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.]

Peter’s Masterpiece 2

by Paul M.

1st Peter 1

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (3)


to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance, and that doesn’t fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (4-5) 

I believe God(Father, Son, Spirit) is good, merciful, gracious and reasonable.  God is love. He obviously desires us to be these to one another, He is the source the from which these streams of love flow.  This is the God who gave us an illustration condemning the the rich man who cared little for poor Lazarus, at his door step.  God being the ultimate “rich man” does not treat us poor and needy ones as the rich man He condemned, if we would only believe, He is, who He says He is.  This is the God who communicates Himself as running to meet His son, this son who had rejected and treated his father as if he were dead to him.  This father also reaffirmed his love to his older ungrateful and unmerciful son.

This is the heart of the gospel.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”  First and foremost the gospel message of reconciliation is one of the mercy, goodness, graciousness and love of God.  God through His reconciling mercy is reaching to us all, at times almost as if He is begging us to trust and come.  He lowers himself at times in the scripture to the place of beggar, tenderly entreating us not to destroy ourselves, through disbelief.

We are given hope, raised to a much greater hope than we have ever known.  Before coming to know this hope, we had our minds on other inheritances, we wanted and sought in a variety of ways, the respect, the love and the honor of other people.  We sought things that enhanced these  for us, we wanted more than anything else, to be seen as successful, great, and worthy of these things from others.  Many of us envisioned the “blessed life” the “good life” as being one of independence, one of finding peace and security in our own greatness, ingenuity and character.  We are learning now, the blessed life is one of meekness and dependence on God.

God came to this earth, lowly and meek.  The hope He gives us which replaces our former hopes to varying degrees, and I hope great degrees is to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance.  This inheritance doesn’t fade away as the spindle of our lives run out. This is a hope which grows stronger year after year, decade after decade.  He has reserved the best for last, reserving for us a place with Him in heaven.  He himself guards this hope within us.  We are guarded by this merciful and loving God, through His power.  He gives, renews and revives our faith in Him.  He sustains and grows the perfect seed within us, though it resides along side our remaining sin.  This remaining sin that we grow to hate, believe and pray against.

This gospel, of the good news of mercy, peace and love, has been revealed to the world through Christ.   This gospel goes against our natural inclinations, of finding respect, love and honor through our own greatness, ingenuity and character and in resulting material security.   The gospel message is one of progressively dying to these things, meaning the loving and seeking of these things.  These deceptive dreams and prizes of our former lives, before God’s merciful invasion of us personally.  By the mercy and grace of God we will turn more and more from ourselves, our greatness, our glory, our character, and our love and dependence on these things will fade.  Our Lord will pull us out of this horrible pit, of muddy and boggy false dreams more and more.  He will by giving us a growing faith and love for Him, for Jesus, for His righteousness, character and glory, increase the clarity of our eyes and hearts.  Though we may stumble at times and fall from this clarity, if we are His, he will draw us back, and even to a place of greater clarity.  We can have this expectant hope, even at and in the low places.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.  When darkness seems to hid His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.  In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.  His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood.  When all around my soul gives way,  He then is all my Hope and Stay.  When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found.  Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.-Edward Mote

 



The Storm

Clarity

 

 

 

 

Some Drops of Sweetness 3

By Richard Sibbes

 

God calls him here his servant.  Christ was God’s servant in the greatest piece of service there ever was, a chosen and the choice servant who did and suffered all by commission from the Father.  In this we may see the sweet love of God to us, in the way he counts the work of our salvation by Christ his greatest service, and in that he will put his only beloved Son to that service.  He might well prefix it with “Behold” to raise up our thoughts to the highest pitch of attention and admiration.  In time of temptation, apprehensive consciences look so much to the present trouble they are in that they need to be roused up to behold him in whom they may find rest for their distressed souls.

In temptations it is safest to behold nothing but Christ the true brazen serpent, the true “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, (John 1:29).  This saving object[Christ] has a special influence of comfort to the soul, especially if we look not only on Christ, but also upon the Father’s authority and love in him.  For in all that Christ did and suffered as Mediator, we must see God in him reconciling the world to himself (2nd Cor. 5:19).

What a support to our faith is this,  that God the Father, the One offended by our sins, is so well pleased with the work of redemption!  And what a comfort is this, that, seeing God’s love rests on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased with us, if we be in Christ!  His love rests in a whole Christ, in Christ mystical, as well as Christ natural, because he loves him and us with one love.  Let us, embrace Christ, and in him God’s love, and build our faith safely on such a Savior who is given so high a commission.

See here, for our comfort, a sweet agreement of all three persons: The Father gives a commission to Christ; the Spirit gives to and adds holiness to it, and Christ himself executes the office of a mediator.  Our redemption is founded on the joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity.

 


[language slightly modernized in places by this site]


 

 

Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love: T.O.C.

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith: T.O.C.

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Accepting and Rejecting Condemnation

By Paul M.

 

I saw something, that speaks a lot of truth: it was something like this:

“I can recognize a judgmental person as soon as a see them.”

This is true of many of us.  Too often this is true of me.  As I grew up I felt very judged and condemned by many.  This has left its damages to me.  In many situations and environments I come into almost expecting judgment and condemnation.  Many times I’m sure, I imagine it from some where it does not exist.

This is something the Lord has been working with me on.  Lord Jesus says:

 “Therefore be merciful,
    even as your Father is also merciful.
 Don’t judge,
    and you won’t be judged.
Don’t condemn,
    and you won’t be condemned.
Set free,
    and you will be set free.”1

I have found these words of the Lord to be true, as much as I have allowed myself to experience them, at least.  When I give others the “benefit of the doubt” even when there is much evidence to the contrary, there is a freedom.  A freedom from condemnation. I am embracing the love and mercy of God as I am understanding it and giving it to others.  His mercy is passing through me as a vessel of mercy.   Judgment on the other hand does not work out well for me.  I tend to judge those who “I think” are judgmental and or harsh, but who is to say my judgment is right. Even if I was right 9 out 10 times, the tenth person suffers unjust judgment.  Mercy is undeserved anyway.  When I become judgmental and defensive, anger and or bitterness is the result.  This is a very unpleasant state.  I am allowing my own judging and condemning to block up and distort my understanding, view and experience of God’s mercy to me, to us.

I want to be slow to judge and condemn even the most obvious offenders.  This is my desire and what I am aiming for, but I’m not close, but I will keep looking in faith and hope for Lord to make this more true in my life.

Lord Jesus says:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”2

Loving those who are somewhat deserving of our love is a low thing.  God calls us to a higher love.  A love which loves and does good to those who hate and hurt us.  This is hard, this is where the “good fight” of faith comes in.  This is a war.  That we would learn to respond to our judges, our condemners, those who hurt us with supernatural love and mercy.  I know those of us who are His children have it within us to do this.  He, His gentle and merciful Spirit is within us.

I have come to use a way of thinking that has helped me, some.  In a sense I am condemned, anything in me that is not renewed, and changed by God, has been condemned already.  I fully agree with the condemnation of any sin or remaining corruption within me.  I accept God’s condemnation of this remaining sin and sinner.  This part of me deserved the cross Jesus took for me, it deserves hell Jesus saved me from.  By faith this sinner has already been dealt with on the cross.   So why should I get so upset when others condemn this sinner also.  When I am condemned I can agree with my condemners.  “Yes, you are exactly right.”   “Thank God, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”  We can accept condemnation from others without getting so defensive, yet in another sense we are believing gospel mercy and love to reject condemnation, as now we are credited with complete righteousness and full acceptance with God.  Our solid standing is on perfect righteousness and no condemnation at all.  Practically there is still much to judge and condemn within one another, if we so choose.  Practically we spend much time in Romans 7, but by faith we are truly Romans 8 believers.  The Enemy of our souls would have us believe our deserved condemnation of our sin, extends to undo our state of no-condemnation in Christ.  It won’t and it can’t, but the Enemy many times practically convinces us otherwise.

The Lord tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven, so the mercy we give will be correspondent with the mercy we receive, accept and love from our God.(Father, Son, Spirit) I hope to love His mercy more and more.  I hope this for you also.  Fight this War.


  1. Luke 6: 36-37
  2. Matthew 5: 44-45a

 

Its a War, Blackbird Blackbird

Some Drops of Sweetness

“It is said of Noah, Genesis 8:21, that he offered a sacrifice after the flood, and “the Lord smelled a sweet savor of his sacrifice”, and thereupon he says, ” I will not curse the earth again.”  So God loves and delights in Christ as he offered himself a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor wherein God rests; he felt such a sweet savor in the sacrifice of Christ, he is so delighted in it, that he will never destroy mankind, he will never destroy any that believe in Christ.  The sacrifice of Noah was a type of Christ’s sacrifice.

Now, that Christ’s sacrifice was so acceptable to God, there is a direct place for it in Eph. 5:2 “Walk in love as Christ has loved us, and has given himself an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweet smell.”  And indeed how many sweet savors were there in the sacrifice of Christ offered on the cross!  Was there not the sweet savor of obedience?  he was “obedient to the death of the cross,”  Phil. 2:8.  There was the sweet savor of patience, and of love to mankind.  Therefore God delighted in him, as God, as man, as mediator God-man, in his doings, in his sufferings, everyway.” Richard Sibbes


Richard Sibbes [“The Sweet Dropper”]: Works of Richard Sibbes, The Description on Christ, Vol.1 , Loc. 310(Kindle)  [Language slightly modernized]


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 1

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

 

 

Peter’s Masterpiece

I was reading 1st Peter 1 a few weeks ago.  This chapter is now one of my favorites.  It is a great summation of faith in Jesus Christ, faith in God.  If you would, please read this chapter.  1st Peter 1

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as aliens in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,   2  according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.  

The chosen ones of God were living as aliens in places into which they were dispersed.  They were made missionaries, [many by seemingly unfortunate circumstances to other peoples.]  God brings wonderful things out of seemingly bad things.  Those who are His children are aliens to this world.  The world does not understand us, why we do the things we do.  They misjudge our motives and hearts, they cannot figure us out.  We have become God’s children through the sanctification of the Spirit.  The Spirit most immediately to us, initiated our salvation.  He, in one way or another, turned our thoughts to Jesus, He drew us to Jesus, and Jesus reconciles us with God.  God led us to God, and God reconciles us with God. We have a sure and trustworthy salvation.   “and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Thank God, our salvation is His doing and keeping, and not our own.  May His grace and peace be multiplied to us.  May we come more and more to rely on His mercy, grace, and love for us, which will produce peace when trusted and relied on.

 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,   

Oh, Blessed be Our Father, God, and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  This reminds us of God the Father’s love and loyalty to His Son Jesus Christ.  It is from this love of God the Father to God the Son, from which our faith in God’s love for us can rest.  There is not much in us practically, in our deficient morality, goodness, conduct, hearts; seen by us and others in this world, that is at all worthy of God’s love for us.  You see, this is not where our hope lies.  Our hope is only sure, steadfast and truly hopeful when resting on The Fathers love and acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is in the righteousness, love, obedience, the covering of Jesus Christ Himself, that we may have a living hope.   This is His wonderful and merciful gift to us.  This living hope, who is the living God, Who dwells within us indeed,  He is the source and only true Spiritual Life within us.  His dwelling within us is what brought us from death to life.  As Jesus was raised from the dead.

 “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, 19 and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

This same resurrection power has occurred in us, and continues to give us hope and life.  

”  and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. ”  

We have a sure, and powerful Living Hope within us.  The Ruler of All is within us, in a mysterious, but true way.  Though we may be feeble, and weak in ourselves, we do have access to great strength and power.  If only we had a fuller, deeper, more trusting faith in God to believe more fully in His power.  I hope, you and I will seek, trust and believe more of the mercy and grace of God for us, to help us experience more of His wonderfully powerful working within us.  May we share His great mercy and power more effectively with others, through His working in us. 


I will continue this at a later date, Lord willing.- Paul M.

Covering Our Righteousness

I would like to introduce you to Hugh Binning.  I strongly believe it was through reading His writings and the psalms, and meeting with my brother encouraging one another to Jesus, That the Lord finally broke through to me.  I finally trusted in the mercy and goodness of God to save me, and the righteousness I needed from Christ to cover not only my sin but even my own righteousness.  This may be hard reading, but I believe some may be extremely blessed by reading it. — Paul

This is an excerpt from his common domain writings:  The Whole Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning; Heart-Humiliation; Sermon 10

   The whole will of God concerning your duty may be summed up in two, John has one of them 1st John 3:23, “And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment,”  and Paul has another to the Thessalonians 1st-4:3 “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”  And these two make up this text, so that it unites both gospel and law.  The commandment of the law comes forth, and it has found that we have broken and are guilty, that we cannot answer for one of a thousand.   The law entering makes sin abound.  Our inability, yes, impossibility of obedience is more discovered.  Well, then, the gospel proclaims the Lord Jesus Christ for the Savior of sinners, and commands us, under pain of damnation, to believe in him, –to cast our souls on him, as one able to save, as one who has obeyed the law for us, so that this command of believing in Christ is answerable to all the breaches of the law, and tends to make them up in Christ.  When he proclaimed the law on mount Sinai, with terror, that which you are in the first instance to obey, for all these we have broken, but It has a gospel command in its bosom, it leads to Jesus Christ, and if ye could read the mind of God in it, you would resolve all these commands which condemn you and curse you, into one command of believing in the Son, that you may be saved from that condemnation.  And if you obey this command, which is his last command, and most decisive, then are the breaches of the rest is fulfilled, though not in your obedience, yet in Christ’s which is better than ours.  Believing in Christ presents God with a perfect righteousness, with an obedience even to death of the cross.  When a sinner hears the holy and spiritual sense of the law, and sees it in the light of God’s holiness, O how vile must he appear to himself!  What original pollution, what actual pollution, what a fountain within, what uncleanness in streams without, will discover itself!  Now, when the most part of men get any sight of this, presently they fall a washing and cleansing themselves, or hiding their filthiness.  And what water do they use?  Their own tears and sorrows, their own resolutions, their own reformations.  But alas, we are still plunged in our own filthiness; that is still clear, because all that is as foul as that we would have washed away.  What garments do men take to hide themselves ordinarily?  Is it not their own righteousness?  Is it not a skirt of some duty that is spread over transgressions?  Do they not think their sins hid, if they can mourn and pray for a time?  Their consciences are eased by reflection upon this.  But alas, your iniquity is still clearly there, and counted.

Your righteousness is as a vile garment, as a menstrual cloth (Isaiah 64:6) as well as your unrighteousness, how then will it cover your nakedness?  Seeing it is so then, what is the Lord’s mind concerning our cleansing?  Seeing stretched out hands and many prayers will not do it, what is there to do?  The Lord has shown you what to do, and that is, that you do nothing in relation to that end, that you should try to wash away the least spot by all your repentance.  Yet, you must be washed and made clean, and the water is made new to you, even the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses from all sin.  Wash in this blood, and you will be made clean.  And what is it to wash in this blood?  It is to believe in Christ Jesus, to lay hold on the all sufficient virtue of it, to trust our souls to it, as a sufficient ransom for all our sins, to spread the covering of Christ’s righteousness over all our righteousness and unrighteousness, as having both alike need to be hid from his holy eyes.  Jesus Christ “came by water and by blood,” (1st John 5:6), by water to make holy, and by blood to justify, by the power and cleansing virtue of the Holy Spirit, to take away sin in the being of it, and by virtue of his blood, to take away sin in the guilt and condemnation of it.

God’s Mercy Revealed

John 3:16

   For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.


 

This is the mercy of God revealed for us.  God so loves us that He incredibly humbled and lowered Himself to become a man.  God the Father sent His own Son to become a merciful exchange for us.  His Son Jesus lived the life we could and can never live in ourselves.  He lived a perfectly righteous and Father-pleasing life in our place.  Jesus chose to be so greatly lowered as to die a humiliating and excruciatingly painful death process because of mercy and love.  He gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice, the only acceptable and sufficient sacrifice for us.

cross5

 

Jesus takes our sin on Himself.  In exchange, He gives us His perfect righteousness and His Spirit, creating a new creation with His perfection within.  We as individual persons all need this merciful exchange worked within us.  We are all sinners; we all miss the mark.  We all fall short of the perfect righteousness required as to be in the presence of such a Holy, pure God.  We must be covered and credited with the perfection of Jesus: His righteousness, His obedience, His faith, His love.  We have absolutely no righteousness, obedience, faith, or love of our own to offer.

We must allow the infinitely powerful yet very gentle Spirit of God to draw us to this working of the merciful exchange for and within us.  God (Father, Son, Spirit) is good, merciful, gracious, and loving beyond our best thoughts of Him.  Trust God that he wants to save whomever will come to Him.  He desires all to be saved and come to know His mercy and love.  (1st Timothy 2:4)

Will you trust this good and all powerful God of the universe?  Please reject and turn away from your own corrupted, and damaged thought processes.  Trust the enlightening and illuminating Spirit of God to change your thought processes into those receptive of this most eminent gift.

You may be hesitant to give up control of your life.  To find new life and escape eternal destruction, you have to dive or allow yourself to fall into His mercy and care.  You will have to say to yourself “if I perish, I perish, Jesus is my only hope.” He will save the needy, poor, and desperate who cry out and continue to cry out to him.  I hope that as we think about His goodness and graciousness together, you will dive into His infinite ocean of mercy and love. I am confident you will come to experience His love if you persistently seek Him.

 


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