|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion.
The lives of ministers oftentimes convince more strongly than their words; their tongues may persuade, but their lives command.
Christ choosing solitude for private prayer, doth not only hint to us the danger of distraction and deviation of thoughts in prayer, but how necessary it is for us to choose the most convenient places we can for private prayer. Our own fickleness and Satan's restlessness call upon us to get into such places where we may freely pour out our soul into the bosom of God [Mark 1.35].
Suffering times are sealing times. The primitive Christians found them so, and the suffering saints in Mary's days found them so. When the furnace is seven times hotter than ordinary, the Spirit of the Lord comes and seals up a man's pardon in his bosom, his peace with God, and his title to heaven. Blessed Bradford looked upon his sufferings as an evidence to him that he was on the right way to heaven.
It is better to have a sore than a seared conscience.
God sees us in secret, therefore, let, us seek his face in secret. Though heaven be God's palace, yet it is not his prison.
God's hearing of our prayers doth not depend upon sanctification, but upon Christ's intercession; not upon what we are in ourselves, but what' we are in the Lord Jesus; both our persons and our prayers are acceptable in the beloved [Eph 1.6].
Christ is the sun, and all the watches of our lives should be set by the dial of his motion.
An idle life and a holy heart is a contradiction.
Repentance is a grace, and must have its daily operation, as well as other graces. A true penitent must go on from faith to faith, from strength to strength; he must never stand still or turn back. True repentance is a continued spring, where the waters of godly sorrow are always flowing. 'My sin is ever before me'.
It was a choice saying of Augustine, 'Every saint is God's temple, and he who carries his temple about him, may go to prayer when he pleaseth'.
Prayer is nothing but the breathing that out before the Lord, that was first breathed into us by the Spirit of the Lord.
Those years, months, weeks, days, and hours, that are not filled up with God, with Christ, with grace, and with duty, will certainly be filled up with vanity and folly. The neglect of one day, of one duty, of one hour, would undo us, if we had not an Advocate with the Father.
You had better be a poor man and a rich Christian, than a rich man and a poor Christian. You had better do anything, bear anything, and be anything rather than be a dwarf in grace.
Much faith will yield unto us here our heaven, but any faith, if true, will yield us heaven hereafter.
A man's most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions.
The two poles could sooner meet, than the love of Christ and the love of the world.
'My sin is ever before me' [Psalm 51.3]. A humble soul sees that he can stay no more from sin, than the heart can from panting, and the pulse from beating. He sees his heart and life to be fuller of sin, than the firmament is of stars; and this keeps him low. He sees that sin is so bred in the bone, that till his bones, as Joseph's, be carried out of the Egypt of this world, it will not out. Though sin and grace were never born together, and though they shall not die together, yet while the believer lives, these two must live together; and this keeps him humble.
The only way to avoid cannon-shot is to fall down. No such way to be freed from temptation as to keep low.
The best and sweetest flowers of Paradise God gives to his people when they are upon their knees. Prayer is the gate of heaven, a key to let us in to Paradise.
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