Martyria in Latine Testatio, is a forme of speech by which the Orator or Speaker confirmeth some thign by his owne experience.
An example of Eliphaz the Themanite: “I have seene the foolish deepe rooted and suddenly I cursed his habitation.” Job.3.5.
Another of the Prophet David: “I have seene the wicked in great prosperitie, and florishing like a greene Bay tree, I passed by, and he was gone.” Psal.37.35.
Another of the same Prophet: “I have been yong, and now am old, yet I never saw the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.” verse.2.5.
In these examples here shewed, Eliphaz and David do prove that which they speake, by the experience which they had in their time soon come to passe Likewise ye Evangelist Iohn sayth: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heared, which we have seene with our eies, which we have looked upon, & c.” 1.Joh.1.1.
The Orator by this forme of speech speaketh of things removed from the knowledge of his hearers, & alledgeth his owne testimonie, grounded upon his owne knowledge, The judge reciteth
the causes or cases falling out in his time and determined with the consent of the best opinions in his presence or place of authoritie.
The Phisition maketh report of his own proofe in diseases and
cures, and sometime doth record them tot he great benefite and good of the posterity.
The Captaine which hath been in many battels, at many sieges, assaults, defences, and encounters, and hath had experience
in many stratagems, doth teach yonger souldiers, and confirmeth that which he counselleth by his owne testimonie founded upon often proofe.
The traveller maketh descriptions of Citties and Countries,
where hee hath beene, and declareth the sundry fashions, and strange manners of far nations and people.
The use of this figure.
This forme of speech is of great strength, either to confirme or
confute, especially if the Orator or speaker be a man of gravity, and knowen credit, whom this figure doth best beseeme. Also
it causeth a diligent attention and joyned with delectation: for by nature men take more pleasure to heare the author of experience speake himselfe viva voce, then either to reade his expereience written, or to receive it from others by report and tradition.
This figure being a forme of speech of so great, grave, and necessarie use, it is so much the more to be regarded that it
2. Publishing lewd profes odious, and mischevous.
bee not abused by the untruth of the testimonie which is wont to be the roote and Fountaine of many vanities, and wicked errors in the World, or by publishing the proofe of evill conclusions, whereby the practise thereof may be further increased.