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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DEVOTIONAL GLEANINGS Q - Z

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EDWARD REYNOLDS (1600's)

VOLUME 3: WORKS
SERMON: HOSEA 14:2,3
(1643)

“The Lord is pleased not only to enter into covenant with us, but to bind Himself to the performance of what He promiseth. Though whatever He bestow upon us, is all matter of mere and most free grace, wherein He is no debtor to us at all, yet He is pleased to bind Himself unto acts of grace. Men love to have all their works of favor free, and to reserve to themselves a power of alteration or revocation, as themselves shall please. But God is pleased, that His gifts should take upon them in some sense the condition of debts; and although He can owe nothing to the creature, yet He is contented to be a debtor to His own promises; and having at first in mercy made it, His truth is after engaged to the performance of it.

His word is established in Heaven; with Him “there is no variableness, nor shadow of change;” His “promises are not Yea and Nay, but in Christ, Amen.” If He speak a thing, it shall not fail.”

SAMUEL RUTHERFORD (1600's)

LETTERS
(Letter # 21)
(1664)

“…your hidden hope and your life shall appear. And therefore, since ye have not now many years to your endless eternity, and know not how soon the sky above your head will rive, and the Son of Man will be seen in the clouds of heaven, what better and wiser course can ye take, than to think that your one foot is here, and your other foot in the life to come, and to leave off loving, desiring, or grieving for the wants that shall be made up when your Lord and ye shall meet, and when ye shall give in your bill, that day, of all your wants here? If your losses be not made up, ye have place to challenge the Almighty; but is shall not be so. Ye shall then rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory and your joy shall none take from you. It is enough, that the Lord hath promised you great things, only let the time of bestowing them be in His own carving. It is not for us to set an hourglass to the Creator of time. Do not prigg with your frank-hearted and gracious Lord about the time of the fulfilling of your Joys. It will be; God hath said it; bide His harvest! His day is better than your day; He putteth not the hook in the corn till it be ripe and full-eared. Ye shall find it your only happiness, under whatever thing disturbeth and crosseth the peace of your mind, in this life, to love nothing for itself, but only God for Himself. It is the crooked love of some harlots, that they love bracelets, earrings, and rings better than the lover that sendeth them. God will not so be loved; for that were to behave as harlots, and not as the chaste spouse, to abate from our love when these things are pulled away. Our love to Him should begin on earth as it shall be in heaven; for the bride taketh not, by a thousand degrees, so much delight in her wedding garment as she doth in her bridegroom; so we, in the life to come, howbeit clothed with glory as with a robe, shall not be so much affected with the glory that goeth about us, as with the Bridegroom's joyful face and presence.”

(1664)
The Letters of Samuel Rutherford
Letter # 137

“Acquaint yourself with Christ's love, and ye shall not miss to find new golden mines and treasures in Christ. Nay, truly, we but stand beside Christ, we go not in to Him to take our fill of Him. But if He would do two things,--(1) Draw the curtains, and make bare His holy face; and then (2) Clear our dim and bleared eyes, to see His beauty and glory. He should find many lovers. I would seek no more happiness than a sight of Him so near-hand, as to see, hear, smell, and touch, and embrace Him. But oh, closed doors and vails, and curtains, and thick clouds hold me in pain, while I find the sweet burning of His love, that many waters cannot quench! Oh, what sad hours have I, when I think that the love of Christ bloweth by me! Oh, what am I, to love such a One, or to be loved by that high and lofty One! I think the angels may blush to look upon Him; and what am I to defile such infinite brightness with my sinful eyes! O that Christ would come near, and stand still, and give me leave to look upon Him! For to look seemeth the poor man's privilege, since he may, for nothing and without hire, behold the sun. I should have a king's life, if I had no other thing to do, than for evermore to behold and eye my fair Lord Jesus!”

THOMAS SHEPARD (1600's)

THE SINCERE CONVERT AND THE SOUND BELIEVER
(1692)

“He is an all-sufficient God. What lack you, therefore? You that would fain have this God, and the love of this God, but you are loth to take the pains to find Him, or to be at cost to purchase Him with the loss of all? Here is infinite, eternal, present sweetness, goodness, grace, glory, and mercy to be found in this God. Why post you from mountain to hill, why spend you your money, your thoughts, time, and endeavors, on things that satisfy not? Her is thy resting-place. Thy clothes may warm thee, but they cannot feed thee; thy meat may feed thee, but cannot heal thee; thy physic may heal thee, but cannot maintain thee; thy money may maintain thee, but cannot comfort thee when distresses of conscience and anguish of heart come upon thee. This God is joy in sadness, light in darkness, life in death, heaven in hell. Here is all thine eye ever saw, thine heart ever desired, thy tongue ever asked, thy mind ever conceived. Here is all light in this sun, and all water in this sea, out of Whom, as out of a crystal fountain, thou shalt drink down all the refined sweetness of all creatures in heaven and earth forever and ever. All the world is now seeking and tiring out themselves for rest; here only it can be found.”

THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
(1605-1649)

“If ever the Lord loves any man, He will first stop his mouth, whether Jew or Gentile, and make him, on his knees, know there is no reason for it, nay, all reason against it. Now, has not the Lord brought thee to this? And hence, having nothing to quench God's anger but Christ, hast held up Him before God; and having nothing to move Christ, hast held up His name before Him, and here hast rested thy wearied heart looking to Him, if any grace be begun in thee, that He would perfect it; if none, that He would begin it! I say, you are built in a rock higher than all powers of darkness; now a key is put into thy hand to unlock all God's treasure; now thou art in the very lap of love, wrapped up in it, when here thy heart rests; and therefore, if this be thus, see it, and wonder His name has moved Him to love me.

Whatever the law requires I have; at that instant I did believe I performed it in a Savior by faith; and that I myself may do every tittle of it, I come into a Savior for it by faith; so that when Satan objects you have no Christ, nor love of a Christ, because no faith, and no faith because you can not do this or that, answer, “I can not do it, indeed I never undertook it to have life or love thus; but I have done it in Another, and I can do all things by Christ, under whose grace I lie, and hence will be so far from doubting, that I will rejoice in my infirmities, that I am a fit subject for the power and grace of Christ to show itself upon.” Thus retire to the second covenant forever, if ever you would get any settled peace.”

RICHARD SIBBES (1577-1635)

WORKS: VOL 2
(1577-1635)

“From union of persons comes a communion of all other things whatsoever. “I am my Beloved"s, and my Beloved is mine.” If Christ Himself be mine, then all is mine. What He hath done, what He hath suffered, is mine; the benefit of all is mine. What He hath is mine. His prerogatives and privileges to the Son of God, and Heir of Heaven and the like, all is mine. Why? Himself is mine. Union is the foundation of communion. So it is here with the church, "“ am my Beloved"s.” My person is His, my life is His, to glorify Him, and to lay it down when He will. I am His, all mine is His. So you see there is union and communion mutually, between Christ and His church. The original and spring hereof is Christ's uniting and communicating Himself to His church first. The spring begins to the stream. What hath the stream or cistern in it, but what it had from the spring? Whatever is good in the world or lovely, it is either God or from God; it is either Christ or from Christ.

In the New covenant God works both parts, His own and our parts too. Our love to Him, our fear of Him, our faith in Him, He works all, even as He shows His own love to us.

This should be a ground of contentment in our condition and state whatsoever—Christ Himself is ours. In the dividing of all things, some men have wealth, honors, friends, and greatness, but not Christ, nor the love of God in Christ, and therefore they have nothing in mercy. But a Christian, he hat Christ Himself. Christ is his by faith and by the Spirit's witness. Therefore, what if he want those appendices, the lesser things? He hath the main; what if he want a rivulet, a stream? He hath the Spring, the Ocean; Him, in whom all things are, and shall he not be content? It is a reality. Christ is ours, and all things else are ours. He that can command all things is mine. Why then, do I want other things? Because He sees they are not for my good. If they were, He would not withhold them from me. If there were none to be had without a miracle, no comfort, no friends, He could and would make new out of nothing, nay, out of contraries, were it not better for me to be without them.”

(1577-1635)
Lydia 's Conversion
Vol. VI Works

“And a certain woman, named Lydia , a seller of purple, of the city
of Thyatira that worshipped God, whose heart the Lord opened …(Acts 16:14 )

“God, and God alone, opens the heart, by His Spirit in the use of the means. God opened Lydia 's heart.God hath many keys. He hath the key of heaven to command the rain to come down. He hath the key of the womb; the key of hell and the grave; and the key of the heart especially. He opens, and no man shuts; and shuts and no man opens. He hath the key of the heart to open the understanding, the memory, the will, and affections. God, and God only, hath the key of the heart to open that. It is His prerogative. He made the heart, and He only hath to do with the heart. He can unmake it, and make it new again, as those that make locks can do. And if the heart be in ill temper, He can take it in pieces, and bring it to nothing as it were, as it must be before conversion; and He can make it a new heart again. It is God that opens the heart, and God only. All the angels in heaven cannot give one grace, not the least grace. Grace comes altogether from God. It is only from God. All the creatures in the world cannot open the heart, but God only by His Holy Spirit. For nature cannot do above its sphere, as we say, above its own power. Natural things can do but natural things. For nature to raise itself up to believe heavenly things, it cannot be. Therefore as you see vapors go as high as the sun draws them up, and no higher, so the soul of man is lift up to heavenly things by the power of God's Spirit. God draws us and then we follow. God, I say, only openeth the heart.”

CHARLES SIMEON (1800's)

SIX HUNDRED SKELETONS OF SERMONS
VOL 2
(1810)

“Satan indeed is a roaring lion; but Jesus is the all-powerful lion of the tribe of Judah . Satan is the serpent that bruised the heel of Jesus; but Jesus is the woman's seed that effectually bruised his head. Jesus vanquished him in repeated combats. And at last triumphed over him upon the cross - Yea, and led him captive in His resurrection and ascension - Nor does He exercise less power IN His people, than He then did FOR them. His grace is sufficient to fortify us against the fieriest assaults of Satan, nor shall the weakness of His people counteract or retard His career of victory.”

“It was Jesus who made the worlds: and He it is who upholds them by the same “powerful word” that first spake them into existence. By Him all things maintain their proper courses, and the order first assigned them. Nor is there anything that happens either in the kingdom of providence or of grace, which does not proceed from His will, or tend to His glory. There is nothing so great but it is under His control, nothing so small but it occupies His attention. Every thing that is good owes its existence to His immediate agency, and every thing that is evil, to His righteous permission.”

GEORGE SWINNOCK (1600's)

(1627-1673)
The Christian Man's Calling
Volume 2 The Works of George Swinnock

“So reasonable and righteous is man's devoting himself to the worship of the blessed and most high God, that he cannot without manifest injustice, as well as ingratitude and folly, deny the exercising himself to godliness. Unless man were his own maker, he cannot have any title to become his own master. The Redeemer's title to us is certain, and clear, and unquestionable, whether we own it or no, and all the while we keep anything from Him or deny subjection to Him, we rob Him of His right: ‘Ye are not your own, but bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your bodies and spirits, which are God"s" 1 Cor. VI 20. The slave is not his own man, but his who redeemed him, though his proud and stubborn spirit may refuse to acknowledge it. Man is not in the condition of those persons who are servant by compact and agreement, for a year, or so long as they think fit, and upon their own terms; but like those whom the Romans took in war, over whose persons and estates they had an absolute dominion, as well as a right to their works and service. Though the commands of Christ are all holy, just, and good, as profitable for man, as honorable for Himself, yet He hath absolute authority over man, and all that he hath, and may command him what He pleaseth.

Yet, alas! Men who will give their relations their due, strangers their due, enemies their due, nay, according to their proverb, the very devil his due, and far more than his due, will not give Jesus Christ His due, but, against all justice and righteousness, rob and wrong Him of that which is His own, and dearly bought too.”

EBENEZER TEMPLE (1800's)

The Christian's Daily Treasury
Ebenezer Temple (1838)

“Come unto Me. " -Matt.11:28. To whom are we to come? To Jesus! Shall we go to angels? They cannot save us. To the law? It will condemn us. To the world? It will deceive us.

Whither can a wretch be flying,
But to Him who comfort gives.
Whither from the fear of dying,
But to Him who ever lives.

By what power are we to come? Not by our own. Who ever heard of the frozen heart melting into tenderness of itself? Or the dead soul quickening itself to spiritual life? Or the heart of stone changed by human power into a heart of flesh? The arm of omnipotence must be exerted, or nothing can be done to purpose."

JOSEPH THOMPSON (1800's)

(1852)
Stray Meditations
Or
Voices of the Heart in Joy And in Sorrow

“CHRIST is a foundation—the foundation of our hope, of our peace, of our salvation; the foundation of all true worship, of all true access to God; the foundation of that spiritual temple which Jehovah is rearing to Himself amid the ruins of the fall. He is the only foundation; the foundation that the Lord Himself has laid for the hopes of a perishing world. He is the cornerstone—the support and the connection of the whole building—the chief cornerstone, chosen, tried, precious, sure, adjusted by infinite wisdom and infinite power to its position of honor, or strength, and of beauty, in the stupendous work of man's redemption.

There is no benefit to us by Christ, without union with Him; no comfort in His riches, without an interest in them, and a title to them, by virtue of that union. This union is the spring of all spiritual consolations. And faith, by which we are thus united, is a Divine work. He that laid this foundation in Sion with His own hand, works likewise, with the same hand, faith in the heart, by which it is knit to this cornerstone. Faith is the cement that unites the soul to this sure foundation —the ethereal link that rivets it evermore to Christ..

Come then my soul, and join thyself to Christ alone. Build upon this sure foundation, and rivet thyself and thine immortal destiny to Christ, by every tie of gratitude and affection, with every fiber of thy being. Be not content to have believed in Him, to have built upon Him thy hope, but daily by new bonds rivet thyself to this living and eternal Rock!”

AGUSTUS MONTAGUE TOPLADY (1700's)

COMPLETE WORKS: LETTER 46
ON CONFORMITY TO CHRIST
(1794 )

“The clearer views God gives us of interest in His covenant, and in the unsearchable riches of Christ, the deeper we sink into a humbling sense of our own vileness and unfruitfulness. The same candle of the Holy Spirit, which shews us God's love, and our part in the Book of Life, discovers to us the exceeding hatefulness of sin, and convinces us that we are hell-deserving sinners. It also fires us with an inextinguishable wish and thirst for conformity to Christ in holiness, and effectually causes us to cry our with David, “Make me go in the path of Thy commandments, for therein is my desire.””


(1740-1778)
AUTHOR: ROCK OF AGES
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF AUGUSTUS TOPLADY
SERMON: LIFE A JOURNEY

“Remember that comfortable frames, though extremely desirable, are not the foundation of your safety. Our best and ultimate happiness is grounded on an infinitely firmer basis than any thing in us can supply. The immutability of God, the never failing efficacy of Christ's mediatorial work, and the invariable fidelity of the Holy Ghost, are the triple rock on which thy salvation stands. Whence that of the apostle: The foundation of the Lord [i.e. the decree, or covenant of the Lord] standeth sure; having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And again: Though we believe not [though we may occasionally reel and stagger and faint] ye He [faith's unchangeable author and immovable supporter] abideth faithful, and cannot deny Himself. Was He to deny His decree, He must deny Himself: for His decree is Himself decreeing. But He cannot do this. He cannot forego His covenant: for His covenant is Himself covenanting. He cannot reverse His promise: for His promise is Himself promising. Consequently, every believer is safe and can never be ultimately left or forsaken. As surely as effectual grace stirred thee up to undertake the heavenly journey, so surely shall glory crown thee at the end of thy pilgrimage.”

ROBERT TRAILL (1642-1716)

(1642-1716)
The Works Vol III Sermon XIX

“Make use of Christ as a High Priest constantly. There may be such a weakness amongst some believers, that they think, that when they began first upon godliness, they stood in need daily of the High Priest, they are weak and feeble: but after they have got a great deal of experience, they hope that that experience and the means of grace may do pretty well with them. No Christian can ever outlive the necessity of employing Christ as High Priest in all the steps of his life; and in the last step through death we must still lean upon this High Priest; we go by our High Priest within the vail, leaning and going through the vail of His flesh.

Let it be your thought, if there were a possibility of doing my matters with God about salvation, otherwise than by Jesus Christ, I would renounce them all, and take Jesus Christ. But this is the only way; it should be as our meat and drink. Believing on the Son of God, will never be strongly done till delightfully done. When the weary traveller casts himself with delight, as well as with confidence, upon the stone laid in Zion , he then feels the benefit of rest.”

CORNEILIUS TYREE (1800's)

(1879)
The Glorious Sufficiency of Christ

“In Jesus Christ we have a fullness of truth and evidence to remove our unbelief and induce us to exercise the strongest faith in Him.

By disbelief we lost the favor and image of God, and it is only by believing in the Son of God that the Divine favor and image can be regained. But faith must have an approachable, divine, and adequate object. Such is Jesus Christ. He is not only all that God the Father can require in a Mediator, but He meets all that unbelief can demand in the way of objection. Of all beings He is the most accessible, reliable, and trustworthy. Nor is this all the truth in regard to Him. In the highest sense He is the truth itself. Jesus Christ is the truth concentrated and incarnated. He is the living center, in which all the lines of Old and New Testament truth meet and are embodied; and as a living local exemplification of the truth. If He is both God and man, then Christianity cannot be false; if He is not, then it cannot be true. If the historical Jesus of the New Testament is not divine, then the world's history has no meaning, aim, or clue, the church no adequate foundation to rest on, Christianity becomes a fable and our hope of heaven a dream. But if the character and work of the Redeemer are divine, and the sum and substance of the Bible; if He is the center around which all the great events of the world, secular and religious, have revolved in constant subserviency; if He is the life-blood of our civilization and literature, the very foundation and sanction of our laws and institutions; if all around us He is transforming lives and characters, and we hear Him breathed from the lips and behold Him exemplified in the lives of our nearest friends—how can we honestly doubt and disbelieve Him?

Study not Christianity, but Christ; ponder, not redemption, but the Redeemer, not salvation, but the living, moving Savior, that was, and is, and ever will be, and the mind will be convinced, and the heart savingly won to Him. In the person, character, and work of Christ is included and offered all that God can give, and all that man can need.”

THOMAS WATSON (1700's)

(1759)
A Body of Practical Divinity
“Of Peace”

“Peace flows from sanctification; but they, being unregenerate, have nothing to do with peace. Isaiah 57:21 “ There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked .” They may have a truce, but no peace. God may forbear the wicked a while, and stop the roaring of His cannon; but tho" there be a truce, yet no peace. The wicked may have something, which looks like peace, but it is not. They may be fearless and stupid; but there is a great difference between a stupefied conscience, and a pacified conscience. Luke 11:21 “ When a strong man keeps his palace, his goods are in peace .” This is the Devil's peace; he rocks men in the cradle of security; he cries, ‘ peace, peace" , when men are on the precipice of hell. The seeming peace that a sinner hath is not from the knowledge of his happiness, but the ignorance of his danger.

Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. He seals up peace to the conscience; the Spirit clears up the work of grace in the heart, from whence ariseth peace. There was a well of water near Hagar, but she did not see it, therefore wept. A Christian hath grace, but doth not see it, therefore weeps. Now the Spirit discovers this well of water, He enables the conscience to witness to a man that he hath the real work of grace, and so peace flows into the soul. Thus you see whence this peace comes, the Father decrees it, the Son purchaseth it, the Holy Ghost applies it."

BODY OF DIVINITY
CHRIST'S HUMILIATION IN HIS INCARNATION
(1759)

“That Christ should clothe Himself with our flesh, a piece of that earth which we tread upon; O infinite humility! Christ's taking our flesh, was one of the lowest steps of His humiliation. Christ did humble Himself more in lying in the virgin's womb, than in hanging upon the cross. It was not so much for man to die, but for God to become man, that was the wonder of humility. For Christ to be made flesh was more humility than for the angels to be made worms. For Him to be made flesh who was equal with God, O humility! He stood upon even ground with God; He was co-essential and con-substantial with the Father, yet for all this, He takes flesh. Christ stripped Himself of the robes of His glory and covered Himself with the rags of our humanity. If Solomon did so wonder that God should dwell in the temple, which was enriched and hung with gold, how may we wonder that God should dwell in man's weak and frail nature?”

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW (1800's)

The Precious Things Of God (1860)


“Receive as precious everything that flows from the government of Jesus. A precious Christ can give you nothing but what is precious. Welcome the rebuke - it may be humiliating; welcome the trial - it may be painful; welcome the lesson - it may be difficult; welcome the cup - it may be bitter; welcome everything that comes from Christ in your individual history. Everything is costly, salutary, and precious that Jesus sends. The rude tones of Joseph's voice, when he spake to his brethren, were as much the echoes of his concealed affection, as the softest, gentlest accents that breathed from his lips. The most sever disciplinary dispensations in the government of Christ are as much the fruit of His eternal, redeeming love, as was the tenderest and most touching expression of that love uttered from the cross.

All is precious, wise, and salutary in the dealings of Christ. His teachings, His woundings, His withholdings, His withdrawings, His sayings, His changed countenance, His altered tones, - when, in a word, His uplifted hand lights heavily upon us, smiting us seven times, even
then, oh, how precious should Christ be to the believing soul! Then it is we learn by experience what a balsam exudes from His pierced heart for the very wound His own hand afflicted! - what a covert from the stormy wind, and what a hiding place is He from the fierce tempest which His own providence created! - what a succouring, appropriate to our sorrow, springs from the very hand that winged the dart which pierced us through and through! Oh, precious Christ! so divine, so all-sufficient, so indescribably precious, may we not welcome with thankfulness and receive with submission all that Thou dost send - the mingled
ingredients of bitter and sweet, the blended tints of light and shade, of all the wise, righteous, and salutary dispensations of Thy wise, loving, and ever watchful providence?”

THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD
OCTAVIUS WINSLOW (1860)

“Beware of making a Christ of your faith, precious as it is. If you are staying away from the Savior because your faith is weak, you are substituting your faith for Christ—the channel for the Fountain of comfort, peace, and salvation. If I have a mission to the sovereign of these realms—some petition to prefer—and I linger upon the steps that conduct me to the royal presence, or in the corridor that leads me into the royal chamber, what marvel if I have no audience, and, consequently, no response to my request? That lofty flight of steps, that magnificent corridor, are but introductions to my approach to the sovereign, not the sovereign herself. Such is faith! Divine and precious as it is, faith is but the path that leads us to the King. And although it is often with hesitation and weakness we tread this royal pathway, yet each new step upon which we place our foot brings us nearer to Jesus. We must, however, beware of lingering upon the steps, or of loitering in the ante-rooms, substituting our going to Christ for our having actually come to Christ. Onward we must press, discouraged not by our slow, nor elated by our rapid progress—counting nothing of our faith but as a mean to an end—that end our full reception of the Lord Jesus—until we find ourselves in the royal presence, “beholding the King in His beauty.””

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