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John Paton: I Saw Him Watching All the Scene

10 Aug

They encircled us in a deadly ring, and one kept urging another to strike the first blow or fire the first shot. My heart rose up to the Lord Jesus; I saw Him watching all the scene. My peace came back to me like a wave from God. I realized that I was immortal till my Master’s work with me was done. The assurance came to me, as if a voice out of Heaven had spoken, that not a musket would be fired to wound us, not a club prevail to strike us, not a spear leave the hand in which it was held vibrating to be thrown, not an arrow leave the bow, or a killing stone the fingers, without the permission of Jesus Christ, whose is all power in Heaven and on Earth. He rules all Nature, animate and inanimate, and restrains even the Savage of the South Seas. In that awful hour I saw His own words, as if carved in letters of fire upon the clouds of Heaven: “Seek, and ye shall find. Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” I could understand how Stephen and John saw the glorified Savior as they gazed up through suffering and persecution to the Heavenly Throne!

~John G. Paton~


John G Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides. An Autobiography. (Edinburgh, Scotland; The Banner of Truth Trust; 1994) p. 207.

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Lemuel Haynes – Death’s Empire Shall In Ruin Lye

1 Aug

O meditate on sudden Death,
And ever keep it near,
Be ready to resign your Breath,
When you the Summons hear.

Walk cheerful on in Wisdom’s ways
That when thou com’st to die,
Thou may’st behold thy Husband’s Face,
To all Eternity.

Heaven won’t admit a single Sigh,
Nor feel a twingling pain:
Death’s Empire shall in ruin lye,
And never rise again.

And now, come let us one and all,
Be actually prepared,
And hearken to the awful call
That we have lately heard.

O! why should we gon on so hard,
And boast of Days to come,
When Death stands with a naked sword
To cast us in the Tomb.

We know we do exist to Day,
But yet we cannot tell
But the next Moment we must say
Unto the World farewell.

Lord, guide us by thy Counsels here,
That when we come to die,
Angels our precious souls may bear
Up to they Throne on high.

~Lemuel Haynes~






Black Preacher to White America: The Collected Writings of Lemuel Haynes, 1774-1833 – A Poem, Occasioned by the Sudden and Surprising Death of Mr. Asa Burt ed. Richard Newman (Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing, Inc, 1990) p. 7-8.

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Martin Luther – How to Fight For Joy Like a Justified Sinner

27 Jul

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When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: “I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there shall I be also.”

~Martin Luther~






Martin Luther, Letters of Spiritual Counsel, trans. and ed. Theodore G. Tappert (Vancouver, British Columbia: Regent College, 2003), 86–87

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John Calvin – Jesus Christ: The Object of Faith

21 Jul

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Indeed, it is true that faith looks to one God. But this must also be added, “To know Jesus Christ whom he has sent” [John 17:3]. For God would have remained hidden afar off if Christ’s splendor had not beamed upon us. For this purpose the Father laid up with his only-begotten Son all that he had to reveal himself in Christ so that Christ, by communicating his Father’s benefits, might express the true image of his glory [cf. Heb. 1:3]. It has been said that we must be drawn by the Spirit to be aroused to seek Christ; so, in turn, we must be warned that the invisible Father is to be sought solely in this image. Augustine has finely spoken of this matter: in discussing the goal of faith, he teaches that we must know our destination and the way to it. Then, immediately after, he infers that the way that is most fortified against all errors is he who was both God and man: namely, as God he is the destination to which we move; as man, the path by which we go. Both are found in Christ alone. But, while Paul proclaims faith in God, he does not have in mind to overturn what he so often emphasizes concerning faith: namely, that all its stability rests in Christ. Peter, indeed, most effectively connects both, saying that through him we believe in God [1 Peter 1:21].

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.3.2.1. p. 543-544.

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Jonathan Edwards – The Joy of the Resurrection

10 Dec
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1703-1758. Reformed Preacher and Theologian in New England.

[The] resurrection of Christ is the most joyful event that ever came to pass; because hereby Christ rested from the great and difficult work of purchasing redemption, and received God’s testimony, that it was finished. The death of Christ was the greatest and most wonderful event that ever came to pass; but that has a great deal in it that is sorrowful. But by the resurrection of Christ, that sorrow is turned into joy. The Head of the church, in that great event, enters on the possession of eternal life; and the whole church is, as it were, begotten again to a lively hope, 1 Pet. 1:3. Weeping had continued for a night, but now joy cometh in the morning.

~Jonathan Edwards~






The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 1: A History of the Work of Redemption (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 585-586.

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B.B. Warfield – Study and Prayer Go Together

15 Nov
1851-1921. Reformed Theologian in America and Principle of Princeton Seminary in the line of Charles Hodge.

1851-1921. Reformed Theologian in America and Principle of Princeton Seminary in the line of Charles Hodge.

Sometimes we hear it said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. ‘What!’ is the appropriate response, ‘than ten hours over your books, on your knees?, Why should you turn from God when you turn to your books, or feel that you must from your books in order to turn to God? If learning and devotion are as antagonistic as that, then the intellectual life is in itself accursed and there can be no question of a religious life for a student, even of theology.


~B.B. Warfield~


The Religious Life of Theological Students

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B.B. Warfield – Holy Scripture, Our Only Highest Appeal

10 Nov
1851-1921. Reformed Theologian in America and Principle of Princeton Seminary in the line of Charles Hodge.

1851-1921. Reformed Theologian in America and Principle of Princeton Seminary in the line of Charles Hodge.

Before all else, Protestantism is, in its very essence, an appeal from all other authority to the divine authority of Holy Scripture… Thus, in every way possible, the church has borne her testimony from the beginning, and still in our day, to her faith in the divine trustworthiness of her Scriptures, in all their affirmations of whatever kind… The church has always believed her Scriptures to be the book of God, of which God was in such a sense the author that every one of its affirmations of whatever kind is to be esteemed as the utterance of God, of infallible truth and authority.


~B.B. Warfield~


The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing Company, 1948), 111-112.

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John Owen: What Is Sanctification?

20 Oct

1616 -1683. Preeminent English Puritan theologian, pastor, and independent.

Sanctification is an immediate work of the Spirit of God on the souls of believers, purifying and cleansing of their natures from the pollution and uncleanness of sin, renewing in them the image of God, and thereby enabling them, from a spiritual and habitual principle of grace, to yield obedience unto God, according unto the tenor and terms of the new covenant, by virtue of the life and death of Jesus Christ. Or more briefly:—It is the universal renovation of our natures by the Holy Spirit into the image of God, through Jesus Christ.

~John Owen~





The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 3: Pneumatologia: A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 386.

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Herman Bavinck – The Personal God That No One Can Deny

17 Oct
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1854-1921. Dutch Reformed Theologian and Churchman. Professor at Free University in Amsterdam.

Belief in a personal God, accordingly, is both natural and normal; it arises in human consciousness spontaneously and universally. But atheism, even the denial of the existence of a personal God, is the exception. It is philosophy, not religion. There is truth in Schopenhauer’s stinging statement: “An impersonal God is no God at all. It is no more than a misused word, a misconception, a contradiction in terms, a shibboleth for professors of philosophy who, after having had to abandon the thing itself, sneak through with the word.” It therefore requires a certain effort not to believe in a personal God: “No one disbelieves the existence of God except the person to whom God’s existence is not convenient.” There are no atheists so thoroughly sure of their unbelief as to be willing to die a martyr’s death for it. Since atheism is abnormal and unnatural, based not on intuitions but on inferential proofs and fallible reasoning, it is never sure of its causes. The arguments for the existence of God may be weak, but in any case they are stronger than those advanced for its denial. It is even impossible to prove that there is no God. To accomplish that feat a person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent, that is, to be God!.

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 2: God and Creation John Bolt and John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Academic; 2004) p. 58-59.

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John Calvin – An Immense Flood of Idols

16 Oct

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12. The manifestation of God is choked by human superstition and the error of the philosophers

Hence arises that boundless filthy mire of error wherewith the whole earth was filled and covered. For each man’s mind is like a labyrinth, so that it is no wonder that individual nations were drawn aside into various falsehoods; and not only this—but individual men, almost, had their own gods. For as rashness and superficiality are joined to ignorance and darkness, scarcely a single person has ever been found who did not fashion for himself an idol or specter in place of God. Surely, just as waters boil up from a vast, full spring, so does an immense crowd of gods flow forth from the human mind, while each one, in wandering about with too much license, wrongly invents this or that about God himself.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.5.12. p. 64-65.

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