Samuel Miller on the importance of doctrinal knowledge to the young

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
In forming the religious character here recommended, it is of the utmost importance that the foundation be laid in clear views of divine truth. Doctrinal knowledge is apt to be undervalued by private Christians, and especially by the young. They imagine, according to the popular prejudice, that if the heart be right, and the conduct correct, the doctrines embraced are of small moment. This supposes that the heart of any one may be right, while his principles are essentially wrong; or that his practice may be pure, while his religious opinions are radically erroneous. But nothing can be more contrary both to Scripture and experience.

The great Founder of our holy Religion declares that men are “sanctified by the truth.” In fact, it is only so far as the truth is received, loved, and obeyed, that real religion has any place either in the heart or life. To suppose that any one can be sanctified, or in any respect benefited, by embracing error, is as repugnant to reason as it is to the word of God. He who “has a hope in him,” ought ever to be ready to “give a reason for it with meekness and fear;” and he will be ready to do so, if his hope be scriptural and intelligent. ...

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