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porch of the one is like the porch of the other ; yet their way is contrary; the one leadeth to life, the other leadeth to death ; they differ little to the show, save that ofttimes the door of falsehood is fair, painted, graven, and beautifully adorned; but the door or forefront of truth is plain and homely. Thereby it happeneth that men be deceived—they mistake the door, and go into error's house, when they seek for truth. They call evil good, falsehood truth, and darkness light; they forsake that is good, deny the truth, and love not the light. This moved St. Paul to say of his brethren the Jews, “I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge :"z they have the care and fear of God; they are zealous in their doings ; they have devotion ; they pretend conscience; they think they do well, and that they please God. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”a Th knew not what they did : for if they had had knowledge, they would never have crucified the LORD of glory. But they know not the truth of God: they know not God: they are carried away in the vanity of their own heart: their prayers, are no prayers : the truth they hold is falsehood: their faith is no faith : they are sheep without a shepherd. Thus we have heard what we are, and in what place. Now let us see what enemies bend their force against We fight against the gates of hell, with the devil
, the prince of darkness, the father of lies :' with the devil, which hath power over the children of disobedience,d by whose malice death came into the world. Even that devil bendeth his force against us, which deceived Adam in paradise ; which hath deceived the learned philosophers, and beguiled the princes, and wise men, and the worthies of the world ; which doth abuse and entice our hands, our eyes, our learning, our wit, and our own heart to deceive us. He rampeth as a lion, and rangeth over the world, seeking whom he may devour. This is his delight and study. He hath been a murderer from the beginning." 2 Rom. x. 2. * Rom. i. 22,
b 1 Cor. ii. 8. e John viii. 44.
Eph, ii. 2.
• 1 Pet. v. 8, r John viii. 44.
If this were ever true at any time, our times have found it most true. We are they upon
whom the ends of the world are come.” ( Now is this Scripture fulfilled in our ears. Now see we the days whereof Christ warned his disciples so earnestly: “ They shall
say, Lo! here is Christ, and there is Christ:" ; this is the truth, that is the truth. " There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall deceive many ;” they shall betray the truth. Many shall be offended by them; if it were possible, the very elect”. they whose names are written in the book of lifeshould be deceived. “ And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."* “ The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” The sun is the word of God, the moon signifieth the Church.' “ The powers of heaven shall be shaken.”m 6 All the tribes of the earth shall mourn.”n 5. The abomination of desolation shall stand in the holy place. Let him that readeth, understand.”. This is “ the mystery of iniquity,” of which St. Paul speaketh to
g 1 Cor. x. 11. [In its true interpretation, this passage is legitimately applied by JEWELL ; since it properly pertains to all Christians, who live in the last of the dispensations'--the meaning which it was doubtless the intention of the apostle to convey in the words quoted. But as JEWELL probably understood it, in its most literal signification, the passage is both misinterpreted, and misapplied. See next note.)
b [It was a very prevalent error among the reformers that their own times were those immediately preceding the consummation of all things, and that the restoration of decayed religion which they were the instruments of Providence to bring about, was the final restoration which all prophecy conspires to represent as coming before the end.'-It is not strange, therefore, that JEWELL should fall in with this opinion, and wrest, as in this paragraph he evidently does, the predictions of our Saviour from their proper object, to apply them to the circumstances of his own day.--See Note b on page 123.]
i Matt. xxiv. 23 ss. k Matt. xxiv. 22.
1 [In this interpretation JEWELL was by no means singular. It had been regularly handed down from a period at least as ancient as the fifth century. Yet it would be difficult to find for it more solid Scriptural support than there is for the famous allegory of Innocent III., who contended that the sun was the spiritual or papal power, the moon that of temporal princes !--In prophetical language, the darkening of the sun, moon and stars, is used to figure the
overthrow of states and kingdoms. Comp. Isa. xiii. 10. xxxiv. 4,5. Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8. &c.]
m Matt. xxiv. 29. Matt. xxiv. 30. • Matt. xxiv. 15.
the Thessalonians, which worketh among them that perish.?
.. Thus are we forewarned. God hath given us his word to advise us, that we be not cast away unawares.
They that walk in the dark know not whither they go."
If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."s He that is ignorant shall not be known: Christ shall say unto him, “I know you not; depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.'
6. Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched.'
In this case, what shall a godly-disposed simple man do ? How shall he settle himself ? To which side may he safely join himself? If he make reckoning of virtue and godly life, there be virtuous men and of godly life on both sides : if he make reckoning of zeal, either side is zealous in the religion they hold: if he make reckoning of the name of the Church, they take it as well to the one side as to the other : if he make reckoning of the multitude, there are many on either side ; but neither side hath so many as hath the Turk. Whither then may a man turn himself; and to which side may he safely join? In this case we find the comfort and profit of the word of God. In this case, St. Paul telleth us, “ whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning ;"' to lighten our eyes, to resolve our doubts, and to guide our feet. This light God hath kindled in his mercy, to “ lighten them that sit in darkness." w Except he had left a spark of this light we had perished, and become like Sodom and Gomorrah."
David saith, “ Thy word is a lantern unto my feet, and a light unto my paths :"y by it I may see the way which is before me ; by it I can escape from danger, and by it I can keep the path wherein I ought to walk. When Christ perceived that the Capernites and the Jews misliked his doctrines, and went back and walked no more with him, he said to the twelve, “ Will also go away?" you are my disciples, whom I have chosen out of the world, will you also go away? Simon Peter
p 2 Thess. ï. 7.
Rom. xv. 4. * Isa, i. 9.
9 2 Thess. ii. 8.
answered him, “LORD, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life :”; if we forsake thee, who shall instruct us ? Thy word is the word of eternal life.
With this word CHRIST confounded the Scribes and Pharisees, and put them to silence. “Ye reject,” saith he," the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death : but ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, Corban, that is to say, a gist, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free."2_ With this word he confounded them, for misusing of the temple by buying and selling : " It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves." "_ With this word he put them to silence, and confounded their error, in that they thought it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every fault: “From the beginning it was not
-With this word he confounded the devil, and chased him from him : “ It is written, Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” And again: “It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the LORD thy God.” And again : “ It is written, Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." I
This word confounded the Arians, and all sects of heretics. What is become of Marcion, of Nestorius, of Valentinus, of Menander, of Sabellius, of Eutyches, and others? They are blown away as smoke before the wind : the word of God hath confounded them, and beat them away.
As Dagon fell, and brake his hands and neck, and could not stand in the presence of the ark of the LORD ;even so shall all falsehood fall and hide itself in the presence of the truth of God. As the rod of Moses devoured the rods of the charmers ;' as the beams of the sun drive away, and consume darkness; so shall the word of God chase away errors.
a Mark vii. J.-11.
b Matt. xxi. 13.
z John vi. 67, 68.
When the two disciples walked by the way with Christ, they said between themselves, after their eyes were opened, that they knew him: “ Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures ?" & his words did possess all our senses ; this talk was not like common talk; we felt it forcible in us as the word of God.
Israel heard Peter declare unto them at Jerusalem by proof of the Scriptures, that CHRIST was come; they were not able to resist the word of God, but
were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do ?" we acknowledge our error; the words which you speak are most true : they are the words of life : teach us and instruct us what we shall do.—They felt the force of it, and yielded unto it: they did acknowledge it was the word of God.
St. Augustine, after he had continued long in error, and withdrawn himself into a secret place, where he might make his prayer, and bewail his ignorance, heard a voice say unto him, " Take up and read, take up
and read.' And he forthwith took up the epistles of St. Paul and opened them, and secretly read the chapter which he first lighted on, even these words : “ Not in rioting and drunkenness; not in chambering and wantonness; not in strife and envying : but put ye on the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."-" I would read no further," saith he, “ for I needed not. For when I had read to the end of this sentence, all the darkness of doubtfulness vanished away, as if some clear light of security were poured into my heart. It was as if it had been said, O mán, acknowledge thy misery; thou art naked, cover thy filthiness ; put upon thee JESUS CHRIST. And forthwith I felt a fire within me: my heart was lightened: the scales fell from my eyes, I'was able to see. he was comforted and stayed by this, the word of God.
This profit of the word St. CIPRIAN declareth : “If we return to the head and the beginning of the Lord's
i Rom. xii. 14.
& Luke xxiv. 32. h Acts ii. 37.