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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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Sorrows

Joseph HallJoseph Hall:

Sorrows, because they are lingering guests, I will entertain but moderately, knowing that the more they are made of the longer they will continue: and for pleasures, because they stay not, and do but call to drink at my door, I will use them as passengers with slight respect. He is his own best friend that makes the least of both of them.

George Washington on the US and the Bible

George WashingtonPresident George Washington:

“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.”

Repentance

Charles H. SpurgeonMany try to set up a kind of self-repentance and justify themselves in the sight of God. They say they have repented, or tried to repent. They say they have prayed, or tried to pray and still God has not saved them. Then they begin to blame God. However, they know this is wrong. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

When a man does wrong, and yet will not confess it, how wrong he must be! Or when, having confessed it, he does not feel proper shame; or after feeling ashamed for a while he returns to the same evil like the dog to his vomit, how deep must the evil be in his moral nature, how terribly diseased he must be, inasmuch as he does not feel sin to be sin at all! When a man has done wrong and knows it, and stands with bitter repentance to confess the evil, why, you think hopefully of him; after all, there are good points about the man; there is a vitality in him that will throw out the disease. But when the villain, having perpetrated a grave and causeless offense, does not for a moment acknowledge he has done wrong, but continues calmly to perpetrate the offense again; ah, then, where is there any good in him? Is he not thoroughly bad? Now, you are like that.

If you were at all right with God, you would fall at your Father’s feet, and never rise until you were forgiven; your tears would flow day and night until you had the assurance of pardon. But since your heart seems to yourself to be made of hell-hardened steel, and to be like a millstone that feels nothing, then there is need for healing, and you seem the very man whom Christ came to save, for he came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance, not to save those who had no need for healing but to heal those like you, whose need is desperate indeed.

As if to prove your own need of healing, you are, according to your own statement, unable to pray. You have been trying to pray lately, and wished you could. You put yourself upon your knees, but your heart does not talk with God; a horrible dread comes over you, or else frivolous and vain thoughts distract you. “Oh,” you have said, “I would give a thousand pounds for one tear of repentance; I would be ready to pluck out my eyes if I could call upon God as the poor publican did, with ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ I once thought it the easiest thing in the world to pray, but now I find that a true prayer is beyond my power.” You do need healing indeed, possessed with a dumb devil, and all your other devils also, and unable to cry out for mercy; yours is a sad case. You need healing, and I cannot help repeating to you, “He healed them that had need of healing”; why should he not heal you? (Advice for Seekers)

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