Monday, May 30, 2005

have you shaken hands with Christ in earnest

"I fear that you have never known me well. If you saw my inner side, it is possible that you would pity me, but you would hardly give me either love or respect. Men mistake me the whole length of the heavens. My sins prevail over me, and terrors of their guiltiness. I am put often to ask if Christ and I did ever shake hands together in earnest."

From Letters of Samuel Rutherford, a letter to David Dickson.

Friday, May 27, 2005

weak souls, fly to Christ

"Some again are haunted with hideous representations to their imaginations, and with vile and unworthy thoughts of God, of Christ, of the Word, which, as busy flies, disquiet and molest their peace. These are cast in like wildfire by Satan, as may be discerned by the strangeness, the strength and violence, and the horribleness of them even to corrupt nature. A pious soul is no more guilty of them than Benjamin was when Joseph's cup was put into his sack. Among other helps recommended by godly writers, such as detestation of them and diversion from them to other things, let this be one, to complain to Christ against them, and to fly under the wings of his protection, and to desire him to take our part against his and our enemy."

From The Bruised Reed, by Richard Sibbes.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Let no intrusion into your private room

"It [quietness of spirit] is opposed to distracting, heart-consuming cares. A gracious heart so esteems its union with Christ and the work that God sets it about that it will not willingly suffer anything to come in to choke it or deaden it. A Christian is desirous that the Word of God should take such full possession as to divide between soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12), but he would not allow the fear and noise of evil tidings to take such a hold in his soul as to make a division and struggling there, like the twins in Rebekah's womb. A great man will permit common people to stand outside his doors, but he will not let them come in and make a noise in his closet or bedroom when he deliberately retires from all worldly business. So a well-tempered spirit may enquire after things outside in the world, and suffer some ordinary cares and fears to break into the suburbs of the soul, so as to touch lightly upon the thoughts. Yet it will not on any account allow an intrusion into the private room, which should be wholly reserved for Jesus Christ as his inward temple."

From The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, by Jeremiah Burroughs.

Discern your claim to Christ's mercy

"This may serve for a trial to discern who may lay just claim to Christ's mercy. Only those that will take his yoke and count it a greater happiness to be under his government than to enjoy any liberty of the flesh; that will take whole Christ, and not single out of him what may stand with their present contentment; that will not divide Lord from Jesus, and so make a Christ of their own, may make this claim. None ever did truly desire mercy for pardon but desired mercy for healing. David prays for a new spirit, as well as for a sense of pardoning mercy (Psa. 51:10)."

From The Bruised Reed, by Richard Sibbes.
(apologies for the lack of updates, i've not had internet for a while)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

hate sin

"...there is a hatred or loathing of abominations: 'Ye shall loathe yourselves for your iniquities' (Ezek. 36.31). A true penitent is a sin­loather. If a man loathe that which makes his stomach sick, much more will he loathe that which makes his conscience sick. It is more to loathe sin than to leave it. One may leave sin for fear, as in a storm the plate and jewels are cast overboard, but the nauseating and loathing of sin argues a detestation of it. Christ is never loved till sin be loathed. Heaven is never longed for till sin be loathed. When the soul sees an issue of blood running, he cries out, Lord, when shall I be freed from this body of death? When shall I put off these filthy garments of sin and have the fair mitre of glory set upon my head? Let all my self­love be turned into self­loathing (Zech. 3.4-5). We are never more precious in God's eyes than when we are lepers in our own."

From The Doctrine of Repentance, by Thomas Watson.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Awakened Sinner

O my forgetful soul,

Awake from thy wandering dream;
turn from chasing vanities,
look inward, forward, upward,
view thyself,
reflect upon thyself,
who and what thou art, why here,
what thou must soon be.
Thou art a creature of God,
formed and furnished by him,
lodged in a body like a shepherd in his tent;
Dost thou not desire to know God’s ways?

O God,
Thou injured, neglected, provoked Benefactor
when I think upon thy greatness and thy goodness
I am ashamed at my insensibility,
I blush to lift up my face,
for I have foolishly erred.
Shall I go on neglecting thee,
when every one of thy rational creatures
should love thee,
and take every care to please thee?
I confess that thou hast not been in all my thoughts,
that the knowledge of thyself as the end of
my being has been strangely overlooked,
that I have never seriously considered
my heart-need.
But although my mind is perplexed and divided,
my nature perverse,
yet my secret dispositions still desire thee.
Let me not delay to come to thee;
Break the fatal enchantment that binds
my evil affections,
and bring me to a happy mind that rests in thee,
for thou hast made me and canst not forget me.
Let thy Spirit teach me the vital lessons of Christ,
for I am slow to learn;
And hear thou my broken cries.

From The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

O Lord, break the snare!

"If thou be one whose heart is eagerly set upon this vain world, I beseech thee take heed, lest it interpose itself betwixt Christ and thy soul, and so cut thee off from him for ever. O beware, lest the dust of the earth, getting into thine eyes, so blind thee, that thou never see the beauty or necessity of Christ. The god of this world so blinds the eyes of them that believe not. And what are sparkling pleasures that dazzles the eyes of some, and the distracting cares that wholly divert the minds of others, but as a napkin drawn by Satan over the eyes of them that are to be turned off into hell? 2 Cor. 4: 3, 4.

Some general aims, and faint wishes after Christ you may have; but alas! the world has centered thy heart, intangled thy affections, and will daily find new diversions for them from the great business of life; so that, if the Lord break not this snare, thou wilt never be able to deliver thy soul."

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