B. It is a hard case, that there should be two factions to trouble the commonwealth, without any interest in it of their own, other than every particular man may have; and that their quarrel should be only about opinions, that is, about who has the most learning; as if their learning ought to be the rule of governing all the world. What is it they are learned in? Is it politics and rules of state? I know, it is called divinity; but I hear almost nothing preached but matter of philosophy. For religion in itself admits no controversy. It is a law of the kingdom, and ought not to be disputed. I do not think they pretend to speak with God and know his will by any other way than reading the Scriptures, which we also do.
A. Yes, some of them do, and give themselves out for prophets by extraordinary inspiration. But the rest pretend only (for their advancement to benefices and charge of souls) a greater skill in the Scriptures than other men have, by reason of their breeding in the Universities, and knowledge there gotten of the Latin tongue, and some also of the Greek and Hebrew tongues, wherein the Scripture was written; besides their knowledge of natural philosophy, which is there publicly taught.
B. As for the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew tongues, it was once (to the detection of Roman fraud, and to the ejection of the Romish power) very profitable, or rather necessary; but now that is done, and we have the Scripture in English, and preaching in English, I see no great need of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. I should think myself better qualified by understanding well the languages of our neighbours, French, Dutch, and Spanish.—I think it was never seen in the world, before the power of popes was set up, that philosophy was much conducing to power in a commonwealth.
B. But philosophy, together with divinity, have very much conduced to the advancement of the professors thereof to places of greatest authority, next to the authority of kings themselves, in most of the ancient kingdoms of the world; as is manifestly to be seen in the history of those times.