Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causes to err from the words of knowledge.
The enemies of religion now say that every man in search of truth ought to put himself in a way to hear both sides. Lay it down as a general rule that men ought not to read those books or hear those preachers that inculcate gross errors, i.e., essential errors. The popular pretence that men must hear both sides is an insidious attack on the Bible, a covered insinuation that the Bible is insufficient to enlighten. Every one should early settle his belief in the leading doctrines of the gospel. Why need such an one expose himself to the infection of error. Men are naturally so averse to the truth that it is infinitely dangerous for those not fully confirmed in it to expose themselves to the contagion of error. They ought not to presume so much on their own stability. Men cannot parley with error and be safe. And if the man himself is safe, he ought to consider the injury he may do to others by encouraging the promulgation of dangerous errors. The encouragement of erroneous teachers and books is conspiring against God. Popularly it is said that truth will recommend itself to every man's conscience, and none can be injured by seeing it compared with error. In answer, it may be said —
1. This is founded on a principle which men would not admit in any other case.
2. The objection would be less deceptive if in matters of religion men were more inclined to truth than to error.
3. The retailers of false doctrine do not state things candidly.
4. The antidote to error does not always go along with the error itself.
5. Facts speak decisively against the encouragement of false books and teachers, under the pretence mentioned in the objection.Apply —
1. To those who profess to be the friends of God and established in the truth. Do not encourage the promulgation of known errors.
2. To such as are not established in religious opinions. Get established without delay. Error in every form is couching to make you his prey. Beware of an indiscreet desire to read every new book and to hear every new preacher.
(E. D. Griffin, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.