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ourselves in the fellowship of others that suffer with us; but to procure the miseries of others in those extremities, wherein we hold an hope to have no society ourselves, is methinks a strain above Lucifer, and a project beyond the primary seduction of hell.

4. I hope it is not true, and some indeed have probably denied, what is recorded of the monk that poisoned Henry the emperor, in a draught of the holy Eucharist. 'Twas a scandalous wound unto the Christian religion, and I hope all Pagans will forgive it, when they shall read that a Christian was poisoned in a cup of Christ, and received his bane in a draught of his salvation. Had he believed transubstantiation, he would have doubted the effect; and surely the sin itself received an aggravation in that opinion. It much commendeth the innocency of our forefathers, and the simplicity of those times, whose laws could never dream so high a crime as parricide: whereas this at the least may seem to out-reach that fact, and to exceed the regular distinctions of murder. I will not say what sin it was to act it; yet may it seem a kind of martyrdom to suffer by it. For, although unknowingly, he died for Christ his sake, and lost his life in the ordained testimony of his death. Certainly had they known it, some noble zeals would scarcely have refused it; rather adventuring their own death, than refusing the memorial of his.7

Many other accounts like these we meet sometimes in history, scandalous unto Christianity, and even unto humanity; whose verities not only, but whose relations, honest minds do deprecate. For of sins heteroclital, and such as want either name or precedent, there is oft-times a sin even in their histories. We desire no records of such enor

6 'Twas a scandalous wound, &c.] It is said that Ganganelli, Pope Clement XIV. was thus despatched by the Jesuits. In the Universal Magazine for 1776, vol. v. p. 215, occurs an account of that poisoning of the sacramental wine at Zurich, by a grave-digger, by which a number of communicants lost their lives.

7 Than refusing, &c.] Itt had been a very foolishe zeale, and little less than selfe murder to have taken that sacramentall, wherin they had knowne poyson to have been put. The rejection of that particular cup had not been any refusal of remembring his death. This therefore needs an index expurgatorius, and a deleatur, and soe wee have according canceld itt.-Wr.

mities; sins should be accounted new, that so they may be esteemed monstrous. They amit of monstrosity as they fall from their rarity; for men count it venial to err with their forefathers, and foolishly conceive they divide a sin in its society. The pens of men may sufficiently expatiate without these singularities of villany; for, as they increase the hatred of vice in some, so do they enlarge the theory of wickedness in all. And this is one thing that may make latter ages worse than were the former; for, the vicious examples of ages past poison the curiosity of these present, affording a hints of sin unto seducible spirits, and soliciting those unto the imitation of them, whose heads were never so perversely principled as to invent them. In this kind we commend the wisdom and goodness of Galen, who would not leave unto the world too subtle a theory of poisons; unarming thereby the malice of venomous spirits, W ignorance must be content with sublimate and arsenic. For, surely there are subtler venerations, such as will invisibly destroy, and like the basilisks of heaven. In things of this nature silence commendeth history: 'tis the veniable part of things lost; wherein there must never rise a Pancirollus,* nor remain any register, but that of hell.

And yet, if, as some Stoicks opinion, and Seneca himself disputeth, these unruly affections that make us sin such prodigies, and even sins themselves be animals, there is a history of Africa and story of snakes in these. And if the transanimation of Pythagoras, or method thereof were true, that the souls of men transmigrated into species answering their former natures; some men must surely live over many serpents, and cannot escape that very brood, whose sire Satan entered. And though the objection of Plato should take place, that bodies subjected unto corruption must fail at last before the period of all things, and growing fewer in number must leave some souls apart unto

* Who writ De antiquis deperditis, or of inventions lost.

8 Affording, &c.] Itt is noe doubte but that some casuists have much to answere for that sinn of curiosity, who by proposing some quæstions to the confitents teach them to knowe some sinns wherof they would never have thought.- Wr.

themselves, the spirits of many long before that time will find but naked habitations; and, meeting no assimilables wherein to re-act their natures, must certainly anticipate such natural desolations.

Primus sapientiæ gradus est, falsa intelligere.—Lactant.

VOL. II.

END OF PSEUDODOXIA EPIDEMICA.

U

RELIGIO MEDICI.

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