For precept must be on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, and there a little:
I. THE TRUE NATURE OF RELIGIOUS TEACHING.
1. As regards Christian doctrine, it will probably be within the recollection of meet of us that it formed the dullest part of our early instruction; and who can be surprised at it who recollects that, in addition to the natural repugnance of the human heart to all Divine things, the instruction was such as neither to enlighten the head, to touch the heart, or to interest the imagination? Let me express my profound conviction that the great human cause of the growth of error among our young people, and the falling off of many into perilous superstition, or no less perilous rationalism, is to be found here. Men have been contented to comprise in their religious knowledge only a few bald, bare truths, which perhaps they have received without personal inquiry from their parents, and have naturally thought it sufficient to hand down the same hereditary belief, the same bald truths, to their children after them. Truth consequently has had no aspect of reality, has been no living thing to them. Meanwhile times have changed, and the mental coldness of other days has given place to the intellectual activity of our own day.
2. Doctrinal truth is only one half, after all, if it be even that, of religious teaching. There remains the practical part of the faith; that by which, on the one side, it touches the conscience, and by which, on the other, it regulates the life.
II. THE EFFECTIVE MEANS OF CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE.
1. The influence of example.
2. The influence of love, and of that confidence which springs from love.
(E. Garbett, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: