The Evil of Ignorance
Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons
Proverbs 19:2
Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hastens with his feet sins.

I. A CASE SUPPOSED. "A soul without knowledge." This is not to be understood absolutely. All knowledge is not blessing, nor all ignorance misfortune. The knowledge specified in the text may imply —

1. A knowledge of the works of God in creation. God is known by His works. Their vast magnitude serves to display His power. Their amazing extent shadows forth His immensity. The admirable harmony that prevails among them evidences His wisdom. And the ample provision made for all creatures exhibits His goodness.

2. A knowledge of our particular calling, trade, or profession. No man is obliged to know everything, but every man ought to know what he professes to know.

3. A knowledge of the will of God, as revealed in the Bible. This revelation is so plain that he may run that readeth it; so ample as to embrace the whole of our duty; so repeated that we have precept upon precept; so circumstantial as to mark every description of character, and identify every variety of situation; so impartial as to know no distinction between the monarch and the beggar; and so full and perfect that nothing can be added to it. Our knowledge of the will of God should be Scriptural, spiritual, experimental, and practical.


1. It is not good, as it does not harmonise with the original purpose of God in the formation of man.

2. It is not good, as it is not commendable.

3. As it is not beneficial.

4. As it is not comfortable.

5. As it is not safe. From this subject let us learn(1) What gratitude is due to God, who hath afforded us such facilities for the acquisition of knowledge.

(2) How diligently we should use the means with which God hath favoured us for augmenting our stock of knowledge.

(3) Let us commiserate the circumstances of those who are destitute of the means of information.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.

WEB: It isn't good to have zeal without knowledge; nor being hasty with one's feet and missing the way.

The Benefit of Religious Knowledge
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