William Lilly (essay date 1647)
SOURCE: "An Epistle to the Student in Astrology," in An Introduction to Astrology, G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., 1923, pp. 10-12.
[In the following excerpt, first published in 1647, Lilly defines some appropriate considerations for the disciple of astrology.]
My Friend, whoever thou art, that with so much ease shalt receive the benefit of my hard studies, and doest intend to proceed in this heavenly knowledge of the starres; In the first place, consider and admire thy Creator, be thankfull unto him, and be humble, and let no naturall knowledge, how profound or transcendant soever it be, elate thy mind to neglect that Divine Providence, by whose al-seeing order and appointment all things heavenly and earthly have their constant motion: the more thy knowledge is enlarged, the more doe thou magnify the power and wisdome of Almighty God: strive to preserve thyself in his favour; for the more holy thou art, and more neer to God, the purer judgment thou shalt give.
Beware of pride and self-conceit: remember how that long agoe no irrationall creature durst offend man the Macrocosme, but did faithfully serve and 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 harmfull thing, became rebellious to his command. Stand fast (oh, man) to thy God: 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,...
(The entire section is 703 words.)