« PreviousContinue »
commanded to prove all things ?. 1 Thes. 5.21.
Ans. Will you try poison whether, it will kill you or no? Therefore the meaning of this place must needs be, that we are to examine the Doctrines that are delivered unto us, by the Scripture, whether they are built thereon, or no. Like those noble Bereans, Acts 17.11, who searched the Scriptures whether those things were fo, that were delivered to them for the Truths of God. And let that place, Rom 14.1. be considered by all such as are not throughly grounded in the principles of Christianity, Him that is weak in Faith, receive, but not to doubtful disputations. Every private Christian is not fic to cope wich bereticks and such as are skilfull to destroy the Faith of others. You would not allow a man to come and undermine the foundation of your house; This do they, and worse, that go about to unders mine your Faith, and labour cofhake and anfet tle
you in the grand traths of the Gospel. Surely they tbat rob and rifle soules of Truth, are worse felons, than they that rob and rifle houses.
6. Forsake not che publick Ordinances, nor faithful Ministers of Christ, whose endeavours God hach born witneß to, by the real conversion of many thousand soules. "Tis not safe co balk
' the known and ordinary waies, wherein God uses to dispense his spiritual blessings. Wisdom's dole is to be expected at wisdom's gate. Eph.4.11.
And he gave fome Apostles, and some Prophets , and some Evangelists, and some Paftours and Teachers, V.12. For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying the body of Christ. v.14. That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, de carried about with every wind of Doctrine, by the flight of men da cuna ning craftinefse, whereby they ly in wait to deceive.
7. Remember thou are not only to be ftedfast in the truth, and to hold fast che truch, as 10 thinë own particular, but also to be valiant for the Truth, Jer.9.3. To contend for the Faith önce delivered to the Saints, Fude v.3. Thou muft shew thy self a Champion for Truch, when it is opposed. Truth ’tis one of the choicest treasures and greateft priviledges that cver God bestowed on any people, And shall we so easily and tamely part with ic? Shall we suffer crafty perfoms that are now abroad, to rob us and steal from us oår best creasure ? Shall we suffer chem to cheat us, and our posterity of our richest Jewell ? Not long ago, the great bickerings were about discipline: Now the Doctrine of che Gospel is in danger ; And Mall we suffer che ix. terest of our Lord and Master to be croden under foot ? Indeed we are not to be bitter against the persons of the erroneous, yet we are to be sensible how God is dishonoured, and thoufands of foules endangered by their pernicious errours. And therefore ic deeply conceras uso co
have a care of our felves to preserve our owne soules from this infection ; and not of our selves only, but to have a regard to our posterity also ; that we transmic truth down to them. Wc would be willing to leave our estates to our chil
dren; And shall we not be more careful to leave 2. chem truth? Believe it, we are to perform the
part of faithful Trustees, and to keep the Docte rine of salvation pure and unmix'd (as much as io us lics) and so to leave it to those that are to come after us.
8. and Lastly, Consider how the Scripture has forewarned us there must be Heresies, 1 Cor. 11.19. Now there is a twofold neceffity; Absolute, Conditional,
1. Absolute, when a thing cannot possibly be others : wife; as God must needs be just. 2. Conditional
, when a thing musi be, suppofing such another thing to be before: As suppose
the Sun be rifen, it muft be day; so here, sport * Suppofision of these two things, 1. Satans malice.
2. Mans Corruption, there must be Heresies, Far be it from us ever co chink that Godimposes a neseffery on any to be Herecicks : but he permics them 8 suffers them to spring up in the Church; and chat for chese chree reasons.
1. Thac his glorious truths may be the more cleared up, and evidenced, and strongly confirmed and maintained: Many parts of true Doctrine have been but slenderly gwarded, till assaulted
by Hereticks; then old evidences have been searched and found out. Many truths have been occasionally most cleared and setled by the opposition of the Adversary.
2. That they that are approved many hereby be made manifest. This is an effect the Devil never incended by raising Heresies ; But 'tis the Chin mistry of Heaven to bring good onet of evil: That is pure gold that endures the trial of the fire. A quick smart wind fevers the solid grain from the chaff. They are hut chaff who are blown away with every wind of Doctrine: The good wheat re. maines still in the foot of the Church. When you see an Army march, you know not who is valiant, and who not ; when the enemy approaches, then is the trial.
3. That the obftinace may be rendred inexcusable, who wilfully fhut their eies against these more open manifestations, and greater cleat irgs up of the Truth, which (uccasionally, by che opposition of the adversary, God is pleased to afford bis Church.
fude v. 3: Beloved when i gade all diligence të
write unto you of the common salvation, it was seedful for me to write unto you and exhort yox, that we should earneftly contend for the Faith which was once delivered into the saints. V.4. For there are certain men crept iD #14 wures, who were before of old ordained to this
condemnation, ungodly men, turning the Grace of our God into lasciviousnelse, and denying the
only Lord God, and our Lord Fesus Chrift. z Pec.2.1. But there were false Prophets also a
mong the people, even as i here shall be false Teachers
among you, who privily sball bring in damnable Heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, aud bring spon themselves swift
destruction. V... And many shall follow their pernicious wales, by reafon of whom, the way of truth shall be evil
Joken of V.3. And through Covetonsneffe fhall they with feigned words make marchandise of you ; whose judgment nom of a long time lingreth not, and their damnation
sumbreth not. 1 Tim.4.1. Now the Spirit speaketh exprefly that
in the latter times fome Mall depart from the Faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and
doctrines of devils. V.2. Speaking lies in hypocrisie, having their
Consciences feared with a het Iron. 2 Tim 2 17. And their word will eat as doth a
Canker, of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus. V.18. Who concernirg the truth have erred, sag. ing the Resurrection is paft already; and over
throw the Faith of fome. 2 Tim.4.3. For the time will come when they will
not endure sound doctrine ; but after their own