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ROBERT GREVILLE, lord Brook, was grandson of Robert, younger brother of Fulk Greville, lord Brook, cousin and friend of sir Philip Sidney, &c. He was born in 1607, and was educated at Cambridge.
During the civil wars, he sided with the parliament, was made lieutenant of Warwickshire, and colonel in the army. Having reduced Warwickshire, he advanced into Staffordshire, in the command of those forces which were sent to attack the cathedral of Litchfield. This cathedral is dedicated to St. Chad. On the festival of that saint, he ordered his men to storm the adjoining close, to which lord Chesterfield had retired with a body of the king's forces. But before his orders
could be executed, he received a musket shot in the eye from a common soldier, of which he instantly expired. By some of the royalists, and particularly by the votaries of St. Chad, the shot was said to have been directed by the saint, and himself was considered as a monument of divine vengeance. By the opposite party, he was reverenced as a martyr to li berty. His death happened in 1643.
Lord Brook was a zealous patriot; he and lord Say had determined, should their own efforts and those of their countrymen be ineffectual to establish liberty, to transport themselves to New England; and the design was frustrated only by a sudden turn of affairs. He is one of those very few English cotemporary authors, whom Milton quotes with high commendation. He is curiously metaphysical; to most readers, he would probably appear dark; though the following passage, I imagine, will be found sufficiently intelligible. It contains the important metaphysical truth, that minds of the first order are the combined result of warm affections, of passion, and of intellectual excellence. The small treatise, whence the specimen is extracted, was printed in 1640, and is entitled "The Nature of Truth, its union
and unity with the Soul, which is one in its es sence, faculties, acts; one with Truth-discussed by the Right Honorable Robert, Lord Brook, in a Letter to a private Friend."
The Difference betwixt Knowledge and Affection discussed.
It may be that what hath been disputed will be granted; but there is yet an objection which requireth solution.
Object. If all being differeth only in degrees, not nature; if knowledge, affection, light, activity, be all one; whence is it that even amongst christian men, holy, spiritual men, men of largest affections, (and the affections are the activity, the main of the soul) I say men of the largest affections are esteemed to know least of God. And others, whose affections are, as it were, benumbed, and all activity is placed in their brain, understand more of the divine nature?
Doth it not appear from hence, say they, that all being is not one, differing only in degrees: but that there are even different natures, amongst which one may excel, whilst the other is deprest?
Sol. I could tell these men, who start the objection, that they deem the light in the head more than the love in the heart; and then I shall say,
that with them the head is the higher degree, the heart the lower degree of light, and so all is but a different light; from whence affection, being judgment in its infancy, ceaseth when knowledge groweth mature: as the heat and blaze of fire is but its labouring towards purity and perfection, which therefore are no more when the clear flame reacheth its element. But other men think otherwise, and they do pitch all in the affections, and the meaner light in the understanding; and so turning the table, still one shall be the parcel of, or a step to the other, and each carry along both in equal measure, according to reality how much true affection, so much knowledge and vice versa; as I shall shew in other two answers, on which I fix the strength of my thoughts in this point. And therefore,
Secondly, I affirm confidently, and I hope truly, that he who soars upon the wings of affection, and laying himself in the arms of Jesus Christ, though he amuse not his head with the mystical nature of the Trinity, with the procession of the spirit, with the incarna tion of Jesus Christ, attempting to make that holy pil, touching the ark, this glory which is too high for him, losing himself while he laboureth to see how human nature can be raised so high, divine condescend so low, as to bring forth the hypostatical union; I say, such a one knoweth more of God than the other,
It is often seen, a working head is like an over hot liver, burneth up the heart, and so ruineth both: whereas sweet humble affections are the only way to keep the poor creature in a constancy of spiritual health. And in this care the apostle to Titus forbids "foolish questions, endless genealogies, contentions, and brawlings about the law."
This law is the rule of life; and if we know not the law, we cannot keep the law, and so we must perish; and yet we find the search of this forbidden.
Object. Some will say here is meant the ceremonial law.
Ans. I will allow it; but is not the ceremonial included under the second precept? The people upon Christ's sermon, wherein he taught, that "he that looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her in his heart," (and so he gave the law its full latitude) say, "he speaketh as one that hath authority, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees:" conceiving it their duty and happiness to know the law in its utmost limits; and yet we are restrained from any brain-head, nice enquiry, even into the law, scil. not to busy our heads with the knowing part, in over great proportion, but labour to bring our knowledge to practice,
If then all such knowledge (I mean all knowledge of this nature) be forbidden, it is because it is not