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obsequies, and the like, show death terrible.
It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man so weak, but it mates and masters the fear of death ; and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when a man hath so many attendants about him that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death ; love slights it ; honour aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear pre-occupateth it ; nay, we read, after Otho the emperor had slain himself, pity (which is the tenderest of affections) provoked many to die out of mere compassion to their sovereign, and as the truest sort of followers. Nay, Seneca adds, niceness and satiety :
Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris ; mori velle, non tantum fortis, aut miser, sed etiam fastidiosus potest.” would die, though he were neither valiant nor miserable, only upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over and over. It is no less worthy to observe, how little alteration in good spirits the approaches of death make : for they appear to be the same men till the last instant. Augustus Cæsar died in a compliment ; "Livia, conjugii nostri memor, vive et vale." Tiberius in dissimulation, as Tacitus saith of him, “Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, deserebant :”! Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool,“ Ut puto Deus fio :*b Galba with a sentence, “Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani,”i holding forth his neck; Septimus Severus in dispatch, " Adeste, si quid mihi restat agendum,”k and the like. Certainly the Stoics? bestowed too much cost upon where the body of the deceased lay, a practice much more usual in Bacon's time than at the present day.
“Reflect how often you do the same things ; a man may wish to die, not only because either he is brave or wretched, but even because he is surfeited with life."
• “Livia, mindful of our union, live on, and fare thee well."
!“His bodily strength and vitality were now forsaking Tiberius, but not his duplicity.”
$ This was said as a reproof to his flatterers, and in spirit is not unlike the rebuke administered by Canute to his retinue.
b “I am become a Divinity, I suppose.”
"If aught remains to be done by me, dispatch.
These were the followers of Zeno, a philosopher of Citium, in Cyprus, who founded the Stoic school, or “School of the Portico," at Athens. The basis of his doctrines was the duty of making virtue the
death, and by their great preparations made it appear more fearful. Better, saith he,“ qui finem vitæ extremum inter munera ponit naturæ.” It is as natural to die as to be born ; and to little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other. We that dies in an earnest pursuit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood ; who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt ; and therefore a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat that is good, doth avert the dolours of death ; but, above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is “Nunc dimittis,"». when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations. Death hath this also, that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy : “ Extinctus amabitur idem.”.
III.-OF UNITY IN RELIGION. RELIGION being the chief band of human society, it is a happy thing when itself is well contained within the true band of unity. The quarrels and divisions about religion were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was, because the religion of the heathen consisted rather in rites and object of all our researches. According to him, the pleasures of the mind were preferable to those of the body, and his disciples were taught to view with indifference health or sickness, riches or poverty, pain or pleasure.
in “Who reckons the close of his life among the boons of nature.' Lord Bacon here quotes from memory; the passage is in the tenth Satire of Juvenal, and runs thus :
“Fortem posce animum, mortis terrore carentem,
Qui spatium vitæ extremum inter munera fonat
Natura" “Pray for strong resolve, void of the fear of death, that reckons the closing period of life among the boons of nature."
* He alludes to the song of Simeon, to whom the Holy Ghost had revealed “that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.” When he beheld the infant Jesus in the Temple, he took the chiid in his arms and burst forth into a song of thanksgiving, com. mencing, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, accord. ing to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” — St. Luke ii. 29.
o « When dead, the same person shall be beloved."
ceremonies, than in any constant belief : for you may imagine what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief doctors and fathers of their church were the poets. But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a jealous God; and therefore his worship and religion will endure no mixture nor partner. We shall therefore speak a few words concerning the unity of the church ; what are the fruits thereof; what the bounds; and what the means.
The fruits of unity (next unto the well-pleasing of God, which is all in all) are two; the one towards those that are without the church, the other towards those that are within. For the former, it is certain, that heresies and schisms are of all others the greatest scandals : yea, more than corruption of manners : for as in the natural body a wound or solution of continuity is worse than a corrupt humour, so in the spiritual : so that nothing doth so much keep men out of the church, and drive men out of the church, as breach of unity: and therefore whensoever it cometh to that pass that une saith, “ Ecce in Deserto,”a another saith, 66 Ecce in penetralibus ; »b that is, when some men seek Christ in the conventicles of beretics, and others in an outward face of a church, that voice had need continually to sound in men's ears,
có nolite exire,” go not out.” The doctor of the Gentiles (the propriety of whose vocation drew him to have a special care of those without) saith, “ If a heathene come in, and hear you speak with several tongues, will he not say that you are mad ?” and, certainly, it is little better : when atheists and profane persons do hear of so many discordant and contrary opinions in religion, it doth avert them from the church, and maketh them “ to sit down in the chair of the scorners.
It is but a light thing to be vouched in so serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity.
* “Behold, he is in the Desert."-St. Matthew xxiv. 26. b “Behold, he is in the secret chambers.”-St. Matthew xxiv. 26.
c Ho alludes to 1 Corinthians xiv. 23:-“If, therefore, the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad ?”
d Psalm i. 1. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
There is a master of scoffing that in his catalogue of booki of a feigned library sets down this title of a book, “The Morris-Dancee of Heretics :" for, indeed, every sect of them hath a diverse posture, or cringe, by themselves, which cannot but move derision in worldlings and depraved politicians, who are apt to contemn holy things.
As for the fruit towards those that are within, it is peace, which containeth infinite blessings; it establisheth faith ; it kindleth charity ; the outward peace of the church distilleth into peace of conscience, and it turneth the labours of writing and reading of controversies into treatises of mortification and devotion.
Concerning the bounds of unity, the true placing of them importeth exceedingly. There appear to be two extremes: for to certain zealots all speech of pacification is odious. “ Is it peace, Jehu ?”—“ What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.”! Peace is not the matter, but following, and party. Contrariwise, certain Laodiceans and lukewarm persons think they may accommodate points of religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements, as if they would make an arbitrament between God and man.
Both these extremes are to be avoided ; which will be done if the league of Christians, penned by our Saviour himself, were in the two cross clauses thereof
• This dance, which was originally called the Morisco dance, is sup: posed to have been derived from the Moors of Spain ; the dancers in earlier times blackening their faces to resemble Moors. probably a corruption of the ancient Pyrrhic dance, which was performed by men in armour, and which is mentioned as still existing in Greece, in Byron's "Song of the Greek Captive:”
“ You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet”Attitude and gesture formed one of the characteristics of the dance. It is still practised in some parts of England.
2 Kings ix. 18. 8 He alludes to the words in Revelations, c. iii. v. 14, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write : These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold ner hot: I will spué thee out of my mouth." Laodicea was a city of Asia Minor, St. Paul established the church there which is here referred to.
soun lly and plainly expounded : “He that is not with us, is against us ;"h and again, “ He that is not against us, is with us;" that is, if the points fundamental, and of substance in religion, were truly discerned and distinguished from points not merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention. This is a thing may seem to many a matter trivial, and done already; but if it were done less partially, it would be embraced more generally.
Of this I may give only this advice, according to my small model. Men ought to take heed of rending God's church by two kinds of controversies; the one is, when the matter of the point controverted is too small and light, not worth the heat and strife about it, kindled only by contradiction ; for, as it is noted by one of the fathers,“ Christ's coat indeed had no seam, but the church's vesture was of divers colours ;" whereupon he saith, “In veste varietas sit, scissura non sit,” they be two things, unity and uniformity; the other is, when the matter of the point controverted is great, but it is driven to an over great subtilty and obscurity, so that it becometh a thing rather ingenious than substantial. A man that is of judgment and understanding shall sometimes hear ignorant men differ, and know well within himself, that those which so differ mean one thing, and yet they themselves would never agree : and if it come so to pass in that distance of judgment, which is between man and man, shall we not think that God above, that knows the heart, doth not discern that frail men, in some of their contradictions, intend the same thing; and accepteth of both? The nature of such controversies is excellently expressed by St. Paul, in the warning and precept that he giveth concerning the same; “Devita profanas vocum novitates, et oppositiones falsi nominis scientiæ."
Men create oppositions which are not, and put them into new terms, so fixed as, whereas the meaning ought to
govern the term, the term in effect governeth the meaning. There be also two false peaces, or unities : the one,
he St. Matthew xii. 30.
“In the garment there may be many colours, but let there be zo rending of it.
k "Avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of scienoe falsely so called."--1 Tim, vi. 20.