‘My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; … then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.’
This is only one passage out of many in which wisdom is connected with religion, in which it is asserted that a religious fear of God is the first step in true wisdom, and that he who would know God aright must love wisdom, and humbly and vigorously seek after her.
I. Even taking the lowest view of things, that it is only a selfish view, looking only to what is to be gained, making it only a matter of profit and loss, the religious man is the wise man.
II. Religion is wisdom, and ungodliness folly, because the religious man is concerned with far grander and more exalted things than any other man.—The principal attribute of a wise, discerning man is to be able to see things as they really are.
III. Wisdom is spoken of as a thing that must be laboured for; it is not to be sought merely for amusement, but the search is to be the very business of man’s life; there is no point more clearly laid down, none more insisted on, than the necessity of exertion in the pursuit of wisdom.
Bishop Harvey Goodwin.
‘How much I miss and forfeit for lack of diligent energy and zeal!
There is my study of the Scriptures. Too often I allow my thinking and reflective powers to lie dormant when I am in the company of God’s Holy Book. But nowhere is there such room for patient, steadfast, persevering scrutiny. Nowhere are there such enriching rewards waiting to crown thought and study. My clearest, highest, most vigorous moments ought to be devoted to the angels’ task of looking into the marvels and mysteries of redemption.’