The Advancement of Learning

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Independently Published, 2021 M02 20 - 130 pages
THERE were under the law, excellent King, both daily sacrifices and freewill offerings; the oneproceeding upon ordinary observance, the other upon a devout cheerfulness: in like manner therebelongeth to kings from their servants both tribute of duty and presents of affection. In the formerof these I hope I shall not live to be wanting, according to my most humble duty and the goodpleasure of your Majesty's employments: for the latter, I thought it more respective to make choiceof some oblation which might rather refer to the propriety and excellency of your individual person, than to the business of your crown and state.Wherefore, representing your Majesty many times unto my mind, and beholding you not with theinquisitive eye of presumption, to discover that which the Scripture telleth me is inscrutable, butwith the observant eye of duty and admiration, leaving aside the other parts of your virtue andfortune, I have been touched-yea, and possessed-with an extreme wonder at those your virtuesand faculties, which the philosophers call intellectual; the largeness of your capacity, the faithfulnessof your memory, the swiftness of your apprehension, the penetration of your judgment, and thefacility and order of your elocution: and I have often thought that of all the persons living that Ihave known, your Majesty were the best instance to make a man of Plato's opinion, that allknowledge is but remembrance, and that the mind of man by Nature knoweth all things, and hathbut her own native and original notions (which by the strangeness and darkness of this tabernacle ofthe body are sequestered) again revived and restored: such a light of Nature I have observed in yourMajesty, and such a readiness to take flame and blaze from the least occasion presented, or the leastspark of another's knowledge delivered. And as the Scripture saith of the wisest king, "That his heartwas as the sands of the sea;" which, though it be one of the largest bodies, yet it consisteth of thesmallest and finest portions; so hath God given your Majesty a composition of understandingadmirable, being able to compass and comprehend the greatest matters, and nevertheless to touchand apprehend the least; whereas it should seem an impossibility in Nature for the same instrumentto make itself fit for great and small works

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