Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.2

Of Knowledge. 123 One thing more is neceffary to be added SERM. here, that whereas knowledge in it Pelf, is V. not properly fpeaking the fubjeft of an ex - ` "'v"' hortation, becaufe the mind is wholly paffive in it, as every one may be convinced by expe- rience; what we do know, we cannot help knowing ; and it has no dependance upon our own choice ; very difagreeable truths, efpe- çially in religious matters, force themfelves by their evidence on the underftanding, and fome there are in whom knowledge is fo far from being commendable, that it greatly aggravates their guilt, becaufe they detain the truth in . unrighteoufnefs, and are wicked in fpite of the cleareft conk Lion, to him that knoweth to do good and doth it not, to him it is fin*. The wifeft men, even the moil underftand- ing chriftians, come far fhort in knowledge pf the devils themfelves, who are fuppofed to be incurably wicked, and fix'd in their ob- ftinate rebellion againft God ; therefore the meaning of the exhortation muff be, that we fhould Rill ufe our own active endeavours that we may grow in knowledge, for the pur- poles of ufefulnefs and goodnefs. Wifdom en- ters into the heart by its being firfi pleafant to the foul, as Solomon fpeaks -f-, and we make it James iv. 17. t Prov. ii. io. 3 our