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chapter 17: The Light of Reason Is a Pleasant Light - Nathaniel Culverwell, An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature 
An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature, ed. Robert A. Greene and Hugh MacCallum, foreword by Robert A. Greene (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
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The Light of Reason Is a Pleasant Light
’Tis Lumen jucundum; All light is pleasant, ’tis the very smile of Nature, the glosse of the world, the varnish of the Creation, a bright paraphrase upon bodies. Whether it discover it self in the modesty of a morning blush, and open its fair and Virgin eye-lids in the dawning of the day, or whether it dart out more vigorous and sprightful beams, shining out in its noon-day glory; whether it sport and twinckle in a Star, or blaze and glore out in a Comet, or frisk and dance in a Jewel, or dissemble and play the Hypocrite in a gloworm, or Epitomize and abbreviate it self in a spark, or shew its zeale and the ruddinesse of its complexion, in the yolk of the fire, or grow more pale, pining and consuming away in a Candle; however ’tis pleas’d to manifest it self, it carries a commanding lustre in its face, though sometimes indeed it be veil’d and shadowed, sometimes ’tis clouded and imprison’d, sometimes ’tis soyl’d and discolour’d. Who will not salute so lovely a beauty with a χαι̑ρεφω̑ς[welcome light]; welcome thou first-borne of corporeal beings, thou Lady and Queen of Sensitive beauties, thou clarifier and refiner of the Chaos, thou unspotted beauty of the Universe. Let him be condemn’d to a perpetual night, to a fatal disconsolate grave, that is not enamour’d with thy brightnesse. Is it not a pleasant thing to behold a Sun?1 nay, to behold but a Candle, a deputed light? a vicarious light? the ape of a Sun-beame? Yet there are some superstitious ones that are ready to adore it; how devoutly do they complement with a Candle, at the first approach? how do they put off the hat to it, as if with the Satyr they meant to kisse it. You see how pleasant the light is to them; Nay that learned Knight in his discourse of Bodies, tells us of one totally blinde, who yet knew when a candle came into the room, only by the quickning & reviving of his Spirits.2 Yet this Corporeal light, ’tis but a shadow, ’tis but a black spot to set off the fairnes of intellectual brightnes. How pleasant is it to behold an intellectual Sun? Nay, to behold but the Candle of the Lord? How pleasant is this Lamp of Reason, πα̑νφυσικὸνἡδὺ. All the Motions and Operations of Nature are mix’d and season’d with sweetnesse; Every Entity ’tis sugared with some delight; Every being ’tis roll’d up in some pleasure. How does the inanimate Being clasp and embrace its Centre, and rest there as in the bosome of delight? how flourishing is the pleasure of vegetatives? Look but upon the beauty and pleasure of a flower. Behold the Lilies of the  Valleyes, (and the Roses of Sharon,) Solomon in all his Pleasure was not cloathed like one of these.3 Go then to sensitive Creatures, and there you meet with pleasures in a greater height and exaltation. How are all the Individua amongst them maintained by acts of pleasure? How are they all propagated by acts of pleasure? Some of them are more merry and cheerful then the rest. How pleasant and jocund is the Bird? How musical is it? How does it sing for joy? did you never see the fish playing in its element? did you never see it caught with a bait of pleasure? does not Leviathan sport in the sea, and dally with the waves? If you look up higher to rational Beings, to the sonnes of men, you’l finde there a more singular and peculiar kinde of pleasure, whilest they have both a taste of sensitive delight, and a Participation of Intellectual. The soul and body enjoying a chaste and conjugal love, the pleasure of the soul is more vigorous and masculine, that of the body more soft and effeminate. The Nobler any Being is, the purer pleasure it hath proportion’d to it. Sensitive pleasure it hath more of dregs; Intellectual pleasure it hath more of Quintessence. If pleasure were to be measured by Corporeal senses, the Brutes that are more exquisite in sense then men are, would by vertue of that, have a choicer portion of happinesse then men can arrive to, and would make a better sect of Epicureans then men are ever like to do. But therefore Nature hath very wisely provided, that the pleasure of Reason should be above any pleasure of Sense; as much, and far more then the pleasure of a Bee is above the pleasure of the Swine. Have you not seen a Bee make a trade of pleasure, and like a little Epicure faring deliciously every day,4 whilest it lies at the breast of a flower, drawing and sucking out the purest sweetnesse? and because ’twill have variety of dishes and dainties, it goes from flower to flower, and feasts upon them all with a pure and spotlesse pleasure, when as the Swine in the mean time tumbles and wallowes in the mire, rolling it self in dirt and filthinesse. An Intellectual Bee that deflowers most elegant Authors, a learned Epicure that sups up more Orient pearles then ever Cleopatra did, one that delights in the embraces of truth & goodnes, hath he not a more refin’d and clarified pleasure, then a wanton Corinthian that courts Lais, then a soft Sardanapalus spinning amongst his Courtizans, then a plump Anacreon, in singing & dancing and quaffing & lascivious playing? τω̑νἡδονω̑ντὰςσωματικὰς, αἱπρακτικαὶκαὶφιλότιμοιτῳ̑χαίροντιτη̑ςψυχη̑ςδι̕ὑπερβολὴνκαὶμέγεθοςἐναφανίξουσι, καὶκατασβεννυούσι5 [in one who rejoices in the grandeur and superiority of the soul, the active and emulative pleasures of the body are obliterated and extinguished], as the elegant Moralist hath it: and ’tis as if he had said, the delights of a studious and contemplative Athenian, or of a courageous and active Lacedemonian, is infinitely to be preferr’d before the pleasure of a delicate Sybarite, or a dissolved Persian. The delight of a Philosopher does infinitely surpasse the pleasure of a Courtier. The choicest pleasure  is nothing but the Efflorescentia veri & boni[flowering of the true and the good], there can be no greater pleasure, then of an understanding embracing a most clear truth, and of a will complying with its fairest good, this is ἐνθυμῳ̑χαίρειν[to rejoice in spirit], as the Greeks call it; or as the Latines in sinu gaudere;6 all pleasure consisting in that Harmonious Conformity and Correspondency, that a faculty hath with its object, ’twill necessarily flow from this, that the better and nobler any object is, the purer and stronger any faculty is, the neerer and sweeter the union is between them; the choicer must be the pleasure that ariseth from thence. Now Intellectual Beings have the bravest object, the highest and most generous faculties, the strictest Love-knot and Union, and so can’t want a pleasure answerable to all this. Epicurus himself (as that known writer of the Philosophers lives, who himself also was a favourer and follower of the Epicurean Sect, does represent him)7 that grand master of pleasure, though sometimes he seeme to steep all pleasure in sense, yet upon more digested thoughts he is pleased to tell us, that the supreme delight is stor’d and treasur’d up in intellectuals. Sometimes indeed he breaks out into such dissolute words as these, οὐγὰρἐγώγεἜχωτὶνοήσω, ἀ γαθὸνἀφαιρω̑νμῃντὰςδιὰχυλω̑νἡδονὰςτὰςδι̕ἀφροδισίων, καὶτὰςδιὰμορφω̑ν.8 I know no pleasure, saith he, if you take away the bribes and flatteries of lust, the enticings & blandishings of sense, the graces and elegancies of Musick, the kisses and embraces of Venus. But afterwards he is in a farre different and more sober strain, and seems to drop a pearl, though his auditors prov’d swine, his words were these, οὐτὰςτω̑νἀσώτωνἡδονὰς, καὶτὰςἐνἀπολαύσεικειμένας. I meane not (saies he) the pleasures of a Prodigal, or those that are situated in a carnal fruition, ἀλλὰνήφωνλογισμοὺς, καὶτὸμέγιστονἀγαθὸνφρόνησις. I intend a rational pleasure, a prudential kinde of pleasure, which makes him lay down this for an axiome, οὐκἜστινἡδέωςζη̑νἄνευτου̑φρονίμωςκαὶκαλω̑ς,9 that is, there can be no pleasure unlesse it be dipt in goodnesse, it must come bubbling from a fountain of Reason, & must stream out vertuous expressions & manifestations, and whereas others in their salutations were wont to write χαίρειν[rejoice], he alwayes writ εὐπράττειν10 [do good]. But that ingenuous Moralist11 whom I mentioned before, who could easily spy out the minde of Epicurus, and who was of greater candor and fairnesse then to wrong his opinion, doth yet so farre lay it open and naked to the world, as that he notably detects the follies and vanities of that voluptuous Philosopher in that golden tractate of his, which he entitles οὐκἜστινἡδέωςζη̑νκατ̕Ἐπίκουρον. Non potest suaviter vivere secundum Epicuri decreta[One Cannot Live Pleasurably in Accordance with the Doctrine of Epicurus], where he shews that this jolly Philosopher makes the body onely the proper centre of pleasure, and when he tells you that the minde hath a more rarified delight, he means no more then this, that the minde perceives the  pleasure of sense better then the sense does,12 which makes the forementioned Author passe this witty censure upon them, τὴνἡδονὴνκαθάπεροἰ̑νονἐκτου̑πονηρου̑ἀγγείουδιαχέοντες,13 they pour no pleasure upon the soul, but that which comes out of the impure and musty vessel of the body. The whole summe of Epicurus his Ethicks, which he stiles his Canonical Philosophy, is this, τὴνἡδονὴνἀρχὴνκαὶτέλοςλέγομεντου̑μακαρίωςζην,14 that pleasure was the (α) [alpha] and (ω) [omega] of all happinesse. To this purpose he wrote a multitude of books, and scattered them like so many of his Atomes, and the greedy appetite of his licencious followers was easily caught with these baits of pleasure, which made his opinions to be stiled meretricia dogmata[meretricious doctrines] that curl’d their locks, that painted their faces, that open’d their naked breasts, that cloath’d themselves in soft and silken apparel, to see if they could thus entice the world; they were δογματικαὶσειρη̑νες[doctrinal sirens] that with a melting and delicate voice, did endeavour to soften and win upon the hearts of men as much as they could; the quintessence of all his doctrine was this, Dux vitae dia voluptas15 [divine pleasure is the guide of life], as Lucretius the Epicurean Poet sings. The practice of that frolick professour of pleasure, did sufficiently explain and comment upon his minde. His dwelling was in a garden, a fit place to crown with Rose-buds, δρέπεινκορυφὰς16 to crop the tops of pleasure, to let no flower of the spring passe untoucht of him; here he was furnisht with all his voluptuous accommodations, and he might spread like a green and flourishing Bay-tree;17 But amongst all his pleasure me thinks none should envie that (which yet the writer of his life is pleased to observe) that he was wont δὶςτη̑ςἡμέραςἐμει̑νἀπὸτροφη̑ς,18 to vomit twice a day constantly after meales, by vertue of his excessive luxury. O rare Philosopher! that Head of a vomiting Sect, that lickt up his and their own filthinesse. Is this the work of an Athenian? is this his mixing of vertue with pleasure? will he call this ζη̑νἡδέως[living happily]; sure he will not call this ζη̑νφρονίμως[living rationally]; yet his death was very conformable to his life, for he expir’d with a cup of wine at his mouth,19 which puts me in minde of the end of the other carousing Epicure, that merry Greek Anacreon; who by a most emphatical Tautopathy20 was chok’d with the husk and kernel of a Grape. So soone does the pleasure of an Epicure wither, so soone are his resolves blasted, he eats, and drinks, and dies before to morrow, αἱἡδοναὶκαθάπεραὐραὶ, &c.21 [pleasures are like breezes, etc.] they seeme to refresh and fan the soul with a gentle breath, but they are not certain, nor durable. Those corporeal delights (as that florid Moralist Plutarch tells us) Ἔξαψινἅμακαὶσβέσινἐνσαρκὶλαμβάνουσιν,22 like so many sparks, they make a crack and vanish; like some extemporary meteors, they give a bright and sudden coruscation, and disappear immediately. The pleasures of taste are but in fine palati[in the mouth], as that famous  Epicure Lucretius tells us.23 Whereas intellectual joy shines with a fixt and undecaying brightnesse, and though these ἡδοναὶἜξωγραφόμεναι (as Plato calls them elegantly)24 these outward pictures of pleasure, though they lose their glosse and colour, yet the inward face of delight maintains its original and primitive beauty. Sensitive pleasure is limited and contracted to the narrow point of a τὸνυ̑ν[present experience], for sense hath no delight but by the enjoyment of a present object, when as intellectual pleasure is not at all restrained by any temporal conditions, but can suck sweetnesse out of time past, present, and to come; the minde does not only drink pleasure out of present fountains; but it can taste those streams of delight that are run away long ago, and can quench its thirst with those streams, which as yet run under ground. For does not memory (which therefore Plato calls αἰσθήσεωνσωτηρία25 [preservation of perception]) does it not reprint and repeat former pleasure? and what’s hope but pleasure in the bud? does it not antedate and prepossesse future delight? Nay, by vertue of an intellectual percolation, the waters of Marah and Meribah will become sweet and delicious.26 The minde can extract honey out of the bitterest object when ’tis past, how else can you construe it, haec olim meminisse juvabit27 [someday we will rejoice to recall these trials]? Corporeal pleasure ’tis but drossie and impure, the wine ’tis dasht with water, there is a γλυκυπικρότης[bittersweet taste] (as Plato in his Philebus that book of pleasure doth very plainly and fully explain it,) and the instance that there Socrates gives, is a quenching of thirst, where there’s a very intimate connexion betwixt vexation and satisfaction.28 Tell me, you that crown your selves with Rose-buds, do you not at the same time crown your selves with thornes? for they are the companions of Rose-buds. But intellectual pleasure ’tis ἄλυπος, ἀπαθὴς, εἰλικρινὴς29 [without grief, or suffering, or impurity], clear and crystaline joy, there’s no mud in it, no feculency at all. Men are asham’d of some corporeal pleasures, the crown of Roses ’tis but a blushing crown, but who are blusht at intellectual delights? Epicurus his Philosophy was very well term’d νυκτερινὴφιλοσοφία[a philosophy of night], ’twas afraid to come to the light, whereas intellectual pleasure need not fear the light, or the Sun-shine. Men faint and languish with sensitive pleasures, Membra voluptatis dum vi labefacta liquescunt[while their limbs relax and melt in the embrace of pleasure] (as Lucretius himself upon much experience acknowledges.)30Lassata viris nondum satiata31 [exhausted by men, yet not satisfied], as the Satyrist speaks of the eminent wanton. Nay, such is the state and temper of the body σώματοςφαυλότηςκαὶἀφνία,32 as that it will better endure extreme grief, then excessive pleasure. Did you ne’re hear of the soft Sybariste, who complain’d in the morning of his wearinesse, and of his pimples, when he had lien all night only upon a bed of Roses; but who ever was tir’d with intellectual pleasure? who ever was weary of an inward complacency? or who er’e surfetted  of rational joy? Other pleasures ingratiate themselves by intermission, Voluptates commendat rarior usus,33 whereas all intellectuals heighten and advance themselves by frequent and constant operations. Other pleasures do but emasculate and dispirit the soul, they do not at all fill it and satisfie it. Epicurus may fill his with one of his atomes, as well as with one of his pleasures. Whereas rational pleasure fills the soul to the brim; it oiles the very members of the body, making them more free and cheerful; Nay, speculative delight will make abundant compensation for the want of sensitive; ’twill turne a wildernesse into a Paradise. ’Tis like you have read of the Philosopher that put out his eyes, that he might be the more intent upon his study;34 he shuts his windows that the candle might shine more clearly within; and though he be rather to be wondered at, then to be followed or commended, yet he did proclaim thus much by this act of his, that he preferred one beame of intellectual light before the whole glory of this corporeal world; How have some been enamoured with the pleasure of Mathematicks? when, saies Plutarch, did any Epicure cry out βέβρωκα[I have eaten] with so much joy as Archimedes did εὕρηκα35 [I have found it]? How have some Astronomers built their nests in the Stars? and have scorn’d to let any sublunary pleasures rend their thoughts from such goodly speculations? the worst of men in the meane time glut themselves with sensitive pleasure, χαίρουσινοἱἄφρονεςκαὶοἱδειλοὶκαὶοἱκακοὶ36 [fools and wretches and the wicked are merry] (as he in Plato speaks.) Apollo laughs but once in a yeere, when as a fool laughs all the yeer long. And ’tis a great deal more consonant to sound Philosophy that rationality should be the spring of inward pleasure, then of outward risibility. Amongst all mental operations reflex acts taste pleasure best, for without some self-reflexion men cannot tell whether they rejoyce or no; now these acts are the most distant and remote from sense, and are the highest advancements of Reason: true pleasure, ’tis res severa[a serious matter] (as the grave Moralist Seneca speaks)37 and ’tis in profundo[in the depth], where truth and goodnesse those twin-fountains of pleasure are. Sensitive pleasure makes more noyse and crackling, when as mental and noetical delight, like the touches of the Lute, make the sweetest and yet the stillest and softest musick of all. Intellectual vexations have most sting in them, why then should not intellectual delights have most honey in them? Sensitive pleasure ’tis very costly, there must be χορηγίαπολυτελὴς,38 much preparation and attendance, much plenty and variety, Parcentes ego dexteras odi, sparge Rosas39 [I hate sparing hands; scatter the roses], ’tis too dear for every one to be an Epicure, ’tis a very chargeable Philosophy to put in practice, whereas rational delight freely and equally diffuses it self, you need not pay any thing for fountain-pleasure, the minde it self proves a Canaan that flows with milk and honey, other pleasure a sick man cannot relish, an old man cannot embrace it. Barsillai saies he’s too old  to taste the pleasures of the Court.40 A Crown of Rose-buds does not at all become the gray head. But this noetical pleasure ’tis a delight fit for a Senator, for a Cato,’tis an undecaying, a growing pleasure, ’tis the only pleasure upon the bed of sicknesse; the minde of him that has the gowt may dance, ’tis the staffe for old age to leane upon; these are the rosae in hyeme[roses of winter], the delights of old age, how much is the pleasure of a wise Nestor above the pleasure of a wanton Menelaus? The more rational & spiritual any being is, the larger capacity it has of pleasure. Νου̑ςἐστιβασιλεὺςοὐρανου̑καὶγη̑ς41 [mind is king of heaven and earth] (saith Plato) and in a commendable sense it does Terram coelo miscere[mix earth and heaven], and extract what sweetnesse it can out of both. The purer Arts, the nobler Sciences have most pleasure annext to them, when as Mechanical Arts are more sordid and contemptible, being conversant about sensitive and corporeal objects. Seeing and hearing are the most pleasurable senses, because they receive their objects in a more spiritual and intentional manner, and are deservedly stil’d by the Naturalist sensus jucunditatis42 [the senses of pleasure]. Other senses are more practical, but these are more contemplative. Φάμενγὰρὁράματακαὶἀκούσματαεἰ̑ναιἡδέα[we affirm that the perceptions of eye and ear are sweet], as Aristotle tells us,43 for these are the sensus disciplinae[senses of instruction], they are the αὐτάγγελοιmentis[direct instructors of the mind], they contribute most to Reason. The more any object is spiritualized, the more delightful it is, there’s much delight in the tragical representation of those things which in reality would be sights full of amazement and horror. The ticklings of fancy are more delightful then the touches of sense. How does Poetry insinuate and turne about the mindes of men? Anacreon might take more delight in one of his Odes, then in one of his Cups; Catullus might easily finde more sweetnesse in one of his Epigrams, then in the lips of a Lesbia. Sappho might take more complacency in one of her Verses, then in her practices. The neerer any thing comes to mental joy, the purer and choycer it is. ’Tis the observation not only of Aristotle, but of every one almost, ἜνιαδῃτέρπεικαινὰὌντα.44 Some things delight meerly because of their novelty, and that surely upon this account, because the minde which is the spring of joy, is more fixt and intense upon such things. The Rose-bud thus pleases more then the blown Rose. This noetical pleasure doth quietly possesse and satiate the soul, and gives a compos’d and Sabbatical rest. So that as the forementioned Philosopher has it, χαίροντεςσφόδραοὐπάνυδρω̑μενἜτερον.45 Men that are took up with intellectual joy, trample upon all other inferiour objects. See this in Angelical pleasure; those Courtiers of heaven much different from those on earth, neither eat nor drink, nor come neere, nor desire to come neere any carnal pleasures. The painted and feigned heaven of a Mahomet, would prove a real hell to an Angel or glorified Saint. He plants a  fooles paradise of his own, there are trees of his own setting and watering, the fat and juicey Olive, the wanton and sequacious Ivy, and though he would not allow them Vines on earth (such was his great love of sobriety) yet he reserves them for heaven;46 what meanes that sensual and sottish imposter, to give notice of heaven by an Ivy-bush? Does he think that Goats and Swine, that Mahomets must enter into the new Jerusalem? This is just such a pleasure and happinesse as the Poets, that loose and licentious generation fancied and carved out as most agreeable to their Deities. They poure them out Nectar, they spread them a table, they dish out Ambrosia for them, they allow them an Hebe, or a Ganymede to wait upon them, and do plainly transforme them to worse then sensitive beings, such is the froth of some vain imaginations; such is the scum of some obscene fancies, that dare go about to create an Epicurean Deity, conformable to their own lust and vile affections. Judge in your selves, are these pleasures fit for a supreme being? is there not a softer joy, is there not a more downy happinesse for a spiritual being to lay its head upon? That conqueror of the world had far wiser and more sober thoughts, when he distinguisht himself from a Deity by his sleep and lust.47 And I begin to admire the just indignation of Plato, who though neither he himself, (unlesse he be mis-reported) could content himself with intellectual pleasure, no nor yet with natural, yet he would banish from the Idea of his Common-wealth all such scandalous and abominable Poetry, as durst cast such unworthy and dishonourable aspersions upon a Deity, and make their god as bad as themselves, as if they were to draw a picture of him by their own faces and complexions.48 Yet as all other perfections, so the perfection of all true and real pleasure, is enjoyed by God himself in a most spiritual and transcendent manner. That which is honour with men, is glory with him; that which we call riches, is in him his own excellency. His creatures which are very properly (as the Philosopher stiled riches) πλη̑θοςὀργάνων49 [a multitude of instruments], all serviceable and instrumental to him, and so that which amongst men is accounted pleasure, is with him that infinite satisfaction, which he takes in his own Essence, and in his own operations. His glorious decrees and contrivances, they are all richly pregnant with joy and sweetnesse. Every providential dispensation is an act of choicest pleasure; the making of all beings, nay of all irregularities contribute to his own glory, must needs be an act of supreme and sovereigne delight. The laughing his enemies to scorne,50 ’tis a pleasure fit for infinite justice, the smiling upon his Church, the favouring and countenancing of his people,51 ’tis a pleasure fit for mercy and goodnesse; Miracles are the pleasure of his omnipotency, varieties are the delight of his wisdome; Creation was an act of pleasure, and it must needs delight him to behold so much of his own workmanship, so many pictures of his own drawing; Redemption was an expression of that singular delight and pleasure which he took in the sons of men.52 Such  heaps of pleasures as these are never enter’d into the minde of an Epicurus, nor any of his grunting Sect, who very neer border upon Atheisme, and will upon no other termes and condition grant a Deity, unlesse they may have one of their own modelling and contriving, that is, such a being as is wholly immerst in pleasure, and that such a pleasure as they must be judges of; a being that did neither make the world, nor takes any care of it, for that they think would be too much trouble to him, too great a burden for a Deity, ’twould hinder his pleasure too much. May they not a great deale better tell the Sun, that it’s too much trouble for it to enlighten the world; may they not better tell a Fountaine that it’s too much pains for it to spend it self in such liberal eruptions, in such fluent communications? Or shall naturall agents act with delight ad extremum virium[to their highest capacity], and shall not an infinite, and a free, and a rational agent choose such operations as are most delightful to him? would not Epicurus himself choose his own pleasure? and will he not allow a Deity the same priviledge? will he offer to set limits to a being which he himself acknowledges to be above him? must he stint and prescribe the pleasures of a God? and measure out the delights of the first being? who should think that an Athenian, that a Philosopher could thus farre dimme the Candle of the Lord? and could entertain such a prodigious thought as this, that the Sun it self is maintain’d with the same Oile, as his decayed and corrupted Lamp is? That gallant Moralist Plutarch does most notably lay the axe to the root of this abominable Error, for, saith he, If Epicurus should grant a God in his full perfections, he must change his life presently, he must be a swine no longer, he must uncrown his rosy head, and must give that practical obedience to the dictates of a God which other Philosophers are wont to do; whereas he looks upon this as his fairest Rose-bud, as the most beautiful flower in his garden of pleasure, that there’s no providence to check him, or bridle him; that he is not so subject or subordinate as to stand in awe of a Deity.53 But that brave Author (whom I commended before) shews the inconsistency of this tenent with true and solid pleasure;54 For grant, O Epicure, that thou dost not care for a Deity in a calme, yet what wilt thou do in a storme? when the North-winde blows upon thy garden, and when the frost nips thy tender Grapes. Thou dost not care for him in the spring, but wouldst thou not be glad of him in the winter? will it be a pleasure then that thou hast none to help thee? none to guide thee, none to protect thee? Suppose a Ship ready to be split upon a rock, or to be soop’t55 up of a wave, would this then be a comfort and encouragement to it, or would it take pleasure in this, μήτετινὰκυβερνήτηνἜχεινμήτετοὺςδιοσκούρους, that it has no Pilot to direct it, it has no tutelar Deities to minde the welfare of it? but it must rush on as well as it can; thou blinde and fond Epicure, thou knowest not the sweetnesse of pleasure, that might be extracted out of providence, which is not φοβερόντισκυθρωπὸν, ’tis not a  supercilious and frowning authority, but ’tis the indulgent and vigilant eye of a father, ’tis the tender and affectionate care of a Creator. One blossome of Providence hath more joy and pleasure in it, then all thy Rose-buds. Where is there more delight then in the serving of a God? Look upon the Sacrifices, what mirth and feastings are there? ἀλλ̕οὐκοἼνουπλη̑θοςοὐδῃὌπτησιςτω̑νκρεω̑ντὸεὐφραι̑νονἐνται̑ςἑορται̑ς, ’Tis not the abundance of wine, nor the abundance of provision that makes the joy and pleasure there, ἀλλὰκαὶἐλπὶςἀγαθὴκαὶδόξατου̑παρει̑ναιτὸνθεὸν, εὐμενῃ̑καὶδέχεσθαιτὰγινόμενακεχαρισμένως, it’s the presence of a propitious Deity, accepting and blessing his worshippers, that fills the heart with greater joy then an Epicure is capable of. Never was there a Sect found out that did more oppose true pleasure, then the Epicureans did; they tell us that they take pleasure in honour, τὴνεὐδοξίανἡδὺἡγου̑νται, they look upon it as a lovely and delightful thing; yet by these tenents and practices of theirs, they quite staine and blot their honour, & so lose that piece of their pleasure which they pretend to. They say (if you’l believe them) that they take pleasure in friends, when as yet they constitute friendship, only κατὰτὴνκοινωνίανἐνται̑ςἡδοναι̑ς56 [as a partnership in pleasure], they must be boon companions, that must drink and be merry together, and run into the same excesse of riot. Have not sensitive creatures as much friendship as this amounts to? They tell us they love the continuation of pleasure, why then do they deny the immortality of the soul? Δει̑τὸναἰω̑ναμὴεἰ̑ναι,57 ’tis the voice of Epicurus and his swinish Sect, There must be no eternity. What, are they afraid their pleasure should last too long? or are they conscious (as they may very well be) that such impure pleasure is not at all durable? δὶςγὰροὐκἜστιγίνεσθαι, ’tis the voice of the same impure mouth, There is no repetition of life: what’s he afraid of having his pleasures reiterated? does he not expect a crown of Rose-buds the next spring? or is he so weary (as well he may be) of his pleasure, as that he will preferre a non-entity before it? This sure was the minde and desire of that Epicurean Poet Lucretius, though a Roman of very eminent parts, which yet were much abated by a Philtrum that was given him; a just punishment for him, who put so much of his pleasure in a cup; and this desperate slighter of Providence, at length laid violent hands upon himself.58 Are any of you enamour’d with such pleasure as this? you see what’s at the bottome of an Epicures cup: you see how impatient a rational being is of such unworthy delights, and how soon ’tis cloy’d with them. You see the misery of an Epicure, whose pleasure was only in this life, and yet would not last out this life neither. But all rational pleasure, tis not of a span long, but reaches to perpetuity. That Moralist whom I have so often mentioned, reckons up whole heaps of pleasure, which spring from the continuation of the soul. Ἀυτὰρἐγὼκαὶκ̓ει̑θιφίλουμεμνήσομ̕ἑταίρου.59 There (saies he) shall I have the pleasure of seeing all my  friends again, there I shall have the pleasure of more ennobled acts of Reason; γλυκὺνγεύσαςτὸναἰω̑να,60 there shal I taste the so much long’d for sweetnesse of another world. οὐδῃὁΚέρβερος, οὐδῃὁΚώκυτος, &c.61 [neither Cerberus nor Cocytus, etc.]. The fear of future misery cannot more terrifie a guilty soul (the fear of which ’tis like made Epicurus put off all thoughts of another life as much as he could, for else the fear of that would have been a worm in his Rose-bud of pleasure); but the fear of that has not more horror and amazement in it, then the hope of future happinesse has joy and delight annext to it.
Hoc habet animus Argumentum divinitatis, quod cum divina delectant62 [the soul has an argument for her divine nature in the fact that divine things delight her], as that serious Moralist Seneca speaks most excellently. The soul by the enjoyment of God comes neer the pleasure of God himself.
The Platonists tell us that Voluptatis Generatio fit ex infiniti & finiti copulatione[the generation of pleasure results from the union of the infinite and the finite], because the object of real pleasure must be αὐταρκῃς, τέλειον, ἱκανὸν, καθαρὸν, νοητὸν, μονειδῃς, ἀδιάλυτον, τὸὌντωςἀγαθόν63 [sufficient in itself, perfect, fitting, pure, comprehensible, unmixed, indissoluble, essentially good]. An intellectual eye married to the Sun, a naked will swimming, and bathing it self in its fairest good, the noblest affections leaping and dancing in the purest light, this speaks the highest apex and eminency of noetical pleasure; yet this pleasure of heaven it self, though by a most sacred and intimate connexion it be unseparably conjoyn’d with happinesse, yet ’tis not the very essence and formality of it, but does rather flow from it by way of concomitancy and resultancy.
That which most opposes this pleasure, is that prodigious and anomalous delight (not worthy the name of delight or pleasure) which damn’d spirits and souls degenerate farre below the pleasure of Epicurus, that delight which these take in wickednesse, in malice, in pride, in lies, in hypocrisie; all which speaks them the very excrements of Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. But you that are genuine Athenians, fill your selves with noetical delights, and envie not others their more vulgar Beotick pleasures; envie not the ranknesse of their Garlick and Onions, whilest you can feed and feast upon more Spiritual and Angelical dainties. Envy not the wanton Sparrows, nor the lascivious Goats, as long as you can meet with a purer and chaster delight in the virginity of intellectual embraces.
Do you devoure with a golden Epicurisme, the Arts and Sciences, the spirits and extractions of Authors; let not an Epicure take more pleasure in his garden then you can do in your studies; you may gather flowers there, you may gather fruit there. Convince the world that the very pith and marrow of pleasure does not dwell in the surface of the body, but in a deep and rational centre. Let your triumphant reason trample upon sense, and let no corporeal pleasures move you  or tempt you, but such as are justly and exactly subordinate to Reason; you come to Athens as to a fountain of learned pleasure; you come hither to snuff the Candle of the Lord that is within you, that it may burn the clearer and the brighter. You come to trim your Lamps, and to pour fresh Oile into them; your very work and employment is pleasure. Happy Athenians (if you knew your own happinesse). Let him be condemn’d to perpetual folly and ignorance, that does not prefer the pleasent light of the Candle of the Lord before all the Pageantry of sensitive objects, before all the flaunting and Comical joy of the world.
Yet could I shew you a more excellent way, for the pleasures of natural reason are but husks in comparisen of those Gospel-delights, those mysterious pleasures that lie hid in the bosome of a Christ; those Rose-buds that were dy’d in the bloud of a Saviour, who took himself the Thorns, & left you the roses. We have only lookt upon the pleasure of a candle, but there you have the Sun-shine of pleasure in its full glory.