“You see the gospel is a mystery.” (Gurnall)

Puritan heretic William Gurnall expounds and instructs the way Puritan heretics usually (to my knowledge) expound and instruct:

“Duty. Bear with one another’s imperfections. You see the gospel is a mystery, [from Ephesians 6:19–CD] do not wonder there­fore that any are not presently masters of their art. Christ bears with the saints’ imperfections; well may the saints one with another. How raw were the dis­ciples in their knowledge — how long did they stand at one lesson before they could learn it! ‘Do you now believe?’ says Christ, John 16:31. He had borne with them long, and inculcated the same thing often, before it entered their minds; yet, alas! we can hardly have a good opinion of, or hold communion with, those that are not every way of our judgment, and cannot see things so clear as ourselves. Surely we mistake the nature of the gospel, as if there were none but plain points in it. Blessed be God, as to the prin­ciples necessary to salvation, though their nature be high and mysterious, yet they are clearly and plainly asserted in the word. ‘Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness,’ I Tim. 3:16. Godliness is a mystery, but it is ‘without controversy.’ As to the main fundamental points and practices of it there is no dispute among the faithful; but there are some points more remote from the vital parts of religion that have knots not easily untied, which makes some difference of judgment. But it is not every excess or defect makes a monster — as six or four fingers on the hand — but an excess or defect in some principal part; neither doth every mistake make a monster in re­ligion. Remember that the gospel is a mystery, and you will bear with one another’s ignorance the better. And, when love hath once laid the dust which passion and prejudice hath blown into our eyes, we shall then stand at greater advantage for finding out truth.

Again, bear with weaknesses in the practical part of religion. Godliness, as well as the doctrine of our faith, is a mystery. All the servants in a shop cannot work alike. Some bungle at more than other — as their parts and experience are less. All saints are not of a height. Christ hath some children in his family that are led with strings, as well as others that go strongly without such help. Some act more upon pure gospel principle — love, and a spirit of adoption; others have not yet worn off their legal fears and terrors. Some are got higher up the hill of faith, and have clearer apprehensions of their spiritual state; others are nearer the bottom, who, as the sun newly risen above the horizon, are wrapped up with many clouds of perplexing fears and doubts. In a word, some are got further out of their passions, have greater mastery over their corruptions, than other of their brethren. Pity thy weak brother, and take him by the hand for his help; but despise him not, God can make even him stand, and suffer thee to fall. Christ doth not quench the smoking flax, why should we? The weak Christian is welcome to his heavenly Father, as well as the strong; why should he not be so to his brethren?” (William Gurnall, The Christian In Complete Armour)

I think the following articles are relevant responses to what Gurnall states above:

Gospel Atonement [The efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ is not only NOT a doctrine “more remote from the vital parts of religion that have knots not easily untied, which makes some difference of judgment,” it is the very HEART of the gospel. I realize this matter-of-life-and-death gospel truth doesn’t go over very well among certain Calvinists and their Arminian brothers in Satan, but it is the Apostolic way.]

Essential Gospel Doctrine [Those non-controversial doctrines or “main fundamental points,” of which “there is no dispute among” regenerate persons. These doctrines constitute the core of the gospel message, which is God’s promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ ALONE.]

Christian Unity [True Christian unity DOES “hold communion [or fellowship] with, those that are not every way of our judgment, and cannot see things so clear as ourselves.” Read the article to see what this unity is based on.]

Faith Is Assurance [This article contradicts the self-righteousness of Gurnall exhibited in this paragraph: “… others have not yet worn off their legal fears and terrors. Some are got higher up the hill of faith, and have clearer apprehensions of their spiritual state; others are nearer the bottom, who, as the sun newly risen above the horizon, are wrapped up with many clouds of perplexing fears and doubts.” Gurnall is ignorant of the SOLE ground of acceptance with God (Romans 10:1-4), and his thoughts have been blinded to the knowledge of the redemptive glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-7)]

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