Christian Love 8 : Greatness of Love

By Hugh Binning

Now to complete the account of the eminence of this grace, take the remarkable chapter of Paul’s, 1st Corinthians 13., where he uses the comparison between it and other graces, and in the end pronounces on its behalf, “the greatest of these is love.”  I wonder how we please ourselves, as if we had already attained already, when we do not even labor to be acquainted with this, in which the life of Christianity consists,  without which faith is dead, our profession vain, our other duties and endeavors for the truth unacceptable to God and men.  “Yet I show you a more excellent way,”  says he in the end of the previous chapter.  And this is the more excellent way, charity and love, more excellent than gifts, speaking with tongues, prophesying, and so on.  And is it not more excellent than the knowledge and acknowledgment of some present questionable matters, about governments, treaties, and such like, and far more important than every minor detail of them?

But he goes higher.  Suppose a man could spend everything he has upon the maintaining of such an opinion, and give his life for the defense of it, though this in itself is commendable, yet if he lack charity and love to his brothers, if he overstretch that point of conscience to the breach of Christian affection, and duties flowing from it, it profits him nothing.  Then certainly charity must rule over external actions, and have the predominant hand in the use of all gifts, in the expressing of all opinions.  Whatever knowledge and ability a man has, love must employ it, and use it.  Without this, duties and graces make a noise, but they are shallow and empty within.

 


Excerpt from The Works of Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle Edition, Loc. 16448 [Language modernized in few places by this site]


Christian Love 9: Love is Patient and Kind

Christian Love 7: The End of the Law

Excepts of Mercy

 

Sweet Drops 8: Victorious King

By Richard Sibbes

And let all that has been spoken allure those that are not yet in the state of grace to come under Christ’s sweet and victorious government, for, though we will have much opposition, yet, if we strive, he will help us. If we fail, he will cherish us.  If we are guided by him, we will overcome.  If we overcome, we are sure to be crowned.  As for the present state of the church, we see now how forlorn it is, yet let us comfort ourselves that Christ’s cause will prevail.  Christ will rule, till his enemies become his footstool (Psalm 110:1), not only to trample upon, but to help him up to mount higher in glory.  Babylon will fall, “for strong is the Lord God who judges her” (Rev. 18:8). Christ’s judgment, not only in his children, but also against his enemies, will be victorious, for he is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).  God will not always suffer antichrist and his supporters to revel and swagger in the church as they do.


Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle Edition, Loc. 2204 [Language modernized in few places by this site]


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 8

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:4

By R.C. Chapman

“Draw me: we will run after Thee.” (Song of Solomon 1:4)

Lord Jesus!

My soul longeth for Thee! Thy beloved, having one Spirit, is but one.  Many the members—the body one.  I join with all Thy Church when, with one voice, out of weakness, she entreats Her Head, her Husband: “Draw me: we will run after thee.”

Thou, Lord, art my joy and heaven; and here in my pilgrimage I am a stranger and sojourner with Thee. My soul followeth hard after Thee, allured by Thy beauty and excellency, O Lord Jesus, who art altogether glorious, altogether lovely.

Grieved and afflicted am I—this Thou knowest—but welcome tribulation and every storm, since Thou art my hiding place and haven of rest.

In my earthly house of this tabernacle, I groan, being burdened; for being my Lord’s freeman, dead to that which held me once, and married to another, my soul makes loud complaint at any check or hindrance to my perfect liberty of communion with Thee.

Lord, Thou dost pity me in my sore distress because of sin that dwelleth in me. Thou dost commend Thy mourners who fight in the midst of defeat; who pray and faint not in the midst of fainting.  Thine heart is moved, while from the height of Thy sanctuary and Thy glorious throne Thine eyes behold my warfare, and thine ears attend to this my complaint: “Who shall deliver me?” Thou givest me to say: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” “With the mind I, myself, serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin” (Romans 7:24-25).

O my Lord “ where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2nd Corinthians 3:17).  Thy Spirit testifies of Thee, teaching me, while my soul longeth for Thee, to eat Thy flesh and drink Thy blood; even to partake of Thee, the slain Lamb. O let me, then, be truly dead to the law, and alive to God, by Thee!  So shall I delight in the law of the Lord, dwelling in Thy love, and walking in fellowship with the Father, and with Thee, the Son of His love—so shall I purge my conscience from guilt, and behave myself as a child—duteous, meek, and lowly before the Father, and as a brother, friend, and servant, a redeemed one, of my Lord and Savior!

 

Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle, Loc 95.


Excerpts of Mercy

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: This is 1:4.

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

Christian Love 6: His Love Fulfills

By Hugh Binning

Add to this another special mark of how great an excellence Paul puts on love, or Christian love.  but the goal of this command is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith;” (1st Tim.1:5) If this were rightly thought on, I believe it would fill our hearts with astonishment, and faces with bewilderment, that we neglected the weightier matters of the law, and over stretched some other particular duties to fill up the place of this, which is the end, the fulfilling of the law.

It appears by this that Christian love is a cream of graces.  It is the spirit of and most perfect example extracted out of these cardinal graces, sincere faith, a good conscience, a pure heart.  It is true, the immediate end of the law, as it is now given to us, is to drive us to believe on Jesus Christ, as it is expressed in Roman 10:4. “For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” But this believing in Christ is not the last end of it.  Sincere faith in a Mediator is intentionally for this, to give the answer of a good conscience in the blood of Christ, and to purify the heart by the water of the Spirit, to bring about at last, by such a sweet encompassing, the righteousness of the law fulfilled by love in us, which by divine imputation is fulfilled in us.

 


Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle, Loc 16431.[Language modernized in places by this site.]


Christian Love 7: The End of the Law

Christian Love 5: He Makes Peace

Excepts of Mercy

Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:1

By R.C. Chapman

Let him kiss me with kisses of His mouth; for Your love is better than wine. Song of Solomon 1:1

You “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (1st Timothy 6:15, Revelation 19:16), we may speak with You freely, for You are the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:12) –You are our Friend—Beloved; Your Church nestles in the bosom of Your love.  We are Your bones and Your flesh (Ephesians 5:30). In eternal love with tender pity You rejoice over us, and cleave to Your Church, Which is Your body; we are many members, Lord; the one body.  You say, in a manner, we are Your very self.

Lord, Your glory does not confound us. You are our Great High Priest, bearing the iniquity of [even] our holy things.  Therefore, poor and needy, we draw near; and You sprinkle us with Your own blood, and raise us to yet greater and greater boldness of faith.—Oh my soul! The bolder, the humbler.  Consider who you speak with.  He doesn’t love to keep a dignified aloofness.  He is the Son of Man, the Son of God; the “friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18: 24): Coming to know Him will bring worship, reverence, confidence, love.

His heart yearns over you, my soul; and He takes it well, and a kindness, that you long after Him. He counts it the honor due to His name, when you with joy and love and all holy confidence cry out: “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth.”  He doesn’t forget that He is your husband.  Are you weary of all things but Him? Happy soul! This was light from Himself:  He gave it to you.  So is your own darkness felt, and all things under the sun vanity to you.  Yet! He has not taken your idols and left you with nothing:  He will fill you with Himself.

You may command Him; your weakness has power and will prevail; and if He seems not to answer for a while, or even so much as give you a good word or kind look, be sure to believe His truth and tender heart. Hope against Hope; in good time He, by powers of the Spirit, the Comforter, will so fill and overwhelm you with His love, that you will find your heart too narrow for the full tide of His kindness and comfort after you had been disappointed.

 


Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle, Loc. 52 [Language modernized in some places by this site.][ ] added by this site for clarity.


Excerpts of Mercy

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

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

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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Christian Love 2: Love One Another

by Hugh Binning

No one could invent a more moving motive, God so loving us, sinful and miserable us, that he gave his only begotten Son, that we might live through him, and Christ so loving us, that he gave himself a sacrifice for sin. Oh then! Who should live to himself, when Christ died for others?  And who should not love, when, “God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all?” “God commends his love to us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,”


Join to this so earnest and pressing command, [of love] even that is the will of Him to whom we owe to what we are, and we are redeemed.  This is all the burden He lays on us.  This is all the return He seeks for His unparalleled love, “This is my command, that you love one another, ” John 8:34.  Your goodness cannot extend to me, therefore the benefits and generosity you owe to me,  I give it rather to these whom I have loved, and I have forsaken love for my own life for them.  Now, He says, whatever you would understand yourself wanting to do for me, if I were on the earth among you, do it for these poor ones whom I have left behind me, and this is the showing of thankfulness I crave.  Matt. 25:34-40:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

John 13:34-35

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

and John 15:12,17

 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. ….I command these things to you, that you may love one another.”

and His apostles after him.

1st Thessalonians 4:9

“But concerning brotherly love, you have no need that one write to you. For you yourselves are taught by God to love one another, “

Colossians 3:14

“Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.”

1st Peter 4:8

 “And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins.”

But above all, that beloved disciple [John], who being so intimate with Jesus Christ, — we may rightly conceive he was drawn very close to that affectionate disposition by his life with Christ, has been the most mindful of Christ’s compelling will.  He cannot speak three sentences but this is one of them.  All which may convince us of this one thing, there is a greater place and weight of Christianity in love, than in all the things for which Christians bite and devour one another.  It is the central law of the gospel, to which all positive precepts and ordinances should stoop.

 

 


[Language slightly modernized in places by this site.[ ] editors]