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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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God’s Blessings

Quoting John Calvin:

“However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts”

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Pride

In the words of J. C. Ryle:

“Young men, do not be too confident in your own judgment. Stop being so sure that you are always right and others wrong. Don’t trust your own opinion, when you find it contrary to that of older men, and especially to that of your own parents. Age gives experience, and therefore deserves respect.”

The Source of Divine Affections

A Christianity which is not built upon supernatural grounds and rests solely upon the conclusions of the natural uninspired man has nothing of true Christianity in it. William Law explains:

Now as no animal could begin to respire, or unite with the breath of this world, but because it has its beginning to breathe begotten in it from the air of this world, so it is equally certain, that no creature, angel or man, could begin to be religious, or breathe forth the divine affections of faith, love, and desire towards God, but because a living seed of these divine affections was by the Spirit or {sic} God first begotten in it. And as a tree or plant can only grow and fructify by the same power that first gave birth to the seed, so faith, and hope, and love towards God, can only grow and fructify by the same power, that begot the first seed of them in the soul. Therefore divine immediate inspiration and divine religion are inseparable in the nature of the thing.

Take away inspiration, or suppose it to cease, and then no religious acts or affections can give forth anything that is godly or divine. For the creature can offer, or return nothing to God, but that which it has first received from him; therefore, if it is to offer and send up to God affections and aspirations that are divine and godly, it must of all necessity have the divine and godly nature living and breathing in it. Can anything reflect light, before it has received it? Or any other light, than that which it has received?…

All that the natural or uninspired man does, or can do in the church, has no more of the truth or power of divine worship in it, than that which he does in the field, or shop, through a desire of riches. And the reason is, because all the acts of the natural man, whether relating to matters of religion or the world, must be equally selfish, and there is no possibility of their being otherwise. For self-love, self- esteem, self-seeking, and living wholly to self, are as strictly the whole of all that is or possibly can be in the natural man, as in the natural beast; the one can no more be better, or act above this nature, than the other. Neither can any creature be in a better, or higher state than this, till something supernatural is found in it; and this supernatural something, called in scripture the WORD, or SPIRIT, or INSPIRATION of God, is that alone from which man can have the first good thought about God, or the least power of having more heavenly desires in his spirit, than he has in his flesh. (“An Address to the Clergy” by William Law)

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