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ISDOM is a working grace in the souls of the
Elect; by whom the spirit is made capable of those secrets, that neither nature nor reason is able to comprehend: who, by a powerful virtue she hath from the divine essence, worketh in all
things according to the will of the Almighty ; and, being before beginning, shall exceed time in an eternal proceeding. She is a light in the intellectual part, by which Reason is led to direct the senses in their due course, and Nature is
preserved from subjecting herself to imperfection. In the creation, she was of counsel with the Trinity, in the pleasing of the Deity; in the redemption, the inventor of mercy, for the preservation of the Elect; and in the glorification, the treasurer of life, for the reward of the faithful; who having committed to her care the carriage of the whole motion, finding the disposition of earth in all the children of her womb, by such a measure, as she finds fitting their quality, she gives them either the grace of nature, or the glory of reason: while being the Mother of the Graces, she gives them that holy instruction, that, in the knowledge of the highest love, through the paths of virtue, makes a passage to heaven. Learning hath from
her that knowledge, without the which all knowledge is mere ignorance; while, only in the grace of Truth, is seen the glory of understanding. Knowledge hath from her that learning, whereby she is taught the direction of her love in the way of life: Understanding hath from her that knowledge that keeps conceit always in the spirits' comfort: and Judgment, from understanding that rule of justice, that by the even weight of impartiality shews the hand of heaven in the heart of humanity. In the heavens she keeps the angels in their orders, teacheth them the natures of their offices, and employs them in the service of their Creator : in the firmament she walks among the stars, sets and keeps them in their places, courses, and operations; at her pleasure she eclipseth the light, and in a moment leaves not a cloud in the sky: in her thunders and lightnings she shews the terror of the Highest's wrath, and in her temperate calms the patience of his mercy: in her frosty winters she shews the weakness of Nature, and in her sunny springs the recovery of her health : in the lovers of this world lives no part of her pureness, but with her beloved she makes a heaven upon earth. In the king she shews her grace, in his counsel her care, and in his state her strength. In the soldier she shews virtue, the truest valour; in the lawyer truth, the honour of his plea ; in the merchant conscience, the wealth of his soul; and in the churchman charity, the true fruit of his devotion. She lives in the world, but not the world's love, for the world's unworthiness is not capable of her worth: she receiveth mammon, as a gift from his Maker, and makes him serve her use to his glory: she gives honour grace in bounty, and manageth wit by the care of discretion : she shews the necessity of difference, and wherein is the happiness of unity: she puts her labour to Providence, her hope to patience, her life to her love, and her love to her Lord, with whom, as chief secretary of his secrets, she writes his will to the world, and as high steward of his courts, she keeps account of all his tenants. In sum, so great is her grace in the heavens, as gives her glory above the earth, and so infinite are her excellencies in all the course of her action, and so glorious are the notes of her incomprehensible nature, that I will thus only conclude, far short of her commendation,-she is God's love, and his angels' light, his servants' grace, and his beloved's glory.
LEARNING is the life of Reason, and the light of Nature, where Time, Order, and Measure, square out the true course of knowledge; where Discretion, in the temper of passion, brings experience to the best fruit of affection, while both the theoric, and the practic, labour in the life of judgment, till the perfection of art shew the honour of understanding. She is the key of knowledge, that unlocketh the cabinet of conceit, wherein are laid up the labours of virtue for the use of the scholars of wisdom; where every gracious spirit may find matter enough worthy of the record of the best memory. She is the nurse of nature, with that milk of reason that would make a child of grace never lie from the dug: she is the schoolmistress of wit, and the gentle governor of will, when the delight of understanding gives the comfort of study. She is unpleasing to none that knows her, and unprofitable to none that loves her: she fears not to wet her feet to wade through the waters of comfort, but comes not near the seas of iniquity, where folly drowns affection in the delight of vanity. She opens her treasures to the travailers in virtue, but keeps them close from the eyes of idleness: she makes the king gracious, and his council judicious, his clergy devout, and his kingdom prosperous : she gives honour to virtue, grace to honour, reward to labour, and love to truth. She is messenger of wisdom to the minds of the virtuous, and the way to honour in the spirits of the gracious : she is the storehouse of understanding, where the affection of grace cannot want instruction of goodness, while in the rules of her directions reason is never out of
square. She is the exercise of wit in the application of knowledge, and the preserver of the understanding in the practice of memory: in brief, she makes age honourable, and youth admirable, the virtuous wise, and the wise gracious; her libraries are infinite, her lessons without number, her instruction without comparison, and her scholars without equality. In brief, finding it a labyrinth to go through the grounds of her praise, let this suffice, that in all ages she hath been, and ever will be, the darling of wisdom, the delight of wit, the study of virtue, and the stay of knowledge.
KNOWLEDGE is a collection of understanding, gathered in the grounds of learning by the instruction of wisdom. She is the exercise of memory in the actions of the mind, and the employer of the senses in the will of the spirit: she is the notary of time, and the trier of truth, and the labour of the spirit in the love of virtue: she is the pleasure of wit, and the paradise of reason, where conceit gathereth the sweet of understanding. She is the king's counsellor, and the council's grace, youth's guard, and age's glory. It is free from doubts, and fears no danger, while the care of Providence cuts off the cause of repentance: she is the enemy of idleness, and the maintainer of labour in the care of credit and pleasure of profit: she needs no advice in the resolution of action, while experience in observation finds perfection infallible. It clears errors, and cannot be deceived; corrects impurity, and will not be corrupted. She hath a wide ear and a close mouth; a pure eye
and a perfect heart: it is begotten by grace, bred by virtue, brought up by learning, and maintained by love: she converseth with the