The Oxford English Dictionary gives this as its earliest citation for the word "computer":
1613 ‘R. B.’ Yong Mans Gleanings 1, I haue read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that euer breathed, and he reduceth thy dayes into a short number.
I understand that a computer used to be a human being who performed calculations. What I would like to know is whether the author was referring to a human computer or to God.
Here is the context for the quotation:
OF THE MORTALITIE OF MAN.
What art thou (O Man) and from whence hadst thou thy beginning? What matter art thou made of, that thou promisest to thy selfe length of daies: or to thy posterity continuance. I haue read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that euer breathed, and he reduceth thy dayes into a short number: The daies of Man are threescore and ten. That reuerend Patriarch Iacob, (though he had liued a long and prosperous time) yet he confesseth his daies to be few and euill: the life of Man (saith the Prophet) is as the grasse that soone withereth: it is as swift as a Dromedarie, continuing not, but passing from this pilgrimage of earth, aimeth at the centre, to which all flesh is limitted, this earthly mansion from whence we had our Beginning; Homo abhumo natus. Man is borne of the earth, from whence he had his birth, and shall conclude the date and period of his daies.
Did the author mean for the "computer" to be understood as a human statistician or as God?