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The Cause of Dangerous Errors.

The Cause of Dangerous Errors.

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Published by glennpease
REV. DAVID TAPPAN, d. d.


The Want of a practical Regard to religious
Truth, the Cause of dangerous specula-
tive Errors.



2 Tkessalonians ii. 10, 11, and 12.
REV. DAVID TAPPAN, d. d.


The Want of a practical Regard to religious
Truth, the Cause of dangerous specula-
tive Errors.



2 Tkessalonians ii. 10, 11, and 12.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 14, 2013
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THE CAUSE OF DAGEROUS ERRORS.REV. DAVID TAPPA, d. d.The Want of a practical Regard to religiousTruth, the Cause of dangerous specula-tive Errors.2 Tkessalonians ii. 10, 11, and 12.Because they recehednot the love of the truths that th^ymight be sanded; far this cause God shall send themstrong dehisioUy that they should believe a lie ; that theyall might be damned ^ %vho believed not the truths buthad pleasure in unrighteousness.HE apostle, in this chapter, predicts a grand aposta-&y in the Christian church ; which, from small begin-nings, should grow up to a monstrous height, so as toform an unparalleled system of rehgious tyranny, fraud,and corruption.The description given of this apostate antichristianpower, of its rise, its rule, its subjects, and its fall, soexactly and exclusively agree to the papal usurpationor the bishop of Rome, that little reasonable doubt canremain, that ?A?> power is '' the man of sin," the " son of perdition,'* whom the spirit of prophesy here character-izes and devotes to destruction. The text describesthe persons, who voluntarily submit to this corrupt pow-er, and shall perish with it. They are such, as nevercordially love the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteous-ness; and hence were easily seduced from those sounddoctrines, which they always secretly disliked, into suchfalse principles as suited their depraved inclinations andpractice. Hence God, by a righteous judicial act, giv^esthem up to delusion and mckedness, and thus seals their
 
endless destruction.\SrR.XI.] THE CAUSE OF DAGEROUS ERRORS. 129Though the words before us primarily refer to tliewilling subjects of antichrist, they will fairly admit of amuch larger application, and may be reduced to the fol-lowing genei-al proposition ; viz. that the want of asincere practical regard to religious truth has both a nat-ural and moral tendency to lead men into the most dan-gerous speculative errors.The great sin, for which the persons in the text areso severely condemned, is designated by their not re-ceiving the love of the truth. This designation applies,in a greater or less degree, to all, who profess or enjoythe Christian religion, but whose hearts are not re-conciled to its pure, self denying doctrines andlaws. Their understandings, perhaps, are constrain-ed by evidence to admit these doctrines, as true ; buttheir wills and affections rise up against them, as severe,as inimical to their favourite pursuits and gratifications.Their haughty and sensual, their sordid or revengefulspirits disrelish and spurn a system of religion and mor-als, so holy and humble, so generous and forgiving, someek and peaceable, as that of the gospel ; a system,which not only forbids and seeks to exterminate theirdearest lusts, but threatens all the votaries of these idolswith everlasting punishment. As the thief or midnightassassin abhors the light of day, not because light is initself odious to him, but because he views it as menac-ing him with pubhc detection and ignominious punish-ment; so the sinner hates the light of gospel truth,because it exposes, and affixes disgrace and ruin to per-
 
sons of his dark, iniquitous character. His enmity toreligious truth is therefore rather consequential, than di-rect ; that is, he opposes it not as truth, but as a mortalfoe to his comfort and security in a sinful course.There is such a natural correspondence between thehuman understanding and truth, that the mmd of man130 O THE CAUSE [Ser.XLcannot reject truth, or embrace falsehood as sue heWhen therefore the text represents wicked men, as notreceiving the truth, and as beUeving a he ; the meaningis, that the opposition of their wills and practice to thepure maxims of divine truth induces such disorder andblindness upon their understandings, that they come toview religious objects in an inverted shape ; they viewmoral and evangelical truth under the odious garb,which belongs to falsehood, and a lie under the allur-ing aspect, which is proper to truth. Thus the infidel-ity of their hearts and lives at length gains over their judgment to its side, and produces a harmony betweentheir inclinations and principles; which brings us topoint out more distincdy how the want of a practicallove to the truth naturally leads to a speculative rejec-tion of it.In the first place, it draws away the understandingfi'om a close attention to it, and thus hinders it fromperceiving its evidence, certainty, and importance.Deep, reiterated, and earnest inquiry after religioustruth is necessary to a clear and unwavering receptionof it. But those, who cherish corrupt aifections, whichare averse to the purity of divine truth, will, by naturalconsequence, turn away their thoughts from an objectso unpleasing, to some more agreeable topic. Theywill not suffer their minds to dwell upon the evidenceor reality of these things, which they heartily wish wereneither evident nor real. And when they have thus

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