Every Major Tenet Had Considerable Support


Jaroslav Pelikan, from his chapter on “The Tragic Necessity of the Reformation”:

Not a new “Protestant” gospel, then, but the gospel of the true church, the catholic church of all generations, is what the Reformers claimed to be espousing. Substantiation for this understanding of the gospel came principally from the Scriptures; but whenever they could, the reformers also quoted the fathers of the catholic church. There was more to quote than their Roman opponents found comfortable. Every major tenet of the Reformation had considerable support in the catholic tradition.

~Jaroslav Pelikan, The Riddle of Roman Catholicism (New York: Abingdon Press, 1959), pp. 48-49.

Source:, Comment 13


Faith and God’s Faithfulness are Relatives


Robert Traill (Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our Faith), Works 3:70:

Faith and God’s faithfulness are relatives; they are necessarily related one to another. There were no use for divine faithfulness declared, no promise in time had been made, unless for some that should believe, John 17:20; there were no use in this world for faith, if there were not some appearance of divine faithfulness for faith to act upon. God’s faithfulness is revealed on purpose that it may be believed. Faith is given on purpose that divine faithfulness may be trusted in, and rested on, and applied. They relate one to another as necessarily as the eye and light do, and these are mighty like. If God had created creatures with eyes, and colours, or any other visible things, and no light to see by, it might be said, Wherefore gave he them eyes? The case is just so here: All the breakings forth of divine faithfulness are for faith’s sake, that it may work upon it; and all the giving of faith is for faithfulness sake, that it may act upon it.

Source:, Comment 1

No Need of the Church

Cymro on the Puritan Board:

“If Christians do not keep the Sabbath day, then there is no need of the church. Its observation is as obligatory as thou shalt not kill. God’s moral reflection as delineated in the commandments is not subject to relaxation or change. We are commanded to “remember the sabbath day” and keep it holy. To remember it before it comes,(preparation),remember it when it comes,(participation), remember it when past,(meditation), on the Monday and successive days. ”

Source:, Comment 14 (one typo corrected)

Faithfulness is a Branch of Holiness

Robert Traill (Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our Faith), Works 3:68:

Rosa sp.181Holiness is a name of God hateful to all sinners, and very awful to believers. When the purity, the spotlessness of his holiness is seen, what sad reflections usually does it occasion? But thou art holy: But I am a worm, says the Psalmist, and no man, Ps. 22:3, and 6. When God’s holiness was proclaimed before Isaiah, Woe is me, says he, for I am undone, chap. 6:5. Can there be any encouragement for faith from God’s holiness? A great many Christians’ main fear arises from his holiness. Now I am to show you, that the name of his holiness is a great consideration for strengthening faith. Faithfulness, if I may so call it, is a piece of holiness; faithfulness is a branch of holiness, so that as God cannot do any thing that is evil, so he cannot break his word. Then he swears by his holiness; as if he would say, “Take me for no holy God, if ever I fall short of my word of promise.”


Not Permitted To Us

Helianthus annuus inflorescence


“the repentance from better to worse is a change not permitted to us; but it is a noble thing to change from untowardness to righteousness.”

Source:, Comment 2

Time is Short

Richard Sibbes (Works, Vol. 4, p. 45):

Laterndluhr 01If we do not make use of [the shortness of time] we are worse than the devil himself; he makes use of the shortness of his time. What doth he? ‘Because the time is short,’ he doth all the mischief he can, Rev. 12:12. He fills up his time to increase his kingdom; he doth all the mischief he can, for this reason; because his time is short. Let us learn somewhat of the worst of spirits. But that which it serves for in particular here, is this; we have many things to do, and the time being short, let us be sure we do the main thing that we come for, and other things as they help the main, and not hinder it. The time is short, and we have many businesses to do; let us be sure that we do our business, so as that we leave not the main undone. ​

Source:, Comment 1

Amend and Be Zealous

Door Knocker,Udaipur City Palace, Rajasthan

Samuel Ward in his sermon “A Coal from the Altar” (Sermons and Treatises, p. 77):

It is good to be zealous in good things, and is it not best in the best? Or is there any better than God, or the kingdom of heaven? Is it comely whatever we do, to do it with all our might? Only uncomely when we serve God? Is mean and mediocrity in all excellent arts excluded, and only to be admitted in religion? Were it not better to forbear poetry or painting, than to rhyme and daub? And were it not better to be of no religion, than to be cold or lukewarm in any? Is it good to be earnest for a friend, and cold for the Lord of hosts? For whom dost thou reserve the top of thy affections? for thy gold? for thy Herodias? &c. O ye adulterers and adulteresses, can ye offer God a baser indignity? What aileth the world? Is it afraid, think we, that God can have too much love; who, in regard of his own infinite beauty, and the beams he vouchsafeth to cast upon us, deserves the best, yea all, and a thousand times more than all? Ought not all the springs and brooks of our affection to run into this main? May not he justly disdain that the least riveret should be drained another way? That anything in the world should be respected before him, equalled with him, or loved out of him, of whom, for whom, and through whom are all things? Who, or what can be sufficient for him, our Maker and Saviour? In other objects fear excess; here no ecstasy is high enough.​

(ibid., p. 83):

Such as read the Bible by fits upon rainy days, not eating the book with John, but tasting only with the tip of the tongue; such as meditate by snatches, never chewing the cud and digesting their meat, they may happily get a smackering, for discourse and table-talk, but not enough to keep soul and life together, much less for strength and vigour. Such as forsake the best fellowship, and wax strange to holy assemblies (as now the manner of many is); how can they but take cold? Can one coal alone keep itself glowing?

(ibid., p. 86):

There are indeed many vanities which distract and divide the mind of worldlings; but zeal counts one thing needful, to which it makes all other vail and stand by. Is there any so good a husband of his time, that will not steal some hour for his pleasure; that cannot spare his God and his soul half an hour, morning and evening; that bestows not idly as much time as a sermon or two would take up in the week? The soul, I confess, hath his satiety as well as the body; but why should we sit on thorns more at a sermon than at a play, think the Sabbaths longer than holidays, but for want of zeal? If thou beest not a vain and willing deceiver of thyself and others, deal honestly and plainly with thy soul, try thyself by these few rules; and if thou judgest thyself to come short of them, amend and ‘ be zealous’.

Speaking on the Lord’s admonition to the church of Laodicea, the Pastor proceeds to apply the text. May we also make application to our time and estate (ibid., pp. 90, 91):

Do we think he will ever digest us, in the temper we are in? which (to confess the truth of the fashionable Christian) what is it but a state of neutrality, indifferency, or such a mediocrity as will just serve the time, satisfy law, or stand with reputation of neighbours? Beyond which, if any step a little forward, do not the rest hunt upon the stop? If there hap to break out a sparkle of zeal in any one house in a parish, is not the whole town in an uproar? as when the bells ring awake, every man brings his bucket to the quenching of this fire. If hell be in an ale-house, who cries out of it? and as for our Sundays, church service, which is all that God gets at our hands, how perfunctorily and fashionably is it slubbered over. How are his Sabbaths made the voider and dunghill for all refuse business, divided between the church and the ale-house, the Maypole commonly beguiling the pulpit! What man would not spew to see God thus worshipped? This want of devotion makes the foul-mouthed papists to spit at us; this want of reformation makes the queasy-stomached Brownists cast themselves out of the church; and shall God always suffer the land to bear us? But behold, he stands at the door and knocks, by treasons, by plagues, by the hammer of dearths, discontents, fires, inundations, especially by the word; his locks are wet with waiting. O, before he shake off the dust of his feet against us, and turn to some other nation more worthy, let us open the door, that he may come in and sup with us. If he loves us, he will purge us and scour us, by one chastisement or other; if he have no pleasure in us, he cannot but unburthen his stomach of us. If all the land besides should turn the deaf ear, yet let me entreat and charge you of my flock to hear his voice, and be zealous.

​Source:, Comments 1-4