The Anatomy of Melancholy eBook

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MEMB.  II.

SUBSECT.  I.—­Religious Melancholy in defect; parties affected, Epicures, Atheists, Hypocrites, worldly secure, Carnalists; all impious persons, impenitent sinners, &c.

In that other extreme or defect of this love of God, knowledge, faith, fear, hope, &c. are such as err both in doctrine and manners, Sadducees, Herodians, libertines, politicians:  all manner of atheists, epicures, infidels, that are secure, in a reprobate sense, fear not God at all, and such are too distrustful and timorous, as desperate persons be.  That grand sin of atheism or impiety, [6617]Melancthon calls it monstrosam melancholiam, monstrous melancholy; or venenatam melancholiam, poisoned melancholy.  A company of Cyclops or giants, that war with the gods, as the poets feigned, antipodes to Christians, that scoff at all religion, at God himself, deny him and all his attributes, his wisdom, power, providence, his mercy and judgment.

[6618] “Esse aliquos manes, et subterranea regna,
        Et contum, et Stygio ranas in gurgite nigras,
        Atque una transire vadum tot millia cymba,
        Nec pueri credunt, nisi qui nondum aere lavantur.”

That there is either heaven or hell, resurrection of the dead, pain, happiness, or world to come, credat Judaeus Apella; for their parts they esteem them as so many poet’s tales, bugbears, Lucian’s Alexander; Moses, Mahomet, and Christ are all as one in their creed.  When those bloody wars in France for matters of religion (saith [6619]Richard Dinoth) were so violently pursued between Huguenots and Papists, there was a company of good fellows laughed them all to scorn, for being such superstitious fools, to lose their wives and fortunes, accounting faith, religion, immortality of the soul, mere fopperies and illusions.  Such loose [6620]atheistical spirits are too predominant in all kingdoms.  Let them contend, pray, tremble, trouble themselves that will, for their parts, they fear neither God nor devil; but with that Cyclops in Euripides,

       “Haud ulla numina expavescunt caelitum,
        Sed victimas uni deorum maximo,
        Ventri offerunt, deos ignorant caeteros.”

       “They fear no God but one,
        They sacrifice to none. 
        But belly, and him adore,
        For gods they know no more.”

“Their God is their belly,” as Paul saith, Sancta mater saturitas;—­quibus in solo vivendi causa palato est. The idol, which they worship and adore, is their mistress; with him in Plautus, mallem haec mulier me amet quam dii, they had rather have her favour than the gods’.  Satan is their guide, the flesh is their instructor, hypocrisy their counsellor, vanity their fellow-soldier, their will their law, ambition their captain, custom their rule; temerity, boldness, impudence their art, toys their trading, damnation their end.  All their endeavours are to satisfy their lust and appetite, how to please their genius, and to be merry for the present, Ede, lude, bibe, post mortem nulla voluptas. [6621]"The same condition is of men and of beasts; as the one dieth, so dieth the other,” Eccles. iii. 19.  The world goes round,

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The Anatomy of Melancholy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.