Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hastens with his feet sins.
What is meant by knowledge? An acquaintance with those truths the perception and practice of which will duly qualify us both for our present and future state of existence. To this end we should know ourselves, our capacities, our duties, our particular business or vocation in life; the state of things in which we are placed, the character of mankind in general, and the nature of our social and civil relations. We should know also the revealed character of God; the position in which we stand to Him, the nature of His transactions with the human race, our present condition and future destiny. The matter and extent of knowledge is almost infinite. Exhibiting, as the mind does, a most varied scale of intellectual strength, a corresponding variety in the measure of knowledge is the necessary consequence. Considerations for confirming and illustrating the truth that for the soul to be without knowledge is not good:
1. The human mind is evidently framed for the acquisition of knowledge.
2. A certain degree of knowledge is absolutely necessary to enable men duly to perform their parts in life.
3. Knowledge tends to increase the influence and usefulness of its possessor.
4. It tends to increase the pleasures of life, by opening new sources of innocent enjoyment. If we would give men an education suitable to their character and destinies, we must attend to the cultivation of the heart as well as that of the head. We must make religion a prominent feature in our systems of instruction. Without religion, worldly knowledge, by stimulating the pride and pravity of a corrupt heart, may do much injury. When the foundation of morality and religion is firmly laid, we may proceed with safety to erect the superstructure of human science and general knowledge. But while education may teach men their duty, it cannot enable them to perform it. Religion alone can do that. He who would establish a system of education without making religion the basis of it, is like a man who builds his house upon the sand. He will find the corruptions of human nature too strong for his intellectual barrier. There is no more effectual method of checking the progress of socialism and infidelity than a system of sound, solid, and religious education. Then educate the rising generation, but do so in a sound and Scriptural manner.
(E. B. Were, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.