James Sieveright on the purity of worship and the appeal to antiquity

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
The argument from antiquity, or from ancestry, is wonderfully convenient for minds that, averse from patient inquiry and discriminating thought, love to acquiesce in the traditionary belief of former generations, without caring to ascertain if the convictions of past ages were consonant to truth, or if there be anything in the present order of Providence that would justify or demand a departure from the creed and customs of those that went before. To this easy-minded class belonged the woman of Samaria, who, in the conference with our Lord here recorded, held up the usage of progenitors as a shield impenetrable—she thought, to every form of objection, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain.”

This was enough; here she took her stand, and on the same ground stood her countrymen and the Jewish nation generally, when Christianity was first proposed to them. On this ground, too, did the heathen of old, and the heathen that now arc, allege their fathers’ belief as a reason for not listening to the claims of Divine revelation. Precisely similar was the position tenaciously maintained by the blinded opponents of reformation in Luther’s day; while among ourselves, numbers have no better reason, or, at least, will give us no better reason, for worshipping God in certain places, than that advanced by the woman of Samaria — “Our fathers worshipped there.” ...

For more, see James Sieveright on the purity of worship and the appeal to antiquity.
 
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