The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last, was the light of reason; and his Sabbath work ever since, is the illumination of his Spirit. First he breathed light, upon the face of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light, into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light, into the face of his chosen.
The poet, that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure, to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below;
so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practice it not, that clear, and round dealing, is the honor of man's nature; and that mixture of falsehood, is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it.
For these winding, and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent, which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice, that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be found false and perfidious. And therefore Montaigne said prettily, when he inquired the reason why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace and such an odious charge? Saith he, If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave toward God, and a coward toward men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.
Surely the wickedness of falsehood, and breach of faith, cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal, to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth.