5. This Wisdom coeternal with God has ‘a way’ in one sense, and in another sense ‘a place;’ but only a ‘place,’ if a person understand it a place not local. For God is not capable of being held close after the manner of a body. But as has been said, a place not local is meant. The ‘place’ of ‘Wisdom’ is the Father, ‘the place’ of the Father is ‘Wisdom,’ as, Wisdom Herself bearing testimony, it is said, I am in the Father, and the Father in Me. [John 14, 10] So then the same identical Wisdom has ‘a way’ in one sense, and ‘a place’ in another sense; ‘a way’ by the passing of the manhood, ‘a place’ by the settledness’ of the Godhead. For She passes not by in the respect that She is eternal, but She does pass by in the respect that for our sakes She appeared subject to time. For it is thus written in the Gospel, And as they departed from Jericho, the Lord passed by. And, behold, two blind men, sitting by the way side, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou Son of David. [Matt. 20, 29. 30.] At whose voice, as it is there written, Jesus stood still, [ver. 32] and restored light. Now what is it to hear passing by, but to restore sight standing still, but that by His manhood He compassionated us, Who by the power of His Godhead banished from us the darkness of our souls? For in that for our sakes He was born and suffered, that He rose again and ascended into heaven, it is as if Jesus passed by, because surely these are doings in time. But He touched and enlightened them standing still, because not as that temporal economy doth likewise the Word’s Eternity pass by, Which while remaining in Itself renews all things. For God’s standing is His ordering all things mutable by immutable purposing. He, then, Who heard the voices of those imploring Him while ‘passing by,’ restored light standing still. For though for our sakes He underwent things temporal, yet He bestowed light upon us by the same thing that He knows not to have the passing of mutability. Therefore because when He should through flesh appear to men was an uncertain thing, it is rightly said now, God understandeth the way thereof; and He knoweth the place thereof. As though it were expressed in plain words; ‘To the thought of man the two are hidden, whether the time when by flesh Wisdom may come to men, or the mode bow, even when he appears without, He continues invisible with the Father.
6. Although this may also be understood in another sense. For ‘the way thereof’ is not inappropriately taken to be that actual thing that comes into the mind, and infuses itself into us in the interior. And ‘the place thereof’ the heart becomes, coming unto which She abides. Thus of this Her way it is said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord [Matt. 3, 3]; i.e. ‘Open in your hearts an entrance to Wisdom at Her coming;’ as it is elsewhere said; Make a way for him, that ascendeth above the setting. [Ps. 68, 4. Vulg.] For to ‘ascend over the setting,’ was by rising again to have got the mastery over that very death, He had undergone. And so he says, For him, that ascendeth above the setting, make ye a way; i.e. ‘To the Lord on His rising again make a way in your hearts by faith.’ Hence it is said to John by the Spirit; Thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare His way. [Luke 1, 76] For everyone that by preaching cleanses the hearts of those that hear him from the defilements of bad habits, prepares a way for Wisdom on Her coming. Thus, this ‘Wisdom’ hath ‘a way,’ and hath ‘a place;’ ‘a way’ whereby She comes, ‘a place’ wherein She abides; as She Herself saith; If any man love Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. [John 14, 23] So then there is ‘a way’ by which She comes, ‘a place’ wherein She abideth. But whereunto does She come, Who is every where? Is it for Wisdom to come, by the enlightening of our mind to make the presence of Her mightiness to appear? And because it is doubtful to men both into what person’s heart She comes, or in what man, after She has come, She rests in abiding there, it is rightly said now, God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof. Because it appertains to the Divine sight alone to see, whether by what methods the perception of Wisdom may come to the heart of man, or whose soul shall not lose by deadly imaginations the understanding of life, which it has been vouchsafed. And because this same ‘Wisdom’ made manifest by the graciousness of the Manhood was destined in all the regions of the world to fill to the full the hearts of the Elect.