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in the Scriptures, yet they say a thing is good and lay hold of it. They believe glorious things of heaven, and they live accordingly, as men that believe themselves. What is the reason of this difference? They both read the Scriptures; they read and hear the same sermons; they have capable understandings; they both believe what they hear and what they read; and yet the event is vastly different. The reason is that which I am now speaking of: the one understands by one principle, the other by another; the one understands by nature, the other by grace; the one by human learning, the other by divine; the one reads the Scriptures without, and the other within; the one understands as a son of man, the other as a son of God; the one perceives by the proportions of the world, the other by the measures of the Spirit; the one understands by reason, the other by love; and therefore he does not only understand the sermons of the Spirit and perceive their meaning, but he pierces deeper, and knows the meaning of that meaning ; that is, the secret of the Spirit, that which is spiritually discerned, that which gives life to the proposition and activity to the soul. And the reason is, that he hath a divine principle within him and a new understanding ; that is plainly, he hath love, and that is more than knowledge, as was rarely well observed by St. Paul: * Knowledge puffeth up; but charity' edifieth;' that is, charity maketh the best scholars. No sermons can build you up a holy building to God, unless the love of God be in your hearts, and purify your souls from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.
“A good life is the best way to understand wisdom and religion, because, by the experiences and relishes of religion, there is conveyed to them a sweetness to which all wicked men are strangers. There is in the things of God, to those who practise them, a deliciousness that makes us love them, and that love admits us into God's cabinet, and strangely clarifies the understanding by the purification of the heart. For when our reason is raised up by the Spirit of Christ, it is turned quickly into experience; when our faith relies upon the principles of Christ, it is changed into vision; and so long as we know God only in the ways of men, by contentious learning, by arguing and dispute, we see nothing but the shadow of him, and in that shadow we meet with many dark appearances, little certainty, and much conjecture; but when we know him loyw ano avtikW, yalnyn voepą, with the eyes of holiness and the instruction of gracious experiences, with a quiet spirit and the peace of enjoyment, then we shall hear what we never heard, and see what our eyes never saw; then the mysteries of godliness shall be open unto us, and clear as the windows of the morning; and this is rarely well expressed by the apostle: 'If we stand up from the dead and awake from sleep, then Christ shall give us light.'
“For though the Scriptures themselves are written by the Spirit of God, yet they are written within and without; and besides the light that shines upon the face of them, unless there be a light shining within our hearts, unfolding the leaves, and interpreting the mysterious sense of the Spirit, convincing our consciences and preaching to our hearts, to look for Christ in the leaves of the gospel, is to look for the living among the dead. There is a life in them; but that life is, according to St. Paul's expression,'hid with Christ in God,' and unless the Spirit of God draw it forth, we shall not be able.
“Human learning brings excellect ministries towards this; it is admirably useful for the reproof of heresies, for the detection of fallacies, for the letter of the Scriptures, for collateral testimonies, for exterior advantages; but there is something beyond this, that human learning without the addition of divine can never reach.
“A good man, though unlearned in secular knowledge, is like the windows of the temple, narrow without and broad within ; he sees not so much of what profits not abroad, but whatsoever is within, and concerns 'religion and the glorifications of God, that he sees with a broad inspection; hut all human learning without God is but blindness and folly. One man discourses of the sacrament, another receives Christ; one discourses for or against transubstantiation; but the good man feels himself to be changed, and so joined to Christ, that he only understands the true sense of transubstantiation, while he becomes to Christ bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh, and of the same spirit with his Lord.
“ From holiness we have the best instruction. For that which we are taught by the Holy Spirit of God, this new nature, this vital principle within us, it is that which is worth our learning : not vain and empty, idle and insignificant notions, in which, when you have laboured till your eyes are fixed in their orbs, and your flesh unfixed from its bones, you are no better and no wiser. If the Spirit of God be your teacher, he will teach you such truths as will make you know and love God, and become like to him, and enjoy him for ever, by passing from similitude to union and eternal fruition.
“ Too many scholars have lived upon air and empty notions for many ages past, and troubled themselves with tying and untying knots, like hypochondriacs in a fit of melancholy, thinking of
nothings, and troubling themselves with nothings, i and falling out about nothings, and being very wise and very learned in things that are not, and work not, and were never planted in Paradise by the finger of God. If the Spirit of God be our teacher, we shall learn to avoid evil and to do good, to be wise and to be holy, to be profitable and careful; and they that walk in this way shall find more peace in their consciences, more skill in the Scriptures, more satisfaction in their doubts, than can be obtained by all the polemical and impertinent disputations of the world. The man that is wise, be that is conducted by the Spirit of God, knows better in what Christ's kingdom doth consist, than to throw away his time and interest, his peace and safety, for what? for religion ? no: for the body of religion ? not so much : for the garment of the body of religion ; no, not for so much; but for the fringes of the garment of the body of religion; for such, and no better, are many religious disputes; things, or rather circumstances and manners of things, in which the soul and spirit are not at all concerned. The knowledge which comes from godliness is θειοτερον τι πασης αποδειξεως, Something more certain and divine than all demonstration and human learning.
“And now to conclude :-to you I speak, fathers
and brethren, you who are or intend to be of the clergy ; you see here the best compendium of your studies, the best alleviation of your labours, the truest method of wisdom. It is not by reading multitudes of books, but by studying the truth of God; it is not by laborious commentaries of the doctors that you can finish your work, but the exposition of the Spirit of God; it is not by the rules of metaphysics, but by the proportions of holiness; and when all books are read, and all arguments examined, and all authorities alleged, nothing can be found to be true that is unholy. The learning of the fathers was more owing to their piety than their skill, more to God than to themselves. These were the men that prevailed against error, because they lived according to truth. If ye walk in light, and live in the Spirit, your doctrines will be true, and that truth will prevail.
“I pray God to give you all grace to follow this wisdom, to study this learning, to labour for the understanding of godliness; so your time and your studies, your persons and your labours, will be holy and useful, sanctified and blessed, beneficial to men and pleasing to God, through him who is the wisdom of the Father, who is made to all that love him, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
Will any one among our living theologists controvert the merits of Bishop Taylor ? Is there one whom the public judgment will place on an equality with him ? Will any one stigmatize him as an ignorant enthusiast? His strength of understanding and powers of reasoning are strikingly exhibited in his Ductor Dubitantium, in his Liberty of Prophesying, and in his polemical writings. I