To the Student in Astrology by William Lilly

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My friend, whoever thou art, that with so much ease shalt receive the benefit of my hard studies, and doth intend to proceed in this heavenly knowledge of the stars, wherein the great and admirable works of the invisible and alglorious God are so manifestly apparent.

In the first place, consider and admire thy Creator, and be thankful unto him, be thou humble, and let no natural knowledge, how profound and transcendent soever it be, elate thy minde to neglect that divine Providence, by whose all-seeing order and appointment, all things heavenly and earthly, have their constant motion, but the more thy knowledge is enlarged, the more do thou magnifie the power and wisdom of Almighty God, and strive to preseve thy self in his favour; being confident, the more holy thou art; and more neer to God, the purer Judgment thou shalt give.

Beware of pride and self-conceit, and remember how that long ago, no irrational Creature obey him, so long as he was Master of his own Reason and Passions, or until he subjected his Will to the unreasonable part.

But alas! when iniquity abounded, and man gave the reins to his own affection, and deserted reason, then every Beast, Creature and outward harmful thing, became rebellious and unserviceable to his command.

Stand fast, oh man! to thy God, and assured Principles, then consider thy own nobleness, how all created things, both present and to come, were for thy sake created; nay, for thy sake God became Man: thou art that Creature, who being conversant with Christ, liveth and reignest above the heavens, and sits above all power and authority.

How many Pre-eminences, Priviledges, Advantages hath God bestowed on thee? thou rangest above the heavens by Contemplation, conceivest the motion and magnitude of the stars; thou talkest with Angels, yea with God himself; thou has all Creatures within thy Dominion, and keepest the Devils in subjection: Do not then, for shame, deface thy Nature, or make thy self unworthy of such Gifts, or deprive thy self of that great Power, Glory and Blessedness God hath alotted thee, by casting from thee his fear, for possession of a few imperfect pleasures.

Having considered thy God, and what thy self art, during they being Gods servant; now receive instruction how in thy practice I would have thee carry thy self.

As thou daily conversest with the heavens, so instruct and form thy minde according to the image of Divinity; learn all the ornaments of Vertue, be sufficiently instructed therein; be humane, curteous, familiar to all, easie of access, afflict not the Miserable with terror of a harsh Judgment; in such cases, let them know their hard fate by degrees; direct them to call on God to divert his Judgments impending over them; be modest, conversant with the Learned, Civil, Sober man, covet not an cilate; give freely to the poor, both money and judgment: let no worldly wealth procure an Erroneous Judgment from thee, or such as may dishonour the Art, or this divine Science: Love good men, cherish those honest men that cordially Study this Art: Be sparing in delivering Judgment against the Common-wealth thou livest in.

Give not judgment of the death of thy Prince; yet I know experimentally, that Reges Subjucent Legibus Stellarum marry a wife of thy own; rejoyce in the number of they friends, avoid law and controversie: in they Study, be Totus in Illis that thou maist be Singulus in Art; be not extravagant or desrious to learn every Science, be not Aliquid in Omnibus; be faithful, tenacious, betray on ones secrets, no no I charge thee never divulge either friend or enemies trust committed to thy faith.

Instruct all men to Live well, be a good example thy self, avoid the fashion of the times, love thy own Native Country: exprobate no man, no not an enemy: be not dismayed, if ill spoken of, Conscientia Mille Testes; God suffers no sin unpunished, no lye unrevenged.

WILLIAM LILLY

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