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call perfon, if he can refine an invention, or put two or three obfervations or practises together in one, or couple things better with their use, or make the work in less or greater volume, taketh himself for an inventor. So he faw well, that men either perfwade themselves of new inventions as of impoffibilities; or els thinke they are alreadie extant, but in fecret and in few hands; or that they accompt of those little industries and additions, as of inventions, all which turneth to the averting of their minds from any just and constant labour, to invent further in anie quantitie.

3. He thought alfo, when men did fet before themfelves the variety and perfection of workes, produced by mechanicall arts; they are apt rather to admire the provisions of man, than to apprehend his wants; not confidering, that the original inventions, and conclufions of nature, which are the life of all that varietie, are not many, nor deeply fetched; and that the reft is but the fubtile and ruled motion of the inftrument and hand; and that the shop therein is not unlike the librarie, which in fuch number of books conteineth (for the far greater part) nothing but iterations, varyed fometimes in forme, but not new in fubftaunce. So he sawe plainlie, that opinion of ftore was a caufe of want; and that both workes and doctrines appeare manie, and are few.

4. He thought alfo, that knowledge is uttered to men in a forme, as if everie thing were finished; for it is reduced into arts and methods; which in their divifions do feem to include all that may be. And how weaklie foever the parts are filled, yet they carry the fhew and reafon of a total; and thereby the writings of fome received

ceived authors go for the verie art; whereas antiquitie ufed to deliver the knowledge which the mynd of man had gathered, in obfervations, aphorifmes, or fhort and difperfed fentences, or small tractates of some partes that they had diligentlie meditated and laboured; which did invite men, both to ponder that which was invented, and to add and fupplie further. But now, fciences are delivered as to be believed and accepted, and not to be examined and further difcovered; and the fucceffion is between mafter and disciple, and not between inventor and continuer or advancer; and therefore fciences ftand at a stay, and have done for manie ages, and that which is positive is fixed, and that which is question is kept queftion, fo as the columnes of no further proceeding are pitched: And therefore he fawe plainlie, men had cut themselves off from further invention; and that it is no marvayle, that that is not obtained which hath not been attempted, but rather fhut out and debarred.

5. He thought also, that knowledge is almost generallie fought either for delight and fatisfaction, or for gaine or profeffion, or for credit and ornament, and that everie of these are as Atalanta's balls, which hinder the race of invention. for men are fo farre in these courfes from seeking to encrease the maffe of knowledge, as of that maffe which is, they will take no more than will ferve their turne: and if anie one amongst fo manie feeketh knowledge for it felf, yet he rather feeketh to knowe the varietie of things, than to difcern of the truth and caufes of them; and if his inquifition be yet more fevere, yet it tendeth rather to judgement than to invention; and rather to difcover truth in controverfie, than


new matter; and if his heart be fo large as he propoundeth to himself further difcoverie or invention, yet it is rather of newe difcourfe and fpeculation of caufes, than of effects and operations. And as for those that have fo much in their mouthes, action and ufe and practise, and the referring of sciences thereunto; they meane it of application of that which is knowne, and not of a discoverie of that which is unknowne. So he faw plainlie, that this marke, namely, invention of further meanes to indow the condition and life of man with newe powers or workes, was almost never yet fet up and refolved in man's intention and enquirie.

6. He thought alfo, that amongst other knowledges, natural philofophie hath been the least followed and laboured. for fince the Chriftian faith, the greatest number of wits have been employed, and the greatest helpes and rewards have been converted upon Divinitie. And before time likewise, the greatest part of the studies of philofophers was consumed in moral philosophie, which was as the heathen Divinity. And in both tymes a great part of the best wits betook themselves to lawe, pleadings, and causes of eftate; speciallie in the tyme of the greatness of the Romans, who by reafon of their large empire, needed the fervice of all their able men for civill bufinefs. And the tyme amongst the Grecians, in which naturall philofophie seemed most to flourish, was but a fhort space; and that alfo rather abused in differing fects and conflicts of opinions, than profitablie fpent. Since which time, naturall philofophie was never any profeffion, nor never poffeffed any whole man, except perchaunce fome monk in a cloyfter, or fome gentleman

gentleman in the countrie, and that very rarely; but became a science of passage, to season a little young and unripe wits, and to ferve for an introduction to other arts, fpeciallie phyfick and the practical mathematiques. So as he fawe plainlie, that naturall philofophie hath been intended by fewe perfons, and in them hath occupied the least part of their time; and that in the weakest of their age and judgement.

7. He thought alfo, how great oppofition and prejudice naturall philofophie had received by fuperftition, and the immoderate and blind zeale of religion; for he found that some of the Grecians, which firft gave the reafon of thunder, had been condemned of impietie; and that the Cofmographers, which firft difcovered and defcribed the roundness of the earth, and the confequence thereof touching the Antipodes, were not much otherwife cenfured by the auncient fathers of the Christian church; and that the cafe is now much worse, in regard of the boldness of the Schoolmen and their dependaunces in the monafteries, who having made divinitie into an art, have almost incorporated the contentious philofophie of Ariftotle into the body of Chriftian religion; and generallie he perceived in men of devout fimplicitie this opinion, that the fecrets of nature were the fecrets of God; and part of that glorie whereinto the mind of man, if it seek to preffe, fhall be oppressed; and that the defire in men to attain to fo great and hidden knowledge, hath a resemblaunce with that temptation which caufed the originall fall; and on the other side, in men of a devout policie, he noted an inclination to have the people depend upon God the more, when they


they are less acquainted with fecond causes; and to have no stirring in philofophie, left it may lead to an innovation in divinitie, or else should discover matter of further contradiction to divinitie. But in this part, resorting to the authoritie of the Scriptures, and holy examples, and to reason, he refted not fatisfied alone, but much confirmed. for first, he confidered that the knowledge of nature, by the light whereof man difcerned of everie living creature, and impofed names according to their proprietie, was not the occafion of the fall; but the morall knowledge of good and evill, affected to the end to depend no more upon God's commaundments, but for man to direct himself. Neither could he find in any Scripture, that the inquirie and science of man in any thing, under the mysteries of the Deity, is determined and restrained, but contrarywife allowed and provoked. for concerning all other knowledge, the Scripture pronounceth, That it is the glory of God to conceale, but it is the glory of man (or if the King, for the King is but the excellency of man) to invent, and again, The spirit of man is as the lamp of God, wherewith be fearcheth every fe cret; and again moft effectuallie, That God hath made all things beautifull and decent, according to the retourne of their feafons; also that he hath fet the world in man's beart, and yet man cannot find out the work which God worketh from the beginning to the end; fhewing that the heart of man is a continent of that concave or capacity, wherein the content of the world (that is, all fourmes of the creatures, and whatsoever is not God) may be placed, or received; and complaining, that through the variety of things, and viciffitudes of times, (which are but im


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