Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Worldly wisdom

Let me again remind you that the world’s estimation of the Church has frequently been seen in the way in which it will mock at all her teachings. The wise men of this world have always something far superior to anything that the Bible can reveal. Even bishops make great discoveries, and find out that perfect wisdom has made very many blunders in the book of Exodus. New theologians are every now and then starting most remarkable schemes of doctrine — their own wood, hay, and stubble being, in their own opinion, infinitely superior to the gold and the silver, and precious stones of inspiration. Well, they may go on and tell us still that the gospel is a vulgar thing, and only fit for the poor; they may assure us that it will suit very well the uneducated masses, but the intellectual and enlightened few want something better.

Ah! we can well endure their boastings, for the doctrines of grace are the loftiest of all philosophy and the most intellectual of all teachings — because Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is in them; and where God is, there is perfect wisdom; where God is, there is incomprehensible knowledge. The sum total of all human knowledge is but as a drop of the bucket compared with the wisdom of God; and the wisdom of God is in and with the teachings of his Church, wherever Jesus Christ is lifted up. He is the wisdom of God, and the power of God, and therefore in answer to the world’s vauntings against our folly, we reply, “Ay, but the foolishness of God is wiser than man,” and, in Scripture, “Jehovah-Shammah,” the Lord is there.

From a sermon entitled "Jehovah-Shammah," delivered October 25, 1863. Flickr photo by Julian; some rights reserved.

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