Tag:

sanctification

The Lord our God, “whose name is jealous, is a jealous God,” Exod. xxiv. 14. “How long, Lord, wilt thou be angry for ever; shall thy jealousy burn like fire?” Psalm lxxix. 5. The spirit of bondage brings a little of this ingredient with it. The spouse in the Song felt this pretty sharply; she refused to open to her beloved, and so he withdrew; she sought him, but found him not; she called him, but he gave her no answer. He then went down into the garden; that is, down among the more meek, humble, and lowly souls. This she knew, and begged these young daughters to stay her with flagons, and to comfort her with…

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Jonah is ordered to Nineveh. He rebels and goes to Joppa, in order to flee to Tarsus from the presence of God. He is thrown overboard, and sinks in the belly of hell. Then he is humbled, and prays heartily. God brings him up again, and repeats his command to Nineveh. Jonah goes, and delivers his message, which was all that God required of him. He might then have gone home again, if he would; but Jonah seeks another quarrel, like Lot’s wife, who looked back to see what became of Sodom: Jonah “makes a booth, and sits there to see what becomes of the city.” He had no orders…

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The operations of this spirit of bondage, and the sensible displeasure of God felt in it, bow the soul down. “I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.” The Holy Spirit of God is grieved, and does not operate as a comforter; hence the complaint – “The comforter, that should relieve my soul, is far from me,” Lam. i. 16. “Thou hast removed my soul far off from peace; I forgat prosperity; and I said, My strength and my hope are perished from the Lord,” Lam. iii. 17, 18.

The sensible presence of God appears to be wholly withdrawn, and nothing left but a bitter sense of our loss, and the remembrance of former halcyon days, which the soul is ready to conclude are gone for ever. “O that I were…

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By the law God doth not communicate his Spirit, and without his influences there can be no fruit. Refreshings come from God’s presence; but in the law his presence can never be enjoyed; no good fruit, unless we abide in the vine; for under the legal yoke Christ profits us nothing, with respect to sensible union and communion; our joys withers, and love waxes cold. No blossoming like a rose, with divine enlargement; no heavenly-mindedness, no life and peace enjoyed; nothing felt within but God’s anger, man’s rebellion, and Satan’s assaults; nothing without but gloominess, fresh scenes of troubles, and dissatisfaction with…

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The scripture, in many places, speaks against such a soul, who cannot exercise faith on the promises. His heart is shut up, the Bible is a sealed book to him, and therefore it gets out of favour with him. “Repent, and do thy first works,” &c.

The ordinances are a dry breast. He cannot mix faith with the good tidings, and therefore comes with reluctance, rather driven with terror than drawn by love. “I have somewhat against thee; thou hast left thy first love.”

The cheerful countenances of lively saints are rather a grief and trouble to him than otherwise. He cannot help envying them even in the house of God; he looks at them with a jealous eye; and often concludes that he is like Saul, who, when left…

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He finds his soul bitter, and his temper peevish. He murmurs and inwardly frets, at everything that makes against him; and indeed nothing seems to go well with him; his spirit is stiff and stubborn; God, in a way of providence as well as grace, seems “to walk contrary to him, and he walks contrary to God. He is froward; and God shews himself froward.” His enmity against God is stirred up; and hard thoughts of God possess him, which at times are unadvisedly spoken with his lips; or, as the prophet says, “his tongue muttereth perverseness.” Against these corruptions he strives hard; but they stir not a whit the less for that. He goes forth in the morning, determined to watch his conduct more narrowly, and to be more…

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All his striving against sin in his own strength is like Peter’s resolution, only betrays him into sin, and into the sieve of Satan; for without Christ he can do nothing. And every time he sins there is something fresh for the wrath of the law to work on, and fresh matter for conscience to accuse of; both which awaken his fears, and summon all his terrors about him. “If I sin, then thou markest me, and wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity. Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me: changes and war are against me,” Job, x. 14, 17.

Hardness of heart always attends this labour in vain. The poor creature may groan till his breast-bone be sore, but his heart cannot melt; nor can he pour out either his soul, or one penitential tear, to God, without a ray from the sun…

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A man that is regenerate, consisteth of two men (as a man may say), namely of “the old man,” and of “the new man.” “The old man” is like to a mighty giant, such a one as was Goliath; for his brith is now perfect. But “the new man” is like unto a little child, such a one as was David; for his birth is not perfect until the day of his general resurrection.

“The old man” therefore is more stronger, lusty, and stirring than is “the new man,” because the birth of “the new man” is but begun now, and “the old man” is perfectly born. And as “the old man” is more stirring, lusty, and stronger than “the new man;” so is the nature of him clean contrary to the nature of “the new man,” as being earthly and corrupt with…

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The Triune God.

The glorious, yet incomprehensible mystery of the Trinity is to be seen in every Book of Scripture. The earliest writers, after the Apostolic age, when they propose to give a summary of the faith, proceed no farther than the doctrine of the Trinity. Athanasius, for instance, says: “The whole sum and body of our faith is comprised in the words “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,”—not mere characters and offices or mere names and titles, but expressive of…

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The Everlasting Covenant.

Covenant salvation has ever been the glory of the ministry in the Church of God, and where it is not proclaimed in its fulness, there are weakness and decay, and an approximation of the preaching to the colourless and feeble utterances of thousands of speakers to-day. It is of urgent importance that our younger men should prayerfully seek that the Holy Spirit would open up to their understandings, apply to their hearts, and enable them to tell out with power, the covenant security of God’s covenant people; soul-establishing truth to the tried believer, and most gracious encouragement to the poor, seeking sinner. Salvation, in the wondrous love of God…

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The Doctrine of Grace.

We use the singular number because the Bible does so, for salvation is a divine unity, and throughout the Scriptures this oneness is set forth. “That form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Rom 6:17), “My doctrine” (John 7:16), “The apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42), “Sound doctrine” (2 Tim 4:3). In writing and speaking we, of necessity, describe first one phase of the doctrine and then another; doctrines are, as Bunyan says of the two natures of Christ, “plain to be distinguished, but impossible to be divided,” but all are comprehended in the word Grace, which means favour, and there can be no favour which is not sovereign and free. Grace always flows down to creatures who do not deserve it. Therefore all that God does for us in Christ, and all that is disclosed to us…

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“And Peter followed afar off.”—Luke 22:51-62

Preached in Manchester, 9 August 1842

1. Let us look at the weakness of man and the power of temptation.
2. The criminality of Peter.
3. The matchless display of God’s grace.
4. The effect produced.
5. The lesson taught us.

1. The weakness of man and the power of temptation.

The weakness of man is very great. Compared with the Almighty God, his Creator and Upholder, he is at his best estate altogether vanity; he is weakness itself. We are not sufficient of ourselves, go as to do anything of ourselves; we know not even what to pray to God for as we ought. May we in humility pray to him to direct us how to pray, and what to pray for; to hold us up in his righteous ways, to keep us weak in ourselves; for when we are thus weak, then are we…

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Preached on Tuesday Evening, May 21st, 1839, in Gower Street Chapel, London.

“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”—Ps. 17:5.

One difference betwixt the presumptuous professor and a child of God, blessed with a tender conscience, is this: the presumptuous professor seems anxious to know how far he may go without being particularly criminal, what steps it is possible for him to take in pleasure or in vice without bringing himself in as false and vile; but the child of God, with a tender conscience, is constantly praying, “Hold up my goings in thy paths.” He is not wanting to know, “Can I do such a thing that is pleasing to flesh and blood, and yet not be criminal?” But he wants to be preserved tenderly walking in the fear of God, and giving proof…

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Preached, on Lord’s Day Morning, Nov. 1st, 1840, in Manchester.

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving.”—Ps. 116:17.

Under the Jewish dispensation, God had appointed a variety of offerings and sacrifices for the Jews, under certain circumstances, to be attended to; and if you turn to Leviticus 7, you will find that the offering of the sacrifice of thanksgiving was to be accompanied with unleavened bread, mingled with oil, with wafers anointed with oil, and with cakes fried in oil. Now in reality, beloved, there is no sacrifice of thanksgiving without this oil; and it is…

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God’s people are privileged! This proposition is extracted from Malachi 1:1-5: “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD . . .

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VII.—Hence arises a seventh argument for the preaching of predestination, namely, that by it we may be excited to the practice of universal godliness. The knowledge of God’s love to you will make you an ardent lover of God, and the more love you have to God, the more will you excel in all the duties and offices of love. Add to this that the Scripture view of predestination includes the means as well as the end. Christian predestinarians are for keeping together what God hath joined. He who is for attaining the end…

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