Man’s Great End

December 23, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog and Puritans. Tags: prayer, Scripture, and Valley of Vision.

“Most men seem to live for themselves,
without much or any regard for Your glory,
or for the good of others;

They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue
the riches, honors, and pleasures of this life,
as if they supposed that wealth, greatness, and merriment,
could make their immortal souls happy;

Help me to know continually
that there can be no true happiness,
no fulfilling purpose for me,
apart from a life lived in and for the Son whom You love.”

Puritan prayer
The Valley of Vision

Rekindling Prayer

December 23, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog and Puritans. Tags: Henry Scudder, prayer, and Scripture.

“At times we find that our time in the Word and prayer before God are dull. Use this opportunity to be humbled by our spiritual impotency and lack of love for Christ, but don’t be discouraged. Instead, apply yourself with steadfastness. When a fire goes out, we may kindle it again by blowing on the remaining spark. No fire is ever rekindled by neglect. So too, by constant meditation upon the Word and by the breath of prayer you may revive again the spirit of grace and prayer within you.”

Henry Scudder
The Christian’s Daily Walk  in Holy Security and Peace (1690)

Loving God with our mind

December 7, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog and Puritans. Tags: David Clarkson, idolatry, and mind.

“If you do not think of God, or think otherwise of him than he is, you are serving an idol instead of the true God. If you think of him as merciful, but not just; if you think of him as compassionate, but not holy; if you think of him as loving, but not sovereign, then you are thinking of God differently than he has revealed himself. This is idolatry.”

David Clarkson
Soul Idolatry Excludes Men Out of Heaven

Soul Idolatry

November 24, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog, Front Page Gallery, and Puritans. Tags: David Clarkson, desire, idolatry, and worldliness.

“Every reigning lust is an idol, and every person in whom it reigns is an idolater. ‘The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.’ These are the three great idols of humanity. We are quick to prostrate our souls before them, and give to them that which is due only to God.”
David Clarkson
Soul Idolatry Excludes Men Out of Heaven

Peace, be still

November 23, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog, Front Page Gallery, and Puritans. Tags: Christ, emotions, John Owen, and suffering.

“Our minds are apt by their troubles to be cast into disorder, to be tossed up and down, and disquieted…And indeed, the mind on all such occasions is its own greatest troubler. It is likely to let loose its passions of fear and sorrow, which then multiply into innumerable perplexing thoughts, until it is carried utterly out of its own power. But in this state a due contemplation of the glory of Christ will restore and compose the mind–bring it into a sedate, quiet frame, where faith will be able to say to the winds of our soul, ‘Peace, be still,’ and they shall obey.”

John Owen
The Works of John Owen, Vol.1

Joy in Our Sorrows

October 21, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog and Puritans. Tags: joy, Richard Alleine, and suffering.

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (Rom.5:2-4). “Christians, do not envy the world’s happiness and success. You have advantages they do not. You have joy in your sorrows; in the midst of sorrows, you may have joy.” Christians have something that unbelievers do not: joy in suffering. In the midst of suffering, we can be joyful because (1) we know Christ and can draw nearer to him and become like him now; and (2) we have the promise that our suffering will soon end in unmatched, limitless joy. No unbeliever will ever know such joy.
Richard Alleine

Sin is always acting

October 13, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog and Puritans. Tags: John Owen and sin.

“So then I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand” (Rom.7:21). “Sin is always acting, always conceiving, and always seducing and tempting. This battle will last more or less all our days. If sin is always acting, we are in trouble if we are not always putting it to death. He that stands still and allows his enemies to exert double blows upon him without resistance will undoubtedly be conquered in the end.”

John Owen

Make Good Use of the Word

October 13, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog and Puritans. Tags: preaching, Ralph Venning, and Scripture.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable…” (2Tim.3:16). “Everyone should work to make the best use of what they hear and read. All Scripture is profitable; therefore, everyone should make a good use of every sermon they hear” What have you done with the message you last heard?

Ralph Venning, 1675

Take heed to yourselves

October 6, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog, Front Page Gallery, and Puritans. Tags: doctrine, Richard Baxter, and speech.

“Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine, and lest you lay such stumbling blocks before the blind, that it may lead to their ruin. Be careful, or you may un-say with your life, what you say with your tongue.”

Richard Baxter

The Law cannot subdue sin

September 30, 2010 | Categories: Church Blog and Puritans. Tags: gospel, John Bunyan, Law, and sin.

“Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin…The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me” (Rom.7:7,10). “Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large Parlor that was full of dust, because it had never been swept…Then he called for a man to sweep it. When he swept, the dust began to fly, so much that Christian was almost choked. Then Interpreter said, ‘Bring some water and sprinkle the room.’  Christian asked, ‘What does this mean?’ And Interpreter answered, ‘This Parlor is the heart of man…the dust is original sin and inward corruption, which have defiled the whole person. The one who began to sweep is the Law of God. The one who brought the water and cleansed the room is the Gospel of God. The Law, instead of cleansing the heart, stirs up sin, revives it, gives it strength, and increases it in our souls. It can never give us the power to subdue sin. But when the Gospel comes, as in the water that washed the room, our sin is conquered and our soul is made clean.'”

John Bunyan
Pilgrim’s Progress