Adjicite fidei vestra virtutem, virtuti vero notitiam.
Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.
The Apostles minde is to shew, That the life of a Christian is no single thing, but a Quire or Dance, and the beginning of the train is faith: For if we must be elevated to be partakers of the Divine nature as verse the first, it must be a divine thing that must effect this; and the first divine thing is divinia veritas, the same which the Prophets in all ages have described to us. Which divine truth we apprehend by faith.
Now because there may be deceipt in our faith, we must take heed that it be not a rotten faith. That is fides ficta, the first epistle to Timothy, the first chapter and the first verse, Faith feigned; and a dead faith, James, the second chapter. There is a vile faith as well as a like pretious faith: And that we may separate the pretious from the vile, Jeremiah, the fifteenth chapter. And if we will know which is the pretious faith, for which Christ prayed in Luke, the twenty second chapter, it is not that which is alone, but which is accompanied with other virtues. It must not be totum integrale, or Alpha or Omega, but like a Quire, wherein are diverse parts, faith is but a part, and the eighth part of Christianity. This company is not added ad ornatum, but for necessity; therefore he exhorts, Give all diligence, and he that hath not these is blinde.
To prove, If faith be not all, what is that company he speaketh of?
The first is Virtue, A word which the Scriptures hath taken from the Philosophers, whereof all their books are full, and albeit we must beware that no man spoils us through Philosophie, Colossians, the second chapter, yet we may not contemne it. We are called to glory and virtue, and verse the third; and Philippians, the chapter four and the eighth verse, If any virtue. It is not to be taken generally, for so it contains all: It comprehends not moral virtues more than theological, but a more special thing. By Virtue is not meant an honest life, nor faith, but virtue is used either for an active power, as in the first epistle to the Corinthians the first chapter and the twenty fourth verse, or some notable effect as Galatians, the third chapter and the fift[h] verse: It is used either in opposition to weaknesse, as in the first epistle to the Corinthians, the fifteenth chapter and the fourty third verse, and the second epistle to the Corinthians, the twelfth chapter and the ninth verse, Virtus mea perficitur infirmitate; or in opposition to fear, as in the second epistle to Timothie, the first chapter and seventh verse, Not in the spirit of fear, but of power, By Virtue is meant that acrimena sinapis, as Christ speaketh, If you had faith but as a grain of mustard seed: this is that must be added to faith; then shall that  and  in the first epistle of John, the third chapter and second verse, be accomplished in us; then we shall say with Christ in [628/629] the fift[h] chapter of St. Johns gospel, My Father worketh and so doe I, and in the first epistle to the Corinthians, the twelfth chapter, The Holy Ghost worketh all in all. Faith hath no act but the act of assent; but the true faith is operative: Which power of working is called by Peter ¢retª by Paul, in the first epistle to the Corinthians, the fourth chapter, the spirit of faith: The life and work of faith with power, opus fidei in virtute, the second epistle to the Thessalonians, the first chapter and the eleventh verse: St. Paul saith, in the first epistle to the Corinthians, the fourth chapter and the twentieth verse, You shall perceive, non sermone, sed virtute; not only a power to talk well, but to work; they have a form of faith, but doe abnegare virtutem, the second epistle to Timothy, the third chapter and the fift[h] verse. As it betokens a power of doing well; so an ability of induring adversity depends on this virtue. For want of this Peter fell asleep, Matthew, the twenty sixt[h] chapter; He came afar off when Christ was apprehended, and was afraid of a poor Maid. So it was with Peter, having nothing but faith; but when he joyned with his faith virtue, then that was fulfilled. Luke, the twenty fourth chapter and the fourty ninth verse, He is indued with power from above, Induemini virtute ex alio: When he received the power of the holy Ghost, Acts, the first chapter and the eighth verse, then he was bold, Acts, the fift[h] chapter and the twenty ninth verse: The Apostle calls it strength in the inner man, Ephesians the third chapter and the sixteenth verse. If a man fear death his strength is small, Proverbs, the twenty fourth chapter and the tenth verse. By this virtue Moses feared not, Hebrews, the eleventh chapter and the twenty third verse. As there is modica fides, Matthew, the fourteenth chapter and the thirty first verse; so modica virtus, Apocalyps, the third chapter and the eighth verse. Where there is great faith, there is great virtue; where no faith, no virtue. As it is no true faith, which virtue doth not follow; so no true virtue, which faith doth not goe before.
It is called Grace in respect of God, from whom it comes; and virtue in regard of the effect. The Philosopher called them habitus, because they had them from themselves; but virtus est à Deo & Domino virtutis, to salve the error of the Philosophers. The Apostle calls it Grace, the second epistle of Peter, the third chapter and the eighteenth verse, grow in grace; so he calls it virtue, He hath called us to glory and virtue, in the second epistle of Peter, the first chapter and the third verse, and Philippians, the fourth chapter and the eighth verse. It is by good consequence, that is so called; because it is wrought by the Gospel, which is the power of God, Romans, the first chapter and the sixteenth verse: His words are spirit and life, John, the sixt[h] chapter: Virtue must bring forth virtue, Philosophers Virtue that no divine thing in it; they enured themselves to it, and so ascribed it to themselves. Our virtue proceedeth from faith, which is a divine thing whatsoever is not of faith is sinne, Romans, the fourteenth chapter: But the heathen called their virtues habits, as from themselves, not from the grace of God. [629/630] To Virtue knowledge. He began with faith, a theological virtue, then he added Virtue, which is moral; now he comes to Knowledge, another theological virtue.
By this successive coupling we are taught, not to stay at virtue, but to proceed de virtute in virtute Psalm, the eighty fourth, and the seventh verse, from strength to strength. As before against infirmity and weakenesse of our nature, he added virtue; So for our error and ignorance, he joyneth knowledge: for there may be an active power to work, and yet not aright, as Romans, the tenth chapter & the second verse, They have Zeal, but not according to knowledge: But there must be, not only power, but wisdome, not only homines improbi, shall be cast out, but foolish virgins, Matthew, the twenty fift[h] chapter. As virtue is required, so is knowledge, to direct us in that we doe. We must seek for Non tam quam aurizam virtutis scientiam, sine quâ ipsa virtus est vitium, therefore Proverbs, the twenty third chapter and the twenty fourth verse, Cease from thy wisdome; And in Ecclesiastes, the seventh chapter, Be not minium justus: Knowledge is a key, Luke, the eleventh chapter and the fifty second verse: And a Quire must have a key to set the song, that is, the key of knowledge. In the Law nothing was to be offered without falt, that is, the grace of knowledge. It is that which the Apostle calleth, the inward annointing, in the first epistle of John, the second chapter and the twentieth verse, which gives a sweet savour and sent to God: So saith the Apostle in the second epistle to the Corinthians, the second chapter, We are a sweet savour to God. But is not faith knowledge? It is: But yet where the object of faith is verum and falsum. Science hath for its object good and evil, as Genesis, the second chapter and the ninth verse, the passions of Christ, and the torments of Hell, are indifferently the objects of faith, but the affections are stirred by good and ill: And it is knowledge that must discern between good and ill; evil things may goe under the shew of good; and therefore we must have knowledge to unmask them. So the doctrine of repentance, being a good thing, hath a shew of ill, and without the grace of knowledge, men are hardly brought to beleeve it. As there is prudentia carnis, Romans, the eighth chapter and the sixt[h] verse, and prudentia seculi, the first epistle to the Corinthians, the third chapter and the nineteenth verse, so there must be a spiritual knowledge and wisdome, to discerne them, and to measure what is good. That all which we doe teach may be [milk of the soul] the first epistle of Peter the second chapter, and all you doe may be [perfect service] Romans, the twelfth chapter, we must add this knowledge. Knowledge is lame without power, and power is blinde without knowledge; for knowledge is the lightning of the eyes of the minde, the second epistle to the Corinthians, the fourth chapter. There is a knowledge, falsly so called, the first epistle to Timothy, the sixt[h] chapter and the twentieth verse. The knowledge, truly so called is not speculative, but practique. It is the knowledge from on high, that directs our feet in the way of peace as Luke the first chapter and the seventy ninth verse: And not only that which lightens [630/631] our eyes. Physicians of longest practice, and Souldiers that have been trained, are most respected, so it is in worldly things, and so it should be in divine things: A man must animare praxin, that was the advise of the Civilian, give a soul to it, as in the thirty third chapter of Deuteronomie and eighth verse, first Thummim, and Urim. Jesus began to doe and teach, Acts the first chapter and the first verse, that is the touchstone of knowledge, as Christ saith, If any man will doe his will, he shall know of his doctrine, qui fecerit voluntatem Patris, sciet de doctrina, utrum sit ex Deo, John the seventh chapter and the seventeenth verse; for there are some that are always learning, but never come to the knowledge of the truth, especially that knowledge that may be truly so called, in the second epistle to Timothy and the third chapter.