James McCosh on learning from different eras in church history

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... Those who look into it with a desire to discover what is good, will find not a few excellencies even in the mediaeval divinity, notwithstanding the restraints laid on it by crutches and bandages. It is not to be forgotten that Thomas à Kempis lived in what are called the dark ages; and that we owe to a philosophic divine of that time, not certainly the doctrine of the atonement, which had been in the revealed religion of God since Adam and Abel offered lambs in sacrifice, but a very masterly and comprehensive exposition of that cardinal truth.

Free grace, which had been so limited and hindered in the priestly and ecclesiastical ages, breathes from every page of the Reformers as fragrance does from the flower. The puritan preaching is unsurpassed for clear enunciation of divine truth, accompanied with close, searching, and fervent appeal, which now shakes the whole soul, as the earthquake did the prison at Philippi, and anon relieves it by the command and promise, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’

But we should put implicit trust in no human, or hereditary, or traditional theology, in no theology except what comes direct from the Bible, interpreted according to the letter, but received after the spirit. ...

For more, see James McCosh on learning from different eras in church history.