Preachers need to take heed therefore, how they deal with young believers. Let them be careful not to pitch matters too high,
It is hard to preserve just bounds of mercy and severity without a spirit above our own, by which we ought to desire to be led in all things. That wisdom which dwells with prudence (Prov. 8:12) will guide us in these particulars, without which virtue is not virtue, truth not truth. The rule and the case must be laid together; for if there isn’t a keen insight, apparent likeness in conditions will give rise to errors in our opinions of them.
Those fiery, tempestuous and destructive spirits in popery that seek to promote their religion by cruelty show that they are strangers to that wisdom which is from above, which makes men gentle, peaceable and ready to show that mercy which they themselves have felt. it is a way of prevailing agreeable both to Christ and to man’s nature to prevail by some forbearance and moderation.
And yet we often see a false spirit in those that call for moderation. There doing so is but to carry their own projects with the greater strength; and if they prevail they will hardly show that moderation to others which they now call for from others. And there is a proud kind of moderation likewise, when men will take upon themselves to censure both parties, as if they were wiser than both, although, if the spirit is right, an onlooker may see more than those that are in conflict.