Friday, April 29, 2005

The everlastingly delicious Christ

"And such is the deliciousness of this subject, that, were there ten thousand volumes written upon it, they would never cloy, or become nauseous to a gracious heart. We use to say, one thing tires, and it is true that it does so, except that one thing be virtually and eminently all things, as Christ is; and then one thing can never tire; for such is the variety of sweetness in Christ, who is the deliciae humani generis, the delights of the children of men, that every time he is opened to believers from pulpit or press, it is as if heaven had furnished them with a new Christ; and yet he is the same Christ still."

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Methodical head and a well ordered heart

“And as it [order] serves to render the mind more judicious, so it causes the memory to be more tenacious, and retentive of truths. The chain of truth is easily held in the memory, when one truth links in another; but the loosing of a link endangers the scattering of the whole chain. We use to say, order is the mother of memory; I am sure it is a singular friend to it: hence it is observed, those that write of the art of memory, lay so great a stress upon place and number. The memory would not so soon be overcharged with a multitude of truths, if that multitude were but orderly disposed. It is the incoherence and confusion of truths, rather than their number, that distracts. Let but the understanding receive then regularly, and the memory will retain them with much more facility. A bad memory is a common complaint among Christians: all the benefit that many of you have in hearing, is from the present influence of truths upon your hearts; there is but little that sticks by you, to make a second and third impression upon them. I know it may be said of some of you, that if your affections were not better than your memories, you would need a very large charity to pass for Christians. I confess it is better to have a well ordered heart, than a methodical head; but surely both are better than either. And for you that have constantly attended these exercises, and followed us through the whole series and deduction of these truths, from text to text, and from point to point; who have begun one sabbath where you left another, it will be your inexcusable fault, if these things be not fixed in your understanding and memories, as nails fastened in a sure place: especially as providence has now brought to your eyes, what has been so often sounded in your ears, which is no small help to fix these truths upon you, and prevent that great hazard of them, which commonly attends bare hearing; for now you may have recourse as often as you will to them, view and review them, till they become your own.

But though this be a great and singular advantage, yet is not all you may have by a methodical understanding of the doctrines of Christ: it is more than a judicious understanding them, or faithful remembering them, that you and I must design, even the warm, vital, animating influences of these truths upon our hearts, without which we shall be never the better; yea, much the worse for knowing and remembering them.”

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

O fair, fair, ever fair Lord Jesus!

"Look often upon Christ in this glass; he is fairer than the children of men. View him believingly, and you cannot but like and love him. 'For (as one well saith) love, when it sees, cannot but cast out its spirit and strength upon amiable objects and things loveworthy. And what fairer things than Christ! O fair sun, and fair moon, and fair stars, and fair flowers, and fair roses, and fair lilies, and fair creatures! but, O ten thousand, thousand times fairer Lord Jesus! Alas, I wronged him in making the comparison this way. O black sun and moon; but O fair Lord Jesus! O black flowers, and black lilies and roses; but O fair fair, ever fair Lord Jesus! O all fair things, black, deformed, and without beauty, when ye are set beside the fairest Lord Jesus! O black heaven, but O fair Christ! O black angels, but O surpassingly fair Lord Jesus.'”

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

How does the world appear to our eyes?

"I hope you have not, nor ever will forget how vain the world appeared to your eye, when you looked back (as it were over your shoulder) and saw how it shrunk away from you; nor will you ever forget the awful apprehensions of eternity that then seized your spirit, or the value you then had for Christ; which things, I hope, still do, and ever will remain with you."

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel.

Peerless pearl

"Dear Sir, Christ is the peerless pearl hid in the field, Mat. 13: 46. Will you be that wise merchant, that resolves to win and compass that treasure, whatever it shall cost you? Ah, Sir, Christ is a commodity that can never be bought too dear."

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Let us be a nauseated people

“Yes, wo is me! how do I every day behold reasonable souls most unreasonably disaffected to my lovely Lord Jesus! denying love to One, who is able to compel love from the stoniest heart! yea, though they can never make so much of their love (would they set it to sale) as Christ bids for it.

It is horrid and amazing to see how the minds of many are captivated and ensnared by every silly trifle; and how others can indifferently turn them with a kind of spontaneity to this object, or to that (as their fancy strikes) among the whole universe of beings, and scarce ever reluctate, recoil, or nauseate, till they be persuaded to Christ. In their unconverted state, it is as easy to melt the obdurate rocks into sweet syrup, as their hearts into divine love.”

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Alas!, we have done nothing

"What shall I say of Christ? The excelling glory of that object dazzles all apprehension, swallows up all expression. When we have borrowed metaphors from every creature that has any excellency or lovely property in it, till we have stript the whole creation bare of all its ornaments, and clothed Christ with all that glory; when we have even worn out our tongues, in ascribing praises to him, alas! we have done nothing, when all is done."

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel.

Friday, April 22, 2005


"But let me tell you, the whole world is not a theatre large enough to show the glory of Christ upon, or unfold the one half of the unsearchable riches that lie hid in him."

From The Fountain of Life opened up: or, A Display of Christ in his essential and mediatorial glory, by John Flavel. (This work is Flavel's own compilation of 42 of his sermons).

Thursday, April 21, 2005

God's judgement

"The most tremendous judgment of God in this world is the hardening of the hearts of men."

From a sermon entitled The advantage of the kingdom of Christ in the shaking of the kingdoms of the world, by John Owen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Word of God

"The Word of God alone is to be preached, in its perfection and inner consistency. Scripture is the exclusive subject of preaching, the only field in which the preacher is to labour. 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them' (Luke 16:29); 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat [that is, they teach the doctrine of Moses, which they confess]. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do' (Matt. 23:2-3)."

"The Word of God is God's wisdom revealing from heaven the truth which is according to godliness. 'But the wisdom, which is from above is first pure...' (James 3:17); 'Paul, a bondservant of God...according to...the acknowledgement of the truth which accords with godliness' (Titus 1:1). The exceptional qualities of the Word, both in its nature and its effects, evoke our admiration."

From The Art of Prophesying, by William Perkins.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Christ, An Ocean of Pleasure

"As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the meeting-place of all the waters in the world, so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet."

From Christ Altogether Lovely, by John Flavel.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Christ, the blood spending Advocate

"He pleads the cause of believers by his blood. Unlike other advocates, it is not enough for him to lay out only words, which is a cheaper way of pleading; but he pleads for us by the voice of his own blood, as in Heb. 12:24, where we are said to be come 'to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.' Every wound he received for us on earth is a mouth opened to plead with God on our behalf in heaven. And hence it is, that in Rev. 5:6 he is represented standing before God, as a lamb that had been slain; as it were exhibiting and revealing in heaven those deadly wounds received on earth from the justice of God, on our account. Other advocates spend their breath, Christ spends his blood."

From Christ Altogether Lovely, by John Flavel.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Let us weep with Joannes Mollius

"I have read of one Joannes Mollius, who was observed to go often alone, and weep bitterly; and being pressed by a friend to know the cause of his troubles, said 'O! it grieves me that I cannot bring this heart of mine to love Jesus Christ more fervently.'"

From Christ Altogether Lovely, by John Flavel.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


"Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose anal heedless spirit, will cost no great pains; but to set thyself before the Lord, and tie up thy loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him; this will cost thee something. To attain a facility and dexterity of language in prayer, and put thy meaning into apt and decent expressions, is easy; but to get thy heart broken for sin, while thou art confessing it; melted with free grace while thou art blessing God for it; to be really ashamed and humbled though the apprehensions of Godís infinite holiness, and to keep thy heart in this frame, not only in, but after duty, will surely cost thee some groans and pains of soul. To repress the outward acts of sin, and compose the external part of thy life in a laudable manner, is no great matter; even carnal persons, by the force of common principles, can do this: but to kill the root of corruption within, to set and keep up an holy government over thy thought, to have all things lie straight and orderly in the heart, this is not easy."

From On Keeping the Heart, by John Flavel.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


"Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, might it have its own course, it would go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could; every covetous desire would be oppression, every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head... it is like the grave, that is never satisfied (Prov. 27:20)"

From Mortification of Sin, by John Owen.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Be killing sin!

"...the choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin...Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. Your being dead with Christ virtually, your being quickened with him, will not excuse you from this work."

From Mortification of Sin, by John Owen.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Natural man's inability to escape the enslavement of sin

"He is 'sold under sin,' Rom. 7:14, and brought 'into captivity to the law of sin,' ver. 23. 'Law of sin:' that sin seems to have a legal authority over him; and man is not only a slave to one sin, but many, Tit. 3:3, 'serving divers lusts.' Now when a man is sold under the power of a thousand lusts, every one of which has an absolute tyranny over him, and rules him as a sovereign by a law; when a man is thus bound by a thousand laws, a thousand cords and fetters, and carried whither his lords please, against the dictates of his own conscience and force of natural light; can any man imagine that his own power can rescue him from the strength of these masters that claim such a right to him, and keep such a force upon him, and have so often baffled his own strength, when he attempted to turn against them?"

From The Chief of Sinners Objects of the Choicest Mercy, by Stephen Charnock.

Monday, April 04, 2005

On self-righteousness

"...naturally it is a harder matter to part with self-righteousness than to part with gross sins; for that is more deeply rooted upon the stock of self-love, a principle which departs not from us without our very nature. It has more arguments to plead for it; it has a natural conscience, as a patron for it. Whereas a great sinner stands speechless at reproofs, an outward law-keeper has the strong reinforcement of natural conscience within his own breast. It was not the gross sins of the Jews against the light of nature, so much as the establishing the idol of their own righteousness, that was the block to hinder them from submitting to the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:8)."

From The Chief of Sinners Objects of the Choicest Mercy, by Stephen Charnock.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Knowledge without repentance

"Some bless themselves that they have a stock of knowledge, but what is knowledge good for without repentance? It is better to mortify one sin that to understand all mysteries. Impure speculatists do but resemble Satan transformed into an angel of light. Learning and a bad heart is like a fair face with a cancer in the breast. Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell."

From The Doctrine of Repentance, by Thomas Watson.