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A CAUTION AGAINST BIGOTRY
AUTHOR: Wesley, John
PUBLISHED ON: April 9, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN
PUBLISHED IN: Sermons

  John Wesley: SERMON XXXIII: A CAUTION AGAINST BIGOTRY

  “And John answered Him, saying, Master, we saw one casting
out devils in Thy name: and he followeth not us: and we
forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said,
Forbid him not.” – MARK ix. 38, 39.

  IN the preceding verses we read, that after the twelve had
been disputing ‘which of them should be the greatest,’ Jesus
took a little child, and set him in the midst of them, and
taking him in His arms, said unto them, ‘Whosoever shall
receive one of these little children in My name, receiveth
Me; and whosoever receiveth Me, receiveth not Me’ only, ‘but
Him that sent Me’. Then ‘John answered,’ that is, said, with
reference to what our Lord had spoken just before, ‘Master,
we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and we forbad him,
because he followeth not us.’ As if he had said, ‘Ought we to
have received him? In receiving him, should we have received
Thee? Ought we not rather to have forbidden him? Did not we
do well therein?’ ‘But Jesus said, Forbid him not.’

  2. The same passage is recited by St. Luke, and almost in
the same words. But it may be asked, ‘What is this to us,
seeing no man now casts out devils? Has not the power of
doing this been withdrawn from the church, for twelve or
fourteen hundred years? How then are we concerned in the case
here proposed, or in our Lord’s decision of it?’

  3. Perhaps more nearly than is commonly imagined; the case
proposed being no uncommon case. That we may reap our full
advantage from it, I design to show, first, in what sense men
may, and do, now cast out devils: secondly, what we may
understand by, ‘He followeth not us.’ I shall, thirdly,
explain our Lord’s direction, ‘Forbid him not’; and conclude
with an inference from the whole.

  I. 1. I am, in the first place, to show, in what sense men
may, and do, now cast out devils.

  In order to have the clearest view of this, we should
remember, that (according to the scriptural account) as God
dwells and works in the children of light, so the devil
dwells and works in the children of darkness. As the Holy
Spirit possesses the souls of good men, so the evil spirit
possesses the souls of the wicked. Hence it is that the
Apostle terms him ‘the god of this world’; from the
uncontrolled power he has over worldly men. Hence our blessed
Lord styles him ‘the prince of this world’; so absolute is
his dominion over it. And hence St. John: ‘We know that we
are of God, and’ all who are not of God, ‘the whole world,’ –
————‘, – not lieth in wickedness: but ‘lieth in the
wicked one’; lives and moves in him, as they who are not of
the world do in God.

  2. For the devil is not to be considered only as ‘a
roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour’; nor
barely as a subtle enemy, who cometh unawares upon poor
souls, and ‘leads them captive at his will’; but as he who
dwelleth in them, and walketh in them; who ruleth the
darkness or wickedness of this world (of worldly men and all
their dark designs and actions), by keeping possession of
their hearts, setting up his throne there, and bringing every
thought into obedience to himself. Thus the ‘strong one armed
keepeth his house’; and if this ‘unclean spirit’ sometimes
‘go out of a man,’ yet he often returns with ‘seven spirits
worse than himself, and they enter in and dwell there.’ Nor
can he be idle in his dwelling. He is continually ‘working
in’ these ‘children of disobedience.’ He works in them with
power, with mighty energy, transforming them into his own
likeness, effacing all the remains of the image of God, and
preparing them for every evil word and work.

  3. It is, therefore, an unquestionable truth, that the god
and prince of this world still possesses all who know not
God. Only the manner wherein he possesses them now differs
from that wherein he did it of old time. Then he frequently
tormented their bodies as well as souls, and that openly,
without any disguise: now he torments their souls only
(unless in some rare cases), and that as covertly as
possible. The reason of this difference is plain: it was then
his aim to drive mankind into superstition; therefore, he
wrought as openly as he could. But it is his aim to drive us
into infidelity; therefore, he works as privately as he can:
for the more secret he is, the more he prevails.

  4. Yet, if we may credit historians, there are countries,
even now, where he works as openly as aforetime. ‘But why in
savage and barbarous countries only? Why not in Italy,
France, or England?’ For a very plain reason: he knows his
men, and he knows what he hath to do with each. To Laplanders
he appears barefaced; because he is to fix them in
superstition and gross idolatry. But with you he is pursuing
a different point. He is to make you idolize yourselves; to
make you wiser in your own eyes than God Himself, than all
the oracles of God. Now, in order to do this, he must not
appear in his own shape: that would frustrate his design. No:
he uses all his art to make you deny his being, till he has
you safe in his own place.

  5. He reigns, therefore, although in a different way, yet
as absolute in one land as in the other. He has the gay
Italian infidel in his teeth, as sure as the wild Tartar. But
he is fast asleep in the mouth of the lion, who is too wise
to wake him out of sleep. So he only plays with him for the
present, and when he pleases, swallows him up!

  The god of this world holds his English worshippers full
as fast as those in Lapland. But it is not his business to
affright them, lest they should fly to the God of heaven. The
prince of darkness, therefore, does not appear, while he
rules over these his willing subjects. The conqueror holds
his captives so much the safer, because they imagine
themselves at liberty. Thus ‘the strong one armed keepeth his
house, and his goods are in peace’; neither the Deist nor
nominal Christian suspects he is there: so he and they are
perfectly at peace with each other.

  6. All this while he works with energy in them. He blinds
the eyes of their understanding, so that the light of the
glorious gospel of Christ cannot shine upon them. He chains
their souls down to earth and hell, with the chains of their
own vile affections. He binds them down to the earth, by love
of the world, love of money, of pleasure, of praise. And by
pride, envy, anger, hate, revenge, he causes their souls to
draw nigh unto hell; acting the more secure and uncontrolled,
because they know not that he acts at all.

  7. But how easily may we know the cause from its effects!
These are sometimes gross and palpable. So they were in the
most refined of the heathen nations. Go no farther than the
admired, the virtuous Romans; and you will find these, when
at the height of their learning and glory, ‘filled with all
unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness,
maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit,
malignity; whisperers, backbiters, despiteful, proud,
boasters, disobedient to parents, covenant-breakers, without
natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.’

  8. The strongest parts of this description are confirmed
by one whom some may think a more unexceptionable witness. I
mean their brother Heathen, Dion Cassius; who observes, that,
before Caesar’s return from Gaul, not only gluttony and
lewdness of every kind were open and barefaced; not only
falsehood, injustice, and unmercifulness abounded, in public
courts, as well as private families; but the most outrageous
robberies, rapine, and murders were so frequent in all parts
of Rome, that few men went out of doors without making their
wills, as not knowing if they should return alive!

  9. As gross and palpable are the works of the devil among
many (if not all) the modern Heathens. The natural religion
of the Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws, and all other Indians
bordering on our southern settlements (not of a few single
men, but of entire nations), is to torture all their
prisoners from morning till night, till at length they roast
them to death; and upon the slightest undesigned provocation,
to come behind and shoot any of their own countrymen! Yea, it
is a common thing among them, for the son, if he thinks his
father lives too long, to knock out his brains; and for
mother, if she is tired of her children, to fasten stones
about their necks, and throw three or four of them into the
river, one after another!

  10. It were to be wished, that none but Heathens had
practised such gross, palpable works of the devil. But we
dare not say so. Even in cruelty and bloodshed, how little
have the Christians come behind them! And not the Spaniards
or Portuguese alone, butchering thousands in South America:
not the Dutch only in the East Indies, or the French in North
America, following the Spaniards step by step: our own
countrymen, too, have wantoned in blood, and exterminated
whole nations; plainly proving thereby what spirit it is that
dwells and works in the children of disobedience.

  11. These monsters might almost make us overlook the works
of the devil that are wrought in our own country. But, alas!
we cannot open our eyes even here, without seeing them on
every side. Is it a small proof of his power, that common
swearers, drunkards, whoremongers, adulterers, thieves,
robbers, sodomites, murderers, are still found in every part
of our land? How triumphant does the prince of this world
reign in all these children of disobedience!

  12. He less openly, but no less effectually, works in
dissemblers, tale-bearers, liars, slanderers; in oppressors
and extortioners, in the perjured, the seller of his friend,
his honour, his conscience, his country. And yet these may
talk of religion or conscience still; of honour, virtue, and
public spirit! But they can no more deceive Satan than they
can God. He likewise knows those that are his: and a great
multitude they are, out of every nation and people, of whom
he has full possession at this day.

  13. If you consider this, you cannot but see in what sense
men may now also cast out devils: yea, and every minister of
Christ does cast them out, if his Lord’s work prosper in his
hand.

  By the power of God attending his word, he brings these
sinners to repentance; an entire inward as well as outward
change, from all evil to all good. And this is, in a sound
sense, to cast out devils, out of the souls wherein they had
hitherto dwelt. The strong one can no longer keep his house.
A stronger than he is come upon him, and hath cast him out,
and taken possession for himself, and made it an habitation
of God through His Spirit. Here, then, the energy of Satan
ends, and the Son of God ‘destroys the works of the devil.’
The understanding of the sinner is now enlightened, and his
heart sweetly drawn to God. His desires are refined, his
affections purified; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost,
he grows in grace till he is not only holy in heart, but in
all manner of conversation.

  14. All this is indeed the work of God. It is God alone
who can cast out Satan. But He is generally pleased to do
this by man as an instrument in His hand: who is then said to
cast out devils in His name, by His power and authority. And
He sends whom He will send upon this great work; but usually
such as man would never have thought of: for ‘His ways are
not as our ways, neither His thoughts as our thoughts.’
Accordingly, He chooses the weak to confound the mighty; the
foolish to confound the wise; for this plain reason, that He
may secure the glory to Himself; that ‘no flesh may glory in
His sight.’

  II. 1. But shall we not forbid one who thus ‘casteth out
devils,’ if ‘he followeth not us’? This, it seems, was both
the judgement and practice of the Apostle, till he referred
the case to his Master. ‘We forbad him,’ saith he, ‘because
he followeth not us!’ which he supposed to be a very
sufficient reason. What we may understand by this expression,
‘He followeth not us,’ is the next point to be considered.

  The lowest circumstance we can understand thereby, is, He
has no outward connexion with us. We do not labour un con-
junction with each other. He is not our fellow-helper in the
gospel. And indeed whensoever our Lord is pleased to send
many labourers into His harvest, they cannot all act in
subordination to, or connexion with, each other. Nay, they
cannot be personal acquaintance with, nor be so much as known
to, one another. Many there will necessarily be, in different
parts of the harvest, so far from having any mutual
intercourse, that they will be as absolute strangers to each
other as if they had lived in different ages. And concerning
any of these whom we know not, we may doubtless say, ‘He
followeth not us.’

  2. A second meaning of this expression may be, He is not
of our party. It has long been matter of melancholy
consideration to all who pray for the peace of Jerusalem,
that so many several parties are still subsisting among those
who are all styled Christians. This has been particularly
observable un our own countrymen, who have been continually
dividing from each other, upon points of no moment, and many
times such as religion had no concern in. The most trifling
circumstances have given rise to different parties, which
have continued for many generations; and each of these would
be ready to object to one who was on the other side, ‘He
followeth not us.’

  3. That expression may mean, thirdly, He differs from us
in our religious opinions. There was a time when all
Christians were of one mind, as well as of one heart, so
great grace was upon them all, when they were first filled
with the Holy Ghost! But how short a space did this blessing
continue! How soon was that unanimity lost! and difference of
opinion sprang up again, even in the church of Christ, – and
that not in nominal but in real Christians; nay, in the very
chief of them, the Apostles themselves! Nor does it appear
that the difference which then began was ever entirely
removed. We do not find that even those pillars in the temple
of God, so long as they remained upon the earth, were ever
brought to think alike, to be of one mind, particularly with
regard to the ceremonial law. It is therefore no way
surprising, that infinite varieties of opinion should now be
found in the Christian church. A very probable consequence of
this is, that whenever we see any ‘casting out devils,’ he
will be one that, in this sense, ‘followeth not us’ – that is
not of our opinion. It is scarce to be imagined he will be of
our mind in all points, even of religion. He may very
probably think in a different manner from us, even on several
subjects of importance; such as the nature and use of the
moral law, the eternal decrees of God, the sufficiency and
efficacy of His grace, and the perseverance of His children.

  4. He may differ from us, fourthly, not only in opinion,
but likewise in some point of practice. He may not approve of
that manner of worshipping God which is practised in our
congregation; and may judge that to be more profitable for
his soul which took its rise from Calvin or Martin Luther. He
may have many objections to that Liturgy which we approve of
beyond all others; many doubts concerning that form of church
government which we esteem both apostolical and scriptural.
Perhaps he may go farther from us yet: he may, from a
principle of conscience, refrain from several of those which
we believe to be the ordinances of Christ. Or, if we both
agree that they are ordained of God, there may still remain a
difference between us, either as to the manner of
administering those ordinances, or the persons to whom they
should be administered. Now the unavoidable consequence of
any of these differences will be, that he who thus differs
from us must separate himself, with regard to those points,
from our society. In this respect, therefore, ‘he followeth
not us’: he is not (as we phrase it) ‘of our Church.’

  5. But in a far stronger sense ‘he followeth not us,’ who
is not only of a different Church, but of such a Church as we
account to be in many respects anti-scriptural and anti-
Christian, – a Church which we believe to be utterly false
and erroneous in her doctrines, as well as very dangerously
wrong in her practice; guilty of gross superstition as well
as idolatry, – a Church that has added many articles to the
faith which was once delivered to the saints; that has
dropped one whole commandment of God, and made void several
of the rest by her traditions; and that, pretending the
highest veneration for, and strictest conformity to, the
ancient Church, has nevertheless brought in numberless
innovations, without any warrant either from antiquity or
Scripture. Now, most certainly, ‘he followeth not us,’ who
stands at so great a distance from us.

  6. And yet there may be a still wider difference than
this. He who differs from us in judgement or practice, may
possibly stand at a greater distance from us in affection
than in judgement. And this indeed is a very natural and a
very common effect of the other. The differences which begin
in points of opinion seldom terminate there. They generally
spread into the affections, and then separate chief friends.
Nor are any animosities so deep and irreconcilable as those
that spring from disagreement in religion. For this cause the
bitterest enemies of a man are those of his own household.
For this the father rises against his own children, and the
children against the father; and perhaps persecute each other
even to the death, thinking all the time they are doing God
service. It is therefore nothing more than we may expect, if
those who differ from us, either in religious opinions or
practice, soon contract a sharpness, yea, bitterness towards
us; if they are more and more prejudiced against us, till
they conceive as ill an opinion of our persons as of our
principles. An almost necessary consequence of this will be,
they will speak in the same manner as they think of us. They
will set themselves in opposition to us, and, as far as they
are able, hinder our work; seeing it does not appear to them
to be the work of God, but either of man or of the devil. He
that thinks, speaks, and acts in such a manner as this, in
the highest sense, ‘followeth not us.’

  7. I do not indeed conceive, that the person of whom the
Apostle speaks in the text (although we have no particular
account of him, either in the context, or in any other part
of holy writ) went so far as this. We have no ground to
suppose that there was any material difference between him
and the Apostles, much less that he had any prejudice either
against them or their Master. It seems we may gather thus
much from our Lord’s own words, which immediately follow the
text: ‘There is no man which shall do a miracle in My name,
that can lightly speak evil of Me.’ But I purposely put the
case in the strongest light, adding all the circumstances
which can well be conceived, that, being forewarned of the
temptation in its full strength, we may in no case yield to
it, and fight against God.

  III. 1. Suppose, then, a man have no intercourse with us,
suppose he be not of our party, suppose he separate from our
Church, yea, and widely differ from us, both in judgement,
practice, and affection; yet if we see even this man ‘casting
out devils,’ Jesus saith, ‘Forbid him not.’ This important
direction of our Lord I am, in the third place, to explain.

  2. If we see this man casting out devils: But it is well
if, in such a case, we would believe even what we saw with
our eyes, if we did not give the lie to our own senses. He
must be little acquainted with human nature who does not
immediately perceive how extremely unready we should be to
believe that any man does cast out devils who ‘followeth not
us’ in all or most of the senses above recited: I had almost
said, in any of them, seeing we may easily learn even from
what passes in our own breasts, how unwilling men are to
allow anything good in those who do not in all things agree
with themselves.

  3. ‘But what is a sufficient,- reasonable proof, that a
man does (in the sense above) cast out devils?’ The answer is
easy. Is there full proof, (1) That a person before us was a
gross, open sinner? (2) That he is not so now? that he has
broke off his sins, and lives a Christian life? And (3) That
this change was wrought by his hearing this man preach? If
these three points be plain and undeniable, then you have
sufficient, reasonable proof, such as you cannot resist
without wilful sin, that this man casts out devils.

  4. Then ‘forbid him not.’ Beware how you attempt to hinder
him, either by your authority, or arguments, or persuasions.
Do not in any wise strive to prevent his using all the power
which God has given him. If you have authority with him, do
not use that authority to stop the work of God. Do not
furnish him with reasons why he ought not any more to speak
in the name of Jesus. Satan will not fail to supply him with
these, if you do not second him therein. Persuade him not to
depart from the work. If he should give place to the devil
and you, many souls might perish in their iniquity, but their
blood would God require at your hands.

  5. ‘But what, if he be only a layman, who casts out
devils! Ought I not to forbid him then?’

  Is the fact allowed? Is there reasonable proof that this
man has or does cast out devils? If there is, forbid him not;
no, not at the peril of your soul. Shall not God work by whom
He will work? No man can do these works unless God is with
him; unless God hath sent him for this very thing. But if God
hath sent him, will you call him back? Will you forbid him to
go?

  6. ‘But I do not know that he is sent of God.’ ‘Now herein
is a marvellous thing’ (may any of the seals of his mission
say, any whom he hath brought from Satan to God), ‘that ye
know not whence this man is, and, behold, he hath opened mine
eyes! If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.’ If
you doubt the fact, send for the parents of the man: send for
his brethren, friends, acquaintance. But if you cannot doubt
this, if you must needs acknowledge ‘that a notable miracle
hath been wrought’ then with what conscience, with what face,
can you charge him whom God hath sent, ‘not to speak any more
in His name’?

  7. I allow, that it is highly expedient whoever preaches
in His name should have an outward as well as an inward call,
but that it is absolutely necessary, I deny.

  ‘Nay, is not the Scripture express? “No man taketh this
honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was
Aaron” ‘ (Heb. v. 4)

  Numberless times has this text been quoted on the
occasion, as containing the very strength of the cause; but
surely never was so unhappy a quotation. For, first, Aaron
was not called to preach at all: he was called ‘to offer
gifts and sacrifice for sin.’ That was his peculiar
employment. Secondly, these men do not offer sacrifice at
all, but only preach; which Aaron did not. Therefore it is
not possible to find one text in all the Bible which is more
wide of the point than this.

  8. ‘But what was the practice of the apostolic age?’ You
may easily see in the Acts of the Apostles. In the eighth
chapter we read, ‘There was a great persecution against the
church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered
abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except
the Apostles’ (verse 1). ‘Therefore they that were scattered
abroad went everywhere preaching the word’ (verse 4). Now,
were all these outwardly called to preach? No man in his
senses can think so. Here, then, is an undeniable proof, what
was the practice of the apostolic age. Here you see not one,
but a multitude of lay preachers, men that were only sent of
God.

  9. Indeed, so far is the practice of the apostolic age
from inclining us to think it was unlawful for a man to
preach before he was ordained, that we have reason to think
it was then accounted necessary. Certainly the practice and
the direction of the Apostle Paul was, to prove a man before
he was ordained at all. ‘Let these’ (the deacons), says he,
‘first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon’
(I Tim. iii. 10). Proved, how? By setting them to construe a
sentence of Greek and asking them a few commonplace
questions? O amazing proof of a minister of Christ! Nay; but
by making a clear, open trial (as is still done by most of
the Protestant Churches of Europe) not only whether their
lives be holy and unblamable, but whether they have such
gifts as are absolutely and indispensably necessary in order
to edify the church of Christ.

  10. But what if a man has these, and has brought sinners
to repentance, and yet the Bishop will not ordain him? Then
the Bishop does forbid him to cast out devils. But I dare not
forbid him: I have published my reasons to all the world. Yet
it is still insisted I ought to do it. You who insist upon it
answer those reasons. I know not that any have done this yet,
or even made an attempt of doing it. Only some have spoken of
them as very weak and trifling: and this was prudent enough;
for it is far easier to despise, at least seem to despise, an
argument, than to answer it. Yet till this is done I must
say, when I have reasonable proof that any man does cast out
devils, whatever others do, I dare not forbid him, lest I be
found even to fight against God.

  11. And whosoever thou art that fearest God, ‘forbid him
not, either directly or indirectly. There are many ways of
doing this. You indirectly forbid him, if you either wholly
deny, or despise and make little account of, the work which
God has wrought by his hands. You indirectly forbid him, when
you discourage him in his work, by drawing him into disputes
concerning it, by raising objections against it, or
frightening him with consequences which very possibly will
never be. You forbid him when you show any unkindness toward
him either in language or behaviour; and much more when you
speak of him to others either in an unkind or a contemptuous
manner; when you endeavour to represent him to any either in
an odious or a despicable light. You are forbidding him all
the time you are speaking evil of him, or making no account
of his labours. O forbid him not in any of these ways; nor by
forbidding others to hear him, – by discouraging sinners from
hearing that word which is able to save their souls!

  12. Yea, if you would observe our Lord’s direction in its
full meaning and extent, then remember His word: ‘He that is
not for us is against us; and he that gathereth not with Me
scattereth’: he that gathereth not men into the kingdom of
God, assuredly scatters them from it. For there can be no
neuter in this war. Every one is either on God’s side, or on
Satan’s. Are you on God’s side? Then you will not only not
forbid any man that casts out devils, but you will labour, to
the uttermost of your power, to forward him in the work. You
will readily acknowledge the work of God, and confess the
greatness of it. You will remove all difficulties and
objections, as far as may be, out of his way. You will
strengthen his hands by speaking honourably of him before all
men, and avowing the things which you have seen and heard.
You will encourage others to attend upon his word, to hear
him whom God hath sent. And you will omit no actual proof of
tender love, which God gives you an opportunity of showing
him.

  IV. 1. If we willingly fail in any of these points, if we
either directly or indirectly forbid him, ‘because he
followeth not us,’ then we are bigots. This is the inference
I draw from what has been said. But the term ‘bigotry,’ I
fear, as frequently as it is used, is almost as little
understood as ‘enthusiasm.’ It is too strong an attachment
to, or fondness for, our own party. opinion, church, and
religion. Therefore he is a bigot who is so fond of any of
these, so strongly attached to them, as to forbid any who
casts out devils because he differs from himself in any or
all these particulars.

  2, Do you beware of this. Take care (1) That you do not
convict yourself of bigotry, by your unreadiness to believe
that any man does cast out devils, who differs from you. And
if you are clear thus far, if you acknowledge the fact, then
examine yourself, (2) Am I not convicted of bigotry in this,
in forbidding him directly or indirectly? Do I not directly
forbid him on this ground, because he is not of my party,
because he does not fall in with my opinions, or because he
does not worship God according to that scheme of religion
which I have received from my fathers?

  3. Examine yourself, Do I not indirectly at least forbid
him, on any of these grounds? Am I not sorry that God should
thus own and bless a man that holds such erroneous opinions?
Do I not discourage him, because he is not of my Church, by
disputing with him concerning it, by raising objections, and
by perplexing his mind with distant consequences? Do I show
no anger, contempt, or unkindness of any sort, either in my
words or actions? Do I not mention behind his back, his (real
or supposed) faults – his defects or infirmities? Do not I
hinder sinners from hearing his word? If you do any of these
things, you are a bigot to this day.

  4. ‘Search me, O Lord, and prove me. Try out my reins and
my heart! Look well if there be any way of’ bigotry ‘in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.’ In order to examine
ourselves thoroughly, let the case be proposed in the
strongest manner. What, if I were to see a Papist, an Arian,
a Socinian casting out devils? If I did, I could not forbid
even him, without convicting myself of bigotry. Yea, if it
could be supposed that I should see a Jew, a Deist, or a
Turk, doing the same, were I to forbid him either directly or
indirectly, I should be no better than a bigot still.

  5. O stand clear of this! But be not content with not for-
bidding any that casts out devils. It is well to go thus far;
but do not stop here. If you will avoid all bigotry, go on.
In every instance of this kind, whatever the instrument be,
acknowledge the finger of God. And not only acknowledge, but
rejoice in His work, and praise His name with thanksgiving.
Encourage whomsoever God is pleased to employ, to give
himself wholly up thereto. Speak well of him wheresoever you
are; defend his character and his mission. Enlarge, as far as
you can, his sphere of action; show him all kindness in word
and deed; and cease not to cry to God in his behalf, that he
may save both himself and them that hear him.

  6. I need add but one caution: Think not the bigotry of
another is any excuse for your own. It is not impossible,
that one who casts out devils himself, may yet forbid you so
to do. You may observe, this is the very case mentioned in
the text. The Apostles forbade another to do what they did
themselves. But beware of retorting. It is not your part to
return evil for evil. Another’s not observing the direction
of our Lord, is no reason why you should neglect it. Nay, but
let him have all the bigotry to himself. If he forbid you, do
not you forbid him. Rather labour, and watch, and pray the
more, to confirm your love toward him. If he speak all manner
of evil of you, speak all manner of good (that is true) of
him. Imitate herein that glorious saying of a great man (O
that he had always breathed the same spirit!), ‘Let Luther
call me a hundred devils; I will still reverence him as a
messenger of God.’

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