Category Archives: Old-Time Sermons

Trying the Spirits

Trying the Spirits

Preached at Gower Street Chapel, London,
on June 18, 1865, by J. C. Philpot

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.”
1 John 4:1

Has it never struck you as a remarkable circumstance that in what are called primitive times, no, in the very days of the apostles themselves, there should spring up in the professing church a crop of men, some of whom were abandoned to the vilest sins, and others given up to believe and propagate the grossest errors and heresies? We would naturally have thought that when such manifest dangers awaited every one who professed to believe in Jesus Christ; when Christians were objects on every side of the deepest enmity and hottest persecution; when every convert carried his life as if in his hand; above all, when there was such a large outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the churches, that there would have been generally, as well as individually, both purity of doctrine and purity of life. But that such was far from the case is evident from the testimony of the New Testament Scriptures. Continue reading

Distinguishing Marks

Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God


Jonathan Edwards

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” [1 John 4:1]

In the apostolic age, there was the greatest outpouring of the Spirit of God that ever was; both as to his extraordinary influences and gifts, and his ordinary operations, in convincing, converting, enlightening, and sanctifying the souls of men. But as the influences of the true Spirit abounded, so counterfeits did also abound: the devil was abundant in mimicking, both the ordinary and extraordinary influences of the Spirit of God, as is manifest by innumerable passages of the apostles’ writings. This made it very necessary that the church of Christ should be furnished with some certain rules, distinguishing and clear marks, by which she might proceed safely in judging of the true from the false without danger of being imposed upon. The giving of such rules is the plain design of this chapter, where we have this matter more expressly and fully treated of than any where else in the Bible. Continue reading