But the Reformed teach altogether differently from this: they require that all men should, like the Bereans, search the scriptures daily, whether the things, which their pastors teach them, be agreeable to the word of God; they enjoin upon every one to live by his own faith, and not by the faith of his teachers; and therefore certain marks, which are taken only from the Bible, are proposed to him by our people, that he may see for himself, whether he be in that church, which is described in the book of God, as his beloved people. But what a listlesness hath seized even upon many of God's people, that they do not so much as inquire, but suppose in a careless manner; that they are in the true church: this matter, they think, is too high for them; they conceive that their parents, who procured their incorporation into this church and educated them in it, knew what they were about, and they think that their ministers are too wise, and too pious to mislead them. Is this thy conduct also, reader: hast thou then a better proof and ground for thy faith than a heathen, Jew, Turk or Papist, and wouldest thou not be one of them, as thou are now one of us, if thou wert only educated among them? and if a persecution should arise against us, and thou shouldest be obliged to suffer reproach, pain, and shame for the doctrine of our church, wouldest thou then indeed have a single reason, why thou wouldest not forsake us, and join thyself to our adversaries?
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Be a Berean
Johannes Vanderkamp (1664-1718), The Christian Entirely the Property of Christ, in Life and Death, Exhibited in Fifty-Three Sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism, Vol. 1, Preface, p. viii: