Tag Archive | Knowledge

Eyes, Intellect, Senses, Brains

I say “good boys;” not merely clever boys, or prudent boys: because using your eyes, or not using them, is a question of doing Right or doing Wrong. God has given you eyes; it is your duty to God to use them. If your parents tried to teach you your lessons in the most agreeable way, by beautiful picture-books, would it not be ungracious, ungrateful, and altogether naughty and wrong, to shut your eyes to those pictures, and refuse to learn? And is it not altogether naughty and wrong to refuse to learn from your Father in Heaven, the Great God who made all things, when he offers to teach you all day long by the most beautiful and most wonderful of all picture-books, which is simply all things which you can see, hear, and touch, from the sun and stars above your head to the mosses and insects at your feet? It is your duty to learn His lessons: and it is your interest. God’s Book, which is the Universe, and the reading of God’s Book, which is Science, can do you nothing but good, and teach you nothing but truth and wisdom. God did not put this wondrous world about your young souls to tempt or to mislead them. If you ask Him for a fish, he will not give you a serpent. If you ask Him for bread, He will not give you a stone.

So use your eyes and your intellect, your senses and your brains, and learn what God is trying to teach you continually by them.

-Charles Kingsley, Preface to Madam How and Lady Why

The Fool

Stephen Charnock:

So a fool is one that hath lost his wisdom and right notion of God and divine things, which were communicated to man by creation; one dead in sin, yet one not so much void of rational faculties, as of grace in those faculties; not one that wants reason, but abuses his reason (Collected works, volume 1, p. 126). ​

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/the-fool.97287/, comment 1

Knowledge of God Impossible to Eradicate

Stephen Charnock:

The fears and anxieties in the consciences of men have given men sufficient occasion to root it (the knowledge of God, LK) out, had it been possible for them to do it. If the notion of the existence of God had been possible to have been dashed out of the minds of men, they would have done it rather than have suffered so many troubles in their souls upon the commission of sin; since they did not want wickedness and wit in so many corrupt ages to have attempted it and prospered in it, had it been possible…It seems to be so perpetually fixed, that the devil did not think fit to tempt man to the denial of the existence of a deity, but persuaded him to believe, he might ascend to that dignity, and become a god himself…He (Satan, LK) wanted not malice to raze out all the notions of God, but power; he knew it was impossible to effect it, and therefore in vain to attempt it…The impressions of a deity were so strong as not to be struck out by the malice and power of hell. (Works of Stephen Charnock, volume 1, pp. 136-7). ​

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/knowledge-of-god-impossible-to-eradicate.97369/, comment 1

A Prudent Man Concealeth Knowledge

M. Henry:

Proverbs 12.23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

Note, 1. He that is wise does not affect to proclaim his wisdom, and it is his honour that he does not. He communicates his knowledge when it may turn to the edification of others, but he conceals it when the showing of it would only tend to his own commendation. Knowing men, if they be prudent men, will carefully avoid every thing that savours of ostentation, and not take all occasions to show their learning and reading, but only to use it for good purposes, and then let their own works praise them. Ars est celare artem—The perfection of art is to conceal it. 2. He that is foolish cannot avoid proclaiming his folly, and it is his shame that he cannot: The heart of fools, by their foolish words and actions, proclaims foolishness; either they do not desire to hide it, so little sense have they of good and evil, honour and dishonour, or they know not how to hide it, so little discretion have they in the management of themselves,Eccl. x. 3.

(Commentary, Proverbs 12)

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/some-facebook-social-media-blog-advice-from-pastor-matthew-henry.93564/, Comment 1

A Very Foolish Man, And Very Wretched

Carl Spitzweg 021

“He seems to me a very foolish man and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the World — and [who would not] ever wish and long to reach that endless life where all shall be made clear.”

~King Alfred the Great, Blostman, qtd. in “King Alfred the Great and Our Common Law” by Rev. Prof. Dr. F.N. Lee, Department of Church History, Queensland Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Brisbane, Australia, August 2000, pages 4-5

Angels Grow In Knowledge

Stephen Charnock (Works, Vol. 1, p. 71):

[Angels] engage in this work for the church with delight; they act as God’s ministers in his providence with a unanimous consent: Ezek, 1.9, “Their wings were joined one to another;” so that they perform their office with the same swiftness, and with the same affection, without emulation to go one before another, which makes many actions succeed ill among men; but they go hand in hand. They do it with affection, both in respect of the kind disposition of their natures, and as they are fellow-members of the same body, for they are parts of the church and of the heavenly Jerusalem: Heb.12.22, “Ye are come to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, and to the general assembly and church of the firstbom,” and therefore act out of affection to that which is a part of their body, as well as out of obedience to their head. They do it in respect of their own improvement too, and increase of their knowledge (which is the desire of all intellectual creatures); for they complete their understandings by the sight of the methods of infinite wisdom in the perfecting his gracious designs. And it is God’s intent that they should grow in the knowledge of his great mystery by their employment: Eph. 3.10, “To the intent that now, unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” By the gracious works of God towards the church, and in the behalf of it, for the security and growth of the church, and in the executions of those decrees which as instruments they are employed in; for I do not understand how it can be meant of the knowledge of Christ, for that they know more than the church below can acquaint them with: for without question they have a clear insight into the offices of Christ, who is the head, and whom they are ordered to worship. They understand the aim of his death and resurrection, and can better explain the dark predictions of Scripture, than purblind man can. But by observing the methods which God uses in the accomplishment of them, they become more intelligent, and commence masters of knowledge in a higher degree, which it is probable is one reason of their joy, when they see God’s infinite wisdom and grace in the conversion of a sinner; without affection to them, and their employment about them, they could not rejoice so much. And their rejoicing in their first bringing in to God, argues their joy in all their employments which concerns their welfare.​

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/angels-excelling-in-knowledge.90814/, Comment 1

Ignorance the Mother of Irreligion

B.B. Warfield, “Faith and Life” (found in Selected Shorter Writings, vol. 1.):

Convictions are the root on which the tree of vital Christianity grows. No convictions, no Christianity. Scanty convictions, hunger-bitten Christianity. Profound convictions, solid and substantial religion. Let no man fancy it can be otherwise. Ignorance is not the mother of religion, but of irreligion. The knowledge of God is eternal life, and to know God means that we know him aright.