« PreviousContinue »
MODERN PRETENSIONS TO THE MIRACULOUS GIFTS OF
REASON AND SCRIPTURE.
REV. THOMAS GREENWOOD, B. A.,
Of Trinity College, Cambridge,
LECTURER AT ST. GILES's, CRIPPLEGATE.
"PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD PAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD."-1 Thess. v. 21.
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM HARDING,
The Two Sermons which form the first part of these sheets, were delivered in the Parish Church of St. John's, Clerkenwell, on the 11th and 18th of December last ; and it has not been thought necessary to alter their arrangement in offering them to the notice of the public in their present shape. The Notes, it is hoped, will be found to comprise a valuable body of historical and medical information, relative to miraculous pretensions. They also include critical discussions of the principal passages of Scripture wrested by the advocates of “The Latest Heresy," for the support of their anti-scriptural hypothesis. That a blessing may attend these his humble labours in defence of the truth as it is in Jesus, , is the hearty prayer of the Author; and should they be made the means of reclaiming or confirming the wavering faith of one individual, he will consider himself as amply rewarded.
0, Almighty God, who hast built thy church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head cornerstone ; and hast further instructed it with the heavenly doctrine of thy evangelists; grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made a holy temple, acceptable unto thee; and give us grace, that being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy gospel, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
JER. VI. 16, 17.
Thus SAITH THE LORD, STAND YE IN THE WAYS, AND SEE; AND ASK FOR
THE OLD PATHS, WHERE IS THE GOOD WAY; AND WALK THEREIN: AND YE SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. BUT THEY SAID, WE WILL NOT WALK
THEREIN. Also, I SET WATCHMEN OVER YOU, SAYING, HEARKEN TO THE SOUND OF THE
TRUMPET. BUT THEY SAID, WE WILL NOT HEARKEN.
The text contains a communication from God to the Jewish church, at a period when it had become infected with many and grievous errors; and it further relates the reception this communication met with from those to whom it was addressed. A more salutary and well-timed admonition never proceeded from even a heavenly source; a more determined and insolent slight could scarcely have been put on the most pernicious and malignant advice that ever flowed from human lips.
The disease which was at this time preying on the vitals of religion, was both deeply rooted and widely diffused. Not only had the lowest of the people, the poor and foolish, been induced to "put their trust in lying words, that could not profit ;” but those from whom better things might reasonably have been expected,— persons of superior education and ampler opportunities,—had fallen into the snares of Satan. Nay, the very angels of the church, those whom divine appointment had constituted its pastors and guides, were among the foremost to seduce and mislead the people. “ A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land,” says the prophet, at the close of the preceding chapter: “ The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” The Lord condescended, through his servant Jeremiah, to remonstrate with them, saying, “ Hear now this, o foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not!” But they persisted in their ruinous disobedience. “ This people,” saith the Holy Ghost, “ hath a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.” Wherefore, against that crooked and perverse generation, the wrath of God burst unquenchably forth ;-and, forbidding the prophet to pray for them, either to lift up cry or prayer for them, or to make intercession to him, declaring that he would not hear him on their behalf;—he gave them up to strong delusion, that they should continue to believe a lie, and brought on them judgments, the prospect of which induced the compassionate announcer of them to wish, “ that his head were waters, and his eyes a fountain of tears, that he might weep over them day and night.” Now, the history of the Jewish church is recorded for our instruction, to the