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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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The Tranquil Soul

The following is from Jonathan Edwards:

Holy and humble Christian love is a principle of wonderful power to give ineffable quietness and tranquility to the soul. It banishes all disturbances, and sweetly composes and brings rest to the spirit, and makes all divinely calm and sweet and happy. In that soul where divine love reigns and is in lively exercise, nothing can cause a storm, or even gather threatening clouds. (“Charity and its Fruit”)

Parting With Sin

From the pen of Jonathan Edwards:

“Sin is naturally exceeding dear to us; to part with it is compared to plucking out our right eyes. Men may refrain from wonted ways of sin for a little while, and may deny their lusts in a partial degree, with less difficulty; but it is heart-rending work, finally to part with all sin, and to give our dearest lusts a bill of divorce, utterly to send them away. But this we must do, if we would follow those that are truly turning to God: yea, we must not only forsake sin, but must, in a sense, forsake all the world, Luke xiv.33 ‘Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.'”

Happiness

Jonathan Edwards

From the pen of Jonathan Edwards:

Another part of God’s fullness which He communicates, is His happiness. This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in Himself; and so does also the creature’s happiness. It is a participation of what is in God; and God and His glory are the objective ground of it. The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God; by which also God is magnified and exalted. (Edwards, Works, 101)

Jonathan Edwards On The Happiness Of Man

Jonathan Edwards

From the pen of Jonathan Edwards:

“Another part of God’s fullness which He communicates, is His happiness. This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in Himself; and so does also the creature’s happiness. It is a participation of what is in God; and God and His glory are the objective ground of it. The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God; by which also God is magnified and exalted.” (Edwards, Works, 101)

Jonathan Edwards On The Sovereignty Of God

Jonathan Edwards

From the pen of Jonathan Edwards:

The Sovereignty of God is the stumbling block on which thousands fall and perish; and if we go contending with God about His sovereignty it will be our eternal ruin. It is absolutely necessary that we should submit to God as an absolute sovereign, and the sovereign of our souls; as one who may have mercy on whom He will have mercy and harden whom He will.

Jonathan Edwards On The Sovereignty Of God

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

The Sovereignty of God is the stumbling block on which thousands fall and perish; and if we go contending with God about His sovereignty it will be our eternal ruin. It is absolutely necessary that we should submit to God as an absolute sovereign, and the sovereign of our souls; as one who may have mercy on whom He will have mercy and harden whom He will.

Jonathan Edwards: Pride As A Cause Of Unrighteous Anger

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

Pride is one chief cause of undue anger. It is because men are proud, and exalt themselves in their own hearts, that they are revengeful, and are apt to be excited, and to make great things out of little ones that may be against themselves. Yea, they even treat as vices things that are in themselves virtues, when they think their honor is touched, or when their will is crossed. And it is pride that makes men so unreasonable and rash in their anger, and raises it to such a high degree, and continues it so long, and often keeps it up in the form of habitual malice… If men sought not chiefly their own private and selfish interests, but the glory of God and the common good, then their spirit would be a great deal more stirred up in God’s cause than in their own; and they would not be prone to hasty, rash, inconsiderate, immoderate, and long-continued wrath, with any who might have injured or provoked them; but they would in a great measure forget themselves for God’s sake, and from their zeal for the honor of Christ. The end they would aim at, would be, not making themselves great, or getting their own will, but the glory of God and the good of their fellow-beings. (“The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit”, 1 Corinthians 13:5)

Jonathan Edwards On Anger

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

We should never be angry but at sin, and this should always be that which we oppose in our anger. And when our spirits are stirred to oppose this evil, it should be as sin, or chiefly as it is against God. If there be no sin and no fault, then we have no cause to be angry; and if there be a fault or sin, then it is infinitely worse as against God than it is as against us, and therefore it requires the most opposition on that account. Persons sin in their anger when they are selfish in it; for we are not to act as if we were our own, or for ourselves simply, since we belong to God, and not to ourselves. When a fault is committed wherein God is sinned against, and persons are injured by it, they should be chiefly concerned, and their spirits chiefly moved against it, because it is against God; for they should be more solicitous for God’s honor than for their own temporal interests. (“The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit”, 1 Corinthians 13:5)

Emerson On Opportunity

Quoting American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882):

 

“America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine Providence in behalf of the human race.”

Only A Virtuous People Will Maintain Freedom

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Benjamin Franklin (Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence):

[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. (Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787.)

Silent Sins

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...

John Donne

Quoting John Donne:

“Men perish with whispering sins–nay, with silent sins, sins that never tell the conscience that they are sins, as often with crying sins; and in hell there shall meet as many men that never thought what was sin, as that spent all their thoughts in the compassing of sin.”

God’s Sovereignty

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

“From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, in choosing whom He would to eternal life; and rejecting whom He pleased. . . . But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God’s sovereignty than I had then. I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has very often appeared exceedingly bright and sweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. . . . And wherever the doctrines of God’s sovereignty with regard to salvation of sinners were preached, there with it God sent revival.”

Benjamin Franklin On The Education Of Youth

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Benjamin Franklin:

“The good Education of Youth has been esteemed by wise Men in all Ages, as the surest Foundation of the Happiness both of private Families and of Common-wealths. Almost all Governments have therefore made it a principal Object of their Attention, to establish and endow with proper Revenues, such Seminaries of Learning, as might supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the Public with Honor to themselves, and to their Country.”

From The Resolutions Of Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

Resolution 8: Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

Resolution 21: Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

The Heart As An Abyss

"Jonathan Edwards," lithograph of th...

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758):

“When I look into my heart and take a view of its wickedness, it looks like an abyss infinitely deeper than Hell. And it appears to me that, were it not for free grace, exalted and raised up to the infinite height of all the fullness of the great Jehovah, and the arm of His grace stretched forth in all the majesty of His power and in all the glory of His sovereignty, I should appear sunk down in my sins below Hell itself. It is affecting to think how ignorant I was when a young Christian, of the bottomless depths of wickedness, pride, hypocrisy, and filth left in my heart.”

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