FROM THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
— Doctrinal Series —
IN PROPORTION AS A MAN SHUNS EVILS AS SINS,
IN THE SAME PROPORTION HE DOES GOODS,
NOT FROM HIMSELF BUT FROM THE LORD.
iii. If a man knows and is wise about many things, and does not shun evils as sins, he is nevertheless not wise. This is so for the reason already given: that he is wise from himself and not from the Lord.
If for example he has an accurate knowledge of the doctrine of his church and of all things that belong to it, if he knows how to confirm them by the Word and by reasonings, if he knows the doctrines held by all churches for ages, together with the edicts of all the councils, and even if he knows truths, and also sees and understands them; thus if he knows the nature of faith, charity, piety, repentance and the remission of sins, regeneration, baptism, the Holy Supper, the Lord, and redemption and salvation, still he is not wise unless he shuns evils as sins, because his knowledges [cognitiones] are devoid of life, being of his understanding only and not at the same time of his will; and such knowledges in time perish …. After death also the man himself throws them off, because they are not in accordance with his will’s love. Nevertheless knowledges are in the highest degree necessary, because they teach how a man is to act; and when he acts them, then they are alive in him, and not till then.