The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“The fanaticism which discards the Scripture, under the pretense of resorting to immediate revelations is subversive of every principle of Christianity. For when they boast extravagantly of the Spirit, the tendency is always to bury the Word of God so they may make room for their own falsehoods.” – John Calvin


  1. “The claims of a few fanatics to Divine inspiration increased the evil. While the Reformation had continually appealed from the pretended authority of the Church to the real authority of the Holy Scriptures, these enthusiasts not only rejected the authority of the Church, but of Scripture also; they spoke only of an inner Word, of an internal revelation from God; and overlooking the natural corruption of their hearts, they gave way to all the intoxication of spiritual pride, and fancied they were saints.

    “To them the Holy Scriptures were but a dead letter,” said Luther, “and they all began to cry, The Spirit! the Spirit! But most assuredly I will not follow where their spirit leads them. May God of his mercy preserve me from a Church in which there are none but saints. I desire to dwell with the humble, the feeble, the sick, who know and feel their sins, and who groan and cry continually to God from the bottom of their hearts to obtain his consolation and support.” These words of Luther’s have great depth of meaning, and point out the change that was taking place in his views as to the nature of the Church. They indicate at the same time how contrary were the religious opinions of the rebels to those of the Reformation.

    “The most notorious of these enthusiasts was Thomas Munzer; he was not devoid of talent, had read his Bible, was zealous, and might have done good, if he had been able to collect his agitated thoughts and find peace of heart. But as he did not know himself, and was wanting in true humility, he was possessed with a desire of reforming the world, and forgot, as all enthusiasts do, that the reformation should begin with himself. Some mystical writings that he had read in his youth had given a false direction to his mind. He first appeared at Zwickau, quitted Wittenberg after Luther’s return, dissatisfied with the inferior part he was playing, and became pastor of the small town of Alstadt in Thuringia. He could not long remain quiet, and accused the reformers of founding, by their adherence to the letter, a new popery, and of forming churches which were not pure and holy.”

    –D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the 16th Century, v. 3, b. 10, ch. 10.

    We see plenty of this today. Unlike John Flavel (1627-1691), whose Method of Grace contains two chapters on The Necessity of Being Slain By the Law, modern mystics distance themselves from Scripture saying, “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”

    This mysticism leaves every man to do what is right in his own eyes, adrift on the whim of feeling and imagination.

    “All flesh is grass,… The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” “And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Isa. 40:6-8; 1 Pet. 1:24, 25.

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