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Quotes of Author: James-buchanan

1.
As it is difficult to convey an idea of color to the blind, or of music to the deaf, so it is difficult to describe to a natural man the peculiar perceptions of one whose eyes have been opened by the Spirit. And the difficulty is not diminished but increased by the fact, that he has a kind of knowledge which is common to him with the true believer, and which is too apt to be mistaken for that which the Gospel requires. Perhaps the nearest approach that we can make to an explanation may be by asking you to conceive of a man who sees, but has no sense of beauty, or of a man who hears, but has no sense of harmony; just such is the case of a natural man, who sees the truth without perceiving its spiritual excellence, and on whose ear the sound of the Gospel falls without awakening music in his soul. Saving knowledge is not a knowledge of the dead letter or outward form of the Gospel, but a knowledge of the truth in “the light, and lustre, and glory of it;” “gustful knowledge” (Thomas Halyburton), which has in it a relish of the truth as excellent: “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”

As it is difficult to convey an idea of color to the blind, or of music to the deaf, so it is difficult to describe to a natural man the peculiar perceptions of one whose eyes have been opened by the Spirit. And the difficulty is not diminished but increased by the fact, that he has a kind of knowledge which is common to him with the true believer, and which is too apt to be mistaken for that which the Gospel requires. Perhaps the nearest approach that we can make to an explanation may be by asking you to conceive of a man who sees, but has no sense of beauty, or of a man who hears, but has no sense of harmony; just such is the case of a natural man, who sees the truth without perceiving its spiritual excellence, and on whose ear the sound of the Gospel falls without awakening music in his soul. Saving knowledge is not a knowledge of the dead letter or outward form of the Gospel, but a knowledge of the truth in “the light, and lustre, and glory of it;” “gustful knowledge” (Thomas Halyburton), which has in it a relish of the truth as excellent: “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Reference:   Office and Work, 1842.