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Lest doubt should still lurk, however, about such a divinity, and whether the notion is rightly conceived

according to the teaching of the best philosophers, it may be well to bring them forward here, speaking for themselves. Thus Aristotle, for first example, since he will not be rated altogether as an enthusiast, in the beginning of his Metaphysics, declares Wisdom to the highest science; adding that a wise man possesses a science of all things in intellect; not indeed derived from sensible particulars, but according to that which is universal and absolute in himself (30). In the Nichomachean Ethics, too, after showing Intellect to be that power of the soul by which we know and prove things demonstratively, he further distinguishes Wisdom as the true being of that Intellect; the science and intellection of things most honorable by nature; that though this par this small in bulk, yet it abounds in energy, and as much exceeds the composite nature of man in power as in this energy, which is the most delectable of all energies (31). And throughout the Metaphysics, but more especially in the Twelfth Book, he demonstrates the necessary subsistence of incorporeal (i.e., essential) being, and its efficacy in operation when by the help of certain mystical exercises and preparations, the human Understanding Medium is made to pass into contact with its Antecedent Cause; that then it becomes to be a life in energy, and enjoys the most exalted and excellent faculty of discernment, which was before occult, and the knowledge of which is inexpressibly blessed, and not to be conceived of by such as are not duly initiated and capable of this deification. --- True Intellect, he says, is that which is essentially the most essential of that which is most essential; and it becomes intelligible by contact and intellection; and that Intellect is the same with the intelligible, the understanding recipient of the intelligible essence (32). Which essence, too, is Wisdom, and the faculty we are discussing. But Plato yet more plainly declares that to know oneself is Wisdom and the highest virtue of the soul; for the soul rightly entering into herself will behold all other things, and Deity itself; as verging to her own union and to the center of all life, laying aside multitude and the variety of all manifold powers which she contains, she ascends to the highest watchtower of beings (33). According to Socrates, also, in the Republic, we read that Wisdom is generative of truth and intellect; and in the Theaetus Wisdom is defined to be that which gives perfection to things imperfect, and calls forth the latent Intellections of the soul --- and again, by Diotima, in the Banquet, that mind which is become wise needs not to investigate any further (since it possesses the true Intelligible); that is to say, the proper object of intellectual inquiry in itself; and hence the doctrine of Wisdom according to Plato may be sufficiently obvious. But Wisdom, says the Pythagorean Archytas, as much excels all the other faculties as sight does the other corporeal senses, or the sun the stars: and man was constituted to the end that he might contemplate the Reason of the whole nature, in order that, being himself the work of Wisdom, he might survey the Wisdom of all things, which exist. Wisdom is not conversant with a certain definite existing thing but simply with all things; and so subsists with reference to all that it is the province of it to know and contemplate the universal accidents of things and discover the Principles of all Being. Whoever therefore is able to analyze all the genera which are contained under one and the same principle and again to compose and connumerate them, he appears to be wise and to possess the most perfect veracity. Further still he will have discovered a beautiful place of survey, from which it will be possible to behold Divinity and all things that are in coordination with and successive to Him, subsisting separately and distinct from each other, Having likewise entered this most ample road, being impelled in a right direction by Intellect, and having arrived at the end of his course, he will have conjoined ends with beginnings, and will know that God who is the principle, middle, and end of all things which are accomplished according to justice and right reason (34). Here again we have a faculty discussed which is far above ordinary reason, since this verges to sensibles and is dependent on them; but Wisdom implies the whole of life, being returned into its principle, and coming into the consciousness of a vision at once powerful and sublime. Thus Crito, of the same school: God so fashioned man as to comprehend the Good according to right reason, and gave him a sight called Intellect, which is capable of beholding God. For it is not possible without God to discern that which is best or most beautiful; nor without Intellect to see God. And every mortal nature is established (in this life) with a kindred privation of Intellect; this however is not deprived by God but by the essence of generation (35).