Knowledge of God
Knowledge Of God.
By this is not: meant a mere knowledge of his existence, for the devils believe that God is; they tremble as they believe it, and they hate the God before whom they tremble. It cannot be a mere partial acquaintance with the character of God, because we cannot for a moment doubt that the Jews were partially acquainted with God's character, and vet our Lord said to them, "Ye neither know me nor my Father." Neither can it be a dry, uninfluential, notional knowledge of God, however accurate in its outline that knowledge may be. The knowledge of God includes far more than this. It implies a real, personal, experimental, sanctifying acquaintance with him. It especially regards him as a reconciled God in Christ-that is, the reconciliation of all his perfections in the way of his mercy, unfolding them as the basis for the soul's confidence; that he is righteously and holily merciful, pardoning sin at the expense of no other perfection, but in the full and perfect harmony of all his perfections. Without this knowledge, all our advances in other branches of knowledge are but vain and unprofitable. All other knowledge is useful, entertaining; this alone is needful. This may do without other knowledge, but no other knowledge will do without this. If you teach men the elements of education, you put into their hands a powerful weapon either for good or for evil, according to the direction that may be given to it. If you put into their hands the elements of sound religious knowledge, you give their minds a right and safe exercise, while the knowledge will keep them from the abuse of the tremendous power you put into their hands. See Charnock, Works, ii, 381; Saurin, Sermons, i, serm. 1; Gill, Body of' Divinity, 3:12 (8vo); Tillotson, Sermons, serm. 113; Watts, Works, i, serm. 45; Hall, Sermon onl the Advantages (f Knowledge to the lower Classes; Foster, Essay on Popular Ignorance; Dwight, Theology; Martensen, Dogmatics. SEE KNOW.