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“ Haud ulla numina expayescunt cælitum,
For Gods they know no more. « Their God is their belly," as Paul saith, Sancta mater saturitas;
quibus in solo vivendi causa palato est.” The Idol which they worship and adore, is their Mistris, with him in Plautus, mallem hæc mulier me amet quam dii, they had rather have her favour then the Gods. Satan is their guide, the flesh is their instructor, Hypocrisie their Counsellour, Vanity their fellow-souldier, their will their law, Ambition their captain, Custome their rule: temerity, boldness, impudence their Art, toyes their trading, damnation their end. All their endeavours are to satisfie their lust and appetite, how to please their Genius, and to be merry for the present,
“ Ede, lude, bibe, post mortem nulla voluptas." " The same condition is of men and of beasts; as the one dieth, so dieth the other," Eccles. 3. 19. the world goes round,
"* truditur dies die,
Novæque pergunt interire Lunæ :" + they did eat and drink of old, marry, bury, bought, sold, planted, built, and will do still. « Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no recovery, neither was any man known that hath returned from the grave : for we are born at all adventure, and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been; for the breath is as smoke in our nostrils, &c. and the spirit vanisheth as the soft air. Come let us enjoy the pleasures that are present, let us chearfully use the creatures as in youth, let us fill our selves with costly wine and ointments, let not the flower of our life pass by us, let us crown our selves with rose buds before they are withered, &c. Vivamus mea Lesbia & amemus, &c. Come let us take our fill of love, and pleasure in dalliance, for this is our portion, this is our lot.
* Hor. l. 2. od. 19. mullus. Prov. 7. 8.
+ Luke 17,
Wisd. 2. %.
Vers. 6, 7, 8. Ca.
· Tempora * Lib. I. + M. Montan. lib. 1. cap. 4. Orat. Cont. Hispan. ne pro. ximo decennio deum adorarent, &c. § Talem se exhibuit, ut nec in Chris. tim, nec Mahometem crederet, unde effectum ut promissa nisi quatenus in suuti commodum cederent minime servåret, nec ullo scelere peccatum statueret, at suis desideriis satisfaceret. A Lib. de mor. Germ.
“Tempora labuntur, tacitisq; senescimus annis," For the rest of heaven and hell, let children and superstitious fools beleeve it for their parts they are so far from trembling at the dreadful day of judgement, that they wish with Nero, Me vivo fiat, let it come in their times : 80 secure, so desperate, so immoderate in lust and pleasure, so prone to revenge, that as Paterculus said of some Caitiffes in his time in Rome,
Quod nequitèr ausi, fortiter executi: it shall not be so wickedly attempted, but as desperately performed, what ere they take in hand. Were it not for God's restraining grace, fear and shame, temporall punishment, and their own infamy, they would Lycaon-like exenterate, as so many Canibals eat up, or Cadmus souldiers consume one another. These are most impious, and commonly professed Atheists, that never use the name of God but to swear by it: that expresse naught else but Epicurisme in their carriage, or hypocrisie; with Pentheus they neglect and contemn these rites and religious ceremonies of the Gods, they will be Gods themselves, or at least socii deorum.
“ Divisum imperium cum Jove Cæsar habet." Aproyis an Ægyptian tyrant, grew, saith * Herodotus, to that height of pride, insolency of impietie, to that contempt of God and men, that he held his kingdom so sure, ut à nemine deorum aut hominum cibi cripi posset, neither God nor men could take it from him. + A certain blaspheinous King of Spaine (as Lansius reports) made an edict, that no subject of his, for ten years space, should beleeve in, call on, or worship any God. And as Jovius relates of “Mahomed the second, that sacked Constantinople, he so behaved himself, that he beleeved neither Christ nor Mahomet, and thence it came to passe, that he kept his word and promise no farther than for his advantage, neither did he care to commit any offence to satisfie his lust.” I could say the like of many Princes, inany private men (our stories are full of them) in times past, this present age, that love, fear, obey, and perform all civil duties, as they shall finde them expedient or behoveful to their own ends. Securi adversus Deos, securi adversus homines, votis non est opus, which I Tacitus reports of some Germans, they need not pray, fear, hope, for they are secure to their think ing, both from God and men. Bulco Opiliensis, sometimes Duke of * Silesia, was such a one to an hair, he lived (saith
Æneas Sylvius) at * Uratislavia," and was so mad to sacisfie his lust, that he beleeved neither heaven nor hell, or that the soul was immortall, but married wives, and turned thein up as he thought fit, did murder and mischief, and what he list himself." This duke hath too many followers in our dayes : say what you can, dehort, exhort, perswade to the contrary, they are no more moved,
" quam si dura silex aut stet Marpesia cautes," then so many stockes, and stones, tell them of Heaven and hell, 'tis to no purpose, laterem lavas, they answer as Ataliba that Indian Prince did Frier Vincent,“ m when he brought hiin a book, and told him all the mysteries of salvation, heaven and hell, were contained in it: he looked upon it, and said he saw no such matter, asking withall how he knew it:" they will but scoffe at it, or wholly reject it. Petronius in Tacitus when he was now by Nero's command bleeding to death, audiebat amicos nihil referentes de immortalitate animæ, aut sapientum placitis, sed levia carmina & faciles versus, in stead of good counsel and divine meditations, he made his friends sing him bawdy verses, and scurrile songs. Let them take heaven, paradise, and that future happiness that will, bonum est esse hic, it is good being here: there is no talking to such, no hope of their conversion, they are in a reprobata sense, meer carnalists, fleshly minded men, which howsoever they may be applauded in this life by some few parasites, and held for worldly wise men, “ . They seem to me (saith Me. lancthon) to be as mad as Hercules was when he raved and killed his wife and children.” A milder sort of these Atheisticall spirits there are that profess religion, but timidè & hæsin tanter, tempted threunto out of that horrible consideration of diversity of Religions, which are and have been in the world, (which argument Campanella, Atheisnii Triumphati cap. 9. both urgeth and answers) besides the covetousness, imposture and knavery of Priests, quæ faciunt (as + Postellus observes) ut rebus sacris minùs faciant fidem; and those religions some of them so phantasticall, cxorbitant, so violently maintained with equall constancie and assurance; whence they infer, that if
* Or Breslaw.. ' Usque adeo insanus, ut nec inferos, nec superos esse di. cal, animasque cum corporibus interire crodat &c. * Europæ deser. cap. 84. * Fratres à Bry Amer. par. 6. librum à Vincentio monacho datum ab. jecit, nihil se videre ibi hujusmodi dicens. rogansque unde hæc sciret, quum de ccelo & Tartaro contineri ibi diceret. * Non minus hi furunt quam Hercules, qui conjugem, & liberos interfecit; habet hæc ætas plura hujusmodi portentosa monstra. + De orbis con. lib. 1. cap. 7.
there be so many religious sects, and denyed by the rest, why may they not be all false ? or why should this or that be preferred before the rest? The scepticks urge this, and amongst others it is the conclusion of Sextus Empericus lib. 8. advers. Mathematicos: after many Philosophical arguments and reasons pro and con that there are Gods, and again that there are no Gods, he so concludes, cum tot inter se pugnent, &c. Una tantum potest esse vera, as Tully likewise disputes : Christians say, they alone worship the true God, pity all other sects, lament their case; and yet those old Greeks and Romans that worshiped the Divel, as the Chinas now, do, aut Deos Topicos their own Gods; as Julian the Apostate, * Cecilius in Minutius, Celsus and Porphyrius the Philosopher object; and as Machiavel contends, were much more noble, generous, victorious, had a more flourishing common-wealth, better cities, better souldiers, better Schollers, better wits. Their Gods often overcame our Gods, did as many miracles, &c. Saint Cyril, Arnobius, Minutius, with many other ancients of late, Lessius, Morneus, Grotius de verit. Relig. Christianæ, Sava: narola de verit. fidei Christianæ, well defend; but Zanchius, + Campanella, Marinus Marcennus, Bozius, and Gentillettus answer all these Atheisticall arguments at large. But this again troubles many as of old, wicked men generally thrive, professed Atheists thrive,
“Nullos esse Deos, inane cælum,
Their Deities, he better thrives. This is a prime argument: and most part your most sincere, upright, honest, and Ý good men are depressed, “ The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, (Eccles. 9. 11.) nor yet bread to the wise, favour nor riches to men of understanding, but time and chance comes to all.” There was a great plague in Athens (as Thucydides lib. 2. relates) in which at last every man, with great licentiousness, did what he list,
Nonne Romani sine Deo vestro regnant & fruuntur orbe toto, & vos & Deos vestros captivos tenent, &c. Minutius Octaviano. + Comment. in Genesin copiosus in hoc subjecto. | Ecce pars vestrum & major & melior alget, fame laborat, & deus patitur, dissimulat, non vult, non potest opitulari suis, & yel invalidus vel iniquus est. Cecilius in Minut. Dum rapiunt mala fata bonos, ignoscite fasso, Sollicitor nullos esse putare dcos. Ovid. Vidi ego diis fretos, mullos decipi. Plautus Casina act. 2. scen. 5. Martial. l. 4. Epig. 81.
not caring at all for God's or men's laws. « Neither the fear of God nor lawes of men (saith he) awed any inan, because the plague swept all away alike, good and bad; they thence concluded it was alike to worship or not worship the Gods, since they perished all alike.” Some cavil and make doubts of Scripture it self, it cannot stand with God's mercy, that so many should be damned, so many bad, so few good, such have and hold about religions, all stiffe on their side, factious alike, thrive alike, and yet bitterly persecuting and damning each other;'“ It cannot stand with God's goodness, protection, and providence (as * Saint Chrysostome in the Dialect of such discontented persons) to see and suffer one man to be lame, another mad, a third poor and miserable all the dayęs of his life, a fourth grievously tormented with sickness and aches, to his last hour. Are these signes and works of God's providence, to let one man be deaf, another dumb ? A poor honest fellow lives in disgrace, wo and want, wretched he is; when as a wicked Cataiffe abounds in superfluitie of wealth, keeps whores, parasites, and what he will himself :" Audis Jupiter hæc? Talia multa connectentes, longum reprehensionis sermonem erga dei providentiam contexunt. Thus they mutter and object, (see the rest of their arguments in Marcennus in Genesin, and in Campanella, amply confuted) with many such vain cavils, well known, not worthy the recapitulation or answering, whatsoever they pretend, they are interim of little or no religion.
Cosin-germans to these men are many of our great Philo. sophers, and Deists, who though they be inore temperate in this life, give many good moral precepts, honest, upright, and sober in their conversation, yet in effect they are the same, (accompting no man a good Scholar that is not an Atheist) nimis altum sapiunt, too much learning makes them mad. Whiles they attribute all to natural causes, o contingence of all things, as Melancthon cals them, Pertinax hominum genus, a peevish Generation of men, that mis-led by Philosophy, and the Divel's suggestion, their own innate blindness, deny God as much as the rest, hold all Religion a fiction, opposite to reason and Phi. losophy, though for fear of Magistrates, saith + Vaninus, they durst not publikely profess it. Ask one of them of what Religion he is, he scoffingly replies, a Philosopher, a Galenist, an
Averroist, and with Rablais a Physitian, a Peripatetick, an Epicure. In spiritual things God' inust demonstrate all to
Ser. 30. in 5. cap. ad Ephes. hic fractis est pedibus, alter furit, alius ad exfremam senectam progressus omnem vitam paupertate peragit, ille morbis gravissimis : sunt hæc providentiæ opera? hic surdus, ille mutus, &c. Oinnia contingenter fieri volunt. Melanchon in præceptum primum. + Dial. 1. dib. 4. de admir. nai. Arcanis. Anima mea sit cum animis Philosophorum.