• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • October 2009
    M T W T F S S
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The Right To Bear Arms

guncontrolworks2tv7From: The Desk of Mark Alexander

The Second Amendment’s assurance of the right, nay, the responsibility to own and carry firearms, with the attendant proscription against government infringement of that right, is our most essential reassurance of self defense, national defense and defense of our Constitution from “enemies, domestic and abroad.”

Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by James Madison (our Constitution’s principal author), wrote in his “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” (1833), “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them”. . . .

The Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791 after great disagreement on whether the enumeration of such rights was even required. Alexander Hamilton aptly summed up the basis for this disagreement in Federalist No. 84: “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. … For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?”

Indeed, read in context, the Bill of Rights is an affirmation of innate individual rights, of Natural Rights as noted by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “[All men] are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Bill of Rights, then, is a clear delineation of constraints upon the central government in regard to infringement of those rights. . . .

These rights were enumerated, according to those who favored inclusion, in order to explicitly recount the rights of “the people,” as noted in the Bill of Rights Preamble (yes, it has one): “The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…”

In other words, our Founders argued that they enumerated both “declaratory and restrictive clauses” in order to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of [central government] powers” that would infringe on the inherent rights of the people. . . .

Are we so steeped in the errant notion that our rights are a gift from government that we no longer subscribe to the plain language of our Constitution based on the inalienable rights of man? Has the temperature been turned up so slowly over the last eight decades, so incrementally, that when we finally feel the heat, it will be too late for us to jump, like frogs, out of the pot?

Read more. . . .

Spurgeon On Providence

c_h_spurgeon12Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

The boundless stores of Providence are engaged for the support of the believer. Christ is our Joseph, who has granaries full of wheat; but He does not treat us as Joseph did the Egyptians, for He opens the door of His storehouse and bids us call all the good therein our own. He has entailed upon His estate of Providence a perpetual charge of a daily portion for us, and He has promised that one day we shall clearly perceive that the estate itself has been well-farmed on our behalf and has always been ours. The axle of the wheels of the chariot of Providence is Infinite Love, and Gracious Wisdom is the perpetual charioteer.

The Flames Of Liberty

flame libertyQuoting Thomas Jefferson:

“[T]he flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.”

A Kind And Merciful Providence

Written by Pastor William H Smith:

‘A kind and merciful Providence.’ To my knowledge I first encountered that phrase reading a biography of Robert E. Lee. A little quick research indicates that the phrase was often used in the 19th century. People thanked ‘a kind and merciful Providence’ in their last wills and testaments for what he had entrusted to them. They expressed trust in ‘a kind and merciful Providence’ in times of uncertainty. . . .

Even we, who have received mercy, can be self-righteous, immoderate, and unrelenting in our dealings with fellow sinners. In dealing with each other, we should be guided as were the Old Testament priests: ‘He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this, he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins, just as he does for those of the people’ (Hebrews 5:2, 3). . . .

God his Son, to take our sins, suffered his wrath against our sins. Calvary is the altar to which we go, not to make sacrifice to obtain mercy, but to claim mercy obtained by his sacrifice. Though he was ‘holy, unstained, separated from sinners’, who needed to make no sacrifice for his own sins, he took our weak and mortal flesh and made a once-for-all, all-effective sacrifice. Now ‘exalted about the heavens’, he is the one Priest who is ‘able to understand our weaknesses,’ and from whom ‘we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,’ even, no especially, when we sin. Since ‘he always lives to make intercession’ for us, we cannot fail to find God merciful to us whenever we seek his mercy through Christ.

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