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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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All Or None

Joseph Hall (1574 - 1656)

Quoting Joseph Hall:

Satan would seem to be mannerly and reasonable; making as if he would be content with one-half of the heart, whereas God challengeth all or none: as, indeed, He hath most reason to claim all that made all. But this is nothing but a crafty fetch of Satan; for he knows that if he has any part, God will have none: so the whole falleth to his share alone.

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The Importance Of A General Distribution Of The Bible

James McHenry

Quoting James McHenry (Signer of the Constitution):

[P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience. (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 (Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14.)

Why Salvation Must Be From God

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) Thus wrote Paul in his message to the Galatians. He is explaining the only source of spiritual life. What were these men before Christ came to dwell within them? They were dead. In Ephesians he says, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) As I have said before, “Dead is dead!” Just as a physically dead man cannot pull himself out of his grave, so a spiritually dead man cannot help himself to salvation. Stephen Charnock speaks to this topic below:

[Man] is “sold under sin,” Rom. 7:14, and brought “into captivity to the law of sin,” ver. 23. “Law of sin:” that sin seems to have a legal authority over him; and man is not only a slave to one sin, but many, Tit. 3:3, “serving divers lusts.” Now when a man is sold under the power of a thousand lusts, every one of which has an absolute tyranny over him, and rules him as a sovereign by a law; when a man is thus bound by a thousand laws, a thousand cords and fetters, and carried whither his lords please, against the dictates of his own conscience and force of natural light; can any man imagine that his own power can rescue him from the strength of these masters that claim such a right to him, and keep such a force upon him, and have so often baffled his own strength, when he attempted to turn against them?

[Man] does not only serve them, but he serves them, and every one of them, with delight and pleasure; Tit. 3:3. They were all pleasures, as well as lusts; friends as well as lords. Will any man leave his sensual delights and such sins that please and flatter his flesh? Will a man ever endeavor to run away from those lords whom he serves with affection? Having as much delight in being bound a slave to these lusts, as the devil has in binding him. Therefore when you see a man cast away his pleasures, deprive himself of those comfortable things to which his soul was once knit, and walk in paths contrary to corrupt nature, you may search for the cause anywhere, rather than in nature itself. No piece of dirty, muddy clay can form itself into a neat and handsome vessel; no plain piece of timber can fit itself for the building, much less a crooked one. Nor a man that is born blind, give himself sight.

God deals with men in this case as he did with Abraham. He would not give Isaac while Sarah’s womb, in a natural probability, might have borne him; but when her womb was dead, and age had taken away all natural strength of conception, then God gives him; that it might appear that he was not a child of nature, but a child of promise. (“The Chief of Sinners Saved”)

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