Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 12:40

40 Be ye also prepared therefore: for the Son of man will come at an hour when ye think not.

Brethren:

This may be understood either of a readiness to meet the Lord in the way of his judgments, and  of a preparation for death, and the last judgment, which lies in the righteousness of Christ imputed, and his grace imparted: and to have a comfortable view of the one, and a gracious experience of the other, as they will engage to the performance of good works, to which such are ready; so they make meet for the coming of Christ, be it in what way, and whensoever it will: and the rather, a concern should be had for such a preparation.

Which as it is said to be like a thief in the night, expresses the suddenness of it, may excite to watchfulness and readiness; which readiness is to be understood, not of a readiness to do the will and work of God, though this is absolutely necessary; as to watch and pray, to hear the word preached, to confess Christ, and give a reason of the hope that is in us, to communicate to the support of the cause and interest of Christ, and to suffer for his sake; but of a preparedness to meet the Lord in the way of his judgments, when desolating judgments are coming on the earth, such as these in Jerusalem; by faith and trust in the power, providence, and care of God; by humiliation before him, and resignation to his will: and if this can be applied to a readiness for a future state after death; for the second coming of Christ, and last judgment,  This lies not in a dependence on the absolute mercy of God; nor in an external humiliation for sin; nor in an abstinence from grosser sins, or in mere negative holiness; nor in any outward, legal, civil, and moral righteousness; nor in a submission to Gospel ordinances; nor in a mere profession of religion; but in being in Christ, having on his righteousness, and being washed in his blood; and also in regeneration and sanctification, in having true knowledge of Christ, and faith in him; for all which it becomes men to be concerned, as also all believers to be actually, as well as habitually ready; being in the lively exercise of grace, and cheerful discharge of duty, though without trusting to either. And such a readiness in either branch of it, is not of themselves, but lies in the grace of God, which gives a meetness for glory; and in the righteousness of Christ, the fine linen, clean and white, which being granted by him, his people are made ready for him: and as for their faith, and the exercise of it, and their constant performance of duty, these are not from the strength of nature and the power of freewill, but from the Spirit of God and his grace; who makes ready a people prepared for the Lord, and all according to the ancient settlements of grace, in which provision is made for the vessels of mercy, afore prepared for glory: though there should be a studious concern in men for such readiness, for nothing is more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than when it will be; and after death, no readiness can be had, but he that is then righteous, shall be righteous still, and he that is filthy, shall be filthy still, and a deathbed is by no means to be trusted to; and though a person may not be snatched away suddenly, but may have space given him to repent, yet if grace is not given him, to repent and believe in Christ, he never will; the grave is ready for men, and in a little time all will be brought to this house, appointed for all living, where there is no wisdom, knowledge, and device; and therefore whatever we are directed to do, should be now done, with all that might, and strength, and grace, that is given us; to which may be added, that after death comes judgment; the day is fixed, the judge is appointed, and all must stand before his judgment seat; and nothing is more sure than that Christ will come a second time, to judge both quick and dead; and happy will those be that are ready; they will be received by Christ into everlasting habitations, and be for ever with him: and miserable will those be, who will not be ready, who will not have the oil of grace in their hearts with their lamps, nor the wedding garment on them; they will be shut out, and bid to depart into everlasting burnings: how fit and proper is such an advice and exhortation as this, "be ye also ready"

Monday, June 29, 2015


Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 12:11-12

11 And when they shall bring you unto the Synagogues, and unto the rulers and Princes, take no thought how, or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall speak. 12 For the holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour, what ye ought to say

Brethren:

Today we resume our study of the Gospel of Luke.

The apostles hearing that they should be delivered up to councils, and brought before governors and kings, might be under some concern how they should behave, and what they should be able to say in vindication of themselves and truth, before such great persons; they not being used to converse with men in such high stations: they were illiterate men, and of no elocution; men of mean birth, low life, most of them poor fishermen; and might fear, on these accounts, that the Gospel would suffer for want of able persons to defend it before the great ones of the earth. Now,  in order to remove these their fears and objections, and to strengthen and comfort their minds, our Lord bids them, when this would be their ease, that the Jews would deliver them to the Roman magistrates, to not be anxiously concerned, neither as to the matter, or manner of what they should say in their defence: they should have no occasion, as orators do, to take pains, and rack their thoughts, to prepare a studied, elaborate oration, dressed with all the flowers of rhetoric, filled with the most moving and powerful arguments, and clothed with diction of the strictest propriety and elegance; for they should want neither words, nor things; they should have arguments put into their mouths, and helped to proper language to express them in for immediate assistance should be afforded them either by his father, or himself; or rather, the blessed Spirit, who would suggest unto them, at once, things, the most proper to be said, and help them to deliver them in the most proper manner: and these are the most convincing arguments, and that the best elocution, which the Spirit of God helps men to; these vastly exceed all the art of men, and strength of nature. This was greatly verified in Peter and John, two poor fishermen, when before the council, and in Stephen the protomartyr.

Not but that they were to speak the words, and did; but then both the things they spoke, and the very words in which they spoke them, were not of themselves, but were suggested and dictated by the Spirit of God; for as "the preparation of the heart" in them, so "the answer of the tongue" by them, were both "from the Lord": the Spirit, he was the efficient cause, they were only instruments; for not they of themselves spoke. That is not so much what they should say was not to be dictated by their own spirit or natural understanding, nor by an angel, but by the Spirit of God; called the "Spirit of" their "father", because he proceeds from him, is of the same nature with him, and is the reason of his being given to them: and this character of him might, nay would serve to strengthen their faith in the expectation of him, and in the assistance promised, and to be had by him; since he was the spirit of him, who stood in the relation of a father to them, and bore a paternal affection for them.

Sunday, June 28, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Second Epistle General of Peter 3:9-11

9 The Lord of that promise is not slack (as some men count slackness) but is patient toward us, and would have no man to perish, but would all men to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a noise, and the elements shall melt with heat, and the earth with the works that are therein shall be burnt up 11 Seeing therefore that all these things must be dissolved, what manner persons ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness

Brethren:

We are digressing for this one day from our reading of the Gospel of Luke for it is felt that this scriptural truth needs to be reinforced to all people.

The Aramaic - English translation uses the word “discovered”. It is the feeling of this writer that this word is more applicable, for it indicates that the sinful nature of all men shall be revealed for ALL to see. That all works done in the sinful pride of man shall be made known and that the righteous word of God, as many doubt exists, or worse yet deny will be opened before their eyes and they shall be ashamed. (See also Ezekiel 18:20-32)

 Man has always charged God with slackness and dilatoriness; whereas the true reason of the delay of it is, that there might be time for the gathering in of his elect among them by his angels, or apostles and ministers, sent into the several parts of the world, that so none of them might perish, but be brought to faith and repentance; and thus as the time of Christ's coming was prolonged more than was thought it would, so when the days of afflictions were come, they were shortened also for these elect's sake.  This promise regards the second coming of Christ, to judge the quick and dead at the last day, of which the former was a prelude, presage, and pledge; that Christ would come again, and appear a second time in person, was promised by himself, and often spoken of by his apostles; and although many of the primitive Christians thought it would be very soon, and which might be occasioned by the hints that were given of his coming in the other sense. Now this being deferred longer than was expected, the scoffers or mockers take upon them to charge the Lord with slackness in the fulfillment of his promise.

If he had either changed his purpose, or had prolonged it beyond the appointed time, or was unmindful of his promise, and would never fulfill it; whereas he is in one mind, and none can turn him, nor will he delay the fulfillment of his promise beyond the set time; he has fixed a day for his coming, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, and he will keep it: he is not dilatory.


The sense then is,  that the delay of Christ's coming is not owing to any slackness in him, but to his longsuffering to his elect among man, being unwilling that any of that number among them should perish, but that all of them repent of their sins, and believe in him; and therefore he waits till their conversion is over, when a nation shall be born at once, and they that have pierced him look on him and mourn, and so all Israel shall be saved; or rather of the elect in general, whether among Jews or Gentiles, upon whom the Lord waits to be gracious, and whose longsuffering issues in their conversion and salvation. And upon account of these the Lord stays his coming till their number is complete in the effectual calling; and for their sakes he is longsuffering to others, and bears with a wicked world, with the idolatry, superstition, heresy, profaneness, and impiety, with which it abounds; but when the last man that belongs to that number is called, he will quickly descend in flames of fire, and burn the world, and the wicked in it, and take his chosen ones to himself. The Alexandrian copy reads, "for you", or your sakes; and so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions. A passage somewhat like to this is met with in a book of the Jews, esteemed by them very ancient that reads:

``God prolongs or defers his anger with men; and one day, which is a thousand years, is fixed, besides the seventy years he delivered to David the king.--And he does not judge man by his evil works which he continually does, for if so, the world would not stand; but the holy blessed God defers his anger with the righteous, and the wicked, that they may return, by perfect repentance, and be established in this world, and in the world to come.''

And it is an observation of theirs, that when God is said to be "longsuffering", it is not written, but intimating, that he is longsuffering both to the righteous and the wicked; but then he bears with the latter, for the sake of the former which can be compared with this passage found in Revelation 6:9-11: 

“9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were killed for the word of God, and for the testimony which they maintained. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, Lord, which art holy and true! dost not thou judge and avenge our blood on them, that dwell on the earth? 11 And long white robes were given unto every one, and it was said unto them, that they should rest for a little season until their fellow servants, and their brethren that should be killed even as they were, were fulfilled.”

These, though they were lost in Adam, did not perish; and though in their own apprehensions, when awakened and convinced, are ready to perish; and though their peace, joy, and comfort, may perish for a while, and they may fear a final and total perishing; yet they shall never perish as others do, or be punished with everlasting destruction: and that this is the will of God, appears by his choice of them to salvation; by the provisions of grace for them in an everlasting covenant; by the security of their persons in the hands of Christ; by sending his Son to obtain salvation for them, and his Spirit to apply it to them; and by his keeping them by his power, through faith.

And so, it behooves us that all should come to repentance; not legal, but evangelical, without which all must perish; and which all God's elect stand in need of, as well as others, being equally sinners; and which they cannot come to of themselves, and therefore he not only calls them to it, in his word, and by his spirit and grace, but bestows it upon them; he has exalted Christ at his own right hand, to give it to them; and repentance is a grant from him, a free gift of his grace; and the Spirit is sent down into their hearts to work it in them, to take away the stony heart, and give an heart of flesh; without which, whatever time and space may be given, or means afforded, even the most awful judgments, the greatest mercies, and the most powerful ministry, will be of no avail.

Therefore brethren, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation
and godliness? Not as the scoffers and profane sinners, who put away this evil day far from them, but as men, who have their loins girt, and their lights burning, waiting for their Lord's coming; being continually in the exercise of grace, and in the discharge of their religious duties, watching, praying, hearing, reading; living soberly, righteously, and godly; guarding against intemperance and worldly mindedness, and every worldly and hurtful lust. Hence let His return find us ready with hearts beating for Him and for the promise of the kingdom wherein we shall live with Him forever. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 12:8-9

 8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man confess also before the Angels of God. 9 But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God.

Brethren:


Herein he calls himself "the son of man"; and instead of "before my Father which is in heaven", here it is, "before the angels of God"; who will accompany Christ when he comes to judgment, and will be present, when he shall acknowledge his true followers as the blessed of his Father, the chosen of God, his redeemed and sanctified ones; and reject others before his Father, and the whole uerse of rational beings: it is said in the Targum:

“when the children of Israel do the will of their king, he by his word (the Logos) praises them in the family of the holy angels.”

This Christ, the eternal word, will do at the great day.

Conversely we read that he that continues to deny Christ, and lives and dies a denier of him; for otherwise it is possible for a person to deny Jesus to be the Son of God, or the Messiah, and afterwards confess him, as a Pagan or Jew; and through temptation, a real Christian may be left for a while, in one shape or another, to deny him and his truths, and afterwards truly repent, and at last be saved, as Peter; but they that deny Christ publicly, and persist in it. Therefore, they will be denied by Christ as belonging to him; they will be denied admission into heaven; they will be covered with shame and confusion publicly; they will be sent into everlasting burnings, and be ever tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels.

Friday, June 26, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 12:2-3

 2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed: neither hid, that shall not be known. 3 Wherefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness, it shall be heard in the light: and that which ye have spoken in the ear, in secret places, shall be preached on the houses.

Brethren:

No sin, be it ever so secret or privately done, as nothing is more covered than hypocrisy, but what shall be detected sooner or later; if not in this world, which is often the case, yet the last judgment, and in the world to come. For how careful soever men may be to hide their vices from others, they are known to God; who will bring every thing into judgment, and make manifest the secrets of all hearts. These were general sentences, which were used by Christ at different times, upon different occasions, and applied to particular cases.

Men may cover their malice and wickedness, for a while, under the best of names, but ere long it will all be revealed to their great shame and reproach: the innocence of the followers of Christ may, for some time, lie out of sight, and they may be traduced as the worst of men; but in process of time things take another turn, and their characters appear in quite another light: and so it is with the Gospel preached and professed by them, which, though sometimes it is little known, lies hid, and is covered with disgrace; yet in the Lord's own time its light breaks forth, power attends it, and it is made manifest to the consciences of men.



Thursday, June 25, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 11:42

  42 But woe be to you, Pharisees: for ye tithe the mint and the rue, and all manner herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone.

Brethren:

By "judgment" may be meant justice, or doing that which is right between man and man, both publicly and privately, which was greatly neglected by these extortioners and unjust men: and by "the love of God" may be intended, both love to God, which shows itself in the observance of the first table of the law, and love to the neighbour, which God requires, and regards the second table.

Christ returns to the former epithets he had very rightly given to these men, and very pertinently repeats them here; and which are confirmed by the instances of their conduct and practice here alleged, which abundantly show their hypocrisy and deceit; since they were very strict in observing some outward things, which gave them credit with the people, and especially the priests and Levites, some little trifling ceremonies and traditions of their elders, whilst they neglected internal religion, and those things which were of the greatest moment and importance.

Christ would not dispute the matter with them; if they thought fit to observe them, they might, so long as they did not interfere with, and take them off from things of greater moment. But alas! these men preferred the rituals of the ceremonial law, and the traditions of the elders, above the duties of the moral law; and reckoned that the latter were nothing

Wednesday, June 24, 2015




Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 11:33-36

33 No man when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a privy place, neither under a bushel: but on a candlestick, that they which come in, may see the light. 34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, then is thy whole body light: but if thine eye be evil, then thy body is dark. 35 Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee, be not darkness. 36 If therefore thy whole body shall be light, having no part dark, then shall all be light, even as when a candle doth light thee with the brightness.

Brethren:

These words are often repeated by Christ on different occasions, and and here seem to design the free, open, and clear ministry of Christ, who excelled Solomon in wisdom, and Jonas in powerful preaching. It being as a candle, which, when lighted, no man putteth in a secret place; as under a bed, ( Read also Mark 4:21 ) where it cannot be seen, and its light be of any use. Neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come may see the light; intimating, that Christ and his disciples did not preach in corners, or in private houses, and secret places, but in the streets of the city, and in the temples and synagogues, the public places of worship: and therefore the Jews were the more inexcusable, that they did not attend to the ministry of the word; and this would be their condemnation, that light was come among them, and they preferred darkness to it, (Read also John 3:19, 8:12, 9:5, 12:46; Acts 26:18 )

The sense is, that as the eye gives light, to the body, and the several members of it, by which they are guided and directed; so the understanding is the light of the soul, and the guide to all the powers and faculties of it. When the eye is free from vicious humours, and its sight is clear, the whole body reaps the advantage of it, and is perfectly illuminated by it; so when the eye of the understanding is opened and enlightened by the Spirit of God, into the truths of the Gospel, and a single regard is had unto them, and to the glory of Christ in them, the whole soul is filled with light, joy, and comfort.

(Editor's thought – If one might be allowed to make an analogy. With a candle the need for air is of paramount importance. Without it the flame is extinguished. Such doth act the Holy Spirit, that is to say that the Holy Spirit acts as a catalyst and is the crucial part of giving the burning of the flame, and giving light. The more added, the brighter it will burn and shine)

Conversely when the eye of the body is attended with any bad humours that hinder the sight, all the members of it are in darkness; so, when the understanding is darkened through the blindness and ignorance there is in men, with respect to Gospel truths, all the powers and faculties of the soul are in a very miserable and uncomfortable condition. 
Take heed therefore By attending to the light of the Gospel, shining in the ministration of it, and do not neglect and despise it, that the light which is in thee be not darkness; lest being given up to a judicial blindness and hardness of heart, not only the light of nature, which the Jews had in common with the Gentiles, but even that notional light and knowledge of divine things, which they had by being favoured with an external revelation, the writings of the Old Testament, should be lost.

Therefore, if the whole soul, as the Ethiopic version reads, be full of Gospel light, through the illuminating influences of the blessed Spirit accompanying the word, and having no part dark, with every power and faculty of the soul being affected with it, and influenced by it, though, as yet, the light and knowledge of evangelical things is not perfect in any. However, when the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light; the whole soul shall be as full of light and joy, which the Gospel always brings with it, as a room is full of light, when a candle is lighted, and shines brightly, and burns clearly in it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015



RELIGIOUS MEDITATION
An Essay on  Psalm 104:34
Part Seven
By William Greenough Thayer Shedd; Edited by Doktor Riktor Von Zhades

Psalm 104:34 " My meditation of Him shall be sweet." 

We find it difficult, with our sluggish and earthly temper, to believe all this, and to sympathize with it. Yet it is simple naked truth and fact. There is a heaven, whether we reach it or not. There is a beatific vision of God, whether it ever dilate and enrapture our eyes or not. God is infinite blessedness and glory, and no good being can behold him without partaking of it. As he gazes, he is changed into the same image from glory to glory. The more clear and full his vision, the more overwhelming and boundless is the influx of heaven into him. We may know something of this here on earth. The more we meditate upon God and divine things, the happier shall we become in our own minds. There are at this moment, upon this cursed and thistle-bearing earth, some meek and gentle spirits whose life of prayer and holy communion streaks the heavens with bars of amber, and apparels everything in heavenly light. And the more this divine pleasure enters the soul, the more will it hunger and.thirst after it. For this is the summum bonum  this is the absolute delight. This never satiates. This never wearies. This joy in the vision of God has the power to freshen and invigorate while it runs through the fibres of the heart; and therefore, even amidst the most ecstatic and satisfying visions of heaven, the blessed still cry: "My soul pants after thee, O God, as the hart pants after the water brook; my heart and my flesh cries out for the living God."

Never will our minds reach a state in which they will really be at rest, and never will they put forth an activity which they will be willing to have eternal, until they acquire the mental habits of the holy angels. In the saints' everlasting rest, there is an unintermittent contemplation and sight of God. Who of us is ready for it? Who of us is certain that he will not turn away, when he finds that this, and this alone, is the heaven of which he has heard so much. Who of us has such a holy frame and such a spiritual sympathy with God, that every deeper descent into that abyss of holiness and purity will reveal new sights of joy, and start out new feelings of wonder and love? Who of us can be happy in heaven? For this open vision of God, this sight of him face to face, this beatific contemplation of his perfections, is the substance of paradise, the jasper foundation of the city of God.

We have thus seen that religious meditation upon God and divine things elevates, sanctifies, and blesses. But though this Christian habit produces such great and good fruits, there is probably no duty that is more neglected. We find it easier to read our Bible, than to ponder upon it; easier to listen to preaching, than to inwardly digest it; easier to respond to the calls of benevolence and engage in external service in the church, than to go into our closets. And is not this the secret of the faint and sickly life in our souls? Is not this the reason why we live at a poor dying rate? Think you that if we often entered into the presence of God and obtained a realizing view of things unseen and eternal, earthly temptation would have such a strong power over us as it does? Think you that if we received every day a distinct and bold impression from the attributes of God, we should be so distant from him in our hearts? Can we not trace our neglect of duty, our lukewarm feelings, and our great worldliness of heart, to our lack of the vision of God?



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 11:29-32

29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is a wicked generation: they seek a sign, and there shall no sign be given them, but the sign of Jonah the Prophet. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites: so shall also the son of man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South shall rise in judgment, with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah: and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.

Brethren:

Herein, He makes comment that they are not only in a spiritual sense, being degenerated from the faith, religion, and piety of their ancestors; but literally. Therefore, shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. Not that no miracles should afterwards be wrought amongst them; for, after this, many wondrous works were done by Christ; but no such signs should be given they desired, not one from heaven; but one particularly should be given them, out of the earth, and should be, not for their conviction, but condemnation; and would seem very much like that which was done to the prophet Jonah.

For as Jonas was a sign to the Ninevites As he was by lying three days and three nights in the whale's belly, and then cast on shore alive; which sign, or miracle was wrought to confirm his mission and message, and to engage the Ninevites to give credit to him, and repent, or they might assure themselves they would be utterly destroyed;  so shall also the son of man be to this generation; by lying three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, and then rising again from the dead the third day; and which should be done to confirm the truth of his Messiahship, and to declare him to be the Son of God with power, and to engage persons to believe in him; and to assure that wicked generation, that in case they remained, after such a sign, impenitent and unbelieving,wrath would come upon them to the uttermost.

The queen of the south That is, the queen of Sheba, which was a country of Arabia, which lay south of Judea; of whom it is said, that  she shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: the sense is, that at the last day, when all shall rise from the dead, both Jews and Gentiles, this Heathen queen shall rise together with the men of the present generation among the Jews, stand in judgment with them, and against them; and that her conduct would be brought as an evidence against them, and be improved as an aggravation of their condemnation: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon is here: the difference between them, and what aggravates the case is, that she was a Gentile that knew not God, they were Jews, his professing people; she came from afar, they were near, upon the spot, where Christ was, he was preaching in their streets, temple, and synagogues; she came to hear only natural or moral wisdom, but they might have heard spiritual and heavenly wisdom, with which eternal happiness is connected; she came to hear only a mere man, but they might have heard him who is the wisdom of God, and the only wise God, and our Saviour.

The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonas, and behold a greater than Jonas is here: what in this case will aggravate the condemnation of the Jews in the day of judgment is, that these men were Heathens, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, and were not used to have prophets sent to them; and yet as soon as Jonas, a mere man, came to them, and preached but one sermon among them, they repented of their sins, and turned from them; whereas the Jews, who had a better notion of religion, and who, though they had the Son of God himself among them, and preached to them, and that many sermons, and whose ministry was confirmed by miracles, and afterwards his apostles for a course of years, had yet remained impenitent and unbelieving.

Monday, June 22, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 11:28

28 But he said, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Brethren:

Intimating, that though his mother was happy in bearing and suckling such a son, yet it was a far greater happiness to hear the word of God; meaning either himself, the eternal "Logos", so as to embrace him, believe on him, and have him formed in the heart; or the Gospel preached by him, so as to understand it, receive it as the ingrafted word, and bring forth fruit, and act in obedience to it, observe it, and abide by it, and never relinquish it. This is a greater happiness than to be related to Christ in the flesh, though ever so nearly. The Ethiopic version reads, "that hear the word of God, and believe, and keep it": for faith comes by hearing, and shows itself in doing. Barely to hear the word, and even give an assent to it, will be of little avail, unless what is heard and believed is put in practice. 

Therefore it behooves us to be as James had written to be doers of the word. To keep it in our hearts, and to nourish it was one would a seedling that would grow it into a tree that brings forth much good fruits.  Likewise as Paul wrote in both his epistles to the Galatians and Ephesians, that good fruit is of the the Holy Spirit that operates in righteousness, love and truth. As such it compels us to operate in like manner and to be fruitful in all good works that would further bring forth the Word of God, and announce the Gospel of Christ to all the world. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 11:13

13 If ye then which are evil, can give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Ghost to them that desire him?


Brethren:

As all mankind in general are, both by nature and practice: they are conceived in sin, shapen in iniquity; are evil from their youth, and transgressors from the womb; are corrupt, and do abominable things; and such these were Christ speaks unto; and who, very likely, has respect chiefly to the evil of covetousness they were addicted to. The argument is taken from the lesser to the greater, and runs thus; that if ye, who are but men, men on earth, yea evil men, not over liberal and beneficent, nay covetous,  know how to give good gifts unto your children; can find in your hearts, having it in the power of your hands, to give suitable provisions for the support and  sustenance of your children;  how much more shall your Father, which is in heaven; who is omniscient and omnipotent; who knows the persons and wants of his children, and what is proper for them, and is able to relieve them, being Lord of heaven and earth, give good things to them that ask him?

Not only temporal good things, as meat, drink, and clothing; but all spiritual good things; every supply of grace; all things pertaining to life and godliness.  "The Holy Spirit" is mentioned, and so seems to design his gifts and graces, everything that is necessary for the spiritual and eternal good of his people: but for these things he must be inquired of, and sought after; and it is the least saints can do to ask for them; and they have encouragement enough to ask; for it is but ask and have.

Thursday, June 18, 2015



RELIGIOUS MEDITATION
An Essay on  Psalm 104:34
Part Six
By William Greenough Thayer Shedd; Edited by Doktor Riktor Von Zhades

Psalm 104:34 " My meditation of Him shall be sweet."

There is higher and nobler thought than that of trade and politics. Man can meditate upon purely intellectual themes. He can expend intense reflection upon the mysteries and problems of his own mind, and of the Eternal Mind. He can put forth an earnest and graceful effort of his powers within the province of beautiful letters and fine art. But does even such an intellectual, and, so far as it goes, such an elevating meditation as this produce and preserve genuine tranquillity and enjoyment? Are poet and philosopher synonymous with saint and angel? Is the learned man necessarily a happy one? Look through the history of literary men, and see their anxious but baffled research, their eager but fruitless inquiry, their acute but empty speculation, their intense but vain study, and you will know that the wise man spake true when he said, "He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." Hear the sigh of the meditative Wordsworth:

"Me this unchartered freedom tires; 
I feel the weight of chance desires; 
My hopes no more most change their name, 
I long for a repose that ever is the same." 

No, all thought which does not ultimately come home to God in practical, filial, and sympathetic communion, is incapable of rendering the soul blest. The intellect may find a kind of pleasure in satisfying its inquisitive and proud desire " to be as gods, knowing good and evil," but the heart experiences no peace or rest, until by a devout and religious meditation it enters into the fulness of God and shares in his eternal joy.

And here again, as in the former instance, our personal experience is so limited and meagre that the language of Scripture, and of some saints on earth, seems exaggerated and rhetorical. Says the sober and sincere apostle Paul —a man too much in earnest, and too well acquainted with the subject, to overdraw and overpaint—" Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." There is a strange unearthly joy, when a pure and spiritual mind is granted a clear view of the divine perfections. It rejoices with a joy unspeakable and full of glorying. All finite beauty, all created glory, is but a shadow in comparison. The holy mind rapt in contemplation says with Augustine: "When I love God, I do not love the beauty of material bodies, nor the fair harmony of time, nor the brightness of the light so gladsome to our eyes, nor sweet melodies of varied songs, nor the fragrant smell of flowers and perfumes and spices; not manna nor honey. None of these do I love, when I love my God. And yet I love a kind of melody, a kind of fragrance, and a kind of food, when I love my God—the light, the melody, the fragrance, and the food of the inner man: when there shineth into my soul what space cannot contain, and there soundeth what time beareth not away, and there smelleth what breathing disperseth not, and there tasteth what eating diminisheth not. This is it which I love, when I love my God." - 1 Confessions, X., 6.


Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 10:20

20 Nevertheless, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subdued unto you: but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Brethren:

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not that their power was enlarged, or that they had, the same as before: that the spirits, evil spirits, devils, are subject unto you; and come out of men at your command; rejoice not so much in this, or chiefly and principally; not but that it was matter of joy both with respect to the gift bestowed upon them, and the benefits men received by it, and the glory that was brought to Christ through it; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven; in the book of life, called the Lamb's book of life, written from the foundation of the world: in divine predestination to everlasting glory and happiness: which shows that God's election to eternal life is of particular persons, of persons by name; that it is sure, and certain, and immutable, being in opposition to what is written in earth, ( Jeremiah 17:13 ) , that the knowledge of this may be attained to, through the grace of God, the revelation of Christ, and the witnessings of his Spirit; and that this is matter of the greatest job, since it is the foundation and security of all the blessings of grace and glory.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 10:16

16 He that heareth you, heareth me: and he that despiseth you, despiseth me: and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.

Brethren:

This is said for the encouragement of the seventy disciples, that though they would be rejected by some, they would be received by others, who would hear them, and embrace their doctrine, as if the Messiah himself had been among them; they looking upon them as representing him: and so Christ himself considers them as ambassadors in his name, and as representing his person, taking what is done to them, as done to himself. And likewise every degree of contempt cast upon them by words or actions, Christ looked upon as cast on himself, and will resent it another day, and punish for it. The despising of wise men, or doctors, and their disciples or scholars, was accounted with the Jews a very heinous crime, and was severely punished both by excommunication and fines: for thus it is said;

“ ``a great iniquity it is to despise the wise men, or to hate them. Jerusalem was not destroyed until the disciples of the wise men were despised in it, as it is said, ( 2 Chronicles 36:16 ) "but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets": as if he should say, they despised those that taught his words: and thus saith the law, "if ye despise my statutes"; they that teach my statutes ye will despise; and every one that despiseth the wise men, hath no part in the world to come; and lo! this is included in that general rule, "for he hath despised the word of the Lord". Although he that despiseth the wise men hath no part in the world to come, if witnesses come (and depose) that he hath despised them even in words, he is guilty of excommunication: and the sanhedrim excommunicate him publicly, and fine him a pound of gold in every place, and give it to the wise men: and he that despiseth a wise man by words, even after his (the wise man's) death, the sanhedrim excommunicate him; and they free him when he returns by repentance: but if the wise man is alive, they do not free him till he pleases

Finally, this is said to aggravate the sin of the despisers of Christ's ministers, and to deter from it; since the contempt does not terminate in them, nor even in Christ, but reaches his Father also. The Ethiopic version adds, "and he that heareth me, heareth him that sent me".

Monday, June 15, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 10:2

2 And he said unto them, The harvest is great, but the laborers are few: pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest.

Brethren:

Thus meaning the large number of God's elect, which were in these cities, towns, and villages, and in other places: not that these were maturely prepared by anything in themselves, or done by them, for the grace of God; and much less ripe for the kingdom of glory, and therefore called an harvest: but as there are the appointed weeks of the harvest, or a set time for the harvest to be gathered in, so there is a certain fixed time, settled in the counsel, and by the purpose of God, for the effectual calling and conversion of his elect; and this time being come, with respect to these in Galilee, and other parts, Christ calls them an "harvest"; and because of their number, a large, or "plenteous" one.

Gospel ministers; whose calling is a laborious one; whose business is to labour in the word and doctrine; to be constant in prayer; to give up themselves to meditation and reading; to study to show themselves workmen; to preach the word in season, and out of season; and diligently discharge the several duties of their office, to the glory of Christ, and the good of souls: but such painful and laborious ministers, who are willing to spend, and be spent for Christ and immortal souls, have been but few in all ages; generally speaking, there are more loiterers than labourers.

By "the Lord of the harvest" is both at once meant God the Father, whose are all the elect, who has a hearty concern for them, and will have them all gathered in, not one of them shall be left; or the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who has the care and charge of the whole election of grace; and who as he must, he will bring them all in; and who has power of sending forth labourers, as the following chapter shows; and so this is a proof of prayer being made to Christ;

This is the petition the disciples of Christ were put upon making to the Lord of the harvest, on consideration of the present condition multitudes of souls were in: they could not make, qualify, and send out ministers themselves; this is not man's work, but God's: he only is able to furnish with ministerial gifts, to work upon, and powerfully incline the hearts of men to this service, to call and send them forth into it, and to assist and succeed them in it. The persons desired to be sent are "labourers"; faithful, diligent, and industrious preachers of the Gospel; such as lay out themselves, their time, talents, and strength, in their master's service; and do not indulge themselves in sloth and idleness: the place they are desired to be sent into is, "into the harvest"; into the field of the world, where God's elect lie, and there labour in preaching the Gospel; hoping for a divine blessing, and an almighty power to attend their ministrations, for the conversion of sinners, and edification of saints. The request the disciples are directed to make, concerning these persons for this work, is, that the Lord of the harvest would "send", or "thrust" them "forth"; implying power and efficacy, and authority, on the part of the sender; and backwardness on the part of those that are sent, through modesty: a sense of the greatness of the work, and of their own unworthiness and unfitness for it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 9:55-56

 55 But Jesus turned about, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not of what spirit ye are. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. Then they went to another town.

Brethren:

An so He turned himself about to them, and looking upon them with a stern countenance, sharply reproved them for their intemperate zeal, their passion of wrath, and anger, and desire of revenge, whereby He said and explained to them that this is not the true spirit of zeal, but of anger and revenge; and is not agreeable to the spirit of the meek and humble followers of Christ, or to the Spirit of God, and those gifts of his bestowed on them, nor to the spirit of the Gospel dispensation: so good men, for want of attention, may not know sometimes from what spirit they act; taking that for a good one, which is a very bad one; being covered with specious pretenses of love and zeal, and the examples of former saints; not observing the difference of persons; times, and things.  Therefore, though it was agreeably to the legal dispensation, and the times of Elijah, to punish offenders in such a manner, it was not agreeably to the Gospel dispensation, and to the ends of the Messiah's coming into the world.

So as noted above He turned with a just displeasure, and rebuked them; for as many as he loves he rebukes and chastens, particularly for what they do, that is irregular and unbecoming them, under colour of zeal for him. He shows them in particular their mistake: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; that is to say "You are not aware what an evil spirit and disposition you are of; how much there is of pride, and passion, and personal revenge, covered under this pretense of zeal for your Master.’’ Note, There may be much corruption lurking, nay, and stirring too, in the hearts of good people, and they themselves not be sensible of it.  "You do not consider what a good spirit, directly contrary to this, you should be of. Surely you have yet to learn, though you have been so long learning, what the spirit of Christ and Christianity is. Have you not been taught to love your enemies, and to bless them that curse you, and to call for grace from heaven, not fire from heaven, upon them? You know not how contrary your disposition herein is to that which it was the design of the gospel you should be delivered into. You are not now under the dispensation of bondage, and terror, and death, but under the dispensation of love, and liberty, and grace, which was ushered in with a proclamation of peace on earth and good will toward men, to which you ought to accommodate yourselves, and not by such imprecations as these oppose yourselves.

He designed to propagate his holy Gospel by love and sweetness, and every thing that is inviting and endearing, not by fire and sword, and blood and slaughter; by miracles of healing, not by plagues and miracles of destruction, as Israel was brought out of Egypt. Christ came to slay all enmities, not to foster them. Those are certainly destitute of the spirit of the gospel that are for anathematizing and rooting out by violence and persecution all that are not of their mind and way, that cannot in conscience say as they say, and do as they do. Christ came, not only to save men’s souls, but to save their lives too.

Witness the many miracles he wrought for the healing of diseases that would otherwise have been mortal, by which, and a thousand other instances of beneficence, it appears that Christ would have his disciples do good to all, to the utmost of their power, but hurt to none, to draw men into his church with the cords of a man and the bands of love, but not think to drive men into it with a rod of violence or the scourge of the tongue. Note, When a stream of opposition is strong, it is wisdom to get out of the way of it, rather than to contend with it. If some be very rude, instead of revenging it, we should try whether others will not be more civil.

Thursday, June 11, 2015



RELIGIOUS MEDITATION
An Essay on  Psalm 104:34
Part Five
By William Greenough Thayer Shedd; Edited by Doktor Riktor Von Zhades

Psalm 104:34 " My meditation of Him shall be sweet."

True meditation, then, being practical, and thereby bringing the subject of it into communion with the object of it, is of necessity sanctifying. For the object is Infinite Holiness and Purity. It is He in whom is centred and gathered and crowded all possible perfections. And can our minds muse upon such a Being and not become purer and better? Can we actually and affectionately commune with the most perfect and high God in the heavens and not become sanctified? The spirit of a man takes its character from the themes of its meditation. He who thinks much upon wealth becomes avaricious; he whose thoughts are upon earthly glory becomes ambitions; and he whose thoughts are upon God becomes godlike.


Meditation upon God is a blessed act of the mind, because God himself is an infinitely blessed being, and communicates of his fulness of joy to all who contemplate it. Mere thinking, in and of itself, is not sufficient to secure happiness. Everything depends upon the quality of the thought, and this again upon the nature of the object upon which it is expended. There are various kinds and degrees of mental enjoyment, each produced by a particular species of mental reflection; but there is no thinking that gives rest and satisfaction and joy to the soul, but thinking upon the glorious and blessed God. All other thought ultimately baffles and tires us. Heaven comes into the human mind not through poetry, or philosophy, or science, or art—not through any secular knowledge—but through religion. When a man thinks of his wealth, his houses, his friends, or his country, though he derives a sort of pleasure from so doing, yet it is not of such a grave and solid species as to justify its being denominated "bliss." No thought that is expended upon the creature, or upon any of the creaturely relations, can possibly produce that "sober certainty of waking bliss" which constitutes heaven. If it can, why is not man a blessed spirit here on earth? If it can, why is it that man in all his movements and strivings never reaches a final centre, at which he is willing to say to his soul: "This is enough; this is all; here stand and remain forever?" Man is constantly thinking upon the things of earth, and if they have the power to awaken calm and contented thought, and to induce a permanent and perfect joy, why is he so restless and unhappy? And why does he become the more wearied and soured, the more intensely he thinks and toils?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 9:20

20 And he said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answered, and said: That Christ of God.

Brethren:

Note, in chapter 9 verses 7-9, we read previously how Herod the tetrarch is hearing about Christ, and asking about Him “who is this man?” Likewise we find Christ inquiring of His disciples the same, and getting the same responses. Even though, He has already shown them through His teachings and works, they replied with the answers of men. Yet, they also knew in their hearts who He was, nay,make that is, for He lives!

“Who say the people that I am?” asked He

 Christ knew better than they did, but would have his disciples made sensible, by the mistakes of others concerning him, how happy they were that were led into the knowledge of him and of the truth concerning him. We should take notice of the ignorance and errors of others, that we may be the more thankful to him who has manifested himself to us, and not unto the world, and may pity them, and do what we can to help them and to teach them better. They tell him what conjectures concerning him they had heard in their converse with the common people. Ministers would know better how to suit their instructions, reproofs, and counsels, to the case of ordinary people, if they did but converse more frequently and familiarly with them; they would then be the better able to say what is proper to rectify their notions, correct their irregularities, and remove their prejudices. The more conversant the physician is with his patient, the better he knows what to do for him. Some said that he was John Baptist, who was beheaded but the other day; others Elias, or one of the old prophets; any thing but what he was.2. What they said of him. "Now see what an advantage you have by your discipleship; you know better.’’ "So we do,’’ saith Peter, "thanks be to our Master for it; we know that thou art the Christ of God, the Anointed of God, the Messiah promised.’’ It is matter of unspeakable comfort to us that our Lord Jesus is God’s anointed, for then he has unquestionable authority and ability for his undertaking; for his being anointed signifies his being both appointed to it and qualified for it. Now one would have expected that Christ should have charged his disciples, who were so fully apprized and assured of this truth, to publish it to every one they met with; but no, he strictly charged them to tell no man that thing as yet, because there is a time for all things. After his resurrection, which completed the proof of it, Peter made the temple ring of it, that God had made this same Jesus both Lord and Christ.

Monday, June 8, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Gospel According to Luke 9:1-2

1 Then called he his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to heal diseases. 2 And he sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God, and to cure the sick

Brethren:

We have here:

 The method Christ took to spread his gospel, to diffuse and enforce the light of it. He had himself travelled about, preaching and healing; but he could be only in one place at a time, and therefore now he sent his twelve disciples abroad, who by this time were pretty well instructed in the nature of the present dispensation, and able to instruct others and deliver to them what they had received from the Lord. Let them disperse themselves, some one way and some another, to preach the kingdom of God, as it was now about to be set up by the Messiah, to make people acquainted with the spiritual nature and tendency of it, and to persuade them to come into the interests and measures of it. For the confirming of their doctrine, because it was new and surprising, and very different from what they had been taught by the scribes and Pharisees, and because so much depended upon men’s receiving, or not receiving it, he empowered them to work miracles. He gave them authority over all devils, to dispossess them, and cast them out, though ever so numerous, so subtle, so fierce, so obstinate. Christ designed a total rout and ruin to the kingdom of darkness, and therefore gave them power over all devils. He authorized and appointed them likewise to cure disease, and to heal the sick, which would make them welcome wherever they came, and not only convince people’s judgments, but gain their affections. This was their commission. Now observe; What Christ directed them to do, in prosecution of this commission at this time, when they were not to go far or be out long. They must not be solicitous to recommend themselves to people’s esteem by their outward appearance. Now that they begin to set up for themselves, they must have no dress, nor study to make any other figure than what they made while they followed him: they must go as they were, and not change their clothes, or so much as put on a pair of new shoes. Likewise they must depend upon Providence, and the kindness of their friends, to furnish them with what was convenient for them. They must not take with them either bread or money, and yet believe they should not want. Christ would not have his disciples shy of receiving the kindnesses of their friends, but rather to expect them.