— William Law English cleric, nonjuror and theological writer 1686 - 1761
Context: Show me a man whose heart has no desire, or prayer in it, but to love God with his whole soul and spirit, and his neighbor as himself, and then you have shown me the man who knows Christ, and is known of him; the best and wisest man in the world, in whom the first paradisaical wisdom and goodness are come to life. Not a single precept in the gospel, but is the precept of his own heart, and the joy of that new-born heavenly love which is the life and light of his soul. In this man, all that came from the old serpent is trod under his feet, not a spark of self, of pride, of wrath, of envy, of covetousness, or worldly wisdom, can have the least abode in him, because that love, which fulfilleth the whole Law and the prophets, that love which is God and Christ, both in angels and men, is the love that gives birth, and life, and growth to everything that is either thought, or word, or action in him. And if he has no share or part with foolish errors, cannot be tossed about with every wind of doctrine, it is because, to be always governed by this love, is the same thing as to be always taught of God.
On the other hand, show me a scholar as full of learning, as the Vatican is of books, and he will be just as likely to give all that he has for the gospel-pearl, as he would be, if he was as rich as Croesus. Let no one here imagine, that I am writing against all human literature, arts and sciences, or that I wish the world to be without them. I am no more an enemy to them, than to the common useful labors of life. It is literal learning, verbal contention, and critical strife about the things of God, that I charge with folly and mischief to religion. And in this, I have all learned Christendom, both popish and Protestant on my side. For they both agree in charging each other with a bad and false gospel-state, because of that which their learning, logic, and criticism do for them. Say not then, that it is only the illiterate enthusiast that condemns human learning in the gospel kingdom of God. For when he condemns the blindness and mischief of popish logic and criticism, he has all the learned Protestant world with him; and when he lays the same charge to Protestant learning, he has a much larger kingdom of popish great scholars, logically and learnedly affirming the same thing. So that the private person, charging human learning with so much mischief to the church, is so far from being led by enthusiasm, that he is led by all the church-learning that is in the world.
¶ 164 - 165.