In the preceding discourse, I spoke of God’s knowledge.  There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom.  The apostle speaks of them as different gifts of the Spirit in men: To one is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12.9).  Knowledge respects things considered absolutely and in themselves.  Wisdom respects things in the relation they have to one another as means and ends.  So that knowledge is the root of wisdom and wisdom is the fruit of knowledge.  Knowledge is the foundation of wisdom and wisdom is the superstructure upon knowledge.  Knowledge is only an act of the understanding, but wisdom is an act both of the understanding and of the will.  Knowledge belongs to speculation, but wisdom belongs to practice and is the splendor and luster of knowledge shining forth in our resolutions and actings.  And, as these two are different gifts and excellencies in men, so also they are distinct perfections in God, according to our manner of conceiving.  His knowledge is the simple understanding of things, but His wisdom is His skilful contriving and appointing, ordering and disposing of all things.  The apostle speaks of them as distinct perfections: O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God (Romans 11.33)!

From: Theologia, or, Discourses of God Delivered in 120 Sermons by William Wisheart; 2 volumes; reprint (Paisley: Robert Reid, 1787), 1:169-170.  Originally published in 1716.

William Wisheart (or Wishart) (1660-June 11, 1729) was Principal of Edinburgh University (1716-1728).

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