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unto the enemies of truth. A man may be in as just possession of truth as of a city, and yet be forced to surrender; it is therefore far better to enjoy her with peace, than to hazard her on a battle: if therefore there rise any doubts in my way, I do forget them, or at least defer them till my better settled judgment, and more manly reason be able to resolve them, for I perceive every man's own reason is his best Edipus, (13) and will, upon a reasonable truce, find a way to loose those bonds wherewith the subtleties of error have enchained our more flexible and tender judgments. In philosophy, where truth seems double-faced, there is no man more paradoxical than myself; but in divinity I love to keep the road; and though not in an implicit, yet a humble faith, follow the great wheel of the church, by which I move, not reserving any proper poles or motion from the epicycle of my own brain; by this means I have no gap for heresy, schisms, or errors, of which at present I hope I shall not injure truth to say, I have no taint or tincture. I must confess my greener studies have been polluted with two or three, not any begotten in the latter centuries, but old and obsolete, such as could never have been revived, but by such extravagant and irregular heads as mine; for indeed heresies perish not with their authors, but like the river Arethusa,(')

(13) That is, we should exercise the right of private judgment, which is to be pre-eminently Protestants.—ED

(4) Who would not think that this expression was taken from Montaigne, II. 12. "Nature enserre dans les termes de son progres ordinaire comme toutes autres choses aussi les creances

though they lose their currents in one place, they rise up again in another. One general council is not able to extirpate one single heresy: it may be cancelled for the present, but revolution of time, and the like aspects from heaven will restore it, when it will flourish till it be condemned again. For as though there were metempsychosis, and the soul of one man passed into another; opinions do find, after certain revolutions, men and minds like those that first begat them. To see ourselves again, we need not look for Plato's year: (1) every man is not only himself; there hath been many Diogenes, and as many Timons, though but few of that name; men are lived over again, the world is now as it was in ages past; there was none then, but there hath been some one since that parallels him, and as it were his revived self.

Now the first of mine was that of the Arabians, that the souls of men perished with their bodies, but should yet be raised again at the last day:(16) not

les jugements, et opinions des hommes; elles ont leurs revolutions ; " and that Montaigne took his from Tully. "Non enim hominum interitu sententiæ quoque occidunt." Tull. de Nat. Deor. 1. I. &c. Of the river Arethusa thus Seneca: "Videbis celebratissimum carminibus fontem Arethusam limpidissimi ac perlucidissimi ad imum stagni gelidissimas aquas profundentem, sive illas primum nascentes invenit, sive flumen integrum subter tot maria et à confusione pejoris undæ servatum reddidit." Senec, de Consol. ad Martiam. ANON. ANNOT.

(15) A revolution of certain thousand years, when all things should return unto their former estate, and he be teaching again in his school as when he delivered this opinion.

(16) This doctrine was, in the last age, maintained by Dr. Priestley; but appears to me as repugnant to reason, as it is in

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that I did absolutely conceive a mortality of the soul; but if that were, which faith, not philosophy, hath yet thoroughly disproved, and that both entered the grave together, yet I held the same conceit thereof that we all do for the body, that it rise again. Surely it is but the merits of our unworthy natures, if we sleep in darkness until the last alarm. A serious reflex upon my own unworthiness did make me backward from challenging this prerogative of my soul; so that I might enjoy my Saviour at the last, I could with patience be nothing almost unto eternity. The second was that of Origen, that God would not persist in his vengence for ever, but after a definite time of his wrath, (") he would release the damned souls from torture: which error I fell into upon a serious contemplation of the great attribute of God-his mercy; and did a little cherish it in myself, because I found therein no malice, and a ready weight to sway me from the other extreme of despair, whereunto melancholy

consistent with Christianity. Montaigne (Essais, 1. II. chap. 12.) has collected and arranged, in his rambling manner, now repeating an opinion, and now embalming it in some splendid extravagance, all the ideas of ancient and modern philosophers on the origin and destination of the soul. In my introduction to Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity, I have endeavoured to demonstrate the soul's immortality.-Ed.

(17) On questions such as this it would be more becoming in man not to pretend to form an opinion. Origen, from whom Sir Thomas Browne borrowed this humane doctrine, entertained many other extraordinary notions, such as that the soul existed anterior to the body, which, as its earthly prison, was not, he conceived, to rise again. Phot. Biblioth. pp. 93. 293. 299. ed. Bekk.-ED.

and contemplative natures are too easily disposed. A third there is which I did never positively maintain or practise, but have often wished it had been consonant to truth, and not offensive to my religion, and that is the prayer for the dead; (18) whereunto I was inclined from some charitable inducements, whereby I could scarce contain my prayers for a friend at the ringing of a bell, or behold his corpse without an orison for his soul: it was a good way methought to be remembered by posterity, and far more noble than a history. These opinions I never maintained with pertinacity, or endeavoured to inveigle any man's belief unto mine, nor so much as ever revealed or disputed them with my dearest friends; by which means I neither propagated them in others, nor confirmed them in myself; but suffering them to flame upon their own substance, without addition of new fuel, they went out insensibly of themselves: therefore these opinions, though condemned by lawful councils were not heresies in me, but bare errors, and single lapses of my understanding, without a joint depravity of my will: those have not only depraved understandings, but diseased affections, which cannot enjoy a singularity without a heresy, or be the author of an

(18) These are simply the vagaries of a meditative and solitary man, with more leisure than he knew how profitably to employ. They would, no doubt, have appeared many years ago damnable doctrines; and, going still further back, perfectly orthodox. Truth and error, in such matters, are regulated by chronology. After all, I see no harm in praying for the dead. be useless, but is not forbidden, and cannot therefore be evil.ED.

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opinion without they be of a sect also. This was the villany of the first schism of Lucifer, who was not content to err alone, but drew into his faction many legions, (19) and upon this experience he tempted only Eve, as well understanding the communicable nature of sin, and that to deceive but one, was tacitly and upon consequence to delude them


That heresies should arise, we have the prophesy of Christ; but that old ones should be abolished, we hold no prediction. That there must be heresies, is true, not only in our church, but also in any other even in the doctrines heretical, there will be super-heresies; and Arians not only divided from their church, but also among themselves: for heads that are disposed unto schism and complexionably propense to innovation, are naturally indisposed for a community; nor will be ever confined unto the order or economy of one body; and therefore when they separate from others, they knit but loosely among themselves; nor contented with a general breach or dichotomy with their church, do subdivide and mince themselves almost into atoms.

(19) See on this sacred tradition, "Paradise Lost," V. 642, ff. with the references of the Rev. J. Mitford, whose labours in illustration of our divine poet deserve still more credit than they have received. In the passage of Milton here referred to, occurs the sublimest conception of the power of beauty, anywhere to be found in language: speaking of the angels whom Satan wheedled into revolt against the Almighty, he says

"His countenance, as the morning star that guides
The starry flock, allured them, and with lies
Drew after him the third part of Heaven's host!"


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