ANY system of teaching that runs away from the real thing, or that has a tendency to distract attention from or lessen the importance of “first principles”, is but vain jangling, and which brings no nourishment, or cheer, or good, but blights the spiritual man. Milk, not vinegar; beef, not pickles, is the demand of a healthy appetite. Vain jangling is like whisky toddy; exhilarating to those who have no better way of spending their time, but destructive to the constitution. We have seen illustrations of vain jangling in our own time – men taken up with crotchets which they have magnified into importance; starting discussions which have no practical bearing whatever, and upon which even no certain judgement can be arrived at. Such a policy is ruinous in relation to the truth. The atmosphere created by vain jangling is highly unfavourable to spiritual health.
ROBERT ROBERTS, The Ambassador of the Coming Age, 1869, pages 364,365.
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.