R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 2:10

By R.C. Chapman

 

“My Beloved Spoke, and said to me: Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2:10)

Don’t you hear, my soul, the voice of Jesus, the voice of the Beloved! He is able to speak in thunder, His word can shake heaven and earth; and can you despise His gentleness, His tender tones of love and grace?  Fie upon you, sluggish soul! What hinders you from rising up at His call, upon eagles’ wings of faith and hope? Are you hindered with much serving? Are idols of clay set up within you, Where you should be for your Beloved, and for Him alone?

If your heart is now divided and cold, consider the heart of Jesus toward you! It is full of the love he had for you before the world’s foundation, when he rejoiced in His Church, and His “delights were with the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:31).  He is the same Jesus who took your place and died for you on the tree! What a heart of mercy is His! What yearnings of His heart over you! What pity and countless number of displays of compassion!

Can you defile His temple with idols?  He sees you as all fair! He found you foul and made you clean by His own blood! He presents you to Himself without spot, or wrinkle, or blemish, or any such thing.

Let such love, of thy glorious Immanuel, your God, and your Brother; let such love stir and awaken you; fill you with repentance and self-loathing! Go, humble yourself to your Friend, and make sure the communion of His love.  “My love, my fair one;” so speaks my Lord Jesus to you.  Do not doubt it.  O, my soul! Know, it is your cunning enemy that whispers in your ear suspicions of your Lord.  The liar would cause you to become feeble in faith, that he may poison the spring of your peace, joy, and love.  But I will confound your unbelief! I tell you, Jesus, your “breaker”, has gone up before! He is risen, and in triumph ascended; your head and your Forerunner.  Flee to the blood of sprinkling with all your pollution! Take yourself to Him; and He will surely wash you, bind up your wounds, pour in the oil and wine, and cause you to rest in His love, and by faith to live together with Him in the heart of the Father.

 


Modernized in places by this site.

Christian Love 15: Love Bears and Believes All Things

By Hugh Binning

Love “bears all things.” By nature we are undaunted heifers, cannot bear anything patiently.  But love is accustomed to the yoke, —to the yoke of reproaches and injuries from others, to a burden of other men’s infirmities and failings.  We would all be borne upon others’ shoulders, but we cannot put our own shoulders under other men’s burden, according to that royal law of Christ, Romans 15:1—“We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” and Galatians 6:2—“ Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  That is the law of love, without question.

Love “believes all things.” Our nature is malignant and wicked, and therefore most suspicious and jealous, and apt to take all in the worst way. But love has much openness, honesty and humanity in it, and can believe well of every man, and believe all things as far as truth will permit.  It knows that grace can be beside man’s sins.  It knows that itself is subject to similar infirmities.  Therefore it is not a rigid and censorious judger; it allows as much latitude to others as it would desire of others.

It is true it is not blind and ignorant.  It is judicious, and has eyes that can discern between colors. Credit omnia credenda, sperat omnia speranda.-“It believes all things that are believable, and hopes all things that are hopeful.” If love doesn’t have sufficient evidences, yet she believes if there be some probabilities to the contrary, as well as for it.  The weight of love inclines to the better part, and so casts the balance of hope and persuasion; yet being sometimes deceived, she has reason to be watchful and wise, for “the simple believe every word.”  If love cannot have ground of believing any good, yet it hopes still. Qui non est hodie, cras magis aptus erit, says love, and therefore it is patient and gentle, waiting on all, if perhaps God may “give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,”—2nd Timothy 2:25. 

Love would account it both atheism and blasphemy, to say such a man cannot, will not find mercy.  But to pronounce of such as have often been accepted in the conscience of all, and sealed into many hearts, that they will never find mercy, that they have no grace, because of some failings in practice and differences from us, it wasn’t pronounced in sobriety but madness.  It is certainly love and indulgence to ourselves, that make us aggravate other men’s faults to such a height.   Self love looks on other men’s failings through a multiplying or magnifying glass, but she put her own faults behind her back. Non videtquod in mantica qua a tergo est. Therefore she can suffer much in herself but nothing in others, and certainly much self forbearance and indulgence can spare little for others.

But love is just contrary. She is most rigid on her own self, will her not pardon herself easily, knows no revenge but what is spoken of in 2nd Corinthians 7:11, self revenge, and has no indignation but against herself.  Thus she can spare much openness, honesty, and forbearance for others, and has little or nothing of indignation left behind to consume on others.

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

Christian Love 14: Love Thinks No Evil,…but Rejoices in the Truth

By Hugh Binning

thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  1st Corinthians 13 NKJV

Christian love “thinks no evil.” This love is apt to take all things in the best sense.  If a thing may be subject to different interpretations, it can put the best construction on it.  It is so benign and good in its own nature that it is not inclined to suspect others.  It desires to condemn no man, but would gladly, as far as reason and conscience will permit, free from guilt every man.  It is so far from the desire of revenge, that it is not provoked or troubled by an injury.  For that were nothing else but to wrong itself because others have wronged it already, and it is so far from wronging others, that it will not willingly so much as think evil of them.

Yet if need require, love can execute justice, and inflict chastisement, not out of desire of another’s misery, but out of love and compassion to mankind.  Charitas non punit quia peccatum est, sed, peccaretur– it looks more to prevention of future sin, than to revenge of a past fault. and can do all things with calmness of spirit, as a physician cuts a vein without anger.  Quis enim cut medetur irascitur? –”who is angry with his own patient?”

Love “Does not rejoice in iniquity.” Love is marred in itself, though it lower itself to all.  Though it can love and wish well of evil men, yet it does not rejoice in iniquity.  It is like the sun’s light that shines on a pile of manure, and is not defiled, receives no impurity from it.  Some base and wicked spirits make a sport to do mischief themselves, and take pleasure in others that do it.  But love does not rejoice in iniquity or injustice, though it were done to its own enemy.  It cannot take pleasure in the unjust sufferings of any who hate it, because it has no enemy except sin and iniquity and hates nothing else with a perfect hatred.  Therefore whatever advantage should come back to itself by other men’s iniquities, it cannot rejoice, that iniquity, its capital enemy, should reign and prevail.

But it “rejoices in the truth.”  The advancement and progress of others in the way of truth and holiness is its pleasure.  Though that should eclipse its own glory, yet it does not look on it with an jealous eye, it is not grieved to find it and know it, but can rejoice at anything that may give evidence of goodness in others.  There is nothing more beautiful in its eyes than to see everyone get their own due, though itself should come behind.


This common domain work modernized in places by this site

Life of Faith 4: He is Life

By Richard Sibbes

Why is it that we do not seek this spiritual life more? Because when the conscience is not awakened, we think there is no such thing: like Judas walking on in the state of nature, in drunkenness, sensual pleasures, covetousness, and such things, until we perish suddenly. If the conscience is awakened, then it is easy to work upon such who sees his misery and desires a remedy.  It was easy to persuade Jacob to send for corn in Egypt, when a famine was in the land of Canaan.  It is easy to persuade men hungry and thirsty to eat and drink; easy to persuade a weighed down, weary man to lay down his burden and rest.  So it’s the same with us.  If the conscience is awakened to have a sense of sin, and that intolerable wrath and eternal punishment that is due, we should and would long for this spiritual life.

I urgently ask you, let us believe there is such a life. Look at 1st Peter 1:3.  There he blesses God, “who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  No one can go to heaven unless they are born again here.  The main help is the use of the means.  This is that pool of Bethesda, at which if we lie the angel of the covenant will put us in to be healed.  Never rest then until this life has gotten into us…[never rest from seeking and looking to God, through His means, I take this to mean things such as praying and reading his word, in expectation of his mercy.]

…Christ is called life, the bread of life, tree of life, and he gives us living water to refresh our souls, not that he is so essentially bread, or a tree, but by the ability of his working in us. For God is life in himself.  Therefore he swears by it: “As I live, says the Lord, I do not desire the death of a sinner,” —Ezekiel 33:11.  Here we do not consider life so high, but this life must be derived from him principally.  It is done so naturally.  The Son is the fountain of life, because he is God, who is radically, fundamentally, and essentially life.

 

 

 

 [Language modernized in places by this site] [mine]

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Sweet Drops 6: Weak but His

By Richard Sibbes

Let us assure ourselves that God’s grace, even in this imperfect state, is stronger than man’s free will in the state of original perfection.[Adam] It is founded now in Christ, who, as he is the author, so he will finish, [or complete] our faith (Heb.12:2). We are under a more gracious covenant.

What some say of rooted faith,” fides radicata, that it continues, while weak faith may come to nothing” seems to be contradicted by this Scripture; for, as the strongest faith may be shaken, so the weakest, where truth is, is so far rooted that it will prevail.

Weakness with watchfulness will stand, when strength with too much confidence fails.  Weakness with acknowledgement of it, is the best place and thing for God to perfect his strength in; for consciousness of our weaknesses drive us out of ourselves to him in whom our strength lies.

From this it follows that weakness may be consistent with assurance of salvation.  The disciples, even with all their weaknesses, are bidden to rejoice that there names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).  Failings, with struggle, in growing in holiness should not weaken the peace of our being justification and assurance of salvation.  It doesn’t matter as much what weakness is in us, as what good; but how we think of them; not what our particular failings are so much as what is the thread and tenor of our lives, for Christ’s dislike for the things that are amiss in us turns not to hatred of us, our persons but to the victorious conquering of all our infirmities[weaknesses].

Some have, after struggles, wondered at the goodness of God that so little and such trembling faith should have upheld them in so great combats, when Satan had almost caught them.

And, indeed, it is to be wondered at, how much a little grace will prevail with God for acceptance, and over our enemies for victory, if the heart is upright.

such is the goodness of our sweet Savior that he delights still to show his strength in our weaknesses.

 


Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, kindle, Loc. 1884, [Language modernized in places by this site [] ours.


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 6

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Christian Love 4: Self-Love the Enemy of Christian Love

By Hugh Binning

If a man be not lowly, to sit down below offences and weaknesses, his love cannot rise above them. Self-love is the greatest enemy to true Christian love, and pride is the fountain of self-love, because it is impossible that, in this life, there should be an exact agreement between the thoughts and ways of Christians.  Therefore it is not possible to keep this bond of perfection unbroken, except there be a mutual bowing to one another in lowliness.  Self-love would have all conformed to it, and if that not be, there is the price to pay.  But humbleness of mind can conform itself to all things, and this keeps the bond fast.  Then love, by the link of humility, has meekness chained to it, and kindness.  Love is of a sweet complexion, meek and kind.  Pride is the mother of passion, humbleness the mother of meekness.  The inward affection is made by meekness, and the outward actions adorned by gentleness and kindness.  Oh that sweet calmness of spirit! The heart of the wicked is as the troubled sea, no rest, no quiet in it, continual storms raising continual waves of anxiety and stress.  An unmeek spirit is like a boiling pot, it troubles itself and annoys others.  Then, at length, love, by lowliness and meekness, is the most durable, enduring, longsuffering thing in the world,” with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”  These are the only principles of patience and long enduring of hardships.  Anger and passion is expressed in the scripture under the name of haste, and it is a sudden furious, hasty thing, a rash, inconsiderate, impatient thing, more hasty than speedy.

 


Excerpt from-The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle, Loc 16413. Common Domain. Language slightly modernized in places by this site.


 

Christian Love 5: He Makes Peace

Christian Love 3

Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops 4: Deformed Yet His

By Richard Sibbes

Since Christ is set before us, let us not believe Satan’s representations of him. When we are troubled in conscience for our sins, Satan’s manner is to present Christ to the afflicted soul as a most severe judge armed with justice against us.  But then let us present him to our souls as offered to our view by God himself, holding out a scepter of mercy, and spreading his arms to receive us.

When we think of Joseph, Daniel, John the Evangelist, we frame conceptions of them with delight, as of mild and sweet persons. Much more when we think of Christ, we should conceive of him as a mirror of all meekness.  If the sweetness of all flowers were in one, how sweet must that flower be?  In Christ all perfections of mercy and love meet.  How great must that mercy be that lodges in so gracious a heart?  Whatever tenderness is scattered in husband, father, brother, head, all is but a beam from him; it is in him in the most eminent manner.  We are weak, but we are his; we are deformed, but yet carry his image upon us.  A father looks not so much at the blemishes of his child as at his own nature in him; so Christ finds matter of love from that which is his in us.  He sees his own nature in us: we are diseased but yet a part of his body.  Who has ever neglected his own body because parts were sick or weak?  None ever hated his own flesh.  Can the head forget the body?  Can Christ forget himself? We are his fullness, as he is ours.  He was love itself clothed with man’s nature, which he united so near to himself, that he might communicate his goodness more freely to us.  And he didn’t take our nature when it was at it best, but when it was abased, with all the natural and common infirmities it was subject to.

Let us then, hate all suspicious thoughts, as either cast in or cherished by that damned spirit who, as he labored to divide between the Father and the Son by jealousies, by saying, “If you are the Son of God” (Matt. 4:6), so his daily study is to divide between the Son and us by breeding false opinions in us of Christ, as if there were not such tender love in him to such as we are. It was Satan’s art from the beginning to discredit God with man, by calling God’s love into question with our first father Adam.  His success then him ready to use that weapon still.

 


Excerpt from-Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle, Loc. 1497, Common Domain, Language modernized slightly in places by this site.


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 4

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Manton’s Merciful Appeals

By Thomas Manton

For the other sort, who are kept from coming to trust Christ by their own fears, they are likely to say things like,

“It is true there is mercy in Christ for sinners, but Christ has not callrd me personally.”

– My brothers, what are you looking for? An audible voice to speak to you, You John, You Thomas, etc.? In the the tenderness of the gospel you are included as well as others, and why will you exclude yourselves? If God says sinners, you should reply, “I am the greatest sinner”.

“I remember it said, in John 10:3, Christ calls hi sheep by name, and leads them forth. How does Christ call them by name?”

-By speaking particularly to their case, as if he tapped them on the shoulder, and said; “Here is comfort for you.” As at a feast, when there is a dish that we set on the table , though all are free to take from it, yet we say, Here is a dish for me.”  So you should apply yourselves and take your own portion;  though it be put forward to everyone, when God directs his messengers to speak particularly to your case, that is all the calling by name you need, since prophesies are ceased, so you should say, This dish was provided for my hungry conscience, intended for me,..But they will reply,

“Sure there is no mercy for me, I am so unworthy.”

-I answer—The invitation does not look for worth, but thirst: Rev.22:17, “Let him that is thirsty come, and whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely.” You are not worthy, but you are thirsty, or else why are you groaning as you are?

-And by the way take notice of the pride that is in legal dejection.[disqualifying yourself through the law]

Men unwilling to come to Christ; would like to be worthy before they come to him; and therefore the apostle says: “For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” Rom 10:3. A proud man would attempt to establish a righteousness in himself, and is reluctant to low themselves to take all from another;…

-The more the need to come to Christ; he came to call sinners. Matt.9:13. It doesn’t’ matter what you have been, but what you could be; Christ does not call us because we are holy but that we may become holy. Is it rational to say, “I am too poor to take charity, I am too dirty to take a shower?

But they have refused so many call already, and scorned God’s counsel.

-Wisdom calls scorners, Prov.1:22. “Turn you scorners; how long will you delight in scorning?” It is a mercy that you have been able to hear one more call; don’t increase your guilt that you complain about.

But I don’t know how to come to Christ.

-The blind and the lame are invited to the wedding, Matt.22, and wisdom calls fools, Prov.9:4, “Whosoever is simple”. The stray lamb is brought home on the shepherd’s shoulders, Luke 15.  Oh, that these words might be spirit and life to you!

 


[Language slightly modernized in places by this site.]

Christian Love 3: A Bundle of Graces

By Hugh Binning

 

 

Unity in judgment is very important for the wellbeing of Christians. But Christ’s last words persuade this, that unity in love is more essential and central. [to his will]  This is the badge [or evidence] he left to his disciples.  If we cast away this unity of love because of every different understanding and opinion of mind, we disown our master, and disclaim his own given badge. [or evidence]

The apostle Paul gives a high note of commendation on love, when he speaks of it as the bond of perfection. “Above all these things”  He says, “walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.” I am sure it doesn’t have such a high place in the minds and practice of Christians now, as has in the roll of the members of the new man spoken of here.  Here it is above all.  With us it is below all, even below every understanding of doubtful truths.  An agreement in the in the formation of an idea of truth in any poor petty controversial matter of the present times, is made the badge [or evidence]  of being a true Christian, and set in the highest place above all which the apostle mentions, in the 12th verse, “a heart of compassion[or mercies], kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance.” [or longsuffering]  No, love itself is but a waiting handmaid to this mistress.

But let is consider the significance of character the apostle puts on love. It is a bond of perfection, as it were, a bundle of graces, and chain of virtues, even the very cream and flower of many graces combined.  It is the sweet result of the united force of all graces.  It is the very head and heart of the new man, which we are invited to walk in, “ above all walk in love.”  All these fore-mentioned perfections are bound and tied together, by the girdle of kind-heartedness and love.  When love is born and brought forth, it may be said Gad, for a troop comes, chorus virtutum, “a troop or company of virtues” which it leads and commands.  Love has a tender heart, for it has a “heart of mercies,” –such a compassionate and melting temper of spirit, that the misery and hardship, whether of body or spiritual, of other men, makes an impression on it.  And therefore love is the Christian sympathy which affects itself with others’ afflictions.  If others be moved, it moves itself through comfort and sympathy.  This is not only extended to physical weaknesses, sicknesses and disabilities but, most of all to weaknesses and illnesses of mind and heart, error, ignorance, darkness, falling into and giving into temptation to sin.  We are made the priest to God our Father, [as Christ’s body] (Rev.1:6) to have compassion on those who are unknowledgeable of the way of salvation, We also ourselves are beset with weakness,(Heb.5:2)  Then, love has a humble mind, “humbleness of mind,” or else it could not stoop and show love and acceptance to others seen by most as inferior, and therefore Christ exhorts above all to lowliness.  “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.”

 


[Language slightly modernized in places by this site]