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Eighth Sermon on 2 Thessalonians Chapter Two


by Thomas Manton


With all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they
received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.2 Thes. 2:10.
WE have described unto you the head of the antichristian state; we come now to
the subjects, especially the zealous abettors and promoters of this kingdom.
They are described:(I.) By the means how they are drawn into this apostasy and
defection, en pash apath thV adikiaV. (2.) By their doom or misery; they are in
a state of perdition: in them that perish. (3.) By their sin, which is the cause
and reason of this doom: because they received not the love of the truth, that
they might be saved.

1. The means: 'With all deceivableness of unrighteousness.' That Antichrist
shall be a deceiver, and that he deceiveth by lying miracles, we have seen
already, and is foretold: Rev. 13:14, 'And deceiveth them that dwell on the
earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of
the beast,' &c.; but the deceived are not altogether guiltless, for the fraud
would soon be discovered by a holy and pure soul. His great engine is either the
baits of lust and sin, which work on none but those that have pleasure in
unrighteousness, ver. 12: the generality of wicked and carnal Christians are
easily drawn from God's pure worship, and true godliness; either by worldly
means, as by the offers of preferment, riches, dignities, or else terrors of the
flesh. Now, none catch at these worldly baits but whose eyes the god of this
world hath blinded, 2. Cor. 4:4.

2. Their misery: they are said to be 'those that perish.' That beareth three
senses.(1.) That they are worthy to perish, because they do not use care and
diligence to understand their duty, being blinded by their worldly affections.
That is the mildest sense we can put upon it; they deserve to perish. No man
perisheth but for his own fault: Hosea 13:9, 'O Israel, thou hast destroyed
thyself, but in me is thy help.' Now, they that will yield to the deceivableness
of unrighteousness, justly perish; though there be deceit in the case, yet there
is unrighteousness in the case also. Fraudulent dealing should not so cozen us,
as apparent unrighteousness or unfaithfulness to Christ should warn us. (2.)
That they are in an actual state of perdition, and, unless they come out of it,
are undone for ever. The apostles, when they propounded Christian doctrine, at
first did use this term to distinguish impenitent unbelievers from those that
received the gospel: as 1 Cor. 1:18, 'The preaching of the cross is to them that
perish foolishness, but unto us that are saved the power of God;' so 2 Cor.
2:15, 'We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that perish, and in
them that are saved.' So he distinguisheth them that receive the faith, and them
that receive it not; penitent believers are those that are saved, but impenitent
unbelievers are those that perish, that is, are for the present, during their
infidelity and impenitency, in an actual state of perdition; so 2 Cor. 4:3, 'If
our gospel be hid, it is hid to those that are lost;' that is, who are for the
present in a lost condition. We know not God's secret decrees, but those that
refuse and oppose the only remedy, to all appearance, are lost men. Now, this he
applieth to those that yield to Antichrist, showing them that though they are
Christians, yet they have no more benefit by the gospel than infidels; they
receive not the truththese revolt from the owning of it upon carnal reasons:
and therefore it is foretold, Rev. 14:9,10, 'If any man worship the beast and
his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall
drink of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of
his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the
presence of the holy angels, and the presence of the Lamb;' that is, all those
that give up themselves as servants and soldiers to the antichristian estate,
and obstinately adhere to and promote that profession, they shall taste of the
Mediator's vengeance, which will be very sore and severe: Luke 19:27, 'These
mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring them forth,
and slay them before me.' Popery is the highway to damnation. (3.) It beareth
this sense, that they are fore-appointed to perish who are left to these
delusions; they are such as God hath passed by, and not chosen to life. This is
to be considered also; for damnable errors take not effect on God's elect: Mat.
24:24, 'If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.' The elect
cannot altogether be seduced and drawn away from Christ, for God taketh them
into his protection, and guardeth them against the delusions of false prophets,
that, if they be for a time, they shall not always be deceived. So it is said,
Rev. 9:4, 'The locusts shall hurt none of those that had the seal of God in
their foreheads.' The delusions of Antichrist have only their full effect on
those who are not elected and sealed, upon the hypocritical professors that live
in the visible church. So it is said again, Rev. 13:8, 'All that dwell upon the
earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of
life;' and again, Rev. 17:8, 'And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder,
whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the
world.' The elect are still excepted, which is much for the comfort of the
godly, who belong to God's election, that he shall not prevail over them
totally, finally. God hath chosen you to life.

3. The reason of this doom: 'Because they received not the love of the truth
that they might be saved: By the truth is meant the gospel, the chief truth
revealed in God's word, and the only means of salvation: Eph. 1:13, 'In whom
also ye trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your
salvation.' This is the truth most profitable to lost sinners; receiving is put
for entertaining, or believing the word; as Acts 8:14, 'When they heard that
Samaria had received the word of God;' and Acts 11:1, 'That the Gentiles had
received the word,' and elsewhere. This reception must be with love: Acts 2:41,
'As many as received the word gladly;' and Acts 17:11, 'They received the word
with readiness of mind.' And this affection must produce its effect, so as to
convert them unto God. Now, this is denied of them who are seduced by
Antichrist, that they ever had any true love to the truth, or minded it in order
to their salvation. Now, the business is, whether the clause concerned only the
Jews, or can be applied to Christians? The Jews clearly received not the love of
the truth, but did refuse Christ and his salvation. And herein the papists glory
of an advantage of turning off this prophecy from themselves. But the apostle
speaketh not of rejecting the truth, but of not receiving the love of the truth,
which is not proper to the Jews but to false Christians. The Jews' company
rejected Christ, and Antichrist was not sent to them for a punishment, but wrath
came upon them to the uttermost, to the excision and cutting off their nation.
But here is rendered the reason not of other judgments, but why men are captives
to Antichrist. Therefore it is not so to be confined.
Doct. 1. The subjects of Antichrist's power and seduction are those that perish.
2. The great reason why God sent this judgment on the Christian world, is
because they received not the love of the truth.
Doct. 1. That the subjects of Antichrist's power and seduction are those that
perish.
It is a dreadful argument we are upon, yet necessary to be known for our
caution, however to be handled warily. (1.) It is certainly more meet for us to
have a regard of our own estate, than curiously to inquire what becometh of
others. The apostle waiveth judging them that are without, I Cor. 5:12. I know
he meaneth it of the censures of the church, which are not exercised upon
infidels, but Christians; but so far we may apply it to this case, that we
should not rashly judge of the eternal state of other persons, but rather of
things wherein ourselves are concerned. If the inquiry were only matter of
curiosity, surely Christ's rebuke would silence it, 'What is that to thee?' John
21:22; for Christ is ill pleased with curiosity about the state of other men;
but it is fit we should know our own duty and danger, and to that end it must be
discussed. (2.) That there is a great difficulty of the salvation of papists so
living and dying, if not an utter impossibility. Partly because, though it
should be supposed that they retain the foundation, yet they build such hay and
stubble upon it, so many errors in doctrine, corruptions in worship, and tyranny
in government, that if a man could be saved, he is saved but as by fire, 1 Cor.
3:13; and no man that hath a care of his soul will either embrace Popery or
continue in it. Where the way is plainest there are difficulties enough, and the
righteous are scarcely saved; and, therefore, in a questionable way, none should
venture. Worshipping of angels and saints departed, and images, are no light
thing. Nor will a serious Christian choose that way where the doctrines of the
gospel are so exceedingly corrupted, and there is such a manifest invasion of
the authority of Christ, by challenging a universal headship over his church
without his leave, and this maintained by errors and persecutions. (3.) We must
distinguish of those that lived under Popery, rather as captives under this
tyranny, than voluntary subjects of this kingdom of Antichrist; as many holy men
did in former times, groaning and mourning under the abominations, rather than
countenancing and promoting them. To these God speaketh when he saith, Rev.
18:4, 'Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and
that ye receive not of her plagues.' They were his people while they were there.
These were as those 'seven thousand in Israel that had not bowed the knee to
Baal,' Rom. 11:4. (4.) There is a difference to be put between those that err in
the simplicity of their hearts, knowing no better, and those that withstand the
light upon carnal reasons, and will not retract their errors, though convinced
of the degeneration of Christianity; for simple ignorance is not so damning as
obstinate error: Luke 12:48, 'But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy
of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes,' &c.; and 1 Tim. 1:13, 'But I
obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.' The scriptures many
times condemn a way as a way of ruin, but all in that way are not damned; as
John 4:22, 'Salvation is of the Jews.' There it is eminently dispensed, and yet
therefore it followeth not that all the Samaritans were damned. Some among them,
though tainted with the errors of their country, might have such knowledge of
the law of God, and love to him, as might be effectual to salvation. (5.) We
must distinguish between papists so living and so dying; many, by God's grace,
may have repentance conferred upon them at death; and though they lived papists,
might die as reformed Christians, seeking salvation by Christ alone, in the way
of true faith and repentance, and so the Lord may manifest his compassion to
them, pardoning the errors of their lives. (6.) We must distinguish times. God
might dispense with many in the times of universal darkness and captivity, more
than he doth afterwards, when the light of the gospel breaketh forth, and his
trumpet is sounded to call them forth. Whosoever shall compare John Fierus and
John Calvin will find they were assisted by the same Holy Spirit of God, though
the one lived and died a papist, and the other was an eminent instrument in
reforming the church of God; but an ignorant fear of separation from the
catholic church caused many to do as they did; but much more doth it hold good
in the times before. Our fathers, if alive, would not have condemned us, nor
should we condemn them, being dead, before they had these advantages which we
now enjoy. Illi si reviviscerent, &c., (If those should come to life again)
saith Austin in a like case. (7.) We must distinguish between Popish errors some
are more capital, as adoration of images, invocation of saints, justification by
the merit of works, inhibition of the scriptures, &c.; others not so deadly, as
when too much reverence is given to ecclesiastical orders and constitutions,
penance, auricular confession, fasting,. &c. Now though the case of a real
papist, who is complete in this mystery of iniquity, and refuseth, hateth,
persecuteth the truth offered, be desperate, yet the Lord may in tender mercy
accept of other devout souls who yet live in that way, if they hold the head and
the foundation.

Use 1. Let us not think Popery a light thing, which the Lord so peremptorily
threateneth. Surely it is no little mercy that we are freed from it. Therefore
we should be thankful for the light we have, and improve it well while we have
it, and hold it fast. What hope soever we may have of men living in former
times, and foreign countries, where they know no better, but after such express
warnings, what hope can we have of English papists, considering the time, when
Rome is not grown better but worse, and what was common opinion is now made an
article of faith, and when the truth is taught and so clearly manifested; so
that for any, by their own voluntary choice, to run into Popery, is a plain
defection from Christ to Antichrist, and wilfully to drink that poison which
will be the bane and ruin of their souls!

Doct 2. The great reason why God sent this judgment upon the Christian world, is
to punish those that received not the love of the truth.
Here I shall inquire(1.) How many ways men may be said not to receive the love
of the truth. (2.) How just their punishment is for such a sin.

[1.] In stating this sin(1.) It is supposed that the truth and doctrine of
Christ is made known to a people; yea, cometh among them with great evidence,
conviction, and authority.. For it is not the want of means, but want of love,
that it is charged on them; and the plenty of means aggravateth their fault, and
maketh their condemnation the more just: John 3:19, 'This is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness more than light.' The
truth was not for their turns, but was contrary to their lusts, and passions,
and prejudices; and these they preferred before the light of the gospel shining
to them.

(2.) That as in evidence of doctrine was not the cause of not receiving the
truth, so not bare weakness of understanding. No; it is not weakness, but
wilfulness which is here intimated; not a defect of their minds, but their
hearts: John 8:45 'Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.' It was not
weakness but prejudice hindered their believing. They despised the grace of God;
yea, hated it for their lust's sake. Their lusts lie more in opposition to the
truth than speculative doubts and errors: Luke 16:14, 'And the pharisees, who
were covetous, when they heard all these things, derided him;' the words are,
'blew their noses at him.' The sensual, carnal, and ungodly world scorneth
heavenly doctrine, and pure Christianity is distasted by false Christians. Err
in mind, err in heart.

(3.) It is not enough to receive the truth in the light of it, but we must also
receive it in the love of it, or it will do us no. good. To make the truth
operative:(1.) Knowledge is necessary, and also faith, and then love.
Knowledge, for 'without knowledge the heart is not good,' Prov. 19:2. Nothing
can come to the heart but by the mind; the will is orexiV meta logoua choice or
desire, guided by reason, and the gospel doth not work as a charm, whether it be
or be not understood. No; the purport or drift of it must be known, or how can
it have any effect upon us? Next to knowledge, to make it work, there must be
faith. When we apprehend a thing, we must judge of it, whether it be true or
false; how else can it make any challenge, or lay claim to our respect? 1 Thes.
2:13, 'Ye received it not as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word
of God, which worketh effectually in you, as it doth in all them that believe.'
Faith doth enliven our actions about religion; to hear of God, and Christ, and
heaven, doth not stir us unless we believe these things. Well, next to faith
there must be love, for apprehension and discrimination are acts of the
understanding only, but love belongeth to the will, and we must believe with all
the heart, Acts 8:37. There may be knowledge without faith, as an heathen may
understand the Christian religion, though he believe it not, profess it not. And
there may be faith without love, for there is a 'dead faith,' James 2:20, which
rests in cold opinions, without any affection to the truth believed. Love
pierceth deeper into the truth, and maketh it pierce deeper into us. As a
red-hot iron, though never so blunt, will run farther into an inch board than a
cold tool, though never so sharp. And love maketh it more operative; there is
notitia per visum, et notitia per gustuma knowledge by sight, and a knowledge
by taste. A man may guess at the goodness of wine by the colour, but more by the
taste; that is a more refreshing apprehension; and Augustine prayeth, Fac me,
Domine, gustare per amorem quad gusto per cognitionemLord, make me taste that
by love which I taste by knowledge. Surely we are never sound in Christianity
till all the light that we receive be turned into love. These great things are
revealed and represented to our faith, not to please our minds by knowing them,
but to quicken our love. Faith alone is but as sight, and faith with love is as
taste. Now, it is more easy to dispute a man out of his belief that only seeth,
than it is him that tasteth, and knoweth the grace of God in truth. This is the
true reason of the stedfastness of weak and unlearned Christians; though they
have not such distinct conceptions and reasonings as many learned men have, yet
their faith is turned into love, and a man is better held by the heart than by
the head. And though they cannot dispute for Christ (as one of the martyrs
said), they can die for Christ. But alas! many receive the truth in the light
thereof, but few receive it in the love of it, and so lie open to deceit.
(4.) This love must not be a slight affection, for that will soon vanish; but we
must be rooted and well grounded, and have a good strength. The stony ground had
some love to the word: Mat. 13:20, 21, 'But he that receiveth the seed in stony
places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it:
yet he hath not root in himself, but dureth but a while; for when tribulation or
persecution riseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.' So also of
the thorny ground: 'He heareth the word, and the care of this world, and the
deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful,' ver. 22.
Now what are the defects of this love? (1.) It is not well-grounded -[it is
only] a pang of love or flash of zeal; whereas we should be 'rooted and grounded
in love,' Eph. 3:17. Hypocrites had a taste: Heb. 6:4,5, 'For it is impossible
for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and
were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and
the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again
unto repentance.' Tasted, but did but taste; did escape miasmata kosmou, 2 Peter
2:20; yet, not having a good conscience, may make shipwreck of faith, 1 Tim.
1:19. (2.) It is partial. The gospel offereth great privileges, and it is also a
pure, holy rule of obedience, Acts 2:41. The word of God is made up of precepts
and promises. God offereth in the covenant excellent benefits, upon gracious
terms and conditions: there must be a consent to the terms, as well as an
acceptation of the privileges. The confidence of the privileges serveth to wean
us from the false happiness, therefore that must be kept up: Heb. 3:6, 'But
Christ, as a son over his own house, whose are we, if we hold fast the
confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.' And the consent to
the terms bindeth our duty upon us, Isa. 56:4. Now as willingly as we yielded at
first, we must keep up the same fervour still: Deut. 5:29, 'Oh, that there were
such an heart in them, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments
always; that it might be well with them and with their children for ever.' But
whole, pure Christianity is not loved by false Christians; therefore, when
religion crosseth their interests and the bent of their lusts, they seek to
bring religion to their hearts, not their hearts to religion. (3.) It is not
strong, and in such a prevalent degree as to control other affections; it is but
a passion, a pleasure, and a delight they take on for a time, not the effect of
solid judgment and resolutiona joy easily controlled and overcome with other
delights; therefore Christ requireth a denial of all things, for a close
adherence to him and his doctrine, and hath told us, Mat. 10:37, 'He that loveth
father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me,' and Luke 14:26, 'cannot be
my disciple.' This is a love to which all other loves must give way and be
subordinate. Many love the truth a little, but love other things more, will be
at no cost for it. Solomon giveth advice,, Prov. 23:23, 'Buy the truth and sell
it not.' In lesser points we must do nothing against the truth, for though the
matter contended for be never so small, yet sincerity is a great point; but in
the greater truths we should purchase the knowledge of them at any rate, and be
faithful to Christ whatever it costs us. (4.) This slight love may arise from
worldly respects. Now in the text it is said, 'They received not the love of the
truth, that they might be saved.' It should arise upon eternal reasons and
considerations of the other world, which only produce abiding affections: Heb.
10:39, 'We are not of them that draw back to perdition, but of them that believe
to the saving of the soul.' In. closing with Christianity, that must be fixed as
our scope, not to spare the flesh, but to save the soul, and to save the soul
with the loss of other things; and that will make us true to Christ. But there
are many foreign reasons for which men may show some love to religion. As,
first, policy; as Jehu took up Jehonadab into the chariot with him, 2 Kings
10:15there is his compliment to him. Jehonadab was a good man, and this
honoured him before the people, to see Jehu and Jehonadab so well acquainted.
'Sometimes respect to others upon whom we depend. Many seem to be good because
they dare not displease others that have authority over them, or an interest in
them; as Joash was religious all the days of Jehoiada, for he stood in awe of
him, 2 Chron. 24:2. Now such sorry religion dependeth on foreign accidents, the
life of others or presence of others, and therefore it cannot be durable;
whereas, in presence or absence, we should 'work out our salvation with fear and
trembling,' Phil. 2:12; otherwise men only keep within compass for a while, but
they have the root of sin within them still. Or it may be novelty, as our Lord
telleth the Jews, 'John was a burning and shining light, and ye were willing to
rejoice in his light for a season.' John was an eminent man for pureness of
doctrine and vigour of zeal, and the more corrupt sort of Jews, pharisees as
well as others, admired him for a while, but they soon grew weary of himit was
a fit of zeal for the present. Lastly, This love may be to the excellency of
gifts bestowed upon some minister or instrument whom God raiseth up, or some
countenance of great men given to their ministry may stir up some love and
attendance on their ministry; and some respect is given for their sakes when men
have no sound grace in their hearts. There is a receiving of the word as the
word of man, and a receiving of the word as the word of God, as the apostle
intimateth, 1 Thes. 2:13. The receiving of the word as the word of man, so it
worketh only a human passion, a delight in the gifts of the ministry used: Ezek.
33:32, 'Thou art to them as a lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice.'
Then there is a receiving it as the word of God, and then we receive it with
much assurance and joy in the Holy Ghost: 1 Thes. 1:5, 'Our gospel came to you,
not in word, but in power, and much assurance, and joy in the Holy Ghost' Now if
we do not receive the truth upon God's recommendation and confirmation, we do
not love truth as truth; our contest is not who hath most wit and parts, but
most grace. (5.) They do not receive the love of the truth, when it doth not
produce its solid effects, which is a change of heart and life, and they are not
brought by the gospel to a sincere repentance and conversion to God, or receive
the truth so as to live by it; but whilst they have the names of Christians,
have the lives and hearts of atheists and infidels. These were those that
debauched Christianity, and meritorie and effective, by their provocations and
negligence, brought this degeneracy into the church and judgment on the
Christian world. Certainly a man hateth that religion which he doth profess when
he will not live by it. This perfidiousness and breach of covenant was that
which provoked God to permit these delusions in the church; the worldly,
sensual, carnal Christians, that hate that life which their religion calleth
for. The godly Christian and the carnal Christian have the same Bible, the same
creed, the same baptism, yet they hate one another as if they were of different
religions, and confound the distinction between the world and the church,
because the world is in the church. And of sensual and godless men we must speak
as heathens, as if they were without God: they abhor that religion which they do
profess; that is, they abhor riot the name, but they abhor those that are
faithful to it and serious in it, who desire to know God in Christ, and desire
to love him, and live to him. It was that Christ taxed in the pharisees; they
honoured the dead saints and abhorred the living: Mat, 23:29-31, 'Woe unto you,
scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets,
and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days
of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the
prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of
them which killed the prophets.' Christ hath not worse enemies in the world than
those that usurp his name, and pretend to be his officers, and yet eat and drink
with the drunken, and beat their fellow-servants, Mat. 24:49. Christ will disown
such at the day of judgment: Mat. 7:22, 23, 'Many will say unto me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.' And such do most
dishonour him in the world. A righteous, sober, godly life is the best evidence
of our love to the truth.

[2] How just this punishment is:(1.) Because God hath ever held this course on
the pagan world, who kept not the natural knowledge of God: 'He gave them up to
vile affections,' Rom. 1:28. The Jews who rejected Christ: John 5:43, 'I am come
in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: another will come in his own name,
and him will ye receive.' When Christ cometh merely for our benefit, the
unthankful world will not make him welcome, but they will take worse in his
room. So towards Christians. At first men would not receive the gospel while it
was pure and in its simplicity, as taught by Christ and his apostles, and sealed
by the blood of the martyrs, till it was backed by a worldly interest, and
corrupted into a worldly design; and then they had it and all manner of
superstitions together, and with these strong delusions there came just
damnation. So still the pure gospel is refused, and God sendeth popish seducers
as a just judgment; men only prize the light as it may serve their turn. (2.)
The neglect and contempt of the truth is so heinous a sin that it deserveth the
greatest punishment: Heb. 2:3, 'How shall we escape if we neglect so great
salvation?' Now it is revenged by these errors as a just judgment on the
perverseness and unthankfulness of the world. The duties of the gospel being so
unquestionable, shows their perverseness. The privileges of the gospel being so
excellent, their unthankfulness is more intolerable.

Use 1 is to show us what cause we have to fear a return of Popery. Alas! where
is this love of the truth? (1.) Some are gospel-glutted, loathe manna: a fullfed
people must expect a famine, Amos 8:2. In differences between God and Baal,
Christ and Antichrist, few are valiant for the truth: Jer. 9:3, 'And they bend
their tongue like their bow for lies, but they are not valiant for the truth
upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith
the Lord.' Contend earnestly: Jude 3, 'It was needful for me to write unto you,
and to exhort you, that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was
once delivered unto the saints.' Again (2.) There are many sensualists, unclean
and carnal gospellers; to these God oweth a judgment. Usually the gospel is
removed and given to a nation that will bring forth the fruits thereof. They
that use the truth only or principally for their own turns, hate to be reformed;
God will reckon with them: Ps. 50:16,17, 'But unto the wicked God saith, What
hast thou to do to declare my statutes? or that thou shouldst take my covenant
into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind
thee?'

Use 2 shows you indeed that you love the gospel. Carentia remedii (lacking the
cure) is a grievous misery, or else Christ had not come as a great blessing.
Neglectus remedii (neglecting the cure) is a grievous sin, to be lazy in a
matter of such moment: those that never set their hearts to obey the truth.
Crassa negligentia dolus est (Disregard is a deep treachery): There should be
constant purpose, endeavour, striving, and not cease striving, till we in some
measure prevail. Rejectio or contemptio remedii (rejection or contempt of the
cure), if we put away the word of God from us: Acts 13:46, 'Then Paul and
Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should
first have been spoken to you; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge
yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.' God will
be gone, if not from the land, from thy soul. This is the most heinous iniquity
of all: Heb. 10:28,29, 'He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two
or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be
thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the
blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath
done despite unto the Spirit of grace?' So Esau's despising his birth-right:
Heb. 12:16, 17, 'Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who
for one morsel of meat sold his birthright; for ye know how that afterwards,
when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no
place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.' [Apparently the
sentences in this paragraph are elliptical.ED.]

 

Promoting a Greater Understanding of the Discovery of the Americas