• 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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Do You Prize Preaching?

In the words of Thomas Watson:

[Concerning the Word preached:] “Do we prize it in our judgments? Do we receive it into our hearts? Do we fear the loss of the Word preached more than the loss of peace and trade? Is it the removal of the ark that troubles us? Again, do we attend to the Word with reverential devotion? When the judge is giving the charge on the bench, all attend. When the Word is preached, the great God is giving us his charge. Do we listen to it as to a matter of life and death? This is a good sign that we love the Word.

George Washington On Liberty And Happiness

From George Washington’s First Inaugural Address:

[M]y fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe; who presides in the councils of nations; and whose providential aid can supply every human defect; that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good. (April 30, 1789)

Libertines And Hypocrites

Because of man’s fallen nature, he often tries to use religion as a mask to cover his sins. The counterfeit Christian is therefore good in show so that he may have freedom in his secret sins. How strange it is that a man may feel he can avoid the eyes of God. Thomas Watson (1620-1686) makes some interesting observations about this condition:

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13 ESV)

The profane libertine, that fancies to himself a God made up of mercy; and therefore he engulfs himself in sin, he is upon the spur to go to hell, as if he were afraid hell would be full before he could get thither. Doth not he say, ‘God shall not see?’

The religious libertine, that sins because grace abounds; that saith, God sees no sin in his people, and therefore what need we see it? After we are in Christ, we cannot sin; therefore repentance is out of date. . . .

[We need] repentance after we are in Christ: for though sin in a believer be covered, yet it is not perfectly cured. There are still some remainders of corruption; and certainly, as long as there is an issue of sin open, there must be an issue of sorrow kept open.

Every sin, after we are in Christ, is a sin of unkindness, the sin of a spouse; and if any thing will melt and break the heart, this will. The sins of the regenerate do wound Christ’s heart deeper than others. Hath not Christ suffered enough already? Wilt thou wound him whom God hath wounded? Will you give him more vinegar to drink? O rather ‘Give wine to him that is of an heavy heart;’ cheer him with thy tears: look on a bleeding Christ with a bleeding heart. . . .

[H]ypocrites are like turning pictures, which have on one side the image of a lamb, on the other side a lion: so they are on their outside saints, but their inside devils. Hypocrites may be compared to trumpets that make a great sound, but within they are hollow. Do these believe the all-seeing eye? The hypocrite turns all religion into mere compliment; he walks with a dark lantern, saying, No eye shall see . . . The hypocrite takes more care to make a covenant, than to keep it; and is more studious to enter into religion, than that religion should enter into him. . . . (“God’s Anatomy Upon Man’s Heart”)

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