When we eat an apple

(Letters of John Newton)

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11

Remember your exalted privilege — you have the Bible in your hands, and are not bound to follow books or preachers any farther than what they teach agrees with the Oracles of Truth. We have great reason to be thankful for the instructions and writings of spiritual men — but they are all fallible, even as ourselves.

One is our master, even Christ — what He says, we are to receive implicitly — but we do not owe implicit subjection to the best of our fellow-worms. The Bereans were commended because they would not implicitly believe even the Apostle Paul — but examined the Scriptures every day to see if what he said was true. May the Lord give us a spirit of humility and discernment in all things.

When we eat an apple — we first cut out the blemishes, then eat what is good, and lastly throw the core away. Such a rule I would observe in reading human authors — the best may be defective, and the wisest may be mistaken. We are not only permitted, but enjoined, to call no man master.

"Examine everything carefully — hold fast to that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21