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English: Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)

English: Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Sibbes, in his little set of sermons, A Glance of Heaven, poses and answers why Christian scholars, who are filled up with a knowledge of divine things, don’t love God more:

But it may be asked again, as indeed we see it is true, what is the reason that sometime meaner Christians have more loving souls than great scholars, men of great parts? One would think that knowledge should increase love and affection?

So it doth, if it be a clear knowledge; but great wits and pates [heads] and great scholars busy themselves about questions and intricacies, and so they are not so much about the affections. A poor Christian ofttimes takes those things for granted that they study, and dispute, and canvass, and question. There is a heavenly light in his soul that God is my Father in Christ, and Christ, God and man, is my Mediator. He takes it for granted, and so his affections are not troubled. Whereas the other, having corruption answerable to his parts, great wit and great corruption, he is tangled with doubts and arguments. He studies to inform his brain; the other to be heated in his affections.

A poor Christian cares not for cold niceties, that heat not the heart and affections; he takes these for granted if they be propounded in the Scripture. Instead of disputing, he believes, and loves, and obeys; and that is the reason that many of poor soul goes to haven with a great deal of joy, when others are tangled and wrapped in their own doubts.

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