Atheomastix clearing foure truthes, against atheists and infidels: 1. That, there is a God. 2. That, there is but one God. 3. That, Iehouah, our God, is that one God. 4. That, the Holy Scripture is the Word of that God. All of them proued, by naturall reasons, and secular authorities; for the reducing of infidels: and, by Scriptures, and Fathers, for the confirming of Christians. By the R. Reuerend Father in God, Martin Fotherby, late Bishop of Salisbury. The contents followes, next after the preface.
Fotherby, Martin, 1549 or 50-1620.

CHAP. 7.

Little Citties doe rise to be great. 2. Great Cities doe fall to be little. 3. Yet is not this the worke, of either Fate, or Fortune: 4. But of Gods owne Pro∣uidence, and Praeor dination. 5. Who limiteth their powers. 6. Boundeth their Dominions. 7. And praescribeth their continuance.

THe next Consideration is taken from the Politicks: and therein from the rising and falling of Cities, of Kingdomes, and Com∣monwealths. Which great and notable works, though diuers of the Heathen haue partly ascribed to Fate, and partly vnto Fortune; yet falsely vnto both of them: as being in very deede the onely worke of God. Who, as sometime he raiseth poore men, out of the very dust,* and lifteth vp their heads, to make them sit with Princes, cal∣ling them (as he did Dauid) A caula ad aulam: so doth he oftentimes,* with Ci∣ties, and Nations, aduancing them from poore Originals, to be great and mighty Monarchies. Carthage, which at last grew so mighty and potent, as to fight with Rome it selfe,* for the Empire of the world:* yet was,* at first, no larger then could be encompassed with the thongs of a Bulls hide. Yea, and euen Rome it selfe, which obtayned that Empire, and Lorded it ouer all with an iron Scepter: yet was extended no further by Romulus, but onely to Page  261 the number of a thousand houses. In so much that the Italian Poet wonde∣reth at the wonderfull increasings of it:

Aspice, nec longè repotam,* modó Roma minanti
Impar Iüdenae contentá{que} crescere Asylo,
Quò se extulerit dextrìs.
Loe; but of late, how little Rome;
To what a greatnes now She's come!
Yea and Venice, at this time the Venus of all Cities, and the strongest For∣tresse and Balwarke of all Christians; yet was,* at first, but a Marish, inhabited by poore Fishers. And the like may be obserued, almost of all those other renowmed and famous Cities: whose glorious gests and victories haue so greatly innobled them, in the register of Histories: they haue, most of them, bene raised from such ignoble and contemptible originalls; that, when they view themselues in the ruffe of their greatnes, they are vtterly ashamed, to thinke of their first littlenesse.

2 And, as we may obserue diuers poore and little Cities,* to haue growne great and potent, being raysed from the dust, to sit among the Starres: so may we likewise obserue, on the contrary part, diuers great and potent Cities, to haue become very little ones, being pluck't downe from the Starres, to sit downe in the dust.* God threatneth against Edom, that though they exalted themselues like vnto Eagles, and placed their nest among the Starres, yet would he bring them downe. And he calleth vnto Babel, that proud Monarch of the East: Come downe, ô Daughter Babel, and sit in the dust: sit vpon the ground: for there is no more throne,—Sit still,*and get thee into darknesse:* for thou shalt no more be called, The Lady of Kingdomes. And, that this his threatning was not brutum fulmen, an idle flash of Lightning; but that it had his full effect, vpon that proud Citie, we may euidently see, by comparing this place of the Prophet; wherein she is sayd to be, Tender and delicate; with another place of the Psalmist, wherein she is sayd to be,*a Citie wasted with misery. Babel vastata. Whereby it appeareth that this threatned deuastation, had, euen in those dayes, begunne to seaze vpon them. Which happeneth oftentimes so sodainely,* that that which in many yeares was not builded, yet is, in a mo∣ment, destroyed: as Isaiah giueth instance both in Ar, and Kir: which both were destroyed, and brought to silence, in a night. And Phauorinus obserueth the same of Helice, and Bura: that they were sodainely swallowed vp. Absorptae sunt, & tanquam nauigantes perierunt: & perished in a moment, as Saylors do,*by Shipwracke. And the like may be obserued, of diuers other mighty Cities, heretofore the Imperiall seates of great and potent Monarchs; that now they are so vtterly demolished, as that, euen their very places can no more be found, nor no man say, that, Here they stood; as Niniue, Susis, Ecbatane, and diuers others recknoned vp by Pausanias. Mycenae,*quae in bello Troiano impe∣rârunt Graecis; Ninus deinde, in qua Assyriorum Regia fuit; tertiò, Thbae Boeoticae, quae principem olìm locum in Graecia obtinuerunt: hae omnes ad inter∣necionem vs{que} sunt desolatae. Mycenae, which, in the time of the Troian warre, was the head of all Greece; and Ninus, where was sometimes the Royall Palace of the Assyrian Monarchs; and Thebes of the Boeotians, one of the chiefest Cities of all the Graecians, are now quite destroyed and made vtterly desolate.Page  262 Vpon which occasion, hee entreth a meditation of the notable ragilitie of all humane prosperitie; giuing, in that place, diuers other very pregnant and remarkeable instances, of Thebes in Aegypt, and Orchomenus, sometimes two rich and populous Cities, but now reduced beneath the fortune of diuers priuate persons: So likewise of Delus, sometimes the most frequented and common Mart of all the Graecians, now vtterly deserted and forsaken of all Nations: So likewise of Babilon, sometime the greatest Citie that euer the Sunne look't vpon; but, at that time, so little, that there was nothing there left, but a Wall, and at Temple. Contrariwise, of Alexandria, and Seleucia; which, though they were builded but euen the other day; yet started vp so sodainly to great wealth and glo∣rie. Whereas Chryse and Hiera, sometimes two famous Islands, at that time lay drowned, and buried in the waters. Concluding his meditation, with this piphonema: Sic res mortalium sunt momentaneae, & nulla ex parte firmae: Thus the things of mortall men, are both of small continuance, and subiect vnto great mutabilitie of chance. And it should seeme this meditation had made a deepe impression into diuers other of the Heathen, and not a little troubled them. Ouid, lighting into it, addeth diuers other instances vnto those of Pausanias:

Nunc humilis veteres tantummodò Troia ruinas,*
Et pro divitijs tumulos ostendit avorum.
Clara fuit Sparte, magnae viguêre Mycenae,
Necnon & Cecropis, nec non Amphionis arces.
Vile solum Sparte est: alta cecidêre Mycenae.
Oedipodioniae, quid sunt, nisi nomina Thebae?
Quid Pandioniae restant, nisi nomen, Athenae?
Now humbled Troy is turn'd to dust, and nothing hath to show,
But rubbish, for her riches; and the ruin'd Toombs, I trow,
Of ancient Inhabiters. So Sparta famous was;
And Mycene great, and glorious; and Theb's a stately place;
Renowned Athens was the like. But now, faire Sparta is
A Soyle most vile; and Mycene high is falne full low, I wis:
And as for Theb's and Athens both; to both betides the same;
For both, and all, haue nothing left, besides a naked name.
So that,* as the Prophet Obadiah speaketh, They are now become, as if they had neuer bene.* And Strabo noteth the same of diuers other Cities, about the mount Carmel: which, he saith, are nothing now, but Oppidorum Nomina, meere names of Cities: vt Sycaminorum ciuitas, & Bubulcorum ciuitas, & Crocodilorum ciuitas: As the Citie of the Sycamines, and the Citie of the Cowheards, and the Citie of the Crocodiles. And that, which these Authors haue obserued of Cities,* hath Philo Iudaeus obserued of whole Kingdomes. Quòd si non libet singulorum fortunas perquirere, vide regionum integrarum & gentium mutationes, &c, If you list not to insist vpon the particular fortune of Cities, consider the mutations of whole Countries, and Nations: how (as Lucrtius also obserueth:)
Augescunt aliae gentes,* aliae minuuntur.
Some Nations florish,
Other some do perish.

Page  263 3 Now,* whence commeth this rising, and falling of Cities; and why doth this happen rather vnto the principals, then it doth vnto others? It appeareth in Plutarch, to be an old conceit, to attribute this to Fate, and to a kind of Destinie bestowed vpon those Cities, in their genethliacks, and na∣tiuities, by the aspects and positure of the Stars.* But this the Psalmist re∣iecteth, in expresse and plaine termes:*Promotion (saith he) commeth neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the North, nor from the South. It commeth not from the East, from whence the Stars doe come in their diurnall motion: nor yet from the West, from whence they come againe in their naturall motion: nor yet from North, or South, from whence they goe and come in that motion of theirs which is called Trepidation. From none of all these motions doth Promotion come. But (as it followeth in that Psalme) It is God, that is the Iudge; hee putteth downe one, and setteth vp ano∣ther. And this is true, as well in the fortunes of Cities, and Nations, as of particular persons. As wee may euidently see in the prophecy of Isaiah. Be∣hold (saith he) it is the Lord that maketh the earth empty,*and he maketh it waste; He turneth it vpside downe, and hee scattereth abroad the Inhabitants of it. And therefore Plutarch derideth this opinion of the Stars,* that they should giue fortune vnto Cities: and reckoneth it among the number of Fables. Yea, and that very worthily. For, if it were fatall for those Cities to rise, how come they to their fall? Is there now crept in a mutabilitie into Fate? Is it now be∣come contrarie vnto it selfe; to depresse the same thing, which before it selfe aduanced? Or, haue things two Fates? the one, whereby they be aduanced, and the other, whereby they are depressed? These things doe not cohere. And therefore some haue runne a cleane contrary course,* & ascribed all to Fortune. So Manilius.

—Quoties Fortuna per orbem,
Seruitium, imperiúm{que} tulit, varie{que} revertit?
How oft hath Fortune, through the world, thinke I,
Brought Slauerie, borne Imperie, and wheeled diuersy?
So Seneca.
Imperia sic excelsa Fortunae obiacent,*
So highest Empires stoope to Fortunes feete.
So Plutarch, who ascribeth all the prosperitie of the Romanes, onely to their Fortune: writing a Booke of that Argument: De Fortuna Romanorum. So Pausanias, who affirmeth, Vniversa, tum firma, tum imbecilla, quae{que} re∣cèns facta sunt, quae{que} perierunt, a Fortuna immutari, eiús{que} arbitratu, summa vi & necessitate, omnia trahi. All things, both weake, and strong, both things done now of late, and things done long agone, are subiect vnto Fortune: she drawing all things after her, at her owne will and pleasure. And hee giueth, in that place, diuers fit and pregnant instances, as well in the rising, as falling of Cities. For the rising of them, hee there nameth Alexandria, and Seleucia, of whom hee affirmeth, that, Ideo ad tantam magnitudinem & felicita∣tem excreuerunt, quòd Fortuna eos, tanquam manu, duxerit: That they therefore grew vnto such greatnes and felicitie, because Fortune led them to it, as it were, by the hand. In the falling of Cities, he nameth these before mentioned, of Thebes, Myenae, Delus, Babilon, and the rest: of whom hee addeth this Conclusion, that they all were destroyed, by the iniquitie of Fortune: Page  264 Et haec quidem prorsùs Fortuna abolevit. So that he ascribeth, as well the ri∣sing, as falling of Cities, to be the worke, not of Prouidence, but of Chance. But, that herein hee is deceiued, it appeareth by this argument: That both the rising, and falling of many Cities, haue beene truely and certainely fore∣told: Which they could not haue beene, if it had beene by Fortune. For, these things which are fortuitous, cannot be foreseene by Prouidence: & therefore not foretold. Who can foretell, that at such a time, such a man shall haue a fall? No more could any man foretell, that at such a time such a king∣dome should haue his fall, if it were meerely casuall. But wee see, by expe∣rience, that both the rising of some Cities, and the falling of others, haue bin certainly foretold, by diuers of the Prophets.* The Prophet Daniel, not on∣ly foretelleth, both the rising, and the falling, of the foure grand Monarchies; but also graphically describeth them, by their seuerall properties: yea and paintes them out, vnto our eyes, in two liuely emblemes: the one, of the foure-parted Image; the other,* of the foure fearefull Beasts. Yea, and in the transla∣tion and succession of those Monarchies, he plainely describeth the falling of one of them, and the rising of another, vnder the figure of a Battell, betweene a Ramme,* and a Goate: wherein the Goate preuayled. Which Goate, he there affirmeth, to be the King of the Graecians; as he doth the Rmme, to be the King of the Persians. Where, if the euent had fallen out contrary vnto his praediction,* he being so definite, and confident in his asseueration, hee had beene vtterly shamed,* and had iustly incurred the note of a false Prophet. But he knew whom he beleeued,* and that hee could not be deceiued: because these things were by God himselfe reuealed; by whom they were both fore-knowne, and fore-appointed. So likewise, the Prophet Ionas, in his foretelling of the destruction of Niniveh, was as definite and peremptorie in appointing the certaine dayes, as Daniel was before, in naming the certaine Nations. Yet forty dayes and Niniveh shall be destroyed.* Which finall destruction (though the meanes be vnknowne) yet had certainely happened, if by their earnest re∣pentance, it had not beene auerted.

Another like destruction, there is also foretold, by the Prophet Balaam; to happen from the Grecians,* or Romans, vnto the Kingdome both of the As∣syrians, and of the Hebrewes. The Ships shall come from the Coasts of Chittim and shall subdue Assur, and shall subdue Heber, & he also shall come to destructi∣on. A very true prophecie, though vttered by a false Prophet. For, whether we take Chittim for the Greeks, or the Romans, (as it is sometimes for both,) by those two Nations, were those two Kingdomes subdued; and the latter of those Kingdomes, by the latter of those Nations, was not onely subdued, but also subuerted, according to the prophecie in that place deliuered. Now these things could not haue beene thus certainely foreshewne, if they had not beene as certainely foreseene. And that they could not haue beene, if they had fallen out by Fortune. So that, as concerning Fate; Solon excludeth that, in one of his Elegies,* cited by Demonsthenes.

Nostra quidem Fato Iovis vrbs non occidet vnquàm:
Our famous Cities glorious State
Shall neuer fall by force of Fate.
And, for Fortune,*Tullie excludeth that: Nostris vitijs, non Cas aliquo, Rem∣pub. Page  265misimus. We haue lost our State, by our offences, and not by any Fortune. Nay euen Pausanias himselfe, in the very same place, where he so resolutely ascri∣beth this worke vnto Fortune; yet (as either forgetting himselfe, or remem∣bring his error) hath plainely confessed, that it is the worke of God. Minimè mirr, Megalopolin omnia ornamenta ac pristinam felicitatem amisisse,*cùm Deum sciam nouis semper rebus delectari. I meruaile not, that the magnificall Citie Megalopolis, hath lost all her ornaments, and ancient eminence; whenas I consider, and know well, how God delighteth himselfe, with the changing of Cities and States. Nay,* euen the Deuill himselfe, in assuming the disposing of all kingdomes vnto himselfe, euen there asserteth them vnto a kinde of prouidence, and denieth them both vnto Fate, and vnto Chance.

4 Therefore we must hold this, as a fixt and certaine truth, that both the rising and falling of Cities,* Kingdomes, and Common wealths, are the de∣crees and appointments of Gods onely Prouidence. Wherein we haue many very pregnant and cleare testimonies: Yea, and that not onely of the Holy Scriptures,* but also of Heathen and Secular Writers. King Salomon saith, in the person of God: By me Kings raigne, and Princes decree iustice. By me Princes rule, and Nobles, and all the Iudges of the Earth. For, as Tertullian truely teacheth, Indè est Imperator, vndè est & homo,*antequàm Imperator: indè potestas illi, vndè Spiritus. By him a man is made a King, by whom he was made a Man, before he was a King. Hee gaue him his dominion, that gaue to him his breathing.* Now that is onely God: who (as the Apostle testifieth) hath gi∣uen vnto all men, both life, and breath, and all things, He it is (saith the Pro∣phet Daniel) that hath power ouer the Kingdome of men,*and that giueth it, vn∣to whom hee pleaseth; yea, euen vnto the very abiects. Whom afterward, if they grow proud, he casteth downe againe. Dij & secunda elatos fortuna, qum celerrimè, cùm velint, euertere, & abiectos excitare facilè possunt, sayth Xenophon. God quickly can, at his pleasure, depresse those,*that are prided with prosperous Fortune; and easily aduance those, that are deiected with aduerse. Yea, and it was Platoes opinion (as Sabellicus reporteth it) Nullam posse Ciui∣tatm, sine fauore Numinis, vel prosperè constitui, vel constituta feliciter admi∣nistrari. That there cannot any Citie, either, at the first, be happily planted, or afterward, be prosperously gouerned, without the speciall blessing, and fauour of God. And this may be obserued, to bee particularly affirmed, of all those foure great Monarchies fore-named For the Babilonian Monarchie; the Prophet Daniel expresly ascribeth that vnto God.*The most high God (saith he) gaue vnto Nebuchadnezzar, both a Kingdome, and Maiesty, and honour, and glorie. For the Persian Monarchie; King Cyrus himselfe ascribeth that vnto God. For he saith,* that, The Lord God of heauen, had giuen him all the King∣domes of the Earth.

Yea, and Themistcles likewise confessed it, in plaine words, vnto Artaba∣nus, one of the Persian Princes.*Ego parebo vestris legibus, quandò ita visum Deo, qui Persas extulit: & propter me plures, quàm nunc sunt, erunt, qui vestrum Regem adorent. I am ready to obey your Persian Lawes, seeing God hath so or∣dained, who hath so greatly exalted the Persians. And I my selfe will bee a meane, that many moe, then now doe, shall giue honour to your King. For the Grecian Monarchie;* the Prophet Daniel againe ascribeth that vnto God. For Page  266 he saith, that the third Beast, which was like vnto a Leopard (wherein the Greci∣an Monarchie was prefigured,) had his power, and dominion giuen vnto him. And therefore he had it not of himselfe: as Hananias, one of the seauenty two Interpreters, very plainely proueth vnto King Ptolomeus, by this familiar rea∣son.*Non quenquam esse Regemex sese, inde patet, Quia omnes cupiunt conse∣qui hanc dignitatem, sed non possunt: cùm Dei donum sit. It appeareth, that no man can make himselfe a King, because all men doe desire it, and yet cannot at∣taine it; because it is Gods gift. As Seneca acknowledgeth in the person of Nero: Munus Deorum est, ipsa quòd seruit mihi Roma, & Senatus. It is Gods gift, that the Citie and the Senate are subiect to me. And for the Romane Mo∣narchie; Plutarch ascribeth that directly vnto God. For,* hee saith of Rome, that it could neuer haue growne, á tam vili & paruo initio, ad tantam gloriam & potentiam, sine Numinis praesentia: From so despicable and poore a begin∣ning to so admirable a power and glorie, without the presence & prouidence of God. And this hee there reporteth, not as his owne single and particular opi∣nion, but as a vulgar and common, receiued and maintained among the most of them. And,* in another place, hee affirmeth of Rome, that, Fundamenta Romae iecit Tempus cum Deo: That the Foundation of Rome was layd by God and Time. It was layd by God, to continue for a long time, as he wittily there expresseth, by this fit deuice and fiction: That Fortune quickly flew ouer both the Persians, and Assyrians, and Macedonians, and Aegyptians, and Syrians, and Carthaginians: but, when shee came vnto the Romanes, she then put off her wings, as purposing to stay with them, and not to fly from them. So that God gaue them their beginning, in laying their foundation: and hee vpheld their continuing; in giuen to them Time. This is Plutarchs iudgement of them. Yea, and Tully likewise ascribeth all the Romane greatnesse, vnto none other cause, but onely to the bounty and goodnesse of their gods. Quis est tam vecors, qui, cùm Deos esse intellexerit, non intelligat, eorum numine, hoc tantum imperium esse natum, & auctum, & retentum? Who is there so mad, but knowing there is a God, he must also vnderstand, that by his speciall goodnesse, the great Empire of the Romanes is both founded, and increased, and continued? Yea, and in the same place hee ascribeth the dilatation of their Empire, rather vn∣to their religion,* then either vnto their valour, or vnto their wisdome. Nec nu∣mero, Hispanos; nec robore, Gallos; nec calliditate, Poenos; nec artihus, Graecos; nec hoc ipso huius Gentis ac Terrae domestico natiuo{que} sensu, Italos Latinos{que}: sed pie∣tate, & Religion at{que} hac vna sapentia, quòd Deorum immortalium numine omnia regi, gubernari{que} perspeximus; omnes gentes nationés{que} superauimus. We haue not ouercom the Spaniards, by our number; nor the French, by our power; nor the Carthaginians, by our pollices; nor the Graecians, by our Arts; nor the Italians, or Latines, by the naturall sharpenesse, and finenesse of our wits: but it is only our pietie, and religion, and this speciall wisedome of ascribing all things to the go∣uernement of the gods, that hath subdued vnto vs so many Countries, and Na∣tions. Thereby plainely insinuating, that the greatnesse of their Empire was bestowed by God vpon them, onely as a reward of their pietie, and religion. Which Caecilius also expresly confirmeth. For he saith of the Romanes,* that, Imperium suum, vltra Solis vias, & ipsius Oceani limites, progagârunt, dùm ex∣ercent in armis virtutem religiosam: The exercise of vertue, and of Religion, Page  267 was that which inlarged the Romane dominion. For (as he addeth a litle after) Dum vniversarum Gentium sacra suscipiunt, etiam Regna meruerunt. While they receiue the Religions of all Nations, they deserue also their Dominions. This he falsly ascribeth vnto their false religion: which yet may truly be ascribed vnto the true one. And Camillus,* in his Oration recorded by Liuie, expresly affir∣meth, that al the calamities of the Romans sprung only from ther offences against God; as, on the contrary, all their prosperity grew only from their piety. Which is true, in very deed, if it be rightly vnderstood, and be referred, as it ought, vn∣to to the true God.* For (as Ecclesiasticus very truely affirmeth) It is the feare of the Lord, which causeth, that the Kingdome faileth not: but a Kingdome is lost, by crueltie and pride. And therefore King Ochus, being asked by his sonne, by what meanes he had preserued his kingdome so long? answered,* That this was done, Pietate, in Deos; et iustitia, in Homines: By his Pietie, towards God; and his aequitie, towards men.* For (as Elihu truely telleth vs) Iudgment and aequitie maintaine all things:* Yea, euen the very throne it selfe, as King Salomon acknowledgeth; The Throne is established by Iustice. But it is sup∣planted* and ouerthrowne by wickednesse (as Ecclesiastcus) obserueth Because of vnrighteous dealing, and wrongs, and riches gotten by deceit, the Kingdome is translated from one people to another. So that, as King Salomon himselfe in another place affirmeth,*Iustice exalteth a nation: but sinne bringeth a people to confusion. A notable example whereof, God himselfe hath left vnto vs,* in the Babilonians: whose kingdome and Nation hee professeth that hee will bring vnto vtter desolation, for their sinnes and iniquities. And this we may obserue to haue beene a strong notion, very deepely imprinted in the mindes euen of the Heathens: That, as nothing praeserueth Kingdomes more firmely, then vertue;*so nothing destroyeth them more certainly, then vice. A. Gellius ascribeth the rising of the Romans onely vnto their vertues. Omnibus virtu∣tum ganeribus exercendis, colendis{que}, Populus Romanus, è parua origine, ad tantae megnitudinis instar emicuit. The Romans (saith he) ascended from their low and meane beginnings, to such an height of greatnes, only by their practice of all kind of vertues. And Tullie on the contrarie, he saith: They lost their greatnes by degenerating from their ancient vertue vnto vice, in the fore-alledged place: Nostris vitijs, non casu aliquo, Rempub. amisimus; It is not by chance, but it is by our vice, whereby we haue decayed and lost our common-wealth. And therefore in the same place, he pronounceth, that, There is,*Nihil tam inimicum Ciuitati, quàm iniustitia; quae, sine magnae iustitia, nec geri, nec stare potest. That there is no such Enemie vnto any Citie, as iniustice is, and iniurie: because, without great Iustice, there cannot any Citie be either well gouerned, or safely praeserued. For, as the Tragicall Poet hath very truely noted:

—Vbi non est pudor,*
Nec cura iuris, sanctitas, pietas, fides;
Instabile Regnum est.
Where is nor modestie, nor equitie, nor sanctitie,
No pietie, no veritie, no, nor civilitie,
In such a Kingdome, certainly,
There can be no stabilitie.
Which sentence of the Tragick, is also confirmed, by another of the Comick: Page  268 Where hee bringeth in a seruant, disputing with a Virgine, about the fortification and munition of their Towne.
—Vt munitum muro, tibi visum est oppidum?
saith hee.

How like you here, the warlike strength of this our walled Towne? Vnto which she answered presently.

Si incolae benè sint morati, pulchrè munitum arbitror.*
Perfidia, & peculatus ex vrbe, & avaritia si exulant.
Quarta invidia, quinta ambitio, sexta obtrectatio,
Septimum periurium, octaua indiligentia,
Nona iniuria, decimum (quod pessumum aggressu) scelus.
Haec nisi vrbe aberunt, centuplex murus rebus seruandis parùm est.
If Citizens be manner'd well; well mann'd and wall'd, I deeme it.
If Citie Sinnes be banisht all; then strong, may all esteeme it.
If Trecherie, and Robberie, and Auarice be gone,
If Enuie, and Ambition, and Backbiting he none;
If Periurie, if Idlenesse, if Iniurie be out,
And truly, if that Vilainie, the worst of all the rout.
Vnlesse these Vices banisht beene, what euer forts you haue,
An hundres Walls together put, will not haue power to saue.
Because, by those vices, they do euen inforce God to ouerthrow their Walls, as sometime he did Hiericoes. For, as Bacchylides truely affirmeth,*
—Alta a coeli sede
Diruit oppida—superba,
Qui summum in Omnes imperium tenet.
It's God, that ruleth ouer all,
Who giu's proud Cities such a fall.
Nay, wicked Citizens, by their vices, doe ouerthrow their owne Cities, and digge downe their Walls, as Solon well obserueth.
Nostra quidem Fato Iovis vrbs non ccidet vnquàm,
Propitijs{que} Dijs, salua manere potest.
Moenia sed ciues stolidi, cupidí{que} lucrorum,*
Ardua, subverti, per sua facta student.
It is not Fate our Citie can destroy:
We may, long time, in safetie it enioy,
The Gods to vs being propitious.
But Citizens themselues, so vicious,
So foolish are, and couetous; that they
Their owne walls raze, and vtterly decay.
And therefore saith Theognis vnto the same purpose:
Nullam vnquam (Cyrne) boni Ciuitatem perdiderunt viri.
Sed quando,* contumeliosis esse, malis placuerit,
Populúm{que} corruperint, iudicia{que} iniustis dederint,
Propriorum lucrorum causa, & potentiae;
Existima, non diû illam civitatem quietam fore,
Et si nunc manet ala in quiete.
Good men did ne're their Cities ruine bring.
Page  269 But when euill men shall iniuries begin,
Not caring to corrupt and violate
The Iudgements seates, for their owne Lucres sake:
Then looke, that Citie cannot long haue peace,
Though for the present it haue rest and ease.
Now, this consent of the Heathen, in thus generally ascribing the rising of Cities and Commonwealths, vnto vertue; and their falling, vnto vice; im∣plyeth, that they beleeued, that God is the Author and worker of both these. Because hee is the Rewarder of vertues, and the punisher of vices: who for the transgressions and wickednesse of men, both abateth and abaseth, and transformeth, and transferreth all their Kingdomes and Commonwealths, as hee himselfe pleaseth. Of all which, the Holy Scriptures haue left vs euident examples.

He abated the Kingdome of the Israelites; when hee tooke from Reho∣boram, ten of the twelue tribes, and bestowed them vpon Ieroboam.* He aba∣sed the Kingdome of the Caldeans;* when hee called vnto Babel, to come and sit downe in the dust: and draue out their proud King from the compa∣ny of men, compelling him to liue among the brute Beasts: And all that, to teach him but this very lesson, which I now am in prouing: That the most High bereth rule ouer the Kingdomes of men, and that he disposeth them,*as it seemeth best vnto him. Hee transformed the Kingdome of the Israelites; when hee changed it from their Iudges, vnto their Kings: as hee likewise did the Romanes, from their Consuls, vnto their Emperours. In which change of that State, it is worthy obseruation, which is written by Plutarch: That God,*determining to alter the Commonwealth of the Romanes, from their Optima∣cie, to a Monarchie; hee purposely suffered Brutus to bee ouerthrowne by Octauius, lest hee should bee a meane to ouerthrow that gouernment, which God then determined to set vp, hee being a knowne Enemie vnto the state of a Monarchie.

And finally, he transferred them; the kingdomes of the Canaanites, vnto the Israelites; of the Israelites, vnto the Caldeans; of the Caldeans, vnto the Medes, and Persians; of the Persians, vnto the Graecians; and of the Graecians, vnto the Romanes. All which, haue, in the Scripture, their particular testimo∣nies, to be the workes of none other, but onely of God himselfe: who (as Iob affirmeth in his booke) both looseth the Collar of Kings, aud girdeth their loynes with a girdle; both increaseth the People, and destroyeth them;*both in∣largeth the Nations,* and bringeth them in againe.* And (as Daniel addeth, vnto the same purpose) He both setteth vp Kings, and taketh away Kings. So that (as Tertullian well collecteth) Ille Regna dispensat, cuius est & orbis qui regna∣tur, & Homo ipse qui regnat.—Ille Ciuitates extollit, & deprimit,*sub quo fuit aliquandó sine Ciuitatibus genus humanum. He disposeth of Kingdomes, whose both the World is that is ruled, and the Men that rule it. He both exalteth and depresseth Cities, whose Subiects men were, before they had any Cities. And this was vnderstood, euen of the very Heathen: as we may gather out of that prayer, which King Darius made, before his battaile with great Alexander: which Plutarch thus reporteth. Dij natales, at{que} regij, id primùm vos precor,*Quam mihi Persarum fortunam dedistis, cam restitutam ego vti posteris relin∣quam; Page  270 vti victor, Alexandro rependam, quae in meos, mea calamitate ictos, con∣tulit beneficia. Sìn faale adest tempus, ita{que} visum est Nemesi, & rerum vi∣issitudini, vti Persarum regnum cesset; vt nemo hominum, praeter vnum Alex∣andrum, in Cyri sedeat solio. Oye immortall Gods, that are mens Creators, and Kings Protectors, first of all I beseech you, that I may leaue the same prosperity of the Persians vnto my Successors, which from you I receiued by my Predeces∣sors; that so I may repay vnto Alexander, those great benefits and fauours, which, in this time of my calamitie, hee hath royally bestowed vpon my dearest friends. But, if the fatall period of time bee now come, wherein the Persians Kingdome must needes change, and be vndone; then againe I beseech you, that the succession of King Cyrus his Throne may fall vnto King Alexander, and vn∣to none other. In which prayer it appeareth, that he verily beleeued, as well the preseruation, as translation of Kingdomes, to be seated in the power of God.

So that, for this point, of the rising and falling of Kingdomes and Com∣monwealths; it seemeth vtterly absurd, not onely to the religion of well be∣leeuing Christians, but also to the reason of vnderstanding Heathens, to re∣ferre and ascribe it vnto any other cause, then onely to Gods prouidence. Es∣pecially not to chance. For, can wee thinke, that that prouidence, which is so precisely curious, as to marke and obserue the falling of Sparrowes, should bee so supinely incurious, as to slight and neglect the falling of Kingdomes?* This were absurd to thinke. For; (as Saint Augustine collecteth from diuers other the like workes of prouidence:) Qui non solùm Angelum, & Hominem,*sed nec exigui & contemptibilis animantis viscera, nec auis pennulam, nec herbae flosculum, nec arboris folium, sine suarum partium conuenientia dereliquit; nullo modo credendus est, regna Hominum, eorúm{que} dominationes, & seruitutes, a suae prouidentiae legibus alienas esse voluisse. That God, who hath made, not onely Men, and Angells, but hath also ordered, with so great a conuenience, the very entraills of the least and most contemptible east, the feather of euery Bird, the flower of euery Herbe, and the leafe of euery Plant; cannot in any wise bee thought, to leaue without the lawes and compasse of his prouidence, the domini∣ons, and slaueries of Kingdomes, and Commonwealths.

5 And this may further be seene, by an other obseruation: that God hath incompassed al the Kingdomes of the earth with a threefold restraint; to wit,* a limitation of their powers; a circumscription of their bounds; & a prefinition of their periods. There was neuer, as yet, any kingdome in the world; which ei∣ther for his power, was illimitable; or, for his place, vniuersall; or, for his time, perpetuall. But, God, in his prouidence, hath so incompassed all of them, that euermore their powers, haue bin reduced vnto measures; their dominiōs, vnto bounds; & their cōtinuance, vnto periods. As we may see, by plaine examples in the holy Scriptures. And first, as concerning the restraint of their powers: that may euidently bee shewed, in three Easterne Kings. The first of whom, is Saul: who pursued the Prophet Dauid,* with such implacable hatred, that he hunted him in all places, as a Partrich in the wildernes. And yet, when he offe∣red himselfe into his hands, hee had no power to hurt him; but (as Esau in the like case pursuing his brother Iacob) though he came out against him with a purpose to kill him;* yet,* contrary vnto his purpose, he both louingly & humbly reconciled himselfe vnto him. So that, it might be said, as it is in the Tragicke:

Page  271
Otium è tanto subitum tumultu
Quis Deus fecit?*
What God, so soone, so great a calme
Could bring, from out so great a storme?
Surely euen the same God, who, (as a King testifieth) hath the hearts of all Kings in his hand,*and who turneth them, like riuers of waters, whither hee thinketh good. He it was, that so restrayned the power of this wicked King Saul, that he had no power in him, once to touch his Annointed,*or to doe his Prophet any harme.

The second of those kings, is Nebuchadnezzer: who was so vainely in∣flated, with the conceit of his owne power, that hee commanded his Cap∣taines to goe fortn, and to see him auenged vpon all the earth,* to fill all the face of the earth with his Armies,* and to destroy all flesh that obeyed not his commandements: yea to destroy all the gods of all other Nations, ad to set vp him to be worshipped for the God of the whole world. And thus he proiected to extend his owne power, beyond all due measure, and to aduance his owne honour aboue humane Nature. So that (as the Heathen Poet speaketh) he did

Coelum ipsum petere stultitiâ.*
He sought, in his deepe foolishnes,
To climbe into Heauens Holinesse.
But, what was the euent of this his proud conceit? Surely this his exorbi∣tant and vnmeasurable ambition, and impotent desire of inlardging his power, beyond humane condition, was, by a superior power, restrained, and himselfe of all vaine purposes defeated. His Captaines were destroyed, his armie dispersed: His honour blemished, by the hand of a woman. Yea,* and euen his owne person was banished from among the societie of men,* and forced to liue wilde among the beasts of the field.* So that (as Olympias com∣plained* ouer her sonne Alexander, in the very like case) Whilst hee affected the honour of a God, he was depriued of the honour of a man. And all this (as euen hee himselfe confessed) did fall out vnto him,*by the appointment of God.

The third, and the last of these Kings, is Senaherib; propounding vnto himselfe the like amplification of his power and dominion, fell himselfe into the like, or a greater confusion. For he sending out all his warlike forces and powers to the siege of Ierusalem;* and there, by the mouth of his grandilo∣quus Orator, insulting ouer all the gods of the Heathen; yea and not for∣bearing the very God of Heauen: when he had euen deuoured that king∣dome in hope, and swallowed it downe, for as good as his own: God himselfe putteth his hooke into the nose of that Lion, and brought him backe a∣gaine the same way that hee came, destroying,*in one night, an hundred foure∣score and fiue thousands of his Soldiers, and giuing him to be destroyed, by the hands of his owne Sonnes. Thus God, who alway resisteth the proud,* resisted the attempts of these three proud kings; curtailling their power, and restray∣ning their ambition; and thereby euidently shewing them, that,* as No man can adde one cubite to his stature; so no man can adde one ynch vnto his power, be he neuer so great a King. For (as the Apostle Paul teacheth vs) Page  272there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are ordained of God.* Yea, and this the very Heathen themselues confesse likewise. Summi est potestas omnis, & gloria Dei: as our Sauiour Christ testifieth. And, no man hath either kingdome,* or power, or glory, but only from him. And therefore king Salomon hath giuen vnto kings a very good exhortation, to remember whence their rule and power commeth. Giue eare ye that rule multitudes, and glorie in the number of your people.*For the rule is giuen you of the Lord, and power by the most High: adding, that they be but the officers of his Kingdome.

6 And,* as God hath limited vnto all kingdomes their powers: so he hath also circumscribed their dominions, reducing them into compasse, and confining them within their owne bounds and limits. For, as hee hath giuen vnto no king or kingdome an infinite power; no more hath he giuen them an infinite Dominion. Infinitie is Gods owne propertie: which is so peculiar vnto the diuine Nature, that it is not communicable vnto any Creature whatsoeuer. Much lesse to any man, whose largest dominion cannot reach beyond the Circle of the Earth: which is but as a prick. And yet euen this Earth, as small as it is, was neuer yet allowed vnto any one King, were hee neuer so great: no, nor yet a quarter of it. It is true indeed, that the mighty Romane Monarchie was amplified so exceedingly by certaine of the Romans, as though they had gotten the whole world into their hands: and, as though it might truely be affirmed of them (as it is of God himselfe in the Psalme) that in their hands were all the corners of the Earth.*Tullie saith of the Romane Empire, that it was, Orbis Terrarum terminis definitum, That it had no other limits, but the limits of the world.* And, in another place, hee, speaking of those notable victories, which the Romanes had obtayned by Cn. Pompeius, hee affirmeth of them,* that they were, ijsdem, quibus Solis cursus, regionibus ac terminis contentae: contained, within no fewer Regions, then the Sunne incompasseth in his course. This seemed not ynough vnto Caecilius. For he saith, that the Romanes did, Imperium suum, vltra Solis vias, propagare: They inlarged their dominion beyond the course of the Sunne. And Ovid, hee commeth not a steppe behind them, in this their exaggerated amplification. For he saith, that if God should looke downe from heauen vpon the earth, he could see nothing there, without the power of the Romanes.*

Iupiter, arce sua, totum cùm spectet in Orbem,
Nil, nisi Romanum, quod tueatur, habet.
Yea,* and (as Egesippus recordeth) there were many, that thought the Romane Empire so great, and so largely diffused ouer the face of the whole Earth, that they called, Orbem Terrarum, Orbem Romanum: they called, the Globe of the Earth, the Globe of the Romanes; the whole world, the Romane World. And the same follie, which possessed the Romanes for their power, possessed also the other Monarchs for theirs. Nebuchadnezzer the Monarch of the Caldeans,* conceited, that hee had vnder him, all nations, and languages. And Cyrus, the Monarch of the Persians, professed, that he was the Lord of the whole world: The Lord God of Heauen, hath giuen me all the Kingdomes of the Earth. Thus blinde and bewitching a thing is Ambition, that it dazeleth the sight of com∣mon sense and reason. For,* all this great ostentation is indeed nothing else, but, either the rhetoricall amplification of hyperbolizing Orators; wherein Page  273 there is truely audacia Tropi; or, the vaine imagination of those fore-na∣med Monarchs, doting vpon their owne greatnesse. For, the two first Monarchies of the Caldeans and Persians, were both of them shut vp, within the lists of Asia, and scarcely touched the skirts of either Europe, or Africa. The Graecian Monarchie wrought Eastward into Asia too: which, though it stretched further then either of the former; yet were there many great Countries, euen in Asia it selfe, both Northward, Southward, and Eastward, where it neuer so much as touched. The Romane indeed stretched furthest of all the rest, as being possessed of large Kingdomes and Dominions, both in Asia, Europe, and Africa. But yet, for all that, they were so farre from ob∣taining the Empire of the whole world, that they could neuer get wholy any of these three parts of it: but there were in all of them diuers Regions and Countries, Vbi nec Pelopidarum facta, ne{que} famam audiebant:*Where they ne∣uer so much as heard,*either the facts or the fame, of either Grecians, or Ro∣names. As Macrobius ingenuously acknowledgeth: Gangem transnare, aut Caucasum transcendere, Romani nominis fama non valuit. The fame of the Ro∣manes, as great as it was, yet was neuer so great, as either to be able to swim ouer the Riuer Ganges, nor yet climbe ouer the mountaine Caucasus. So that, euen their Fame came farre short of those swelling amplifications, which before you saw vsed, by their Orators, and Poets. But their Dominion came much shorter: as is expresly affirmed by the fore-alledged Author, Totius Terrae,*quae ad Coelum puncti locum obtinet, minima quaedam particula, à nostri generis hominibus, possidetur. That though the whole Earth, compared with the Hea∣uens, be no bigger then a Center in the midst of a Circle; yet that scarce the least parcell of this little Earth, did euer come into the hands of the Romanes. Thus, euen these great and mighty Monarchies, which were the highest Columnes of Maiestie vpon the Earth, yet haue, all of them, beene reduced within their bounds and limits: yea and those very streight ones. And therefore none of the minor and inferior Kingdomes could be left without limits. As Tertul∣lian plainely proueth, by a particular enumeration of the greatest, and most famous of them. Si Salomon regnauit, in finibus tantùm Iudeae; à Bersabe vs{que} Dan, termini eius Regni signantur. Si verò Babilonijs & Parthis regnauit Da∣rius; non habuit potestatem vlteriùs, vltra fines Regni sui, non habuit in omni∣bus gentibus potestatem. Si Aegyptijs Pharaoh, vel quis{que} ei in haereditate Regni successit, illìc tantùm potitus est Regni sui dominium. Si Nabucodonsor cum suis Regulis, ab India vs{que} Aethiopiam, habuit Regni sui terminos. Si Alexander Macedo nunquam Asiam vniversam, & caeteras Regiones, postquàm devicerat, tenuit. Si Germani adhuc vs{que} limites transgredi non sinuntur. Britanniae, intra Oceani ambitum, conclusae sunt. Maurorum gens, & Getulorum barbaries a Romanis obsidentur, ne Regionum suarum fines excedant. Quid de Romanis dicam, qui de legionum suarum praesidio imperium sunm muniunt, nec trans istas Gentes porrigere vires Regni sui possunt?

If Salomon raigned as a King, yet was it but onely in the Kingdome of Iu∣dea: the borders of his Kingdome extended no farther then from Dan vnto Beersheba. If Darius raigned ouer the Babylonians and Parthians; yet had be no dominion beyond the bounds of his owne Kingdome: hee could not com∣mand ouer euery other nation. If Pharaoh and his Successors raigned ouer the Page  274 Aegyptians, yet all his dominion was onely ouer them. If Nabucodonosor and his Princes haue raigned from India vnto Aethiopia, yet there his Kingdome en∣ded. So Alexander himselfe could neuer obtaine whole Asia, nor yet long retaine those Regions which he there had conquered. The Germans are not suf∣fered to goe beyond their limits. The Britains are shut vp within the compasse of the Sea. The Moores and Getulians are kept in by the Romanes, so that they cannot come without their bounds. Nay, the Romanes themselues are faine to guard their dominions with their Garrisons and Legions, and cannot extend their Empire ouer all nations, at their pleasure. And that which he affirmeth of those fore-named Nations, may likewise bee obserud in all others. There is no Kingdome in the world, but it is shut-vp and included within some li∣mits: yea and those oftentimes but very meane and weake ones: sometimes, a shallow Riuer; someties, a narrow Hill; sometimes, a field of sand. So weake meanes of inhibiting so strong desires, and so feeble, of resisting so vn∣bridled ambitions, that it is vtterly impossible for so weake and simple bounders, to be able to keepe in such men within their bounds, if God him∣selfe were not the Bounder of them. But hee, as hee hath by his power ap∣pointed, that a little weake sand should stoppe the rage of the swelling wa∣ters; so hath hee likewise appointed, that such weake termes and limits should keepe in the proudest and most ambitious Princes, as it were raging Lions, with their grates,* and cages. As if God, that hath sayd vnto the Sea, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further; and here shalt thou stay all thy proud and swel∣ling waues: should likewise haue sayd vnto Kings, and their Kingdomes, (as Seneca well expresseth it) Vltra Istrum, Dacus non exeat. Istmus Samothracas includat.*Parthis obstet Euphrates. Danubius Sarmatica ac Romana disterminet. Rhenus Germaniae modum faciat. Pyrenaeus medium inter Gallias & Hispanias iugum extollat. Inter Aegyptum & Aethiopias arenarum inulta vastitas iaceat. Let the Dacians be contained within the riuer Ister. The Samothracians within their proper Istmus. The Parthians within Euphrates. Let Danubius distinguish betweene the Romanes and Sarmatians: and Rhenus restraine the daring Ger∣manes. Let the mountaine Pyrenaeus diuide the French, and Spaniards: and the wildernesse of Sand the Aethiopians, from Aegyptians. And in like manner also be all other Kingdomes: they are bound within their bounders, as it were in bands; aad shut-vp within their limits, as it were in prison. Now the Bounder of all these,* is onely God himselfe: who (as I haue before shewed) is the Bounder of all things.

And this also appeareth by the liquid and cleere testimonies, both of Holy Scriptures,* and of Heathen writings. The Prophet Moses affirmeth, that it is The most High God, that diuided vnto the Nations their inheritance, and sepa∣rated the sonnes of Adam, and appointed the borders of the people. And Ecclesiasticus affirmeth, That it is God, that appointed a ruler ouer euery people, when he diuided the Nations of the whole Earth.* So that, both the erecting of Kings, and separation of Kingdomes, are the onely workes of God. And therefore Trismegistus calleth God, Terrarum distributorem; The distri∣buter of Countries.* And Demosthenes citeth this sentence, out of the in∣scription of an Altar, that

—Iupiter ipse
Rex superûm medius limite signat agros.*
Page  275 God Iupiter himselfe, I weene, the King of Gods, is he,
That causeth Countries, by their Lists, distinguished to be.
And this to preserue the people from contentions: as in the same place, hee af∣firmeth. For, where there be not such limits to distinguish them, there al wayes doe the people contend about them. As Salust exemplisieth by a notable instance,* betweene the Cathaginians, and the Cyreneans. Who hawing long contended about their limits (and yet for a vaste feild of vnfruitfull barrea Sand) when they had euen wearied themselues with diuers mutuall slaugh∣ters, in the ende (for the ending of all contention) they fell vpon this Conclusion. That they should both of them send forth at a certaine praefixed time, certaine Messengers from their borders; and that the place, where they should meete, should be the Boundes of both Nations. The Carthaginians sent for them two Brothers called Phileni: by whose speed and diligence, they obtained great ad∣vantage. Which, when the Cyrenians chalenged, as being fraudulently gotten, by their setting forth before the appointed time; they offered them this condition; that, either the Phileni should be content to be buried quick, in the place where they mett, and which they chalenged for other limits; or else they should permit the setting of their limits vnto those Cyrenians, vnder the same condition which was propounded vnto them. Which condition (though vnaequall) yet the Phileni accepted: and so were both of them in the place buried quicke. Vnto whom, for their valour the Carthaginians there erected, and consecrated an Altar: as an aeternall monument, both of the limits of their Dominion, and of the honour of these two noble Brethren, by whom they had obtayned the same. Out of which memorable historie, we may draw these three obseruatious, to our present purpose. First, that where there be no knowne limits betweene Kingdome and Kingdome, there be alwayes contentions and quarells about them. Secondly▪ that the way to quench those quarells, is, there to set vp some artificiall limits, where there be no naturall. And thirdly, that euen those casuall and accidentall limits, yet are in those places fixed by the se∣cret decree and appointment of God: which, both this Altar of the Phileni insinuated, and the forenamed Altar of Demosthenes expressed:
—Iupiter ipse.
Rex superûm, medius limite signat agros.

7 And,* as God hath circumscribed the dominions of all King, within their bounds and limits: so hath hee also prescribed vnto all Kingdomes and Empires the times of their continuance. Both which points the Apostle Paul hath expressed in one sentence. God hath made, of one blood, al mankinde, to dwell vpon all the face of the Earth:*and hath assigned the times, which were ordayned, and the bounds of their habitation. He both ap∣pointeth the bounds of their habitations; which was our former point: and assigneth the times of their continance, which is our present point. The same God, which hath determined the dayes of al men, and kept the iust num∣ber of their months with him,*appointing them their bounds which they cannot passe; he hath also appointed set periods of time, as well vnto Kingdomes, as vnto priuate persons: to some a time; to some, two times; to some,*halfe a time; to some, all these together, at his owne will and pleasure. Which times and periods being fulfilled (as the dayes of a man when they are expired) Page  276 they are by and by dissolued. And this we may see verified as well in the great and mighty Monarchies; as in the smaller and inferior kingdomes.

—sublimes fregit Spartanus Athenas:
At{que} idem Thebis cecidit:* sic Medus ademit
Assyrio: Medo{que} tulit moderamina Perses.
Subiecit Persen, Macedo: cessurus & ipse
The Spartane spoyl'd th' Athenian State; the like befell to Thebes:
The Medes destroyd th' Assyrian Stock; the Persian slew the Medes.
The Persian Monarch was subdued by that great Macedo:
The Macedon must shortly yeeld vnto the Romane foe.
And the same may be seene in diuerse other Kingdomes, as Bartus ex∣emplifieth by many notable instances. So that, as in the same place hee obserueth:
As when the Wind the angry Ocean moues,
Waue hunteth waue and billow billow shoues:
So doe all Nations iustle each the other,*
And so one People doth pursue another.
And scarce a second hath the first vnhoused,
Before a third him thence againe hath rowsed.
Thus the greatest Kingdomes for force, yet haue beene of small continuance, being successiuely cut off by the sword of their enemies. But yet that, not by chance, but by Gods speciall ordinance: who, when the number of their dayes were expired (that is,*when they had fullfilled the measure of their wickednesse) then sent vpon them, the sword of other Nations, for the punishment of their sinnes. For the swords of men are but the Rods of God, whereby hee scourgeth them that rebell against him: as hee himselfe affirmeth, both of the Assyrians, and of the Babilonians, calling the one of them, the rod of his wrath, and the other his Hammer and his weapon of warre, wherewith hee will breake downe nations and destroy Kingdomes. So* So that though they whett the sword,* yet it is God that strikes the stroke. It is he that breaketh in sunder those Kingdomes with his hammer. Which yet he doth not before their appointed time be fulfilled. For (as Ecclesiastes expresly affirmeth) Vnto all things there is an appointed time. A time to plant,*and a time to pluck vp. And the appointer of those times is onely God himselfe as by this one Argument it euidently appeareth; that hee is so per∣emptorie and definite in foretelling the certaine times of the continuing and falling of diuers Kingdomes. Hee foretold of the great and mighty King∣dome of Babilon that it should continue but onely vnto the third generation,* and that then it should vtterly be vndone. I haue giuen all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzer the King of Babel my seruant—And all Na∣tions shall serue him and his Sonne and his Sonnes Sonne, vntill the very time of his Land also come, and then many Nations and great Kings shall serue them∣selues of him: what could be more definite? And that he neither deceiued nor was deceiued in it, the euent which followed, openly declared. For in the time of Belshazzer Nebuchadnezzers Sonnes Sonnes,* the Babilonian Monarchy was dissolued, and that by the written decree of God, who there professeth that Page  277 the number of that Kingdome was fulfilled. And as definite as hee was in appointing the set time of the dissoution of Babilon, so definite was he also in appointing the set time of the Iewish Captiuitie vnder them.*This whole land shal be desolate and an astonishment, & shal serue the King of Babel seuen∣ty yeares. And when the seuenty yeares are accomplished, I will visit the King of Babel and that Nation &c. Which hee did accordingly performe. For first, for the deliuerance and manumission of the Iewes, it is expresly testified, that that was fulfilled, as soone as the time, fore-told by Ieremy, was finished.* And, for the second part of the Prophecie, concerning the destruction of the Babilonian Kingdome; it followeth by consequent vpon the former.

For Cyrus, who, in the first yeare of his raigne, gaue order for the returne of the Iewes, was one of those Princes, who were the ouerthrowers of the Ba∣bilonians. As concerning which Prince, in giuing his name, almost an hun∣dred yeares,* before hee was borne;* there is so great an euidence of Gods fore-seeing prouidence, that a paralell to that prophecie, cannot bee giuen, in all the secular Historie. And as God hath bene definite, in foretelling the very time of the destruction of Babilon; so hath hee bene likewise, in fore∣shewing the destruction, both of the Ephraemites, and of the Aegyptians: pointing downe precisely, vpon the very number of the yeares: Within threescore and fiue yeares, Ephraem shall be destroyed, from being a Nation.* And for Egypt, he sayth: I will make the land of Egypt desolate, for forty yeares &c. But, at the end of forty yeares, I will gather the Egyptians from the people,*where they were scattered. Now, this so peremptorie assigning of a definite time, as well of their captiuitie, as of their libertie, doth euidently shew, not onely that those times are certainly appointed; but also that this appoint∣ment is onely made by God. Who (as our Sauiour Christ teacheth vs) hath in his owne power the seasons of all times:* and who (as the Prophet Daniel teacheth vs) is hee,*that changeth those times and seasons, and that both taketh away Kings, and setteth vp Kings. And this also was not vnknowne, euen to the very Heathen. For, Iason, in Xenophon, expresly affirmeth, that it is God onely, which doth, Et homines extollere, & potentes deprimere:*That both lifteth vp the needy, and casteth downe the mighty. So likewise, He siodus:

—homines sunt pariter obscuri{que}, clari{que},*
Nobiles, ignobiles{que}, Iouis magni voluntate.
Facilè enìm extollit, facilè etiam elatum deprimit.
Facilè Praclarum minuit, & obscurum adauget.
Men are obscure, or eminent,
They noble are, or base:
But all is Gods appointement;
Who giu's the humble grace,
Exalting them that are but low,
And lofty ones depressing,
Abating of the prouder show,
And poorer sort increasing,
So Homer:
Page  278
Facile est Dijs,* qui coelum latum habitant,
Et gloria illustrare mortalem hominem,
Et malo afficere.
The God of Heau'n, he easily can
Immortalize a mortall man,
with glory and with fame:
The same God, euen as easily may
Afflict a mortall man, I say,
with sorrow and with shame.
And Simonides affirmeth, that God hath not only the power of the thing, but also the power of the Time. He both can do the thing, and appoint the Time.
O Filt, penes se habet Iupiter altitonans, finem
Omnium quae fiunt,* & pro arbitrio suo disponit.
The Ends of all, in Gods sole power rest,
Which hee disposeth, as him pleaseth best.
So that (to conclude this discourse with Tertullians sentence,) Ille vices do∣minationum, ipsis temporibus, in seculo ordinat, qui ante omne tempus fuit, & Seculum corpus temporum fecit.*Hee it is, that ordained the interchange of do∣minions and Empires, in their times, who himselfe is more ancient then any time, and who hath made an eternity of the body of time. Now, if Cities grow great, and little, neither by Fate, nor Fortune; but by Gods praeordination; if hee limit their powers, circumscribe their dominions, and measure out their continuance; then must there needes bee a God, who performeth all these workes. But the Antecedent is true; as hath beene proued in this Chapter. And therefore, the Consequent must needes follow after.