The previous post in this series may be found here.
Upon the Circulation of Blood:
It is no confessed maxim, yet it is an opinion which many physicians do confidently assert, that the motion of the bloody circular, and that the blood which is in the feet has a reflux back into the heart. But it is not for me, if there be a difference between those who are of the secrets of nature to undertake the decision of it least it be said of me, as it was of Moses, when he mediated between two Israelites who strove, Who made you a judge over us?
I shall therefore turn my thoughts from it, the circulation which is in the civil body of society, where in the affections, habits, manners, as a kind of spiritual blood, maybe truly affirmed both the flow upward from the inferior parts of it to the superior, and to descend again from the superior parts of it to the inferior.
But yet this disproportion is to be observed, that the effluxes [outward flow] both of good and evil which moves downward, are more quick and operative then those which ascend from below upwards. Great persons by their manners and carriage do sooner make impressions upon persons of a lower rank than they are able to reflect back upon them again.
This moral circulation therefore make teach those who are as the noble and architectual parts of the civil body for power and influence to be exact and circumspect and there converse and living, that others, upon whom their influences fall, maybe drawn down by them to a level of holiness, and not be seduced to last and intemperancies either example.
If he who is rightly named Copronimus have a fancy smell of horse-dung, as to besmear himself with it, all his courtiers in a servile compliance on him will qualify themselves for his company by using no other perfumes. Yea, if greater beastialities be use by other princes, they’re not likely to lack of followers. The whole court will soon, like Jacob’s sheep and goats, spotted and speckled, as being apt to conceive, with some tincture of the color which they see in those waters where of the daily drink [Genesis 30:37-43]. It’s being a hard thing to be in Obadiah that fears God greatly and Ahab’s Court [1 Kings 18:1-6], or a saint in Nero’s household.
But though evil and those who are in high places the most infectious, Anna Good morning powerful but it isn’t others, Devices of those who are in a lower station have a tendency to corrupt the greatest, as the head and the body naturally it i.s often distempered by the feet.
And so those virtues that are also operative to influence those that are in dignity about them, to the making of themselves evil, if not more good. The luster of Saint John’s sanctity, though clothed with camel’s hair, exhorts reverence from Herod in his roads; and Paul’s excellent demeanor of himself at the bar well my overcomes Agrippa up on the bench to become a Christian. Acts 25:23-27.
Oh how careful then should every man be who in whatever condition he stands as a part of the body of humane society to abhor evil and to cleave to that which is good. When the effects both of the one and the other are not terminated in ourselves, but do more or less benefit or hurt others as well as ourselves.