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the censure which that sour philosopher passed upon grammarians, That they were better acquainted with the evils of Ulysses, than with their own." This hasty resolution having produced so untimely an issue, it happened, by some accident, to be like Moses in his infancy,-exposed to the seas; where I made no other account, but that its own weakness would there have revenged my former boldness, and betrayed it unto perishing. But as he then, so this now, hath had the marvellous felicity to light on the view, and fall under the compassion, of a very gracious Princess. For so far hath your Highness vouchsafed (having happened on the sight of this tractate) to express favour thereunto, as not only to spend hours in it, and require a transcript of it, but farther to recommend it by your gracious judgement unto public view. In which particular, I was not to advise with mine own opinion, being to express my humblest acknowledgement to your Highness.

This only petition I shall accompany it withal unto your Highness' feet, that since it is a blossom which put forth so much too soon, it may, therefore, obtain the gracious influence of your Highness' favour, to protect it from that severity abroad, which it otherwise justly feareth.

God Almighty make your Highness as great a mirror of his continual mercies, as he hath both of his graces, and of learning.

Your Highness' most humble servant,


Diogenes apud Laertium, 1. 6.


HAVING been moved to give way unto the publication of this Philosophical Miscellany, the fruit of my younger studies, I consider it needful to prevent one obvious prejudice under which I may labour. For it may haply seem indecent in me, having adventured to publish some few, though weak, discourses in arguments divine, that I should now suffer the blossoms of my youth to look abroad and run the hazard of public censure. Whereunto, when I shall have given a short answer, I shall rest something the more confident of a candid construction.

And here I might first allege the honour, which God himself hath been pleased to give unto inferior and natural knowledge. In the first creation, when he gave unto man the dominion over other creatures for his use, he gave him likewise the contemplation and knowledge of them, for his Maker's glory and his own delight. (For God brought them unto him to give them names.) And as the holy scriptures are all over full of the mysteries of God's wisdom in natural things, so are there some special passages thereof written, as it were, purposely on that argument. And we find that Moses and Solomon have therein testimony given unto them, not only of their divine, but of their human and natural knowledge likewise.

And if we look into the ancient Christian churches, or into these of latter times, we shall find that very many ecclesiastical persons have not denied unto the world their philosophical and poetical labours, either whole and alone, or mixed and directed to theological ends, as we find in the writings of Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Eusebius Cæsariensis, St. Austin's books De civitate Dei,' and others; Venerable Bede, Isidore Hispalensis, Synesius, Sidonius Apollinaris, Honorius Augustodunensis, &c. In

a Job cap. 38, 39, 40, 41. Psalm civ. 147.

the Hexamerous of St. Basil, Nyssen, Ambrose, and the books of those who have written more directly upon some parts of the argument of this present treatise, as Gregory Nyssen, Lactantius, Nemesius, Procopius, Gazæus, Damascenus, and others. And in latter times, besides the schoolmen, and those vast labours of many of that side in dialectical, physical, and metaphysical writings, we might instance in very many of the reformed churches abroad, some of whose younger labours have seen the light: as also in the oratory, logical, moral, historical, mathematical, miscellaneous writings of many learned divines of our own church: under the protection of which great examples, I shall use the apology which Quintilian dictateth unto me, "Vel error honestus est magnos duces sequentibus;" that it is no uncomely, but a pardonable error, which hath great examples to excuse it. In which respect I find myself chiefly subject to the infelicity, that I am constrained to follow such examples, as little children do their fathers, non æquis passibus, at a very great distance.

And truly, when I again consider the excellent use and subordination of human learning unto learning divine; (it being hardly possible, without it, to understand sundry passages of holy scripture, depending upon the propriety of words and idioms, or upon the customs, rites, proverbs, forms, usages, laws, offices, antiquities of the Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Roman monarchies, as might be shown in sundry particulars, and were a labour most worthy the industry of some able and learned men :) when I consider that the spoils of Egypt were by God allowed to enrich Israel, and the spoils of the Gentiles reserved by David for the building of the temple; that a Gentile, by legal purification and marriage, might become an Israelite; that the crown of Rabbah was put upon the head of David, and the sword of


b Lib. 1, cap. 6. Est quidem de communibus sensibus sapere in Dei rebus, sed in testimonium veri, non in adjutorium falsi. Tertul. de Resur. Carnis. cap. 3. Vid. etiam Apol. cap. 47. et Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. 1. p. 203. A. 207. A. E. 214. A. B. 218, 219, 223, 227, 233, 234, et lib. 6. p. 465, 467, 499, 500. Justin Martyr, Apol. 1. Aug. Confess. !. 1, c. 15. Christianus Domini sai esse intelligit, ubicunque invenerit veritatem. Aug. de Doctri. Chri. 1. 2. c. 18, 39, 40. Ὅσα παρὰ πᾶσι καλῶς εἴρηται, ὑμῶν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἐστι. Justin. Apol. 1. Vid. Aug. de Civ. Dei, 1. 18. c. 52. Greg. Nazian. Orat. 1. d Exod. f Deut. xxi. 12. 8 2 Sam. h1 Sam. xvii. 21.

e 1 Chron. xxix.

xii. 35.
xii. 30. Vid. Pet. Erod, decret. 1. 1. Tit. 8, sect. 4.


Goliath used to slay himself; that the gold, and myrrh, and frankincense of the Wise men of the East, was offered unto the Christ; when I find the apostle convincing the Jews out of their law, and the philosophers out of their maxims; and every gift, as well as every creature of God, is good, and may be sanctified for the use and delight of man; I then conclude with myself, that the moral and philosophical glass of the human soul may be of some service even unto the tabernacle, as them looking-glasses of the Israelitish women were unto the altar.

Nor can I but a little wonder at the melancholy fancy of St. Jerome", who, conceiving himself in a vision beaten by an angel, for being a Ciceronian, did, for ever after, promise to abjure the reading of secular authors; though I find himself both justifying the excellent use of that learning, and acknowledging that conceited vision of his to have been but a dream.

It is true, indeed, that, in regard of the bewitching danger from human learning, and the too great aptness in the minds of men to surfeit and be intemperate in the use of it, some of the antients have sometimes interdicted the reading P of such authors unto Christian men. But this calleth upon us for watchfulness in our studies, not for negligence: for the apostle will tell us, that 'to the pure all things are pure;' and even of harmful things, when they are prepared, and their malignancy by art corrected, doth the skilful physician make an excellent use. If, then, we be careful to moderate and regulate our affections, to take heed of the pride and inflation of secular learning; not to admire philosophy to the prejudice of evangelical knowledge, as if, without the revealed light of the gospel, salvation might be found in the way of paganism;-if we suffer not these lean kine to devour the fat ones, nor the river Jordan to be lost in the Dead Sea, I mean, piety to be swallowed up of profane studies, and the knowledge of the scriptures (which alone would make any man conversant in all other kind of learning with

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iMatth. ii. 11.

1 Tim. iv. 4.
Epist. ad Magn.
Ruffin. 1. 1.

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m Ex. xxxviii. 8. a. 2. De Custod. Virginit. ad Eustochium. Orat. Ep. ad Pammach. de Obitu Paulinæ, Apolog. advers. P Vid. Notas Conradi Ritterhusii in Isid. Pelus. Ep. 56, 1. 1. Tertul. de præscript. c. 7. de Idololat. c. 10. contra Marc. 1. 2. c. 16.

much greater felicity and success) to be undervalued, and not rather the more admired, as a rich jewel, compared with glass;-in this case, and with such care as this, there is no doubt but secular studies, prepared and corrected from pride and profaneness, may be to the church, as the Gibeonites were to the congregation of Israel, for hewers of wood and drawers of water: neither may we say of them, as Cato Major to his son of the Grecian arts and learning", "Quandocunque ista gens suas literas dabit, omnia corrumpet."

Nor have I, upon these considerations only, adventured on the publication of this tract; but because withal, in the receiving of it, I found very many touches upon theological arguments, and some passages wholly of that nature: yea, all the material parts of the treatise do so nearly concern the knowledge of ourselves, and the direction of our lives, as that they may be all esteemed borderers upon that profession.

In the perusing and fashioning of it for the press, I have found that true in writing which I have formerly found true in building: that it is almost as chargeable to repair and set right an old house, as to erect a new one: for I was willing, in the most material parts of it, so to lop off luxuriance of style, and to supply the defects of matter, as, with candid, favourable, and ingenuous judgements, it might receive some tolerable acceptation. In hope whereof I rest

Thine, in all Christian service,


Plin. 1. 29. c. 1. Vid. Notas Xylandri in Plutarch. Catonem, sect. 13.

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