Worship and Wisdom By Carl G. Doney, Ph. D.

"H« giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding." — Dan. ii, 21. "Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." — ^Job xxviii, 28. "A little philosophy inclineth a man's heart to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion," — Bacon, "Divine moment, when over the tempest-tossed soul, as well as over the wild, weltering chaos, it was spoken 'Let there be light'"— Carlyle. "To know but to know, that is curiosity; to know to be known, that is vainglory; but to know to practice what we know, that is Gospel duty." — Unknown. "The knowledge of man is an evening knowledge, Vesperina Cognitio, but that of God is a morning knowledge, Matutina Cognitio.'^ — Emerson, from the Schoolmen. "What availeth knowledge without the fear of God? An humble, ignorant man is better than a proud scholar who studies natural things, and knows not himself." — Jeremy Taylor.


Worship and Wisdom Man has more gray brain matter than any other creature. He is not the strongest or the swiftest or the longest lived, yet he is master of the inhabitants of earth and sky and sea. It is because he can do better thinking than they. He touches a lever which releases forces that are more powerful than any beast; he presses a spring which directs energies that are swifter than the flight of any bird; ho crowds results into a few years, and his life, measured thereby, is longer than any other. His puny natural forces are multiplied by millions through the magic of his mind. He finds a cause and he trails it until he reaches its effects; he discovers an effect and follows its tracings back to the cause. He dreams and then demonstrates his visions; he discloses principles governing the operation of forces, builds sluiceways to direct them, opens and closes the gates, and makes the mastered energies serve him in the paths his wisdom marks. Human instincts are neither so mandatory nor so sufficient for life as those of the brutes, and a man 155

156 The Throne-Room of the Sotd saves himself from destruction only by wise thinking. His life is a series of judgings; alternatives constantly present themselves, and at a thousand crossroads intelligent deliberation alone will reveal the way to take. Choice is constantly necessary, for purposes are to be formed and action carefully directed. The true judgment is difficult to attain because of insufficient knowledge and unsuspected interferences. The most learned are still pebble-gatherers before the great ocean of undiscovered truth; and within him-

self each man finds that the pleadings of custom, of public opinion, of habit, of ambition, of prejudice, and self-interest may easily obscure the truth. The wonder is that men ever agree concerning anything when we consider what is involved in the elimination of the personal equation and the proper valuation of the multiplicity of conflicting data. In the Church as a worshiper man does much to attain a steady vision and the ability to look at things impartially. The Church has indeed been called the mother of bigotry, but this is the hard word of the imperfectly informed. Properly to see a picture, one must know where to stand; properly to judge of privilege and duty, one must have an undisturbed viewpoint Personal desire must not bias and time must not persuade. Worship largely eliminates self, re-

Worship and Wisdom 157 moves the disturbances of sense and time, and allows man to stand upon the summits of eternity, where he estimates values by the standards of everlasting right. The impartial view-point comes to the worshiper through a surrender of self and its merger into the self of the Father. Then he puts himself somewhat in God's place, and his judgment is the judgment of the Highest; he loses bis personal biases, sv/eeps the horizons of past, present, and future, and sees the particular thing in true perspective and relation. Worship unifies life, and thereby promotes the discernment of truth. Events do not stand alone, chaotic, haphazard; and they have their values in their inter-relationships. Worship discloses the true philosophy of history in the revelation of Him who is both first and final Cause. Worship balances the in-

dividual life; every faculty and function should be sanely active in discerning and judging. It is sin which destroys the unity of man's functions and thereby makes him deficient The impure is tmable to pass judgment upon purity, the dishonest is incapable of having a just valtie of rectitude, the untruthful should expect to have his opinion of veracity much discounted. So also the critical, the gloomy, the credulous, the proud, the abnormal in any par-

158 The Throne-Room of the Soul ticular is shut out from truest wisdom. He brings to his task a mind deficient or already bribed. Worship is a corrective. It is a constant rebuker of sin, of deficiency, of excess; it steadies, governs, guides, and quickens all man's faculties, gives strength and motive for their highest use. Worship includes teachableness. The bigotry of self-sufficiency has no place in the sanctuary, and the dogmatism of the Pharisee is rebuked by the spirit of true worship. Openness of mind is an essential of wisdom, and he who bows before God is necessarily seeking to be taught. When more than now has wisdom been needed or of greater power? Prejudices, idols of the den and cave, narrowness and specialization mislead and betray. This, when men are more closely bound than ever, when error and untruth run courses most disastrous, when all must jointly share in the mistakes of one. Man, reverent before God, finds unfolding in himself the conditions for discovering what is true and, faithful to himself, he comes to be the child of God. 1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books

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