“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Witsius continues his discourse on the importance of taking heed to discern, recognize, commune, and yoke ourselves with the Chaste Spouse of Christ “lest we embrace a prostitute and an adulteress, instead” (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 ; 2 Corinthians 6:14). Witsius, from his Sacred Dissertations:
“Nor should we be deterred from this communion by some faults which may possibly be committed in the government of the Church, or by the sins of others, who do not duly regulate their practice according to the commandments. If only the truth of the Doctrine continue uncorrupted, if we are not obliged to approve of those faults, and if we are careful to have no fellowship with others in their sins, it becomes us to discover so much reverence for the institutions of God, and so much love for the faithful who belong to that society, as cheerfully and frequently to unite with them in the social exercises of religious worship; ‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another.'” [underlining mine]
Malachi 3:16-18 is relevant to this blessed communion of true saints who fear the Lord and converse one with another about His redemptive glory. True Christian love is unfeigned; it receives and gives discipline when required (Psalm 141:5; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11).
Here is a clear instance of the approval of, and fellowship with, others in their sins:
“In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.”
Those two words — “as if” — are two fangs dripping the venom of adultery; these two words employed by those studying arguments unduly in order to indelibly etch “A HATEFUL ENCOURAGER OF ADULTERERS” upon their learned and brazen foreheads.
“In vain do we expect to see on the earth a Church without spot, a thrashing-floor without chaff, a field without tares, or a house in which are none but vessels unto honour. Nor let us imagine that we are to please God by any presumptuous conceit of our own sanctity, joined with contempt of others. Which say, ‘Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.'” [underlining mine]
It depends on a precise definition of spot, chaff, and tare. If a person objects to the rather overt Westminster-strengthening of adulterous hands, then does it necessarily follow that this objection stems from presumptuous conceit and pseudo-pious contempt?
“that trusting in no creature, but in the all-sufficiency of God in Christ, he may have a sure foundation of comfort under every perplexity; that, in fine, stimulated by the amazing kindness of God towards [elect–CD] man and by the unmerited love of Christ, he may apply himself to the practice of an ingenuous holiness which lays aside the mercenary baseness of self-love and is habitually influenced by pure love to God, and an unfeigned concern to promote His glory.”
Whether eating or drinking, or whatever else a true believer is doing — do all in love and thankfulness to the Triune God. Seek to magnify Jesus Christ in everything.
“According to my earnest expectation and [my] hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but [that] with all boldness, as always, [so] now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether [it be] by life, or by death. For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain” (Philippians 1:20-21).
“In all these respects they who belong not to the society of the Reformed Church are universally found exceedingly deficient.”
Not so, Witsius. Reformed Confessions are very instructive in teaching what exceeding large groups of people agreed with (e.g., 2nd Helvetic Confession; Westminster Confession). Those with eyes to see will discern that the Reformed Church is one of the harlot-daughters of the Great Whore (cf. Revelation 17:5). The two links (above) provide Scriptural evidence for this Reformed Harlotry: the proof is in the porneia.