Sacred-texts  Christianity  Index  Previous 


THE following passages from Vives may interest the reader: (II, 7.) 'Thus farre Lucian. We have rehearsed it in the words of Thomas Moore, whom to praise negligently, or as if one were otherwise imployed, were grossnes. His due commendations are sufficient to exceed great volumes. For what is he that can worthily lim forth his sharpness of wit, his depth of judgement, his excellence and variety of learning, his eloquence of phrase, his plausibility and integrity of manners, his judicious foresight, his exact execution, his gentle modesty and uprightness and his unmoved loyalty? Unlesse in one word he will say that they are all perfect, intirely absolute, and exact in all their full proportions? Unlesse he will call them (as they are indeed) the patterns and lusters, each of his kind? I speake much, and many that have not known Moore will wonder at me, but such as have, will know I speake but truth: so will such as shall either reade his workes or but heare or looke upon his actions: but another time shall be more fit to spred our sailes in this man's praises as in a spacious ocean, wherein we will take this full and prosperous wind and write both much in substance and much in value of his worthy honours, and that unto favourable readers.'

(VIII, 4.) ' It is a great question in our schooles whether Logic be speculative or practike. A fond question truly I thinke, and fellow with most of our philosophicall theames of these times, where the dreams of practice and speculation do nought but dull young apprehensions. . . . But these Schoolemen neyther know how to speculate in nature nor action, nor how the life's actions are to be ordered.'

(XI, 10.) ' Words, I thinke, adde little to religion, yet must we have a care to keep the old path and received doctrine of the Church; for, divinity being so farre above our reach, how can wee give it the proper explanation?

All words are man's inventions for humane uses, and no man may refuse the old approved words to bring in new of his own invention; for whenas proprieties are not to bee found out by man's wit, those are the fittest to declare things by, that ancient use hath left us, and they that have recorded most part of our religion. This I say for that a sort of smattering rash fellowes impiously presume to cast the old formes of speech at their heeles, and to set up their owne masterships, being grossly ignorant both in the matters, and their bare formes, and will have it lawful for them at their fond likings to frame or fashion the phrases of the Fathers in matter of religion into what forme they list, like a nose of waxe.'

(XVIII, 18.) 'To create is to make something of nothing ; this God onely can do; as all the Divines affirme: but then they dispute whether hee can communicate this power unto a creature. Saint Thomas hath much concerning this; and Scotus seekes to weaken his arguments to confirme his owne; and Occam is against both, and Petrus de Aliaco against him: thus each one screweth the celestiall power into what forme he please. How can manners be amended, how can truth be taught, how can contentions be appeased as long as there is this confused obstinate jangling, and this haling too and fro in matter of Divinity, according as each man stands affected.'

(XIX, 21.) 'For we may not imagine man's, unjust decrees to be lawes; all men defining law to arise out of the fountaine of justice.' (Cicero, De Leg. 1.)

Vives: 'It was not the people's command (saith he) nor Prince's decrees nor Judge's sentences, but the very rule of nature that gave original unto law. And again . . . Thus Tully out of Plato, and thus the Stoikes held against Epicurus, who held that nature accounted nothing just, but feare did. Seneca, Epist. 16. This holy law that lyeth recorded in every man's conscience, the civilians call right and reason. . . . So that Ulpian defineth law to be ars aequi el boni; an art of right and reason, making him only a lawyer that can skill of this right and reason: and such that, as Tully said of Sulpitius, referre all unto equity, and had rather end controversies than procure them, that peace might generally be kept amongst men, and each be at peace with himselfe, which is the chiefe joy of nature.'