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



Click on an author for selected readings

Kuyper, Abraham (1800's)

Murray, Andrew (1800's)



“Observe that “blessing” differs from “favor” in this, that “favor” flows over you directly, but that “blessing” must be pronounced upon you. Blessing is always a spoken something, something given you by means of words, something which in unmistakable terms grants you a promise, which is consciously, personally bestowed upon you. When God, the Lord, before the Fall, blessed man, we read, “God blessed him and said .” And the “said” implies a promise of might and of lordship applying not to animals and angels but only to man, and which, though apparently annihilated by sin, nevertheless proved characteristic in the man Christ Jesus and in His redeemed people. In this lies the remarkable difference between “favor” and “blessing.” Favor suggests only that there is a beautiful, blessed life in God which He is to share; it suggests that He has the power to share it, and that there are movements of His mercy tending in that direction. But blessing signifies something different, for that one word implies that the capacity for blessing has entered into God's thought, that it has there developed into a plan which has grown into a decision, and which has now been made known. Blessing means that He has now personally applied it, that He has applied it to you and to me, and that in the divine faithfulness of His Word He has related favor with your soul and mine.

Weal, grace, favor, are not specific, but blessing always is. Blessing is favor which has passed over God's lips, which is directed to a specific object, and which continues going there. He, the Lord, sustains the duration of every spoken word infinitely. No word ever spoken by Him has died away. His actions are never past, they never cease functioning. He pronounces a blessing upon us and in that pronouncement is contained the power by which we are given bliss. But that pronouncement also contains the power by which that bliss is sustained from moment to moment, now and throughout eternity. For if the Lord God would drop His voice for the space of a moment, would for a moment cease whispering blessing to us, we would in that moment again sink into the abyss and be lost. Our light would be extinguished. The permanence of our blessing is owing to that sure and unchangeable faithfulness by which He, the Merciful One, continues in the pronouncement of blessing.”


“When they pass through the valley of mulberry trees they
make Him a well; yea, the raincloud shall cover the with
blessings” (Psalm 84:6 Dutch Version)

“ To worship the Fountain of life in the living God and in His Christ has thus become our comforting imagery.

And now you must have seen for yourself in mountain villages what the village well, the village spring there, is, in order to grasp the rich significance of this imagery. In those small villages, there is, as a rule, only one well, one fountain located in the midst of the public square. From this one fountain, from this single well, the whole village drinks. Every one goes from his house to this well to fill his pitchers, and morning and evening to carry the provision of precious water to his home. Horse and cattle are led thither to drink from this same spring. And, likewise, soiled clothes are carried there, in order when washed white to be taken home again.

So this one village-well is the center of the whole village life. Everything gathers around it. At the well, people meet one another. At the well, conversation is held. At the well, the common life is lived. And so the whole village community feels that this well is in very deed the fountain of life for the entire village.

God is the Fountain of life. Without God we would perish from thirst in our miseries, and that God, and God alone, is the center in Whom all they that fear His Name realize that they are one, and that together they lead on life. In Christ the Fountain of life has been brought into our human life and into our human nature. This one Christ is the Fountain of life for the whole village, if we may so express ourselves, of the congregation of the Lord in the earth. It is from this being One in Christ, and from this real life which is refreshed and sustained by water from this one Fountain, that believers on earth, in spite of difference and dispute, derive each day anew the strength of unity by which to realize and to work out the kingdom of heaven on earth.”


Spiritual Treasury

“Behold the inseparable connection between grace and Jesus, knowledge and growth. No growth in grace but by the knowledge of Jesus. The more thou growest up in thy Head, Christ, the more thou wilt grow out of hope in thyself, out of conceit with thyself, out of the reach of the self-righteously wicked.

To know and experience the grace of God in Christ is the special mercy of poor sinners. To grow in the faith of free-grace truths, and in the knowledge of the love of Jesus, is our richest consolation, our highest joy. Hast thou experienced a little of this special grace; hast thou tasted that the Lord is gracious? In this consists thy present blessedness, peace, and joy. But, alas, what is thy knowledge and experience, but like a drop of water to the vast ocean. Art thou hungering after more grace, thirsting after greater knowledge of Jesus? Verily, thou shalt be filled—‘filled with all the fullness of God". It is the nature of grace, the property of the knowledge of Jesus, to create an insatiable thirst in the soul after deeper experiences of it.

The smallest knowledge of Jesus shall be increased till the believing babe in Christ comes ‘in the unity of the faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;" until faith is turned into sight, hope swallowed up in fruition, and the love of an unseen Jesus on earth shall ripen into the fullest enjoyment of Him in heaven."


Enthusiasm to see Jesus! Enthusiastic this? Then all are blind but rank enthusiasts: for the essence of the gospel, the joy of sinners, and the glory of faith, consist in this sight. What is life itself without it? For, alas, we have lost all righteousness, holiness, and happiness, in ourselves; but we see all these, with heaven and glory, restored to us in Christ. Oh blessed day, happy hour, joyful moment, when the sight of our inestimably precious Savior first saluted the eyes of our mind, and became the object of our faith! It was the beginning of days; yea, our birthday to eternal blessedness. This sight is a feast to our souls all the year. We delight to begin the year with seeing Jesus. We salute one another with, “I wish you a happy new year.” What mean we, but I wish you to see Jesus. What can make the year happy without this? This creates heaven in the soul: then it is a happy year indeed.”


Additional Remains
Sermon XXIV

“In His death He became poor.
(1.) Once His ear was filled with the holy songs of angels, hymning their pure praises: “Holy, holy, holy;” now His ears are filled with the cry of His creatures: “Not this man, but Barabbas”—“Crucify Him, crucify Him.” Once every face was veiled before Him; now rulers deride Him—soldiers mock Him—thieves rail on Him. They shoot out the lip—they wag the head—they give Him vinegar to drink. “He became poor” indeed.

(2.) Once God loved Him without a cloud between; now not a ray of divine love fell upon His soul; but instead of it, a stream of infinite wrath. He that once said: “The Lord possessed Me: I was daily His delight,” now cried: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” Ah! This was poverty indeed!

(3.) Once He gave being to unnumbered worlds—gave life to all—He was the Prince of life; but now He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost. He lay down in the grave among worms. He became a worm, and no man.

Ah! This is what is set before you in bread and wine today: The Son of God became poor. He takes simple bread, to show you it is a poor man that is set before you—broken bread, to show that He is a crucified Savior. Ah! Sinners, whilst you gaze on these simple elements, remember the sufferings of Him who is the Lord of glory, and who died for sinners. “This do in remembrance of Me.””


“The Humiliation of the Man Christ Jesus”

“It was humility in Christ to die at all. Who then was this mysterious man of whom it can be said that He humbled Himself in dying? Who can that man be, in whom that was humility which, in others, is necessity?

If it were humility in the man to die, there must have been a power in the man of refusing to die. If, in becoming “obedient unto death,” the man “humbled Himself,” there can be no debate that His dying was a voluntary act: and that, had He chosen to decline submission to the rending asunder of soul and body, He might have continued to this day, unworn by disease, unbroken by age, the immortal man, the indestructible flesh. He in whom it was humility to die, must have been one who could have resisted, through a succession of ages, the approaches of death, and thus have still trodden our earth, the child of centuries past, the heir of centuries to come.

Christ took our nature with its infirmities, and to die is one of these infirmities. There is no sin in dying. It is, indeed, a consequence on sin, but consequences may be endured without share in the cause. And this was humility!

If, on becoming man, He had ceased to be God, there would have been no humility in His death. He would have submitted to what He could not have declined. But since, on becoming what He was not, He ceased not to be what He was, He brought down into the fashion of man all the life-giving energies which appertained to Him as God; and He stood on the earth, the wondrous combination of two natures in one person; the one nature infirm and tending to decay, the other self-existent, and the source of all being throughout a crowded immensity. And the one nature might have eternally kept up the other; and, withstanding the inroads of disease, and pouring in fresh supplies of vitality, have given undecaying vigor to the mortal, perpetual youth to the corruptible. But He did humble Himself. His death was an act of stupendous humility. Death was avoidable, but He submitted; the grave might have been overstepped, but He entered.”


Sermons on the Beatitudes
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
(Matthew 5:3)

“Poverty in spirit, then, is not poverty in body; nor is it poverty in the specific soul, but it is poverty in the higher or spiritual part of man. It is not poverty in the body, so as to mean the mere want of money, or the luxuries or comforts which money brings... Still less is it poverty in the lower or specific soul and its desires, so as to mean a feeble and ignoble disposition, falling naturally below the energy of man's wishes or ambition. This sort of poverty has no blessing in either Gospel; nor is it blessed.

It must be a willing poverty, of grace, not of nature, in the higher and spiritual part of man; not an outwardly imposed condition, nor an inward deficiency of force, but a willing and gracious selection and acquiescence by the spirit of a Christian enlightened and enabled by the Holy Spirit of God, in a place, condition, desires, and the like, analogous to that which belongs to the outwardly and literally poor. It must be a weakness, so to say, that comes of strength; a poverty, so to call it, on the earth, that comes of riches not on the earth. For the word poverty plainly belongs to this world, and the poor in spirit is surely he who, while he remains here, is in his spirit as a poor man among men, content to take and occupy the poor man's place, having no personal ambition nor desire of anything greater upon the earth, lowly, and content with lowliness, unaffectedly, simply lowly among men, and in respect of the things which belong to this world.

Blessed, then, is he who thus in his spirit, his higher spiritual nature, informed and illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God, is as a poor man among men upon this earth, not eager for its rewards or honours, nor ambitious of its first places, lowly and unaffectedly content with lowliness!
(May we)… by His grace realize more and more the lofty lowliness of the blessed poor in spirit, for whom, whatever be the lowness of their place on earth, the high places are surely appointed in the kingdom of heaven.”


(Name pronounced with a silent “d”; thus, Mono)
“The Weapon in Christ's Conflict”

“What is “tempting God?” Why would Jesus have “tempted God,” by throwing Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple? “To tempt,” or to try God, is, as the natural meaning of the words indicates, to put God upon trial, and thus to test His faithfulness; while faith simply trusts to God, and relies upon His fidelity as upon an immovable rock. Faith speaks thus: “God has said, and will He not perform it?” The only pledge He asks of His promise is the promise itself. He, who tempts God, speaks altogether another language: Can God do it? Will He do it? Then, in his anxiety to solve his doubt, he takes upon himself to prescribe to God certain conditions, which he must see accomplished before he can rest upon His promise. The Israelites tempted the Lord at Rephidim, by asking water to drink, and asking in such a spirit, that they would judge, from the reception given to their request, “whether the Lord was amongst them or no.” They tempted Him again at Kibrath Hattaavah, by demanding a new species of nourishment, and by saying: “Behold, He smote the rock and the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can He give bread also: can He provide flesh for His people?”

Jesus, in His turn, would have tempted God, if He had thrown Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple; for having neither command nor necessity to impel Him to so strange an act, He could not say: God will keep me; but at most, Will God keep Me? Will He conduct me safe to the ground? Let Me try.

Dear brethren, Satan can tempt us also to tempt God. It is written: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” When exposed to any danger by the will of God, be firm and immovable; but never create perils for yourselves; never try God, never engage His glory for naught; and if placed on the pinnacle of the temple, do not cast yourselves down, but descend quietly and humbly by the stairs of the edifice.”



“He does not say, What dost thou wish? But, What dost thou will? One often wishes for a thing without willing it. I wish to have a certain article, but I find the price too high; I resolve not to take it; I wish, but do not will to have it. The sluggard wishes to be rich, but does not will it. Many a one wishes to be saved, but perishes because he does not will it.

The will rules the whole heart and life; if I really will to have anything that is within my reach, I do not rest until I have it. And so, when Jesus says to us, “What wilt thou?” He asks whether it is indeed our purpose to have what we ask at any price, however great the sacrifice. Dost thou indeed so will to have it that, though He delay it long, thou dost not hold thy peace till He hear thee? Alas! How many prayers are wishes, sent up for a short time and then forgotten, or sent up year after year as matter of duty, while we rest content with the prayer without the answer.

But, it may be asked, is in not best to make our wishes known to God, and then to leave it to Him to decide what is best, without seeking to assert our will? By no means. This is the very essence of the prayer of faith, to which Jesus sought to train His disciples, that it does not only make known its desire and then leave the decision to God. That would be the prayer of submission, for cases in which we cannot know God's will.

But the prayer of faith, finding God's will in some promise of the Word, pleads for that till it come. Faith is nothing but the purpose of the will resting on God's Word, and saying: I must have it. To believe truly is to will firmly.”


VOL. 8

“What we want is personal knowledge of a Person: we would know not only the works, but the author, for they are mutually explanatory. Know the man if you would understand his actions; know God if you would comprehend nature, providence, or grace. The devout student says he finds God's footprints everywhere; he says they are on the rocks, across the heavens, on the heaving wave, and on the flying wind; to him, therefore, keeping company with science is only another way of “walking with God.” Science becomes a wise and reverent guide, opening doors just far enough (for it can never do more than set the door ajar) to give him a glance at the milder glories of the Eternal King; and does he in return offer oblations to Science? Does he mistake the guide for the Sovereign? Nay! He thanks Science as you would thank one who had led you to a position whence you could contemplate “such a light as never shone on land or sea.” Science is nothing to the devout student, except so far as it brings him nearer God; he must find not only the writing, but the Writer; not only the voice, but the Speaker: as Science conducts him through the innumerable chambers of creation, he exclaims, “My heart crieth out for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Thus is the devout student continually reverting to the “Who”; he “glories,” not in the architecture, but in the Architect—not in the ladder on which angels travel, but in the God against whose heart the head of that ladder rests. We may pursue science, conquer creation, lay nature at our feet; but we must remember that to know everything but Jesus Christ is nothing but thinly disguised and ruinous insanity.”



“Change is in us and not in God. God is always the same, but we are not the same. When God is pacified towards those with whom He was offended, they are changed, not He. He is the same as He was. And when He is angry with saints with whom He was before at peace, they are changed, not He. The change was in Job, not in God, when he said, “Thou art turned to be cruel to me.” His love is the same. His wrath is the same. His mercy is the same. His justice is the same, and that forever; but we, changing, are cast sometimes under the effects of His love and sometimes under the effects of His wrath. We are sometimes under the saddest droppings of His justice, and sometimes under the sweetest influences of His mercy.

If a man changes his direction, and turns his body to face another point of the heavens, that part of the heavens, which was before at his right hand is now at his left. The heavens are still as they were; they change not, either their position or motion, but the man has changed his. So the wrath and love, the justice and mercy of God stand always at the same point, but we turn, sometimes justice-ward, sometimes mercy-ward. Now we face His wrath, and then we face His love. Thus the change is in us and not in God, and so He remains unchangeable still.”


“The souls of the saints should be at rest in God, or, the frame and posture of soul the saints should live in is a frame and posture of rest in God.

Whatever the saints" condition may be, or whatever dispensations they may be exercised with, yet their souls should be at rest in God. David's soul was for a time gone off its rest; it was gone from the sedateness, composure, and satisfaction which it was wont to have in God. His condition was full of trouble and disturbance, and his soul was filled with trouble and disturbance too; but here, tacitly at least, he rebukes his soul for this, and expressly commands it to return to rest again, to a rest in God, and that as its proper posture. Mark how he speaks: “Return unto thy rest, O my soul.” The proper posture of the souls of the saints is to be at rest in God, and that posture they should be in at all times and in all conditions.

But what is it for a soul to be at rest in God or to live in a posture of rest in God? In general, it is for a soul to sit down satisfied with what God does as best, and with what God is as all. So this rest of the soul in God lies in two things: first, in a free and cheerful submission to the divine will and providence; second, in a full and ample satisfaction in and with divine presence and fullness. And, oh, the beauty, the sweetness, the amiableness that both these carry in them!”



“Adoption brings us into sweet communion with God: thus the apostle, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” (2 Cor. 6:16 ) I will dwell in them and walk in them, who can express it? In the sons of God there is an ark with the tables of the law in it, and a sanctuary with the shechinah, or divine majesty in it; God's gracious presence is spiritual shewbread, and His love burns upon the heart, as the fire that came down from heaven upon the altar; when they are sacrificing in holy duties, God doth wonderfully by His quickening and elevating influences; and when they are suffering in the briers and flames of affliction, God is in the bush supporting and preserving them; if conscience breathes sweetness and peace, God is in the still voice; if their graces be set forth, God is a supping with them; nay, if there be but a poor spirit and weak desires, God will sup with these; the holy light and integrity in their heart is a kind of Urim and Thummim to direct them, and the heavenly motions and inspirations are, as it were, a voice from heaven for their instruction; in a word, all the appearances of God in the worldly sanctuary, and outward symbols of glory under the Old Testament, are spiritually accomplished under the New, in the adopted, who are an habitation of God through the Spirit."


“Faith doth not justify by its own intrinsical value and dignity. There is nothing in it commensurate to so great a blessing; nothing in it to measure with the pure law; nothing in it to pay off divine justice; nothing in it to weigh against the guilt of sin; nothing in it to purchase the favor of God; nothing in it to cover a soul, withal; no, nor the nakedness of its own imperfections. It is a poor self-emptying, self-annihilating thing, which lives upon alms, and goes up and down in the gospel from one door of the promises to another to beg a spiritual livelihood: all it hath is in a way of receiving. It receives the atonement, receives the gift of righteousness, receives the Spirit of grace, receives remission of sins; but gives not of them out of its own.

True faith will confess, as John did, “I am not the Christ;” I was never crucified for you; I never fulfilled all righteousness for you; I am but the echo to the gospel-grace; I do but prepare a way in the heart for Christ and His righteousness, to receive all praise and glory there.


“O what wonders of power are here! Here God was made man; the Creator became one with His creature! Had the whole world been crowded into a single atom, it would have been infinitely a less wonder than this; the putting a greater finite into a less, cannot be comparable to the taking of finite into infinite. Here are two natures, a divine and a human, in themselves infinitely distant, met in personal conjunction; finite is not absorbed by infinite, infinite is not changed by finite. Here eternal dwells in the same person with temporal, yet runs not into succession; immortal dwells with mortal, yet falls not into passion.

Here we have, in some respect, more of divine power manifested than there was in the making of the world. When mere nothing was by an almighty word elevated into elements, plants, beasts, men, angels, still it was but into finite; but here a finite human nature was taken into infinite: and between the infinite God and the human nature the disparity must be far greater than it is between a world and nothing. Never any work did so fully answer and correspond to omnipotence as this!”

J.C. PHILPOT (1800's)

Hebrews 6:18-19

“The anchor of the soul is so strong that it cannot break, and the ground is so good that it must ever hold fast. For where is this anchor fixed? “Within the veil.” Who is there? Jesus at the right hand of God. The anchor of a ship will sometimes what is called “come home;” The sand or gravel does not hold the fluke firm, and the anchor drags along the ground and thus becomes practically useless. Or the wind might be so strong as to break the cable. The hawser might part, or, if a chain cable, one of the links might break, and all the precautions taken by the most skilful seamen prove ineffectual. But not so with our anchor: that is “sure.” The stock can never break, the chain never part. And it is “steadfast,” so that it can never move. Why? Because it is within the veil, takes fast hold of heavenly ground, and, I hardly like to use the expression lest I should drop anything derogatory to His divine Person, it takes hold of the Lord Himself, so that He Himself must be dragged from His eternal throne before the anchor can fail to hold the ship. Now this anchor will never fail you in any difficulties. Whatever storms may beat upon your heart or threaten your destruction, if you have this good hope through grace, this anchor of your soul both sure and steadfast, it will certainly hold to the end.”

“The Superaboundings of Grace”

“The word death is not often made use of in the New Testament as expressing the decease of the saints. Of Stephen we read, for instance, “And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:60) The Holy Ghost would not allow that Stephen died; He therefore changed the word death into sleep. So we are bidden “not to sorrow for them which are asleep even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” (I Thess. 4:14) “We shall not all sleep,” that is, die, says the apostle, “but we shall all be changed.” (I Cor. 15:51) In this way death itself to the saint of God is turned into sleep. It has not only lost its sting and is robbed of its victory, but has lost also its name and its nature; so that when the saint, after a life of faith, is at last laid down in his grave, it is but as the laying of a babe in the cradle by its watchful mother, that it may rest in sleep until the time of its waking. The resurrection morn will come, the trumpet will sound, “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” (I Thes. 4:16) Then the sleeping dust will be raised—not as it was deposited in the tomb in corruption, in dishonor, and weakness, but in incorruption, in glory, and power, meet companion for an immortal soul, and designed to dwell forever with Christ in indissoluble union in the mansions of bliss. Does not grace triumph here, and take the axe of death out of the hand of the executioner?”

“The eagle and her young”

“He instructs the soul into a knowledge of electing love, of atoning blood, of justifying righteousness, of unfailing faithfulness, of infinite compassion and everlasting mercy. And all these lessons are “to profit;” they “sink down,” as the Lord speaks, “into the ears;” they drop into the heart, and become “spirit and life” to the soul. We must learn by experience. It is not by reading books, nor even the scriptures themselves; it is not by hearing men, nor by conversing with God's people that we can obtain any right experience of the teachings of God. Hundreds have had all these advantages, yet have had no teaching from above.

Life in Christ can no more be learned by theory than swimming. A man may stand on the brink, and see a person swim, and move his hands in imitation. Put him into the water, and he will soon sink to the bottom. So in Christ. Put a man into the waves and billows of temptation, and he will soon sink if He, who teaches the hands to war and the fingers to fight, has not taught his arms to swim. We must have our personal trials, and personal mercies; our own temptations, and our own deliverances; our own afflictions, and our own consolations; and learn each and every branch of the divine life for ourselves. God so teaches His people as though each was the only scholar in His school, and takes as much pains with each pupil as though there were no other in the world for Him to teach.”


“Whatever our need be, it is not beyond the reach of divine supply: and the deeper our need, the more is Jesus glorified in supplying it. As long as we can do without Him, He, so to speak, will do without us; as long as we trifle and play with our ailments, our doubts, and fears, the Lord will stand back: but when nobody can bless us but He, and nobody can do us good but He, He will not be long in tarrying. He is now behind the lattice, hidden only by the wall; He only waits to hear a few more knocks; and when the soul is so pressed down that it cannot do without Him, He will shine from behind the lattice, blessedly appear, and make it happy in Himself.

It is a truth, then, which will stand forever, that “God will supply all our need, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.” If any of His people lived and died without their spiritual want being supplied, God would forfeit His word. But He will never suffer any one to charge Him with that; He will never let anyone say that He was not faithful to His promise. He will prove, before men and devils, saints and sinners, that He has never given a promise in the Scripture which He has not fulfilled, or which He will not fulfill to the very letter. No case can be too bad; no temptations can be too powerful; no sin can be too black; no enigma can be too hard; no state in which the soul can get is beyond the reach of the almighty and compassionate love that burns hot in the breast of the Redeemer”