THE FIRST PART.
Demonstrating by Natural Reason, and also Divine and Humane Testimony, that vitious and irregular Actions and Affe∣ctions do prove often occasions of most bodily Diseases, and shortness of Life.
BEcause Method is Mater me∣moriae, The Mother of me∣mory; and words must be placed as at a Feast, and not as at an ordinary; in this respect I shall observe some order in the following Tract.
First, Then let us consider the excellen∣cies Page 2 and commodities of Health, and long Life; that so by their Encomiums we may be drawn, and encouraged to follow after the best means, in order to the attainment or enjoyment of them.
Health then, in the first place, is the greatest bodily blessing, which God be∣stoweth upon any in this life: though in regard of its commonness, it be little re∣garded. The benefit of this most sweet sause of all other goods, is scarcely discerned by them that enjoy it, till sickness come: For then, not only Orpheus his song, but much more our own experience teacheth us, that Nothing is available to men without health: neither Riches, nor Honour, nor the greatest delights which Solomon's walk can afford. Yea life it self, which is so precious, that skin for skin, yea all that a man hath will he give for it, Job 2. 4. (as Sathan answered the Lord) even that becomes uncomfortable without health. Besides, health is a special further∣ance, & help to us in the service of God, and in the performance of the duties of our Call∣ings, & the want of it a great obstruction, & impediment to us therein. For these reasons Page 3 the beloved Apostle did earnestly wish his well-beloved Gaius prosperity and health. Beloved I wish above all things, that thou mayest prosper and be in health, 3 Ep. John 2.
This is that blessing which the Lord promiseth to the obedient. The Lord will take away from thee all sickness; that blessing which the Apostle Paul thought worthy to be preserved carefully, as appeareth, Acts 27. 34. & likewise, 1 Tim. 5. 23. In a word, that blessing whose sweetness is so well ex∣perimented and relished, after the bitter∣ness of sickness, that it were but to light a Candle before the Sun, to bring forth any further testimony in the praise of it.
Secondly, Long life may be accounted as another blessing, which by its magnetick and attractive vertue, may not only draw our affections as a Load-stone, but also by its acuminating power, set an edge upon our endeavours as a whetstone. Long life is a blessing, & he that shall account it less, doth not only forget his own natural desires, but also God himself, and his Commandment, which promiseth length of dayes, as a re∣ward of dutifulness to Parents, Natural,Page 4Civil, or Ecclesiastical. It was a blessing of God upon Israel, that being in the Wil∣derness forty years, their garments did not wear, as the garment of the Gibeonites: So if in many years, some Mens bodies, which are as the garmentss of the Souls, hold out longer than other mens; as though with the Eagle he did renew their youth, and God did add certain years unto their dayes, as he did unto Hezekiah, Isa. 37. 5. this is a great blessing: For though we Chri∣stians (as the Lord Verulam saith, in his E∣pistle of the History of Life and Death) do continually aspire, and pant after the Land of Promise, yet it will be a token of God's fa∣vour towards us, in our journeyings thorow this worlds wilderness, to have our shoes, and garments (I mean those of our frail bo∣dies) little worn, or impaired. Surely, as it is a curse upon the wicked, not to live out half his dayes, Psal. 55. 23. A plague upon the ungodly, that they die in their youth, Job 36. 14. A punishment upon Eli, and his Sons, for their sins, that there should not be an old man in his house for ever; but all the increase of his house should die in the slower of theirPage 5age, 1 Sam. 2. 32. So on the other side, it is God's blessing, if he increase the length of our dayes, and we die with Job, being old, and full of dayes, and go in our grave in a full age, as a shock of corn cometh in, in his season to the barn, Job 42. 17. & 5. 26. Therefore that Heathen (Cic. Tusc. 1.) was mistaken, who said, Optimum est non nasci, proximum quam cito aboleri, The best thing is never to be born, and the second best to die assoon as we are born. For, though long life to some be as wearisome, as death is fearful; though old age in many be a disease not curable, but by death; yet these are but accidental; life it self is a blessing; and the longer we live, the more experience we have of God's favour, a grea∣ter loathing of the sins of our youth, and a larger time of repentance, as having space, wherein to grow wiser, and better, and thereby to make this life a large prepara∣tive to Eternal life.
Health then, and long life being now considered as blessings, we will henceforth follow the means, and leave the blessing to God.
The first means being to avoid Sin in general; which is, supernaturally, an occasion of bo∣dily Diseases, and shortness of Life.
DIseases are the interests of Sin; till Sin there were no such things: For this cause (in general) many are weak and sick: Let a Man take the best air he can, and eat the best food he can, let him eat and drink by Rule, let him take never so many Antidotes, Preservatives, and Cor∣dials; yet Man by reason of Sin is but a crazy, sickly thing for all this. For (as one saith) all sicknesses of the body proceed from the Sin of the*Soul: I am not ignorant that the Lethargy ariseth from the cold∣ness of the brain, that the Dropsie floweth from waterish blood, in an ill affected Liver, that the Spleen is caused from melan∣cholly wind, gathered in the mid-riff; but the cause of all these causes, the fountain ofPage 7all these fountains, is the Sin of the Soul.
And this Truth, from the Fountain of Sacred Writ, will be clearly derived un∣to us: Our Saviour said unto the Man, that had been thirty-eight years diseased, Behold thou art made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee, John 5. 14. Jesus thus warning him, by shewing him the cause of his infirmity, which was Sin.
Those Physicians that derive all Dis∣eases from natural causes only, do not well understand that Text; for it is Spiritually discerned.
All sickness is certainly the fruit of Sin; and many Physicians will acknowledge it, being induced thereunto by a consequence, from an instance of a particular (though Epidemical) disease; namely, the Plague or Pestilence, which is concluded, not only from the Word of God, Lev. 26. 25. but also from the confirmed, constant, and re∣ceived opinion of all Ages, to be Flagellum Dei pro peccatis Mundi, The rod of God for the sins of the World: The word Plague (in the Greek 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) signifying no less; for 'tis so furious a disease, as it disdains any Page 8 general method of Cure, when it is in its rage. So that we must needs conclude that (whatever be the natural causes of Di∣seases) Sin is the supernatural, and meri∣torious cause, not only of this, but also of all other Diseases. Let me instance but one particular disease more; the Palsy, when our Saviour was about to cure a Man sick of that disease (Mark 2. 5.) he first pronounced forgiveness of Sins to him; to shew that his Sins were the cause of his disease. I confess diseases in the godly are many times God's love tokens, and he doth not alwayes aim at the demonstra∣ting of his justice in punishing sin, when he layeth sickness upon Men; (for some∣times he layeth it upon his own Children for other ends, as for the trial of their Faith, and Patience, &c. as we see in Job's example) yet it is true, that God doth not chastise, or punish those that are innocent, but such as deserve it by their sins; other∣wise he should be supposed as unjust. Sin then, the Spiritual disease, is the original and procuring cause of every natural disease, so as if there were no sin, there should be no sickness.
Page 9 But here peradventure some may ob∣ject, and say, how do this appear expe∣rimentally, and exemplarily in some vi∣cious Persons, whose blood danceth in their veines, and whose bones are moist∣ned with marrow, who are in health, when he whom Christ loveth is sick, John 11. 3. as 'twas said of Lazarus? To this I answer, that the like matter bad almost stifled, and amazed Job, (Job 21.) and Asaph, (Psal. 73.) but they soon understood a rea∣son of the several dispensations of God's Providence. One general reason might be this; it may well stand with God's Pro∣vidence, as he is the Father of Mercies, and the God of Justice, (as he shall see cause) to let both his Mercy, and his Ju∣stice meet together, both upon the wicked, and the Godly. As for instance, many times he conferreth benefits upon the wic∣ked, and suffereth them to go free from punishment: there is his mercy; though short, and temporal: but the evil that is in them, he punisheth Eternally; there is his Justice. Again many times he pu∣nisheth the sins of his best Servants with Page 10 temporal afflictions; but their goodness he rewardeth with Eternal blessings: there is his Justice in punishing temporally, his Mercy in rewarding Eternally; and in both these the wisdom of God's Provi∣dence is discovered. So more particular∣ly, God doth sometime permit, the wicked to have a sound body, with a di∣seased Soul, and the Godly a diseased bo∣dy with a more sound Soul. But yet, for the most part, in the revolution of expe∣rience we shall find, that where sin reignes most, there most diseases, as hand-maids are attending upon her: And though e∣very general Rule in Grammar hath its exception; yet take this as general with∣out exception, that Original, and like∣wise Actual sins are the seeds of bodily diseases: Though by Gods Mercy, and Providence all things, even the sharpest, work together for good to them that love God, Rom. 8. 28.
Yea, Sin is not only a Spiritual or su∣pernatural cause of bodily diseases; but also of shortness of life. For (as one saith) through Sin our bodies are become nothing,Page 11but the Pest-houses of diseases, and death. Sin hath corrupted Mans blood, and rendered his body mortal and vile: Before Sin our bodies were immortal: (for death and mortality came in by Sin) but now Alas! they must return to dust, and 'tis appoin∣ted to all Men once to die by Statute Law in Heaven (and 'tis well if they die but once, and the second death hath no power over them) they must see corruption: and this is the wages that Sin allows to its Servants; (For the wages of Sin is death, Rom. 6. 23.) this is the largess or con∣giary that Sin gives to its Souldiers, viz. death of all sorts; this is the just hire of the least sin; and this hire is seldom long detained from them that have deserv'd it most.
As the Lord for the wickedness of the World reduced Man's age, from almost a thousand, to an hundred and twenty years, Gen. 6. 3. and afterward from that, to Moses his Arithmetick, three score years and ten, Psal. 90. 10. So now for the same cause, he hath reduced it to a very little pit∣tance, not only to 70. but to 7. for in Law, Page 12 no man's life is valued more: so that the life of Man is but a span, and the weavers shuttle is no more swift than it is, Job 7. 6. Especially, when many vices are woven into it; for then God's justice soon cuts it off, as a Weaver cuts off his web from the Loom, sometimes before it be finished: For every disorderly Person, that hath shortned his dayes by his sins, may say as Hezekiah did once: I have cut off like a weaver my life, Isai. 38. 12. i. e. as some Expositors render it, I have shortned my life by my sins. Thus Er, and Onan, in the 38th. Chap. of Genesis, by their sins con∣tracted their lives into the wicked man's abridgment, viz. into less than the moye∣ty, not living out half their dayes. Yea, so unquestio able is this truth, that it was taken for granted in Job's dayes; as ap∣peareth by Job's interrogation: How oft is the candle of the wicked putout? and how oft cometh their destruction upon them? Job 21. 17.
What pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his moneths is cut off in the mid〈…〉 21. And in Solomon's dayes it became a Proverb: The years ofPage 13the wicked shall be shortned, Prov. 10. 27.
A truth that is exemplified in most of the wicked Kings of Judah, and of Israel.
First, The Kings of Judah: Abijam, a wicked King, reigned but three years, 1 Kings 15. 2.
Jehoram, of whom it is recorded, that he did evil in the sight of the Lord, he reig∣ned but twelve years, four with his Fa∣ther, and eight alone, 2 Kings 8. 17.
Ahaziah, a wicked King, reigned but one year, 2 Kings 8. 25.
Athaliah, a wicked Queen, an Usur∣per, she reigned but six years, 2 Kings 11. 3.
Ahaz, a wicked King, reigned but un∣to the 37th. year of his age, 2 Kings 16. 2.
Amon, a wicked King, reigned but two years, and lived but twenty-four, 2 Kings 21. 19.
To be short, several others of the same Line, are Chronicled with short Periods; Sin, and a sudden death reigning in them successively.
Secondly, We may instance in the Kings of Israel.
Nadab, the Son of Jeroboam, a wicked Page 14 King, reigned but two years, 1 Kings 15. 25.
Baasha indeed reigned twenty-four years; but Elah, his Son, reigned but two years; being slain in his drunken hu∣mour, by his Servant Zimri, 1 Kings 16. 8, & 9.
Zimri, a Conspirator, reigned but se∣ven dayes: for burning the King's House over him with fire, he died. Now the cause is recorded: 'Twas for his sins which he sinned, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin, 1 Kings 16. v. 15. to 20.
Omri, a superlative Sinner, reigned but twelve years, 1 Kin, 16. 23.
Ahaziah, the Son of Ahab, was an Ido∣latrous King, and reigned but two years, 1 Kings 22. 51. He being sick, sent Mes∣sengers to enquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether he should recover of his disease: but had his judgment by Elijah, who said, Thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die: which came to pass accordingPage 15to the word of the Lord, which Elijah had spo∣ken, 2 Kings 1. And now what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Jehoram, Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Peka∣hiah, Pekah, and some others, who through sin lost their lives with their Kingdoms; being cut off by the hand of God's ven∣geance, either before, or in their middle age: And although some of the wicked Kings of Judah, and of Israel, did reign many years, by the permission of a long suffering God; yet the instances are so few, that they are much overballanced, by the short lives of those already men∣tioned.
Much also of this truth might be obser∣ved, in the short Periods of the wicked reigns of sundry Princes, not only of this, but of other Nations: but thus much shall serve to have delineated, and demonstra∣ted sin to be in general, a Spiritual or Mo∣ral cause of bodily diseases, and shortness of life, supernaturally effected.
Shewing that many sins are Natural causes of bodily distempers, and shortness of life.
Most sins are sins of the flesh; which are so named, because through our flesh (to wit our seed) or through Carnal generation, sin is conveyed into the whole Man, Soul, and Body: Also for that the flesh, or body is the instrument to execute the lusts of our natural concupiscence, Rom. 6. 13. Thus Piscator, and Peter Martyr do judge. Now these fleshly lusts, we must understand, have a powerful influence and operation, in the production of fleshly or bodily diseases: And this will appear by an examination, of the numerous off-spring of excess and intemperance, which in many places of Sacred Writs, is deemed no less than the transgression of the bounds of God's Law.
Now the off-spring, or fruits of intem∣perance are these.
Page 17 First, It brings upon us almost all di∣seases.
Secondly, It takes part with diseases, and makes them often incurable.
Thirdly, It shortens our dayes, and makes us die in Agonies. From whence cometh soreness, and weariness, melancholy and heaviness of Spirits, stiffness and pain of joints, belchings, crudities, feavers, dis∣tastings of meat, loss of appetite, and o∣ther tempestuous evils, but from excess and intemperance? These experimental effects, who can deny? since almost every Man carries about him, and within him a convincing argument thereof. Whence is the multitude of Physicians (saith a modern Physician) but from the*frequency, and multitude of diseases? and whence that frequency and mul∣titude, but from excess? This (saith he) is generally confessed, but the practise still continued, the understanding assents, but the affections over-rule. Now Intemperance in general, may be thus described: It is an inordinate and immoderate appetite, or desire in our affections, pleasures, gifts, Page 18 and the use of the Creatures; more par∣ticularly, it is taken for an inordinate ap∣petite, and immoderate desire, and use of meat and drink; and this is when a due mean is exceeded in the too liberal and excessive use of them; so that Gluttony, and Drunkenness are the two main sup∣porters of Intemperance, which is the Mo∣ther of most diseases. Democritus said, that intemperate Men were Valetudinis suae pro∣ditores, Betrayers of their own health, and killers of themselves by their pleasures: He spake it of intemperance in eating, and drinking; of which, and also of other sorts of intemperance, I shall further treat in the following Sections.
SECT. I. Of Gluttony.
THis is such a sin, as Christ gives us a strict Caution against it: Take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be over-charged with surfeiting, &c. And as it is a sin; so a Mother-sin, fruitful in the production of other sins, Deut. 21, 20. yea Page 19 fruitful also in diseases of the body. The Stoicks imputed all diseases to age; but Era∣sistratus did not ill to ascribe all, or most of them to excess in eating: For if a Man feed too much (as a Physician saith) these discom∣modities arise thereof, all Natural Spirits leave their several standings, and run head∣long to the stomack to perfit Concoction; which if with all their forces they cannot perform, then brain and body are over-ma∣stered with heavy vapours, and humours, so that he is ever under the arrest of some disease, or in danger of it. Multos morbos fercula multa faciunt, Many dishes bring or cause many diseases: It was the observation of temperate Seneca; and it is not with∣out reason: For Physicians do affirm, that crudities (the fruits of repletion) are the nurseries of all those diseases, wherewith Men are ordinarily vexed. Now that which we call crudities, is the imperfect Conco∣ction of food; for when the stomack, ei∣ther through the excess of Meat, or for the variety taken at one meal, or some other evil quality, doth imperfectly di∣gest what it hath received, the juice of Page 20 the Meat so taken, is said to be crude, that is to say, raw or to have a cruditie in it, which is the occasion of many inconve∣niences.
For in the first place, they do fill the brain with many phlegmatick excrements, and overheat the bowels, whereupon ma∣ny obstructions are bred in the narrow passages of them: Moreover these cru∣duties do corrupt the temper of the whole body, and stuff the veins with putrid hu∣mours; from whence proceed many grie∣vous diseases; for when the first Chylus is crude, and what we eat is malignantly concocted, it is impossible (to speak as to the less Modern opinion) that any good blood can be bred in the second Chylus of the Liver, for the second Concoction can never amend the first. Again these cru∣dities are the cause that the veins through the whole body, are replenished with foul, and with impure blood, and ming∣led with many humour, which do break forth into desperate Diseases. And this may be more fully seen, if we shall make make an inspection into a Treatise of Page 21 Doctor Charlton's Exercitationes Pathologicae p. 70. wherein we may observe how, and after what manner, food becomes the cause or matter of diseases. Or if a sum of what he more largely deliberates upon, may be satisfactory, take it thus: From an ingurgitation of food, beyond the strength of Nature, ariseth a Repletion; from a Reple∣tion flow a Plethora, or an Exuperance of good humours; and when these by a continual mo∣tion have increased to corruption and putrifa∣ction, there soon follows a Cachochymia, or a re∣dundance of ill Humours, and out of these two spring a most fruitful field of diseases. Hence arise Feavers, Inflammations, Tumours, Swel∣lings, Irruption of the Vessels, bleeding at the Nose, Apoplexies, Cathexy, or ill disposition of the Body, when the nourishment is converted to ill humours; Scabiness, Leprosie, and innumer∣able other diseases: For (saith he, p. 71.) quid mali, precor, est quod à corrupto sanguine non expectes, ac time as? What evil distemper, I pray, is there, but may be both expected, and feared to arise from a corrupt blood? Thus you see, Gluttony is a Nurse to innumera∣ble diseases.
Page 22 But this is not all; it is a cut-throat to innumerable Persons, (according to the Proverb, Intemperance is a cut-throat) de∣stroying Man's life frequently, and sud∣denly, according to that known saying, By Suppers, and Surfeits more have been kil∣led, than Galen ever cured. Yea by surfeit∣ing have many perished, as saith the Son of Sirach, Eccl. 37. 31. Thus Gluttons dig their graves with their teeth, whil'st their Kitchin is their Shrine, their Cook their Priest, their Table their Altar, and their Belly their God. Hence also it is said, That Meat kills as many as the Musket; and that Pluaes pereunt crapulâ, quam capulo; lanti∣bus, quam lanteis; The board kills more than the sword. I have read that the Spartans, to deter others from Luxurious feeding, erected Statues, to represent the fatal, and fearsul end of those that were given to riot. What Schollar hath not read in He∣rodotus, of the Minstrel of Megara, (whose girdle in the wast was three yards and a half long) or of Milo Crotoniates that great Pamphagus? Athen. l. 10. c. 1. yet they died both very weak Men, and young, by Page 23 oppressing Nature. History records of the Scots, that they punished * their Belly-gods in this sort: First, they filled their bellies as full of good Meat as ever they could hold, then they gagged them, and threw them into the next River with their arms pin∣nion'd, saying, Now as thou hast eaten too much, so drink too much. But they should not have needed to punish them by such an artificial destruction; for had they waited with a little patience, they might have observed this sin to be its own natu∣ral punishment, destroying more frequent∣ly, and more generally, than any other means: For Life (as one saith) is a lamp, excess in Meat doth shorten the one, as too much Oyl extinguisheth the other. The Glut∣ton then turning that into an occasion of death, which was given for preservation of life, seldom or never lives long: But as he is hateful unto God in idolizing his belly; so he is hurtful to himself, as a Felo de se, in hastning his own death.
Now if any should here require some Rules of Temperance in eating, whereby Page 24 they may know, how to limit themselves within due bounds; that so they may not run out upon the borders of Intemperance; I must suspend that enquiry with its full determination, until I shall have positive∣ly treated of Temperance in general: On∣ly thus much may be inserted here, which Doctor Muffet, a famous Physician hath written in his Book of Health's Improve∣ment. Fools and Idiots (saith he) know you when your Horse, and your Hawk, and your Dog have enough, and are you ignorant what measure to allow your selves? Who will urge his Horse to eat too much, or cram his Hawk till she be over-gorged, or feed his Hound till his tail leave waving? And shall Man, the measurer of Heaven and Earth, be ig∣norant, how in Diet to measure the bigness or strength of his own stomack? Knows he by signs when they are over-filled; and is he ig∣norant of the signs of repletion in himself? namely of satiety, loathing, drowsiness, stiff∣ness, weakness, weariness, heaviness, and belching? But we will pass over this, and treat of the other branch of Intemperance which follows.
SECT. II. Of Drunkenness.
THat this is a sin, and that of no mean degree, we may plainly perceive by sundry Texts of sacred Writ, Luke 21. 34. Gal. 5. 21. Eph. 5. 18. But most especially and most notably in that fearful Commina∣tion, 1 Cor. 6. 10. where we are informed, that Drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. And yet something they shall inhe∣rit; namely, diseases not a few, contracted upon them, partly perhaps from their Pa∣rents voluptuousness; but chiefly, and most certainly from their own habituated disor∣ders. Drunkenness (saith one) dolores gig∣nit in capite, in stomacho, in toto corpore acer∣rimos; Breeds grievous diseases in the head, in the stomack, and in the whole body.
Now by Drunkenness, we must under∣stand all excess in drinking with its de∣grees, (as it is taken in Scripture Phrase, For overcoming of, or being overcome with strong drink, Isai. 5. 22. Jer. 23. 9.) which tend to the alienation of the mind, dull∣ing Page 26 or clouding of the understanding, in∣flaming the blood, and confounding of health. In these and the like respects, Solomon makes this Interrogation, who hath wo? who hath sorrow? who hath babling? who hath wounds without cause, who hath red∣ness of eyes? Prov. 23. 29. And 'tis ans∣wered in the following Verse: They that tarry long at the wine, they that go to seek mixt wine.
More fully we may consider the effects of Drunkenness, as they are described by Physicians; to whose learning, and ex∣perience we owe no small honour, and credence.
And they are resolution of the Nerves, Cramps, and Palsies.
Inflation of the Belly, and Dropsies,
Redness and Rheums in the Eyes, tremblings in the hands, and joynts, inclination to Fea∣vers, and the Scurvy,
Sicknesses at Stomack, and sower Belchings.
Pains of the Head and Teeth, Crudities in the Stomack, and weakness of the Stomack.
Pain in the Eyes, or dimness of Sight, trembling of the Heart, weakness of the Liver,Page 27Distillations, the Cough, a corrupt Breath, Tumours, Gouts. These and many more are the bitter fruits that grow upon that unhappy Tree.
And as this vice produceth almost in∣numerable diseases and distempers; so consequently it shorteneth life. The Cup kills as many as the Canon; and therefore those srothie Companions, that pretend such kindness in a too free and frequent drinking their Friends health do prove miserably unkind to their own Bodies (as well as Souls) while they drink themselves out of health, and life in the conclusion. For this cause Drunkenness is said to op∣press Nature, and hasten death, by con∣suming the natural moysture, and also by its superfluous moysture drowning the natural heat: And thence it is that Wil∣lows and such like, whose natural place is the Rivers side, and whose natural pro∣perty is (as it were) to be alwayes drink∣ing, are of short continuance. Hence it is that this vice by Matrobius is called, Cita senectus, A sudden old age; because they that are often drunk soon grow old: Page 28 Or if some will say it is a preventer of old age, it must be in its cutting Men off, be∣fore they can attain to it.
Instances, for the illustration of this truth, are not few in History.
Alexander the Great, in the flower of his age, drunk himself to death, and kil∣led forty-one more by excessive drinking, to get that Crown of one hundred, and eighty Pounds weight, which he had provided for him that drank most, Plu∣tarch. Erasinus for the same cause hath called Eccius, Jeccius: For as he lived a shameful Drunkard; so being non-plu'st at Ratisbon by Melancthon, he drank more than was fit that night, at the Bishop of Mundina's lodgings (who had store of the best Italian Wines) and so fell into a feaver, whereof he died, Jo. Man. L. Com. pag. 89.
The same Author, Jo. Manlius, tells us of three abominable Drunkards, who drank so long till one of them fell down stark dead, and the other two escaped not altogether free from distempers.
A Modern Author, in his Book entitl'd Page 29The Mirrour of Examples, setteth down two or three remarkable Stories, to our present purpose.
At a Tavern in Bread-street, certain Gen∣tlemen drinking healths to the Lords on whom they had dependance, one of them with an Oath drinks off a Pottle of Sack to his Lord: after which he could neither rise up, nor speak, but falling into a sleep, dyed within two hours after.
At a place near Mauldon, five or six ap∣pointed a drinking Match, laying in Beer for the purpose, drank healths in a strange manner; whereof all of them died within a few weeks after.
Also at the Plough in Barnwel, near Cam∣bridge, a lusty young Man with two of his Neighbours, and one Woman in their Company, agreed to drink up a Barrel of strong Beer, which accordingly they did: but within twenty-four hours, three of them died, and the fourth hardly escaped after great danger and sickness.
Now the events of these Men's lives, and their untimely ends, are not to be ac∣counted so much accidental, as natural ef∣fects, Page 30 occasioned by their foul enormities, and frequently attested by the experience of every age: though not prevalent enough with the sensual, and stupified Drunkard, whom Austin brings in, saying, Malle se vitam quam vinum eripi, He had rather lose his life than his liquor: But did Men se∣riously (while they are sober) consider, how injurious this sin is to the health of Body and Soul, how it shormeth Men's lives, lengthneth their punishment here, and aggravates it hereafter, how it fills Men brimful with diseases Spiritual, and Corporal; they should (methinks) respect their welfare better than to buy so small a pleasure at so dear a rate.
But in respect of bodily well-fare some may object, that Avicenna, Rhasis, and Averrhoes, advise the use of Wine, Usque ad ebrietatem, Even to drunkenness, pre∣tending it to be Physical, as it is a Vomi∣tory to evacuate these ill humours in the head and stomack, which are the causes of most diseases; and that Seneca indul∣geth thus far, (Sen. de Tranquill. 15.) Non∣nunquan ad ebrietatem veniendum, non utPage 31mergat nos, sed ut deprimat. Eluit enim curas, & ab imo animum movet: & ut morbis quibusdam, ita tristititiae medetur, Now & then we may drink more liberally, even unto drun∣kenness its self, not to overwhelm our parts but only to depress them a while. For it washeth away cares, exhilarates the mind, and as it cureth certain diseases, so likewise sadness.
To which this answer may be returned, that herein many Men foolishly erre, esteeming the cause of a hundred sicknesses to be the Medicine of one, and the poison of the Soul to be good Physick for the Bo∣dy: no good Bodily Phisician will pre∣scribe it, no Spiritual Physician will allow it. Cum turpis est Medicina sanari pudeat, When the Medicine is so filthy and odious, let us be ashamed to make use of it. When it is so sin∣ful, let us be afraid to make trial, whether the destruction of the Soul be the preserva∣tion of the Body. Let us not do evil that good may come, Rom. 3. 8. Much less when no∣thing but evil comes from thence; as may be still made to appear in this vice; in re∣spect of bodily distempers. For drunken∣ness is so far from conferring any thing Page 32 towards bodily health, that it rather pro∣duceth sickness, even by that which a∣mongst some sottish Physicians is pretend∣ed as a cause of health, (namely) vomit∣ing, which is a symptome of sickness, and also sometimes a cause of dangerous di∣stempers, when it succeedeth a nauseous over-charging the stomack with drink: So that whatever be the effects of an eva∣cuation by other kind of vomits, this by drunkenness is often a cause of many di∣stempers, seldom or never a cure of any; unless it be of the present sickness of stomack which this vice first caused: But how many other distempers and diseases doth it cause, which it never cures? So that you see drunkenness is a certain cause of many diseases, and of shortness of life; but seldom a cure (unless it be by accident) of any.
SECT. III. Of Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, &c.
THe works of the flesh (saith the Apostle) are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Gal. 5. 19.
And they which do such things shall not in∣herit the Kingdom of God, Verse 21.
Now as these sins are very injurious to the Soul, so also to the body: (Ezeck. 16. 28.) For Lust not satisfying such Persons as are tainted with it, they soon fall into im∣moderation and excess, which hath these damages attending it:
Also Carnal Love, or fleshly lust in young Inamoratoes (whose affections are stronger than their reason) is a branch of wantonness, that is fruitful in the produ∣ction of such diseases and distempers, as do extreamly afflict, and weaken the Persons captivated; as may appear in that Exam∣ple of Amnon, who was sick with love, (2 Sam. 13. 1. 2.) as the cause, with a consumption, as the effect, being lean from day to day, by reason of his fair Si∣ster whom he loved. And hence it is that in such Persons the heat abandons the parts, and retiring into the brain, leaves the whole body in great distemperature, which corrupting, & consuming the blood, makes the face grow pale and wan, cau∣seth the trembling of the heart, breeds strange Convulsions, and retires the spirits Page 36 in such sort that they seem rather Images of death, than living Creatures, who are possessed with it. Now for further illustra∣tion of this matter, and to revive the mind of the Reader, I shall briefly and com∣pendiously recite these two instances. The first is of King Perdiccas, whom Hippocra∣tes observing, and finding him to be in a Chronical sickness, which made his body to languish exceedingly; after long inquiry, perceived his pining away to flow from a Spiritual disease, for the love he had to Phila his Fathers Concubine, Saran in vita Perdic.
The other is of Antiochus, Son of King Seleucus, who burning with an unspeake∣able desire and lust for Stratonice his Step∣mother, and being mindful what dishon∣est fires he carried in his breast, concealed his inward wound, and smothered the flame so long, till it reduced his body to the uttermost degree of a Consumption: and thus lying in his bed like a dying Man, his Father was presently cast down with grief, as thinking onely of the death of his only Son, and his own miserable con∣dition in being made Childless, Plutarch.Page 37 Now how these two, Perdiccas and An∣tiochus were cured of their languishing di∣stempers, is inconsistent with my present purpose, to declare.
Also Sodomy, Polygamy, and self-pollu∣tion are sins of uncleanness, that by trans∣gressing the rules of Temperance do prove frequently occasions of many distempers. Yea likewise the immoderate, and un∣seasonable use of the Marriage bed (which is a breach of some Divine Precepts, 1 Thes. 4. 4. Lev. 18. 19.) is too fruitful in diseases; not only in respect of those de∣rived to Posterity, but also of those pro∣pagated on the Parents themselves. For, according to the judgment of Laevinus Lemnius, and other learned Physicians, it can hardly be expressed, what Contagîon and mischief comes thereupon, when such immodest, and impure conjunctions are indulged: For where the right ends of Marriage are not observed, there Persons of both Sex, at last, pay dearly for their unruly lust, when their bodies are tor∣mented with the Leprosie, or Pox, Gouts, Aches, or other distemperatures: And Page 38 therefore one adviseth, That in the private acquaintance, and use of Marriage there be a seasonable restraint, with a moderation; that so the pleasure therein be inter-mingled with some regard to the rules of health, and long life: To both which those fore-named sins of Wantonness, and Uncleanness are foul Ene∣mies.
Moreover these sins do shorten and con∣tract life: For those that are defiled and corrupted by them, do very much sin a∣gainst their own Bodies, wasting their strength in pleasure, as the flame con∣sumeth the Candle, and therefore are like Sparrows; which Aristotle saith, do therefore live but a short time, because of their insatiable copulation. And I read that the Romans were wont to have their Fune∣rals at the gates of Venus Temple, (Plut.) to signifie, that lust was the Harbinger and hastener of death. Yea the wisest of meer Men, doth in his Proverbs teach us the praedatory and destructive power of all un∣cleanness, in these words: And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, Prov. 5. 11. It is a fire (saith Page 39Job) that consumeth to destruction, Job 31. 12. The Lord Verulam, in his History of Life and Death, p. 57. makes this observation, That the Goat lives to the same age with the Sheep; (which is seldom to ten years) and though he be a Creature more nimble, and of somewhat a firmer flesh; and so should be longer liv'd; yet because he is much more las∣civious, that shortens his life. How many Examples of Goatish short-liv'd Men could I extract out of History? But being confined to brevity, I must hasten to ans∣wer an Objection: And it is this; Some diseases are cured by Incontinency and Ve∣nereal evacuations, as Anorexia, viz. quea∣siness of Stomack, Hysterical fits or suffoca∣tion of the womb, Spermatick Feavers, most vehement pains of the Head, Priapismus, Sa∣tyriasis Furor Uterinus, &c. Diseases felt and understood by such unmarried Persons, whose blood is in its Meridian; and as by this means such diseases are sometimes cured; so consequently life is prolonged. To which I may return a threefold Ans∣wer, like a threefold cord which is not quickly broken, Eccles. 4. 12.
Page 40 First, Let all be supposed which is here objected; yet surely it is but an ill Method to cure the Body, by destroying the Soul, or to endeavour the prolonging the Natu∣ral life, by shortning of the Spiritual, the life of grace. We must not (as I said before in respect of drunkenness) do evil that good may come: No necessity of health, or life ought to persuade hereunto. Ludo∣vicus, a King of France, undertaking a long Pilgrimage, and his Queen not be∣ing with him, his health began to impair; which his Physicians observing, and know∣ing the reason of it, perswaded him in the absence of the Queen, to take unto him an∣other Woman, because his health & safe∣ty required it, which he did utterly refuse, protesting he had rather die, then have his Liie preserved by such an ungodly means.
Secondly, Let the Objection still be en∣forced; yet there is no necessity to make use of an unlawful cure, when there is a lawful one provided, (for every one that will) in that excellent and Divine Insti∣tution of Marriage; which, as it is inten∣ded a good prevention of all lustful, and Page 41 unlawful burnings, (1 Cor. 7. 2.) so by a more warrantable course it hath probably effected some Natural Cures upon the bo∣dies of some, and also by confining the Senses to one particular object, far less ex∣hausted the Spirits, and so consequently seldomer occasioned diseases, than a licen∣tious indulgence and extravagant and insa∣tiable Luxury hath done.
But because all this doth not directly meet the Objection, or fully correspond to the design of my present undertaking; therefore in the last place, I would ans∣wer more pertinently; that if any of the asore-mentioned diseases have been cured, or prevented by such unlawful evacuations; I verily believe as ill, or worse have been introduced and nestled into their room or in stead of them: So that still the stream runneth clear from the fountain, viz. that sin, more particularly the sin of Inconti∣nency and Uncleanness is a cause of diseases, and consequently of shortness of life; as I have sufficiently demonstrated unto any, whose reason doth not too much truckle under sense.
SECT. IV. Of Idleness, Sloth, and Sluggishness.
IDleness was the sin of Sodom, Ezeck. 16. 49. a sin reproved by the Similitude of the Labourers in the Vineyard, espe∣cially in those words:—Why stand ye here all the day idle? Mat. 20. 6. The slothful, and wicked Man join hands, and go to∣gether, as one in the Parable of the Ta∣lents:—Thou wicked and slothful Servant, &c. Mat. 25. 26. God puts no difference betwixt Nequaquam & nequam, An idle and an evil Servant. The Sluggard, or he that is slothful in his work, were there no other respects, is in this much the worse, and that is in the condition of his estate, as well as soul, for and by reason of the non∣improvement of his temporal Talent: For (as Solomon saith) He is brother to him that is a great waster, Pro. 18. 9. and therefore is he reproved by the Wise man, and sent to School to the Ant, (Prov. 6. 6. 10. 12.) to learn prudent industry and diligence.
I could shew you how the afore-named Page 43 sins do frustrate the end of our Creation, become the sinks of all mischief, and e∣vil, and so odious and detestable, that the very Devils in Hell are not guilty of them: But my design is onely to point out sin briefly, and then more largely to prove it to be an occasion of bodily diseases, and shortness of life. And of all sins, Idleness, Sloth, and Sluggishness are not the least occasion, being the sediment and colle∣ction of excremental superfluities: For as standing waters soonest putrifie; so do the humours of the body in stagno, the Pool of Idleness. The Lacedemonians would suffer none of their Subjects to spend their time in Sports or Idleness; and when their Magistrates were told of some that used to walk abroad in the afternoons, they sent to them, requiring that leaving their Idleness, they should betake themselves to honest labours and imployments: For (say they) it becomes the Lacedemonians to procure health to their bodies by labour, and exercise, not to corrupt them by Sloth and Idleness.
Idleness (saith a Modern Author) not Page 44 only stupifieth the mind, but also groweth upon the body and blood, and betrayeth them to discomplexion, sickness, and to many infirmities. Yea search the Physi∣cians Library, and observe their Conclu∣sions upon the six Non-naturals, more par∣ticularly upon Motion and Rest, and you may find the discommodities of this sin, (namely) Crudities, obstructions, and a mul∣tiplication of excrementitious humours, and so consequently a languishing, loose, slabby, in∣firm body. Hence it is that such Persons, corrupted with this vice, are unavoidably in continual Physick, have need of Issues, and other artificial helps, for the evacua∣tion, and exiccation of those superfluous moistures, contracted upon them by a se∣dentary and slothful life: But especially those Women who have passed their youth undisciplin'd, and have been bred up in such a delicacy, that they know no other business but their pleasures, I say those find sensibly the pernicious effects of an idle life in those diseases it particu∣larly disposeth them too, as Obstructions of the Liver, Spleen, Womb, and Breast; and Page 45 in that grievous inconvenience it produ∣teth, viz. Long travail, difficulty, and danger in Childing; as might easily be confirmed by reason; but that probably a great part of this Sex is sooner convinced by an Argument drawn from sence and their own dear experience, which is most commonly the Mistress of Fools.
I might add hereunto, that they which •ead sedentary lives, bear weak and sick∣ly Children; and also demonstrate such VVomen to be injurious not only to them∣selves, but also their Posterity. But I must hasten to shew you another natural effect of Idleness, even in both Sexes; and that is a disease which is the leaven of diseases, viz. Melancholly, which proceedeth oft∣times from this vice, and excremental su∣perfluities gathered together in the body: For no greater cause of Melancholly than Idleness; as Democritus Jun. in his Trea∣tise of that subject doth largely shew in place thereof, and most compendiously conclude in another, (viz. the Epilogue) this Prescription, as an Antidote against that disease: Be not idle, be not solitary, Bur∣ton's Melancholy.
Page 46 Moreover, there are many other disease that are the excrescences of this sin: but let it suffice in general terms to denote it as a main occasion of bodily distempers brooding, and hatching them by a seden∣tary life: So true is that of the Poet Ovid
Idelness corrupts, wastes and destroys the body. And the learned Galen saith as much Otium reddit imbecillas vires membrorum Com. 3. in lib. de Off. c. 32. Also in an∣other place, Otium liquefacit, Com. 3. i• lib. 6. Eped. c. 2. And also Nature's great Explorator, Lord Verulam, in his History of Life and Death, doth denote unto us That an idle life doth manifestly make the flesh soft, and dissipable; and so consequently an Enemy to long life.
Sluggishness is likewise much of the same Nature, and property, bringing many from the Couch to the Bed of sick∣ness, and from the Bed to the Coffin. For if the old Rule be true, Diluculo surgere saluberrimum est, To arise betimes in the mor∣ningPage 47be the most wholesom thing in the world; then surely, Regulâ contrariorum, by the Rule of Contraries, to play the Sluggard, and to exceed that convenient measure of rest which Nature alloweth, must be, if not the most unwholesom thing in the world; yet one of the most. And this will appear, if we consider the Inconveniences of im∣moderate sleep, as they are described by Physicians.
First, In that the heat being thereby called into the Body, it consumes the su∣perfluous moistures, and then the neces∣sary; and lastly, the solid parts them∣selves, and so extenuates, dries, and ema∣ciates the Body.
And Secondly, It fixes the Spirits and makes them stupid; it hardens the ex∣crements, and makes the Body costive, from whence follow many inconveniences.
Lastly, The brain being therby filled with vapours, the Head-ach is caused, the natural motions of the humours are hindred and stopped, crude phlegmatick juices, and all manner of superfluous hu∣mours are heaped up and increased; whence Page 48 flows a notable Spring of distillations, and such like cold, and long continuing dis∣eases. I could add hereunto, what the Patrons and Supporters of Ballance Phy∣sick write, viz. By too much sleep the strength is suffocated, concoction diminished, perspi∣ration hindred, the head, and bowels hurt, &c. D. Sanctor's, and D. Cole's new Art of Physick. But I must not forget my in∣tended brevity.
SECT. V. Of Immoderate Anger.
ANger, when it is immoderate, be∣comes sinful, when the Sun goeth down upon it, soon becomes a work of darkness: and therefore the Apostle after a Concession, Be angry, addeth a Restri∣ction, And sin not, let not the Sun go down upon your wrath, Eph. 4. 26. In which Re∣striction, sinful and remaining anger are connexed, and prohibited.
Now as this remaining or immode∣rate anger is sinful, so it is unhealthful: for the incommodities thereof are many, Page 49 and evil: as Feavers, Phrensies, and Mad∣ness, Trembling, Palsies, Apoplexies, de∣cay of Appetite, and want of Rest, Pale∣ness, Collicks, Plurisies, Inflammations, Cholerick, Caeliack, and Iliack Passions, &c. So that not without cause was the saying of Eliphaz, Wrath killeth the foolish man, Job 5. 2. And to this purpose I shall infer what I find recorded in hu∣mane Story. The Emperour Nerva ended his life in a Feaver, contracted by anger. The Emperour Valentinian died by an ir∣ruption of blood, through anger, Cuspia∣nus Chromerus l. 18. Vinceslaus, King of Bohemia, raging against his Cup-bearer, fell presently into a Palsie, whereof he died. Also L. Sylla, who in his anger had spilt the blood of many, at last in his fury, raging, and crying out against one that had broken promise with him, there∣by brake a Veine within him, vomiting out his blood, soul, and anger together, Valer. Maxim. l. 9. And Ajax through anger fell into a deadly fury.
Now from these Instances, we may conclude the truth of that Sentence in Page 50Eccl. 30. 24.—Wrath shortens the life: And also of that old Medicinal Rule in Schold Salerni:
Si vis incolumem, si te vis reddere sanum,—Irasci crede profanum.
If thou wilt live in health, and free from sickness bane,
Then think thou choler in excess to be pro∣phane.
We may add hereunto, that anger in excess inflameth the blood, and increa∣seth choler, which is for the most part the cause of that acute, and dangerous disease, Cholerica passio, or Choler, which (as the Physicians write) is often so sharp and vehement, that it doth deprive a Man of life within the space of a day or two, even without a Feaver.
Moreover it is observed, that Chil∣dren most fretful are usually short-liv'd; and that anger if it be inveterate, causeth the Natural Spirit to feed upon the juyces of the Body; which must conse∣quently Page 51 produce Consumptions, and ab∣breviate Life.
SECT. VI. Of Envie, Hatred, and Malice.
AMongst many other, These (as the A∣postle saith, Gal. 5. 20, & 21.) are works of the flesh. Envie is Cousen german to hatred and malice; and so they are all three upon the account, of a base and ig∣noble Race: for the Devil is their Father, and Concupiscence their Mother. They are in the judgment of the Holy Ghost, no less than mental Murder; for Whoso∣ever hateth his brother is a murderer, 1 Ep. John 3. 15. v. Now (saith Christ) the devil is the father of murderers, John 8. 44.
As then we may conclude Envie, ha∣tred, and malice to be mortal sins to the Soul; so I shall prove them to be mor∣tal and destructive to the Body. Envie (saith the Lord Verulam, in the History of Life and Death) is the worst of all passions; and feedeth upon the Spirits; and they again upon the body; and so much the more, becausePage 52it is perpetual; and as is said, keepeth no holy dayes. It is a sin that doth fret, and consume the Body; and so is a means to hinder health, and shorten life; and of this the Wise Man took notice when he termed, Envie the rottenness of the bones, Prov. 14. 30. And justly it is called the rotting of the bones, because like a Fever Hectick it doth consume a Man, and bring him to his end, as the rottenness of the marrow that lieth within the bones. En∣vious Men, cordis sui peste moriuntur, They die by the plague of their own heart, Gregor. An envious Man is sui ipsius carnifex, His own tormentor and Executioner. The Gre∣cians call it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, homicidium, slaughter; because the envious Man killeth his own heart with this pas∣sion. Or it may be derived from the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, corrumpo consumo, because it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Consumption. Livor tabificus malis venenum.
Yea Envie to the heart is like rust to the Iron, or blasting to the Corn; like the Vultures eating up continually the heart of Prometheus, or the foolish Bee that Page 53 loseth the life with the sting: it burneth the heart, and wasteth the Body, and is like the Worm that breedeth in timber, and consumeth it: So true is that of the Son of Sirach, Envie, &c. shorten the life, Eccl. 30. 24.
Hatred also produceth the like effects: for what is said of Envie, may as well re∣late unto Hatred and Malice. Envie slay∣eth the silly one (saith Job 5 ch. 2 v.) and so doth Hatred and Malice by causing ill humours in the body: For according to the Modern Philosopher M. Des-Cartes, in his Treatise of the Passions, The pulse in Ha∣tred is observed to be uneven and weaker, and oftentimes faster than usual, that a Man feels colds inter-mingled with sharp, and pricking heat in the breast, that the stomack ceases to do its office, is enclined to vomit, and reject the Meats it hath eaten, or at least to corrupt them, and convert them into ill humours. All which considered, Hatred can be profitable unto none: For ill hu∣mours are the Springs of most Diseases. Again, Hatred cannot be so small, but it hurts the Body, because it is never Page 54 without Sadness, which brings me to the next Section.
SECT. VII. Of Worldly Sorrow, and Immoderate Grief of mind.
BY those Epithetes Worldly, and Im∣moderate, the Sorrow to be now treated of, is distinguished from Godly sorrow which worketh repentance to Salvation; (which is neither Wordly, nor Immode∣rate) and may be thus described: World∣ly sorrow causing death of Body and Soul, is that which is immoderate, and hum∣bleth not the heart kindly, but disquiets, disturbs, and distempers it, whether it proceed from outward evils and losses, or inward evils, as most from melancho∣lious humours, and worst from an evil Conscience, and this sorrow may be ter∣med rather Attrition than Contrition: the sorrow, for our misery or punishment, being called Attrition, for our sault, Con∣trition.
But to the Point in hand: Worldly Page 55 and Immoderate sorrow, though it may be look'd upon as a punishment of sin, ra∣ther then a sin it self; yet doubtless it is little less than both; being a plain aber∣ration from the Rules of Christianity, so long as 'tis leavened with Avarice, De∣spondency, Distrust, Despair, Discontent. Hence it is that the Apostle Paul inter∣dicts excessive sorrow for the dead, be∣cause it argues despair and want of hope, But I would not have you ignorant, Brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sor∣row not, even as others which have no hope, 1 Thess. 4, 13. Excess in sorrow makes it sinful in Christians. And here also hath place the Caveat of the same Apostle,—Lest any be swallowed up with over-much sorrow, 2 Cor. 2. 7. Upon which place a Modern Expositor (Trapp.) of our own, ventureth to say, that sorrow for sin, if it so far exceed, as that thereby we are disa∣bled for the discharge of our duties, it is a sinful sorrow, yea though it be for sin. With much more confidence then may we term that a sinful sorrow, which the Apostle saith (2 Cor. 7. 10.) worketh death,Page 56 (namely) the sorrow of the world; which by Expositors is understood to be, that sor∣row which is proper to Men of the World, such as are not regenerated by the Spirit of God, whose grief and sorrow is nothing but the bitter smart of their misery, with∣out any serious and sincere repentance. Or by sorrow of the World is meant a sorrow only for the loss of worldly things, or which is caused from the fear of God's Judgments in Unbelievers, whereupon there followeth commonly hardness of heart, and a reprobate sense, and at length (if not prevented by repentance) despair and damnation; which do not only bring a Spiritual, and Eternal death, but also by wasting the Body, hasten a temporal death. And this will appear in respect of the Body, First by Natural Reason, Se∣condly by Divine and Humane Testimony.
First, By Natural Reason. And here we must understand, that in sorrow or sadness the heat and spirits retire; and by their sudden surrounding, and posses∣sion of the heart all at once, (as the Phy∣sicians observe) do many times cause Suf∣focation: Page 57 they being likewise by uniting encreased, do violently consume the moi∣sture of the Body, and so beget drought and leanness, and through long conti∣nuance, Consumptions. Or as others thus, in sorrow or sadness there is a gathering together of much melancholly blood a∣bout the heart, which Collection extin∣guisheth the good Spirits, or at least dull∣eth and dampeth them: Besides, the heart being possessed by such an humour, can∣not digest well the Blood, and Spirits, which ought to be dispersed thorow the whole Body, but converteth them into me∣lancholy, the which humour being cold & dry, drieth the whole Body, and maketh it wither away; for cold extinguisheth heat, and drieness moisture, which two qualities principally concern Life.
Secondly, By Divine and Humane Te∣stimony it further appeareth: For first, Solomon saith, A merry heart doth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones, Prov. 17. 22. Also heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, Prov. 12. 25. It maketh it stoop, because it wasteth the na∣tural Page 58 vital, and animal Spirits. Hence also is that prescription of the Son of Si∣rach: Remove sorrow far from thee: for sor∣row hath killed many, Eccl. 30. 23. And that of the same Author, Of heaviness cometh death, and the heaviness of the heart breaketh strength, Eccl. 38. 18. These with the fore cited places out of St. Paul's 2d. Epistle to the Corinthians, might be thought sufficient to confirm this truth, did not some Men require a further Illustration of it by Humane Testimony; and this may be considered in the next place, as useful to the same end.
It is Euripides.
Sorrows to Men diseases bring. Hence also, and for this cause are those trite and vulgar sayings:
Sadness and Melancholy the path-way to sickness.
Too much sorrow maketh a Man to run mad.
Sorrow is good for nothing but sin.
Page 59 Hence also is that Conclusion of Aqui∣nas in his Summs, 1. 2. q. 37. 4. o.
Tristitiae magis corpori nocet quam aliae pas∣siones, cùm vitalem motum cordis impediat, i. e. Sadness doth more hurt the Body then other passions of the mind, because it hindereth the vital motion of the heart. It likewise takes away appetite, overheats the heart and lungs, corrupts the nutritious juyce, cau∣seth Consumptions, and other cold Di∣seases. Out of which we may gather, that this Affection, especially if it be more ve∣hement and inveterate than ordinary, doth bring very many, and those grievous da∣mages unto the Body: some part where∣of may be evidenced in these ensuing In∣stances.
Plantius the Numidian, at the sight of his dead Wife presently died, Laertius.
Diodorus the Logician died for sorrow, because he could not answer the question of Stilpo.
Homer died with sudden sorrow, be∣cause he was not able to answer a Fisher∣mans question, Plut.
Aristotle, the Prince of Ancient Philo∣sophers, Page 60 when he came to Chalcis, and saw the ebbing and flowing of Euripus, that narrow Sea near Boeotia, seven times in the twenty-four houres, because he could not find the cause, he fell into an incura∣ble disease, Caelius.
Phinehas's Wife when she heard the sor∣rowful tidings of the taking of the Arck of God, the death of her Father in Law, and Husband, she bowed her self (being great with child) was delivered, and died through sorrow of heart, 1 Sam. 4. 19, 20.
Queen Mary died (as some supposed by her much sighing before her death) of thought and sorrow of heart for the de∣parture of King Philip, or the loss of Calice, Act. & Mon. 1901.
Now in all this Argument we may take notice, what fearful effects immo∣derate sorrow doth produce upon our Bo∣dies, what a malign, cold and dry Pas∣sion it is, wasting the radical humour, and by degrees quenching the natural heat of the body; yea thrusting her poy∣son even unto the heart, whose vigour she causeth to wither, and consumes the forces Page 61 by her bad influence; whereof we may see the signs after death, when as they come to open those that have been smothered with Melancholy: For instead of a heart they find nothing but a dry skin like to the leaves in Autumn: So that all things exactly considered, we may say that there is not any Passion, which doth so much shorten our life, or make it so infirm and miserable, as this in its excess. Hither∣to might be referred Despair, an evil Con∣science, (such as is neither quiet, nor good) and such like self tormenting sins, which as they are sometimes causes of immode∣rate and excessive sorrow; so by the like influence upon the Body, do produce such a flow of diseases as suddenly ebb in death.
And here lest it should be judged, that Godly sorrow, which worketh repentance, (be∣cause it is sometimes very intense) should produce the same Natural effects in the Body that immoderate and vicious doth, you must understand that in true Godly sorrow (though it be sometimes very in∣tense, vehement and zealous) there are Page 62 such intervals of Spiritual joy, by reason of the cherishing hope of pardon, that all excess, with its Natural effects, is divert∣ed, mitigated, and in due season avoided.
Which in a Metaphorical sence may be render'd thus:
Or, as David, thus:—Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the mor∣ning, Psal. 30. 5. The acrimony then in Godly sorrow is so corrected by the sweet ingredient of inward Consolation, that it never proves offensive, or prejudicial to bodily health, as wordly, and immode∣rate sorrow hath been fully declared to do.
SECT. VIII. Of Sensual Joy, and Laughter in excess.
SOlomon made trial of sensual joy, mirth and pleasure, thinking therein to find true content, and Soul-satisfaction; but in the conclusion found nothing but the husks of vanity, wherewith he at first, like a Prodigal Son, would fain have satis∣fied himself, but could not, as appeareth by his own words, I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, there∣fore enjoy pleasure; and behold, this also is vanity, Eccl, 2. 1, & 2.
I said of laughter, it is mad: and of mirth, what doth it?
There is a woe denounced by Christ, (of whom St. Augustin noteth that, 'tis of∣ten read that he wept; never that he laughed, St. Aug. Serm. 35. de Sanctis.) against all such as rejoyce in riot, revelling, carou∣sing, luxury, and other forbidden plea∣sures of this World, in that comprehen∣sive Phrase:—Wo unto you that laugh now: for ye shall mourn and weep, Luk, 6. 25. All Page 64 inordinate rejoycing, or rejoycing in un∣lawful pleasures, may justly have the Apo∣stle's reprehension applied to it;—All such rejoycing is evil, Jam. 4. 16.
Now as it is evil in respect of the Soul; so also in repect of the Body: for that very oft swounding, and sudden death hath befallen to sudden and immoderate joy; and that because the Cordial blood, and Vital Spirits, are thereby so suddenly dif∣fused to the exterior parts, that Life goeth out therewith, and returneth not, as Fer∣nelius noteth. Or as Des-Cartes, of this Passion in its excess thus observeth: Open∣ing extraordinarily the Orisices of the heart, the blood of the veines doth so huddle in, and in so abundant a quantity, that it cannot there be rarified by the heat soon enough, to list up the little skins, that shut the entries of those veins; by which means it smothers the fire, which it used to feed, when it came into the heart in fit proportion, Des-Cartes of the Passions Artic. 122. Hence I suppose, it is that the Lord Verulam saith, in his History of Life and Death p. 221. Great joyes atte∣nuate and diffuse the Spirits, and shorten life.Page 65 Instances hereof are many in History; let these few suffice.
Diagor as Rhodius had his three valiant Sons victors in one Olympiad: who putting all their three Crowns upon their Fathers head: through too much joy he presently died, Gellius lib. 3. cap. 15.
Xeuxis the Painter, beholding the vive Picture of an old Wife, which he so cun∣ningly did paint, burst forth so in laughter, that he presently died.
Sophocles, that worthy Poet, and also Dionisius the Tyrant, after a victory in a Tragedy, at the whole People's congratu∣lation, through exceeding joy yielded up their life, Plin. lib. 7. cap. 53.
Chrysippus Philemon, at the sight of an Ass eating Figs, was so overcome with immoderate laughter, that he died, Valer. Maxim.
Chilo, the famous Lacedaemonian Phi∣losopher, soon expired his last breath, when as overjoyed he beheld his Son Conque∣rour in the Olympick games, Ravis.
Philippides the Athenian, an aged Co∣mick, overcoming the rest in Poesie, and Page 66 crowned for his great pains, died for his present pleasure, Cael. lib. 3. c. 15.
With such like Instances I might fur∣ther dilate upon this Point: but lest an odd Humorist should laugh himself out of breath, to think of them as improbable, or the significant Caveats deduced from them as unseasonable in sad times, I here desist.
SECT. IX. Of Servile, Slavish, and all Unlawful Fear in excess.
THere is (as Divines distinguish) a Di∣vine fear, a Filial fear, a Dutiful fear, a Wise fear; and these are all lawful: But then there is also a Slavish fear, a False fear, a Distrustful fear, or a Natu∣ral fear joyned with diffidence; and these are unlawful.
Servile or Slavish fear, whereby Men do abstain from sin, rather in respect of the punishments ensuing thereupon, then out of an unfained hatred thereof, or a fear which ariseth upon the apprehension of God's Justice, and wrath against sin, and Page 67 the punishments and plagues for sin, is to be avoided as irregular: For we ought to serve God without this sort of fear, Luke 1. 74. It is Carnal, and such as doth no wise proceed from the working of the Spirit, but is quite contrary to the same: For God (saith the Apostle) hath not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power of love, &c. 2 Tim. 1. 7. The reason hereof may be in that the perfect love of God in us excom∣municates it: Perfect love (saith St. John) caseth out fear, 1 Ep. John 4. 18.
And as touching False fear; though it be rather a fruit of weakness, and a pu∣nishment of sin, (for so 'tis threatned as a pu∣nishment by the Lord, Lev. 26. 17, & 36.) then a sin in it self; yet, as it is irregular, it is concluded within the scope of this Discourse, and as it is frequent, or exces∣sive, may justly deserve reproof.
Distrustful fear is straitly prohibited by those Apostles, Peter (1 Pet. 3. 14.) and John (Rev. 2. 10.) Yea all Natural fear, when it is joined with distrust and diffi∣dence, or excess, is to be avoided as un∣warrantable in Sacred Writ, Num. 14. 9. Page 68 2 Kings 6. 16. And was therefore by Nehemiah resisted, Nehem. c. 6. v. 11.
Now as all unlawful and immoderate fear is to be avoided in regard of the Soul; so also in regard of the Body: For it is of∣ten the cause of Diseases; as first of that called in Latin Tremor, in English Trem∣bling or shaking of the Members. Metus de∣jicit vires, ac proinde tremorem inducit, saith the learned Galen, Com. 1. in lib. 3. Epid. cap. 4. Fear brings down the strength, and so causeth trembling. His meaning more largely might be thus: (viz.) that the heat which resides in the Blood and Spi∣rits, being that which supports and for∣tifies the members of Man; those mem∣bers being destitute thereof, can hardly support themselves, but tremble and shake in that manner; and whereas the hands and lips shew greater signs of alteration then the rest, the reason is, for that those parts have a more strict bond with the heart, and have less blood then the rest; and therefore cold doth more easily make an impression upon them. Also it is some∣times the cause of that disease called Cor∣disPage 69Palpitatio, Panting of the heart, Deut. 28. 65. or at least of the like Symptoms, and those as dangerous, especially when they precede a Syncope or Swounding, which is as proper an effect and Cata∣strophe of this Passion, as of that disease.
Moreover it is sometimes the extimula∣ting & promoting cause of the Lask or Diar∣rhaea: for as the Author of a certain Natural History saith, if the Natural heat leave the heart and go downward, * the fear is not only encreased, but it bringeth withal a loosness of the belly. Therefore it is written (saith he) in the Book of Job, where it is spo∣ken of the fear that Leviathan bringeth upon Men, That the mighty are afraid: by rea∣son of breakings they purifie (or purge) them∣selves, (Job 41. 25.) i. e. for fear of him. Neither is this all; but experience teach∣eth us at a dear rate, that in immoderate fear, through the strength of fantasie, and imagination, sundry contagious Diseases, as the Small Pox, Measles, &c. are fre∣quently imprinted in the blood, when guilt makes Men fearful of deserved pu∣nishment; Page 70 according to that of the Wise man, The fear of the wicked, it shall come up∣on him, Prov. 10. 24.
And as it causeth Diseases, so conse∣quently shortness of life. Oft-times pre∣sent death hath followed upon it, through suffocation of the Vital Spirits: It was al∣most present death unto the Churle Nabal; he lived not many dayes after that he had been striken with it: It came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone, 1 Sam. 25. 37, & 38. And in the next Verse we find, that he died about ten dayes after. It put the Watch at Christ's Sepulcher into such a shaking fit, by an Earth-quake under them, (Mat. 28. 4.) and another within their hearts, that, but for God's Mercy, it had shaked them in∣to their Graves, when they became as dead Men. It seemeth to be a notable con∣traction of life, by its sudden introduction of the blossoms of old age, viz. gray hairs, which by the extremity of this Passion, have been strangely effected in the space Page 71 of a week or two, (as 'tis storied of one Mr. Baynings of London.) Yea, even in one night, as appeareth by Record of a me∣morable example, during the Reign of the Emperour Charles the Fifth. For one Francis Gonzague having caused a young Man of his house to be comitted to Prison, for that he suspected he had conspired a∣gainst him; this miserable young Man was so terrified with his affliction, as the same night he was cast into Prison, his hair grew all white.
But more fully to the matter; we find the sad and pernicious effect of immode∣rate fear in this following Narration. An∣no 1568. there was in Breda, one Peter Cou∣logue, a Godly Man, who by his Popish Adversaries was cast into Prison, and his Maid-servant daily brought him his food, confirming and comforting him out of the Word of God, as well as she was able: for which they imprisoned her also. Not long after, Peter was put to the torment, which he endured patiently. After him the Maid was fetched to be tormented; Whereupon she said, My Masters, where∣forePage 72will ye put me to this torture, seeing I have no way offended you? If it be for my Faith-sake, ye need not torment me: For, as I was never ashamed to make a Confession thereof, no more will I now be at this present before you: But will, if you please, freely shew you my mind therein, (Vide Clark's Mar∣tyrol. p. 305.) Yet for all this they would have her to the Rack. Whereupon she again said, If I must needs suffer this pain, pray give me leave to call upon my God first. This they assented to: And whilst she was fer∣vently pouring out her prayers to God, one of the Commissioners was surprised with such fear and terrour, that he fell into a swound, out of which he could ne∣ver be recovered. Many such like In∣stances might be heap'd up, were it not in vain to evince this Point, Per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora, By many words which may be done by few: And therefore I shall conclude it with the Sentence of that Atlas of Experimental Knowledge, Lord Bacon, in his translated History of Life and Death, pag. 222. Great fears shorten the life; for (saith he) in fear, by reason of the cares ta∣kenPage 73for the remedy, and hopes inter-mixed, there is a turmoil and vexing of the Spirits. And so much shall serve for this Section.
SECT. X. Of Immoderate Desires, Ambition, excessive Cares, Sollicitude, Covetousness, &c.
OMne nimium vertitur in vitium, All extremes become vicious; and those E∣pithites, Immoderate and Excessive, sig∣nifie as much in relation to Desires, Am∣bition, Cares, Sollicitude, &c. and there∣fore the less shall need to be inferred for the arraignement of them. Know then, briefly, that the above-named are all Di∣seases of the Soul.
Ambition, which is an immoderate de∣sire or thirst after Honour and Worldly glory, is a Spiritual Dropsie that is not easily cured; not only a great sin in it self, but puts Men upon many others. There is nothing (saith one, the Author of the whole Duty of Man, p. 151.) so horrid, which a Man that eagerly seeks greatness will stick at; lying, perjury, murder, or any thing willPage 74down with him, if they seem to tend to his advancement. And it is the more difficultly cured, in regard it is (as one calls it) the shirt of the Soul, viz. the last vice we put off. In a word, it is condemned by many Texts of Sacred Writ: But I shall in∣stance only upon the 9th. of St. Luke v. 46, 47, & 48. where we find it lively repre∣hended, both by the real Type, or Exam∣ple of humility in a young Child set in the midst of the Disciples, and by the Do∣ctrine which Christ urged to them upon that occasion.
Sollicitude and excessive Care is also fre∣quently interdicted: For though a provi∣dent care for the things of this life, when it is moderate, seasonable, & without distrust of God, be warrantable, and commenda∣ble; yet if it be otherwise, it is evil and for∣bidden. Take (saith our Saviour) no thought for to morrow, Mat. 6. 34. And in St. Luke 10. 41. we find Martha for her immoderate, or at least unseasonable care, reproved by Christ when even a well-meant courtesie to her Saviour, rather then a love to her self, was the ground and occasion of that care.
Page 75 So Covetousness taken in the largest sense, as it consisteth in an immoderate de∣sire of filthy lucre, or any thing above ones allotted portion, is not undeservedly reproved, when by the Apostle it is called Idolatry Col. 3. 5. For it is (as he saith in another place) the root of all evil, 1 Tim. 6. 10. not only of the evil of sin, but also of the evil of punishment, and that punish∣ment not only Eternal, depriving a Man of an Heavenly inheritance, 1 Cor. 6. 10. But also Temporal, Piercing him thorow with many sorrows, as the same Apostle saith in the forecited, 1 Tim. 6. The Covetous Man (saith one) hath three Vultures al∣wayes feeding upon his heart, Care in get∣ting, Fear in keeping, Grief in spending, and parting with that he hath: So that he is, as it were in the Suburbs of Hell aforehand.
But this is not all the evil that springs from the root of Covetousness; for it pier∣ceth not only the heart with sorrows, but also the whole body with Diseases; which effect may as well be applicable to Sollici∣tude, excessive Cares, Ambition, and immo∣derate Desires. So true is that in Schola Sa∣lerni.
And no less true are the words of a Mo∣dern Physician, who largely, and learned∣ly reasoneth upon this Point in Linguâ La∣tinâ: but to avoid prolixity, I shall as a Translator give you his sense only in Linguâ vulgari, In desire (by which*the Soul is so out of measure run out and dilated upon a good, sometime re∣presented as it were to come, as by reason of the delay of it, 'tis presently as 'twere contracted) this singular occurreth; that it agitates the heart more violently, and furnisheth the brain with more Spirits, then any other of the Passions. For (as he noteth further) out of a longing for the ob∣taining that which we ardently de∣sire,*the Spirits from the brain are most speedily sent into all parts of the Body, that may serve any wayes toPage 77actions requisite to that purpose; but especially into the heart and blood contained in it, that being dilated more than ordinarily, and moved more swiftly, it may send back again a greater plenty of Spirits to the brain, as well to main∣tain and fortifie the Idaea of this Desire, as to pass from thence into all the Organs of the Senses, and all the Muscles which may be set on work, to attain what one desires. And from Sollicitude, which is excited from the delay of enjoying the thing desired, the same spi∣rits are drawn back again to the brain: whence it comes to pass that the more subtile blood being withdrawn together from the outward parts, the heart is as 'twere straightn'd up, the cir∣culation of the blood hindred, and by conse∣quence the whole Body rendred weak, faint, and sickly. So that it ought not to seem a wonder to any, that most of those Persons, whom an Amorous Affection, or Desire, Ambition, Ava∣rice, or any other more fervent longing hath a long time exercised; should be brought through a long continuing Sollicitude, into the deepest languishment of Body, into a contuma∣tious disposition of ill humours, yea further into a Consumption, and pining and wi∣theringPage 78away of the Body, & also into other cold Diseases. Thus He. Immoderate Desire hath no rest, 'tis endless, and a perpetual Rack. The Ambitious, Si appetitum ex∣plere non potest, furore corripitur, If he cannot satisfie his desire, he runs mad with a Phrensie.
Hereunto may be referred over-much Study, or an immoderate desire of humane Knowledge, which, as it was one sin which that Heluo Librorum, unsatiable Reader, & Miracle of learning Dr. James usher, Arch-Bishop of Armagh,* lamented in himself; that he should be as glad of Munday to go to his Book, as of the Lord's Day for his Service; so it is no less un∣healthful than sinful: For we find in the History of his Life (I mean the Arch-Bishop's) that he contracted to himself the Sciatica by sitting up late in the Colledge Library of Dublin, Ibidem p. 108. Over∣much Study (as Machiavel holds) wea∣kens the Body; and (as Lemnius saith) cau∣seth Melancholy; in that by reason of the im∣moderate agitation of the mind, the native heat is extinguished, and the Spirits, both Ani∣malPage 79and Vital, being attenuated and weak∣ned, soon decay and perish; by which it cometh to pass, that the Natural moisture being ex∣hausted, the Body doth decline to a cold and dry habit. Yea, when Study is extended unto unseasonable hours (as is usual with some Students) it becomes very injurious to the Body; according to that old Sen∣tence in Grammar: Nocturnae lucubrationes longe periculosissimae habentur, Night studies are accounted exceeding dangerous. They cause dryness of the brain, Phrensie, do∣tage, emaciate the Body', make the hu∣mours adust, increase choler, inflame the blood, and (as may be added out of Galen and Avicenna, concerning immoderate watching, Naturalem calorem dissipat, laesà concoctione cruditates facit, Overthrow the Natural heat, and hurting concoction cause crudities, Galen. 3. de Sanitate tuenda Avi∣cenna 3. 1. What shall I say more? amongst many other Diseases, it sometimes pro∣duceth Consumptions, and sometimes Madness: And in respect of this last, Fe∣stus his proposition, which was indiscreetly applied to Paul, may truly enough be re∣ferred Page 80 to many a hard Student, Qui insa∣nit cum ratione.—Thou art beside thy self, much learning doth make thee mad, Acts 26. 24. Immoderate bookishness, seeking to fill the curious brain, fills it, and the whole Body with Crudities, Rheums, and other Maladies, that at last the Scholler had need be bookish again, and study how to rid himself of diseases. These are the fruits that some Men reap by their immo∣derate desire after the Tree of Knowledge: These are the consequences of that Wise∣dom which is foolishness with God, as the Spirit of God terms it, 1 Cor. 3. 19.
But again we will consider all the above∣mentioned Enormities and irregularities in this Section, as they cause shortness of Life. The condensation of the Spirits (as the Lord Verulam, in his History of Life and Death, p. 227. writeth) is effectual to long life, and therefore especial care must be ta∣ken, that the Spirits be not too often resolved; for attenuation goeth before resolution; and the Spirit once attenuated, doth not very easi∣ly retire, or is condensed: now resolution is caused by over-vehement Affections of thePage 81mind; over-great Cares, and carpings, and anxious expectations. Not without reason then is that Proverbial Sentence; Care will kill a Cat, (though it be said to have nine lives) or that observation of the Son of Si∣rach, Carefulness bringeth age before the time, Eccl. 30. 24. Cura facit canos, Care brings gray hairs. i. e. it antidates old Age, and so consequently shorteneth life. Hence it is, that almost in every Village we shall find a Covetous Muck-worm drooping, and at length dropping into his Grave; not with pure old age, but beaten down, and over∣whelmed with too much Sollicitude and carking Care, before that he can arrive to that Maturity.
Also immoderate Study, by its subtil, acute and eager inquisition after humane learning shortens life; for it tireth the Spirit, and wasteth it. Solomon hinteth as much to us in these words: And further, by these, my son, be admonished; of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh, Eccles. 12. 12. That is (as Bishop Hall paraphraseth up∣on the place) by these Divine words, O Page 82 my Son, do thou content thy self to be ad∣monished; not roving in thy desires af∣ter multitude of other Volumes, whereof there is no end; in the compiling and reading of which there is much toil and weariness of the flesh, and much expence of the Spirits.
Finally, Many other irregularities and enormities there are; but as most of them may be reduced to one, or other of the above-mentioned Sections; so the like consequential effects may be deduced from them. And so I conclude the whole Chap∣ter, having largely shewed and demon∣strated, that Many sins are natural causes of bodily Diseases and shortness of Life.
Containing an Enumeration of sundry Sins, as they are accidental causes of bodily Di∣seases, and especially of shortness of Life.
THat we may term an accidental cause, which produceth its effect, not na∣turally and immediately by it self, but by accident or chance or fortune, as the Lo∣gicians define it. Now how many sad ac∣cidents do sometimes result from sundry sins; which expose Men to divers Diseases, and also to shortness of life, may appear by this following accompt, which (the greater part thereof) I must crave leave to draw from, and illustrate by a Colle∣ction of several Instances in History.
First, In relation to Gluttony and Drun∣kenness, we find these following recorded, and adapted to our present purpose.
Gregory of Tours reporteth of Childe∣rick a Saxon, that glutted himself so full of meat and drink over night, that Page 84 in the morning he was found choked in his bed.
Anacreon the Poet, a grand Consumer of Wine, and a notable Drunkard, was choked with the husk of a grape.
Philostrates, being in the Bathes of Sin∣vessa, devoured so much Wine, that he fell down the Stairs, and almost broke his neck with the fall, Martid. lib. 11.
Alexander the Son of Basilius, and Bro∣ther of Leo the Emperour, did so wallow and drown himself in the Gulf of pleasure, and intemperance, that one day (after he had stuffed himself too full of Meat) as he got upon his Horse, he burst a vein within his Body, whereat upwards, and downwards issued such abundance of blood, that his life and soul issued forth withal, Melanct. lib. 4.
Within few years of my own know∣ledge (saith mine Author) three, not far from Huntington, being overcome with drink, perished by drowning; when be∣ing not able to rule their Horses, they were carried by them into the main stream, from whence they never came out alive Page 85 again; but left behind them visible marks of God's justice, for the terrour and ex∣ample of others, Beard's Theater of God's Judgments.
Holofernes, while he besotted his senses with excess of Wine, and good chear, Ju∣deth found means to cut of his head, Ju∣deth 13.
Yea, woful experience doth make ma∣nifest almost every day, in one corner or other of this Land, that the Lord punish∣eth many with sudden death and destru∣ction, even in the midst of their drunken fits: although some again (to shew his delight is in Mercy, and not in the sudden destruction of his Creatures) he punisheth with some lingring distempers, whereof this vice of Drunkenness is often an acci∣dental cause, by exposing such Persons to heats and colds, (the adventitious causes of most Diseases) to falls, bruises, fra∣ctures, dislocations, wounds, contusions, combustions, &c. which are the occasions or accidental causes, not only of many Or∣ganical Diseases, but also Similar; as might be made apparent, if right reason, Page 86 or mature experience were consulted. And therefore let that Proverbial Sentence, Drunken folks seldom take harm, be here∣after exploded by all sober Persons; con∣sidering how harmful and prejudicial this enormity hath been declared to be, both to Soul and Body.
And now, because Vina parant animos Veneri, Whoredom is usually ushered in by Drunkeness, we will in the next place con∣sider Lust, Adultery, Fornication, Un∣cleanness, &c. as accidental causes of Di∣seases; but especially, of shortness of Life. And here I might shew how all immo∣derate, and unseasonable use of Venus doth impede Concoction, and so consequently produce Diseases: But I shall rather touch upon it, as a contingent cause of Venereal Pox, which, as in the former Chapter, we considered as a Natural ef∣fect, in respect of the virulent Contagion communicated; so in this, we look upon it as contingent and accidental, in respect of the Persons communicating in the above∣mention'd sins.
But I shall choose rather to insist upon Page 87 those sins, as accidental causes or occa∣sions of shortness of Life; and to that end shall illustrate the Point by these ensuing Instances.
Shechem, the Son of Hamor the Hivite, ravished Dinah, Jacob's Daughter, for which cause Simeon and Levi, her Bre∣thren revenged the injury done unto their Sister, by slaying Shechem, and with him all the Males that were in the City, Gen. 34.
In the 19th. and 20th. Chapter of Jud∣ges, we read that the Levite's Wife ha∣ving forsaken her Husband to play the whore, certain Moneths after he had again received her to be his Wife, she was given over against her will to the villanous and monstrous lusts of the men of Gibeah, who so abused her for the space of a whole night together, that in the morning she was found dead upon the threshold: Which thing turn'd to a great destruction and overthrow, not only of those Children of Belial in Gibeah, which committed such lewdness and folly in Israel, but also of their abettors (the Benjamites) who lost above twenty-five thousand Men in the Page 88 slaughter, through that occasion. Thus the first voluntary lust of the Levite's Wife was most justly punished by a second rape amongst the lustful Gibeonites, whose lust when it had conceived, brought forth sin: and sin, when it was finished, brought forth death.
Amnon, one of the Sons of King David, was so strongly enchanted with the love of his Sister Thamar, that to the end to ful∣fil his lust, he traiterously forced her to his will: But Absalom, her natural Bro∣ther (hunting for opportunity of revenge for this indignity towards his Sister) in∣vited him two years after to a Banquet with his other Brethren, and after the same, caused his Men to murder him for a fare-well, 2 Sam. 13.
The same Absalom that slew Amnon, for incest with his Sister, committed himself incest with his Fathers Concubines, moved thereto by the wicked counsel of Achi∣tophel: But it was the fore-runner, and oc∣casion of his overthrow and untimely death 2 Sam. 16, & 18 chap.
Rodoaldw. the eight King of Lumbardy,Page 89 being taken in Adultery, even in the fact, was slain without delay by the Husband of the Adulteresse.
Anno 659. in like sort John Maletesta slew his Wife, and the Adulterer together, when he took them amidst their embrace∣ments, Chron. Phil. Melancton. So did one Lodewick Steward of Normandy, kill his Wife Carlotta, and her Lover John Laver∣nus, as they were in bed together.
At Naples it chanced in the King's Pa∣lace, as young King Frederick, Ferdinand's Son, entered the privy Chamber of the Queen his Mother, to salute her, and the other Ladies of the Court, that the Prince of Bissenio waiting in the outward Cham∣ber for his return, was slain by one of his own Servants, that suddenly gave him with his sword three deadly strokes, in the presence of many Spectators: Which deed he confessed that he had watched three years to perform, in regard of an injury done unto his Sister (and in her to him) whom he ravished against her will, Bemb. lib. 3. Hist. Venet.
The Spaniards that first took the Isle Page 90Hispaniola, were for their Whoredoms and rapes, which they committed upon the Wives and Virgins, all murdered by the Inhabitants, Benzoni Milan.
Infinite are the Examples that might out of History be collected to this purpose: But to avoid prolixity, let it suffice only to add hereunto, that for these and the like sins, many thousands in the World, in every Age, have either by the rage of jealousie in the Persons wronged, or by the revenging Sword of the Higher Powers punishing wrong, suffered the condigne pu∣nishment of death.
Thirdly and lastly, To summ up all further Addition, that might be look'd upon as necessarily relating to this Chap∣ter, consider in few words, that immode∣rate Anger, Envie, Hatred, Malice, Self∣murder, unlawful Duels, Treason, Mur∣der of others, Despair, Rebellion, Theft, Ambition, Covetousness, immoderate Grief, Atheisme, Blasphemy, Witchcraft, and such like, do either immediately by themselves, or mediately by other sins accumulated, and a succession of unpros∣perous Page 91 events attending them, prove acci∣dental causes sometimes of Diseases, but most commonly of an untimely death. And so I proceed to the fourth Chapter as followeth.
Containing an Enumeration of sundry Sins as they are, supernaturally, occasions of bo∣dily Diseases, and shortness of Life.
THis Chapter may seem to have some relation to the First; and so it hath in genere: but in regard it differs from it in specie; I have here placed it, as one of the chief Corner-stones to adorn & strengthen, yea as a Top-stone to finish and complete the four-square building of this First Part of my Discourse.
But before I descend to particulars, give me leave here to lay down somewhat in general terms, as praeliminary to the pre∣sent design.
Though God be the proper, efficient Page 92 and super-natural cause of Diseases; yet as sin is the immediate cause of God's wrath and anger, and a provocation of his vindictive Justice, in this respect it may be termed a principal (though not immediate) cause or occasion of Diseases, more especially, of such as depend not up∣on the ordinary chain of second causes, but being above the Sphaere of Nature, are inflicted by the almighty, and unlimited power of God. And this the great Se∣cretaries of Nature, as Philosophers and Physicians should do well to observe, ac∣cording to the advice of Hippocrates, who would have a Physician to take special no∣tice, whether the Disease came from a Divine super-natural cause, or whether it follow the course of Nature. How this place of Hippocrates is to be understood, Paracelsus is of opinion, that such Spiritual Diseases (for so he calls them) are spi∣ritually to be cured and not otherwise: But of this by the way in general. I shall now descend to Particulars; whereof I shall make demonstration de facto.
And First, of the abuse of the Ordi∣nances Page 93 of God, viz. the Word and Sacra∣ments. Theopompus a Philosopher, being about to insert certain things out of the Writings of Moses into his prophane Works, and so to abuse the sacred Word of God, was striken with a Frensie; and being warned of the cause thereof in a dream, by prayers made unto God reco∣vered his senses again, Joseph. Antiq. lib. 12. cap. 2. This Story is recorded by Josephus, as also another of Theodectes a Poet, that mingled his Tragedies with the Holy Scriptures, and was therefore striken with blindness, until he had recanted his impiety.
In a Town of Germany called Itszith, there dwelt a certain Husband-man, that was a monstrous despiser of the Word of God and his Sacraments: He upon a time in the midst of his Cups, railed in most bitter terms upon a Minister of God's Word, after which going presently into the Fields to over-look his Sheep, he ne∣ver returned alive, but was found there dead, with his Body all scorched and burnt as black as a coal; the Lord ha∣ving Page 94 given him over into the hands of the Devil, to be thus used for his vile propha∣ness, and abusing Holy things, Dr. Justus Jonas in Luther's Conferences reporteth this to be true.
If you shall despise my Statutes (saith the Lord) or refuse to hearken unto my Law, I will visit you with Consumptions, and burn∣ing Agues, and heaviness of heart, Lev. 26. 15, 16. Moses for neglecting the Sacra∣ment of Circumcision (which is much the same, (see Rom. 4. 11. & Col. 2. 11. 12.) in a Spiritual sense, with that of Baptisme) was struck immediately by the Lord, and fell so sick by the way, that it was thought he would have died: And it came to pass, by the way in the Inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him, Exod. 4. 24. Which words are by some Elucidators (Bishop Hall, &c.) thus understood, viz. that the Lord appeared visibly unto him, and sensibly afflicted him with some sud∣den and violent disease, which he knew to be done, in regard of his neglect of his Sons Circumcision.
Eutychus for sleeping at the Sermon, fell Page 95 down so as he had slept his last sleep, (Acts 20. 9.) but that a merciful God, by the hands of Paul, did raise him up again, to teach him (and by him all Church∣sleepers) the future danger of such negli∣gence and irreverence in his House: His deadly fall not being so much accidental, as a judgment from God.
And as concerning the unworthy recei∣ving the Lord's Supper, St. Paul telleth the Corinthians,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, For this cause, many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep, 1 Corinthians 11. 30. i. e. For these abuses of this Holy Sacrament, the hand of God hath been upon many of you; so as many of you are afflicted with divers kinds of Diseases, and many of you are striken with a temporal death, here called sleep. Now from the Apo∣stles declaring this to be the true cause of that sickness and mortality that was a∣mongst them, it is to be supposed that either they looked not after the cause at all, but took it to come only as a thing of course, or (which is more probable) that they mistook the cause, imagined that to Page 96 be the cause which was not. A great mor∣tality there was amongst them, many died, but that they thought might pro∣ceed from the distemperature of the Bo∣dy, or from the corruption of the Air, or from want of exercise, or from not ob∣serving a good diet, or from immoderate labour: Some they thought might die of one of these causes, some of another. But the Apostle passeth all these over, and maketh known unto them, that however these might be considerable as causes in their due places; yet the true, main, and principal cause they were utterly ignorant of; and that was their abusive and ne∣gligent receiving of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper: For this cause many are weak, &c.
A truth which had any less than an A∣postle delivered, he would have been esteemed a setter forth of new Doctrine: Or had the Apostle delivered it in any dark and obscure Phrase, flesh and blood would have found out twenty Interpre∣tations, before ever they would have thought of this: But the Speaker is so Page 97 Divine, and the speech so plain, that it cannot be mistaken: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, saith the Text, For this cause, because of your un∣worthy receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, many are sick, and many sleep. Hence was that speech of Saint Anselme taken, who saith, that many Diseases that reign in the Summer (though Physicians may impute them to other secondary causes) proceed from Peoples irreverent receiving that Sacrament at Easter.
That de facto this is a truth, see the 2d. of the Chronicles, and the 30th. chap. v. 20. where you shall find, that for some a∣buses and disorders committed in the Ce∣lebration of the Passover, the Jews were smitten with some troublesom disease: For 'tis here said, that upon Hezekiah's Prayer the Lord healed the People: which implieth plainly that they were diseased and sick before; and yet this de∣fault was only in the circumstantial Points of that Sacrament: For 'tis there also said, that every one had prepared his heart for to seek God. Some defect there was only in some Ceremonial Rite to be observed. Page 98 Now what we find applied to the Pass∣over, we may without fear apply to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper: For how∣ever they differ in circumstances, yet for substance they are the same. Sickness, we see, was sent for the abuse of that; and therefore the same punishment appointed for the abuse of this, yea inflicted; wit∣ness the Corinthians, who for this cause were plagued with divers Diseases, and sundry kinds of death. And indeed it is not unlike, that since these Corinthians, there have been many thousands, who for the very same cause have not (as the Psal∣mist saith) lived out half their dayes, but have been swept away out of the Land of the living, and gone down with sorrow into the Grave. True then it is de facto, God hath thus plagued the sinful neglect and abuse of his Sacrament.
I will now also demonstrate, that de jure it must needs be so; and this will ap∣pear, if we consider the sin it self to be Camelinum peccatum, A sin of a very large size, burdened with those following ag∣gravations; (namely) that 'tis a sin im∣mediatly Page 99 against Christ's own Person, robbeth God of that which he is most tender of, his honour, and is in the judg∣ment of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 11. 27. (I suppose if will-fully committed) no less than a spilling and shedding of the precious blood of Christ, Heb. 6. 6. In a word, that 'tis a sin paramount like Saul higher then his Fellows. And therefore let us judge in our selves, whether the wages of such a sin unrepented of, can be less than Corporal plagues, and temporal death. For, if we contemn the sacred Bo∣dy of Christ, how can we think that God should take any care of ours? If we make no reckoning of Christ's death, 'tis but just with God to disregard ours. Oh then as we tender our health and our lives, let us never dare to approach unto that dread∣ful Table, without due reverence and a competent measure of preparation.
Secondly, Concerning the Prophaning the Lord's day, Sacriledge, &c. we read several Instances of God's wrath upon such, declared in Corporal plagues and destruction.
Page 100 A certain Godly Minister preaching, and pressing the sanctification of the Sab∣bath, and taking occasion herein to make mention of that Man, who by the special command of God was stoned to death, for gathering sticks upon the Sabbath day; Hereupon one in the Congregation stood up and laughed, and made all the haste he could out of the Church, and went to gathering of sticks, though he had no need of them: But when the Peo∣ple came out from the Sermon, they found this Man dead, with the bundle of sticks in his arms, lying in the Church Porch. This is attested by a credible Author.
Yea, if time would permit, or this En∣chiridion extend to it, I could expatiate upon such Instances, as might likewise demonstrate, that not a few have, upon the breach of the fourth Commandment, been striken by the immediate hand of the Almighty, with lameness, and sore Di∣seases. And for Sacriledge, that hath been severely punished in like manner: As in Antioches Epiphanes, who fell sick with Page 101 grief upon the remembrance of the evils he did at Jerusalem, in taking away the Vessels of gold and silver that were there∣in, confessing that for this cause his trou∣bles came upon him, and so suddenly died, 1 Mach. chap. 6. Also it is recorded that wicked Alcimus, for his violation of the Sanctuary; and his sacrilegious enter∣prises, was immediatly taken with a Pal∣sie, so that he could no more speak any thing, but died suddenly with great tor∣ment, 1 Mach. 9. cap. 54, 55, & 56. v. Again, Ananias and Sapphira his Wife, for their Sacriledge cloaked with hypo∣crisie, at Peter's rebuke fell down dead, Acts 5. 5. & 10.
Thirdly, Swearing, Blasphemy, and Perjury do sometimes in a supernatural manner, occasion Diseases and shortness of Life.
Mr. Fox, Acts & Mon. p. 2101. telleth us of one, named John Peter, Son-in-Law to Alexander that cruel Keeper of New∣gate, who being a most horrible Swearer and Blasphemer, used commonly to say, If it be not true, I pray God I may rot ere IPage 102die: And not in vain, for he rotted away indeed, and so died in misery.
I read of a Perjuter that forswore him∣self to the end to deceive and prejudice another thereby: But he had no sooner made an end of his false Oath, but a grie∣vous Apoplexy assailed him; so that with∣out speaking any one word he died within few dayes.
That Story in Eusebius is very remar∣kable, concerning Narcissus a good Bishop of Jerusalem, and three lewd Varlots his Accusers, as it is recited by the above∣named Mr. Fox. Narcissus intending to accuse three notable Malefactors of their misdemeanors, they thought to prevent his accusation by first laying a grievous Crime to his charge, and to get credit thereunto, each of them bound it with their severeral Oaths, one wishing to be consumed with fire, if it were not so, an∣other to die of some grievous disease; the third to lose both his eyes: Narcissus seeing three to one was odds, gave place; but what became of these perjured Fel∣lows? the first was consumed by a fire Page 103 set in his House: the second was taken with a strange Disease, that over-spread his whole Body, which brought him to a miserable end: the third seeing God's judgments upon his Brethren in evil, con∣fessed the fault, for which he continually shed such abundance of tears, that he wept out his eyes, becoming blind thereupon, Euseb. lib. 6. p. 101. God who takes no∣tice of Mens Oaths, takes vengeance of their breach and violation.
Also we find recorded, that in the Reign of the Emperour Anastatius, there was a certain Arian Bishop, whose name was O∣lympus, who, as he was washing himself in a Bath, belched forth many blasphemous speeches against the blessed Trinity; whereupon lightning fell down from Hea∣ven upon him three times, and he was burnt and consumed therewith, Paul. Dia∣con. in the History of Anastatius.
There was also in the time of Alphon∣sus, King of Arragon, a certain Hermite called Antonius, a monstrous blasphemer, that belched out vile and injurious speech∣es against Christ Jesus, and the Virgin Page 104Mary his Mother; but he was striken with a most grievous Disease, even to be eaten and gnawn in pieces of Worms, until he died, Aeneas Silvius of the Acts of Al∣phonsus.
Fourthly, Pride, Vain-glory, Ambi∣tion, Haughtiness do sometimes produce the like effects, in the like manner, as may appear in these following Instances.
Antiochus, (the same with the afore∣named Epiphanes, p. 100.) a notable Ty∣rant and Persecutor of the Jews, in his pride and fume said, That he would come to Jerusalem, and make it a common burying place of the Jews: But the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel smote him with an incu∣rable and invisible Plague: For as soon as he had spoken these words, a pain of the bowels, that was remediless, came upon him, and sore torments of the inner parts, 2 Mach. 9. Howbeit he nothing at all ceased from his bragging, but still was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Jews: But it came to pass that he fell down from his Chariot car∣ried violently; so that having a sore fall, Page 105 all the Members of his Body were much pained; And soon after, the Worms came out of his Body, and while he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and the filthiness of his smell was noy∣som to all his Army: And so the wrath of God ended this proud Man's miserable dayes.
The other is that of King Herod, sur∣named Agrippa, which put James the Bro∣ther of John to death, and imprisoned Pe∣ter, with purpose to make him tast of the same cup, Acts 12. This Man was puffed with Sacrilegious pride; for being upon a time seated in his Throne of Judgment, and arrayed in his Royal Robes, shewing forth his greatness and magnificence, in the presence of the Ambassadors of Tyre & Si∣don, who desired to continue in Peace with him, as he spake unto them, the People shouted and cried, that it was the voice of God, and not of man: Which titles of honour he disclaimed not, and therefore the An∣gel of the Lord smote him immediately, be∣cause he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost, Acts Page 106 12. 23. Josephus relateth the Story, how that Herod not reproving nor forbidding his pernicious Flatterers, was presently taken with most grievous and horrible gripes in his bowels; so that looking up∣on the People he uttered these words: Behold here your goodly god, whom you but now so highly honoured, ready to die with ex∣tream pain, Jewish Antiq. lib. 19. cap. 1. Thus did this miserable Man exemplarily verifie the Wise man's Proverb: Pride goeth before destruction: and an haughty spi∣rit before a fall, Prov. 16. 18.
Fifthly, Adultery, Fornication and the like, are also sometimes, supernaturally, occasions of Diseases, and shortness of Life, as may appear de facto in the suc∣ceeding Instances.
Claudius of Asses, Counsellor of the Par∣liament of Paris (a Man very ill affected to the Professors of the Gospel) commit∣ted villany with one of his waiting Maids, in the very midst whereof he was taken with an Apoplexie, which immediately after made an end of him, Beard's Theater of God's Judgments.
Page 107 In Northamptonshire a Noble Man's Ser∣vant, of good credit and place with his Master, having familiarity with another Mans Wife, as he was about to commit villany with her in a Chamber, he fell down stark dead, with his hose about his heels: which being heard (by reason of the noise his fall made) of those which were in the lower room, they all ran ha∣stily up, and easily perceived both the villany he went about, and the horrible judgment of God upon him for the same, Ibidem p. 372.
Pliny telleth of Cornelius Gallus and Q. Elerius, two Roman Knights, that died in the very act of filthiness, Plin. lib. 7.
Pharaoh having taken Abram's Wife from him, was plagued with great plagues by the Lord, and thereby compelled to restore her, Gen. 12. 17. Also Abime∣lech, King of Gerar, for taking away the same Woman, even Sarai (afterward Sa∣rah) from her Husband, though the non-execution of Abimelech's intention might partly excuse him, and the integrity of his heart, and innocency of his hands might Page 108 plead for him, was yet notwithstanding forewarned, and admonished by God in a dream, saying unto him: Behold thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken: for she is a mans wife, Gen. 20. 3. And a little after God saith unto him: Now therefore restore the man his wife: for he is a Prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou and all that are thine, Vers. 7.
Also the lustful Sodomites for that sin, which deriveth its name from the wicked place of their Habitation, were smitten with blindness, Gen. 18. 11. A just and proper punishment to stop up those lights, that were the windows or inlets, and outlets of such abominable lust and concu∣piscence.
Lastly, what shall I more say? (to bor∣row the Apostle's Phrase, Heb. 11.) for the time would fail me to tell of Miriam, who for sedition was punished with a Le∣prosie, Num. 12. 10. Of Gehazi, that for covetousness and dissimulation; of King A∣zariah, who for not removing the high Page 109 Places, 2 Kings 5. 27. 15. 4, & 5. and King Uzziah, that for invading the Priest's Office, 2 Chron. 26. 20. were smitten with the same virulent Disease: And of Bel∣shazzar, who for rioting and revelling a∣mongst his pots, had the end of his life, as well as Kingdom, denounced against him by a bodiless hand-writing upon the wall, the Lord's decree, Dan. 5. and also of a Cloud of witnesses more, in Divine, and Humane Records, portending a showr of wrath and vengeance from Heaven upon all impenitent Sinners, even in this life, by Corporal plagues, and destruction. I shall therefore add only thus much more to the summ, and then give you the total, viz. that as God is a supernatural Agent, and his Power is not to be limitted to Na∣tural means, in regard it is evident by many instances that he can, and some∣times doth work without means in the production of sundry Diseases and mortal Distempers: (a truth not much taken no∣tice of by such as would comprehend all causes and effects within the Sphaere of Nature) so likewise the Devil, by God's Page 110 per∣mission, for the punishment of some sins, hath power to cause sickness, and that su∣pernaturally: So he did afflict Saul with the vehemency of a frenzy and melan∣choly Distemper, 1 Sam. 16. 23. So he did the Lunaticks, Mark 9. and many Dae∣moniacal Persons with strange maladies; Luke 13. yea, and still doth act over his old part in these last dayes (though not so frequently as in Christ's) getting pos∣session in many, even in this Nation, as History, and our own experience can de∣monstrate. And as he can perform this by himself, so likewise by his Complices, and Instruments, as Witches and Magi∣cians, who by God's permission can cause most Diseases, yea sometimes death it self to such as they bear malice; as might more fully appear de facto, by a Book intituled, The Arraignement and Trial of witches at Lancaster and York: But yet their power is so limited by an Higher, that not all whom they spleen are subject to it; but only, or mostly, such as will not be gathe∣red under the wings of God's Providence and protection, straying so far in sin, as Page 111 until they become a prey unto Satan and his Hellish Spies; who will at least infest their Bodies with Diseases and sudden mortality; though mercy, perhaps, may step in betimes to redeem their Souls. And thus may we discern the truth of this Point, that those sundry sins, which I have mentioned in this Chapter, are in a supernatural way principal occasions of bodily Diseases, and shortness of Life.
A Corollary. The Result of the whole preceding Discourse is, that as the Body by a powerful influence works upon the affections of the Soul; so the Soul works most effectually upon the qualities and temperature of the Body, producing by her Passions and perturbations wonderful al∣terations, as most Diseases, and some∣times death it self. For sin is the cause of that excess, which is in the qualities of which our Bodies are made, and conse∣quently of the Diseases that proceed from thence, which afterward bring death to the Body. But this is not all: for some∣times it comes to pass that when those ef∣fects are not produced by such natural Page 112 means; the mind being corrupted and viciated, doth draw them down from Heaven, being supernaturally wrought, for the greater testimony of God's power and vengeance upon obstinate Offenders. So then that is most true which Plato saith in his Charmides: Omnia corporis mala ab animâ procedere; All the mischiefs of the bo∣dy proceed from the soul. And thus much shall suffice to have run over the First Part of this Undertaking, which was to demon∣strate by Natural Reason, and also by Di∣vine, and Humane Testimony, that vi∣cious and irregular actions, and affections prove often occasions of most bodily Di∣seases, and of shortness of Life.