Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll…
I. THE COMMITTING OF THE MIND AND WILL OF GOD TO WRITING. This is important.
1. Because the knowledge of them must be preserved and extended.
2. Because there was no way of preserving and extending this knowledge to be compared to this.
II. WHAT THINK YOU OF THOSE WHO WOULD DESTROY THE SCRIPTURES?
1. The enemies who deny its authenticity. Surely those precious pieces of antiquity which are found in the Book of Genesis — who would not wish to admire and preserve them? But the Vandalism of infidelity would fling them all into the fire, and fix our eyes on the darkness and dreariness of two thousand years ago.
2. View these men as to their patriotism, or their regard to public good. What benevolence was seen in the pagan world? Produce one instance in which the philosophy of Greece or Rome ever established an infirmary or an hospital.
3. View the enemies of the Bible, with regard to their charity and compassion. What do you think of the human being that would take away the Bible, dash this only cup of consolation from the parched lip — that would pull down the only refuge to which the polluted sinner can escape from the storms of life — that would deprive him of a resource to which, by and by, there will be an entire enjoyment, and that gives him the consciousness of present support? What can you think of a man that would do this, while he knows that he has nothing to substitute in the room of it, and that if the thing be a delusion, it is a solace which can be obtained in no other way?
4. View these men once more as to their guilt. This may be fairly determined from their doom. "Oh," say some, "we are not accountable for our belief!" To which we answer that if we are not accountable for our belief we are accountable for nothing; for all our actions spring from belief; and infidelity does not arise from want of evidence, but from want of inclination.
III. SOME THINGS WHICH SEEM LIKELY TO INJURE REVELATION, AND WHICH YET PROVE ITS ADVANTAGE.
1. The attacks of the infidel on its divinity. What has been the consequence of all his opposition? Why zeal in its diffusion; and able articles brought forth in its favour; for inquiry is always friendly to truth, as darkness and concealment are friendly to error.
2. The sufferings of its followers by persecution. The periods of suffering have been always the most glorious for Christianity; the brethren have been united and endeared the more to each other; the Spirit of glory and of God has rested upon them; their sufferings have arrested attention and induced sympathy; the witness of their sufferings has been found to be impressed, and they have been led to inspire the principles that would produce such effects.
3. The divisions and parties that have sprung up among its professors. The differences which subsist amongst all those who hold the Head do not affect the oneness of the Church; they are only so many branches which form one tree — so many members which form one body. By these they have always proved stimulations to each other: they have awakened and increased emulation and zeal; and religion has always been upon the whole a gainer by them.
4. The failings of its members. It would seem impossible any good should arise from these to the cause of the Gospel. And yet what is the fact? No thanks to themselves — even these scandals have been overruled for good. These scandals were foretold by the Scriptures; and, therefore, they are pledges of their truth; these have shown that the Gospel is Divine and almighty — because it can bear to be betrayed from within as well as assaulted from without. The excommunication of these persons has always strikingly shown the purity of the Church, and that they cannot bear those that are evil; while the true professors have been led, by these instances, to fear, and tremble, and pray.
1. Be persuaded of the stability of the cause of revelation.
2. Apply Scripture to your own use, and apply it to the purposes for which it has been given.
3. Be concerned for the spread and diffusion of it.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,