Among close friends, such men show off their first edition publications of anything Puritan, even with handwritten signatures or personalized notes from or to an original author or owner. Learned men are greatly moved at the sight of such jewels, even stroking the cover and delicately turning the pages for a glance. Meanwhile, unlearned bystanders look on with curiosity and wonder at the magical sight, being enticed themselves to invest in the enterprise. A religious culture thickens over time until no one in the Church is deemed trustworthy without amassing religious paraphernalia. Even so, pretty soon nothing is pure outside of the Puritans, and all people are proud and misguided who think otherwise.
On the contrary, the Apostles regularly certified their teachings to the Churches of the New Testament by quoting from the Patriarchs, Kings, & Prophets of old.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY: To show the filthiness, pollution, and defilement of sin, the Apostle Paul cited the Psalms while modern Preachers cite select sermons of Edwards (Rom. 3:9-20).
JUSTIFICATION: When speaking of justification by grace through faith in Christ, the Apostle Paul cited Abraham while modern Preachers cite Luther (Rom. 4; James 2; Heb. 11; see Abrahamic Exemplification).
REGENERATION / CONSECRATION: To describe the holy consecration of true Christianity in the experience of regeneration in Christ, the Apostles quoted the Ceremonial Law while modern Preachers quote famous Theologians or celebrity Preachers who quote the Puritans, or even early Wesleyan Methodism (Titus 3:5).
PERSEVERANCE: When teaching on the perseverance of the saints, the Apostles pointed to the mighty exploits of faith accomplished by thoroughly Jewish men in the Old Testament as a Cloud of Witnesses, among other things (Heb. 11), while modern Preachers point to the elaborate controversies of Whitefield & Wesley, or Owen & Baxter, etc.
ELECTION: While professing faith in election or proving the sovereignty of God, the Apostle Paul emphasized God's dealings with Isaac in contrast to Ishmael, Jacob in contrast to Esau, & Israel in contrast to Egypt (Rom. 9; Ex. 33:19), while modern Preachers quote Calvin alongside other venerated Confessions of Faith in extra-biblical Church History.
THE GOSPEL: To confirm and defend the Gospel, the Apostle Matthew cited the Kings & Prophets while modern Preachers cite "the Early Church Fathers", the Reformers, & the Puritans.
THE CHURCH: To show the origin & function of the Church, the Apostles cited the status of the Jews in the Land of Israel & Judah, the Kingdom of God, the City of Jerusalem, & Mount Zion, while modern Preachers herald the status of the Church after the Reformation - Puritanism, Separatism, Presbyterianism, Reformed Baptists, etc.
ESCHATOLOGY: To confirm and defend a new dispensation of the Gospel in the Gentile Church Age, while warning of an end to this age and the beginning of another with the Jews (Rom. 11:25-36), the Apostle Paul quoted the Prophets, but modern Preachers quote the Puritans in hopes to perpetuate the Reformation of Christianity from Catholicism in every age.
While ascribing to the Orthodox Doctrines of modern times, men will forfeit the Apostles' Doctrine pertaining to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. While professing faith in ancient Creeds and Confessions, men will deny the faith of the Apostles in how they understood salvation. While being engrossed in Revival Theology, men will become oblivious to the essence and implication of revival in the soul. Things will get worse and worse, until a worthy expression of Christianity will become totally unimaginable in Church-ianity, and persecution follows true Christians wherever they go as they earnestly contend for the faith. The signs of this declension are all around us. For, men love Matthew Henry more than the Gospel of Matthew. They admire Jonathan Edwards more than the Apostle John. Alas! They even promote Paul Washer more than the Apostle Paul!