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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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Infinite Perfection

From the writings of Samuel Rutherford:

There is nothing which commends and makes heaven fair, or earth, or the creature that is not in Jesus in infinite perfection. For fair sun and fair moon are black, and think it shameful to shine before His fairness.

Base heavens, and excellent Jesus! Weak angels and strong and mighty Jesus! Foolish angel-wisdom and only wise Jesus! Short-living creature and long-living and ever-living Ancient of days! Miserable, and sickly, and wretched are those things that are within time’s circle, and only, only blessed is Jesus!

If you can come into His love (and He gives you consent to love Him, and allurements also), what a second heaven’s paradise, a young heaven’s glory, is it to be hot and burned with fevers of love-sickness for Him! The more you drink of His love; there is the more room, and the greater delight and desire for this love. Hunger for a feast of His love, for that is the border of heaven. Nothing has a nearer resemblance to the color, and hue, and luster of heaven, than Christ loved, and to breathe out love-words and love-sighs for Him.

Remember what He is! When twenty thousand million of heaven’s lovers have worn their hearts threadbare of love, all is nothing, yes, less than nothing, to His matchless worth and excellency. Oh so broad and so deep is the sea of His desirable loveliness! Glorified spirits, triumphing angels, the crowned and exalted lovers of heaven stand outside His loveliness, and cannot put a circle on it.

Oh if sin and time were from between us and that royal King’s love, that high majesty (eternity’s Bloom and Flower of high lustered beauty) might shine upon pieces of created spirits, and might bedew and overflow us, who are portions of endless misery and lumps of redeemed sin. Alas! what do I? I but spill and lose words in speaking highly of Him who will be above the music and songs of heaven, and never be enough praised by us all; to whose boundless and bottomless love I recommend you….”

God will have His People Edified

Mankind is weak and foolish. Our minds are always trying to alter and bend the truth. We seem to be drawn to things which are unprofitable for our souls. Therefore, we must be very careful when it comes to our own desires. John Calvin writes:

But shun profane and vain babblings; for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (2 Timothy 2:16-18)

For God will have His people to be edified; and He hath appointed His Word for that purpose. Therefore, if we go not about the salvation of the people, that they may receive nourishment by the doctrine that is taught them, it is sacrilege; for we pervert the pure use of the Word of God. This word profane is set against that which is holy and dedicated to God. Whatsoever pertains to the magnifying of God, and increases our knowledge of His majesty, whereby we may worship Him; whatsoever draweth us to the kingdom of heaven, or taketh our affections from the world, and leadeth us to Jesus Christ that we may be grafted into His body, is called holy.

On the contrary, when we feel not the glory of God, when we feel not to submit ourselves to Him, when we know not the riches of the kingdom of heaven, when we are not drawn into His service to live in pureness of conscience, when we know not what the salvation meaneth which was purchased by our Lord Jesus Christ, we belong to the world, and are profaned. The doctrine which serves to mislead us in such things is also called profane. Thus we see what St. Paul’s meaning is: to wit, when we come together in the name of God, it is not to hear merry songs, and to be fed with wind, that is, with vain and unprofitable curiosity, but to receive spiritual nourishment. For God will have nothing preached in His name, but that which will profit and edify the hearers, nothing but that which containeth good matter.

But it is true, our nature is such, that we take great pleasure in novelty, and in speculations which seem to be subtle. Therefore, let us beware, and think as we ought, that we may not profane God’s holy Word. Let us seek that which edifieth, and not abuse ourselves by receiving that which hath no substance in it. It is hard to withdraw men from such vanity, because they are inclined to participate in it. But St. Paul showeth that there is nothing more miserable than such vain curiosity: “For they will increase unto more ungodliness.” As if he had said, my friends, you know not at first sight what hurt cometh by these deceivers; who go about to gain credit and estimation among you, and with pleasant toys endeavor to please you; but believe me, they are Satan’s instruments and such as in no wise serve God but increase unto more wickedness; that is. If they are let alone, they will mar the Christian religion; they will not leave one jot safe and sound. Therefore, see that you flee them as plagues, although at first sight, the poison which they bring be not perceived. (“Pure Preaching of the Word”)

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