It is true that such half-educated people are the most useless people on earth, and it would be better for them if they knew nothing; for they obey no one, can do everything better than anyone else, and can expertly judge all art and literature. In short, they can teach no one anything worthwhile, and they let no one teach them. They have devoured the whole schoolbag, which no one can master; and yet they do not have even one book that they could properly teach to others! The devil has many such vicious cases, particularly among the rabble. The meanest bungler who hears a sermon or reads a chapter in German immediately makes himself a doctor of theology, crowning his own asininity and convincing himself most marvelously that he can now do everything better than all his teachers. This is Master Smart Aleck, who can bridle a steed in its hind end. All this, as I see it, is the result of reading and listening to God’s Word carelessly instead of concentrating on it with fear, humility, and diligence.


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