Great Quotes

False Professors of Christ

The second way how these do see many things, but they keep them not, consisteth herein, that what they profess that they know, they keep not in life, practice, and conversation; their life, conversation, and action nothing agreeing with that which they profess, and seem to know and see. As for example; such as are in the mere literal knowledge of Free Justification, do find by reading, and thereupon do profess, that Free Justification is the strong Rock and Foundation of Christian Religion, the head Article of salvation, the sole saving grace of Christ, the cause of sanctification, and of all godly living, the advancer of the true Glory of Christ; but yet because by this bare literal knowledge of it, they feel not the truth and power thereof in themselves; therefore whose feet do such labor to fasten upon this strong Rock of Christian Religion; whose house of Religion is built upon the sands of their repentance and holy walking; having this rocky foundation laid in their hearts no more in a manner than the Papists lay it.

Although such seem to hold strongly contrary to Papists; yet they are, in this chief point of salvation, of the Papists minds, coming forth with the Papists objections against it; and although it be the only sacred ordinance that God in his high wisdom hath appointed to be the only cause and means to make men to live truly devout lives; yet such refrain not in their rotten wisdom of reason to belch out this blasphemy, that it opens the gate to all loose and wicked living, and are so far from continually pressing this point, by showing the horribleness of the least sin in the sight of God, and the excellency of this benefit, perfectly healing us from all sin in God’s sight, and so planting it soundly in men’s hearts to effect these happy ends, that almost they never speak of it, but find themselves grieved with them that do; or if their text chance to press them to it, they lightly touch it, and soon pass it over, being as it were glad when that text is past.

Is this to keep to those foresaid most glorious truths of the excellency of Free Justification, which they so gloriously profess in words, and is it not rather before God and men a denying them in deeds; and thus do they in all the rest; for these that are in this literal knowledge, first, either they live ungodly lives; or secondly, but outwardly civil honest lives, caring for nothing more than their profits, honors, and pleasures; or thirdly, at the best, which is worst of all, do but delude the simple blind devoted people, with a legal zeal of holy walking for fear of punishment, or hope of reward, and speeding well for the same; seeming, yea, and being as hot as burning embers against outward vices, and earnestly calling for all active moral duties, which they call holy walking in all God’s Commandments; as if herein did consist the main point of salvation; {do this and live;} and yet abound themselves with all manner of inward hidden corruptions, as envy, calumniating, slavish fear, and glorious outward painting of their old rotten Adam.

All which is notably testified by the Doctrine of our Church, taught by the Martyrs and first Restorers of the Gospel in this land, saying thus, “By outward shows of good works they appear to the world.” How? The most religious and holy men of all others, making the outside of the cup and platter {that is, the outward appearance both of their persons and vocations} so clean, that they seem to the world most perfect men. Wherein so perfect? Both in teaching and living; and yet because the inside is not clean, Christ {who sees their hearts not justified with his own righteousness} knows that they are in the sight of God most unholy, most abominable, and farthest from God of all men; their judgment being preposterous, their doctrine sown leaven of mingling the Law and the Gospel together, and so marring both; and their life the hidden secret hypocrite; that is, not suspecting themselves of hypocrisy, they delude their own selves with supposed sincere hearts, respecting {as they think} only God’s glory; being inwardly full of all manner of filth, as pride, envy, covetousness, ambition, vain-glory, hatred, disdain, unbelief, conceitedness of themselves, contempt of those whom they like not, calumniating them, and such like; and yet so adorning and painting their old Adam that reigns in them, with such a fair outward new coat, not of Christ’s righteousness; {alone sufficient utterly to abolish their corruptions freely from before God;} but of their own righteousness, that they seem not only unto others, but also to their own selves in all respects amiable and excellent men; and such were they, that because they excelled in great learning, and were zealous towards God, {Rom.10:2,} in following righteousness by holy walking in all God’s Commandments, {Rom.9:31,} serving God instantly day and night, {Acts 26:7,} said hereupon unto Christ, in the high conceit of their literal knowledge, “Are we blind also?” {Jn.9:40} Unto whom Christ answering, said, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” {vs.41} And thus much of the description of the bare literal knowledge, whereby men only sophisticating about the mysteries of Christ, would be Doctors and Teachers of the Word, but by not understanding what they say, nor whereof they affirm, {I Tim.1:7,} they neither in word, nor deed keep to that which they seem to hold, but speak flat contraries. John Eaton {Honeycombe of Free Justification by Christ Alone, 1642}

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