Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

2

all the Lord's people, are become prophets. No marvel then twenty engrossers over it, to bring a famine upon our minds though some men, and some good men too, perhaps, but again, when we shall know nothing but what is measured to young in goodness, as Joshua then was, envy them. They us by their bushel ? Believe it, Lords and Commons, they fret, and out of their own weakness are in agony, lest these who counsel ye to such a suppressing, do as good as bid ye divisions and subdivisions will undo us. The adversary again suppress yourselves; and I will soon show how. If it be applauds, and waits the hour, when they have branched desired to know the immediate cause of all this free writing themselves out, saith he, small enough into parties and par- and free speaking, there cannot be assigned a truer than your titions, then will be our time. Fool! he sees not the firm own mild, and free, and humane government; it is the liberty, root, out of which we all grow, though into branches : nor Lords and Commons, which your own valorous and happy will beware until he see our small divided maniples 2 cutting counsels, have purchased us, liberty which is the nurse of all through at every angle of his ill-united and unwieldy brigade. great wits; this is that which hath rarefied and enlightened And that we are to hope better of all these supposed sects, and our spirits like the influence of heaven; this is that which schisms, and that we shall not need that solicitudo honest hath enfranchised, enlarged and lifted up our apprehensions perhaps though over-timorous of them that vex in this behalf, degrees above themselves. Ye cannot make us now less but shall laugh in the end, at those malicious applauders of capable, less knowing, less cagerly pursuing of the truth, our differences, I have these reasons to persuade me.

unless ye first make yourselves, that made us so, less the First, when a City shall be as it were besieged and blocked lovers, less the founders of our true liberty. We can grow about, her navigable river infested, inroads and incursions ignorant again, brutish, formal, and slavish, as ye found us; round, defiance and battle oft rumoured to be marching up but you then must first become that which ye cannot be, even to her walls, and suburb trenches, that then the people, oppressive, arbitrary, and tyrannous, as they were from or the greater part, more than at other times, wholly taken up whom ye have freed us. That our hearts are now moro with the study of highest and most important matters to be capacious, our thoughts more erected to the search and reformed, should be disputing, reasoning, reading, inventing, expectation of greatest and exactest things, is the issue of discoursing, even to a rarity, and admiration, things not before your own virtue propagated in us; ye cannot suppress that discoursed or written of, argues first a singular goodwill, unless ye reinforce an abrogated and merciless law, that contentedness and confidence in your prudent foresight, and fathers may despatch at will their own children. And who safe government, Lords and Commons; and from thenco shall then stick closest to ye, and excite others ? not he who derives itself to a gallant bravery and well grounded contempt takes up arms for coat and conduct, and his four nobles of of their enemies, as if there were no small number of as great Danegelt. Although I dispraise not the defence of just spirits among us, as his was, who when Rome was nigh immunities, yet love my peace better, if that were all. Give besieged by Hannibal, being in the city, bought that piece of me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according ground at no cheap rate, whereon Hannibal himself encamped to conscience, above all liberties. his own regiment. Next it is a lively and cheerful presage 5 What would be best advised then, if it be found so hurtful of our happy success and victory. For as in a body, when the and so unequal to suppress opinions for the newness, or the blood is fresh, the spirits pure and vigorous, not only to vital, unsuitableness to a customary acceptance, will not be my task but to rational faculties, and those in the acutest, and the to say; I only shall repeat what I have learned from one of pertest operations of wit and subtlety, it argues in what good your own honourable number, a right noble and pious lord, plight and constitution the body is, so when the cheerfulness of who had he not sacrificed his life and fortunes to the Church the people is so sprightly up, as that it has, not only wherewith and Commonwealth, we had not now inissed and bewailed a to guard well its own freedom and safety, but to spare, and to worthy and undoubted patron of this argument. Ye know bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of controversy, him I am sure; yet I for honour's sake, and may it be and new invention, it betokens us not degenerated, nor droop- eternal to him, shall name him, the Lord Brook. He writing ing to a fatal decay, but casting off the old and wrinkled skin of Episcopacy, and by the way treating of sects and schisms, of corruption to outlive these pangs and wax young again, left ye his vote, or rather now the last words of his dying entering the glorious ways of Truth and prosperous virfue charge, which I know will ever be of dear and honoured destined to become great and honourable in these latter ages. regard with ye, so full of meekness and breathing charity, Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation that next to His last testament, who bequeathed love and rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking peace to His disciples, I cannot call to mind where I have her invincible locks: Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing * read or heard ords more mild and peaceful. He there her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full exhorts us to hear with patience and humility those, howerer midday beam; purging and unscaling her long-abused sight they be miscalled, that desire to live purely, in such a use of at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole God's ordinances, as the best guidance of their conscience noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love gives them, and to tolerate them, though in some disconthe twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in formity to ourselves. The book itself will tell us more at their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms. What should ye do then, should ye suppress all this flowery

5 The Proof is now ended, and the Peroration here begins.

6 Robert, son of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, was shot when he had crop of knowledge and new light sprung up and yet spring

marched against the Earl of Chesterfield, in Lichfield, and was prepar. ing daily in this City, should ye set an oligarchy of

ing an assault on combatants who held Lichfield Cathedral, March 1st, 1613. He bad published an earnest volume in 1641 on "The Nature

of Truth. In his treatise on Episcopacy he said, “I must confess 1 The Lord's people prophets. Numbers xi. 29.

that I begin to think there may be, perhaps, something more of God Maniples. The Roman maniplus was a small company.

in these sects which they call new schisms, than appears at first 3 This mark of confidence in Rome, when a rich Roman would pay glimpse." Laud wrote of Lord Robert Brooke in his Diary, “ First, a good price for the very land on which the enemy was camped, is told I observe that this great and known enemy to Cathedral Churches by Livy, xxvi. 11.

died thus fearfully, in the assault of a Cathedral; a fearful manner of * Meving, renewing, from French muer, Latin mutare, applied to death in such a quarrel ; secondly, that this happened on St. Chad's birds moulting and renewing plumage. But not to birds only: "Nine day, of which saint the Cathedral bears the name." He was killed by times the moon had mewed her horns," wrote Dryden.

a musket-shot out of the House of God.

a

large being published to the world, and dedicated to the Parliament by him who both for his life and for his death deserves, that what advice he left be not laid by without perusal.

And now the time in special is, by privilege to write and speak what may help to the further discussing of matters in agitation. The temple of Janus with his two controversal faces might now not unsignificantly be set open. And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple ; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing. He who hears what praying there is for light and clearer knowledge to be sent down among us, would think of other matters to be constituted beyond the discipline of Geneva, framed and fabricked already to our hands. Yet when the new light which we beg for shines'in upon us, there be who envy, and oppose, if it come not first in at their casements. What a collusion is this, whenas we are exhorted by the wise man to use diligence, to seek for wisdom as for hidden treasures early and late, that another order shall enjoin us to know nothing but by statute ? When a man hath been labouring the hardest labour in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furnished out his findings in all their equipago, drawn forth his reasons as it were a battle ranged, scattered and defeated all objections in his way, calls out his adversary into the plain, offers him the advantage of wind and sun, if he please; only that he may try the matter by dint of argument, for his opponents then to skulk, to lay ambushments, to keep a narrow bridge of licensing where the challenger should pass, though it be valour enough in soldiership, is but weakness and cowardice in the wars of Truth. For who knows not that Truth is strong, next to the Almighty ; she needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings to make her victorious, those are the shifts and the defences that error uses against her power: give her but room, and do not bind her when she sleeps, for then she speaks not true, as the old Proteus did, who spake oracles only when he was caught and bound, but then rather she turns herself into all shapes, except her own, and perhaps tunes her voice according to the time, as Micaiah did before Ahab, until she be adjured into her own likeness. Yet is it not impossible that she may have more shapes than one. What else is all that rank of things indifferent, wherein Truth may be on this side, or on the other, without being unlike herself. What but a vain shadow else is the abolition of those ordinances, that hand-writing nailed to the cross, what great purchase is this Christian liberty which Paul so often boasts of. His doctrine is, that he who eats or eats not, regards a day, or regards it not, may do either to the Lord. How many other things might be tolerated in peace, and left to conscience, had we but charity, and were it not the chief stronghold of our hypocrisy to be ever judging one another. I fear yet this iron yoke of outward conformity hath left a slavish print upon our necks; the ghost of a linen decency' yet haunts us. We stumble and are impatient at the least dividing of one visible congregation from another, though it be not in fundamentals; and through our forwardness to suppress, and our backwardness to recover any enthralled piece of truth out of the gripe of custom, we care not to keep truth separated from truth, which is the fiercest rent and disunion of all. We do not see that while we still affect

by all means a rigid external formality, we may as soon fall again into a gross conforming stupidity, a stark and dead congealment of wood, and hay, and stubble forced and frozen together, which is more to the sudden degenerating of a Church than many subdichotomies of petty schisms. Not that I can think well of every light separation, or that all in a Church is to be expected gold and silver and precious stones : it is not possible for man to sever the wheat from the tares, the good fish from the other fry: that must be the Angels' Ministry at the end of mortal things. Yet if all cannot be of one mind, as who looks they should be ? this doubtless is more wholesome, more prudent, and more Christian that many be tolerated, rather than all compelled. I mean not tolerated popery, and open superstition, which as it extirpates all religions and civil supremacies, so itself should be extirpate, provided first that all charitable and compassionate means be used to win and regain the weak and the misled : that also which is impious or evil absolutely either against faith or manners no law can possibly permit, that intends not to unlaw itself: but those neighbouring differences, or rather indifferences, are what I speak of, whether in some point of doctrine or of discipline, which though they may be many, yet need not interrupt the unity of Spirit, if we could but find among us the bond of peace. In the meanwhile if any one would write, and bring his helpful hand to the slow. moving Reformation which we labour under, if Truth have spoken to him before others, or but seemed at least to speak, who hath so bejesuited us that we should trouble that man with asking license to do so worthy a deed ? and not consider this, that if it come to prohibiting, there is not ought more likely to be prohibited than truth itself; whose first appearance to our eyes bleared and dimmed with prejudice and custom, is more unsightly and unplausible than many errors, even as the person is of many a great man slight and contemptible to see to. And what do they tell us vainly of new opinions, when this very opinion of theirs, that none must be heard, but whom they like, is the worst and newest opinion of all others; and is the chief cause why sects and schisms do so much abound, and true knowledge is kept at distance from us; besides yet a greater danger which is in it. For when God shakes a Kingdom with strong and healthful commotions to a general reforming, 'tis not untrue that many sectaries and false teachers are then busiest in seducing; but yet more true it is, that God then raises to His own work men of rare abilities, and more than common industry not only to look back and revise what hath been taught heretofore, but to gain further and go on, some new enlightened steps in the discovery of truth. For such is the order of God's enlightening His church, to dispense and deal out by degrees His beam, so as our earthly eyes may best sustain it. Neither is God appointed and confined, where and out of what place these His chosen shall be first heard to speak ; for He sees not as man sees, chooses not as man chooses, lest we should devote ourselves again to set places, and assemblies, and outward callings of men ; planting our faith one while in the old Convocation house, and another while in the Chapel at Westminster ; when all the faith and religion that shall be there canonised, is not sufficient without plain convincement, and the charity of patient instruction to supple the least bruise of conscience, to edify the meanest Christian, who desires to walk in the Spirit, and not in the letter of human trust, for all the number of voices that can be there made; no, though Harry VII. himself there, with all his liege tombs about him, should lend them voices from the dead, to swell their number. And if the men be erroneous who appear to be the leading schismatics, what withholds us but our sloth, our self-will, and distrust in the right cause, that we do not give them

1

1 Ghost of a linen decency. The formality of the white surplice as a substitute for that decency of worship which lies in essentials. When congregations trouble themselves over surplice and black gown, they re still baunted by the ghost of linen decency.

John Milton

gentle meetings and gentle dismissions, that we debate not indeed but colours, and serving to no end except it be to and examine the matter throughly with liberal and fro- exercise a superiority orer their neighbours, men who do not quent audience; if not for their sakes, yet for our own? therefore labour in an honest profession to which learning seeing no man who hath tasted learning, but will confess the is indebted, that they should be made other men’s vassals. many ways of profiting by those who not contented with Another end is thought was aimed at by some of them in stale receipts are able to manage, and set forth new positions procuring by petition this Order, that having power in their to the world. And were they but as the dust and cinders of hands, malignant books might the easier scape abroad, as the our feet, so long as in that notion they may yet serve to polish event shows. But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchan. and brighten the armoury of Truth, even for that respect they dise I skill not: This I know, that errors in a good governwere not utterly to be cast away. But if they be of those whom ment and in a bad are equally almost incident; for what God hath fitted for the special use of these times with eminent Magistrate may not be misinformed, and much the sooner, if and ample gifts, and those perhaps neither among the Priests, liberty of Printing be reduced into the power of a few; nor among the Pharisees, and we in the haste of a precipitant but to redress willingly and speedily what hath been erred, zeal shall make no distinction, but resolve to stop their and in highest authority to esteem a plain advertisement more mouths, because we fear they come with new and dangerous than others have done a sumptuous bribe, is a virtue (honoured opinions, as we commonly forejudge them ere we understand Lords and Commons) answerable to your highest actions,

em, no less than woe to us, while thinking thus to defend and whereof none can participate but greatest and wisest the Gospel, we are found the persecutors.

men. There have been not a few since the beginning of this Parliament, both of the Presbytery and others who by their unlicensed books to the contempt of an Imprimatur first broke that triple ice clung about our hearts, and taught the people to see day: I hope that none of those were the persuaders to renew upon us this bondage which they themselves have wrought so much good by contemning. But if neither the check that Moses gave to young Joshua, nor the countermand Men widely divided in opinion when they lived, which our Saviour gave to young John, who was so ready to join now in aid to the lifting of our hearts above prohibit those whom he thought unlicensed, be not enough all that is low-thoughted in party feud. Jeremy to admonish our Elders how unacceptable to God their testy Taylor, loyal to monarchy, loyal to Lambeth and mood of prohibiting is, if neither their own remembrance

“the Palace Metropolitan,” was, like Milton, loyal what evil hath abounded in the Church by this let' of

also to God, by labouring through life after the licensing, and what good they themselves have begun by highest truth he could attain. If Truth was found transgressing it, be not enough, but that they will persuade,

in diverse shapes, “yet,” as we have just heard and execute the most Dominican part of the Inquisition over

Milton saying, “yet it is not impossible that she and are already with one foot in the stirrup so active

may have more shapes than one." Jeremy Taylor, at suppressing, it would be no unequal distribution in the

four or five years younger than Milton, was, as to first place to suppress the suppressors themselves : whom the

the truth of the hour, in a camp opposite to his, but change of their condition hath puffed up, more than their late experience of harder times hath made wise.

as to the truth that abides, his fellow combatant." And as for regulating the Press, let no man think to

In 1657 Jeremy Taylor had left his retirement by have the honour of advising ye better than yourselves

the Towey, where he had lived, aided by the friendhave done in that Order published next before this, " that

ship of Lord Carbery, at Golden Grove, with Grongar no book be Printed, unless the Printer's and the Author's

Hill, afterwards to become a pleasant name in name, or at least the Printer's be registered.” Those which

English literature, on the other side of the stream. otherwise come forth, if they be found mischievous and

He was in London in that year, having charge, libellous, the fire and the executioner will be the timeliest per haps, of a small congregation of churchmen, who, and the most effectual remedy, that man's prevention can

under the Commonwealth, were firm in fidelity to For this authentic Spanish policy of licensing books, if the episcopal forms and ancient usages of the I have said aught, will prove the most unlicensed book itself Church. The Long Parliament required every within a short while; and was the immediate image of a Star parish to maintain a minister; the jurisdiction of Chamber decree to that purpose made in those very times when that Court did the rest of those her pious works, for

2 There are two excellent reprints of Milton's " Areopagitica.” One which she is now fallen from the stars with Lucifer. Whereby

is in the series of “English Reprints," by Mr. Edward Arber, being,

indeed, the book with the publication of which, at the price of six. ye may guess what kind of state prudence, what love of the

pence, that excellent diffuser of good literature began his indefatigable people, what care of Religion or good manners there was at labours. It gives the original text, in the original spelling, preceded the contriving, although with singular hypocrisy it pretended by full reprints of the Orders of Star Chamber and of Parliament to bind books to their good behaviour. And how it got

concerning Printing, which occasioned Milton's defence of free

speech. This edition, like Mr. Arber's other publications, can be the upper hand of your precedent Order so well constituted

obtained only by post from the Editor, Edward Arber, F.8.A., before, if we may believe those men whose profession gives Southgate, London, N. The other edition gives also the original them cause to inquire most, it may be doubted there was in text and spelling, and is amply provided with notes by its Editor, it the fraud of some old patentees and monopolisers in the

J. W. Hales, M.A., Professor of English Literature at King's College

London. This is all that can be desired as an aid to the study of trade of bookselling; who under pretence of the poor in their

Milton's greatest prose work. It is included (price three shillings) Company not to be defrauded, and the just retaining of each in the Clarendon Press Series of Englieh Classics, published by man his several copy, which God forbid should be gainsaid, Macmillan and Co. brought divers glosing colours to the House, which were

3 Signature of John Milton to a petition dated 1650, among the " Composition Papers" in the Record Office.

* For some account of Jeremy Taylor see, in this Library, “Illus1 Let, hindrance.

trations of English Religion," pages 285-288.

us,

use.

years old.:

the official Triers was confined to benefices, and

I preserve in this treatise the old thus there arose here and there lectureships in variations of type, spelling, &c. London which, by local influence of friends to monarchy and the episcopal system, could be en- A DISCOURSE OF THE NATURE AND OFFICES OF trusted to men like Jeremy Taylor or John Pearson,

FRIENDSHIP. whose lectures on the Creed given at St. Clement's,

In a Letter to the most Ingenious and Excellent Eastcheap, were published as his “Exposition of the

Mrs. Katherine Phillips.

Madam, Creed " in 1659. Jeremy Taylor had in London

The wise Bensirach advised that we should not consult John Evelyn for a friend, who gave, in this time of with a woman concerning her of whom she is jealous, neither adverse fortune, some substantial help, and it was with a Coward in matters of War, nor with a Merchant conto Evelyn that Taylor wrote on the 9th of June, cerning exchange ; 3 and some other instances he gives of 1657, “Your kind letter hath so abundantly re- interested persons, to whom he would not have us hearken in

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]

warded and crowned my innocent endeavours in my description of Friendship, that I perceive there is a friendship beyond what I have fancied, and a real material worthiness beyond the heights of the most perfect ideas; and I know now where to make my book perfect, and by an Appendix to outdo the first Essay; for when anything shall be observed to be wanting in my Character, I can tell them where to seek the substance, more beauteous than the picture, and by sending the readers of my book to be spectators of your life and worthiness, they shall see what I would fain have taught them, by what you really are.” Jeremy Taylor's “ Discourse of Friendship was addressed to Mrs. Katherine Phillips, a lady who lived with her husband in Wales, wrote innocent verse as Orinda, chiefly with friendship for her theme, and who was in 1657, when the Discourse was written and first published, only twenty-four

any matter of Counsel. For where ever the interest is secular
or vicious, there the biass is not on the side of truth or reason,
because these are seldom served by profit and low regards.
But to consult with a friend in the matters of friendship is
like consulting with a spiritual person in Religion ; they who
understand the secrets of Religion, or the interior beauties of
friendship are the fittest to give answers in all inquiries con-
cerning the respective subjects; because reason and experience
are on the side of interest ; and that which in friendship is
most pleasing and most useful, is also most reasonable and most
true ; and a friends fairest interest is the best measure of the
conducting friendships: and therefore you who are so eminent
in friendships could also have given the best answer to your
own inquiries, and you could have trusted your own reason,

[ocr errors]

? Some verse of hers is in the volume of this Library containing “Shorter English Poems," page 340.

3 Jesus the Son of Sirach in his book called “Ecclesiasticus," chap. Ixxvii., verse 11. It goes on, "nor with a buyer, of selling ; nor with an envious man, of thankfulness ; nor with an unmerciful man, tonch. ing kindness ; nor with the slothful, for any work; nor with an hireling for a year, of finishing work; nor with an idle servant, of much business: hearken not unto these in any matter of counsel."

1 The portrait of Taylor as Mercurius Christianus was prefixed to the " Treatise of Friendship" in 1657.

because it is not only greatly instructed by the direct notices of things, but also by great experience in the matter of which you now inquire.

But because I will not use any thing that shall look like an excuse, I will rather give you such an account which you can easily reprove, then by declining your commands, seem more safe in my prudence, then open and communicative in my friendship to you.

You first inquire how far a Dear and a perfect friendship is authoriz'd by the principles of Christianity ?

To this I answer; That the word (Friendship) in the sense we commonly mean by it, is not so much as named in the New Testament; and our Religion takes no notice of it. You think it strange ; but read on before you spend so much as the beginning of a passion or a wonder upon it. There is mention of [Friendship with the world,) and it is said to be enmity with God; but the word is no where else named, or to any other purpose in all the New Testament. It speaks of Friends often; but by Friends are meant our acquaintance, or our Kindred, the relatives of our family or our fortune, or our sect; something of society, or something of kindness there is in it; a tenderness of appellation and civility, a relation made by gifts, or by duty, by services and subjection; and I think, I have reason to be confident, that the word friend (speaking of humane entercourse) is no otherways used in the Gospels or Epistles, or Acts of the Apostles: and the reason of it is, the word friend is of a large signification; and means all relations and societies, and whatsoever is not enemy; but by friendships, I suppose you mean, the greatest love, and the greatest usefulness, and the most open communication, and the noblest sufferings, and the most exemplar faithfulness, and the severest truth, and the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds, of which brave men and women are capable. But then I must tell you that Christianity hath new christened it, and calls this Charity. The Christian knows no enemy he hath; that is, though persons may be injurious to him, and unworthy in themselves, yet he knows none whom he is not first bound to forgive, which is indeed to make them on his part to be no enemies, that is, to make that the word enemy shall not be perfectly contrary to friend, it shall not be a relative term and signifie something on each hand, a relative and a correlative; and then he knows none whom he is not bound to love and pray for, to treat kindly and justly, liberally and obligingly. Christian Charity is Friendship to all the world; and when Friendships were the noblest things in the world, Charity was little, like the Sun drawn in at a chink, or his beams drawn into the centre of a Burning-Glass; but Christian charity is Friendship, expanded like the face of the Sun when it mounts above the Eastern bills : and I was strangely pleas'd when I saw something of this in CICERO ; for I have been so pushed at by herds and flocks of People that follow any body that whistles to them, or drives them to pasture, that I am grown afraid of any Truth that seems chargeable with singularity: but therefore I say, glad I was when I saw Lalius in Cicero discourse thus : Amicitia ex infinita societate generis humani quam conciliavit ipsa natura, ita contracta res est, et adducta in angustum ; ut omnis charitas, aut inter duos, aut inter paucos jungeretur.' Nature hath made friendships, and societies, relations and endearments; and by something or other we relate to all the World ; there is enough in every man that is willing, to make him become our friend; but when men contract friendships, they inclose the Commons ;

and what Nature intended should be every mans, we make proper to two or three. Friendship is like rivers and the strand of seas, and the air, common to all the World ; but Tyrants, and evil customs, wars, and want of love have made them proper and peculiar. But when Christianity came to renew our nature, and to restore our laws, and to increase her priviledges, and to make her aptness to become religion, then it was declared that our friendships were to be as universal as our conversation ; that is, actual to all with whom we converse, and potentially extended unto those with whom we did not. For he who was to treat his enemies with forgiveness and prayers, and love and beneficence was indeed to have no enemies, and to have all friends.

So that to your question, how far a Dear and perfect friendship is authorized by the principles of Christianity? The answer is ready and easie. It is warranted to extend to all Mankind; and the more we love, the better we are, and the greater our friendships are, the dearer we are to God; let them be as Dear, and let them be as perfect, and let them be as many as you can; there is no danger in it; only where the restraint begins, there begins our imperfection; it is not ill that you entertain brave friendships and worthy societies: it were well if you could love, and if you could benefit all Mankind; for I conceive that is the summe of all friendship.

I confess this is not to be expected of us in this world; but as all our graces here are but imperfect, that is, at the best they are but tendencies to glory, so our friendships are imperfect too, and but beginnings of a celestial friendship, by which we shall love every one as much as they can be loved. But then so we must here in our proportion; and indeed that is it that can make the difference; we must be friends to all: That is, apt to do good, loving them really, and doing to them all the benefits which we can, and which they are capable of. The Friendship is equal to all the World, and of it self hath no difference; but is differenced only by accidents, and by the capacity or incapacity of them that receive it. Nature and Religion are the bands of friend. ships ; excellency and usefulness are its great indearments : society and neighbourhood, that is, the possibilities and the circumstances of converse are the determinations and actuali. ties of it. Now when men either are unnatural, or irreligious, they will not be friends ; when they are neither excellent nor useful, they are not worthy to be friends; when they are strangers or unknown, they cannot be friends actually and practically; but yet, as any man hath any thing of the good, contrary to those evils, so he can have and must have his share of friendship. For thus the Sun is the eye of the World ; and he is indifferent? to the Negro, or the cold Russian, to them that dwell under the line, and them that stand near the Tropicks, the scalded Indian, or the poor boy that shakes at the foot of the Riphean hills; but the fluxures of the heaven and the earth, the conveniency of abode, and the approaches to the North or South respectively change the emanations of his beams ; not that they do not pass always from him, but that they are not equally received below, but by periods and changes, by little inlets and reflections, they receive what they can; and some have only a dark day and a long night from him, snows and white cattel, a miserable life, and a perpetual harvest of Catarrhes and Consumptious, apoplexies and dead palsies ; but some have splendid fires, and aromatick spicos, rich wines, and well digested fruits, great wit and great courage; because they dwell in his eye, and look in his face, and are the Courtiers of the Sun, and wait upon him in his Chambers of the East; just so is it in friend

Lælius : De Amicitia. Friendship amidst the infinite society of the human race which Nature has joined in fellowship, is a thing so contracted and drawn within strait bounds, that all love might be fastened up either between two or among a few,

In himself he makes no distinction of

* Indifferent, not different. persons.

« ZurückWeiter »