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sense, leave a pawn with them, or else seek some other creditor. They will acknowledge nature and fortune, yet not God: though in effect they grant both: for as Scaliger defines, Nature signifies God's ordinary power; or as Calvin writes, Nature is God's order, and so things extraordinary may be called unnatural :: Fortune his unrevealed will; and so wo call things changeable that are beside reason and expectation. To this purpose * Minutius in Octavio, and P Seneca well discourseth with them, lib. 4. de beneficiis cap. 5. 6. 7. “ They do not understand what they say; what is Nature but God? call him what thou wilt, Nature, Jupiter, he hath as many names as Offices : it comes all to one pass, God is the fountain of all, the first Giver and Preserver, from whom all things depend, à quo, & per quem omnia,
“ Nam quodcunque vides Deus est, quocunque moveris," God is all in all, God is every where, in every place. And yet this Seneca, that could confute and blame them, is all out as much to be blamed and confuted himself, as mad himself; for he holds fatum Stoicum, that inevitable necessity in the other extreme, as those Chaldean Astrologers of old did, against whom the Prophet Jeremy so often thunders, and those heathen Mathematicians, Nigidius Figulus, Magicians, and Priscilianists, whom S. Austin so eagerly confutes, those Arabian questionaries, Novem Judices, Albumazer, Dorotheus, &c. and our Countryman' Estuidus, that take upon them to define
out of those great conjunctions of Stars, with Ptolomeus, the - periods of Kingdoms, or Religions, of all future Accidents, Wars, Plagues, Schismes, Heresies, and what not ? all from Stars, and such things, saith Maginus, Quæ sibi & intelligen. tiis suis reservavit Deus, which God hath reserved to himself and his Angels, they will take upon them to foretell, as if Stars were immediate, inevitable causes of all future Accidents. Cæsar Vaninus in his Book de admirandis nature Arcanis dial. 52. de oraculis, is more free, copious and open in the ex. plication of this Astrological Tenent of Ptolomy, than any of our modern Writers, Cardan excepted, a true disciple of his Master Pomponatius, according to the doctrine of Peripateticks, he refers all Apparitions, Prodigies, Miracles, Oracles, Accidents, Alterations of Religions, Kingdoins, &c. (for which he is soundly lashed by Marinus Marcennus, as well he deserves) to natural causes, (for spirits he will not acknowledge) to that light, motion, influences of Heavens and Stars, and to the In
* Deum unum multis designant nominibus, &c. Non intelligis te quum hæc dicis, negare te ipsum nomen dei: quid cnim est aliud natura quam Dens. &c. tot habet appellationes quot muncra. Austin. • Principio phæmer.
orbem Discourse of intellig Aspects
telligences that move the Orbes. Intelligentia quæ modet orbem mediante Cælo, &c. Intelligences do all : and after a long Discourse of Miracles done of old, si hæc demones possint, cur non & intelligentiæ cælorum motrices? And as these great Conjunctions, Aspects of Planets, begin or end, vary, are vertical and predominant, so have Religions, Rites, Ceremonies, and Kingdoms their beginning, progress, periods, in Urbibus, Regibus, Religionibus, ac in particularibus how minibus hæc vera uc manifesta sunt, ut Aristoteles innuere videtur, & quotidiana docet experientia, ut historias perlegens videbit ; quid olin in Gentili lege Jove sanctius & illustrius ? Quid nunc vile magis & execrandum ? Ita celestia corpora pro mortalium beneficio religiones ædificant, & cum cessat influxus, cessat lex, &c. And because, according to their Tenents, the world is eternal, intelligences eternal, Influ. ences of Stars eternal, Kingdoms, Religions, alterations shall be likewise eternal, and run round after many Ages ; Atque iterum ad Troiam magnus mittetur Achilles; renascentur Religiones, & Ceremonie, res humanæ in idem recident, nihil nunc quod non olim fuit, & post sæculorum revolutiones alias est, erit, &c. idem specie, saith Vaninus, non individuo yuod Plato significavit. These (saith mine * Author) these are the Decrees of Peripateticks, which though I recite, in obsequium Christianæ fidei detestor, as I am a Christian I detest and hate. Thus Peripateticks and Astrologians held in former times, and to this effect of old in Rome, saith Dionysius Halicarnassus, lib. 7. when those Meteors and Prodigies apo peared in the Ayr, after the banishment of Coriolanus, «. Men were diversly affected, some said they were God's just judgements for the execution of that good man, some referred all to natural causes, some to Stars, some thought they came by chance, some by necessity” decreed ab initio, and could not be altered. The two last Opinions of Necessity and Chance, were, it seems, of greater note than the rest.
“ + Sunt qui in Fortunæ jam casibus omnia ponunt,
Naturâ volvente vices,” &c. For the first of Chance, as I Salust likewise informeth us, those old Romans generally received; “ They supposed Fortune alone gave Kingdoms and Empires, Wealth, Honours, Offices, and that for two causes; first, because every wicked, base unwor. thy wretch was preferred, rich, potent, &c. Secondly, because of their uncertainty, though never so good, scarce any one enjoyed them long : but after they began upon better advice to think otherwise, that every man made his own fortune.” The last of Necessity was Seneca's tenent, that God was alligatus causis secundis, so tyed to second causes, to that inexorable necessity, that he could alter nothing of that which was once decreed, sic erat in fatis, it cannot be altered, semel jussit, semper paret Deus, nulla vis rumpit, nullæ preces, nec ipsum fulmen, God hath once said it, and it must for ever stand good, no prayers, no threats, nor power, nor thunder it self can alter it. Zeno, Chrysippus, and those other Stoicks, as you may read in Tully 2. de divinatione, Gellius, lib. 6. cap. 2. &c. maintained as much. In all Ages, there have been such, that either deny God in all, or in part, some deride him, they could have inade a better world, and rule it more orderly themselves, blaspheme him, derogate at their pleasure from him. 'Twas so in * Plato's time, “Some say there be no gods, others that they care nor for men, a middle sort grant both.” Si non sit Deus, unde bona? si sit Deus, unde mala ? So Cotta argues in Tully, why made he not all good, or at least tenders not the welfare of such as are good? As the woman told Alexander, if he be not at leasure to hear Causes, and redress them, why doth he reign? + Sextus Empericus hath many such Arguments. Thus perverse men cavil. So it will ever be, some of all sorts, good, bad, indifferent, true, false, zealous, ambo. dexters, neutralists, lukewarm, Libertines, atheists, &c. They will see these religious Sectaries agree amongst themselves, be seconciled all, before they will participate with, or believe any : They think in the mean time, (which I Celsus objects, and whom Origen confutes) “ we Christians adore a person put to
* Vaninus dial. 52. de oraculis. • Varie homines affecti, alii dei judicium ad tain pii exilium, ali ad naturam referebant, nec ab indignatione dei, sed hu. manis causis, &c. 12. Natural. quæst. 33. 39. + Juv. Sat. 13. Epist. ad C. Cæsar. Romani olim putabant fortunam regna & imperia dare: Credebant antea mortales fortunam solam opes & honores largiri, idque duabus de causis; primum quod indignus quisque divcs honoratus, potens ; alterum, vix quisquam perpetuo bonis iis frui visus. Postea prudentiores didicere fortunam suam quemq; fingere.
death with no more reason then the barbarous Getes worshipped Zamolxis, the Cilicians Mopsus, the Thebans Amphi. araus, and the Lebadians Trophonius; one Religion is as true as another, new fangled devices, all for humane respects;" great witted Aristotle's works are as much authentical to them as Scriptures, subtle Seneca's Epistles as Canonical as Saint Paul's, Pindarus’ Odes as good as the Prophet David's Psalms, Epictetus' Enchiridion equivalent to wise Solomon's Proverbs. They do openly and boldly speak this and more, some of them, in all places and companies. «u Claudius the Emperour was angry with Heaven, because it thundred, and challenged Jupiter into the field: with what madness, saith Seneca ? he thought Jupiter could not hurt him, but he could hurt Jupiter." 'Dia. goras, Demonax, Epicurus, Pliny, Lucian, Lucretius, '.
* 10 de legib. Alii negant esse deos, alii dcos non curare' res humanas, ala utraque concedunt. + Lib. 8. ad mathem. Origincs contra Celsum. 1.3. hos immerito nobiscum conferri fusè declarat. Crucifixum deum ignomiuiosè Lucianus vita peregrin Christum vocat.
"Contemptorque Deúm Mezentius," professed Atheists all in their tiines: though not simple Athes ists neither, as Cicogna proves, lib. 1. cap. 1. they scoffed onely at chose Pagan gods, their plurality, base and fictitious Offices. Gilbertus Cognatus labour's much, and so doth Erasmus, to vindicate Lucian from scandal, and there be those that apologize for Epicurus; but all in vain, Lucian scoffs at all, Epicurus he denys all, and Lucretius his Scholar defends him in it;
"' * Humana ante oculos fædè cum vita jaceret,
With gastly looks aloft, which frighted mortal men, &c. He alone, as another Hercules, did vindicate the world from that Monster. Unkle * Pliny, lib. 2. cap. 7. nat. hist. & lib. 7. cap. 55, in express words denies the Immortality of the Soul. ; + Seneca doth little less, lib. 7. epist. 55. ad Lucilium, & lib. de consol. ad Martinm, or rather more. Some Greek Commentators would put as much upon Job, that he should deny resur. rection, &c. whom Pineda copiously confutes in cap. 7. Job. vers. 9. Aristotle is hardly censured of some, both Divines and Philosophers. S. Justine in Perenetica ad gentes, Greg. Nazianzen. in disput. adversus Eun. Theodoret, lib. 5. de curat. græc. affec. Origen. lib. de principiis. Pomponatius justifies in his Tract (so stiled at least) De immortalitate Anime, Scaliger, (who would forswear hiinself at any time, saith Patritius, in defence of his great master Aristotle) and Dandinus, lib. 3. de anima, acknowledge as much. Averroes oppugnes all spirits and supream powers ; of late Brunus, (infælix Brunus, . Kepler cats him) Machiavel, Cæsar Van. ninus lately burned ar Tolouse in France, and Pet. Aretine, have publikely maintained such Atheistical paradoxes, † with
u De ira 16.34• Iratus cælo quod obstreperet, ad pugnam vocans Jovem, quantâ dementia? putavit sibi nocere non posse, & se nocere tamen Jovi posse.
Lib. l. I. * Idemn status post mortem, ac fuit antequam nascercmur, & Seneca. Idem eric post me quod ante me fuit. + Lucernæ eadem conditio quum extinguitur, ac fuit antequam accenderetur ; ita & hominis. Dissert. cum nunc syder; Campanella cap. 18. Atheism triumphat...
that Italian Bocase, with his Fable of three Rings, &c. ex quo infert haud posse internosci, que sit verior Religio, Judaica, Mahometana, an Christiana, quoniam eaden signa, &c.
Marinus Mercennus suspects Cardan for his subtleties, Campanella, and Charron's Book of Wisdome, with some other Tracts, to savour of + Atheism: but amongst the rest that pestilent Book de tribus mundi impostoribus, quem sine horore finquit) non legas, & mundi Cymbalum dialogis quatuor contentum, Anno 1538. auctore Peresio, Parisiis ercusum, I &c. And as there have been in all Ages such blasphemous spirits, so there have not been wanting their Patrons, Protectors, Disciples and Adherents. Never so many Atheists in Italy and Germany, saith Colerus, as in this age: the like complaint Mercennus makes in France, 50000 in that one city of Paris. Frederick the Emperour, as $ Matthew Paris records, licet non sit recitabile (I use his own words) is reported to have said, Tres prestigiatores, Moses, Christus, & Mahomet, uti mundo dominarentur, totum populum sibi contemporaneum seduxisse. (Henry the Lansgrave of Hessen heard him speak it,) Si principes imperii institutioni meæ adhære. Tent, ego multò meliorem modum credendi $ vivendi or. dinarem.
To these professed Atheists we may well add that impious and carnal crew of worldly-minded men, impenitent sinners, that go to Hel in a lethargy, or in a dream, who though they be professed Christians, yet they will Nulla pallescere culpa, make a conscience of nothing they do, they have cauterized consciences, and are indeed in a reprobate sense, “ past all feeling, have given themselves over to wantonness, to work all manner of uncleanness even with greediness," Ephes. 4. 19. They do know there is a God, a day of Judgement to come, and yet for all that, as Hugo saith, ita comedunt ac dormiunt, ac si diem judiciï evasissent; ita ludunt ac rident, ac si in cælis cum Deo regnarent: they are as merry for all the sorrow, as if they had escaped all dangers, and were in heaven already:
|| Metus omnes, & inexorabile fatum Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.” Those rude Idiots and ignorant persons, that neglect and contemn the means of their salvation, may march on with these, but above all others, those Herodian temporizing Statesmen, politick Machiavilians and Hypocrites, that make a shew of Reli.
* Comment. in Genes. cap. 7. + So that a man may meet an Atheist as soon in his study as in the Street. Simonis religio incerto authore Craco. niz edit. 1588. conclusio libri est. Ede itaque, bibe, lude, &c. Jam deus fig. mentum est. q Lib. de immortal. animæ Pag. 645. an. 1238. ad finem Henrici Rrui. Idem Pisterius pag. 743. in compilat, sua.. ] Virge