Christian Love 32: Love Seeks Peace

By Hugh Binning

 

Charity follows peace with all men, as much as is possible, (Hebrews 12:14) “If it be possible as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men,” (Romans 12:18). Many spirits are predisposed for contention.  If peace follows them, they will flee from it.  But a Christian having made peace with God, the sweet fruit of that upon his spirit is to dispose him to a peaceable and quiet humility to others, and if peace flee from him, to follow after it, not only to entertain it when it is offered, but to seek it when it is away, and to pursue it when it runs away. (Psalm 34:14), which Peter urges upon Christians,  “Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous,  not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing; knowing that to this you were called, that you may inherit a blessing.  For, “He who would love life, and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.  Let him turn away from evil, and do good.  Let him seek peace, and pursue it.” (1st Peter 3:8-11)

I think, since we obtained the mercy to get a Peace maker between us and God, we should from then count ourselves bound to be peace makers among men. And truly such have a blessing pronounced upon them,  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) because he is “the God of peace,” and to resemble him in these, first in purity, then in peace, is a character of his image.  It is true, peace will sometimes flee so fast, and so far away, as a Christian cannot follow it without sin, and that is breach of a higher peace.  But charity, when it cannot live in peace without, then lives in peace within, because it has that sweet testimony of conscience, that, as far as did lie in it, peace was followed without.

Divine wisdom, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17) If wisdom is peaceable and not pure, it is but a carnal conspiracy in iniquity, earthly and sensual.  But if it is pure it must be peaceable.  For the wisdom descending from above has a purity of truth, and a purity of love, and a purity of the mind and of the affection too.

 


Modernized in places by this site.

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:11

By R.C. Chapman

“We will make Thee borders of gold with studs of silver.” Song of Solomon 1:11

Thou, Lord art our portion, and we are Thine! Thou art a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty unto us; and we, in turn, are these to Thee.  Lord, not to us, not unto us, but to Thy name, give glory.  What Thou art to us (and Thou art our all), that Thou madest Thyself: for Thou gavest Thyself for us, and also to us: it was Thy own will to become our Brother and our slain Lamb.  But did we of our own will yield ourselves to Thee? Ah, no!  Thy grace we hated; Thy very cross and blood, which is our life, was an offence to us.

We hated the holy law of God, and yet more spitefully did we reject the gospel! By Thy word the dead were raised and quickened—our enmity was slain by the blood of sprinkling—and by wisdom to win souls, we, Thine enemies, we reconciled.  Now, therefore, our shout of joy is: Grace! Grace! And all its glory, be ascribed to Thee, our sure Foundation, Head of the Corner!  Thou art the Son of God, the giver, the object and the pattern of faith, working in us by the Spirit, both to will and to do Thy good pleasure.

Behold, then, our heart’s desire! Are we made alive by Thee, by the blood of Thy cross? Are we crucified with Thee and risen with Thee? We would live to Thee:  we would be the girdle which Thou causest to cleave to Thee for glory and for beauty—Thy jewels by Thine own hand shaped and polished!  O let our eye be single—let it ever suffice us for honor, that we serve the Lord Christ! In the fires we will glorify Thee, and take pleasure in necessities, distresses, for Thy sake; saying, in the midst of sorrow and tears, that every bitter cup is sweet, since Thou in love dost mix it, and in patient endurance we are conformed to Thine image.

If Thou sittest by the furnace, though no eye but Thine be upon us, we are content. O Thou Brother born for adversity! Who canst succor the tempted, who never forsakes Thy Church! At Thy feet we cast ourselves, with our burdens.  There with our ignorance we sit and wait for the grace of Thy lips, and would be sweetly nothing that we may delight in Thee, and admire and exalt Thee, Lord, alone! So shall we, Thy Spirit’s workmanship, be ever wearing the garment of humility; our oneness with Thee its golden brother; the life—giving death its studs of silver; and by thy glory and ornament of grace, even as Thou art our diadem of beauty and crown of glory.

Lord, our desire is before Thee—our aim is a grateful offering! Nor vow nor covenant can we make, for all our strength is gone; but our hungering and thirsting are Thy good work; do Thou, who gavest the desire, Thyself fulfill it.

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.]

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:8, 2/2

By R.C. Chapman

 

“If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.”  Song of Solomon 1:8

 

He, for thee, was taken from prison and from judgment; He, for thee, stood surety.  Be of good courage, shout aloud: “I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. —2nd Corinthians 12:9–  Cry aloud the cry of faith: “I can do all things through Christ, which stengtheneth me”. —Philippians 4:13

Thy case, my soul, stands not alone; the same afflictions have been accomplished at all times in each member of Christ.  Of old was it said: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous”; —Psalm 34:19– “The Lord trieth the righteous”. —Psalm 11:5– In this present time of peace—when persecutors are held in with bit  and bridle, so that the earth is not drunk with the blood of the saints—even now, go join thyself to the flock, draw near the shepherds’ tents; thou wilt see the poor and afflicted people still poor and afflicted, though rich and blessed, for they trust in the name of the Lord.  And, indeed, thou lovest the temple and dwelling place of Jesus, which is His body, the Church; He entered and sits there upon His throne, high and lifted up, and is the glory in midst.  There He shines forth, not confounding us, but giving light and life to all; all eyes wait upon Him, and He satisfies us from His fullness.

My soul, consider thy profit and blessedness in dwelling by the shepherds’ tents, for it is thine both to hear in the Church, and, in fitting time, to speak.  Seek humility form thy Lord, and thou shalt be able both to learn and teach, to give and receive, to weep with them that weep, and to rejoice with them that do rejoice.  So wilt thou sweetly beguile the time until thy brief course be fulfilled, and shalt daily grow up into Christ, thy Head in all things.

 

 

Christian Love 5: He Makes Peace

By Hugh Binning

Now the special exercises and operations of these graces are in the 13th verse,”forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,” according to Christ’s example.

12 Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do.14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  (Col. 3)

And indeed these are so high and sublime works, as love must yoke all the fore-mentioned graces, unite them all in one troop, for the accomplishing of them.  And the great and sweet fruit of all this is understood in the 15th verse, “The peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you are called in one body.” Peace with God is not the meaning here, but the peace which God has made up between men.  All were shattered and torn apart.  The Lord has by his Son Jesus Christ gathered so many into one body, the church, and by one Spirit gives life to all.  Now where love is predominant, there is a sweet peace and harmony between all the members of this one body.  And this peace and tranquillity of affections rules and predominates over all these lusts which are the factories of contentions, strife, and wars.

 


Except from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle, Loc. 16424 [Few words modernized by this site]


Christian Love 6: His Love Fulfills

Christian Love 4

Excepts of Mercy

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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