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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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What Does Revelation Teach About The Final Apostasy?

Part 21

What Is True Humility?

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

“Spiritual pride takes great notice of opposition and injuries that are received and is apt to be often speaking of them and to be much in taking notice of their aggravations, either with an air of bitterness or contempt. Whereas pure and unmixed Christian humility disposes a person rather to be like his blessed Lord, when reviled, dumb, not opening his mouth, but committing himself in silence to him that judges righteously. . . . It becomes the followers of the Lamb of God, when the world is in an uproar about them and full of clamor against them, not to raise another noise to answer it but to be still and quiet. . . . Meekness and quietness among God’s people, when opposed and reviled, would be the surest way to have God remarkably to appear for their defense. . . . Nothing is so effectual to bring God down from heaven in the defense of his people as their patience and meekness under sufferings.”

Jonathan Edwards, “Thoughts on the Revival,” in Works, I:401.

“Jacob I Have Loved”

Thomas Jefferson On Swindling The Future

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys. … The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife. … We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. … The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale. … If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy. … I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. … The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. … [A] wise and frugal government…shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. … Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”

Presbyterians And The American Revolution

Loraine Boettner

Loraine Boettner

Quoting Loraine Boettner:

With [America’s Christian Calvinist] background we shall not be surprised to find that the Presbyterians took a very prominent part in the American Revolution. Our own historian Bancroft says: ‘The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, the Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster.’ So intense, universal, and aggressive were the Presbyterians in their zeal for liberty that the war was spoken of in England as ‘The Presbyterian Rebellion.’ An ardent colonial supporter of King George III wrote home: ‘I fix all the blame for these extraordinary proceedings upon the Presbyterians. They have been the chief and principal instruments in all these flaming measures. They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchial spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere.’ When the news of ‘these extraordinary proceedings’ reached England, Prime Minister Horace Walpole said in Parliament, ‘Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson’ (John Witherspoon, president of Princeton, signer of Declaration of Independence).

History is eloquent in declaring that American democracy was born of Christianity and that that Christianity was Calvinism. The great Revolutionary conflict which resulted in the formation of the American nation, was carried out mainly by Calvinists, many of whom had been trained in the rigidly Presbyterian College at Princeton, and this nation is their gift to all liberty loving people.

Revelation And The Second Coming Of Christ

Part 20

Is Your Life Unholy?

spurgeonleftQuoting Charles Spurgeon:

Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy, then your heart is unchanged, and you are an unsaved person. The Savior will sanctify His people, renew them, give them a hatred of sin, and a love of holiness. The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not in their sins, but from their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.

John Adams On Education

John Adams

John Adams

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. … If we suffer [the minds of young people] to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives. … The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families… How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers? … We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. … The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People … they may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. … A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Calvinism And America

first-landing-pilgrims-hus1-57Quoting Loraine Boettner:

When we come to study the influence of Calvinism as a political force in the history of the United States we come to one of the brightest pages of all Calvinistic history. Calvinism came to America in the Mayflower, and Bancroft, the greatest of American historians, pronounces the Pilgrim Fathers ‘Calvinists in their faith according to the straightest system.’ John Endicott, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; John Winthrop, the second governor of that Colony; Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut; John Davenport, the founder of the New Haven Colony; and Roger Williams, the founder of the Rhode Island Colony, were all Calvinists. William Penn was a disciple of the Huguenots. It is estimated that of the 3,000,000 Americans at the time of the American Revolution, 900,000 were of Scotch or Scotch-Irish origin, 600,000 were Puritan English, and 400,000 were German or Dutch Reformed. In addition to this the Episcopalians had a Calvinistic confession in their Thirty-nine Articles; and many French Huguenots also had come to this western world. Thus we see that about two-thirds of the colonial population had been trained in the school of Calvin. Never in the world’s history had a nation been founded by such people as these.

According To Revelation, When Is Satan Bound?

Part 19

Did The Book Of Revelation Mean One Thing To First Century Christians And Now Another To Modern Christians?

Part 18

Indwelling Truth Will Manifest Itself In Zeal

spurgeon4From: The Desk of Charles Spurgeon

If we really believe a truth, we shall be decided about it. Certainly we are not to show our decision by that obstinate, furious, wolfish bigotry which cuts off every other body from the chance and hope of salvation and the possibility of being regenerate or even decently honest if they happen to differ from us about the color of a scale of the great leviathan. . . . Don’t go about the world with your fist doubled up for fighting, carrying a theological revolver in the leg of your trousers. . . .

If you really believe the gospel, you will be decided for it in more sensible ways. Your very tone will betray your sincerity; you will speak like a man who has something to say, which he knows to be true. . . . Luther was the man for decision. Nobody doubted that he believed what he spoke. He spoke with thunder, for there was lightning in his faith. The man preached all over, for his entire nature believed. You felt, “Well, he may be mad, or he may be altogether mistaken, but he assuredly believes what he says. He is the incarnation of faith; his heart is running over at his lips.”

If we would show decision for the truth, we must not only do so by our tone and manner, but by our daily actions. A man’s life is always more forcible than his speech; when men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as pounds and his words as pence. If his life and his doctrines disagree, the mass of lookers-on accept his practice and reject his preaching. . . . I can conceive no surer method of prejudicing men against the truth than by sounding her praises through the lips of men of suspicious character. . . . [How absurd and sad] to see a professed ambassador of the cross covetous, worldly, passionate, or sluggish. How strange it would be to hear a man say, “I am a servant of the Most High God, and I will go wherever I can get the most salary. I am called to labor for the glory of Jesus only, and I will go nowhere unless the church is of most respectable standing. For me to live is Christ, but I cannot do it under five hundred pounds per annum.”

Brother, if the truth be in thee it will flow out of thine entire being as the perfume streams from every bough of the sandal-wood tree; it will drive thee onward as the trade-wind speeds the ships, filling all their sails; it will consume thy whole nature with its energy as the forest fire burns up all the trees of the wood. Truth has not fully given thee her friendship till all thy doings are marked with her seal. We must show our decision for the truth by the sacrifices we are ready to make. . . . We must be ready to give up anything and everything for the sake of the principles which we have espoused, and must be ready to offend our best supporters, to alienate our warmest friends, sooner than belie our consciences.

We must be ready to be beggars in purse, and offscourings in reputation, rather than act treacherously. We can die, but we cannot deny the truth. The cost is already counted, and we are determined to buy the truth at any price, and sell it at no price. Too little of this spirit is abroad now-a-days. Men have a saving faith, and save their own persons from trouble; they have great discernment, and know on which side their bread is buttered; they are large-hearted, and are all things to all men, if by any means they may save a sum. There are plenty of curs about, who would follow at the heel of any man who would keep them in meat. They are among the first to bark at decision, and call it obstinate dogmatism, and ignorant bigotry. Their condemnatory verdict causes us no distress; it is what we expected.

Above all we must show our zeal for the truth by continually, in season and out of season, endeavoring to maintain it in the tenderest and most loving manner, but still very earnestly and firmly. We must not talk to our congregations as if we were half asleep. Our preaching must not be articulate snoring. There must be power, life, energy, vigor. We must throw our whole selves into it, and show that the zeal of God’s house has eaten us up.

Charles Spurgeon, “The Need for Decision for the Truth.” From Lectures to My Students, Volume 2, Lecture 3, pages 43-46.

When Was The Book Of Revelation Written?

Part 17

Begin The Day With God

Quoting Thomas Case:

It is no small advantage to the holy life to “begin the day with God.” The saints are wont to leave their hearts with Him over night, that they may find them with Him in the morning. Before earthly things break in upon us, and we receive impressions from abroad, it is good to season the heart with thoughts of God, and to consecrate the early and virgin operations of the mind before they are prostituted to baser objects. When the world gets the start of religion in the morning, it can hardly overtake it all the day.

Never Despair

washingtonprayerQuoting George Washington:

“We should never despair, our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times. … The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. … It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn. … The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations. … [T]he propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.”

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