The True Way to Divine Knowledge

In a remarkable sermon on “The True Way of Attaining Divine Knowledge,” John Smith states the truth I am attempting to set forth here: “Were I indeed to define divinity I should rather call it a divine life than a divine science; it is something rather to be understood by a spiritual sensation, than by any verbal description. . . . Divinity is indeed a true efflux from the eternal Light, which like the sunbeams, does not only enlighten, but heat and enliven. . . . We must not think that we have attained to the right knowledge of truth, when we have broken through the outward shell of words and phrases that house it up; . . . There is a knowing of Truth as it is in Jesus, as it is in a Christ-like nature, as it is in that sweet, mild, humble, and loving Spirit of Jesus, which spreads itself like a morning sun upon the souls of good men, full of life and light. It profits little to know Christ Himself after the flesh; but he gives his Spirit to good men that search the deep things of God. There is an inward beauty, life and loveliness in divine Truth, which can be known only when it is digested into life and practice.”

This old Divine held that a pure life was absolutely necessary to any real understanding of spiritual truth. “There is,” he says, “an inward sweetness and deliciousness in divine truth, which no sensual mind can taste or relish: this is that ‘natural’ man that savors not the things of God. . . . Divinity is not so much perceived by a subile wit as by a purified sense.”


This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:13


A pure life is absolutely necessary to any real understanding of spiritual truth.


Purify our hearts, Holy Father, so that we may perceive Your truth.