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Infirmity; fo much Vileness and so much Purity; for nothing is more precious than God, nothing more vile than dirt. The fecond is no less wonderful, for by the Ear of Man it was never heard, nor by the Heart of Man ever conceived, that a Virgin fhould bring forth, and become a Mother, and should at the fame Time remain a pure Virgin; the third is inferior to both firft and fecond, yet not lefs ftrange, that Man's Heart fhould have Power to believe this.
Q Of what Wood was the Cross of Chrift made, and whether of one entire Tree, or of divers Sorts of Wood ?
A. The Crofs of Chrift, (as we have it by Tradition) was made of three divers Sorts of Wood: which was Cyprus, Pine and Cedar, all fignificant, and not without their Mystery: The Cyprus being an Emblem of Diffolution and Death; for being cut and wounded it withers and waftes away: The Cedar of Immortality, because it withstands the Consumption, and waftes Time to a dateless Perpetuity: The Pine, a navigable Wood, and therefore the most useful for Ships, to fignify that Death fhould have no more Power over him, nay, lefs to overwhelm him, than the Pine is fubject to drowning by the Violence of the Waters.
Q. Of what Wood was the Temple of Solomon built, dedicated and confecrated unto God?
A. Of Cedar and Sichem Wood, and that by the Command of God himfelf; and fome Reason thereof may be this: Firft, because the Cedar is always green, odoriferous and fweet, neither will it bend; but fupports itself with its own Strength = Secondly, for that which is truly verified in it, that is fpoken of Irish Wood, that neither Worms nor Moths live in it, or breed near unto it: Thirdly, that it is neither maffy nor ponderous to load or opprefs the the Walls but ftrong, and Light.
Q. Of the Apples of Paradife, or Adam's Apples, what is related of them?
A. That thofe Apples, fo called, are of exceed ing Sweetness, when they come to their full Maturity and Ripeness, and are called of fome, Musks, or Musk Apples; and it is thus obferved of them, that at what Part foever you cut, there appears a Crucifix in it; and it is reported for a Truth, or rather conjectured upon pregnant Probabilities, that the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was of that Likeness.
Q. What Apple or Fruit was that, that Adam by eating drew Sin and Death upon himself and his Pofterity?
A. It is uncertain; and cannot rightly be known, for the Scripture mentions it not, yet fome Writers, to fatisfy the Curious, have brought in their Arguments; fome think it was a Perfian Apple, that at this Day grows in the Eaft, where Paradife was fituate; fome think it was a golden Apple that was sweet to taite and delightful to behold; fome think it was a Cherry, fome a Pear, all these are uncertain, but this is certain, Adam, primus bomo, damnabat fecula pomo.
Q. Why was the Tree in Paradise forbidden Adam to tafte?
A. Many wonder hereat; and one of the Fathers in his admiration hereof, hath thus brought in Adam, expoftulating the Cafe with himself, If it be good why may not I touch it, if it be evil, what doth it in Paradife; but to this, divers of the primitive Writers anfwer, that the Command of God in that, was rather for the Trial of his Obedience, than for any Danger which might have happened to Adam in eating thereof.
Q. From whom, for the most Part, do we hear Truth?
A. From Childifhnefs, from Foolishnefs, from Sleep, from the Drunk, from the Mad. Lewis XI. would
would often say, that all Things were plenty in his Court, only Truth was fcarce; of which faith Tully in the Commendation thereof, it hath fo much Power, that by no Deceit, Wit, or Cunning it can be overthrown, and tho' it hath no Patron, nor Defender, yet it defends itself; and, like the Blood of the Goat, will break the Stone in Pic
Q. Who were the beft Orators, and what are the chiefest Parts of Oratory?
A. Tully and Demofthenes; Tully was more admired for his Tongue, than for his Heart; Ariftotle more for his Heart than for his Tongue; Plate for both Of Tully it is faid that he had none like him; and of Demofthenes that he had but few: And for Oratory; as Wit is the Ornament of Man, fo Eloquence is the Ornament of Wit, which doth no Way fo much become itself, as by difplaying the Power thereof, in perfwading to Truth, and difwading from Falfhood.
Q. What two Philofophers were thofe, who were fo eminent for two contrary Qualities?
A. Democritus and Heraclitus; the firft whereof always laughed, the other continually wept; which two different Paffions, are much canvafs'd by Authors, to know which of them is most fuitable to human Nature; indeed our Appetites are moft greedy to defire the firft; but found Reason, if rightly weighed, will conclude for the fecond: Befides, Solomon tells us, That it is better to go into the Houfe of Mourning, than into the Houfe of Laughter, and that the Laughter of Fools is Madness: And if we confider our bleffed Saviour, we cannot find in Scripture, that he laughed; but that he wept, we read thefe three Times: Firft, when Lazarus was dead: Secondly, over Jerufalem: Thirdly, upon the Crofs, when he delivered up his Spirit with Cries and Tears.
Q. Which Heretick in his Time had moft Followers ?
A. Arius, a Priest of Alexandria, who denied the Divinity of Chrift; to beat down which Herefy, the first Council of Nice was called, wherein was made the Nicene Creed, and the Claufe of one Subftance with the Father, proved to be agreeable to the Word. Conftantine, being then Emperor, fent for Arius to fubfcribe to the Decrees of this Council, which he did, and made a Recantation of his Herefy; however after he died, his Herefy died not, but overspread fo far, that one of the Fathers complain'd, the whole World is turned.
Q. What Country in the World is the most defolate and folitary ?
A. The Country of the Sodomites, where Satan won fo much Ground, that whereas, according to Strabo's Defcription, ftood thirteen Cities fituate in one of the most fruitful Soils in the whole Earth, even a fecond Eden, or Garden of Paradife for Pleasure and Beauty, from whence sprung thofe clustering Grapes, from thofe Vines of Engedi, fo renown'd in Spripture, ftands not now one of thofe Cities to magnify herself above her Fellows; but all, with Sodom, the chiefeft of them all, defolated and destroyed, not one Stone left upon another, nor any other Witness of their fometimes being, more than the Smell of Fire and Brimftone, the heavy Jufticers of God that destroyed them; and for the Fruit of the Vine that made glad the Heart of Man, in them perverted from its true Ufe to Sin and Drunkenness, are only found now, Apples of a beauteous Appearance, but touch them, and they are but Afhes, and of a fulphureous Savour, an Air of fo poisonous a Vapour; above, as Hiftoriographers write, fifles the Fowls that fly over it, that they fall down dead, and the Fishes in that dead Sea under it, poisoned as they
fall in, or float from, the filver Streams of Jordan, that thence empty themselves into the fulphureous Lake.
Q. What are the Caufes of the ebbing and flowing of the Sea ?
A. The Opinions of Writers are fo divers, that I know not certainly what to determine; but to give fome Satisfaction, these are held to be the principal Caufes: The one fupernatural, the other natural; the fupernatural God and his Spirit, moving upon the Waters, moveth the Waters, which Job expreffeth by the Similitude of Fire put under a Pot; for he faith, It is God that maketh the Sea to boil like a Pot; which Fire is to be taken, partly in the Saltnefs of the Waters, the Froft moving them in the fame: Secondly, for that the Earth hath more Fire in it than the Water, which Fire lieth hid in the fubterraneous Stores, which Fire doth partly caufe the Motion of the Sea, an Element of itself liquid and active, and fubject to Motion, which thereto when once by this Fire occafioned, the precedent' Part is thruft forward by the fubfequent. Another Reason, is, from the Moon, who, by her approaching to the South, doth by her Beams and Influences make warm the Sea, from whence Rifings and Exhalations do proceed, wherewith fo fwelling, to empty itself, it floweth to the Shores and Havens, as her Beams by little and little diminish, the Waters do fall and abate, which maketh her Ebb, and these altogether by the Ordinance of God doth effect it.
Q. Whereupon doth the Base, or huge Part of the World rely?
A. It is a Secret fought of all Men, unknown of many, and perceived of few: To which yet I answer from the Scripture, that the huge Weight thereof relies on nothing, and Job himfelf teftifies upon no material Thing, but is only fupported by the Power of God himself. Q. Whether