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  • 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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Learn While On Your Knees

John Bunyan

John Bunyan

Quoting John Bunyan:

“The truths that I know best I have learned on my knees. I never know a thing well, till it is burned into my heart by prayer.”

Thomas Jefferson On Jesus

Thomas Jefferson

Quoting Thomas Jefferson (Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Third President of the United States):

I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers. (Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. X, pp. 376-377. In a letter to Edward Dowse on April 19, 1803.)

J. C. Ryle: Do You Know Anything Of Spiritual Thirst?

Bishop J. C. Ryle

The evil in this world prevents you from attaining the happiness you may desire in material comforts. There is, however, a perfect happiness for those who have come to Christ. A perfect happiness awaits all who feel their sins, come to Christ, and commit their thirsting souls to His keeping. Only Jesus Christ can perfectly satisfy the emptiness of our souls. J. C. Ryle offers the following comment on thirsting souls:

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (John 7:37)

Do you know anything of spiritual thirst? Have you ever felt anything of genuine deep concern about your soul? I fear that many know nothing about it. I have learned, by the painful experience of a third of a century that people may go on for years attending God’s house, and yet never feel their sins, or desire to be saved. The cares of this world, the love of pleasure, the “lust of other things” choke the good seed every Sunday, and make it unfruitful. They come to church with hearts as cold as the stone pavement on which they walk. They go away as thoughtless and unmoved as the old marble busts which look down on them from the monuments on the walls. Well, it may be so; but I do not yet despair of any one, so long as he is alive. That grand old bell in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, which has struck the hours for so many years, is seldom heard by many citizens during the business hours of the day. The roar and din of traffic in the streets have a strange power to deaden its sound, and prevent men hearing it. But when the daily work is over, and desks are locked, and doors are closed, and books are put away, and quiet reigns in the great city, the case is altered. As the old bell strikes eleven, and twelve, and one, and two, and three at night, thousands hear it who never heard it during the day. And so I hope it will be with many a one in the matter of his soul. Now, in the plenitude of health and strength, in a hurry and whirl of business, I fear the voice of your conscience is often stifled, and you cannot hear it. But the day may come when the great bell of conscience will make itself heard, whether you like it or not. The time may come when, laid aside in quietness, and obliged by illness to sit still, you may he forced to look within, and consider your soul’s concerns. And then when the great bell of awakened conscience is sounding in your ears, I trust that many a man who reads this paper may hear the voice of God and repent; may learn to thirst, and learn to come to Christ for relief. Yes! I pray God you may yet be taught to feel before it be too late! (“If Any Man!”)

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