The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn to Christ: 2

By Thomas Hooker

 

Besides these, there are other kinds of hindrances which do not indeed deprive a man of title and interest to eternal happiness, but make the way tedious and uncomfortable, so that he cannot come to Christ so readily as he desires and longs to do: the ground whereof is this; when men, out of carnal reason, contrive another way to come to Christ than ever he ordained or revealed; when we set up our standards by God’s standard, or our threshold by his, (Ezekiel 43:8) and out of our own imagination, make another state of believing than ever Christ required or ordained.

No marvel that we come short of him: for thus we put rubs, and bars in our way: we manacle our hands, and fetter our feet, and then say that we cannot take, nor go.  Thus it is with you poor Christians, and the fault is your own.

 

 

The Saints Everlasting Rest: 3

By Richard Baxter

 

What more welcome to men under personal afflictions, tiring duties, disappointments, or sufferings, than rest?  It is not our comfort only, but our stability.  Our liveliness in all duties, our enduring of tribulation, our honoring of God, the vigor of our love, thankfulness, and all our graces; yea, the very being of our religion and Christianity depend on the believing, serious thoughts of our rest.

And now, reader, whoever thou art, young or old, rich or poor, I entreat thee, and charge thee, in the name of thy Lord, who will shortly call thee to a reckoning, and judge thee to thy everlasting unchangeable state, that thou give not these things the reading only, and so dismiss them with a bare approbation; but that thou set upon this work, and take God in Christ for your only rest, and fix thy heart upon him above all.  May the living God, who is the portion and rest of his saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly that loving him, and delighting in him, may be the work of our lives; and that neither I that write, nor you that read this book, may ever be turned from this path of life; “lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest,”  we should “come short of it,” through our own unbelief and negligence.

The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn to Christ: 1

By Thomas Hooker

 

Chapter 1.

Impediments which hinder souls from coming to Christ removed.

There are divers impediments which hinder poor Christians from coming to Christ; all which I desire to reduce to these following heads,

I.  First, such hindrances as really keep men from coming to take hold of Christ at all; which are briefly these.

  1. Blind, careless, or presumptuous security; whereby men content themselves with their present condition, presuming all is well with them, when there is no such matter.
  2. Being convicted of this they bethink how to save themselves by their own strength; and thereupon set upon reformation of life, thinking to make God amends by reforming some sins which they hear themselves reproved of by ministers.
  3. The sinner being convinced of his utter inability to please God in himself, at length gets up a stair higher, and sees all his performances, and prayers, and duties to be of no power in themselves, but that he must leave all, and cleave only unto Christ by faith; and this he thinks he can do well enough, and so he thrusts himself upon Christ, thinking all the work is then done, and no more to be looked after.
  4. If he sees this fails him too, then he goes further, and confesseth he cannot come to Christ, except Christ give him his hand, and help him up; therefore now he will attend on the ordinances, and labour and bestir himself hard in the use of all good means, conceiving therefore to hammer  out at last a faith of his own to make him happy.  And here he rests, hanging as it were upon the outside of the ark so long, till at last the waves and winds growing fierce and violent, he is beaten off, and so sinks forever.

 


Note:  The writer is laying the ground work to which he will soon have an encouraging answer.

 

This Glorious Freedom

josephsdailywalkwithjesus

NOT SEGREGATED And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 The Holy Bible New Living Translation

I am sure that most of know about the underground railroad that helped slaves reach freedom. The manner in which they reached it was through the sharing of knowledge of where to go to get to states where they were free.

Jesus helps us understand how that sin is wrong and leads to a life of misery and eternal damnation. He guides us on how to free ourselves of its destructive enslavement to our minds, bodies and spirits (through the guidance of the Holy Spirit).

“The child of God must be completely obedient to the word of the LORD. The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs, but when he obeys them.” A.W. Tozer

When we grasp this should we not share this glorious…

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The Saints Everlasting Rest: 2

By Richard Baxter

 

It was not only our interest in God, and actual enjoyment of him, which was lost in Adam’s fall but all spiritual knowledge of him, and true disposition towards such a felicity.  When the Son of God comes with recovering grace, and discoveries of a spiritual and eternal happiness and glory, he finds not faith in man to believe it.  As the poor man, that would not believe any one had such a sum as a hundred pounds, it was so far above what he possessed, so men will hardly now believe there is such a happiness as once they had, much less as Christ hath now procured.

When God would give the Israelites his Sabbaths of rest, in a land of rest, it was harder to make them believe it, than to overcome their enemies, and procure it for them.  And when they had it, only as a small intimation and earnest of an incomparably more glorious rest through Christ, they yet believe no more than they possess, but say, with the epicure at the feast, Sure there is no other heaven but this! or, if they expect more by the Messiah, it is only the increase of their earthly felicity.

The apostle aims most of this Epistle against this obduracy, and clearly and largely proves that the end of all ceremonies and shadows is to direct them to Jesus Christ, the substance; and that the rest of Sabbaths, and Canaan, should teach them to look for a further rest, which indeed is their happiness.

My text is his conclusion after divers arguments; a conclusion which contains the ground of all the believer’s comfort, the end of all his duty and sufferings, the life and sum of all gospel promises and Christian privileges.

The Saints Everlasting Rest: 1

By Richard Baxter

Chapter 1.  The introduction to the work, with some account of the nature of the saints’ rest.

-The important design of the apostle in the text, to which the author earnestly bespeaks the attention of the reader.  The saints’ rest defined with a general plan of the work.  That this rest presupposes.  The author’s humble sense of his inability fully to show what this rest contains.  It contains,

  1. A ceasing from means of grace;
  2. A perfect freedom from all evils;
  3. The highest degree of the saints’ personal perfection, both in body and soul;
  4. The nearest enjoyment of God, the chief good;
  5. A sweet and constant action of all the powers of soul and body in this enjoyment of God.

 


To be continued.

Christian Love 47: Rest in Humility

By Hugh Binning

 

I don’t know any antidote so sovereign as the example of Jesus Christ, to cure this evil [pride], and he himself often proposes this for his disciples to receive, (John 13:13-17) ” You call me Master and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet you should wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.  Verily, verily, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his lord, neither is he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  If you know these things, you are happy if you do them.” (Matthew 11:29-30), “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 20:27-28) “And whosoever will be great among you, let him be your servant.”

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and give his life a ransom for many.  That this might always sound in our ears, the servant is not above his lord, the “Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister?” Oh whose spirit would not be encouraged? What understanding of wrong would it not make up for? What flame of contention about worth and respect would it not quench? What noise of tumultuous passions would it not silence?

Therefore, the apostle of the Gentiles prescribes this medicine,(Philippians 2:5-8) “Let this mind be in you, that was also in Christ Jesus who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross,”  If he humbled himself out of charity, who was so high, how should we humble ourselves, both out of charity and necessity, who are so low! If we knew ourselves, it would not be a strange thing that we were humble, the evidence of truth would forcefully obtain it from us.  But here is the wonder, that he who knew himself to be equal to God, should notwithstanding become lower than men, that the Lord of all should become the servant of all, and the King of glory make himself of no reputation! That he was pleased to come down lowest, who knew himself to be the highest of all, no necessity could persuade it, but charity and love has done it.

Now, then how monstrous and ugly a thing must pride be after this! That the dust should raise itself, and a worm swell, that bad, miserable man should be proud, when it pleased the glorious God to be humble, that absolute necessity should not move him to, what simple love persuaded him to! How this heightens and elevates humility, that such an one gives out himself, not only as the teacher, but as the pattern of it.  “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls!”

 

[The End]


Modernized in places by this site.

Christian Love 46: Our Deepest Sin

By Hugh Binning

 

Now the example that is given us, “Learn of me,” is certainly of greater force to persuade a man to this humble, composed, and quiet temper of spirit, than all the rules in the world.  That the Son of God should come down and act it before our eyes, and cast us a pattern of humility and meekness, if this does not prevail to humble the heart, I don’t know what can.

Indeed this root of bitterness, which is in all men’s hearts by nature, is very hard to pluck up, yes, when other weeds of corruption are rooted out this poisonous one, pride grows the faster, and roots the deeper.  Suppose a man should be stripped naked of all the garments of the old man, this would certainly be nearest his skin and last to put off.  It is so pestilent and evil, that it grows in the glass window as well as on the manure pile and, which is strange, it can spring out of the heart, and take moisture and nourishment from humility, as well as from other graces.  A man is in danger of becoming proud that he is not proud, and to be high minded because he is lowly.  Therefore, it is not good to reflect much on our own graces, no more than for a man to eat much honey.

 


Modernized in places by this site.  [This is the 2nd to last post on Hugh Binning’s Christian Love.  “Christian Love 47:” will complete this work.]

Christian Love 45: Humility and Peace

By Hugh Binning

 

Lowliness of mind is the strongest bond of peace and charity. It banishes away strife and vain glory, and makes each man to esteem another better than himself, (Philippians 2:3) because the humble man knows who he is inside, and only another’s outside. Now certainly the outside is always better and more misleadingly attractive than the inside, and therefore a humble man seeing nothing but his neighbor’s outside, and being acquainted thoroughly with his own inside, he esteems another better than himself. Humility, as it makes a man think well of another, so it hinders him from speaking evil of his brother. (James 4)

He lays down the ground work in the 10th verse, “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” He raises his superstructure, verses 11,12: “Don’t speak against one another, brothers. He who speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge another?” Certainly the very ground of evil speaking of that nature, is some advantage, we think, that it may improve our own reputation, by the belittling of another’s fame. Or, because we are so short sighted in ourselves, therefore we are sharp sighted towards others, and because we think little of our own faults, we are ready to come down heavy on other men’s to an extremity. But in doing so we take the place of the judge and law upon ourselves, which judges others, and is judged by none. So we judge others, and not ourselves. Neither will we suffer ourselves to be judged by others. This is to make ourselves the infallible rule, to judge the law.

Humility levels men to a holy subjection and submission to another, without the confusion of their different degrees and stations. It teaches men to give the respect and regard to one that is due to his place or worth, and to signify it in such a way as may testify the simplicity of their thinking and sincerity of their respect. (Ephesians 5:21) “Submit yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.” (1st Peter 5),” Yes, all of you clothe yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; .”

Now, if humility can put a man below others, certainly it will make him endure patiently and willingly to be thought lowly of by others. When others give him that place to sit down, that he had already chosen for himself, will he think himself wronged and offended, though others about him think so? No, it is hard to persuade him of an injury of that kind, because the understanding of such an offence has for its foundation the imagination of some excellency beyond others, which lowliness has leveled out. He has placed himself low for every man’s edification that others can put him no lower, and there he sits quietly and peacefully. Bene qui latuit bene vixit. Affronts and injuries fly over him, and land upon the taller cedars, while the shrubs are safe. Qui cadit in plano, (vix hoc tamen evenit ipsum,) Sic cadit, ut tacta surgere possit humo. He sits so low, that he cannot fall lower, so a humble man’s fall upon the ground is indeed no fall indeed, but only in the thinking of others, but it a heavy and bruising fall from off the tower of self conceit.

 

 


Modernized in places by this site.