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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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Let Us Sing of Electing Love

From the pen of Josiah Conder:

Let us sing of electing love:

“Tis not that I did choose Thee,

For, Lord, that could not be;

This heart would still refuse Thee,

But Thou hast chosen me.

 

My heart owns none before Thee;

For thy rich grace I thirst;

This knowing, if I love Thee,

Thou must have loved me first.”

A Miracle of Mercy

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

If we are born into God’s family, it is a miracle of mercy! It is one of the ever-blessed exhibitions of the infinite love of God which without any cause in us, has set itself upon us.

If you are this day an heir of heaven, remember you were once the slave of hell. Once you wallowed in the mire. If you should adopt a swine to be your child, you could not then have performed an act of greater compassion than when God adopted you!

And if an angel could exalt a gnat to equal dignity with himself, yet the gain would not be such a one as that which God has conferred on you.

He has taken you from the dunghill, and he has set you among princes! (“Sons of God”)

Christ: The Only Savior

Charles Hodge [1797-1898], an American Presbyterian theologian, was ordained in 1821, and taught at Princeton for almost his whole life. In 1825 he founded the Biblical Repository and Princeton Review, and during forty years was its editor, and the principal contributor to its pages. In 1840 Dr. Hodge was transferred to the chair of didactic theology, retaining still, however, the department of New Testament exegesis, the duties of which he continued to discharge until his death. He writes:

Paul, in writing to Titus, speaking of Christians before their conversion, says: “They were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior, that, being justified by grace, we should be heirs according to the promise, of eternal life.” They, therefore, labored for the reformation and salvation of men, by going everywhere preaching Christ as the only Savior from sin.

What Christianity was in the hearts of the apostles, it has been in the hearts of Christians of all ages, and in all parts of the world. Of this, every Christian has the evidence in his own experience. Christ is to him both God and man-God manifest in the flesh; God surrounded by the rainbow of humanity, which softens, diversifies, and beautifies his rays. Christ he worships, trusts, loves, and obeys. Christ is his wisdom, his righteousness, his sanctification, his redemption. Christ is ever near him, so that he can be spoken to, appealed to, and communed with; a present help in every time of need. Christ is the Christian’s portion for time and for eternity. With Christ he has everything, and without him he has nothing.

The experience of one Christian is the experience of all. This is the conscious bond of their union. The hymns which live through all ages are hymns of praise to Christ. All Protestants can join with St. Bernard, when he says:

“Jesus, the very thought of Thee,

With sweetness fills my breast;

But sweeter far Thy face to see,

And in Thy presence rest.

When once Thou visitest the heart,

Then light begins to shine,

Then earthly vanities depart;

Then kindles love divine.

Jesus, our only joy be Thou,

As Thou our prize shalt be;

Jesus, be Thou our glory now,

And through eternity.”

(“Christianity without Christ”)

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