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we will not deny, or contradict the description of Adricomius; that Abraham's servant put his hand under his right thigh, we shall not question; and that the thief on the right hand was saved, and the other on the left reprobated, to make good the method of the last judicial dismission, we are ready to admit. But surely in vain we inquire of what wood was Moses' rod, or the tree that sweetened the waters. Or, though tradition or human history might afford some light, whether the crown of thorns was made of paliurus ; whether the cross of Christ were made of those four woods in the distich of Durantes,* or only of oak, according unto Lipsius and Goropius, we labour not to determine. For though hereof prudent symbols and pious allegories be made by wiser conceivers ; yet common heads will fly unto superstitious applications, and hardly avoid miraculous or magical expectations.
Now the ground or reason that occasioned this expression by an apple, might be the community of this fruit, and which is often taken for any other. So the goddess of gardens is termed Pomona ; so the proverb expresseth it, to give apples unto Alcinous; so the fruit which Paris decided was called an apple; so in the garden of Hesperides (which many conceive a fiction drawn from Paradise) we read of golden apples guarded by the dragon. And to speak strictly in this appellation, they placed it more safely than any other; for, beside the great variety of apples, the word in Greek comprehendeth oranges, lemons, citrons, quinces; and as Ruellius defineth,t such fruits as have no stone within, and a soft covering without; excepting the pomegranate; and
* Pes Cedrus est, truncus Cupressus, Oliva supremum, Palmaque transversum Christi sunt in cruce lignum.
+ Ruel. De Stirpium Natura.
well as some other miracles, which seem to me to proceed too much on the principle of endeavouring to lessen them, so as to bring them within the compass of belief. Thus the dial only, not the sun, is supposed to have gone
backwards ; and that not really, but only apparently,—by a “miraculous refraction.” Is it not better to take the literal meaning, content to believe that to omnipotence one miracle is no greater than another?
5 word in Greek.] Not only in Greeke but in Latin also, all these are cald by the very name of apple trees, as Malus aurantia, citria, cydonia, granata.---Wr.
will extend much further in the acception of Spigelius, * who comprehendeth all round fruits under the name of apples, not excluding nuts and plums..
It hath been promoted in some constructions from a passage in the Canticles, as it runs in the Vulgar translation, Sub arbore malo suscitavi te, ibi corrupta est mater tua, ibi violata est genitrix tua.† Which words, notwithstanding parabolically intended, admit no literal inference, and are of little force in our translation: “I raised thee under an apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee." So when, from a basket of summer fruits or apples, as the Vulgar rendereth them, God by Amos foretold the destruction of his people, we cannot say they had
any reference unto the fruit of Paradise, which was the destruction of man; but thereby was declared the propinquity of their desolation, and that their tranquillity was of no longer duration than those horary I or soon-decaying fruits of summer. Nor, when it is said in the same translation, Poma desiderii animæ tuæ discesserunt à te,—“the apples that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee,” is there any allusion therein unto the fruit of Paradise ; but thereby is threatened unto Babylon, that the pleasures and delights of their palate should forsake them. And we read in Pierius, that an apple was the hieroglyphick of love, and that the statue of Venus was made with one in her hand. So the little cupids in the figures of Philostratus do play with apples in a garden ; and there want not some who have symbolized the apple of Paradise unto such constructions.?
Since therefore after this fruit, curiosity fruitlessly inquireth, and confidence blindly determineth, we shall surcease our inquisition; rather troubled that it was tasted, than troubling ourselves in its decision; this only we observe, when things are left uncertain, men will assure them by determination. Which is not only verified concerning the fruit, but the serpent that persuaded; many defining the kind or species thereof. So Bonaventure and Comestor * Isagoge in rem Herbariam. + Cant. viii. I Fructus borai.
§ Philostrat. figure vi. De amoribus. 6 and will extend, &c.] First added in 2nd edition. ? So the little cupids, &c.] First added in 2nd edition.
affirm it was a dragon, Engubinus a basilisk, Delrio a viper, and others a common snake.8 Wherein men still continue the delusion of the serpent, who having deceived Eve in the main, sets her posterity on work to mistake in the circumstance, and endeavours to propagate errors at any hand. And those he surely most desireth which concern either God or himself; for they dishonour God, who is absolute truth and goodness; but for himself, who is extremely evil, and the worst we can conceive, by aberration of conceit they may extenuate his depravity, and ascribe some goodness unto him.
That a Man hath one Rib less than a Woman.
That a man hath one rib less than a woman, is a common conceit, derived from the history of Genesis, wherein it stands delivered, that Eve was framed out of a rib of Adam ; whence it is concluded the sex of men still wants that rib our father lost in Eve. And this is not only passant with the many,
but was urged against Columbus in an anatomy of his at Pisa, where having prepared the skeleton of a woman that chanced to have thirteen ribs on one side, there arose a party that cried him down, and even unto oaths affirmed, this was the rib wherein a woman exceeded. Were this true, it would ocularly silence that dispute out of which side Evewas fram l; it would determine the opinion of Oleaster, that she was made out of the ribs of both sides, or such as from the expression of the text* maintain there was a plurality of ribs required ; and might indeed decry the parabolical exposition of Origen, Cajetan, and such as fearing to concede a monstrosity, or mutilate the integrity of Adam, preventively conceive the creation of thirteen ribs.
But this will not consist with reason or inspection. For if survey
the skeleton of both sexes, and therein the compage of bones, we shall readily discover that men and women have
* Os ex ossibus meis. 8 snake.] Itt seemes to bee none of these but rather that species which Scaliger, the great secretary of nature, with noe reference to this storye, wittily cals (Exercitat. 226, 8) &yxelavopúnovs.-Wr.
four and twenty ribs; that is, twelve on each side, seven greater, annexed unto the sternon, and five lesser which come short thereof. Wherein if it sometimes happen that either sex exceed, the conformation is irregular, deflecting from the common rate or number, and no more inferrible upon mankind than the monstrosity of the son of Rapha, or the vitious excess in the number of fingers and toes. And although some difference there be in figure, and the female os innominatum be somewhat more protuberant, to make a fairer cavity for the infant; the coccyx sometime more reflected, to give the easier delivery ; and the ribs themselves seem a little flatter; yet are they equal in number. And therefore, while Aristotle doubteth the relations made of nations, which had but seven ribs on a side, and yet delivereth, that men have generally no more than eight; as he rejecteth their history, so can we not accept of his anatomy.
Again, although we concede there wanted one rib in the skeleton of Adam, yet were it repugnant unto reason and common observation that his posterity should want the same. For we observe that mutilations are not transmitted from father unto son ; the blind begetting such as can see, men with one eye children with two, and cripples mutilate in their own persons do come out perfect in their generations. For the seed conveyeth with it not only the extract and single idea of every part, whereby it transmits their perfections or infirmities; but double and over again; whereby sometimes it multipliciously delineates the same, as in twins, in mixed and numerous generations. Parts of the seed do seem to contain the idea and power of the whole; so parents deprived of hands beget manual issues, and the defect of those parts is supplied by the idea of others. So in one grain of corn appearing similarly and insufficient for a plural germination, there lieth dormant the virtuality of many other; and from thence sometimes proceed above an hundred ears. And thus may be made out the cause of multiparous productions; for though the seminal materials disperse and separate in the matrix, the formative operator will not delineate a part, but endeavour the formation of the whole; effecting the same as far as the matter will permit, and from dividing materials attempt entire formations. And therefore, though wondrous strange, it may not be impossible
what is confirmed at Lausdun concerning the countess of Holland ; nor what Albertus reports of the birth of an hundred and fifty. And if we consider the magnalities of generation in some things, we shall not controvert its possibilities in others : nor easily question that great work, whose wonders are only second unto those of the creation, and a close apprehension of the one, might perhaps afford a glimmering light, and crepusculous glance of the other.
Of Methuselah. What hath been every where opinioned by all men, and in all times, is more than paradoxical to dispute ; and so, that Methuselah was the longest liver of all the posterity of Adam, we quietly believe: but that he must needs be so, is perhaps below paralogy to deny. For hereof there is no determination from the text; wherein it is only particularised he was the longest liver of all the patriarchs whose age is there expressed; but that he out-lived all others, we cannot well conclude.2 For of those nine whose death is mentioned
9 And if we consider, &c.] “Many things are useful and convenient, which are not necessary: and if God had seen man might not want it, how easy had it been for him which made the woman of that bone, to turn the flesh into another bone? But he saw man could not complain of the want of that bone, which he had so multiplied, so animated. O God, we can never be losers by thy changes, we have nothing but what is thine, take from us thine own when thou wilt; we are sure thou canst not but give us better!”—Bp. Hall's Contemp. book i. chap. 2.
I is perhaps below paralogy to deny.] “To deny it is not hastily to be condemned as false reasoning."
we cannot, &c.] If the learned author had looked into the text, Gen. v. hee woulde have dasht this unnecessary and frivolous discourse, for in that the Holy Ghost does particularly mention all the 9 patriarchs' ages, as of men to whom God gave such long life for the peopling of the world : and tooke away all the rest of the world, not only in Caine's race, but in all the other patriarchal familyes, men, women, and children, that they might not live to propagate that wickedness which had overspread the world by the marriage of Seth's posterityes with Caine's female issue. Itt is fit to beleeve that God would never grant to any of Caine's posterity longer live then to the longest liver among the patriarchs, when he intended to cutt off even that life of theirs which