Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gurnall on the way we should feel about glib, popular false teachers

Years ago I was very bitterly angry over a prominent politician who seemed invincible, who could get away with literally anything, and could do it with a sneer and a wink and a swagger. A pastor friend said "Dan, pity him. He has this, and this is all he has. Then he spends eternity in Hell under the wrath of God."

That put it in perspective.

As does Gurnall here at length, talking about evil men who are used by Satan to oppose the truths of God:
Do you see any driving furiously against the truths or servants of Christ; O pity them as the most miserable wretches in the world; fear not their power, admire not their parts; they are men possessed of and acted by the devil, they are his drudges and slaughter-slaves, as a martyr called them. Augustine, in his epistle to Lycinius, one of excellent parts, but wicked, who once was his scholar, speaks thus pathetically to him: O how I could weep and mourn over thee, to see such a sparkling wit prostituted to the devil’s service! if thou hadst found a golden chalice, thou wouldst have given it to the church; but God hath given thee a golden head, parts and wit, and in this, propinas leipsum diabolo, thou drinkest thyself to the devil. When you see men of power or parts using them against God that gave them, weep over them; better they had lived and died, the one slaves, the other fools, than do the devil such service with them.
[William Gurnall and John Campbell, The Christian in Complete Armour (London: Thomas Tegg, 1845), 89.]


canewbie said...

Wouldn't prayer for their redemption be more potentially productive than pity?

DJP said...

You see it as an either/or?

Anonymous said...

Excellent point. I'm reminded of a quote from Samuel Hopkins:

"This display of the divine character will be most entertaining to all who love God, will give them the highest and most ineffable pleasure. Should the fire of this eternal punishment cease, it would in a great measure obscure the light of heaven, and put an end to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed."

donsands said...

They are perhaps the "man in the iron cage", as John Bunyan wrote. There is a blasphemey of the Spirit of Christ, and how fearful and trembling that truth is; which should drive us to our knees, so we can bend our knees in genuine truth to our holy Lord.