The Prince Must Foresee ~ Bousset

GREBBER, Pieter de King 
David in Prayer 
1635-40

Wise men say, and not without reason, that whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who have been, and ever will be, animated by the same passions and thus they must necessarily have the same results. - Heretic Niccol├│ Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517

The prince must foresee

It is not enough for the prince to see: he must foresee. “The prudent man saw the evil, and hid himself; the simple passed on, and suffered loss.” Prov.22:3

‘In the good day enjoy good things, and beware beforehand of the evil day: for God hath made both the one and the other, that man may not find against him any just complaint.’ Eccles.7:15

One need not have a foresight that is full of care and disquiet, which troubles in time of good fortune; but one must have a foresight full of precaution, which keeps bad fortune from taking us unprepared. ‘Remember poverty is the time of abundance, and the necessities of poverty in the day of riches. From the morning until the evening the time shall be changed, and all these are swift in the eyes of God.’ Ecclus.18:25-26 We have seen David, from having foreseen the future, ruin the party of Absalom, and stifle the rebellion of Seba at its birth. Roboam, Amasias, and the others whose aberrations we have seen, foresaw nothing, and fell. Examples of both kinds of happening are innumerable. There is hardly a man touched by a great present evil who makes no effort to pull himself out of it; thus the whole of wisdom lies in foreseeing. The man gifted with foresight takes care of small things, because he sees that great ones depend on them. ‘He that contemneth small things, shall fall by little and little.’ Ecclus. 19:1 In most matters it is not so much a thing itself as its consequences which one must fear; whosoever does not understand this understands nothing. Health depends more on precautions than on remedies. ‘learn before thou speak. Before sickness take a medicine’ Ecclus18:19-20 If individuals are short-sighted, that may be bearable. The prince must always be far-seeing, and not close himself up within his own world. ‘The life of a man is in the number of his days: but the days of Israel are innumerable’ Ecclus. 37:28 O prince! Look then to posterity. You will die: but your state must be immortal. ~ Bousset Politics drawn from Holy Scripture.

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