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Livia, Conjugii noftri memor, vive, & vale. Tiberias in Diffimulation, as Tacitus faith of him; Jam Tiberium Vires, & Corpus, non Diffimulatio deferebant. Vefpafian in a jest, fitting upon the ftool; Ut puto, Deus fio. Galba with a Sentence; Feri, fi ex re fit populi Romani, holding forth his neck. Septimius Severus in dispatch; Adeste, fi quid mihi restat agendum. And the like. Certainly the Stoicks bestowed too much coft upon Death, and by their great preparations made it appear more fearful. Better faith he, Qui finem vita extremum inter munera penat Nature. It is as natural to die, as to be born; and to a little infant perhaps the one is as painful as the other. He that dies in an earnest purfuit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood, who for the time fcarce feels the hurt; and therefore a mind fixt, and bent upon fomewhat 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 alfo, that it openeth the Gate to good Fame, and extinguitheth Envy. Extinctus amabitur idem.
Of Unity in Religion:
Eligion being the chief band of Human Society, it is a happy thing when it felf is
well contained within the true band of Unity The Quarrels and Divifions about Religion were Evils unknown to the Heathen. The reafon was, because the Religion of the Heathen confifted rather in Rites and Ceremonies, than in any conftant belief. For you may imagin what kind of Faith theirs was, when the chief Doctors and Fathers of their Church were Poets. But the true God hath this Attribute, that he is a jealous. God, and therefore his Worthip and Religion will endure no mixture nor Partner. We hall therefore fpeak a few words concerning the Unity of the Church, What are the Fruits thereof, what the Bonds, and what the Means.
The Fruits of Unity (next unto the well-pleafing of God, which is All in All) are two; the one towards those that are without the Church, the other towards thofe that are within. For the former: It is certain, that Herefies and Schifins 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; fo in the Spiritual. So that nothing doth fo much keep Men out of the Church, and drive men out of the Church,as breach of Unity: And therefore whenfoever it cometh to that pass, that one faith, Ecce in deferto, another faith, Ecce in penetralibus ; that is, when fome Men feek Chrift in the Conventicles of Hereticks, and others in an outward face of a Church, that Voice had need continually to found in Mens Ears, Nolite exire, Go not B 4
out. The Doctor of the Gentiles (the propriety of whofe vocation drew him to have a special care of those without) faith, If an Heathen come in and hear you Speak with feveral Tongues, will be not fay that you are mad? And certainly it is little better, when Atheifts and prophane perfons do hear of fo many difcordant and contrary Opinions in Religion, it doth avert them from the Church, and maketh them to fit down in the Chair of the Scorners. It is but a light thing to be vouched in fo ferious a matter, but yet it expreffeth well the deformity. There is a Mafter of Scoffing, that in his Catalogue of Books of a feigned Library, fets down this Title of a Book, The Morrice-dance of Hereticks. For indeed every Sect of them hath a diverfe pofture, or cringe by themselves, which cannot but move derifion in Worldlings, and depraved Politicks who are apt to contemn holy things.
As for the Fruit towards thofe that are within. It is Peace, which containerh infinite Bleffings; it eftablisheth Faith; it kindleth Charity; the outward peace of the Church diftilleth into peace of Confcience; and it turneth the Labours of Writing and Reading of Controverfies, into Trcatifes of Mortification and Devotion.
Concerning the Bonds of Unity; the true plaeing of them importeth exceedingly. There appear to be two extreams. For to certain ZeLots all fpeech of pacification is odious. Is it peace, Jehu? What haft thou to do with peace? turn bee behind me. Peace is not the matter, but fol
lowing and party. Contrariwise certain Laodiceans, and luke-warm perfons, think they may accommodate points of Religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements; as if they would make an arbitrement between God and Man. But thefe extreams are to be avoided; which will be done, if the league of Chriftians, penned by our Saviour himfelf, were in the two cross claufes thereof, foundly and plainly expounded. He that is not with us, is against us: And again, He that is not against us, is with us: That is, if the points Fundamental, and of Subftance in Religion, were truly discerned and diftinguished from points not meerly of Faith, but of Opinion, Order, or good Intention. This is a thing may feem to many a matter trivial, and done already; but if it were done fcfs partially, it would be embraced more gene
Of this I may give only this advice, according to my small model: Men ought to take heed of rending Gods Church by two kinds of controverfics: The one is, when the matter of the point controverted is too fmall and light, not worth the heat and ftrife about it, kindled only by contradiction. For, as it is noted by one of the Fathers, Chrifts Coat indeed had no feam, but the Churches Vefture was of divers colours whereupon he faith, In vefte varietas fit, fciffura non fit; they be two things, Unity and Uniformity. The other is, when the matter of the point controyerted is great, but it is driven to an over-great
fubtilty and obfcurity, fo that it becometh a thing rather ingenious than fubftantial. A Man that is of judgment and understanding, thall fometimes hear ignorant Men differ, and know well within himself, that thofe which fo differ, mean one thing, and yet they themselves would never agree. And if it come fo to pass, in that diftance of judgment which is between Man and Man, fhall we not think, that God above, that knows the heart, doth not difcern that frail Men in fome of their contradictions intend the fame thing, and accepteth of both? The nature of fuch controverfies is excellently expreffed by Saint Paul, in the warning and precept that he giveth concerning the fame, Devita profanas vocum novitates, & oppofitiones falfi nominis fcientiæ Men create oppofitions which are not, and put them into new terms fo fixed, as whereas the meaning ought to govern the term, the term in effect governeth the meaning. There be allo two falle Peaces, or Unities; the one, when the Peace is grounded but upon an implicite ignorance; for all Colours will agree in the dark: the other when it is pieced up upon a direct admillion of contraries in Fundamental points. For Truth and Falfhood in fuch things, are like the Iron and Clay in the toes of Nebuchadnezzars Image, they may cleave, but they will not incor
Concerning the Means of procuring Unity; Men must beware, that in the procuring or muniting of Religious Unity, they do not diffolve and deface