Division of Perturbations.

Division of Perturbations.

Perturbations and passions, which trouble the fantasy, though they dwell between the confines of sense and reason, yet they rather follow sense than reason because they are drowned in corporeal organs of sense. They are commonly reduced into two inclinations, irascible and concupiscible. The Thomists subdivide them into eleven, six in the coveting, and five in the invading. Aristotle reduceth all to pleasure and pain, Plato to love and hatred, Vives to good and bad. If good, it is present, and then we absolutely joy and love; or to come, and then we desire and hope for it. If evil, we absolutely hate it; if present, it is sorrow; if to come, fear. These four passions Bernard compares "to the wheels of a chariot, by which we are carried in this world." All other passions are subordinate unto these four, or six, as some will: love, joy, desire, hatred, sorrow, fear; the rest, as anger, envy, emulation, pride, jealousy, anxiety, mercy, shame, discontent, despair, ambition, avarice, &c., are reducible unto the first; and if they be immoderate, they consume the spirits, and melancholy is especially caused by them. Some few discreet men there are, that can govern themselves, and curb in these inordinate affections, by religion, philosophy, and such divine precepts, of meekness, patience, and the like; but most part for want of government, out of indiscretion, ignorance, they suffer themselves wholly to be led by sense, and are so far from repressing rebellious inclinations, that they give all encouragement unto them, leaving the reins, and using all provocations to further them: bad by nature, worse by art, discipline, custom, education, and a perverse will of their own, they follow on, wheresoever their unbridled affection will transport them, and do more out of custom, self-will, than out of reason. Contumax voluntas, as Melancthon calls it, malum facit: this stubborn will of ours perverts judgment, which sees and knows what should and ought to be done, and yet will not do it. Mancipia gulæ, slaves to their several lusts and appetite, they precipitate and plunge themselves into a labyrinth of cares blinded with lust, blinded with ambition; "They seek that at God's hands which they may give unto themselves, if they could but refrain from those cares and perturbations, wherewith they continually macerate their minds." But giving way to these violent passions of fear, grief, shame, revenge, hatred, malice, &c., they are torn in pieces. as Actæon was with his dogs, and crucify their own souls.

Previous Next