This digital edition by Joseph H. Peterson, 1999; updated Jun 18, 2022.
Containing a most briefe Discourse Apologeticall, with a plaine Demonstration, and feruent Protestation, for the lawfull, sincere, very faithfull and Christian course, of the Philosophicall studies and exercises, of a certain studious Gentleman: An ancient Seruant to her most excellent Maiesty Royall.
Pro eo, vt me diligerent, detrahebant mihi: [drawing] Ego autem Orabam. Psalm. 108.
To the most Reuerend father in God, the Lord Archbishop of Canturbury,
Primate and Metropolitane of all England, one of her Maiesties
most honorable priuy Counsaile: my singular good Lord.
Of which Bookes, and Treatises, some are printed, and
some vnprinted. The printed Bookes, and Treatises are
The vnprinted Bookes and Treatises, are these:
some, perfectly finished: and some, yet vnfinished.
With many other bookes, pamphlets, discourses, inuentions,
and conclusions, in diuers Artes and matters:
whose names, need not in this Abstract to be notified: The
most part of all which, here specified, lie heere before your
Honours vpon the table, on your left hand. But by other
bookes and writings, of an other sort, (if it so please God,
and that he wil grant me life, health, and due maintenance
thereto, for some ten or twelue yeares next ensuing) I may,
hereafter make plaine, and without doubt, this sentence to
be true, Plura latent, quàm patent.
Thus far (my good Lord) haue I set downe this Catalogus,
out of the foresaid sixt Chapter, of the booke, whose
title is this:
To which compendious rehearsall, doth now belong an Appendix, of thefe two last yeeres: In which I haue had many iust occasions, to confesse, that Homo Homini Deus, and Homo Homini Lupus, was and is an Argument, worthy of the decyphering, & large discussing: as may, one day, hereafter (by Gods helpe) be published, in some maner very strange. And besides all the rehearsed books, & treatises of my writing, or handling hitherto, I haue iust cause, lately giuen me to write & publish a Treatise, with Title, De Horizonte Aeternitatis: to make euident, that one Andreas Libauius, in a booke of his, printed the last yeere, hath vnduly considered a phrase of my Monas Hieroglyphica: to his misliking: by his own vnskilfulnes in such matter: and not vnderstanding my apt application thereof, in one of the very principal places, of the whole book. And this booke of mine, (by Gods help and fauour) shall be dedicated vnto her moft excellent maiesty Roiall: And this Treatise doth containe three bookes,
It may now be here also remembred, that almost three yeeres after the writing of this letter, I did somewhat satisfie the request of an honorable friend in Court, by speedilie penning some matter concerning her maiesties Sea-soueraigntie: vnder this title:
¶ Truly I haue great cause to praise and thanke God, for your graces verie charitable vsing of me: both in sundry points else, & also in your fauorable yelding to, yea & notifying the due meanes for the performance of her Sacred Maiesties most gracious and bountifull disposition, resolution, and very royall beginning, to restore and giue vnto me (her Ancient faithfull seruant) some due maintenance: to leade the rest of my old daies, in some quiet and comfort: with habilitie, to retaine some speedy, faire, and Orthographicall writers, about me; and the same skilfull in Latine and Greeke (at the least:) aswell for mine owne bookes,and workes, faire and correctly to be written (such I meane, as either her most excellent Maiestie, out of the premisses will make choise of, or command to be finished or published; or such of them, as your grace shall thinke meete or worthy for my farther labor to be bestowed on:) as else for the speedy, faire, and true writing out of other ancient Authors their good and rare workes, in greeke or Latine which by Gods prouidence, haue been preserued frõ the spoile made of my Librarie, & of all my moueable goods here: &c. Anno. 1583. + In which Librarie, were about 4000 bookes: whereof, 700. were anciently written by hande: Some in Greeke, some in Latine, some in Hebrue: And some in other languages (as may by the whole Catalogus thereof appeare.) But the great losses and dammages which in sundry sorts I haue sustained, do not so much grieue my hart, as the rash, lewde, fond, and most vntrue fables and reports of me, and my studies philosophicall, haue done, & yet do: which cõmonly, after their first hatching, and diuelish deuising, immediatly with great speede, are generally all the Realme ouerspread; and to some, seeme true; to other, they are doubtfull: and to only the wise, modest, discreet, godly, and charitable (and chiefelie to such as haue some acquaintance with me) they appeare, and are knowne to be fables, vntruths, and vtterly false reports, and sclaunders. Well, this shall be my last charitable giuing of warning, and feruent protestation to my Countrimen and all other in this case:
+ Although that my last voyage beyond ye Seas, was duly vndertaken (by her Maiesties good fauour and licence) as by the same words may appeare in the Letter, written by the right honourable Lord Threasorer, vnto your grace in my behalfe, and her most excellent maiestie willing his honor so to do. Anno. 1590. the 20. of Ianuarie.
[A feruent protestatiõ]
Before the Almighty our God, and your Lordships good grace, this day, on the perill of my soules damnation (if I lie, or take his name in vaine herein) I take the same God, to be my witnese; That, with all my hart, with all my soule, with all my strength, power, and vnderstanding (according to the measure thereof, which the Almighty hath giuen me) for the most part of the time, from my youth hitherto, I haue vsed, and still vse, good, lawfull, honest, christian, and diuinely prescribed meanes, to attaine to the knowledge of those truthes, which are meet, and necessary for me to know; and wherwith to do his diuine Maiesty such seruice, as hee hath, doth, and will call me vnto, during this my life: for his honor and glory aduancing, and for the benefit, and commoditie publique of this kingdome; so much, as by the will, and purpose of God, shall lie in my skill, and hability to performe: as a true, faithfull, and most sincerely dutifull seruant, to our most gratious and incomparable Queene Elizabeth, and as a very comfortable fellow-member of the body politique, gouerned vnder the scepter Royal of our earthly Supreame head (Queene Elizabeth) and as a liuely sympathicall, and true symetricall fellow-member, of that holy and mysticall body, Catholicklie extended and placed (wheresoeuer) on the earth: in the view, knowledge, direction, protection, illumination, and consolation of the Almighty, most blessed, most holy, most glorious, comaiesticall, coëternall, and coëssentiall Trinity: The head of that body, being only our Redeemer, Christ Iesus, perfect God and perfect man: whose returne in glory, we faithfully awaite, and daily, do very earnestly cry vnto him to hasten his second comming, for his electes sake: iniquity doth so on this earth, abound, and preuaile, and true faith with charity, and Euangelicall simplicity, haue but colde, slender, and vncertaine intertainement, among the worldly-wise men of this worlde.
Therefore (herein concluding) I beseech the Almighty
God, most aboundantly to increase and cofirme your graces
heauenly wisdome, and endue you with all the rest of his heauenly
gifts, for the relieuing, refreshing, and comforting, both
bodily and spiritually, his little flocke of the faithfull, yet militant
here on earth. Amen.
Good my Lord, I beseech your grace, to allowe of my plaine and comfortable Epilogus, for this matter at this time. Seeing, my studious exercises, and conuersation ciuile, may be aboundantly testified, to my good credit, in the most partes of all Christendome: and that, by all degrees of Nobility, by al degrees of the learned, and by very many other, of godly and Christian disposition, for the space of 46. yeeres triall: (as appeareth by the Recordes lately viewed by two honourable witnesses, by Commission from her Maiesty,) And seeing, for these 36. yeeres, last past, I haue beene her most excellent Maiesties very true, faithfull, and dutifull seruaunt; At whose royall mouth, I neuer receiued any one word of reproch; but all of fauor, and grace: In whose princely countenance, I neuer perceiued frowne toward me, or discontented regard, or view on me: but at all times fauorable, and gracious: to the great ioy and comfort of my true, faithfull, and loyall hart. And (thirdly) Seeing, the workes of my handes, and wordes of my mouth (heere before notified, in the Schedule of my bookes, and writings) may beare liuely witnesse of the thoughts of my hart, and inclination of my minde, generally, (as all wise men do know, and Christ himselfe doth auouch) It might, in manner, seeme needlesse, thus carefully (though most briefely and speedily) to haue warned or confounded the scornefull, the malicious, the proud, and the rash in their vntrue reports, opinions, and fables of my studies, or exercises Philosophicall: but that, it is of more importance, that the godly, the honest, the modest, the discreet, graue, and charitable Christians (English or other,) louers of Iustice, truth, and good learning, may, hereby, receiue certaine comfort in themselues (to perceiue, that Veritas tandem præualebit) and sufficiently be weaponed and armed with sound truth, to defende me against such kinde of my aduersaries: if hereafter they will begin afresh, or hould on, obstinately, in their former errors, vaine imaginations, false reportes, and most vngodly sclanders of me and my studies. ¶ Therefore, (to make all this cause, foreuer, before God and man, out of all doubt:) Seeing, your Lordships good grace, are, as it were, our high Priest, and chiefe Ecclesiasticall minister, (vnder our most dread and Soueraigne Ladie, Queene Elizabeth) to whose censure and iudgement, I submit all my studies and exercises; yea all my bookes, past, present and hereafter to be written, by me (of my own skill, iudgement, or opinion,) I do, at this present time, most humbly, sincerelie, and vnfainedly, and in the name of Almighty God, (yea for his honor and glory) request, and beseech your Grace, (when, and as conueniently you may) to be well and throughlie certified of me, what I am, Intus & in cute: Reuerendissime in Christo Pater, & Dignissime Archipræsul, cognosce & agnosce vultum tàm internum, quàm externum pecoris tui: And wherein I haue vsed, doe or shall vse, pen, speech, or conuersation, otherwise then as it appertaineth to a faithfull, carefull, sincere, and humble seruant of Christ Iesu, That your grace woulde vouchsafe to aduertise me. So, I trust, Vltima respondebunt primis: in such sort, as this Authentick Recorde in latine annexed (ad perpetuam rei memoriam,) doth testifie: hauing neuer, hitherto, had occasion to shewe that, in any place of Christendome: to testifie better of me, then they had proofe of me, themselues, by my conuersation among them. (The Almighty, therefore, be highly thanked, praised, honored, and glorified, for euer and euer, Amen.)
discourse, I most humbly, and reuerently, exhibit to
your graces view, and perusing, the originall monu-
ment, and Authenticke Record, before men-
tioned, faire written in parchment, with
the seale whole, and perfect, duly ap-
pendant: as I haue 46. yeeres, and
somewhat longer, preserued
it. The true copy wher-
of, your grace doth
see, to be verba-
tim, as fol-
VNiuersis Sanctæ matris Ecclesiæ filijs, ad quos præsentes literæ peruenturæ sunt, Vicecancellarius Cætusq; omnis Regentium & non Regentium, Vniuersitatis Cantabrigiæ, Salutem in Domino sempiternam. Conditiones & merita hominum in nostra Vniuersitate studentium, affectu sincero perpendentes, eos solos testimonio nostro ornandos esse arbitramur, quos scimus ob eruditionem, & morum probitatem promeritos esse, vt istud beneficium à nobis consequantur: Quamobrem, cùm hoc tempore, ipsa veritas testimonium nostrum sibi postulat, vestræ pietati, per has literas significamus, Quòd dilectus nobis in Christi, Ioannes Dee, Artium Magister, in dicta nostra vniuersitate, foeliciter versatus, plurimam sibi & doctrinæ & honestatis laudem comparauit: De cuius gradu, & conuersatione (quæ honestissima semper fuit,) ne qua vspiam ambiguitas, aut quæstio oriri possit, apud eos, quibus huius viri virtutes haud satis innotuerint, visum est nobis, in dicti Joannis gratiam, has literas nostra Testimoniales conscribere; & conscriptas, publico Academiæ nosræ sigilío, obsignare: quò, maiorem apud vos authoritatem, & pondus literæ nostræ habeant Bene valete. Datum Cantabrigiæ in plena Conuocatione Magistrorum Regentium, & non Regentium, Academiæ prædictæ: 14. Calend. Aprilis, Anno à Christo nato. 1548.
[For certaine due respects the very image of the foresaid seale, is not heere in portraiture published.]
THe Almightie and most mercifull God, the Father;
for his only Sonne (our Redeemer) Iesus Christ his
sake: by his holy spirit, so direct, blesse, and prosper all
my studies, and exercises Philosophicall, (yea, all my
thoughts, words, and deedes) henceforward, euen to the
very moment of my departing from this world, That I
may euidently and aboundantly be found, and vndoubtedly
acknowledged of the wise and just, to haue beene a
zealous and faithfull student in the Schoole of Verity, and
an Ancient Graduate in the Schoole of Charity: to the
honor and glory of the same God Almighty, and to the
sound cõfort and confirming of such as faithfully loue &
feare his diuine Maiestie, and vnfeinedly continue in labor
to do good, on earth: when, while, to whome, and
as they may, Amen.
Very speedily written, this twelfth euen, and twelfth day, in my poore Cottage, at Mortlake: Anno. 1595. currente à Natiuitate Christi: ast, An. 1594. Completo, à Conceptione eiusdem, cum nouem præterea mensibus, Completis.
¶ AT LONDON
Printed by Peter Short, dwelling on Bred-
¶ AT LONDON
Printed by Peter Short, dwelling on Bred-