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were in that climate unseen. Matter of generation; “ Annon sicut lac mulsisti me, et sicut ca“seum coagulasti me ?" &c. Matter of minerals; “ Habet argentum venarum suarum principia : et o auro locus est in quo conflatur, ferrum de terra “ tollitur, et lapis solutus calore in æs vertitur :" and so forwards in that chapter.
So likewise in the person of Solomon the king, we see the gift or endowment of wisdom and learning, both in Solomon's petition, and in God's assent thereunto, preferred before all other terrene and temporal felicity. By virtue of which grant or donative of God, Solomon became enabled, not only to write those excellent parables, or aphorisms concerning divine and moral philosophy; but also to compile a natural history of all verdure, from the cedar
upon the mountain to the moss upon the wall, (which is but a rudiment between putrefaction and an herb,) and also of all things that breathe or move. Nay, the same Solomon the king, although he excelled in the glory of treasure and magnificent buildings, of shipping and navigation, of service and attendance, of fame and renown, and the like, yet he maketh no claim to any of those glories, but only to the glory of inquisition of truth; for so he saith expressly, “ The glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the “ glory of the king is to find it out;" as if, according to the innocent play of children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, to the end to have them found out; and as if kings could not obtain a greater honour than to be God's playfellows in that
game; considering the great commandment of wits and means, whereby nothing needeth to be hidden from them.
Neither did the dispensation of God vary in the times after our Saviour came into the world; for our Saviour himself did first shew his power to subdue ignorance, by his conference with the priests and doctors of the law, before he shewed his
power to subdue nature by his miracles. And the coming of the Holy Spirit was chiefly figured and expressed in the similitude and gift of tongues, which are but ót vehicula scientiæ."
So in the election of those instruments, which it pleased God to use for the plantation of the faith, notwithstanding that at the first he did employ persons altogether unlearned, otherwise than by inspiration, more evidently to declare his immediate working, and to abase all human wisdom or knowledge; yet, nevertheless, that counsel of his was no sooner performed, but in the next vicissitude and succession he did send his divine truth into the world, waited on with other learnings, as with servants or handmaids : for so we see St. Paul, who was the only learned amongst the apostles, had his pen most used in the Scriptures of the New Testament.
So again, we find that many of the ancient bishops and fathers of the church were excellently read, and studied in all the learning of the heathen ; insomuch, that the edict of the emperor Julianus, whereby it was interdicted unto Christians to be admitted into schools, lectures, or exercises of learning, was esteemed and accounted a more pernicious engine and machination against the Christian faith, than were all the sanguinary prosecutions of his predecessors; neither could the emulation and jealousy of Gregory the First of that name, bishop of Rome, ever obtain the opinion of piety or devotion ; but contrariwise received the censure of humour, malignity, and pusillanimity, even amongst holy men; in that he designed to obliterate and extinguish the memory of heathen antiquity and authors. But contrariwise, it was the Christian church, which, amidst the inundations of the Scythians on the one side from the north-west, and the Saracens from the east, did preserve, in the sacred lap and bosom thereof, the precious relics even of heathen learning, which otherwise had been extinguished, as if no such thing had ever been.
And we see before our eyes, that in the ourselves and our fathers, when it pleased God to call the church of Rome to account for their degenerate manners and ceremonies, and sundry doctrines obnoxious, and framed to uphold the same abuses ; at one and the same time it was ordained by the Divine Providence, that there should attend withal a renovation, and new spring of all other knowledges: and, on the other side, we see the Jesuits, (who partly in themselves, and partly by the emulation and provocation of their example, have much quickened and strengthened the state of learning,) we see, I say, what notable service and reparation they have done to the Roman see.
Wherefore, to conclude this part, let it be observed, that there be two principal duties and services, besides ornament and illustration, which philosophy and human learning do perform to faith and religion. The one, because they are an effectual inducement to the exaltation of the glory of God: For as the Psalms and other Scriptures do often invite us to consider and magnify the great and wonderful works of God; so if we should rest only in the contemplation of the exterior of them, as they first offer themselves to our senses, we should do a like injury unto the majesty of God, as if we should judge or construe of the store of some excellent jeweller, by that only which is set out toward the street in his shop. The other, because they minister a singular help and preservative against unbelief and error: for our Saviour saith, “ You err, “ not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of
God;" laying before us two books or volumes to study, if we will be secured from error; first, the Scriptures, revealing the will of God; and then the creatures expressing his power: whereof the latter is a key unto the former : not only opening our un
a derstanding to conceive the true sense of the Scriptures, by the general notions of reason and rules of speech; but chiefly opening our belief, in drawing us into a due meditation of the omnipotency of God, which is chiefly signed and engraven upon his works. Thus much therefore for divine testimony and evidence concerning the true dignity and value of learning
As for human proofs, it is so large a field, as, in a discourse of this nature and brevity, it is fit rather to use choice of those things which we shall produce, than to embrace the variety of them. First, therefore, in the degrees of human honour amongst the heathen, it was the highest to obtain to a veneration and adoration as a God. This unto the Christians is as the forbidden fruit. But we speak now separately of human testimony: according to which, that which the Grecians call “ apotheosis," and the Latins, “ relatio inter divos," was the supreme honour which man could attribute unto man : especially when it was given, not by a formal decree or act of state, as it was used among the Roman emperors, but by an inward assent and belief. Which honour, being so high, had also a degree or middle term : for there were reckoned, above human honours, honours heroical and divine : in the attribution and distribution of which honours, we see, antiquity made this difference: that whereas founders and uniters of states and cities, lawgivers, extirpers of tyrants, fathers of the people, and other eminent persons in civil merit, were honoured but with the titles of worthies or demi-gods ; such as were Hercules, Theseus, Minos, Romulus, and the like: on the other side, such as were inventors and authors of new arts, endowments, and commodities towards man's life, were ever consecrated amongst the gods themselves : as were Ceres, Bacchus, Mercurius, Apollo, and others: and justly; for the merit of the former is confined within the circle of an age or