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John Calvin – Prodigious Trifles

20 Aug


But although the Lord represents both himself and his everlasting Kingdom in the mirror of his works with very great clarity, such is our stupidity that we grow increasingly dull toward so manifest testimonies, and they flow away without profiting us. For with regard to the most beautiful structure and order of the universe, how many of us are there who, when we lift up our eyes to heaven or cast them about through the various regions of earth, recall our minds to a remembrance of the Creator, and do not rather, disregarding their Author, sit idly in contemplation of his works? In fact, with regard to those events which daily take place outside the ordinary course of nature, how many of us do not reckon that men are whirled and twisted about by blindly indiscriminate fortune, rather than governed by God’s providence? Sometimes we are driven by the leading and direction of these things to contemplate God; this of necessity happens to all men. Yet after we rashly grasp a conception of some sort of divinity, straightway we fall back into the ravings or evil imaginings of our flesh, and corrupt by our vanity the pure truth of God. In one respect we are indeed unalike, because each one of us privately forges his own particular error; yet we are very much alike in that, one and all, we forsake the one true God for prodigious trifles. Not only the common folk and dull-witted men, but also the most excellent and those otherwise endowed with keen discernment, are infected with this disease.

~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. 1.5.10. p. 63-64.

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John Owen: The Primary Purpose of the Gospel

10 Feb

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

God’s great and first design, in and by the gospel, is eternally to glorify himself, his wisdom, goodness, love, grace, righteousness, and holiness, by Jesus Christ, Eph. 1:5,6.

~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.), 377.

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John Owen: Fresh Springs Of Grace

2 Dec

A steady spiritual view of the glory of Christ by faith, will give them [believers] a gracious revival from inward decays, and fresh springs of grace, even in their latter days. A truth this is, as we shall see, confirmed by Scripture, with the joyful experience of multitudes of believers, and is of great importance unto all that are so.

~John Owen~

The Works of John Owen, Vol. 1: The Glory of Christ (Edinburgh; T&T Clark; n.d.) p. 432-433.

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Jonathan Edwards – God Communicates His Own Happiness To Us

15 Nov


Another part of God’s fulness 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. Joy, or the exulting of the heart in God’s glory, is one thing that belongs to praise. So that God is all in all, with respect to each part of that communication of the divine fulness which is made to the creature. What is communicated is divine, or something of God; and each communication is of that nature, that the creature to whom it is made, is thereby conformed to God, and united to him: and that in proportion as the communication is greater or less. And the communication itself is no other, in the very nature of it, than that wherein the very honour, exaltation, and praise of God consists.

~Jonathan Edwards~

The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 1 (Peabody, MA; Hendrickson Publishers, Inc; 2007) p. 101. The End For Which God Created The World

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Martin Luther – No Tongue of People or Angels

10 Oct

I leave it to orators to expound the theme of the inestimable grace and glory that we have in Christ Jesus. Let them tell us how we who are miserable sinners, children of wrath by birth, may obtain this honor, so that by faith in Christ we can become children and heirs of God, fellow heirs with Christ, lords of heaven and earth. There is no tongue of people or of angels that can proclaim the glory of this magnificently enough.

~Martin Luther~

Reformation Commentary on Scripture – Galatians, Ephesians (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2011) p. 126

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Charles Spurgeon – Whose Head Do You Crown?

26 Mar

In heaven they do not sing
“Glory, honor, praise, and power
Be unto ourselves for ever;
We have been our own Redeemers;– Hallelujah!”

They never sing praise to themselves; they glorify not their own strength; they do not talk of their own free- will and their own might; but they ascribe their salvation, from beginning to end, to God. Ask them how they were saved, and they reply, “The Lamb hath made us what we are.” Ask them whence their glories came, and they tell you, “They were bequeathed to us by the dying Lamb.” Ask whence they obtained the gold of their harps, and they say, “It was dug in mines of agony and bitterness by Jesus,” Inquire who stringed their harps, and they will tell you that Jesus took each sinew of his body to make them. Ask them where they washed their robes and made them white, and they will say–
“In yonder ‘fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins.'”

Some persons on earth do not know where to put the crown; but those in heaven do. They place the diadem on the right head; and they ever sing– “And he hath made us what we are.”

~Charles Spurgeon~

Spurgeon’s Sermons (Spokane, Washington; Olive Tree Bible Software; 2010) eBook. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 10; Titled: The Kingly Priesthood of the Saints; Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 28, 1855.

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