Edward Leigh (1602-1671) on the definition of theology: Another link in the Ramus-Perkins-Ames-Mastricht-Edwards trajectory?


In an earlier post on the origin of the title of this blog, we looked at the theological and historical trajectory running through Petrus Ramus (1515–1572), William Perkins (1558–1602), William Ames (1575-1633), Petrus van Mastricht (1630-1706) and Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758). That post is can be found here:


Edward Leigh (1602-1671), an English lay writer, seems to provide another link in that chain. Though he phrases it somewhat differently, in essence he is saying the same thing: theology is ultimately a practical discipline. The end thereof is to live unto God and his glory:

Divinity (or theology) is “such an art as teacheth a man by knowledge of God’s will and assistance of his power to live to his glory. The best rules that the Ethicks, Politicks, Oeconomicks have, are fetched out of Divinity. There is no true knowledge of Christ, but that which is practical, since everything is then truly known, when it is known in the manner that it is propounded to be known. But Christ is not propounded to us to be known theoretically but practically.”

– Edward Leigh (1602-1671), Body of Divinity, in Richard Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, 1:156-157)


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