Psalm 59.17

To you, my strength, I will sing praises.  

For God is my high tower, the God of my mercy.


World English Bible

 

bishops-palace-3576638__340

Advertisements

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

Christian Love 13: Love is Not Easily Provoked

By Hugh Binning

Love “is not easily provoked.”  This is the straight and solid firmness of it, that it is not soon moved with external impressions.  It is long suffering, it suffers long and much.  It will not be shaken by violent and weighty pressures of injuries, where there is much provocation given, yet it is not provoked.  Now to complete it, it is not easily provoked at light offences.  It is strange how little a spark of injuries puts all in a flame because our spirits are as gunpowder, — so capable of combustion through corruption.  How ridiculous, for the most part, are the causes of our wrath! For light things we are heavily moved, and for rediculous things sadly, even as children who fall out among themselves for toys or things of small value, or as animals that are provoked upon the very show of color, as red or such like.  We would save ourselves much labor, if we could judge rightly before we allow ourselves to be provoked.  But now we follow the first appearance of wrong, and being once moved from the outside, we continue our commotion within, lest we should seem to be angry without a cause.

But love has a more solid foundation.  It dwells in God, for God is love, and so it is truly great, truly high, and looks down with a steadfast countenance upon these lower things.  The upper world is continually calm and serene.  No clouds, no storms there, no winds, nothing to disturb the harmonious and uniform motion, but it is this lower world that is troubled and tossed with storms, and obscured with clouds.

So a soul dwelling in God by love, is exalted above the cloudy region.  He is calm, quiet, serene, and is not disturbed or interrupted in his motion of love to God or men.


The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle edition, Loc. 16493. [Language modernized in some places by this site.]

Christian Love 12: Love is Unselfish

By Hugh Binning

Love…doesn’t seek its own way,…—1st Corinthians 13:5

Self denial and true love are inseparable.  Self love makes a monopoly of things for its own interest, and this is most opposite to Christian affection and communion, which puts all in one bank.  If every one of the members should seek its own things, and not the good of the whole body, what a miserable malady this would cause in the body?  We are called into one body in Christ, and therefore we shouldn’t look only to our own things, but all  be looking also to the welfare of others, —Philippians 2:4.  There is a common interest of saints, mutual edification in faith and love, which charity will prefer to its own private interest.  Being addicted to our own thinking and understanding, and too much self-confident pride and self pleasing is the grand enemy of that place to which we are called into one body.  Since one Spirit teaches and gives life to all the members, what a monstrosity is it for one member to seek its own things, and look to its own private interest only, as if it were a distinct body!

 


Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle edition, Loc. 16482 [Language modernized in some places by this site.]


Christian Love 11: Love Does Nothing Inappropriate
Excerpts of Mercy

Christian Love 11: Love Does Nothing Inappropriate

By Hugh Binning

1st Corinthians 13  5 —doesn’t behave itself inappropriately,..

Then Love does nothing unseemly, “doesn’t behave itself inappropriately,” 1st Cor. 13.5. Vanity and swelling of mind will certainly breakout into some inappropriate carrying of one’s self, such as vain and conceited estimation, and similar things, but love keeps a sweetness and tastefulness in all its ways, so as not to provoke and irritate others, not to expose itself to contempt and mockery.  Or it may be said, it is not disagreeable, It doesn’t account itself disgraced and abused, to associate and be friendly with men in a low state.  It can with its Master bow down to wash the disciple’s feet, and not think it unseemly.  Whatever it submits to in doing or suffering, it is not ashamed of it, as that it were not suitable or becoming.

 

 

 

 


[Language modernized by this site in places.]


 

 

 

 

Christian Love 10: Love Is Not Envious or Proud

By Hugh Binning

 

“Love does not Envy” Envy is the seed of all contention, and self-love brings it forth.  When everyone desires to be esteemed as greatests would have pre-eminence among others, their ways must interfere with one another.  This is what makes discord.  Everyone would take away from another’s value, that they themselves may add to their own.  No one lives content with their own lot or position, and it is the aspiring beyond that, which puts all the wheels out of course.  I beleive this is the root of many contentions among Christians,-the apprehension of slighting, the conceit of disrespect, and the like, kindles the flame of difference, and heightens the least offence to an unpardonable injury.  But love envieth not where it may lie quietly low.  Though it be under the feet of others, and beneath its own due place, yet it does not envy, it can lie contentedly so.  Suppose it is slighted and despised, yet it doesn’t take it badly, because it is lowly in mind.

“Love is not proud, and doesn’t praise itself.” If love has gifts and graces beyond others, it restrains itself, with the bridle of modesty and humility, from praising or boasting about itself, or anything in its carrying of itself that may taste of conceit.  Pride is a self admirer, and despises others, and to please itself, cares little if others others are displeased.  There is nothing so unfitting in human or Christian society, so apt to alienate others’ affections, for the more we take our own affection to ourselves, we will have less from others.  O these golden rules of Christian walking! Rom.12:10,16, “In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another; Don’t set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble.  Don’t be wise in your own conceits.” O but that were a sightly competition among Christians,  to prefer another in unfeigned love, and in lowliness of mind, each to esteem another better than themself. Philip. 2:3.  “Knowledge puffs up” says the apostle (1sr Cor. 8:1) “but love edifies.” It is only a swelling and inflamation of the mind, but love is solid devotion and real Christianity.

 


[Language modernized in some places by this site]


Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:5

By R.C. Chapman

“I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem; as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.” (Song of Solomon 1:5)

Lord! I am Thine—and in Thy blood I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of Thy grace! The name Thou givest me is new and woundrous—a child of adoption and grace am I, and friend and brother of my Lord!  By the light of Thy grace I see that in me strange opposites do meet—beauty and deformity; all things good, all things evil—all things lovely, all things hateful.

Once, alas! I was in mind and heart altogether at enmity with Thee, and hating Thy name with yet greater malice than I bore to God’s holy law: now I know what once I was, not only by memory of the past, but I see a law in my members warring against the law of my mind; and what is this law in my members but enmity of the flesh bound in chains of grace. As for this my former man, his name is Legion: he is one, yet many.  Once I loved his abominations, caressed, admired them: and what conscience reproved, I could excuse, or hide, or justify.  Now Thou hast given me a law of the mind, a new man, that sees and hates the old.  And yet can I or any creature search out all the depths of sin that dwelleth in me?  Ah, no! But, Lord, I give Thee thanks that I was crucified with Thee, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that I might no longer serve sin (Romans 6:6).

Thou knowest, Lord, I hate with perfect hatred this host of inward foes; they rise up against Thee, and I count them both Thine enemies and mine. Chiefly, Lord, I hate and dread the pride and spiritual wickedness of the flesh, its worship, faith, repentance, prayers, and praises.  Oh, succor me! And behold the oppressions and treacheries of these foes within the city, which would bring me into captivity.  And Thou dost hear me; for Thou knowest Thy servant cannot endure lukewarm heart nor proud spirit; and in his hours of temptation thou knowest his custom—he crieth aloud to Thee, and Thou dost sprinkle his heart with Thy blood, and loose his bonds by Thy peace.

Thou showest him the power of Thy resurrection, and givest him to know the fellowship of Thy sufferings; making him to hate and loathe the flesh, while he walks at liberty with Thee. And, Lord, while to myself I take shame, yet I say with good conscience, “Tis no more I, but sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:17, 20).  Morevoer, as I ponder the cunning and power of the foe, I say, “By grace I am saved” (Ephesians 2:5, 8). Thou, Lord, makest me to differ; of the same lump was I with the vessels of wrath.

Lord, Thou art my keeper, and therefore I am not consumed; and I rejoice and triumph, because while every thought and motion of the flesh is worthy of the curse, yet am I accepted and glorious in Thyself, my robe; my beauty is perfect in Thee, and Thy Spirit dwells within me, having fashioned me after Thine own image. Thou, the Holy One of Israel, callest me fair; the blackness of indwelling sin Thou hast no eyes to see.  Lord, I will speak to the glory of Thy grace: “I am black, but comely—as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon” (Song of Solomon 1:5).

 


Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle version, Loc.149


Excerpts of Mercy

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: This is 1:5.

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:8-1/2 —2/2          1:9          1:10          1:11          1:12          1:13          1:14          1:15          1:16

Choosing God over Man

By Paul Myers

Recently, I believe, the Lord has been showing me something more clearly.  The Lord, does desire and expect to be our first love.  When you think about it rationally, how could he be anything but our first love.  He gave us life. He provides generously for us. He is our Hero, inflicting pain on Himself, enabling us to have a relationship with Him.   He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Our own sin, the world full of sin and under the enemy’s power to a great degree, and the Enemy himself are opposed to this first love for God.

I believe the greatest obstacle to people making God their refuge, strength, and first love is that we have too high a regard for humanity.  I’m not meaning by this we care too much for humanity’s well being.  What I mean is we have too much esteem for humanity, or people who please us.  We have too great an ambition to be seen by others as meeting and exceeding certain standards, or well-pleasing in their eyes.  We are putting too much emphasis or value on the human judgment of others, whether they are this or that thing that pleases or displeases us.   This over emphasis, leads to superiority and inferiority complexes.  This leads to harsh, judgmental, and divisive ways of thinking, communicating and behaving.  This divides, and causes much animosity, hatred, even wars and death.  This is the pride in man, pride of man.  We are the “God” of our world, passing judgments and setting our own standards for right and wrong.

Humanism has greatly infected Christianity as a whole, I believe, Christianity as including all who claim Christ.  This pride of and in man, has greatly harmed and hindered Christian love and unity.  I hope you understand what I am saying.  I want to write in a way that brings humanity down to its proper place, of lowness and humility, before and under God.  I realize this may seem negative and offensive to many, but this is best for all who honestly seek God, to know humanity’s true state and standing.  I suppose this is part of the offence of the cross, that mankind is at such a low place as far as any good standing that it is required that Jesus live and die in our place, living a life of goodness and righteousness we cannot.  Some, I believe rise up in defense of mankind to a degree, becoming defensive and perturbed when what we are apart from Christ is spoken of truthfully. To me it is not a negative thing, but hopeful, and awe-inspiring of the mercy and love of God, to think of how far we fall short, yet His mercy and love has reached and still reaches down to us.  I believe the more we move off our selves being the focal point of everything, and rather Him being so, we will see much more graciousness, kindness and mercy to one another.