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"Every thing tht a man leans upon but God, will be a dart that will certainly pierce his heart through and through. He who leans only upon Christ, lives the highest, choicest, safest, and sweetest life."
"The doctrine of repentance is right gospel doctrine. Not only the austere Baptist, who was looked upon as a melancholy, morose man, but the sweet and gracious Jesus, whose lips dropped as a honey-comb, preached repentance; for it is an unspeakable privilege that room is left for repentance."
"Faith lives in a broken heart. 'He cried out with tears, Lord, I believe.' True faith is always in a heart bruised for sin. They, therefore, whose hearts were never touched for sin, have no faith. If a physician should tell us there was a herb that would help us against all infections, but it always grows in a watery place; if we should see a herb like it in colour, leaf, smell, blossom, but growing upon a rock, we should conclude that it was the wrong herb. So saving faith always grows in a heart humbled for sin, in a weeping eye and a tearful conscience."
"There are three things that earthly riches can never do; they can never satisfy divine justice, they can never pacify divine wrath, nor can they every quiet a guilty conscience. And till these things are done man is undone."
"Question: How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the Word?
Answer 1: When we desire to sit under a heart-searching ministry. Who cares for medicines that will not work? A godly man does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work upon his conscience.
Answer 2: When we pray that the Word may meet with our sins. If there is any traitorous lust in our heart, we would have it found out and executed. We do not want sin covered, but cured. We can open our breast to the bullet of the Word and say, 'Lord, smite this sin.'"
Taken from A Godly Man is a Lover of the Word
"True union makes a true Christian: many close with Christ, but it is upon their own terms; they take and own him, but not as God offers him. The terms upon which God in the gospel offers Christ, are, that we shall accept of a broken Christ with a broken heart, and yet a whole Christ with the whole heart. A broken Christ with a broken heart, as a witness of our humility; a whole Christ with a whole heart, as a witness of our sincerity. A broken Christ respects his suffering for sin; a broken heart respects our sense of sin; a whole Christ includes all his offices; a whole heart includes all our faculties. Christ as King, Priest, and Prophet, and as a Mediator. Without any one of these offices, the work of salvation could not have been completed."
"Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him: this will cost you something. To attain ease and dexterity of language in prayer and to be able to put your meaning into appropriate and fitting expressions is easy; but to get your heart broken for sin while you are actually confessing it; melted with free grace even while you are blessing God for it; to be really ashamed and humbled through the awareness of God's infinite holiness, and to keep your heart in this state not only in, but after these duties, will surely cost you some groans and travailing pain of soul."
"RULE. Hold this as a fixed verity, that that is best which God wills. All that have come to God believe this, else they would have not come; for what could draw the heart from all its good but that which is greater than all? But though this is habitually in them, yet they do not always actually believe it; for what should be the cause of their excursions and deviations but because at present they think it better to walk in another way than the way of God."
"There are no men more careful of the use of means than those that are assured of a good issue and conclusion, for the one stirs up diligence in the other. Assurance of the end stirs up diligence in the means. For the soul of a believing Christian knows that God has decreed both."
"I am tempted to think that I am now an established Christian,--that I have overcome this or that lust so long,--that I have got into the habit of the opposite grace,--so that there is no fear; I may venture very near the temptation--nearer than other men. This is a lie of Satan. One might as well speak of gunpowder getting by habit of resisting fire, so as not to catch spark. As long as powder is wet, it resists the spark; but when it becomes dry, it is ready to explode at the first touch. As long as the Spirit dwells in my heart, He deadens me to sin, so that, if lawfully called through temptation, I may reckon upon God carrying me through. But when the Spirit leaves me, I am like dry gunpowder. Oh for a sense of this!"
ROBERT M M'CHEYNE
"What fools are they who, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath."
"A sermon is not made with an eye upon the sermon, but with both eyes upon the people and all the heart upon God."
"It was a particular condescension of the Son of God, to be born of any of Adam's sinful children. True honour in God's account consists in holiness, and sin is to Him the vilest disgrace. Original sin in Christ's mother had made her more contemptible and ignoble than anything else could; had she been an empress, it would yet have been to Christ an abasing of himself to derive his humanity from her. That a clean thing should come out of an unclean is strange; for though she was sanctified by grace, nevertheless she had not attained spotless perfection, but still had the stain and pollution of sin on her. As it is a disgrace to have a traitor as one's father, so it is no less to have a sinner for one's mother. Thus Christ, though without sin, would be intimately related to sinners, for whose sake he came into the world."
"Though our private desires are ever so confused, though our private requests are ever so broken, and though our private groanings are ever so hidden from men, yet God eyes them, records them, and puts them upon the file of heaven, and will one day crown them with glorious answers and returns."
"Behold, what manner of love is this, that Christ should be arraigned and we adorned, that the curse should be laid on His head and the crown set on ours."
"We should answer God's dealing by our dealing. He works by contraries; we should judge by contraries. Therefore, if we be in misery, hope and wait for glory, in death look for life, in sense of sin assure thyself of pardon, for God's nature and promises are unchangeable; and when God will forgive, he lets us see our troubles. Therefore with resolute Job say, 'Though he kills me, I will yet trust in him.'"
"I say, who can hear Jesus Christ speaking thus, and his heart not fall in love and league with Christ, and his soul not unite to Christ and resign to Christ, and cleave to Christ, and for ever be one with Christ, except it be such that are for ever left by Christ? Well, remember this, the more vile Christ made himself for us, the more dear he ought to be unto us."
taken from An Exhortation to Young Men to Come to Christ
"If you will have the teachings of Christ, walk according to the knowledge you have already. Use your little knowledge well, and Christ will teach you more. 'If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.' John 7:17"
"I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men."
"Believer, closet prayer will be found to be but a lifeless, comfortless thing, if you do not enjoy communion with God in it. That should be the very soul of all your closet duties, therefore press after it, as for life; when you go into your closet banish every thing that can hinder your enjoyment of Christ."
"They cannot serve two masters God and the world. You know men will condemn you, if you be true to God: if, therefore, you must needs have the favour of men, you must take it alone without God's favour. A man-pleaser cannot be true to God, because he is a servant to the enemies of his service; the wind of a man's mouth will drive him about as the chaff, from any duty, and to any sin. How servile a person is a man-pleaser! How many masters hath he, and how mean ones! It perverteth the course of your hearts and lives, and turneth all from God to this unprofitable way."
This extract is taken from The Sin of Man-pleasing.
"Neither is it a verbal acknowledgement, in owning that which Christ suffered at Jerusalem, which will free any from this charge and guilt. Unless the Lord Christ, that Christ which is God and man in one person, is owned, received, believed in, loved, trusted unto, and obeyed in all things, as he is proposed unto us in the Scripture, and with respect unto all the ends of righteousness, holiness, life, and salvation, for which he is so proposed, he is renounced and forsaken."
"It is in many places a lost labour to seek for Christianity among Christians." JOHN OWEN
"Is not many a man contented to suffer reproach for maintaining his lust? And shall not we for maintaining the truth? Some glory in that which is their shame (Phil iii.19); and shall we be ashamed of our glory?"
"When we see men look big and swell with the things of this life, let us in a holy kind of state think of our happiness in heaven, and carry ourselves accordingly. If we see anything in this world, let us say to our souls, This is not what I look for; or when we hear of anything that is good, let us say, I can hear this, and therefore this is not what I look for; or when we understand anything here below, this is not the thing I look for: 'But for the things that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor that ever entered into the heart of man.'"
"The best men in the estate of grace would be in darkness, and call their estate into question, if the Holy Ghost did not convince them, and answer all cavils for them; and therefore we must not only be convinced at first by the Spirit, but in our continued course of Christianity. This, therefore, should make us come to God's ordinances with holy devotion. O Lord, vouchsafe the Spirit of revelation, and take the scales from mine eyes, that as these are truths, they may be truths to me! Do thou away my soul, that I may cast myself upon thy mercy in Christ!"
"A man's greatest care should be for that place where he dwelleth longest; therefore eternity should be his scope."
"Truth when it is in the plainest dress is the most comely. The star shines brightest in its native lustre. Who goes to embroider a pearl? Or paint over gold? It is a sign of a wanton Chrsitian to look most at the fringing and garnishing of a truth. Many like the dressing but loathe the food. When men preach rather words than matter, they catch people's ears, not their souls; they do but court, not convert."
"You have need of patience; and if you ask, the Lord will give it: but there can be no settled peace till our will is in a measure subdued. Hide yourself under the shadow of His wings; rely upon His care and power; look upon Him as a physician who has graciously undertaken to heal your soul of the worst of sicknesses, sin. Yield to His prescriptions, and fight against every thought that would represent it as desirable to be permitted to choose for yourself."
taken from Seven Letters To -------
"Then are we servants of God, then are we the disciples of Christ, when we do what is commanded us and because it is commanded us."
"We may be truly said to worship God, though we lack perfection; but we cannot be said to worship Him if we lack sincerity."
"None so empty of grace as he that thinks he is full."
"God hath work to do in this world; and to desert it because of its difficulties and entanglements, is to cast off His authority. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness; but we must also serve our generation, as David did before he fell asleep. God hath a work to do; and not to help Him is to oppose Him."
" Christ's love is like his name, and that is Wonderful, Isa. ix. 6; yea, it is so wonderful, that it is supra omnem creaturam, ultra omnem measuram, contra omnem naturam, above all creatures, beyond all measure, contrary to all nature. It is above all creatures, for it is above the angels, and therefore above all others. It is beyond all measure, for time did not begin it, and time shall never end it; place doth not bound it, sin doth not exceed it, no estate, no age, no sex is denied it, tongues cannot express it, understandings cannot conceive it: and it is contrary to all nature; for what nature can love where it is hated? What nature can forgive where it is provoked? What nature can offer reconcilement where it receiveth wrong? What nature can heap up kindness upon contempt, favour upon ingratitude, mercy upon sin? And yet Christ's love hath led him to all this; so that well may we spend all our days in admiring and adoring of this wonderful love, and be always ravished with the thoughts of it."
This quotation is from Christ's Love to Poor Sinners.
Advice to a Young Minister
"It is easy for me to advise you to be humble, and for you to acknowledge the propriety of the advice; but while human nature remains in its present state, there will be almost the same connexion between popularity and pride, as between fire and gunpowder: they cannot meet without an explosion, at least not unless the gunpowder is kept very damp."
"God's wounds cure, sin's kisses kill."
"Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that reared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them."
"If a man were invited to a feast, and there being music at the feast, he should so listen to the music, that he did not mind his meat, you would say, Sure he is not hungry; so when men are for jingling words, and like rather gallantry of speech than spirituality of matter, it is a sign that they have surfeited stomachs, and itching ears."
"He who lives up to a little light shall have more light; he who lives up to a little knowledge shall have more knowledge; he who lives up to a little faith shall have more faith, and he who lives up to a little love shall have more love. Verily the main reason why men are such babes and shrubs in grace is because they do not live up their attainments."
" Man with all his shrewdness is as stupid about understanding by himself the mysteries of God, as an ass is incapable of understanding musical harmony."
JOHN CALVIN on 1 Cor 1:20.
"There is no other method of living piously and justly, than that of depending upon God."
JOHN CALVIN on Genesis 17:1
"My brethren, when God first began to love you, He gave you all that He ever meant to give you in the lump, and eternity of time is that in which He is retailing of it out."
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