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guide his actions ; this is a great deal more easy for common sense to discern, than for any man by skill and learning to determine ; even as it is not in Philosophers, who best know the nature both of fire and gold, to teach what degree of the one will serve to purify the other, so well as the artizan, which doth this by fire, discerneth by sense, when the fire hath that degree of heat which sufficeth for his purpose.

Wherefore to return to our former intent of discovering the natural way, whereby rules have been found out concerning that goodness wherewith the will of man ought to be moved in human actions; as every thing naturally and necessarily doth desire the utmost good and greatest perfection, whereof Nature hath made it capable, even so Man. Our felicity therefore being the object and accomplishment of our desire, we cannot choose but wish and covet it. All particular things which are subject unto action, the Will doth so far forth incline unto, as Reason judgeth them the better for us, and consequently the more available to our bliss. If Reason err, we fall into evil, and are so far forth deprived of the general perfection we seek. Seeing therefore, that for the framing of men's actions the knowledge of good from evil is necessary, it only resteth, that we search how this may be had. Neither must we suppose that there needeth one rule to know the good, and another the evil by. For he that knoweth what is straight, doth even thereby discern what is crooked, because the absence of straightness in bodies capable thereof is crookedness. Goodness in actions is like unto straightness ; wherefore that which is done well, we term right. For as the straight way is most acceptable to him that travelleth, because by it he cometh soonest to his journey's end; so that in action, which doth lie the evenest between us and the end we desire, must needs be the fittest for our use. Besides which fitness for use, there is also in rectitude, beauty; as contrariwise in obliquity, deformity. And that which is good in the actions of men, doth not only delight as profitable, but as amiable also. In which consideration

the Grecians most divinely have given to the active perfections of men a name expressing both beauty and goodness; because goodness in ordinary speech is for the most part applied only to that which is beneficial. But we in the name of goodness do here imply both. And of discerning goodness, there are but these two ways; the one, the knowledge of the causes whereby it is made such; the other, the observation of those signs and tokens, which, being annexed always unto goodness, argue, that where they are found, there also goodness is, although we know not the cause by force whereof it is there. The former of these is the most sure and infallible way, but so hard that all shun it, and had rather walk as men do in the dark by haphazard, than tread so long and intricate mazes for knowledge sake. As therefore physicians are many times forced to leave such methods of curing as themselves know to be the fittest, and being over-ruled by their patients' impatience are fain to try the best they can, in taking that way of cure which the cured will yield unto; in like sort, considering how the case doth stand with this present age full of tongue and weak of brain, behold we yield to the stream thereof; into the causes of goodness we will not make any curious or deep inquiry ; to touch them now and then it shall be sufficient, when they are so near at hand that easily they may be conceived without any far removed discourse : that way we are contented to prove, which being the worse in itself, is notwithstanding now, by reason of common imbecility, the fitter and likelier to be brooked. Signs and tokens to know good by are of sundry kinds ; some more certain, and some less. The most certain token of evident goodness is, if the general persuasion of all men do so account it. And therefore a common received error is never utterly overthrown, till such times as we go from signs into causes, and shew some manifest root or fountain thereof common unto all, whereby it may clearly appear how it hath come to pass that so many have been overseen. In which case surmises and slight probabilities will not serve, because the universal consent of men is the per


fectest and strongest in this kind, which comprehendeth only the signs and tokens of goodness. Things casual do vary, and that which a man doth but chance to think well of, cannot still have the like hap. Wherefore although we know not the cause, yet thus much we may know, that some necessary cause there is, whensoever the judgments of all men generally, or for the most part, run one and the same way, especially in matters of natural discourse : for of things necessarily and naturally done, there is no more affirmed but

They keep either always, or for the most part, one tenure.' The general and perpetual voice of men is as the sentence of God himself. For that which all men have at all times learned, Nature herself must needs have taught; and God being the author of Nature, her voice is but his instrument. By her, from him, we receive whatsoever in such sort we learn. Infinite duties there are, the goodness whereof is by this rule sufficiently manifested, although we had no other warrant besides to approve them. The Apostle St. Paul having speech concerning the Heathen, saith of them, “They are a law unto themselves.” His meaning is, that by force of the light of Reason, wherewith God illuminateth every one which cometh into the world, men being enabled to know truth from falsehood, and good from evil, do thereby learn in many things what the will of God is ; which will himself not revealing by any extraordinary means unto them, but they by natural discourse attaining the knowledge thereof, seem the makers of those Laws which indeed are his, and they but only the finders of them out. A Law therefore generally taken, is a directive rule unto goodness of operation. The rule of divine operations outward, is the definitive appointment of God's own wisdom set down within himself. The rule of natural agents that work by simple necessity, is the determination of the wisdom of God, known to God himself, the principal director of them, but not unto them that are directed to execute the same. The rule of natural agents which work after a sort of their own accord, as the beasts do, is the judgment of common

is true,

sense or fancy concerning the sensible goodness of those objects wherewith they are moved. The rule of ghostly and immaterial natures, as Spirits and Angels, is their intuitive intellectual judgment concerning

the amiable beauty and high goodness of that object, which with unspeakable joy and delight doth set them on work. The rule of voluntary agents on earth, is the sentence that Reason giveth concerning the goodness of those things which they are to do. And the sentences which Reason giveth are some more, some less general, before it come to define in particular actions what is good. The main principles of reason are in themselves apparent. For to make nothing evident of itself unto man's understanding, were to take away all possibility of knowing any thing. And herein that of Theophrastus

They that seek a Reason of all things, do utterly overthrow Reason." In every kind of knowledge some such grounds there are, as that being proposed, the mind doth presently embrace them as free from all possibility of error, clear and manifest without proof. In which kind, axioms or principles more general are such as this, “ That the greater good is to be chosen before the less.” If therefore it should be demanded, what reason there is why the will of man, which doth necessarily shun harm and covet whatso

pleasant and sweet, should be commanded to count the pleasures of sin gall; and notwithstanding the bitter accidents wherewith virtuous actions are compassed, yet still to rejoice and delight in them: surely this could never stand with Reason; but that Wisdom thus prescribing groundeth her Laws upon an infallible rule of comparison, which is, That small difficulties, when exceeding great good is sure to ensue ; and on the other side momentary benefits, when the hurt which they draw after them is unspeakable, are not at all to be respected. This rule is the ground whereupon the wisdom of the Apostle buildeth a Law enjoining patience unto himself,“ The present lightness of our affliction worketh unto us, even with abundance upon abundance, an eternal weight of glory while we look not on the things which are seen, but


on the things which are not seen : for the things which are seen are temporal ; but the things which are not seen are eternal :” therefore Christianity to be embraced, whatsoever calamities in those times it was accompanied withal. Upon the same ground our Saviour proveth the Law most reasonable, that doth forbid those crimes which men for gain sake fall into. For a man to win the world, if it be with the loss of his soul, what benefit or good is it? Axioms less general, yet so manifest that they need no farther proof, are such as these, God to be worshipped ; Parents to be honoured ; Others to be used by us, as we ourselves would be by them. Such things, as soon as they are alleged, all men acknowledge to be good ; they require no proof or farther discourse to be assured of their goodness. Notwithstanding whatsoever such principle there is, it was at the first found out by discourse, and drawn from out of the very bowels of heaven and earth. For we are to note, that things in the world are to us discernible, not only so far forth as serveth for our vital preservation, but further also in a two-fold higher respect. For first, if all other uses were utterly taken away, yet the mind of man being by nature speculative and delighted with contemplation in itself, they were to be known even for mere knowledge and understanding's sake. Yea further besides this, the knowledge of every the least thing in the world, hath in it a second peculiar benefit unto us, inasmuch as it serveth to minister Rules, Canons, and Laws for men to direct those actions by, which we properly term human. This did the very Heathens themselves obscurely insinuate, by making Themis, which we call Jus, or Right, to be the Daughter of Heaven and Earth. We know things either as they are in themselves, or as they are in mutual relation one to another. The knowledge of that which man is in reference unto himself, and other things in relation unto man,


may justly term the Mother of all those principles, which are as it were Edicts, Statutes, and Decrees in that Law of Nature, whereby human actions are framed

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