Happy Thanksgiving-2017

November 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving from Reformedontheweb!

We may forget the harvest, living as we do, so far from rural labors, but those who have to watch the corn as it springs up, and track it through all its numberless dangers, until the blade becomes the full corn in the ear, cannot, surely, forget the wonderful goodness and mercy of God when they see the harvest safely stored. My brethren, if we require any considerations to excite us to gratitude, let us think for a moment of the effect upon our country of a total failure of the crops. Suppose to-day it were reported that as yet the corn was not carried, that the continued showers had made it sprout and grow till there was no hope of its being of any further use, and that it might as well be left in the fields. What dismay would that message carry into every cottage! Who among us could contemplate the future without dismay? All faces would gather blackness. All classes would sorrow, and even the throne itself might fitly be covered with sackcloth at the news. At this day the kingdom of Egypt sits trembling. The rejoicing and abounding land trembles for her sons. The Nile has swollen beyond its proper limit, the waters continue still to rise, and a few more days must see the fields covered with devastating floods. If it be so, alas for that land, in other years so favored as to have given us the proverb of “Corn in Egypt.” My brethren, should we not rejoice that this is not our case, and that our happy land rejoices in plenty? If the plant had utterly failed, and the seed had rotted under the clods, we should have been quick enough to murmur; how is it that we are so slow to praise? Take a lower view of the matter, suppose even a partial scarcity; at this juncture, when one arm of our industry is paralysed, how serious would have been this calamity! With a staple commodity withdrawn from us, with the daily peril of war at our gates, it would have been a fearful trial to have suffered scarcity of bread. Shall we not bless and praise our covenant God who permits not the appointed weeks of harvest to fail? Sing together all ye to whom bread is the staff of life, and rejoice before him who loadeth you with benefits. We have none of us any adequate idea of the amount of happiness conferred upon a nation by a luxuriant crop. Every man in the land is the richer for it. To the poor man the difference is of the utmost importance. His three shillings are now worth four; there is more bread for the children, or more money for clothes. Millions are benefitted by God’s once opening his liberal hand. When the Hebrews went through the desert, there were but some two or three millions of them, and yet they sang sweetly of him who fed his chosen people; in our own land alone we have ten times the number, have we no hallowed music for the God of the whole earth? Reflect upon the amazing population of our enormous city — consider the immense mount of poverty — think how greatly at one stroke that poverty has been relieved! A generous contribution, equal to that made for the Lancashire distress, would be but as the drop of a bucket to the relief afforded by a fall in the price of bread. Let us not despise the bounty of God because this great boon comes in a natural way. If every morning when we awoke we saw fresh loaves of bread put into our cupboard, or the morning’s meal set out upon the table, we should think it a miracle; but if our God blesses our own exertions and prospers our own toil to the same end, is it not equally as much a ground for praising and blessing his name? I would I had this morning the tongue of the eloquent, or even my own usual strength, to excite you to gratitude, by the spectacle of the multitudes of beings whom God has made happy by the fruit of the field. My sickness to-day, makes my thoughts wander and unfits me for so noble a theme, yet my soul pants to set your hearts on a blaze. O for heaven’s own fire to kindle your hearts. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us exalt the Lord our God, and come into his presence with the voice of joy and thanksgiving.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Thanksgiving and Prayer,” A Sermon delivered on Sunday morning September 27th, 1863

Advertisements
Categories: Comment Tags:

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 144

November 23, 2017 Leave a comment

TO REV. WILLIAM CUFF

WESTWOOD, JUNE 26, 1885.

MY DEAR MR. CUFF, —

I have gone carefully into this case, and though I have the utmost faith in you and your brethren I still think that my decision is the right one. We must not mislead this excellent brother. Providence has placed him in a position of comfort and usefulness and he is tempted to sacrifice it for one of hardship and small success. No one who has written about him anticipates any marked success, even you only look for mediocrity. Of his goodness and zeal I have no doubt, but he has a painful hesitancy in speech, and a fondness for hard words; and it would be a pity for him to give up his calling at his age, and with his family, unless we could predict for him some special success.

I would do almost anything to prove my confidence in you, but I have the conviction that you very much agree with this opinion of mine, and are only moved from it by the sorrow of our brother. I am sympathetic too, but I had rather grieve him now than lead him into life-long regret. I have no doubt about the unusual worthiness of Mr.L____ but as far as I can judge, the step which he proposes is so unwise that I dare not be a party to it.

Can you preach for me on the evening of July 26th?

Yours ever lovingly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

A Treatise on Church Order: Local Churches- Chapter II- Section III- False Professors

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

CHAPTER II

SECTION III.–FALSE PROFESSORS

The disciples of Christ, in obeying their Master’s command to love one another, are liable to mistake the proper objects of the love enjoined. Men who have not the Christian spirit, frequently assume the Christian name; and, since none but God can search the heart, such men frequently obtain admittance among the followers of Christ, and are for a time reckoned true disciples. For wise reasons, some of which we are able to comprehend, Christ did not pray that his people should be taken out of the world. Though the relation which they sustain to the men of the world is often an occasion of painful trial, it gives an opportunity for duties that are profitable to themselves and to mankind, and honorable to God. In like manner, their relation to false professors, gives occasion for the exercise of patience and forbearance, and of careful self-examination.

Local churches possess external organization; and in this organization, human agency is employed. Men unite in it, on the principle of mutual recognition of each other as disciples of Christ. Since God has not endowed the members of a church with the power to search the heart, it is possible for persons, whose hearts have not been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, to obtain admission into a local church. It is not Christ’s law that such persons should be received; but they obtain admittance through the fallibility of those to whom the execution of the law has been intrusted.

Since every church on earth has probably one or more false professors in it, and since Christ has not authorized the admission of false professors, it may be questioned whether, strictly speaking, there is a Christian church on earth. But it may be questioned, with equal propriety, whether any individual man should be called a Christian, since no man is fully conformed to the law of Christ. Some, on the other hand, have thought that because no church on earth is perfectly free from false professors, it is folly to aim at a perfect church. But we may, with equal propriety, charge any individual man with folly who is striving after personal perfection. The duty of every individual is, to press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; and the duty of every church, and of every church-member, is, to strive in every lawful way for church perfection. Though full perfection may not be attained, yet approach to it sufficiently rewards our continual effort; and, apart from all respect to reward, we are obliged to this course, by the command of Christ.

It may be objected, that if the Lord had designed the churches to be free from false professors, he would not have committed the management of them to fallible men. We may grant that it was not God’s purpose to preserve the churches free from false professors by the exertion of his omnipotence. Had this been his purpose, it would not have failed to be accomplished. But, as in other parts of God’s moral government, responsible agents are employed who have laws prescribed, which as free agents they may or may not obey. The fact that the law is not obeyed, disproves neither its perfection nor its obligation.

But the objection may be presented in another form. The failure of a church to keep out false professors, does not necessarily arise from moral delinquency in its members; it may be wholly owing to the unavoidable fallibility of human judgment. Since their failure is not criminal, it is not a violation of divine law; and, therefore, the divine law does not provide for a perfectly pure church.

The objection in this form would be embarrassing, if the church which admits a false professor, were the only party concerned in the transaction. But the false professor himself is a party, and the most responsible party. He does not love Christ; and this want of love not only unfits him for a place in the church, but is criminal. He is certainly in fault; and it too often happens that the members of the church are also in fault. Were they less conformed to the world, the distinction between Christians and men of the world would be more apparent, and fewer cases of mistake in the reception of members would occur. Churches are often criminally careless, both in the reception of members, and in the discipline of them when received. If the piety of churches were very fervent, men of cold hearts could not remain happy among them, and could not continue to have their true character concealed.

The possession of love to Christ is required of every one who seeks admission into a Christian church. The members who admit him are required to demand a credible profession made in obedience to Christ’s command. Beyond this they cannot go, and here their responsibility ceases. But in every case in which a false professor is admitted, the law of Christ is violated by one or both of the parties.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology- Volume 2

The contents of each book are arranged in logical order and necessary sequence

November 21, 2017 Leave a comment

In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul informs us that the Scriptures are profitable “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” and that is the very order which he has followed in his epistles. For Romans is a doctrinal treatise, the Corinthian epistles a reproof of disorders in the assembly, Galatians a correcting of erroneous teaching, and Ephesians describes that walk which alone is worthy of a child of God.

Not only are the books in the Bible unerringly positioned, but the contents of each are arranged in logical and necessary sequence. Thus it is intensely interesting to mark how that each of the patriarchs in Genesis shadowed forth some distinct and fundamental truth concerning the believer. In Abraham we have illustrated that of Divine election and effectual calling. In Isaac we have portrayed Divine sonship (by a supernatural birth) and the life of submission to God’s will. In Jacob we have pictured the conflict between the flesh and the spirit: the two natures in the believer, intimated by his dual name, Jacob Israel. In Joseph we have exemplified the grand truth of heirship: following a season of trial, made ruler of Egypt. Thus the historical order is also the doctrinal and experiential, progressive and climacteric. The five great offerings of Leviticus 1-5 typify as many distinct aspects of the person and work of the Lord Jesus, and invaluable instruction is to be obtained by pondering the sequence of them.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

We will not for one moment allow that a self-righteous man can have a broken heart

November 20, 2017 Leave a comment

2. Again, we will not for one moment allow that a self-righteous man can have a broken heart. Ask him to pray, and he thanks God that he is every way correct. What need has he to weep because of the iniquity of his life, for he firmly believes himself to be well-deserving, and far enough removed from guilt. He has attended his religious duties, he is exceedingly strict in the form of his devotions, or if he cares not for such things, he is at any rate quite as good as those who do. He was never in bondage to any man, but can look to heaven without a tear for his sin. Do not conceive that I am painting an imaginary case, for there are unfortunately too many of these proud self-exalting men. Will they be angry with me when I tell them that they are no nearer heaven than those whom we reproved a few moments ago, or will they not be equally moved to wrath if I were so much as to hint that they need to be broken in heart for their sin? Nevertheless, such is the case, and Pharisees shall one day learn with terror that self-righteousness is hateful to God.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Healing the Wounded” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, November 11, 1855

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell

November 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. Xxxii. 35).

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

APPLICATION

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God’s enemies. God’s creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God with, and do not willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. And the world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. There are the black clouds of God’s wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff of the summer threshing floor.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 143

November 16, 2017 Leave a comment

TO REV. WILLIAM CUFF

WESTWOOD, June 30, 1884.

DEAR MR. CUFF,—

I thank you and all the friends at the Shoreditch Tabernacle for their kind remembrance of me upon my Jubilee. These expressions of brotherly love are very cheering to me. I feel bound to rise to some higher degree of grace that I may better warrant the esteem of my friends. Pray for me.

In return may our Lord richly bless both Pastor and people at Shoreditch.

May the peace of God be over you all.

Yours gratefully,

C. H. SPURGEON.