Posts Tagged ‘truth’
For too long we’ve limited the demand of faithfulness to “telling the truth.” To this we must also add “showing His beauty.”
Read all of David Murray’s reasoning.
What can I do for him now? What can I still give?
Flowers? No, the hospital will not permit them in his room, and he would not be able to appreciate them.
Books? No, for he lacks the strength to hold them and the sight to read them.
Food? No, for he can no longer eat, and only drips of water have gone into his body over the last ten days.
Clothes? No, for his emaciated frame will not need them for much longer.
What can I give? The only things I have left to give are truth and love. I can speak of the love of God in Christ and show love by being there and caring as I can. Not to deny the other things, of course, but this actually helps to set priorities for those who are not on their deathbeds. What do men need more than truth and love? We should not wait until death looms before we give these gifts. The only time to prepare for death is life. Not only must I prepare others, God helping me, but I myself must so live as to be ready to die.
Oh touch my heart with grace divine,
The Father, Spirit, Son combine;
Save me through merit not my own:
Great Saviour, touch a heart of stone.
Touch me with mercy sweet, divine,
A sinner by my sins entwined,
My weakness great, my heart untrue,
Only the blood can make me new.
Oh touch me now with truth sublime,
The truth that conquers space and time,
And do what you alone can do:
Make me to know salvation true.
Touch now my heart with peace divine,
Safe knowing that the Lord is mine,
Each day show me undying love:
Show me anew, O heavenly Dove.
Oh touch my heart with love divine,
And let it through my being shine;
Sing out, my soul, to tell his praise,
To bless my God through endless days.
See all hymns and psalms.
Michael Haykin has been going Fuller & Pearce nuts over at the not-too-surprisingly-named Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies blog. Dr Haykin has been editing Andrew Fuller’s Memoir of his friend, “the seraphic Pearce.” He tells us of Fuller’s tearful reaction to the news of his friend’s death, and then informs us that he has discovered a work of Pearce he has previously overlooked: let us hope that this gets an airing, if it has not done so already.
Then we are provided with a series of snippets from both men, giving a window into their hearts and a sketch of their piety:
In many persons the pleasures imparted by religion are counteracted by a gloomy constitution: but it was not so in him. In his disposition they met with a friendly soul. Cheerfulness was as natural to him as breathing; and this spirit, sanctified by the grace of God, gave a tincture to all his thoughts, conversation, and preaching. He was seldom heard without tears; but they were frequently tears of pleasure. No levity, no attempts at wit, no aiming to excite the risibility of an audience, ever disgraced his sermons. Religion in him was habitual seriousness, mingled with sacred pleasure, frequently rising into sublime delight, and occasionally overflowing with transporting joy.
I consider man as a depraved creature, so depraved, that his judgment is as dark as his appetites are sensual; wholly dependent on God, therefore, for religious light as well as true devotion: yet such a dupe to pride as to reject every thing which the narrow limits of his comprehension cannot embrace; and such a slave to his passions as to admit no law but self- interest for his government. With these views of human nature, I am persuaded we ought to suspect our own decisions, whenever they oppose truths too sublime for our understandings, or too pure for our lusts.
If the gospel of Christ be true, it should be heartily embraced. We should yield ourselves to its influence without reserve. We must come to a point, and resolve to be either infidels or Christians. To know the power of the sun we should expose ourselves to his rays: to know the sweetness of honey we must bring it to our palates. Speculations will not do in either of these cases, much less will it in matters of religion. ‘My son,’ saith God, ‘give me thine heart!’
The various kinds of religion that still prevail, the pagan, Mahometan, Jewish, papal, or Protestant, may form the exteriors of man according to their respective models; but where is the man amongst them, save the true believer in Jesus, that overcometh the world? Men may cease from particular evils, and assume a very different character; may lay aside their drunkenness, blasphemies, or debaucheries, and take up with a kind of monkish austerity, and yet all may amount to nothing more than an exchange of vices. The lusts of the flesh will on many occasions give place to those of the mind; but to overcome the world is another thing. By embracing the doctrine of the cross, to feel not merely a dread of the consequences of sin, but a holy abhorrence of its nature—and, by conversing with invisible realities, to become regardless of the best, and fearless of the worst, that this world has to dispense—this is the effect of genuine Christianity, and this is a standing proof of its Divine original. . . . this is true religion.
A little religion, it has been justly said, will make us miserable; but a great deal will make us happy. The one will do little more than keep the conscience alive, while our numerous defects and inconsistencies are perpetually furnishing it with materials to scourge us: the other keeps the heart alive, and leads us to drink deep at the fountain of joy. Hence it is, in a great degree, that so much of the spirit of bondage, and so little of the Spirit of adoption, prevails among Christians. Religious enjoyments with us are rather occasional, than habitual; or if in some instances it be otherwise, we are ready to suspect that it is supported in part by the strange fire of enthusiasm, and not by the pure flame of Scriptural devotion. But in Mr. Pearce, we saw a devotion ardent, steady, pure, and persevering: kindled, as we may say, at the altar of God, like the fire of the temple, it went not out by night nor by day. He seemed to have learnt that heavenly art, so conspicuous among the primitive Christians, of converting everything he met with into materials for love, and joy, and praise.
And, Fuller on true greatness:
. . . the way to true excellence is not to affect eccentricity, nor to aspire after the performance of a few splendid actions; but to fill up our lives with a sober, modest, sincere, affectionate, assiduous, and uniform conduct.
Thank you, Dr Haykin. Ready for more when you are!
The PyroManiacs have posted this great little nugget from C. H. Spurgeon. It comes from “The Weaned Child,” an undated sermon delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle and published in 1875.
“Oh, but really one ought to be acquainted with all the phases of modern doubt.”
Yes, and how many hours in a day ought a man to give to that kind of thing? Twenty-five out of the twenty-four would hardly be sufficient, for the phases of modern thought are innumerable, and every fool who sets up for a philosopher sets up a new scheme; and I am to spend my time in going about to knock his cardhouses over?
Not I! I have something else to do; and so has every Christian minister. He has real doubts to deal with, which vex true hearts; he has anxieties to relieve in converted souls, and in minds that are pining after the truth and the right; he has these to meet, without everlastingly tilting at windmills, and running all over the country to put down every scarecrow which learned simpletons may set up.
We shall soon defile ourselves if we work day after day in the common sewers of scepticism. Brethren, there is a certain highway of truth in which you and I, like wayfaring men, feel ourselves safe, let us travel thereon.
Great God, our eyes are slow to see
The truth your Word contains,
And you alone have power to break
Our understanding’s chains.
Our ears are stopped, our minds are weak,
Our hearts are dull and cold.
How can this be when in your Word
The truth is clear and bold?
So slow our feet to walk your paths;
So slow our hands to learn;
So slow our minds to grasp the truth;
So slow our hearts to burn.
We search the Scriptures and we catch
A fleeting glimpse of Christ.
Remove the scales, arrest our minds,
And grant increasing light.
Have pity, Lord, and help our cause:
How much we long to be
Men of the Word, whose great delight
Is more of Christ to see!
See all hymns and psalms.
This is both poignant and painful. I remember Pastor Ted Donnelly:
Unconverted people may call us glomy. They may consider our meetings old-fashioned and dull, without the sparkle of the polished ecclesiastical comedians. That cannot be helped. But when they are in trouble, in a real crisis, will they turn to the clowns? Will they look for someone to tell them little stories and make them laugh? Time and again we find that people in need are drawn instinctively to those who are serious, in earnest, in touch with real life. They sense a sterling character, an ability to help on a profound level. In the long run, the jester has less impact than the man or woman with tears of compassion. Those who once mocked us may come to discover that ‘it is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools’ (Eccles. 7:5).
HT: Extreme Theology.
PS There are several videos like this that have been proved clever but not genuine. I have no reason to doubt this one, but – should you know otherwise – please let me know and I will remove it immediately.
 Ted Donnelly, Heaven and Hell (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2001), 54-55.