Stephen Charnock

Stephen Charnock (1628-1680) was a Presbyterian preacher and Puritan divine. In 1656, he was appointed chaplain to Henry Cromwell, governor of Ireland. In 1675, he was appointed an elder at Crosby Hall, London. He is best known for a series of sermons preached on the perfections of the Godhead, all of which were published after his death.

  • Charnock's "Perfections Of The Godhead"

    8 The Omnipresence Of God

    Jeremiah 23:24.—“Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him! saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” The occasion of this discourse begins ver. 16, where God admonisheth the people, not to hearken to the words of the false prophets which spake a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They made the people vain by their insinuations of peace, when God had proclaimed war and calamity; and uttered the dreams of their fancies, and not the visions of the Lord; and so turned the people from the expectation of the evil day which God had threatened (ver. 17): “They say still unto them that despise me, The…

  • Charnock's "Perfections Of The Godhead"

    10 The Wisdom Of God

    Romans 16:27.—“To God only wise be glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever. Amen.” This chapter being the last of this Epistle, is chiefly made up of charitable and friendly salutations and commendations of particular persons, according to the earliness and strength of their several graces, and their labor of love for the interest of God and his people. In verse 17, he warns them not to be drawn aside from the gospel doctrine, which had been taught them, by the plausible pretences and insinuations which the corrupters of the doctrine and rule of Christ never want from the suggestions of their carnal wisdom. The brats of soul-destroying errors may walk about the world in a garb and disguise of good words and fair speeches, as…

  • Charnock's "Perfections Of The Godhead"

    11 The Power Of God

    Job 26:14.—“Lo! these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?” Bildad had, in the foregoing chapter, entertained Job with a discourse of the dominion and power of God, and the purity of his righteousness, whence he argues an impossibility of the justification of man in his presence, who is no better than a worm. Job, in this chapter, acknowledges the greatness of God’s power, and descants more largely upon it than Bildad had done; but doth preface it with a kind of ironical speech, as if he had not acted a friendly part, or spake little to the purpose, or the matter in band: the subject of Job’s discourse…

  • Charnock's "Perfections Of The Godhead"

    12 The Dominion Of God

    Psalm 103:19.—“The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens: and his kingdom ruleth over all.” The Psalm begins with the praise of God, wherein the penman excites his soul to a right and elevated management of so great a duty (ver. 1): “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name:” and because himself and all men were insufficient to offer up a praise to God answerable to the greatness of his benefits, he summons in the end of the psalm the angels, and all creatures, to join in concert with him. Observe, 1. As man is too shallow a creature to comprehend the excellency of God, so he is too dull and scanty a creature to…

  • Charnock's "Perfections Of The Godhead"

    13 The Patience Of God

    Nahum 1:3.—“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” The subject of this prophecy is God’s sentence against Nineveh, the head and metropolis of the Assyrian empire: a city famous for its strength, and thickness of its walls, and the multitude of its towers for defence against an enemy. The forces of this empire did God use as a scourge against the Israelites, and by their hands ruined Samaria, the chief city of the ten tribes, and transplanted them as captives into another country (2 Kings 17:5, 6), about six years after Hezekiah came…

  • Charnock's "Perfections Of The Godhead"

    14 The Goodness Of God

    Mark 10:18.—“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” The words are part of a reply of our Saviour to the young man’s petition to him: a certain person came in haste, “running” as being eager for satisfaction, to entreat his directions, what he should do to inherit everlasting life; the person is described only in general (ver. 17), “There came one,” a certain man: but Luke describes him by his dignity (Luke 18:18), “A certain ruler;” one of authority among the Jews. He desires of him an answer to a legal question, “What he should do?” or, as Matthew hath it, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life”…