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voluntary. So that the informing root of virtue is will, love or complacency; which Austin useth to call delectation; asserting what I now assert. So that the question is, Whether vir. tue, which is nothing but complacency in good, be better as complacency or as virtue ; that is, under one name or another ? whether it be better as virtue, or as virtue? as complaecncy, or as complacency?
If you think I make Cicero and the old philosophers fools, by feigning them to agitate such a question ; I answer, 1. If they do so, it is not my doing, but their own. 2. But I think Ci. cero meant not so foolishly, but understood Epicurus only of sensual pleasure, and not of rational. 3. Or at least, of private pleasure of a single person, as opposite to the utility and pleasure of multitudes. 4. And whether he had so much Theology as to remember that which resolveth the whole doubt, I know not, viz. that virtue as virtue is objectively pleasing to the will of God: and as pleasing to God, it is better than as pleasing to me, and all the world.
So that notwithstanding this objection, thus fully answered, the acts of the intellect merely as such, without their respect to some will, either of God or man, are not so much as formally amiable desirable or good.
I further add, that the acts of the intellect may be forced, involuntary, displeasing, and both morally and penally evil. A man may by God be forbidden to search after, and to know some things; and to know them (as voluntarily done) may be his sin.
And all know that a man may be necessitated to know many things; and that knowledge may torment him: As to know dangers, losses, enmities, injuries, future evils; especially sins by an accusing conscience and God's displeasure: and devils and damned souls have such knowledge.
Object. "All this is true of some knowledge, but not of the knowledge of God or goodness.'
Answ. I. It is granted then that knowledge, as such, is not sufficient to be man's felicity, or final act. 2. And as to the object, I easily grant that the true knowledge of God is the initial part of man's felicity : but that is much, because it ever inferreth that love or complacency of the will, which is the more completive part. 3. But there is a knowledge, even of God, which being separated from love, is sin and misery. As the devils and damned that believe, and tremble and hate, and suffer, are not without all knowledge of God. So much for the first proof, fetched from the order of the faculties of the soul.
II. The second proof is drawn from the objects : it is not mere intelligibility that blesseth a man, but goodness, which as such is the formal object of the will, though the material object of the understanding. It is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun: and as pleasant, it is good : and also as useful to ourselves or others. Nothing maketh a man good or happy, but as it is good. Therefore the goodness of God, (his transcendent perfection by which he is first essentially good in himself, and amiable to himself, and then good and aimable to us all) is the ultimately ultimate object of man's soul, to which his intelligibility is supposed.
III. The third proof is from the constitution of these several acts : knowledge being but an introductive act, supposeth not love, as to its essence, though it produce it as an effect : but love includeth knowledge in it; as the number of two includeth one, when one doth not include two. Therefore both together must needs be more perfect than one alone.
IV. The fourth proof is from express Scripture; I will only cite some plain ones which need no tedious comment. l. For love it is said, “ We have known and believeth the love that God hath to us : God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, (or in this the love with us is perfected) that we have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we, in this world : there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John iv. 16—18.) So that love is the perfection of man.
1 Cor. xii. 31 ; xiii. 2., &c. " Yet show I unto you a more excellent way: though I understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and have not charity, I am nothing.—Charity never faileth, 13. The greatest of these is charity.'
Rom. viii. 35. “Who shall separate us from the love of God,” &c.
Rom. xiii. 10. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Rom. v. 5. “ The love of God is poured out on our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
Gal. v. 6. “Faith which worketh by love."
Matt. xxii. 37. “ The first and great commandment is, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,” &c.
Luke x. 27; Deut. x. 12; xi. 1, 13, 22; xix. 9; xiii. 3 ; xxx. 6, 16, 20; Josh. xxii. 5; xxiii. 11; Psal. v. 11; xxxi. 23; lxix. 36 ; cxix. 165; cxliv. 20; Jam. i. 12: “ He shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Song ii. 5.
Prov. viii. 17. “ I love them that love me."
See John xiv. 21; xvi. 27; 1 John iv. 19; John xxi. 15–17; 1 John iii. 22; Heb. xi. 6., &c.
And of knowledge it is said (John xiii. 17), “ If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
See James ii. 14, to the end ; John xv. 24. “ But now they have both seen and hated, both me and my Father.”
Luke xii. 47. Knowing God's will, and not doing it, prepareth men for many stripes. See Rom. ii. And as barren knowledge is oft made the aggravation of sin, so true knowledge is usually made the cause or means of love and obedience, 1 John iv. 8. “ He that loveth not, knoweth not God.” 2 Pet. i. 2. • Grace and peace be multiplied to you, through the knowledge of God," 2 Pet. ii. 20, and many such like.
I conclude therefore that the knowledge of creatures is not desirable ultimately for itself, but as it leadeth up the soul to God. And the knowledge of God, though desirable ultimately for itself, yet not as the perfect, but the initial part of our ultimate act or end, and as the means or cause of that love of God, which is the more perfect part of that ultimate perfection.
CHAP. II. THE END OF KNOWLEDGE IS TO MAKE US
LOVERS OF GOD, AND SO TO BE KNOWN
WITH LOVE BY HIM. This is the second doctrine contained in the meaning of the text : where is included, 1. That all knowledge of creatures, called learning, must be valued and used but as a means to the know. ledge and love of God: which is most evident in that the whole creation is the work of God, bearing the image or impress of his perfections, to reveal him to the intellectual creature, and to be the means of provoking us to his love, and helping us in his service. To deny this, therefore, is to subvert the use of the whole creation, and to set up God's works as an useless shadow, or as an idol in his own place.
2. It is included, as was before proved, that all our knowledge of God himself, is given us to kindle in us the love of God. It is the bellows to blow up this holy fire. If it do not this, it is unsound and dead. If it do this, it hath attained its end; which is much of the meaning of James in that chap. ii. which prejudice hindereth many from understanding.
3. This love of God hath its degrees and effects. Knowledge first ‘kindleth but some weak initial act of love, which through mixtures of fear, and of carnal affections, is hardly known to be sincere by him that hath it. But afterwards it produceth stronger acts, and the Holy Ghost still working as the principal cause, infuseth or operateth a radicated habit. So that this holy love becometh like a second nature in the soul, even