I love the following piece by Jeremy Taylor; it makes me laugh to think about some of the things I have heard sermonized or debated. I accept that I’m a simple man and like a simple faith. Christianity contains many great mysteries I must confess; but Micah 6:8 can be read, obeyed and lived out even if your brain is the size of a hickory nut. In Jeremy Taylor’s eloquent way, he makes this point.
If the Spirit of God be your teacher, He will teach you such truths as will make you know and love God, and become like to Him, and enjoy Him forever, by passing from similitude to union and eternal fruition. But what are you the better if any man should pretend to teach you whether every angel makes a species, and what is the individuation of the soul in the state of separation? What are you the wiser if you should study and find out what place Adam should for ever have lived in if he had not fallen? And what is any man the more learned if he hears the disputes, whether Adam should have multiplied children in the state of innocence, and what would have been the event of things if one child had been born before his father’s sin?
Too many scholars have lived upon air and empty notions for many ages past, and troubled themselves with tying and untying knots, like hypochondriacs in a fit of melancholy, thinking of nothing, and troubling themselves with nothing, and falling out about nothings…..
Men’s notions are often like the mules, begotten by equivocal and unnatural generations; but they make no species: they are begotten, but they can beget nothing; they are the effects of long study, but they can do no good when they are produced: they are not that which Solomon calls “the way of understanding.”
If the Spirit of God be our teacher, we shall learn to avoid evil, and to do good, to be wise and to be holy, to be profitable and careful: and they that walk in this way shall find more peace in their consciences, more skill in the scriptures, more satisfaction in their doubts, than can be obtained by all the controversial and impertinent disputations of the world.”