [Page 162] to be admitted in them in regard of some particulars: some growing to their puberty at fourteen, others at fifteen: some declining at thirty, o­thers at thirty fiue, according to their severall constitutions, educations, diet, situation of Clymates and countreyes and the like; The Poet pro­fessed of himselfe aboue sixteene hundred yeare agoe, that his beard be­gan to sprout and paint his cheekes before twenty.

Quamuis jam juvenile decus mihi pingere malas
Caeperit, & nondum vicesima venerit aetas.
Though now my beard began my cheekes to grace,
Nor had I liued yet twice tenne yeares space.

But as all rules in Science, so theses are held sufficiently currant and warrantable, if they be found infallible in the greatest part, and vniforme, where all circumstances concurre in a like degree.

It is now commonly thought, that thirty three, or between that and 35 yeares, is the flower & perfection of mans age, (it being the mid way St. Augustine makes it soo­ner. Circa 30 quippe annos de­finierunt esse e­tiam huius Sae­culi doctissimi homines iuven­tulem, quae cum fuerit spatio pro­prio terminata inde iam homi­nē in detrimēta pergere gravio­ris & saenilis ae­tatis, Civi. dei. 22. 15. to sevēty, which both Moses & Solon held the Epilogue & cōclusiō there­of: so as those who run beyōd that, are like Racers which run beyōd the goale.) And this was the age of our blessed Saviour, to the perfection whereof, the Apostle seems to allude in the 4 to the v. 13. Ephesians: Till we meet together vnto a perfect man and vnto the measure of the age of the fullnes of Christ: which passage De Civit. Dei. Lib. 22. c. 15. S. Augustin interpreting, is of opiniō, that we shall rise againe by reasō of the perfectiō thereof, iu ea aetane vsque quā Christū pervenisse cognovimus, as men of that age vnto which Christ himselfe the head of the Church arriued. I know there want not some, as namely Lib. 2. Cap. 39. Ire­naeus & others, who by occasion of that speech of the Iewes, Iohn 8. 57. thou art not yet fifty yeare old, and hast thou seene Abraham? conjecture that he was a­bout that age: but whether it were his cares & troubles that made him seeme elder then indeéde he was, or the Iewes would thereby signifie that though he had beene much elder then he was, yet was it not possi­ble for him to haue seene Abrabam in the flesh; certaine it is that he came not to fourty: some late Divines being of opinion that he reached thirty fiue, but the most part, as also the most Ancient and most learned, Decherius de anno ortus & mortis Christi. that he little exceeded thirty three since then our infancie ends and child­hood begins, our childhood ends and youth begins, our youth ends and manhood begins, and lastly our manhood ends & our declining estate begins where it did a thousand or two thousād yeare agoe, I see no reason, but we may safely conclude, that at leastwise since that time mankind is nothing decayed in regard of age. and the like reason there is in there obser­ving anciently the same Clymactericall yeares and in them the same danger of sicknesse or death that we do, as appeares not only in Brodeus his Miscellanea lib. 6. cap. 26. and in a little discourse, which M. Wright hath written and annexed to his book of the passions of the mind, occasioned as he there professeth by the death of Queene Elizabeth) but much more fully in Baptista Codronchus a famous both Philosopher and Phisitian who hath purposely cōposed a large treatise de annis Climacte­ricis, in which thus begins his preface to that worke Antiquissimi & peritissimi rerum naturalium observatores, nec vulgares homines vitae huma­nae curriculum considerantes septimo quoque anno & presertim tertio supra se­xagesimum [Page 163] homines plerosque corporis & animi affectionibus conflictari, in discrimine versari, ac saepius interire pluribus observationibus ac periculis cog­noverunt. The most ancient and skilfull searchers into naturall things, and those no meane men taking into consideration the course of mans life by many observations and tryals, they found that every seventh yeare, and specially in the 63 most men are sorely affected both in body and mind, are brought into great danger, and many times die outright; I will bring onely one instance from Antiquity to shew their agreement as in the other before mentioned, so likewise in this point with these latter ages; it is borrowed from Gellius in his fifteenth booke, and sea­venth chapter of his Noctes Atticae, where he thus speaks of this matter, Observatum in multa hominum memoria, expertumque est in senioribus pleris­que omnibus sexagesimum tertium vitae annum cum periculo & clade aliqua venire, aut corporis morbique gravioris aut vitae interitus, aut animi aegri­tudinis. It hath been of a long time observed and experienced, in al­most all old men, that the 63 yeare of their life, hath proued dangerous and hurtfull vnto them, either in regard of some greivous sicknesse of body or death or great greefe of mind: & going on, he alleags to this pur­pose a part of a letter which Augustus Caesar wrote to Caius his Nephew. Aue mi Cai, meus ocellus iucundissimus: quē semper medius sidius desidero quum à me abes; sed precipue diebus talibus, qualis est hodiernus, oculi mei requirunt meum Caium; quem vbicunque hoc die fuisti, spero laetum & benevolentem ce­lebrasse: quartum & sexagesimum natalem meum, nam vt vides [...] commnem seniorum omnium tertium & sexagesimum annum evasimus. I greet the well my Caius, mine owne deare heart, whom in truth I always find wanting as oft as thou art absent from me, but cheifely vppon such days as this is, mine eyes long to behold my Caius, which whereso­everthou wert, I hope thou hast kept festivall, it being my sixty fourth birthday, for as thou seest I haue escaped my sixty third being the com­mon climactericall of all old men.

SECT. 2. The second is drawne from the age, of Matri­mony and Generation which among the Ancients was fully as forward as ours now is if not more timely.

FOR the better clearing of which poynt, it shall not be amisse somewhat farther to insist vpon the age of Generation and Mar­riage, which among the Ancients was both in opinion held, and in practise proued to be the same or little different from that which amongst vs is in vse at this day. The third councell of Carthage or­dained that publicke readers in the Church cum ad annos pubertatis vene­rint aut cogantur vxores ducere aut continentiam profiteri, when they came Cap. 19. to yeares of puberty, should be forced either to marry or vow chastity; and Quintilian of his owne wife professeth that hauing borne him two sonnes, she died, Nondum expleto aetatis vndevicesimo anno being not yet Proem. Lib. 6. full one and twenty years of age. Mulieres statim ab anno decimo quarto, à [Page 164] à viris Dominae vocantur, saith Epictetus: women no sooner passe foure­teene, En [...]irid. c. 55. but presently they haue giuen them from men, or from their hus­bands the title of Mistresses. The Digest. l. 9. de Spons. Civill Lawes allowed a woman marriage at twelue, so did the. Burdorf. Sy­nag. Iud 3. Iewish Talmud and the Lancelot. l. 2. tit. 11. Canons of the Church, 2 Oper, & Dierum. Hesiod at fifteene, De Spartana Re [...]up. Xenophon and the E [...]ucho. Act 2: sc: 3: Comaedian at sixteene, anni sedecem fios ipse, Polit: 7: 16: Aristotle at eighteene, 5 de Repub: & 6 de Legibus Tranquillus in Claudio, c. 23: Plato at twenty: The rea­son of the difference I take to be this: The Lawes would not permit them to marrie sooner, & Plato held it not fitte they should stay longer. And as wee commonly are both ripe for marriage, and marrie about the same yeares the Ancients did, so men for the most part leaue beget­ting, and women bearing of children about the same time as they did.

Tiberius made a Law, knowne by the name of Lex Papia, by which he forbad de such men as were past sixty, or women past fiftie to marrie, as being insufficient for generation. To which Lactantius out of Seneca seemes to allude, thus jesting at the Ethnickes touching their great God Iupiter. Quare apud Poetas salacissimus Iupiter desijt liberos tollere, vtrum Lib: 1: diuin: in­stit. cap. 16. sexagenarius factus, & ei Lex Papia fibulam imposuit? How comes it to passe that in your Poets the lecherous Iupiter begets no more children, is hee past sixtie, & restrained by the Papian Law? Yet this Law by the Emperour Claudius in part, but by Iustinian (almost fiue hundred yeares L: Sa [...]inus 27: c: de [...]upt. after) was fully repealed as insufficient, in asmuch as men after that age were, and still are found to be sufficient for that act; Seldome indeede it is that men beget after seaventy, or women beare after fiftie; and the same was long since both observed & recorded by the principall both Secretarie & great Register of Nature in his time, adding farther that men commonly left begetting at sixtie fiue, & women bearing at fortie fiue: Aristrt: bist: A­ni [...] l: 5: c. 14. Rom: 4: 19. When Abrahams body was now dead in regard of generation, he was short of 100. Indeede Plutarch reports of Cato Maior, that hee begat a sonne at eightie: & Pliny of Masinissa, after eightie six: but they both 7. 14. report it as a wonder, neither want there presidents in this age to pa­rallell either of them.

I well know that the accusation is common, & perchaunce in part not vnjust, that men now a dayes generally marrie sooner then their Ancestours did, which is made to be one of the chiefe causes of our supposed shorter liues: but that many of them abstained not so long from marriage as wee now commonly doe, it may be euidenced by these following examples, drawn from the Oracles of sacred writ. There descended from Abraham in the space of foure hundred yeares and little more, & from Iaacob and his sonnes, within 200 or thereabout, aboue six hundred thousand men, beside children and those who died in the interim, and were slaine by the Egyptians: which wonderfull mul­tiplication Exod. 12. 37. within the compasse of that time, should in reason argue that they married timely. In the forty sixth of Genesis, Moses descri­bing old Iaacobs journey downe into Egypt, tells vs that the number of Gen. 46. 26. persons springing from his loynes, which accompanied him in that journey, were sixty six soules, and not content with the grosse summe hee specifies the particulars, among which the sonnes of Iudah are na­med [Page 165] to bee Er, & Onan, & Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah; (but Er and Onan, saith the text, died in the land of Canaan) and the sonnes of Pha­rez v. 12. were Hezron, and Hamul; so that he begat Pharez vpon Thamar his daughter in law after the death of his eldest sonnes Er and Onan, who according to the Law had married her successiuely, and Pharez begat Hezron and Hamul, and yet at this time was Iudah himselfe but forty Gen. 38. v. 18. foure yeares of age at most, as appeares by this, that Ioseph was then but thirty nine, sixteene he was when he was sold by his brethren, & twen­ty Gen. c. 37. 41. 45. three yeares after, was his fathers journey into Egypt. Now it is e­vident that Iudah was but foure yeares elder then Ioseph, the one being borne in the eleuenth yeare of their Fathers abode in Mesopotamia, and the other after the expiration of the fourteenth: In the compasse then of forty foure yeares or thereabout, had Iudah sonnes which were Gen. c. 29. 30. married, namely Er & Onan, after that himselfe by mistake begets ano­ther sonne vpon their wife, viz: Pharez, who had likewise two sonnes at this time when Iaacob went downe into Egypt. S. Augustine is I con­fesse much perplexed in the loosing of this knot; and so is Pererius trea­ding in his steps: They both flying for the saluing of the Text to an Quest: 128: in Genes: Comment: in 38: g [...]n: quest: 1: Anticipation in the storie, as if some of those who are named by Moses to haue descended with Iaacob into Egypt, had beene both be­gotten & borne long after his setling there: But this glosse seeming to Pareus somewhat hard, (as in truth it is) he resolues the doubt, by ma­king both Iudah, & Er, & Onan, and Pharez to marrie all of them at the Comment: in 38 g [...]n. pa [...]e 1. entrance of their fourteenth yeare, which in the ordinary course of na­ture both then was, and still is the yeare of pubertie, and then thus con­cludes hee: In his omnibus nihil coactum aut contortum, nihil quod non con­sueto naturae ordine fieri potuerit, vt nec miracula fingere sit opus, nec filios Pharez qui in descensu numerantur in Aegypto demum natos asserere sit neces­se: In all this there is nothing strained or wrested, nothing but may well be done in the ordinary course of nature, so as we need not either fly As doe the Iewe. in the Sederolam, making Er to marry at 8, & Perez to beget a son at 9. to miracles, or affirme that the sonnes of Pharez, who are ranked in the number of those who descended with Iaacob, were afterward borne in Egypt. And with Pareus heerein accords the learned D [...]iure Connu­biorum, c: 20: Sect. 3. Arnisaeus, (some small difference betweene them in the calculation of yeares set apart) wondering that two such great Clarkes, as Augustine & Pererius should trouble themselues so much about so slender a difficultie, not conside­ring, as it seemes, the Examples of the like or more timely marriages, recorded in holy Scripture. Whereof we haue a notable one in the same Chapter of Benjamin, who at the same time is made the father of ten sonnes, and yet was he then but twenty three or twenty foure yeares of v. 21. age; being borne in the hundred and sixth yeare of his father, which was the yeare before the selling of Ioseph. Dina by the testimony of Apud Eusebeum l. 9 de praeparat. Euangel. c. vlt. commentar. in 34. Gen. Nicephorus ex Euodio, 2. 3. 2▪ Kings. 22. 1. Polyhistor, when shee was rauished and sued vnto for marriage by Si­chem was but tenne yeares of age, and by the computation of Caietan but foureteene, of Pererius but fifteene or sixteene at vtmost. The bles­sed Virgine when shee brought forth our Saviour, but fifteene. Some­what more euident is that of Iosiah, who was but thirty nine yeares old when he died, eight he was when he began to reigne, and hee reigned [Page 166] thirty one; yet was Eliakim his sonne twenty fiue yeares old when he be­gan to reigne, being by Pharaoh Neco substituted in the place of his Cap. 23. 36. brother Iehoahaz, after he had reigned three moneths; so that Iosiah by just computation could not well exceede foureteene yeares of age, when he was first married: But that of Ahaz is yet more remarkeable, who liued but thirty six yeares in the whole, twenty yeares old was hee when he began to reigne, and he reigned sixteene yeares; yet was his 2. King. 16. 2. sonne Hezekiah, who immediatly succeeded him, twenty fiue yeares old Cap. 18. 2. when he began to reigne: By which account Ahaz was married, and be­gat Hezekiah at eleuen, or before. And though Functius in his Chrono­nologie, moued with the strangenes heereof, would make Hezekiah the Legall, not the naturall sonne of Ahaz, by adoption, not by generation, and Iunius in his annotations referre those wordes; twenty yeares old was he when he began to reigne, to Iothan the father of Ahaz; yet heerein they both stand alone, aswell against reason, as the ordinary phrase of Scrip­ture and streame of interpreters. S. Hierome in his epistle to Vitalis, to Epist. 132. make it good, hath recourse to Gods Omnipotencie, Neque enim valet na­tura, saith he, contra naturoe Dominum: And againe, Quòd pro miraculo fit; legem Naturae facere non potest: That which it pleaseth God to worke supernaturally as a miracle, may not be held for the ordinary law of Nature. Yet himselfe in the same Epistle alleages the example of Sa­lomon to the same purpose: And another more strange then that; to the relation whereof he prefixes this solemne preface; Audiui, Domi­no teste, non mentior, I haue heard, God knowes I faine it not, that a cer­taine nurse, hauing the education of an exposed child committed to her charge, who lay with her, being now of the age of tenne yeares, and The like story hath Gregory in his Dialo­gues, touching a child of nine yeares old prouoked to incontinencie by the nurse, overcharged with wine, shee was found with child by him.

I will conclude this reason with the example of Solomon, who is com­monly thought to come to the Crowne at twelue yeares of age, and the Scripture assures vs that he reigned but forty, by which account he died at the age of fifty two, which is the most receiued opinion aswell of the 1 King. 11. 42. Iewish Rabbines, as the Christian Doctours: yet was Rehoboam his sonne and successour forty one yeares old when he began to raigne: so that but an ele [...]en yeares at most, are left for Solomon when he begat him: Such 1 King. 14. 21. matches as these in this age, I thinke can hardly be matched neither in truth doe I hold it fit they should.

SECT. 3. The third is borrowed from the age which the Ancients assigned for charge and imployment in publique affaires, Ecclesiasticall, Ci­vill and Military, they were therevnto both sooner admit­ted, and therefrom sooner discharged then men now adayes vsually are, which should in reason argue, that they likewise vsually fi­nished the course of their life sooner.

ANother reason tending to the same purpose may not vnfitly bee drawne from the age which the Ancients assigned for charge and imployment in publique affaires. They were therevnto assoone ad­mitted and sooner discharged then men now adayes vsually are, which should in reason argue that they likewise ran their race & finished their course sooner, in asmuch as quod citius crescit, citius finitur, that which Baldus. sooner comes to ripenes and perfection, hastens sooner to rottennes & dissolution. Now publique charges may well be distributed into Ecclesia­sticall, Civill, and Military, of the Church, of the State, and of the warres: I will begin with the Ministeriall offices of the Church, and therein with the Principall, which is that of the Bishop: Thomas Becket was chosen Archbishop of Canterbury at the age of forty foure yeares, as witnesseth Mathew Parker (who succeeded him in that See) in his booke of the liues of the Archbishops intituled Antiquitates Britannicae: Is qui ad Episco­palem dignitatem promovendus est, annos natus esse debet non minus triginta, nam ea aetate Dominum & baptizatum, & concionatum fuisse legimus, saith Lancelot in his Institutions of the Canon Law. He who is to bee advanced to the dignity of a Bishop, ought not to be lesse then thirty yeares old, in­asmuch Lib. 1. tit. 7. as we read that our Lord was baptized and preached at that age. Whereas now adayes with vs seldome is any preferred to that place till he be past forty or fifty. Venerable Bede our famous Countreyman Malmesberien­sis de gestis An­gli, Reg. lib. 1. Histor. Eccles. l. 6. c. 2. who liued about eight hundred yeares agoe, was by hisowne testimony made Deacon at nineteene. And Origen by the testimony of Eusebi­us, Catechist in Alexandria at eighteene yeares of age. But that which to this point is most memorable in the exercise of sacred functions, is that by the commandement of God himselfe, the Levites after the age of Numb. 8. 25 fifty yeares were exempted from the execution of their office, which notwithstanding was nothing so painefull as that of the Ministery of the Gospell, if faithfully discharged. Where by Levites it may well be that not only those who serued in inferiour offices vnder the Priests, but the Priests themselues as being of the tribe of Levi are to be vnderstood, to which purpose M. Nettles in his answere to the Iewish part of M. Sel­dens History of Tithes hath vouched the Rabbines, as named Aben Ezra on Leviticus 16. every Priest is a Levite, but euery Levite is not a Priest. And Ioshuah Ben Levi mentioning that text, Numb. 18: 26. Speake vnto the Le­vites, doth vnder the name of Levites vnderstand also Priests, farther ad­ding, that in foure and twenty places the Priests are called Levites, which be­ing [Page 168] so; I see no reason but that from thence we may safely inferre, that in likelyhood the same space of yeares was assigned to the Priest, aswell for his entrance vpon his office, as his discharge from it, specially consi­dering that his place was of an higher nature.

Now for the warres. The Gaules put their sonnes in armes, and prepa­red Des estals & emp [...]res. Tac. annal. 13 2 them to warre at foureteene. Cneius Pompeius at eighteene yeares of age, and Caesar Octavianus at nineteene sustained civill warres. The Iewes indeed ordinarily levied their souldiers from twenty yeares vpward, as plainly appeares in the first of Numbers and diverse other places. But V. 3 the Romanes from seuenteene, which by Gellius out of Tubero is reported to haue beene the practise and prescript of Servius Tullius one of their Lib. 10. 28 Kings. The same was afterwards confirmed by the Gracchi, Gracchi lex iuniorem annis septendecem militem non legi. The Gracchian Law ordained Plut. in Gracchis that none should be levied vnder seuenteene. Yet in times of Necessity they came vnder those yeares, as in the second Punick warre, Tum decre­tum, saith Livy, vt Tribuni plebis ad populum ferrent, vt qui minores annis 17. Sacramento dixissent, ijs perinde stipendia procederent: ac si 17 annorum Lib. 25 aut maiores milites facti essent. It was then decreed that the Tribunes should tell the people that such as being vnder seuenteene had taken their military oath, should in like sort receiue their pay as if they had beene full seuenteene or past. The Graecians indeed entred vpon their military service somwhat latter, but were discharged from it sooner, they tooke vp souldiers for the warres at eighteene, but discharged them at forty or thereabout. We finde in Demosthenes, that the state being indangered, they were all commaunded to tugg at the oare, vsque ad eos qui 45 anno­rum 3. Oly [...]th. essent, euen to those that were forty fiue: vpon which Vlpian the Scholiast commenteth, that this was an vnusuall practice, quia Lex apud Athenienses ad annum quadragesimum duntaxat, iubet militare, exorsos à de­cimo octavo, because the Lawes among the Athenians commaunds men to serue in the warres onely till forty, entring vpon the service at eigh­teene. And it should seeme Macrobius aimes at this, discoursing of the efficacy of the Septenary number, Nonnullarum Rerumpub. is mos est, vt post Lib. 1. in [...] [...]. sextam hebdomaden ad militiam nemo cogatur, in plurimis detur remissio post septimam, it is the custome of some states, that after the sixth weeke no man should be forced to serue in the warres, and in the most they are discharged after the seuenth: where by weekes he vnderstands weekes of yeares, and in the sixth weeke seemes to point at the practice of the Athe­nian state, in the seuenth to that of the Romane. Neither the Romane nor the Graecian went commonly beyond forty fiue, as Dyonisius affirmeth, or [...] de Mi­ [...] [...] [...]: 1 [...]: 2 Sir Henry Sa­ [...] in his view of military m [...]ters forty sixe, as Polybius: And euen in dangerous times not beyond fifty, Lex à quinquagesimo anno militum non cogit, à sexagesimo Senatorem non citat, saith Seneca in his last Chapter de brevitate vitae, the Law doth not force a Souldier to serue after fifty, nor a Senatour after sixty.

By the testimony of Polyhistor, and the computation both of Caietan and Pererius, Symeon and Levi, when they so fiercely and desperatly set [...]: 34 vpon the Sichemites, little or nothing surpassed the number of twenty yeares, in somuch that Pererius breakes out into this admiration: Subit animum meum vehementer admirari, praeferocem istorum animum, qui vix [Page 169] dum adolescentiam egressitam atrox facinus & ani [...]ò conceperint, & auda­cissime exsèquentes perfecerint: I cannot but ex [...]dingly marvell at their wonderfull fiercenes, that being scarce past their youth, they should in their mindes conceiue so bloody a fact, & put it in execution so boldly. King Edward the fourth hauing beene Conquerour in eight or nine se­verall set battailes, died at the age of forty one, and our famous King Ar­thur Comines. (if we may beleeue Ninnius) hauing victoriously fought [...] [...] gaue vp the ghost at the same age. Iulian hauing been for diverse yeares a great Commaunder in the warres was slaine at one and thirty; and it Socrates in hist. [...]: 6. 47. is well knowne that the Great Alexander had conquered in a manner the knowne World at thirty three. Vpon the consideration whereof Iu­lius Cicero. S. Philip. Suctotonius. [...]. cap. 7. Cap. 88. Caesar beholding his statue in the Temple of Hercules at Cales, fetcht a deepe sigh, as being ashamed that at that age himselfe had atchieued no memorable act, yet was himselfe but 56 when he was slaine.

Lastly, for the administratiō of Ciuill affaires in the state, Romulus first King of the Romans hauing raigned (saith Plutarch in the very endof his life) 38 years dyed at fifty, by which accoūt he must begin his ragne at 12 somewhat too yong (a man would thinke) for a King that was to lay the foundation of such an Empire. Cicero by the testimony of Cornelius Nepos (who was his familiar freind, and wrote his life) pleaded publike­ly for Sextus Roscius at 13, and by the testimony of Aulus Gellius Euripe­des 15. 20. wrote one of his tragidies, Natus annos duo de viginti, at eighteene yeares of age. Iosephus witnesseth of him selfe annos novendecem natus ad Rempub: caepi me dare, I began to apply myselfe to the affaires of the In vita s [...]a. weale publique, being but yet nineteene yeares of age. And Moses of Ioseph the Patriarch, that when he had in a manner the whole goverment of Egipt committed to his charge by Pharaoh, was but thirty yeares old; Gen. 41. 46. 2 Sam. 5. 4. which was likewise Davids age▪ when he began to raigne. Augustus entred vpon the Consulship at twenty, and receiued virilem togam at six­teene saith Suetouius in his life. But Aurelius Antoninus a yeare yonger as Spartianus affirmes, by which ornament or habit, they were judged fit Cap. 8 & 26. for publique imployment in the common wealth. And Laevinus Tor­rentius in his Annotations vpon that place, observeth that even the lawes themselues at that time reputed men fit for action in state affaires at sea­uenteene, at which age Nero was chosen Emperour: Tertullian comes Suct. cap. 8. much lower, tempus etiam Ethnici observant, vt ex lege naturae jura suis aeta­tibus reddant: Nam foeminas à duodecem annis, masculos à duobus amplius ad De vela [...] virginibus. negotia mittunt. The Ethnicks so obserue their times, that from the law of Nature they dispose of their ages in Civill affaires: for women they imploy after twelue, and men two yeares after that. And as they were reputed sooner fit for action then wee: so likewise sooner vnfit: cum sexaginta annos habebant, tum erant à publicis negotijs liberi atque expe­diti, Varro de vita. Pop. Romani, teste [...]. & otiosi: when they once came to sixty then were they freed from all publique seruice, and left to their ease and rest. In somuch as it grew to a Proverbe amongst the Latins, Sexagenarios de ponte deijci oportere, that men of sixty deserued to be cast from the bridge, as being vnprofi­table for the common-wealth after that age. And from thence were they commonly called Depontani which was vpon this ocasion taken [Page 170] vp, as witnesseth Festus. Quo tempore primum per pontem coeperunt com [...] ­iijs Ad verbum Sexagenarij. suffragiūferre, iunio [...]es conclamavêre, ut de ponte deijcerentur sexagenarij; quia nullo publico munerefungerentur. at what time they held their assem­blyes & gaue their suffrages vpon the bridge, the yonger sort cryed out with one voyce, that such as were sixty should be throwne from the bridge, in as much as they had no publique charge. To which outcry of theirs Ovid alludes.

Pars pi [...]tat, vt ferrent juvenes suffragia Soli,
Pontibus infirmos praecipitasse senes.
5 Fastorum▪
That yonger men might voices giue alone,
The elder were downe from the bridges throwne.
Aelianus lib. 4. c. 1.

This motion, the Barbiccians at seventy, in effect put in execution, [...] ­nes septaagesimum annum egressos interficiunt, viros mactando, mulieres vero stangulando: they make away all that are past seaventy, sacrificing the men and strangling the women. Now then since the age assigned by the Ancients not onely for marriage, but likewife for their entrance vpon, & discharge from publique imployment, aswell in the Church and State as in the warres, was little or nothing different from that which is both allowed and practised at this day, (saue that they seemed to haue beene more indulgent and favourable to themselues then now we are) what reason haue wee to imagine that the length and duration of time which they vsually liued, was different from ours?

I will close vp this chapter with an observatiō or two taken frō the Municipall lawes of our own Land, which account prescription or custome by the practising of a thing time out of minde (as they call it) and that time they confine to the same number of 60 yeares, as formerly they haue done, which could not stand with reason or justice were there such a notable and sensible abatement in the age of man as is pretended. And againe: Our Ancestors for many revolutions of ages in their Leases or other instruments of conveyance commonly valued three liues but at one and twenty yeares in account in Law. Whereas now adayes they are valued by the ablest Lawyers at twenty sixe, twenty eight, yea thirty yeares: Whether it were that the warres and pestilentiall diseases then consu­med more, I cannot determine, but me thinkes it should in reason argue thus much, that our liues at leastwise are not shortned in regard of theirs, which is asmuch as I desire to be graunted, and more then is commonly yeelded, though (as I conceiue) vpon no sufficient ground denyed; and so I passe from the age of men to the consideration of their strength and stature.

CAP. 3. Containing a comparison betwixt the Gyants mentioned in Scripture both among themselues, and with those of latter ages.

SECT. 1. Of the admirable composition of mans Body, and that it can not be sufficiently prooved that Adam as he was the first, so he was likewise the tallest of men, which in reason sholud be, were there in truth any such perpetuall decrease in mans stature as is pretended,

AS the great power of Almighty God doth shine foorth and shew it selfe in the numberlesse variety of the parts of mans body: so doth his wonderfull goodnesse in their excellent vse, and his singu­lar wisedome in their orderly disposition, sweet harmony and just sym­metrie, aswell in regard of themselues, as in reference each to other, but chiefly in the resultance of the beautifull and admirable frame of the whole body. The consideration whereof made the Royall Prophet to cry Psal. 139. 13 out: I will praise thee, for I am fearefully and wonderfully made, in thy booke were all my members written, and curiously wrought, marvailous are thy works, and that my soule knoweth right well- This proportion is in all respects so euen and correspondent, that the measures of Temples, of dwelling Vitruvius l. 3. c. 1 houses, of Engins, of ships were by Architects taken from thence, and those of the Arke it selfe too, as it is probably thought. For as the Arke was three hundred Cubits in length, fifty in bredth, and thirty in heigth, August. l. 15. de Ciu. Dei c. 26. & ad Faus [...]um man. 12. 14. & Amb. de Noe & arca. cap. 6 so the body of man rightly shaped, answers therevnto. The length from the crowne of the head to the sole of the foot, and breadth from side to side, and thicknes from back to breast carrying the proportion of three hundred, and fifty, and thirty each to other: so that looke what propor­tion fifty hath to three hundred, which is sixe to one, the same hath the breadth of mans body to his heigth or length. And what proportion thirty hath to three hundred, which is ten to one, the same hath the thicknes to his length and bredth. Nay some haue obserued 300 minu­ta (which I take to be barley cornes, the fourth part of an inch or there­about Laurentius A­na [...]. l. 1, c. 20 Lomatius l. 1. c. 7) to make vp the length of a mans body of just stature, and conse­quently, fifty in the bredth, and thirty the thicknes, answereable to the severall numbers of the Cubits in the severall measures of the Arke.

Now to our present purpose, as God and Nature, (or rather God by Nature, his instrument and handmaid) hath fashioned the body of Man in those proportions, so hath he limited the dimensions thereof, (as like­wise those of all other both vegetable, sensitiue and vnsensible Crea­tures) within certaine bounds,

Quos vltra citraque nequit consistere

So that though the dimensions of mens bodies be very different in re­gard [Page 172] of severall Climats & Races, yet was there neuer any race of men found to the bignesse of mountaines or whales, or the littlenesse of flies or aunts, because in that quantity, the members cannot vsefully and com­modiously, either dispose of themselues, or exercise those functions, to which they were by their maker assigned, True indeede it is, that both history of former ages, and experience of latter times teach vs, that a great inequality there is, and hath beene: but that since the fi [...] [...]reati­on of man there should be any such perpetuall, vniversall, an [...] constant decrease and diminution, as is pretended, that shall I never beleeue.

For then in reason should the first Man haue beene a Gyant of Gyants, the hughest and most monstrous Gyant that euer the world beheld, and vpon this ground it seemes, (though faisely supposed) Iohannes Lucidus Lib. 1. de emen­datione Tempo­rum cap. 4. v. vit. labours to proue him so indeede, from that passage in the fourteenth of Iosua, according to the Vulgar Translation: Nomen Hebron ante vocabatur Cariah-Arbe, Adam maximus ibi inter Enakim situs est, which may thus be rendred: Adam the greatest of Gyants lies there buried: And this fancie of Lucidus is countenanced by that fable of the Iewish Rabbies, re­ported by Moses bar Cephas, who supposing Paradise to be di [...]oyned Lib. de Paradi­so. from this world, by the interposition of the Ocean, tell vs that Adam being cast out of it, waded thorow the Ocean to come into this, by which account his stature should rather be measured by miles then by cubits: But as Lucidus by this opinion crosseth the streame of Antiquity (S. Ierome only, & some few others his followers excepted) holding that In mat. 27. & in Ephes 5. the first Adam was buried, not in Hebron, but in that place where the se­cond Adam triumphed ouer death, so doth he likewise by following Origenes, A­thanasius, Basili­us. Epiphanius Chrisostomus ex Graecis: ex La­t [...]is the Vulgar Translation corrupt the Hebrew originall, which is thus to be rendred: Nomen autem Hebronis nomen fuerat Kiriath-arbah, is fuerat ho­mo inter Anakeos maximus: So that the word Adam or homo, is to bee referred not to the first man, but to Arbah, the first founder as is thought Tertullianus, Cy­prianus siue qui scripsit de operi­bus Cardinali­bus, Ambrosius Augustinus at­que alibi eti [...]m▪ ipse Hicronimus nempe epist. 17: ad Paul & E­ustoch: of that Cittie; and therevpon our last Translation reades it thus: The name of Hebron before was Kiriath-arbah, which Arbah was a great man among the Anakims. Besides, the word Adam euen in the Vulgar Translati­on it selfe, is not alwayes vnderstood as proper to the first man, but com­mon, as homo in Latine, or man in English: And yet to graunt the word in that place to be vnderstood of the first man, and that he was there buri­ed; well might he be called the Greatest, yet notsomuch in regard of any excessiue vastnesse in the dimentions of his bodie, as because he was the headspring and fountaine of mankind, or in respect of that originall justice, with which before his fall hee stood invested. There is no ne­cessitie then, to beleeue that the first man was the tallest of men, nay ra­ther as he came short of many that followed after in age, and number of yeares, so it may safely be thought, that he exceeded them not in stature or dimentions of body; there being often found in the Crea­tures a reciprocall corespondence, betwixt their durations and dimenti­ons, as among the Graecians, the same word signifies both; whence some translate [...] Ephes: 4: 13: Luc: 2. 52: it age, and some stature: So that those Patriarches of the first age, who by speciall dispensation liued longest, may well be conceiued by vertue of the same dispensation, to haue had a stature and length of [Page 173] body in some sort, sutable to the lasting and length of their liues.

SECT. 2. What those Gyants were which are mentioned in the 6 of Genesis, & that succeeding a­ges till Davids time afforded the like.

YEt the first mention that holy Scripture makes of Gyants is in the sixth of Genesis, not long before the flood, but long after the Creati­on, v: 4: There were Gyants in the earth in those dayes, saith the text; and al­so after that, when the sonnes of God came in vnto the daughters of men, and thy beare children vnto them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renowne. The Originall word is Nephelim, derived from Na­phal, which signifies to fall, whence Iunius referres their name to their Eccles: 16: 7: defection & apostacie from religion and the worship of the true God. Cal­vin to the falling of others before them by reason of their Eccles: 23: 4 excessiue pride, cruelty, and oppression. Philo in his booke, which he hath purpose­ly composed de Gygantibus, to their owne falling from piety and godli­nes to carnall thoughts and earthly desires. From which he fetcheth their name in Greeke: S. Cyrill about the beginning of his ninth booke against Iulian, discoursing of this very passage of Moses, thus com­ments vpon it. Mos est divinae Scripturae Gigantes vocare agrestes & fero­ces & robustos: Nam de Persis & Medis Iudaeam devastaturis, dixit Deus per Isayam, Gigantes venient vt impleant furorem meum. It is the phrase of holy writ to call such Gyants as are in behaviour rough and rude, wild, cap: 13: and barbarous: So speakes God by the Prophet Isayah, of the Medes and Persians, ordained for the laying wast of Iudea; Gyants shall come and execute my fury vpon you. So that if we rest in any of these interpretati­ons, there is no necessity we should conceiue these Gyants to haue ex­ceeded other men in stature. Nay, S. Chrysostome seemes to deny it, Gygantes à Scriptura dici opinor non invsitatum hominum genus aut insoli­ta [...] formam, sed Heroas & viros fortes & hellicosos: I thinke they are in Scripture called Gyants, not any vncouth kind of men for shape or feature, but such as were Heroycall and warlike: Which exposi­tion of his, hath in trueth some ground in the latter part of the same verse, where Moses seemes to vnfold himselfe, thus describing those whom immediatly before he had called Gyants, the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renowne.

On the other-side Cassianus, Ambrose, and Theodoret are as express, Cass: Coll: S: c: 21 Am [...]. de Noe & Arca c: 4: Theod. in Gen: qu: 48: that by Gyants, Moses there vnderstood men of an huge and vast pro­portion of body: But for mine owne part, I see not but all these inter­pretations, (Chrysostomes onely excepted) may well enough stand toge­ther and be accorded. These Gyants being such as the Interlineary Glosse briefely but pithily describes, immanes corpore, superbos animo, viribus praevalidos & inconditos moribus: Gyants then they were not onely in re­gard of their pride, their tyrannie, their incivility, and infidelity, but like wise and that doubtles most properly in respect of the monstrous enormi­ty [Page 174] of their bodies: most of the former being in likelihood occasioned by this latter.

Now as this is the first place that wee reade of Gyants not long be­fore the flood, (which should argue they were taller and stronger then any that went before them) so it is not the last, but in all times wee may trace them thorow the history of succeeding ages. From whence Rea­son collects, that euen in regard of these irregular prodigious birthes, for ought we finde in Scripture, Nature hath suffered no apparent or sensible decay. Of this stamp it seemes was Nymrod, who hath therefore this Character set vpon him, that he was Robustus Venator coram Domino, Gen: 10: 9: a mighty hunter before the Lord: There were some likewise found of this excessiue stature in the time of Abraham, of Moses, of Iosuah, and of David, whom wee haue registred vnder the names of Rephaims, Zu­zims, Gen: 14: 5: Num: 13: 33 Deut: 2: 20: 21 Ios: 11: [...]1: Amos: 2: 9: Zanzummins, Emims, and Anakims. Also the Prophet Amos found among the Amorites men of Gyant-like stature, whose height he compareth to Cedars and their strength to Oakes. Particularly it is no­ted in the third of Deuteronomy of Ogge King of Basan foure hundred yeares after Abraham, that his bedde of yron kept and shewed as a monument in Rabbah was nine cubits long and foure broad: And surely if v: 11: his stature were answerable to the dimensions of his bed, hee was one of the greatest Gyants that wee any where reade of, not only in sacred but in any warrantable prophane story. For whereas nine cubits make vp thirteene foote and an halfe, if wee should allow a foote and halfe for the length of his bed-steed at both the ends beyond his body; yet there still remaines twelue foote, which is double to a iust stature. And though I am not ignorant that both the Chaldee Paraphrase, and Com­plutensian Bible following it, render it, In cubito eiusdem Regis, as if the measure were to be taken by the Cubit of King Ogge himselfe; yet Arias Montanus and Tremellius following the originall, render it, in cubito vi­ri, or virili; and Iunius giues this note vpon it, idest iustae & communis mensurae, qualem mensuram cubitalem quisque Artifex observare solet: that is, of the iust and common measure, such as Artificers vsually obserue in their cubits, and such as himselfe in the third of Iosuah translates, no­tam mensuram, the ordinary knowne measure. And to say truth, the v: 4: measuring of Ogge by his owne cubit had beene both to make his sta­ture altogeter vncertaine, and the commensurations of his body most disproportionable, there being no man, whose body is justly framed, who is full foure of his owne cubits in length; neither had such a shape bin only disproportionable, but exceeding weake, aswell for offence, as defence, whereas he is described as a mighty man, and of wonderfull strength. Lastly, if we shall imagine him to haue beene a transcendent Gyant, and yet measure him by his owne cubit, double to the ordinary, his length will then arise to twenty foure foote at least, a stature most incredible. After this in Davids time we reade that Goliath the Philistin of Gath, 1: Sam: 17: 4 was a Gyant of six cubits and a spanne long: Neither doe I remember that in sacred Scriptures we haue the measure of any precisely observed, saue of him onely: the armour which he wore weighed fiue thousand shekels of brasse, the sheft of his speare was like a weavers beame, and his speare [Page 175] head weighed six hundred shekels of yron: Also in tho second of Samuell, Cap: 21: 19: there is mention of a brother to this [...], a man of like stature and strength: And of two [...], the one of which was slaine by Iehona­than Davids Nephew, hee who had twelue fingers and as many toes, v: 20: 21. foure and twenty in number. And that before these, Sampson was of surpassing strength and of a stature answerable the [...], no man need to doubt, considering he tore a Lyon as it had be [...]o a kidde, slew thirty of the Philistins at once, and after that a thousand more of them with Iud: 14: & 16. the iaw-bone of an asse: And lastly he tooke the gates of Assah, and the two postes, & lifted them away with the barres, and put them vpon his shoulders, and carried them to the toppe of the mountaine before He­bron.

SEC. 3. That latter times haue also afforded the like both at home and abroad, speci­ally in the Indies, where they liue more according to nature.

THE like may be said of all succeeding ages downe to the pre­sent times; It is the confession of Cassanion in his booke of Gy­ants; No [...] vno tantum seculo aut altero visi sunt; sed fermè ab initio mundi ad Davidis vsque tempora propagatum id genus hominum magnitudi­ne prorsus admiranda. They haue not beene seene in one onely or two a­ges, but almost from the beginning of the world euen to Davids time hath that kinde of men of a monstrous bignesse beene deduced. S. Au­gustine goes farther, Quasi vero Corpora hominum modum nostrum longe ex­cedentia De Civit: Dei, 15. 23. non etiam nostris temporibus nata sint: as if some bodies of men much exceeding our ordinary stature were not likewise borne in these our times. And yet more fully in the ninth Chapter of the same booke; Nunquam fermè defuerunt qui modum aliorum plurimum excederint; they haue almost at no time beene wanting who haue much exceeded the ordinary stature.

I will insist onely vpon the most signall instances drawne from the testimonies of the most approved Authours. In the Gospells or writings of the Apostles wee reade not of any, they intending, matters of grea­ter, weight and consequence: But Pliny tells vs, that during the reigne of Claudius the Emperour, a mighty man one Gabbara by name was Lib. 7. c. 16. brought out of Arabia to Roome, nine foote hith was he, and as many inches. There were likewise in the time of Augustus Caesar two others, na­med Pusio and Secondilla higher then Gabbara by halfe a foote, whose bo­dies were preserved & kept for a wonder within the Salustian gardens. Maximinus the Emperour, as Iulius Capitolinus affirmes, exceeded eight foote; And Andronichus Comninus tenne, as Nicetas. In the dayes of Theodosius, there was one in Syria, (as Nicephorus reports) fiue cubits high and an hand-breadth. Eginhardus and Krantzius affirme that Charlemai­gne Lib. 12. c 37. was seven foot high: But in that they adde of his own feet, they both [Page 176] leaue his heighth altogether vncertaine, (as was before said in the des­cription of the stature of Ogge) and his body very disproportionable, there being no man whose body is rightly featured, who exceedes fix of his Vitruvius, l. 3 c: 1. owne feete.

But to draw neerer to our owne times: Iulius Scaliger hath left it vp­on record, that at his being at Millane, he there saw in a publique hos­pitall Exercit. 263. a young man of so monstrous an heighth, that he could not stand vpright, he was therefore layd vpon two beds, the one ioyned long­wise vnto the other, both which he filled with his length. Goropius Be­canus Physitian to the Lady Mary, Queene of Hungary, regent of th De Gygante­ [...]. Netherlands, and sister to the Emperour Charles the fifth, assures vs, thae himselfe saw a woman tenne foote high, and that within fiue miles of hit dwelling, there was then to be seene a man almost of the same lengths wherevpon his assertion is, Audacter affirmamus, wee boldly affirme: that men in former ages were commonly nothing taller then now they, are: Their Gyants were of six or seaven cubits high, & so are ours: nay hee goes farther, Considenter de philosophiae preceptis statuimus, nihil in hu­mana statura ab inevnte mundi aetate immutatum esse: Wee confidently auerre out of the grounds of Philosophie, that since the Creation of the world nothing is altered in the stature of man-kind.

But to returne to the Gyants of latter ages, Iohn Cassanion, who seemes to haue vndertaken his treatise of Gyants purposely to censure and con­fute Goropius, yet mentions one himselfe commonly called the Gyant of Burdeaux, whom King Francis passing that way beheld with admirati­on, Cap. 6. commaunding he should bee of his guard: but being a pesant of a grosse spirit, not able to apply himselfe to a Courtiers life, hee soone quited his halbard, and getting away by stealth, returned to the place whence he came. An honorable person, who had seene him archer of the guard, did assure me, saith Cassanion, that he was of such an heighth as any man of an ordinary stature might goe vpright betwixt his legges when hee did stride. There is at this present to bee seene heere in Eng­land one Parsons, by trade a blacke-smith, now Porter at the Kings Court, who by iust measure is found to be no lesse then seaven foote & [...] 1614. two inches. And I heere that a Welch-man is lately entertained by the Prince in the like place, who outstrips the Smith in heighth by fiue in­ches, and yet is he still growing, so as in time he may well come vnto eight foote.

But it may well bee that in these parts of the world where luxury hath crept in together with Ciuility, there may be some diminution of strength and stature in regard of our Ancestours; yet if wee cast our eyes abroad vpon those nations which still liue according to nature, though in a fashion more rude and barbarous, we shall finde by the relation of those that haue liued among them, that they much exceede vs in sta­ture, still retaining as it seemes the vigorous constitution of their Predecessours, which should argue, that if any decay be, it is not vni­versall, and consequently not naturall, but rather adventitious and acci­dentall. For proofe heereof, to let passe the stories of Olaus Magnus touching the Inhabitants of the Northerne Climate, I will content my [Page 177] selfe with the Indies. Melchior Nunnez in his letters where he discour­seth Symon Mai [...] dierum Canicul: colloq: 2: of the affaires of China reports that in the chiefe cittie called Pag­ [...], the Porters are fifteene foote high, and in other letters written in the yeare 1555, he doth auerre that the King entertaines and feedes fiue hundred such men for Archers of his Guard. In the West Indies in the region of Chica neere the mouth of his streights; Ortelius describes a people whom he tearmes Pentagones, from their huge stature, beeing ordinarily of fiue cubits long, which makes seaven foote & an halfe; whence their countrey is knowne by the name of the land of Gyants. Mr Pretty a Gentleman of Suffolke, in his discourse of Mr Candish his voyage about Hackluit in his English voy­age. the world, beeing himselfe imployed in the same action, tells vs that measuring the print of an Indians foote in the sand, not farre from the coast of Brasil; he found it to be eighteene inches long, by which compu­tation, the Indian himselfe in proportion could be no lesse then nine foote. Cassanion likewise acknowledgeth that in the Iland of Summatra & neere the Antarticke Pole, some are found of tenne or twelue foote high. Lastly, Antony Pigafet a great traveller in his time, as testifieth Goulart, Memorables Hi stoires de nostre temps. affirmes that he had seene towards the same Pole so tall a Gyant, as o­ther tall men did not reach with their heads aboue his navell; and others beyond the streights of Magellane, which had their necks a cubit long, and the rest of their bodies answerable therevnto.

CAP. 4. More pressing Reasons to proue that for these last two or three thousand yeares, the stature of the Ancients was little or nothing different from that of the present times.

SECT. 1. The first Reason taken from the measures of the Ancients, which were proportioned to the parts of mans bodie, and in the view of them wee are first to know that they were standards, that is, for publique contracts, certaine and constant; and consequently if the graines of our barley corne, the first principle of measure be the same with theirs, as hath already beene proved, it cannot be but our ordinary measures should bee the same with theirs, and so likewise our statures.

I will not dwell vpon these lighter skirmishes, but proceede on to a more serious fight, and downeright stroakes drawne from the demon­strations of more weighty reasons, whereof the first shall be taken from the comparison of the measures of the Ancients and ours, vsed in this present age, borrowed from the body of man. It was a memora­ble saying of Protagoras, reported and repeated by Plato, that man was rerum omnium mensura, the measure of all things; he is the measure of In [...] & [...]: [Page 178] measures, the yard, the ell, the pace, the furlong, the mile, they are all mea­sured by the body of man and the parts thereof, which likewise serue for the measuring each of other. So that if they hold that Symmetrie & commodulation, (as Vitruvius calls it) which they ought from the propor­tion Lib. 3. c. 1: of the head, the hand, the cubit, the foote, the finger, nay the tooth or the least bone, may the dimēsions of the whole body be infalliblely col­lected. As Pythagoras gathered the heigth of Hercules from the propor­tion of his foote; and Pulcher a skilfull Geometrician the heigth of a Gy­ant Gellius out of Plutarch: l: 1: c: 1 (discouered in Sicily by an earth-quake) at the commaund of Tibe­rius from the proportion of his tooth, sent from thence to the Emperour Trallianus out of Apolloniu [...] de mirabilibus & l [...]ngaevis. for a tast and triall of the whole. To lay a ground then to that which I am to say, that the building which I am to raise vpon it may stand the surer, first I take it to be an vndeniable truth, that the cubit, the foote, the inch, the digit were all of them standards, that is, certaine and con­stant measures, it being not lawfull for euery man to make or take his measures in publique contracts by his owne cubit or foote, or of any whom himselfe would make choyce of, but by that which was com­mon and indifferent to all, legally & publiquely allowed: And this much not onely stands with right reason, but appeares to be true, by that Amphora Capitolina amongst the Romanes, a standing stable mea­sure, kept in the Capitoll, (with which all other measures were to ac­cord) mentioned by Iulius Capitolinus in the life of Maximinus, as also by the Romane Congius, whereof one was lately in the keeping of Cardi­nall Farnese, & is exquisitely effigiated by Vyllalpandus in the latter end of his third tome vpon the Prophet Ezekiel. Among the Iewes likewise the Law required that they should not vse or haue a double weight or measure, which could not well be avoided, except they had a common measure by which all particulars were to be regulated.

Secondly, this standard of cubits or feete was taken from the propor­tion of a man, mediae or mediocris staturae, of a middle stature, and consi­dering that both the Romane and Graecian foote consisteth of twelue in­ches, and withall that a foote is the sixth part of a mans body, it must needes follow that a man of a middle stature consisted of six foote by the standard or assise. But because it was obserued that in diuerse Cli­mates, or it may be in the same Climate in diuerse ages men varied in their stature; and consequently that the middle stature was not alway & in all places the same, they measured the digit, which is the least & last principall of measures in mans body, by barley cornes, allowing foure bar­ley cornes laid athwart for the digit, as Lucas Gauricus a great & fa­mous Mathematician in his booke of Geometrie & the parts thereof, hath truely and wisely observed, Nam etsi, saith he, ab humanis membris di­mensionu [...] partes deno [...]inari Veteres voluere placuit tamen propter humano­rum corporum inaequalitatem, à certo quodam principio exordiri, ex quo men­surae reliquae velut ex certis partibus constituerentur. Statuerunt ergo Geome­trae granum hordei transuersum, id est secundum latitudinem positum, mensu­rarum minimam. Though the Ancients haue pleased to denominate the severall parts of measures from the severall parts of mans body; yet by reason of the inequality of mens bodies, they thought it reasonable [Page 179] to take their rise from some certaine and vnvariable beginning, from whence other measures might likewise be made vp of euen and certain parts. And to this purpose did the Geometricians make the barly corne layd athwart, or according to its breadth the least and first of all other measures. And that foure of these make vp a digit, appeares by these old verses which I find in the same Author,

Quatuor ex granis digitus componitur unus
Est quater in palmo digitus quater in pede palmus.
One foot foure palmes, one palme containes
Foure digits, and one digit foure graines.

Now that the barley-corne, the (Grownsell as it were, and simplest prin­ciple of Measures) or at leastwise the fairest thereof which is vsed to that end, is the same with vs as with the Ancients, it cannot well be de­nied, if the goodnesse and fruitfulnesse of the Earth be not decayed, as I haue sufficiently prooued in a former Chapter, aswell by reason as the testimony of Columella and other graue Writers. And besides if we still Lib▪ 2: c. 9. vse the graines of barley for the weight of gold and siluer, as the An­cients did; I see no reason why wee should except against them in this case. Well then, foure graines now concurring to the making vp of a di­git, as it did in former ages, it must of necessity follow that our digit is the same with theirs, and consequently our inch, and hand-bredth, and foote, and cubit, from whence we collect that a body of sixe foot heigth according to those measures, being now accounted but a middle stature, as anciently it was, our account is still the same, and our stature at least­wise for the generall the same, as among the Ancients. And except it were so, their rules of proportion in Architecture, in lymming, in carving and the statuary Art left vs by them could availe vs little. For howbeit from them we might vnderstand what proportion each part should beare to other, yet can we not know what proportion the whole should beare, vnlesse their measures were the same with ours. But their workes in those kindes yet remaining, shew that the measure which they al­lowed for an horse or a man of a just and euen stature, are the same for proportion both with their owne rules and our standing measures vsed at this day: And at this day doe the best Architects obserue Vitruvius his measures, finding them to agree with, or very little to disagree from ours.

SECT. 2. That in particular the ordinary Hebrew Graecian and Roman measures were the same with ours or very little different.

THose Nations which haue left vs any notable Records of their se­verall sorts of measures, are to my remembrance but three: the Hebrewes, the Graecians, and the Romanes. For the first it is cleere that as they had some weights sacred or of the Sanctuary, which were the begger, and others of ordinary and common vse, which were the lesser: so were their measures; there was a speciall Cubit which con­tained an handbredth more then the vulgar, (borrowed it seemes from Ezek. 40. [...] 43. 13. [Page 180] the Persians during the Captivity of Babylon) and an ordinary, which I take to be the same with, or very little differing from ours. And this in holy writ is tearmed the Cubit of a man, and the measure of a man, that is, of a man growne vp to ripe age and perfect stature. And both Iunius (as Deut. 3. 11. Revel. 21. 17. before I observed) in his annotations on that of Deuteronomy and Ribe­ra in his Commentaries on the Revelation, seeme both of them to refer it to the ordinary measures which Artificers commonly vse in taking their distances, and making their dimensions. The first measures to my remembrance that we read of in the sacred Oracles of Scripture are those Gen. 6. 15. Aug. de [...]. Dei l: 15: c: 27. of the Arke; which S. Augnstine lead by Origen held to be Geometricall, containing six common Cubits: but it is certaine, that casting the big­nesse of it by the vulgar Cubit now in vse, it was a vessell of so ample & huge capacity, that it was fully sufficient for the preseruing of all sorts of creatures together with their food by God appointed to be reserued in it. The length of it was three hundred Cubits, which multiplied by the bredth, namely fifty cubits, and the product by the heigth of thirty cubits, sheweth the whole concavity to haue beene foure hundred and fif­ty thousand cubits, large enough for stoage for Noah and his company, the beasts, and birds, and their provision, and somewhat to spare, as Bu­teo hath learnedly demonstrated.

Of Solomons Temple it is noted that it was sixty cubits long, twenty broade, and thirty high, which Ribera likewise makes to be vulgar and v­suall 1: Kings. 6. 2. De fabrica tem­pli: c: 5: cubits. And though the building may seeme to haue beene very scant after that proportion, yet if wee consider that none might come within this space but the Priests that then serued, and that both the Al­tar of Houlocausts, and the Court of the Priests who serued not, was with­out, it will seem needlesse to require a longer or larger roome for those services to which it was assigned; Yet since these cubits in the second booke of Chronicles, are said to be ex primariâ mensurâ, after the primary or chiefe measure, it should seeme they were no ordinary cubits, but ra­ther Cap. 3. v. 3. sacred, which contained the common and vulgar cubit double, as may appeare by this, in that the pillars of brasse Iachin and Boaz set vp before the porch of the Temple in the first of Kings, are said to bee eigh­teene Cubits high: but in the second of Chronicles, thirty fiue, which toge­ther Cap. 7. v. 15. Cap. 3. 15. with the basis being one Cubit high, make thirty sixe, double to eigh­teene, as the shekell of the Sanctuary was double to the vulgar: yet can it not be gathered that the vulgar exceeded ours, nay the pillars with their Chapiters & basis being by this computation aboue sixtie foot in heigth, it may well be conjectured, that their foot and Cubit either came short of ours, or was at most but equall vnto it. And for Solomons owne house which was one hundred Cubits long, fifty broad, and thirty high, general­ly receiued it is, that they were of the Common measure. We read that 1. King 7. 2. some of the stones laid in the foundation of the house built for his wife Pharaohs daughter, were of ten Cubits, which allowing a foot and a halfe to the cubit, make vp fifteene foot, a very large proportion, euen by the v: 10: length of the vulgar foot now in vse: But those in Herods Temple, twen­ty fiue Cubits long (as witnesseth Iosephus who saw it himselfe) if the cu­bit by which he reckoned exceed our ordinary, were of a length alto­gether Antiquit: l: 15: c: 3. [Page 181] incredible. And for mine own part, I know not how we should compute either the heigth of Goliah, or the length of Oggs bed, and the like, but by the vulgar and ordinary cubit, now commonly in vse a­mongst vs, as most of the learned doe, and if in so doing they erre not, then are our measures, and consequently our present stature vndoub­tedly equall with, or at leastwise not much inferiour to theirs that liued in Moses time, who as it may well be thought, borrowed this Art of measuring from the Egyptians, in whose learning he was so perfectly skilled.

Now for the measures of the Graecians, howbeit Causabon in his com­mentaries In Tyberio. c: 6 [...] vpon Suetonius, seeme to make the Grecian foot, as likewise that of other Nations, of lesse extent then the Romane; yet Georgius A­gricola, who studied this point more thorowly, and hath of set purpose composed a large volume of the Graecian and Romane weights and mea­sures, affirmes the Grecian to exceed the Romane by halfe an inch, & for proofe thereof doth he mention a pillar to be seene in the Chappell of the twelue Apostles in the Vatican, which seemed to him to haue beene brought out of Greece, with this inscription graven in the higher part Libro dei Men suris, quibus in­tervalla [...]. thereof, [...], that is, nine foot, and from the measure and proportion of this would he prooue it to exceed the Romane by the quantity afore­named, yet by his owne confession Marlianus who hath written the Topography of Rome, & exactly described whatsoeuer therein was worth the observing, hath marked no such difference: And for the Cubit, though Herodotus in one place speake of Regius Cubitus, that contained twenty seuen digits, which is three more then the ordinary, yet that Lib: 1: their ordinary either digit or cubit exceeded ours, I no-where finde it expressely obserued. And for their stature it is precisely noted by the same Author, that Phya the wife of Pisistratus was held so tall, that shee Lib: 1. was exhibited and applauded as another Minerva, and yet wanted shee three fingers of foure cubits. Neither adds he, Cubitorum Regiorum, of Regall cubits, as in the other passage, which makes me conceiue that he might rather meane the vulgar. And for the Persians; from whom the Graecians borrowed their Regall Cubit, he tels vs that one Artaches a prin­cipall Lib: 7: Commander in Xerxes his army, was statura inter Persas procerissi­ma, the tallest among all the Persians, and yet wanted he foure digits of the measure of fiue Regall Cubits, so that his heigth according to the vulgar Cubit was about eight foote: And I thinke at this day there are few Kingdomes, though much inferiour to that of Persia, which cannot shew one at least not much inferiour to that proportion.

In the third and last place come the ancient Romane measures to bee compared with ours: neither haue I met with any who either affirme or so much as conjecture that they exceeded ours: but many that they rather came short of them. Sr Henry Savill a severe and exact man in the In his view of Military mat­ters. search of Antiquity, speaking of the quadrantall, a measure of a Cubicall Romane foote, sets this note in the margent, The Romane foote lesse then ours by halfe an inch. In like manner Agricola censures Budaeus for ma­king De restit. Pond: & Mensur: vp the Romane quadrantall, by the measure of the french foote, whereas, saith he, it exceedes the Romane duobus digitis, by two fingers: [Page 182] and farther adds, that the standing measure of the ancient Romane foote is yet at this day to be seene cut in stone or marble in diverse places of Rome; and namely in the gardens of Angelo Colocci: Some of these, it seemes, Goropius Becanus mette with & measured, & by his owne testi­mony, found them short of foure of his palmes or hand-breadths; & yet, Gigantomachiae. saith he, statura mea mediocritate brevior, my selfe come short of a mid­dle stature. The mile we know was measured by the pace, and the pace by the foote, now that the Romane mile came short of ours, appeares by the great stones set vp at every miles end in the Appian way; and the I­talian mile in vse at this day, taken, as it seemes, from the ancient Ro­mane, is shorter then ours, neere about the same proportion, as is the Ro­mane foote sayd to be shorter then our foote. To bring it home then to our present purpose; It is by Suetonius reported of Augustus, that he was indeede Cap: 79. somewhat short, neuertheles of a comely stature: Which from the testimony of Iulius Marathus, he notes to haue beene fiue foote and nine inches, the just measure of our late famous Queene Elizabeth, who as shee matched that renowned Emperour in happines and duration of reigne, so did shee likewise in the stature of her body, nay if we admit the mentioned difference betweene the Romane foote and ours, shee ex­ceeded him in heigth by more then two inches: And I see no reason why Suetonius should tearme Augustus short, comming so neere the middle stature, except onely because he came somewhat short of that. The same Authour writes that Nero leuied a new legion of Italians of Cap: 19. six foote-men, which he called the Phalanx of the great Alexander, by which it should seeme that very few exceeded that stature. And of Tiberius, he obserues that he was statura quae justam excederet, somewhat, as it seemes, aboue sixe foote. Valentinian and Valens gaue order that for Cap: 68. Cod. the common souldier fiue foote and seauen inches should suffice; And Ve­getius Theodo [...]: titulo de Tyranibus: Lib: 1: c, 5. witnesseth of Marius the Consull, that such as were six foote high, or siue & tenne inches should be ranked inter Alares Equites vel in primis legionum cohortibus, among the principall troupes that served either on horfe-backe or on foote. From whence Causabon collecteth that such as were seauen foote high were counted Gyants, & to that purpose vouch­eth In Suet: Tyb: c: 68: he the authority of Sidonius Apollinaris who flourished about the yeare foure hundred and forty. In Carmine ad Catuli [...]um.

—Spernit senipedem stylum Thalia
Ex quo septipedes vidit Patronos:
Six footed rimes Thalia doth defie
Ere since she seaven foot Patrons did espie,

whom a little after hee tearmeth Gyants:

Tot tantique petunt simul Gigantes,
Quot vix Alcinoi culina ferret
Gyants so many & so hugely maine,
As scarce Alcinous Kitchen can sustaine.

By all which passages it cleerely appeares, thar our ordinary stature at this day, if it exceede not that of the Ancient Romanes, yet doth it e­quall it at least.

Now before I conclude this Reason & Section, it shall not be amisse [Page 183] by the way to remember that Nicephorus makes the stature of Christ by Lib. 1: c: 40: tradition to haue beene, (if Langus render him right) ad palmos prorsus septem, full seaven hand breadths. Which length allowing foure hand breadths to the foote, according to the vsuall account, wants one hand breadth of two foote; The stature of a dwarfe of the least sise: but if by palmos he meanes spannes, whereof about three make vp two foote, so likewise could he bee but foure foote & a spanne long, too short a sta­ture for a comely body, such as wee may well and piously conceiue he had, and all ancient Christian writers confesse; and Lentulus the Procon­sull in that Epistle to the Romane Senate, which goes vnder his name, con­firmes as much: And it should seeme by that of the Apostle, till wee come to a perfect man, vnto the measure of the stature of the fullnes of Christ: Ephes. 4. 13. that his stature was compleate and perfect, not excessiue in height, for then Zaccheus needed not to haue gone vp to a tree to haue seene him, nor yet very defectiue, that hauing beene apt to expose him to scorne & derision. And in likelihood we should haue found it somewhere, by some one or other among so many and malitious Adversaries, obiected vnto him. It is true that none of the Evangelists, (most particular and precise in setting downe other Circumstances) haue expressed any thing at all touching his complexion, or feature, or stature: Happily to this end, that no picture or statue might be made of him, as well know­ing how inclinable by nature wee are to turne the very resemblances & memorialls of those, whom wee most honour and reuerence into I­dolls. Another thing which I would note is this, that when I call six foote a middle stature, my meaning is not that there are as many found to be aboue it, as below it (which is the vulgar vnderstanding of that word) but because it is, and euer hath beene held by the Learned, the most competent and comely stature; so as he who is vnder that, is somewhat too short, and he who is aboue it, somewhat too tall in re­gard of the most euen, just, and exact proportion. It was so held among the Romans, as appeares by Vitruvius, & by the Commentatours on Sueto­nius in the life of Tiberius: And yet their ranking of six foote men among Cap, 68. their principall troupes, & Nero his making vp a legion of the leuied from all the parts of Italy, which in a kinde of pride and glory he named the Phalanx of Alexander the great, shew that then very few exceeded that stature: And yet, (which may not be forgotten) was their foote short of ours three inches in the measure of six feete. And surely, now among vs to raise a Legion of fiue foote & nine inches in any of his Maiesties king­domes, or perchaunce in some one of our sheires, would proue, I dare say, no very hard taske, or such as wee should hold a matter worth the glorying in.

SECT. 3. The second reason taken from the ordinary allowance of diet to souldiers and servants, which appeares to be of like quantity with vs, as was that among the Ancient Graecians and Romans, together with a doubt touching Gods al­lowance to the Israelites, answered.

BVt I passe from this first Reason drawne from the comparison of ancient and moderne Measures, to a second no lesse weighty and pressing in my judgement, borrowed from the allowance of diet, ta­king this for my ground, that caeteris paribus, men for the most part feed according to the proportion of their bodies; and withall that their pub­lique allowance was made according to their customary feeding. To Hercu­les, being a man supposed of a mighty stature, is allowed by Homer an oxe at a meale when he was hungry. Of Maximinus the Emperour a­boue-named, Capitolinus reports, that he often ate in a day forty pound weight of flesh, and sometimes sixty, as he addeth out of Cordus. Athe­naeus alleages Theodorus Hieropolis in his bookes of the games of Greece, that the ordinary fare of Milo the Crotonian, was twenty pound of flesh & three Congij, or six gallons of wine. In the yeare one thousand fiue hun­dred & eleuen, the Emperour Maximilian the first, being at Ausburge S [...]ius in his Commenta­ries of the me­morable things of our time. at an assembly of the states of Germany; there was presented him a man of an vnreasonable heigth and greatnes, who at a few mouth-fulls and without any stay, would devour a whole sheepe, or a calfe, not caring whe­ther it were rost or raw, saying that it did but sharpen his appetite. Chil­dren for the most part are not allowed the like quantily as men of riper yeares, though they be growing, nor among men dwarfes the like as Gyants: And it stands with great reason that the portion of diet appoin­ted for the nourishing of the body, should in some sort be answerable to the proportion of the body nourished. If then it shall appeare that the daily bread allowed by the Ancients to their servants & souldiers, was no more then is by vs allowed at this day to ours, it will, as I take it, from thence be more then probablely inferred, that the common stature & strength of our bodies, is not somuch inferiour to theirs, as is common­ly supposed.

The ordinary allowance in corne among the Graecians, was the mea­sure of a Choenix a day, as witnesseth Suidas; & fromhence, as it seemes, was borrowed that Motto of Pythagoras, remembred by Plutarch super Choenicem [...] ne si [...]as, sit not vpon a Choenix, that is, hauing gotten foode Symps. 7. prob. 4. for a day, doe not grow secure, as if that would never be spent. And Athenaeus tels vs, that Clearchus a great Coyner of new words, was wont vpon this occasion to call a Choenix Hemerotrophidem sustenance Lib: 3: for a day. At least-wise in the Campe it was so, if wee credit Herodotus in his Polymnia, where he vittaileth the common souldier in Xerxes ar­my at a Ch [...]nix a day: The quantity of which allowance wee shall finde anon very neere to agree both with the Romane, & that which is in vse at this day. The measure then to a Romane foote-man for a [Page 185] moneth, saith Polybius, was two thirds of a Medimnus of wheate, which made vp foure Modij, the whole Medimnus by a generall consent of all the best Authours containing six Modij in all. With which rate of Po­lybius precisely agreeth Donate vpon Terence, where he limiteth dimen­sum Ia [...]. serui, (in the Gospell called, a servants portion of meate) to be foure Modij the moneth; the same portion which both Cato & Columella allow Luc. 12: 42. So [...] & Beza [...] [...]. for countrey [...]indes. Now that it may appeare what this allowance was according to our measures, wee are to know that the Romane Modius, howbeit it be vsually in our language rendred a Bushell, & be so commō ­ly construed in Schooles; yet is it about a pint lesse then a pecke, as is right­ly observed, not onely by Sr Henry Savill in his view of military matters, but by our last Translatours of the Bible, who though they haue set bu­shell Mat. 5. 15. Ma [...]. 4. 21. in the Text, yet in the Margin haue they affixed this note, The word in the originall signisieth a measure contayning about a pint lesse then a p [...]ke.

First then to compare the Graecian and the Romane allowance. The Medimnus containing forty eight Choenices, as witnesseth Budaeus out of Pollux, and six Modij, as Tully, & Suidas, & Nepos, and others; the Ro­mane Lib. 5. de Asse. being allowed foure Modij by the Moneth, and the Graecian a Choenix by the day, their allowances were equall, or not much different, saue that the Romane seemes to be somewhat larger: foure Modij containing after that reckoning thirty two Choenices, which amongst them was a moneths allowance. With which if we compare our owne measures, it will weekely amount to a pint lesse then a pecke, & allowing two gallons to the pecke, it will arise to about a quart by the day, which is but a competent allowance for a souldier or labour-man (liuing most vpon bread) at this day; as Budaeus by conference with his Baker, hath fully cleered the Lib: 5: de Asse: point. And heere it may not be forgotten that our last Translatours (to cleare the whole businesse more fully) in their marginall notes on the sixth of the Reuelation at the sixth verse, giue vs to vnderstand, that the word Choenix there vsed signifieth a measure containing one wine quart, and the twelth part of a quart. Now I am not ignorant that the Gomer of Man­na, being the daily allowance of the [...]ewes during their abode in the wil­dernes, by Gods owne appointment, is by Rabanus valued at three Choeni­ces, and by Iunius two and an halfe, bating one fifth. But I should rather ascribe so large an allowance to Gods speciall bounty, then to their necessi­ty; and so much hath Iunius himselfe in his annotations vpon that place confessed: inde colligitur, quàm largiter Deus Israelitas aluerit tam longo tempore: We may from thence collect, how bountifully God dealt with the Israelites making them so large an allowance for so long a time. And this marueilous great plenty, in likelihood was it that gaue them occa­sion to distast it, to grow weary of it, & cast out those murmuring speeches against God & Moses his servant & their leader, Animam no­stram taed [...]t huius pa [...]is vilis [...]imi, our soule loatheth this light bread; & to Num. 21: 5: fall a longing after the cucumbers and leekes, the onyons and garlicke Cap. 11. 5: of Egypt: Though the Manna, aswell in regard of the delicacie thereof, as the raining of it downe from heaven, bee by the Psalmist tearmed Psal 78. 25: Angels foode; & in the booke of Wisedome be commended for hauing in it a certaine contentfull delight agreeable to euery mans [...]ast. It is likewise Cap: 16: 20: [Page 186] true that the Romane allowance to a horse-man by the testimony of Po­lybius, seemed to be larger then that of the foote-man, there being alot­ted Lil: 6: him monethly seaven Medimni of oates or barley for his horse, and two of wheate for himselfe: But it may very well be, as Lypsius conje­ctureth, that he had a spare horse and an attendant or two allowed him, and then his two Medimni for himselfe, & his two servants agrees justly De militia Ro­mana. l. 5: 16: c. with the two thirds of a Medimnus to a foote-man.

SECT. 4. Diverse other reasons drawne from experience added as from the armour, the bed-steeds, the seats, the doores, the pulpits, the Altars of the An­cients, & other doubts cleered.

TO proceed, that which seemes to make the matter more euident, because it strikes more vpon the sense, is the view of the roofes, the doores, the tables, the seates, the robes, the bed-steeds, the weapons, the armour, the pulpits, the Altars, the tombes of the Ancients, yet remay­ning to be seene; all which argue that they were of the same stature, or very little differing from vs. Aristotle in his Mechanicks giues vs to vn­derstand, that the bed-steeds in his time, did not commonly exceede six Quest. 26. foote: Nay Magius himselfe, who hath written a large discourse in de­fence of the contrary & common opinion; yet at last confesseth, Miscellan: c. 4. that taking an exact measure of the Tombes at Pisa and other citties in I­taly, though some of them were made a thousand yeares since, some more; yet found he them in dimensions parum aut nihil, little or nothing differing from those of our times, and withall ingenuously acknowled­geth, that being at Pisaurum in the Duke of Vrbines armory, hee there saw certaine brasse helmets digged vp in the fields neere Metaurum, where Asdruball was overthrowne by the Romane forces, and were ve­rily thought to haue layne there since that time: Quae tamen ab ijs quas modo milites nostri gestare solent ad magnitudinem quod attinet, non discrepa­bant: which notwithstanding, saith he, in regard of bignesse, differed not from those which our souldiers now a dayes vsually weare.

I know that the sword of Edward the third, the armour of Iohn of Gaunt, the tilting staffe of Charles Brandon, the walking staues and riding staues of Henry the eight shewed in the Tower and other places farre ex­ceed the ordinary of our times: but perchaunce some of them like Si­nesius Grandio in Seneca delighted in great things, or I should thinke that sometimes they were rather for shew then for vse; and for the rest, it on­ly argues the strength & stature of those that vsed them, not for others, who liued in the same age with them: Nay if we compare the common armour of the age wherein Iohn of Gaunt liued, or the most ancient in the Tower or otherwhere, with that which is now in vse, we shall finde no such sensible difference as should argue a decay in stature. Indeed their arrowes generally exceeded ours both in bignesse and length; but this I should rather impute to their continuall practise in shooting from their very infancie, then to their strength and stature. The truth where­of [Page 187] appeares by this, that so long as that practise was continued, (which was till the invention and ordinary vse of Gunnes) so long the like di­mentions of their shafts were likewise continued without any diminu­tion, as may be seene by comparing the arrowes commonly vsed in Henry the seaventh & Henry the eights time, with those in vse many yeares before, few of which are full a yard by measure; yet my Lord of S. Albans witnesseth, that the rebellious Cornish in the reigne of King Henry the seaventh, not much aboue one hundred yeare agoe shotte an arrow of a full Cloth-yard long.

The doubt which may be made touching the Altar of the Taberna­cle Exod. 27. v. 1. seemes to be of greater consequence, which by Gods appointment was to be three cubits high, that is, foure foote and an halfe, whereas those of latter times are not aboue three foote or three & an halfe at most; which seemes to inferre the difference in succeeding ages of the stature of those that were to serue at the Altar: But I would demaund whether the Cubit, Moses there speakes of, were according to the ordinary sta­ture of men then liuing; if so, then a man rightly proportioned, being at most but foure of his owne Cubits, there was left but one cubit for the Priest aboue the Altar, which was much too little for him to minister with ease: And what then shall wee say to Salomons Altar, which was ten cu­bits 2. Chron. 4. 1. high, surely it must in reason so be vnderstood, that the height bee accounted from the lowest floore of the temple or tabernacle where the people stood; but the Priest went vp by certaine slope degrees, certaine easy ascents to the Altar, so that the height of those ascents from the floore together with the Altar it selfe made vp the full measure there spoken of. It will be replied, that it was expressely forbidden to goe vp by steps to the Altar: True indeed, but the reason is there added, that Exod. 20. 26. thy nakednes be not discovered thereon, so as such degrees of ascent as occa­sioned not any danger or doubt of discouering his nakednesse, who mi­nistred at the Altar, seeeme there not to be forbidden; which is the in­terpretation both of Iunius & Abulensis, allowing then an Altar of three foote & halfe hig