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heretics, and others in an outward face of a Church), that voice had need continually to sound in men's ears, nolite exire'-'go not out.' The doctors of the Gentiles (the propriety of whose vocation' drew him to have a special care of 10 those without) saith : 'If a heathen 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 11 in so serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity. There is a master of scoffing 12 that in his catalogue of books of a feigned library sets down this title of a book, “ The Morris-Dance of Heretics :' for, indeed, every sect of them hath a diverse posture, or cringe by themselves, which cannot but move derision in worldings and depraved politics,13 who are apt to contemn holy things.
As for the fruit towards those that are within, it is peace, which containeth infinite blessings; it14 estabIisheth 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.15 There appear to be two extremes : for to certain zealants 16 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,17 but following, and party. Contrariwise, 18 tain Laodiceans and lukewarm persons think they may accommodate points of religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty 19 reconcilements, as if they would make an arbitrament 20 between God and
Both these extremes are to be avoided, which will be done if the league 21 of Christians, penned by our Saviour Himself, were in the two cross clauses 22 thereof soundly 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 substance in religion, were truly discerned and distinguished from points not merely 23 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, 24 it would be embraced more generally.
Of this I may give only this advice, according to my small model.25 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,' 26 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.27 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: 28 and if it come so to pass in that distance of judgment,29 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 230 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 scientia.' 31
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, when the peace is grounded but32 upon an implicit 33 ignorance, for all colours will agree in the dark; the other, when it is pieced 34 up upon a direct admission of contraries in fundamental points, for truth and falsehood, in such things, are like the iron and clay in the toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image; they may cleave, but they will not incorporate.
Concerning the means of procuring Unity, men must beware that, in the procuring or muniting 35 of religious Unity, they do not dissolve and deface the laws of charity and of human society. There be two swords amongst Christians, the spiritual and temporal; and both have their due office and place in the maintenance of religion; but we may not take up the third sword, which is Mahomet's sword, or like unto it; that is, to propagate religion by wars, or by sanguinary persecutions to force consciences, except it be in cases of overt 36 scandal, blasphemy, or intermixture of practice 37 against the State, much less to nourish seditions; to authorise conspiracies and rebellions; to put the sword into the people's hands, and the like,38 tending to the subversion of all government, which 39 is the ordinance of God; for this is but to dash the first Table against the second ; 40 and so to consider men as Christians, as we forget that they are
Lucretius the poet, when he beheld the act of Agamemnon, that could endure the sacrificing of his own daughter, exclaimed:
*Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum. 941 What would he have said if he had known of the massacre in France,42 or the powder treason of England ? He would have been seven times more epicure and atheist than he was ; for as the temporal sword is to be drawn with great circumspection in cases of religion, so it is a thing monstrous to put it into the hands of the common people ; let that be left unto the Anabaptists, and other furies. It was great blasphemy, when the devil said, “I will ascend and be like the Highest ;' but it is greater blasphemy to personate God, and bring Him in saying, 'I will descend, and be like the prince of dark
743 and what is it better, to make the cause of religion to descend to the cruel and execrable actions of
murdering princes,44 butchery of people, and subversion of states and governments ? Surely this is to bring down the Holy Ghost, instead of the likeness of a dove, in the shape of a vulture or raven; and to set out of the bark of a Christian Church a flag of a bark of pirates and assassins; therefore it is most necessary that the Church by doctrine and decree, princes by their sword, and all learnings, both Christian and moral, as by their Mercury rod, 45 do damn, and send to hell for ever those facts 46 and opinions tending to the support of the same ; as hath been already in good part done. Surely in councils concerning religion, that counsel of the Apostle would be 47 prefixed, 'Ira hominis non implet justitiam Dei:' and it was a notable observation of a wise father, and no less ingenuously 48 confessed, that those which held and persuaded pressure of consciences, were commonly interested therein themselves for their own ends.
NOTES ON ESSAY III. 1. .band'-really the same word as bond, and derived from the
verb to bind, like bundle, bondage, woodbine. Bacon compares religion to a cord or belt encircling human society and keeping it compactly together (just as in Col. iii, 14: Above all things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness '), and says that it is fortunate, therefore, when the belt or band
itself is sound and entire, and holds well together. 2. happy thing'—fortunate or desirable condition, or, as we
sometimes say, a lucky thing. We have the same use in a happy expression (i.e. an expression fortunately occurring to us at the right moment), and a happy day (i.e. a day on which
we ourselves are fortunate). 3. jealous '—i.e. not tolerating preference given to any other;
vigilant in guarding and exacting what is due. The word may be used in reference to one's self or others; thus Elijah says, 'I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts'
- 1 Kings xix, 10. 4. heresies and schisms.' Heresies are false doctrines that have
been explicitly condemned and repudiated by the authority of the Church; schisms are separations and dissensions which result therefrom. The same distinction is involved in the
Litany, 'from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism.' 5. scandals:-causes of offence.
6. .solution of continuity'-i.e. a severance of parts of the body
that ought to be joined; an open wound or sore. 7. 'Behold, He is in the desert:' another saith, ‘Behold, He is in
the secret chambers '—Matt. xxiv, 26. In the parenthesis which follows, the conventicles' correspond to in deserto, and
an outward face of a Church’to in penetralibus. 8. doctor'-teacher. The reference is to St Paul and his words,
I Cor. xiv, 23. 9. propriety of whose vocation'— the precise and explicit terms
in which his work as an apostle was defined to him at his
call-Acts ix, 15. 10. “special care of '--peculiar anxiety for (those who were not Jews,
like himself). II. 'vouched'-adduced; called to witness. 12. a master of scoffing.' He refers to Rabelais, a famous French
wit and satirist (A.D. 1483-1553), and his romance, an extravagant satire, called The Lives, Heroic Deeds, and Sayings of Gargantua and Pantagruel.
The Morris-dance, i.e. the Morisco dance, or Moorish dance, is probably so called because it was introduced into England from Spain by the Moors. It still survives in England in the popular May-day festivities performed by 'diverse,' i.e. incongruous, characters grotesquely representing Robin Hood,
Maid Marian, Friar Tuck. 13. "politics '—politicians. 14. it'—i.e. peace. The antecedent to the pronoun is which,
which again has for its antecedent the substantive peace. 15. 'importeth exceedingly’—we should say is exceedingly im
portant. 16. zealants
-an obsolete and hybrid form of zealots, the root being Greek and the termination Latin. 17. the matter’-i.e. the real point at issue; they do not desire
peace but to get followers. 18. Contrariwise.' He here mentions the other extreme of per
sons who would give up everything, essentials as well as things of no consequence, and who would settle all differences by compromise ( accommodate points '), being careless and apathetic like the Laodiceans (Rev. iii, 14), and anxious
above all things not to offend any one. 19. witty'-clever. 20. arbitrament’-decision by arbitration; award of arbitrators. 21. `league?—basis of common action against the enemies of religion. 22. cross clauses '—contradictory statements. He does not mean
that the two utterances of our Lord here quoted really contradict each other, but only that on the surface they appear to do so; the one referring to points of essential and irreconcilable difference, the other to matters of indifference, with regard to which men may be allowed to have their own opinions.