Going forward in a heart-knowledge of God through the Holy Spirit's progressive unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Scriptures.

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THOMAS ADAMS (1800's)

(1861)
THE WORKS OF THOMAS ADAMS
Meditations upon the Creed

“Christ liveth in me. Christ is the fountain and root of all spiritual life, having it so superabundant in Himself, that He conveys it to all His members. He lives in us by virtue of His union with us, which is both a spiritual and a substantial union, whereby the person of the believer is made one with the person of the Savior. ‘Christ lives in me."—but can we all say, Christ lives in us? Neither speak I of gross sinners, not grafted into Christ; but even to those that applaud themselves in their holy portion, and look to be saved. Why do they suck on the breasts of this world, and seek to solace themselves in vanities? Is not the life of Christ in us above all sweetness? Are not the grapes of Canaan satisfying enough, but we must long for the onions of Egypt ? Why should we look unto Pharphar, that have Jordan ? He that hath the living waters of Jesus flowing in his heart is mad if he stoops to the puddles of vanity, or seeks content in the world. Yea, such a one will scarce descend to lawful pleasures, but for God's allowance, and nature's necessity; and then but as the eagle, who lives aloft, and stoops not to the earth but for her prey; or as Gideon's soldiers, to sup his handful, not to swell his bellyful. I deny not oil, and wine, and recreation; but we must not live by these, but by Christ. He that is come to man's estate, throws away rattles and babies: The philosopher could be merry without a fiddle; as one of them told the musicians, offering their service, that philosophers could dine and sup without them. How much more may the Christian rejoice without a playfellow? He hath holy meditations of the forgiveness of his sins, peace and reconciliation with God; and to break off this for the entertainment of vanity, is more absurd, than for a husband to leave his fair and chaste wife, peerless for beauty and innocence, for the embraces of a stigmatical strumpet. We have generous and noble delights, angelical pleasures; what should discomfort us? “Jesus Christ lives in us.""

LANCELOT ANDREWES (1700's)

PASSION WEEK
(1833)

“Author and Finisher are two titles wherein the Holy Ghost oft setteth Him forth, and wherein He seemeth to take special delight. In the very letters He taketh to Him the name of Alpha, the Author; and again, of Omega, the Finisher of the alphabet. From letters go to words; there is He, “ the Word at the beginning,” (John 1:1) and He is “ Amen ” (Rev. 3:14) too, the word at the end. From words to books; “in the very front of the book ” (Psalm 40:7) He is, and He is the ‘ recapitulation " or ‘ conclusion " (Eph. 1:10 ) of it too. And so go to persons, there He is “ the first and the last .” (Rev. 1:17) And from persons to things, and there He is “ the beginning and the end ;” (Rev. 1:8) whereof ‘the beginning" is in the Author, and ‘the end" is in the Finisher: the first beginning, He, “by whom all things are made;” and the last end, He, “by, for, or through whom” all things are made perfect.” (Col. 1:16)

Therefore look not aside at any in heaven or earth for matter of faith; look full upon Him; He is worth the looking on with both your eyes; He hath matter for them both. Of our faith an of the whole race of it He is the Author, casting up His glove at the first setting forth: He is the Finisher, holding out the price at the goal end. By His authority it is, our course is begun; we run not without warrant. By His bounty it shall be finished and crowned in the end; we run not in vain or without hope of reward. To fix our eye, to keep it from straying, to make us look on Him full, He telleth us these things.

Our sight then is Jesus, and in Jesus what? We shall lose ourselves, we shall be confounded to see in Him all that may be showed us; the Object is too big! Two pieces therefore He maketh choice of, and but two; and presenteth Him to our eye in two forms only, as hanging on the Cross, as sitting on the throne;--His Passion and His Session, these two: and these two with very good and perfect correspondence to the two former. By the cross He is the Author, by the throne He is the Finisher of our faith; as man on the cross, Author; as God on the throne, Finisher; Author on the cross, there He paid the price of our admitting; Finisher on the throne, there He is the prize to us of our course well performed, of the well finishing our race, the race of our faith.”

JAMES ARMENIUS (1500's)
HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
VOLUME 3 P. 130
PHILIP SCHAFF

Next to the study of the Scriptures which I earnestly inculcate, I exhort my pupils to peruse Calvin's Commentaries, which I extol in loftier terms than Helmich himself [a Dutch divine, 1551-1608]; for I affirm that he excels beyond comparison in the interpretation of Scripture, and that his commentaries ought to be more highly valued than all that is handed down to us by the library of the fathers; so that I acknowledge him to have possessed above most others, or rather above all other men, what may be called an eminent spirit of prophecy. His Institutes ought to be studied after the [Heidleberg] Catechism, as containing a fuller explanation, but with discrimination, like the writings of all men.”

I add my own thought…

Alas! How sad! But so it goes
How History changes friends to foes!
Antagonists their tenants plea
Dividing brothers who agree!

DONALD BARNHOUSE (1900's)

KESWICK WEEK 1946

“Paul prayed that the Church might know “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead…and you who were dead in trespasses and sins…” Wonderful! Easter day was my resurrection day also. When Christ died, I died; when Christ was raised, I was raised. And we can continue into the chapter, and find that when Christ ascended into Heaven by the power of the Father, I was raised from earth to Heaven with Him; when the Father enthroned His Son far above all, there was also a seat prepared there for the Bride. Then keep me not back from my rightful place! Make not of the Church an exiled Bride! Hold me not at walls of partition, which Christ has cast down! Stop me not at gates, which Christ has unlocked! Stay not my steps at a sea, which He turns to crystal before me! Forbid me not to enter within the veil, where my Bridegroom has gone before me! Christ has died! Christ has risen! Christ has gone on High! Christ has taken us with Him!

Believe it! Accept the boldness, which He gives, and enter into the Holiest of all, and take our rightful place. Heaven wants a triumphant Bride now! And while it does not yet appear what we shall be, yet even now, we are far short of that which God wants us to be. Let us now be where we would be; let us now be what we should be; so many things which are not now, really could be, if we would take our seat upon the throne of Heaven.”

HUGH BINNING (1600's)

(1651)
THE WORKS OF Sermon: Fellowship with God

“All motions tend to rest and quietness. We see it daily in the motions below, and we believe it also of the circular revolutions of the heavens above, that there is a day coming in which they shall cease, as having performed all they were appointed for. And as it is in things natural, so it is in things rational in a more eminent way. Their desires, affections, and actions, which are the motions and stretches of the soul towards that it desires and apprehends as good, tend of their own nature, and are directed by the very intention of the soul, to some rest and tranquillity, some joy and contentation of spirit.

The generality of men are so far degenerated, both from the impression of a divine majesty, and the sense of an immortal being within themselves, that they imagine to content and ease their own hearts in these outward, inconstant, perishing things; and so their life is spent in catching at shadows, in feeding on the wind, in laboring in the fire. There is nothing therefore but a continual, restless agitation of the heart from one thing to another, and that in a round, circling about, from one thing that now displeases or disappoints, to things that were formerly loathed; as a sick man turns him from one side to another, or changes beds often, and at length returns, expecting to find some ease where he lay at first.

(1650)
“FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD”

“In natural things, we have one vail of darkness in our minds to hinder us; but in the apprehension of God, we have a twofold darkness to break through, the darkness of ignorance in us, and “the darkness of too much light” in Him, which makes Him as inaccessible to us as the other: the over-proportion of that glorious majesty of God to our low spirits, being as the sun in its brightness to a night owl, which is dark midnight to it. Hence it is, that those holy men who know most of God, think they know least, because they see more to be known, but infinitely surpassing the knowledge.

Once a man comes to see God, and know Him in a lively manner, then he sees his own weakness and vileness in that light; he will not glory in riches, or strength, or beauty, or wisdom, but only in this, that he hath at length gotton some discovery of the only fountain of happiness. Then he will not think so much of tongues and languages, of prophesyings, of all knowledge of controversies; neither gifts of body nor of mind, nor external appendages of providence will much affect him. He would be content to trample on all these, to go over them into a fuller discovery and enjoyment of God Himself!”

HORATIUS BONAR (1800's)

MORNING OF JOY
(1852)

“In this (look at grace) let us mark the difference between Christ and His church, the Bridegroom and the bride. The same glory invests both; but the way of receiving it is widely different. To Him it is a reward of righteousness, to her of grace. Righteousness crowns Him, grace crowns her. These marvelous honors are in His case the claim of righteousness, in hers the mere award of grace. Of Him it is written, “Thou has loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows” (Psalm 45:7); while of her it is said, “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and Grace, given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” (2 Timothy 1:9) What righteousness does for Him, grace does for her. And oh how boundless must that grace be, when it can do for her all that righteousness can do for Him!”

(1868)
God's way of Holiness

“Our old relationship to the Law made justification by the Law a necessity. The doing was indispensable to the living, so long as the Law's claims over us personally were in force. We strove to obey, in order that we might live; for this is the Law's arrangement, the legal order of things and so long as this order remained there was no hope. It was impossible for us to ‘obey and live" and as the Law could not say to us, ‘live and obey," it could do nothing for us. Only that which could reverse this order in our case, which could give life in order to obedience, would be of any service to us. This the gospel steps in to do. Not first obedience and then life, but first life and then obedience.

Our new relationship to the Law is that of Christ Himself to it. It is that of men who have met all its claims, exhausted its penalties, satisfied its demands, magnified it, and made it honorable. For our faith in God's testimony to Christ's obedience as a surety has made us one with Him. The relation of the Law to Him is its relation to us who believe in His name.”

WILLIAM BRIDGE (1600's)

(1665: Sermon on Faith, Vol 2 of his works)

“And hath not the Lord commanded by the apostle, saying, “Let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to the hand of God, as into the hand of a faithful Creator,” (I Pet 4:19) When ye are scrupled about your election or reprobation, ye look upon God as a potter that hath power over the clay, to make it either a vessel of honour or dishonour: but when ye are to believe, then ye are not to look upon God as a potter, that works out of clay or out of materials; but as a Creator, that works out of nothing, yea, as a faithful Creator, that will be sure to work out of nothing, whom ye shall be sure of. Thus then ye are to look upon Him.”

VOL 1
“GRACE FOR GRACE” SERMON 2

“Tender hearted mothers, are you willing to give your children suck? To have your breasts drawn? Yes: Why so? Truly, not only because of my child, but the truth is, unless my breasts be drawn it is a pain to me: not only for my child therefore, but for mine own ease also, you will say. Why, brethern, the humanity of Jesus Christ, is, as I may so speak, the breasts of the Deity; by which we suck out all of the holiness and grace which we have: and if Jesus Christ's breasts be not drawn, He counts it a pain to Him.”


(1665: Sermon on faith)

“And so for a man to tie God to means, to tie God to a time, to tie God to this or that means, to tie God to means in general; this is presumption. Mark, some there are that tie God to a time: Oh, if mercy does not come by such a day, or such a time, I am undone forever. Others they will not tie God to a time, but they will tie God to this or that particular means: Oh, if mercy come not in that way, or by that means, I am gone, I am lost forever. Others, they will not tie God to time, nor to particular means, but they will tie God to means in general, they will not believe God a whit beyond means, and so tie God to means in general: ah, what is this but rank presumption, for a poor creature, to tie up the hands of his Creator? The sin that you seek, and think to avoid, you fall into: this is presumption.”

VOL 1

“GRACE FOR GRACE”

“When our Lord Christ was upon the earth, out of His love, He died for us; He loved us, and died for us: His love then cost Him much: Now that He is in Heaven He dies no more, He can love us at a cheaper rate. And shall we think, that when He was upon the earth, He would lay down His life for us; and now He is in Heaven, He will not speak a good word for us? Certainly, beloved, the Lord Jesus is a full of love and tender affection toward His now that He is in Heaven, as He was upon the Earth.”

“GRACE FOR GRACE”

SERMON 2

“Pray do but consider well the covenant of grace: says the Lord in that: “I will take away the heart of stone, and I will give an heart of flesh: and I will cause ye to walk in My ways; and I will put my Spirit into you,” (Ezek 36:26,27) I will take away the heart of stone? What is that? A stone is hard. A hard thing does not yield to the touch, a soft thing yields. Pharoah had a hard heart, and therefore he yielded not. When therefore, the Lord makes such a promise as this; “I will take away the heart of stone”, what is his meaning? His meaning is plainly, I will take away the unyielding, the resisting disposition that is in man. Now therefore, when the Lord makes such a promise as this: that “He will put his Spirit into them, and cause them to walk in His ways”, our resisting can be no hindrance: Why? Because the Lord hath made a promise to take away our resisting. If the covenant had run thus, “I will put my Spirit into you, and cause you to walk in My ways;” upon this condition, that you do not resist, then we could hinder: but the Lord in the same promise that He does say, “I will put my Spirit into them, and cause them to walk in My ways:” He doth also promise to take away the resisting heart, to take away the spirit of resisting. “I will take away the heart of stone:” there is the resisting: “And I will cause them to walk in My ways.” So that our sins cannot hinder.”

(1665)

“FAITH”

"Ye read of Zacharias, that good man, father of John the Baptist, that when the angel brought him tidings of a child, in way of his special mercy, he would not believe it. And in the 1st of Luke, and the 30th verse, ye read how he was punished for it: "Behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not be able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words." But what hindered him, what kept him off from this work of believing? Ye shall find at the 18th verse; too much attendance unto, and considering of the means, and the deadness thereof. Zacharias said unto the angel, "Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years." He looked too much upon, and considered; he stood poring too much upon the means; and this was the enemy of faith.... It is ever the Lord's way to promise a mercy, then to lay the sentence of death upon that mercy and all the means that lead to it. ...He does this to bear up the honor of His own greatness. As long as there is life in the means, we will not see Him as the Living God. It is only mercy risen from the dead that is the choice mercy"

THOMAS BROOKS (1600's)

VOL 2: AN ARK FOR ALL GOD'S NOAHS
(1660)

“Man in his best estate is so great a piece of vanity that he stands in need of a thousand thousand things; he needs the air to breathe in, the earth to bear him, and fire to warm him, and clothes to cover him, and an house to shelter him, and food to nourish him, and a bed to ease him, and friends to comfort him. But this is the excellency of God, that He hath all excellencies in Himself, and stands in need of nothing. Were there as many worlds as there are men in the world, and were all those worlds full of blessed saints, yea, were there as many heavens as there are stars in heaven, and were all those heavens full of glorious angels, yet all these saints and angels together could not add the least to God; for what can drops taken out of the sea add unto the sea? O Christians! God is an all-sufficient portion: His power is all-sufficient to protect you; His wisdom is all-sufficient to direct you; His mercy is all-sufficient to pardon you; His goodness is all-sufficient to provide for you; His word is all-sufficient to support you and strengthen you; and His grace is all-sufficient to adorn you and enrich you; and His Spirit is all-sufficient to lead you and comfort you; and what can you desire more? God is a sufficient portion to secure your souls, and to supply all your wants, and to satisfy all your desires, and to answer all your expectations, and to suppress all your enemies, and, after all, to bring you to glory; I ask, what can you desire more?”

VOL 6: WORKS

CHRIST IS THE LIFE OF BELIEVERS
(1668-1686)

“If the Lord Jesus Christ be a believer's life, then this serves to bespeak all believers highly to prize the Lord Jesus. Oh, it is this Christ that is thy life; it is not thy husband, it is not thy child, it is not this or that thing; neither is it this ordinance or that that is a believer's life. No; it is the Lord Jesus Christ that is the author, that is the matter, that is the exerciser, that is the strengthener, that is the completer, of a believer's life. You prize great ones; the Lord Jesus is great—He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. You prize others for their wisdom and knowledge: the Lord Jesus hath in Himself all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. You prize others for their beauty: the Lord Jesus Christ is more beautiful than ten thousand. You prize others for their usefulness: the Lord Jesus Christ is the right hand of a believer, without which he can do nothing. The believer may say of Christ as the philosopher said of the heavens, “Take away the heavens, and I shall be nobody”, so take away Jesus Christ, and a believer is nobody—nobody to perform any action, nobody to bear any affliction, nobody to conquer any corruption, nobody to withstand temptation, nobody to improve mercies, nor nobody to joy in others" grace. Oh, prize Jesus Christ! And, consider that the Lord Jesus Christ doth highly prize you; you are as the apple of His eye; He accounts you His fullness; you are His jewels; therefore prize Him who sets such a high price on you.”

JOHN BUNYON (1600's)

THE WORK OF JESUS CHRIST AS ADVOCATE
(1628-1688)

“They (needy Christians) must also be convinced of this, that Christ is tender, and will not be offended at the dullness of His client. Some men can reveal their cause to their lawyers better than some others, and are more serviceable and handy in that affair than others. But, saith the Christian, “I am dull and stupid that way; will not Christ be very shy of me because of this?” Honest heart! He hath a supply for thy defects in Himself; and knoweth what thou wantest, and where the shoe pinches, though thou art not able distinctly to open matters to Him. The child is pricked with a pin, and lies crying in the mother's lap, but cannot show its mother where the pin is. But there is pity enough in the mother to supply this defect of the child. Wherefore she undresses it, opens it, searches every clout from head to foot of the child, and thus finds where the pin is. Thus will thy Lawyer do; He will search and find out thy difficulties; and where Satan seeketh an advantage over thee, accordingly will provide His remedy.

(1628-1688)
The Riches Of Bunyan

“G od is the chief good—good so as nothing is but Himself. He is in Himself most happy; yea, all good and all true happiness are only to be found in God, as that which is essential to His nature; nor is there any good or any happiness in or with any creature or thing but what is communicated to it by God. God is the only desirable good; nothing without Him is worthy of our hearts. Right thoughts of God are able to ravish the heart; how much more happy is the man that has interest in God. God alone is able by Himself to put the soul into a more blessed, comfortable, and happy condition than can the whole world; yea, and more than if all the created happiness of all the angels of heaven did dwell in one man's bosom. I cannot tell what to say. I am drowned. The life, the glory, the blessedness, the soul-satisfying goodness that is in God, are beyond all expression.

God's presence is renewing, transforming, seasoning, sanctifying, commanding, sweetening, and lightening to the soul. Nothing like it in all the world: His presence supplies all wants, heals all maladies, saves from all dangers; is life in death, heaven in hell, all in all!”

JEREMIAH BURROUGHS (1600's)

(1599-1646)
Gospel Remission

“When God comes to pardon sin, it is such a mercy as comes from the fountain of God's everlasting love. Other mercies do not. Where this is not present, you cannot have evidence of God's eternal love. If God gives you health of body, good voyages at sea, and good comings in respect of the world, you cannot draw arguments from hence that God bears eternal love to your soul. But when He comes to pardon your sins, it is a certain evidence that God has set His love on you from all eternity. If there were a chain let down from heaven and you could take hold but of one link that would certainly bring you there, both ends would come together.

In Romans 8:30, there is a chain of many links let down, and if you can catch hold of the link of justification, you may certainly catch hold of predestination, for all hang together. If you are justified, then know for certain that you are a predestined man or woman whom God has set His heart upon from all eternity to do good. And this is a great happiness for a poor creature while he lives in this world, to know that God has set His heart upon him from all eternity to do him good. And, indeed, we can never be at rest until we come to this.”

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