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abuse them to the contempt of the scripture and religion, but rather used the authority of the scripture, and of the Christian religion, to heal the diseases of the church, which could not be cured, unless the errors were detected. Wherefore, in that study, to which his sublime and pious mind was carried with inflamed speed, a great light, not without the divine assistance, suddenly broke out unto him, especially because, to fetch out the senses of the scripture, he brought with him the knowledge of the oriental tongues, theHebrew andGreek chiefly, and also the Arabick. Whether,therefbre,it were for fear of danger.as it is likely,or that he might more exactly study purer divinity, and the tongues, he soon passed out of Italy into Switzerland and Germany.
He left his country very young, not being above one and twenty years old. In the next four years, having travelled over France, Brittany, Belgium, all Germany, and Poland, he took up his dwelling at Zurich. Whereupon although he was often drawn away with publick and private affairs; yet did he spend the chiefest part of his exile there, being endeared to sundry princes in all parts, and favoured also by certain Kings.
There was not a noted scholar in that time (than which, none ever abounded more with learned men) but he had by his carriage won not only his friendship, but his familiarity also. Whereby it came to pass, that the inbred goodness of his judgment was accompanied with a singular prudence and sweetness of behaviour. Which endowments are acknowledged in him, as by very many other famous men, so chiefly by Philip Melanchthon, in his commendatory letters, which he wrote to him as he was departing. And indeed what correspondence was between him and the most renowned men of that age, chiefly Calvin, Melanchthon, Bullinger, Brentius, Musculus, Munster, Zanchius, Vergerius, Castellio, Beza, Martyr, Ochinus, Cceleus, and sundry others, thei. frequent letters unto him do testify, the copies whereof, in a great num. ber, have come to our hands. He did not more desire to enjoy their friendship, for the safe-guard of his fortune, than to make use of the same to the benefit of the church. Wherefore he did, by his questions, much urge and exercise those redoubted doctors of the then flourishing divinity. I have a letter written with Calvin's own hand, wherein he openly professeth that he was put into choler by him, and, instead of an answer, sends him back a check and threatening.
'It is not fit, saith he, that you should expect until I answer thos6 portentous questions which you object. If you are disposed to fly through those airy speculations, I beseech you, suffer me, an humble disciple of Christ, to meditate on such things, as tend to the edification of my faith. And indeed I will by my silence gain what I desire, namely, that you be not henceforth troublesome to me. Now that so gallant a wit, as the Lord hath bestowed on you, should not only be unprofitably taken up with slight matters, but also corrupted with pernicious figments, is a very great grief. What I not long since testified, I again seriously warn you of. That, if you do not timely correct this itch of enquiring, it is to be feared, you will draw on yourself great torments. Should I, under a shew of indulgence, cherish such a vice, as I know to be very hurtful, I should be perfidious and cruel towards you. Wherefore I had rather you should be a little offended with my roughness, than be drawn away, with the sweet allurements of curiosity beyond all recovery. The time willcome, I hope, when you will rejoice that you were so boisterously awakened.'
Jan. 1, 1552.
Neither was the truth of this threatening either uncertain or contemptible. For, in the month of October, the next year, Servetus was burned at Geneva. Nevertheless, the gravity of Laelius, and his incredible modesty in the greatest endowments of learning and wit, together with his dexterity of carriage, had so disarmed the anger of those that were in a chafe, that they did not endure to hate the man, although, otherwise, they could not brook his freedom. Which thing may teach them, whom over-much freedom of truth betrayeth into needless dangers, that that very truth, which they maintain, is more secured by the circumspect mildness of prudence, than by unbridled zeal. So that they, who of their own accord meet dangers, seem to make greater haste to their own praise, than to the advancement of the publick good. And cer* tainly, if there be any, this is the place where the simplicity'of the do< is to be mingled with the subtlety of the serpent. Unless we suspect the counsel of our Saviour condemnmg their unadvised rashness, who oftentimes have very bad success in casting down their pearls where they cannot be estimated according to their worth. The truth is Lfelius remained intire and inviolate amongst the capital enemies of his opinion; yet did he not suffer the sense of his judgment to perish within the closet of his conscience. Wherefore, to those whom he liked, he feared not to entrust the things that had been discovered to him by God. But chiefly, he instructed his countrymen, the Italians, who, by a pious and voluntary exile, were scattered through several regions of Germany and Poland. I find, in the commentaries of the Polonian churches, that he came twice into our country: First, about the year 1551, when he was six and twenty years old, at what time he is said, not without great success, to have conversed with very many of the Polonian nobility, and to have caused Francis Lismaninus, the Corcyraean, confessor to Bona Sforzia, the queen, and who was then (if I be not mistaken) the provincial of the Minorites, and first lifted up an ensign of revolt from the Pope in this kingdom, to cast away his cowl. But then, in a few months space, departing into Moravia, he retired thence to the Switzers. His second coming into Poland I find to have happened, after the death of his father Marianus, who died at Bononia, in the year 1556. For not long after, about the years 1558 and 1559, he desired letters of recommendation from the Kings of Poland and Bohemia, that he might the more securely treat with his friends in Venice concerning his patrimony. Then, indeed, it appeared, to the greatest part of the German and Folonian nobility, in what favour he was. For, in his case, there was very great canvassing both with Ludovicus Priulus, the doge of Venice, and Cosmus, the grand duke of Tuscany. Almost about the same time, a grievous storm, arising upon a suspicion of heresy, did with a perillous gust shake the whole house of the Socini. After the death of Alexander, Laelius had three brethren surviving, of whom Celsus lived at Bononia; Cornelius and Camillus together with Faustus, son to his brother Alexander, dwelt at Scm\ Amongst these also Laelius, a marvellous artist in suggesting the truth, had scattered the seeds thereof; and, though he were separated by the remote distances of countries, yet did he by effectual industry so cherish them, that, being unknown as yet, and absent, he drew the wives of some to his party. Nor were there wanting, amongst his other familiars and friends, such as were either partners in the same design, or privy thereunto. But the fair hope of that crop was blasted in the very blade, Cornelius being taken, and the rest either scattered, or chaced away. This fear drove Faustus also, then very young, not only out of his native city, but out of Italy itself: Who having lived a while at Lyons in France, Laelius was in the mean time extinguished by an untimely death at Zurich. Faustus, being certified of his death by the letters of Marius Besozzus, had much ado to prevent the snares laid for his papers, yet got the possession thereof, having been already by him informed of very many things, which he afterwards, in long progress of time, did by his sharp wit and indefatigable study polish. The death of Laelius happened on the third day after the ides of May, 1562, and in the thirty-seventh year of his age. That so great a wit was not long-lived, will not seem strange to him who shall consider how soon it was ripe. He had hardly passed the age of a stripling, when he left Italy. Within the six and twentieth year of his life, having travelled almost through all the regions of the west, he was, by his great renown, made known to most of the chief nobility in sundry parts; and perhaps to all learned men every where. It was well nigh fifteen years that he was absent from his country. Out of so small a space of life far journies challenge a great part, by means of which, his exile became profitable to many in sundry coasts of Europe. Add his perpetual commerce with so many great men, together with his continual intercourse of letters, and when you have subtracted these things, how small a pittance of time, I pray you, was left for his studies? And now, being amazed, we must enquire, what was that so profound leisure? what so vigorous industry? What so ready wit? What so vast understanding, as was sufficient to master so many tongues, so many sciences, and withal to recollect the mind to itself, and manage the greatest affairs? To premise these things touching Laelius, had I not listed of my own accord, necessity itself did require. For he it was who by his guidance and counsel drew Faustus himself and others to enter into that way, which they afterwards followed.
Now I return to Faustus, intending in the first place to relate, in brief, the course and chief occurrences of his life; then to comprise his chief actions; and lastly to add a few words concerning the habit of his mind and body, as far as I have by a cursory enquiry attained the knowledge thereof.
He was born, two hours and almost three quarters before sun-rising, on the nones of December, 1539, well nigh fourteen years younger than his uncle Laelius. He died in the year 1604, a little before the beginning of the spring, being sixty-five years old.
He first spent twenty, and a little after twelve years of age in his country; about three in his retirement at Lyons; the other thirty in voluntary exile. He seemeth to have lost his parents at that age, which is most apt for the improvement of learning and wit. For he complaineth how he employed his labour in the studies of good arts very slightly, and without the guidance of a teacher. And elsewhere, how he had not learnt philosophy, nor ever was acquainted with school-divinity; and confesseth that in logick itself he never tasted but only certain rudiments, and that very late.
It was a baffle to that proud age, to be taught by so notable an instance, that, even without those helps, which we, though not without cause, yet oftentimes without measure do admire, there may be great men, and such as will perform rare feats. Perhaps also it was expedient, that a wit, born to take cognisance of the opinions of the world, should be tainted with no prejudices; lest it should admit some string of those errors, for the rooting out of which it grew up. For divinity, being full of errors, infected also philosophy itself, and almost all good arts. And therefore not only in the cradle, but also in the very rudiments of the first learning the infancy of the world, hath now for a long time been deceived, and sucked in opinions as true, before it was able to judge whether they were false. Whereby it cometh to pass, that oftentimes it is better to be seasoned with none, than with perverse doctrines. Nor is it a wonder that sometimes learned men dote more shamefully, and the rude multitude judgeth more sincerely. Which I would not have so taken, as if I would condemn learning, but only the abuse thereof; nor give a check, but a caution to it. With such a slight tincture of learning, and, as I suppose, with the study of the civil law, the first age of Socinus was taken up, until the three and twentieth year. Yet had he before sucked in the principles of divine truth, partly by his own sharp wit, partly by the instruction of his uncle Laelius, especially when, upon the rising of a sudden tempest, he, as we before hinted, betook himself into France. Although Lslius, confiding in the wit of his nephew, did intimate more to his guess, than deliver to his understanding; concealing also some things from the young man, for the trial of his judgment, and openly presaging amongst his friends, that these things should more fully and happily by Faustus be discovered to the world. But, when after the death of Laelius he was returned into Italy, in that unsteddy age of his life, his youth, floating like a'ship without a pilot, and carried away with I know not what winds, almost grew old among the Sirens of the court. For, being admitted into the palace of Francis, the grand duke of Tuscany, and very much endeared to him by honourable employments, whilst he there flourished in highest favour and dignity, he spent whole twelve years in the court of Florence. Then did he lose, as he with perpetual groans complained, the most flourishing part of his life; if at least that time is to be accounted lost, wherein this sublime jndgraent was formed, not with the shadowy precepts of learning, but withthe substantial experiments of life; wherein also that youthful heat of his evaporated, which, for the most part, hurricth great wits to great falls. And indeed, were we not otherwise assured of it, yet, from the very force of his wit, we might conjecture with how vehement motions that nature of his was sometimes agitated. About the close of that time, his heart was touched with a serious deliberation, concerning the choice of good things; which he performed with such greatness of mind, that he determined, for the hope of heavenly things, to trample under foot all the commodities of earthly wishes; wherefore without delay, despairing to obtain from the extremely unwilling princes leave to depart, he, of his own accord, forsook his country, friends, hopes, and riches, that he might the more freely employ himself about his own and other men's salvation. That his service had not been ungrateful to the grand duke, the longing after him, being now absent and in exile, shewed. For sundry times by letters and messengers, chiefly at the motion of Paulus Jordanus Ursinus a nobleman, who had married the grand duke's sister, he sollicited Socinus to return, which he with usual modesty, but resolute mind, did refuse. It was the year of our Lord 1574, and the five and thirtieth of his age, when he retired out of Italy into Germany. At his coming he was entertained by Basil, that courteous receiver of Christ's exiles, which had long since learned to cherish in her lap endangered innocency. Where he studied divinity full three years and upwards, being chiefly intent upon the sacred scriptures, to the sincere understanding whereof whilst he aspired with daily vows and prayers, he was much helped with a very few writings of his uncle Lselius, and sundry scattered notes left by him. Which thing, thbttgh k was in his power to suppress it, yet did he always ingenuously own and profess. As he lived at Basil until the year 1575, he detained not, within the closet of his private breast, the truth that had been deposited with him. And therefore, whilst he endeavoured to propagate unto others the light that was risen to himself, he proceeded by degrees, from reasoning with his friends, to discourse with strangers, and, having begun his disputation concerning Jesus Christ the Saviour by word of mouth, he afterwards comprised it in writing. Which before he could finish, being first excluded by sickness from his studies, then by the pestilence from his books left at Basil, he in the mean time dispatched at Zurich, in the beginning of the year 1578, another disputation with Franciscus Puccius; and afterwards in the same year, being returned to Basil, he put the last hand to his book, concerning the Saviour. At that time the Transylvanian churches were extremely infested with the opinion of Franciscus Duvidis and others, touching the honour-and power of Christ. Toremedy which mischief, Georgius Blandrata, a man very powerful in those churches, and with the Bathorrean princes; who had then ruled the nation, in that very year of the Lord invited Socinus from Basil, to the end he might draw the ringleader of the faction,l.'ranciscus Davidis, from so gross and pernicious an error; which that it might the more commodiously be effected, having at a great rale hired a lodging for Socinus, with Franciscus Davidis, he would have them both for above the space of four months to use the same house and table. But the said Franciscus took far greater care how to retain his credit amongst those of his party, than