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framed particulars; yet I may excite your princely cogitations to visit the excellent treasure of your own mind, and thence to extract particulars for this purpose, agreeably to your magnanimity and wisdom.

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LEARNING, HOW DISCREDITED.

IN the entrance to the former of these, to clear the way, and, as it were, to make silence, to have the true testimonies concerning the dignity of learning to be better heard, without the interruption of tacit objections; I think good to deliver it from the discredits and disgraces which it hath received, all from ignorance, but ignorance severally disguised; appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy of divines, sometimes in the severity and arrogancy of politicians, and sometimes in the errors and imperfections of learned men themselves.

I hear the former sort say, that knowledge is of those things which are to be accepted of with great limitation and caution; that the aspiring to overmuch knowledge, was the original temptation and sin, whereupon ensued the fall of man; that knowledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, and therefore where it entereth into a man it makes him

swell; "Scientia inflat:"(Knowledge puffeth up);) that Solomon gives a censure, "That there is no end of making books, and that much reading is a weariness of the flesh;" and again in another place, "That in spacious knowledge there is much contristation, and that he that increases knowledge increaseth anxiety;" that St. Paul gives a caveat, That we be not spoiled through vain philosophy; that experience demonstrates how learned men have been arch-heretics, how learned times have been inclined to atheism, and how the contemplation of second causes doth derogate from our dependance upon God, who is the first cause.

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To discover then the ignorance and error of this opinion, and the misunderstanding in the grounds thereof, it may well appear these men do not observe or consider, that it was not the pure knowledge of nature and universality) a knowledge by the light whereof man did give names unto other creatures in Paradise, as they were brought before him, according unto their proprieties,<which gave occasion to the fall; but it was the proud. knowledge of good and evil, with an intent in man to give law unto himself, and to depend no more upon God's commandments, which was the form of the temptation. Neither is it any quantity of knowledge, how great soever, that can make the mind

of man to swell; for nothing can fill, much less extend the soul of man, but God, and the contemplation of God; and therefore Solomon, speaking of the two principal senses of inquisition, the eye and the ear, affirmeth that the eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing; and if there be no fulness, then is the continent greater than the content: so of knowledge itself, and the mind of man, whereto the senses are but reporters, he defineth likewise in these words, placed after that calendar or ephemerides, which he maketh of the diversities of times and seasons for all actions and purposes; and concludeth thus: "God hath made all things beautiful, or decent, in the true return of their seasons: Also he hath placed the world in man's heart, yet cannot man find out the work which God worketh from the beginning to the end:" declaring, not obscurely, that God hath framed the mind of man as a mirror, or glass, capable of the image of the universal world, and joyful to receive the impression thereof, as the eye joyeth to receive light; and not only delighted in beholding the variety of things, and vicissitude of times, but raised also to find out and discern the ordinances and decrees, which throughout all those changes are infallibly observed. And although he doth insinuate, that the supreme or summary law of nature,

which he calleth, "The work which God worketh from the beginning to the end, is not possible to be found out by man;" yet that doth not derogate from the capacity of the mind, but may be referred to the impediments, as of shortness of life, ill conjunction of labours, ill tradition of knowledge over from hand to hand, and many 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 puffeth 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, "That we 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 human 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 to 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

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