…The preacher who measures himself by his looking glass, may please a few silly girls, but neither God nor man will long put up with him. The man who owes his greatness to his tailor, will find that needle and thread cannot long hold a fool in a pulpit. A gentleman should have more in his pocket than on his back, and a minister should have more in his inner man than on his outer man. Continue reading “On the Preacher’s Appearance”
Do you know who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England?… I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him… I will tell you… It is the devil. He is never out of his diocese; ye shall never find him out of the way; call for him when you will, he’s ever at home. He is ever at his plough. Ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. Where the devil is resident – there away with books and up with candles; away with bibles and up with beads; away with the light of the Gospel and up with the light of candles, yea at noondays; down with Christ’s cross, up with purgatory pickpurse; away with clothing the naked, the poor, and impotent, up with decking of images and gay garnishing of sticks and stones; down with God’s traditions and his most holy word. Oh! that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel! Truly may it be said, “there was never such a preacher in England as he is.”
– Hugh Latimer, as relayed by D’Aubigne
Our lot is cast in an age of abounding unbelief, scepticism and, I fear I must add, infidelity. Never, perhaps, since the days of Celsus, Porphyry and Julian, was the truth of revealed religion so openly and unblushingly assailed, and never was the assault so speciously and plausibly conducted. The words which Bishop Butler wrote in 1736 are curiously applicable to our own days: ‘It is come to be taken for granted by many persons, that Christianity is not even a subject of inquiry, but that it is now at length discovered to be fictitious. And accordingly they treat it as if, in the present age, this was an agreed point among all people of discernment, and nothing remained but to set it up as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule, as it were by way of reprisals for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world.’ I often wonder what the good bishop would have now said, if he had lived in 1879.
“as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard”
– 2Peter 2:8
Dare to be a Daniel. Like young David, slay your Goliaths. Endure hardship with the patience of Job. Imitate Paul, as he imitates Jesus. These are but a smattering of biblical role models from which we can learn much, as we seek to emulate their triumphs against evils within and without. There are the negative role models too: Saul, the poster child of a promising beginning, coming to a tragic end by means of impatience, jealousy, and a mere partial obedience to God. Broken-necked Eli: the father who didn’t love his sons enough to “restrain them.” Solomon, whose multiplied wives caused his heart to wander. Samson, a man of brute strength which knew no limits, yet utterly incapable of muscling his own brute passions into any sort of submission.
Then there’s Lot. He’s the picture of compromise. He’s the one who selfishly chose the better land for himself, despite (because of?) the close proximity to Sodom. Then he pitched his tent facing the city. Next he moved into town. Finally, he sat at the gates, quite at home in this figuratively (but soon to be literally!) “hell-hole.” Continue reading “The Curious Case of Righteous Lot”
For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 2Tim. 3:6-7
Paul must have hated women. Either that, or he was so entrenched in the unenlightened, oppressive, chauvinistic culture of the day he can be entirely disregarded as an irrelevant misogynist. Or so the ultra-tolerant and hyper-diverse entirely non-judgmental thinking of our era might say.
Why did he have to pick on the ladies, though? “Weak women weighed down with sins” isn’t very loving, especially coming from the guy who commanded women to keep silent in the church, submit to their husbands, and cover their heads. The translators in the employ of King James had the audacity to render this text “silly women,” so no extra points for flattery there.
So what’s the deal with these silly, weak, or gullible (NKJV) women? Continue reading “What’s up with the “Silly, Weak Women”?”
Let us not glide through this world and then slip quietly into heaven, without having blown the trumpet loud and long for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Let us see to it that the devil will hold a thanksgiving service in hell, when he gets the news of our departure from the field of battle.
by C.T. Studd
What a thing is sin, what a devil and master of devils is it, that it should, where it takes hold, so hang that nothing can unclinch its hold but the mercy of God and the heart-blood of his dear Son! O the fretting, eating, infecting, defiling, and poisonous nature of sin, that it should so eat into our flesh and spirit, body and soul, and stain us with its vile and stinking nature: yea, it has almost turned man into the nature of itself… wherefore sin is a fearful thing, a thing to be lamented, a thing to be abhorred, a thing to be fled from with more astonishment and trembling than one would fly from any devil, because it is the worst of things… and because where it takes hold it so fasteneth that nothing, as I have said, can release whom it has made a captive, but the mercy of God and the heart-blood of his dear Son. O what a thing sin is!
–many thanks to Dr. Ivan Fiske for the gift this evening of Bunyan’s works, from which this is taken. jr
He arose as it began to dawn toward that day; as soon as it could be said that the third day was come, the time prefixed for his resurrection, he arose; after his withdrawings from his people, he returns with all convenient speed, and cuts the work as short in righteousness as may be. He had said to his disciples, that though within a little while they should not see him, yet again a little while, and they should see him, and accordingly he made it as little a while as possible.
– Matthew Henry
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
– John, echoed by the Saints of all the ages
It is better to go to a house of mourning
Than to go to a house of feasting,
Because that is the end of every man,
And the living takes it to heart.
Here is a seemingly morbid portion of Scripture, and hardly a common piece of advice: Better to go to a funeral than a party.
My Dad, who is far more gifted with acronyms and alliteration than I could ever be, summarizes the book of Ecclesiastes this way: ITIA –“I Tried It All.”
It’s good to read books, because in a matter of hours or a few days you can absorb material it took the author perhaps years to learn. It’s good to talk to elderly people, because if you’re willing to listen and learn, in a matter of a few conversations you can take graduate level courses from the school of their hard knocks and keep the bumps off your own head. Continue reading “Choosing Better, pt.7: It is Better to Attend a Funeral than a Party”