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other inconveniences, whereunto the condition of man is subject. For that nothing parcel of the world is denied to man's inquiry and invention, he doth in another place rule over, when he saith, “ The spirit of

man is as the lamp of God, wherewith he searcheth “ the inwardness of all secrets." If then such be the capacity and receipt of the mind of man, it is manifest, that there is no danger at all in the proportion or quantity of knowledge, how large soever, lest it should make it swell or out-compass itself; no, but it is merely the quality of knowledge, which, be it in quantity more or less, if it be taken without the true corrective thereof, hath in it some nature of venom or malignity, and some effects of that venom, which is ventosity or swelling. This corrective spice, the mixture whereof maketh knowledge so sovereign, is charity, which the apostle immediately addeth to the former clause; for so he saith, “ knowledge bloweth

up, but charity buildeth up;” not unlike unto that which he delivereth in another place : “ If I spake,” saith he,“ with the tongues of men and angels, and “ had not charity, it were but as a tinkling cymbal;" not but that it is an excellent thing to speak with the tongues of men and angels, but because, if it be severed from charity, and not referred to the good of men and mankind, it hath rather a sounding and unworthy glory, than a meriting and substantial virtue. And as for that censure of Solomon, concerning the excess of writing and reading books, and the anxiety of spirit which redoundeth from knowledge; and that admonition of St. Paul,

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“ be not seduced by vain philosophy;" let those places be rightly understood, and they do indeed excellently set forth the true bounds and limitations, whereby humán knowledge is confined and circumscribed ; and yet without any such contracting or coarctation, but that it may comprehend all the universal nature of things; for these limitations are three: the first, that we do not so place our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our mortality. The second, that we make application of our knowledge, to give ourselves repose and contentment, and not distaste or repining. The third, that we do not presume by the contemplation of nature to attain to the mysteries of God. For as touching the first of these, Solomon doth excellently expound himself in another place of the same book, where he saith; “ I “saw well that knowledge recedeth as far from igno

rance, as light doth from darkness; and that the wise “man's eyes keep watch in his head, whereas the fool “ roundeth about in darkness : but withal I learned, " that the same mortality involveth them both.” And for the second, certain it is, there is no vexation or anxiety of mind which resulteth from knowledge, otherwise than merely by accident; for all knowledge, and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself: but when men fall to framing conclusions out of their knowledge, applying it to their particular, and ministering to themselves thereby weak fears or vast desires, there groweth that carefulness and trouble of mind which is spoken of: for then knowledge is no more.



“Lumen siccum,” whereof Heraclitus the profound said, “ Lumen siccum optima anima ;” but it becometh « Lumen madidum, or maceratum," being steeped and infused in the humours of the affections. And as for the third point, it deserveth to be a little stood upon, and not to be lightly passed over : for if any man shall think by view and inquiry into these sensible and material things to attain that light, whereby he may reveal unto himself the nature or will of God, then indeed is he spoiled by vain philosophy : for the contemplation of God's creatures and works produceth (having regard to the works and creatures themselves) knowledge; but having regard to God, no perfect knowledge, but wonder, which is broken knowledge. And therefore it was most aptly said by one of Plato's school,-“ That “ the sense of man carrieth a resemblance with the

sun, which, as we see, openeth and revealeth all the “ terrestrial globe; but then again it obscureth and “ concealeth the stars and celestial globe : so doth the

sense discover natural things, but it darkeneth and shutteth


divine.” And hence it is true, that it hath proceeded, that divers great learned men have been heretical, whilst they have sought to fly up to the secrets of the Deity by the waxen wings of the senses. And as for the conceit that too much knowledge should incline a man to atheism, and that the ignorance of second causes should make a more devout dependence upon God which is the first cause; First, it is good to ask the question which Job asked of his friends : “ Will you lie for God, as one man

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will do for another, to gratify him?" For certain it is that God worketh nothing in nature but by second causes; and if they would have it otherwise believed, it is mere imposture, as it were in favour towards God; and nothing else but to offer to the Author of truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie. But farther, it is an assured truth, and a conclusion of experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of philosophy may incline the mind of man to atheism, but a farther proceeding therein doth bring the mind back again to religion ; for in the entrance of philosophy, when the second causes, which are next unto the senses, do offer themselves to the mind of man, if it dwell and stay there, it may induce some oblivion of the highest cause ; but when a man passeth on farther, and seeth the dependence of causes, and the works of Providence; then, according to the allegory of the poets, he will easily believe that the highest link of nature's chain must needs be tied to the foot of Jupiter's chair. To conclude therefore, let no man, upon a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy ; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both; only let men beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together.


And as for the disgraces which learning receiveth
from politicians, they be of this nature; that learning
doth soften men's minds, and makes them more
unapt for the honour and exercise of arms; that it
doth mar and pervert men's dispositions for matter
of government and policy; in making them too
curious and irresolute by variety of reading; or too
peremptory or positive by strictness of rules and
axioms; or too immoderate and overweening by
reason of the greatness of examples; or too incom-
patible and differing from the times, by reason of
the dissimilitude of examples; or at least, that it
doth divert men's travails from action and business,
and bringeth them to a love of leisure and private-
ness; and that it doth bring into states a relaxation
of discipline, whilst every man is more ready to
argue, than to obey and execute. Out of this con-
ceit, Cato, surnamed the Censor, one of the wisest
men indeed that ever lived, when Carneades the
philosopher came in embassage to Rome, and that
the young men of Rome began to flock about him,
being allured with the sweetness and majesty of
his eloquence and learning, gave counsel in open
senate, that they should give him his dispatch with
all speed, lest he should infect and inchant the
minds and affections of the youth, and at unawares
bring in an alteration of the manners and customs of
the state. Out of the same conceit, or humour,
did Virgil, turning his pen to the advantage of his
country, and the disadvantage of his own profession,
make a kind of separation between policy and go-

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