Back to the Scripture, NOT Back to the Reformation
Many today are concerned about maintaining the standards of the Reformation; others, those of the so-called Fathers; but the author of these papers is not concerned with standards such as these. It is not sufficient to get back to the Reformation, however blessed this movement was of God; still less to the teachings and practices of the successors of the Apostles. The latter invariably warned us of those who would succeed them, and commend us alone to God and the Word of His grace.
The author, then, knows no standard of authority but the Holy Scriptures. To argue from history and tradition would be to meet the enemy on his own platform, and to court defeat. But he is silenced when, in simplicity and faith, we meet him with the Word of God.
How important then, it is for us to go to the Fountain Head of truth and to search reverently and weigh solemnly the Scriptures to which the author has appealed in support of his statements, statements which contradict the cumulative authority of centuries of human tradition and expose the well-nigh complete departure of Christendom from the truth!
“As for you,” wrote the Apostle John; “let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son and in the Father” (1 Jn. 2:24 R.V.).
W. R. Lewis,
1 Widcombe Crescent, Bath, UK
forward to the reprint of W. E. Vine's book The Origin and Rise of Ecclesiasticism.