THAT THERE IS A THREEFOLD KEEPER OF MAN, AND FROM WHENCE EACH OF THEM PROCEED.
EVERY man hath a threefold good demon as a proper keeper or preserver, the one whereof is holy, another of the nativity, and the other of profession. The holy demon is one, according to the doctrine of the Egyptians, assigned to the rational soul, not from the stars or planets, but from a supernatural cause--from God himself, the president of demons, being universal and above nature. This directs the life of the soul, and does always put good thoughts into the mind, being always active in illuminating us, although we do not always take notice of it; but when we are purified and live peaceably, then it is perceived by us, then it does, as it were, speak with us, and communicates its voice to us, being before silent, and studies daily to bring us to a sacred perfection. So it falls out that some profit more in any science, or art, or office, in a less time and with little pains, when another takes much pains and studies hard, and all in vain; and although no science, art or virtue, is to be contemned, yet that you may live prosperously, carry on thy affairs happily, in the first place, know thy good genius, and his nature, and what good the celestial disposition promises thee, and God the distributer of all these, who distributes to each as he pleases, and follow the beginnings of these, profess these, be conversant in that virtue to which the most high distributer doth elevate and lead thee; who made Abraham excel in justice and clemency, Isaac with fear, Jacob with strength, Moses with meekness and miracles, Joshua in war, Phineas in zeal, David in religion and victory, Solomon in knowledge and fame, Peter in faith, John in charity, Jacob in devotion, Thomas in prudence, Magdalen in contemplation, Martha in officiousness. Therefore in what virtue you think you can most easily be a proficient in, use diligence to attain to the height thereof, that you may excel in one,
when in many you cannot, but in the rest endeavour to be as great a proficient as you can; but if thou shalt have the overseers of nature and religion agreeable, thou shalt find a double progress of thy nature and profession; but if they shall be disagreeing, follow the better, for thou shalt better perceive at some time a preserver of an excellent profession than of nativity.