Primitive Piety Revived

Never heard of Henry C. Fish before? Me neither. After some searching I found out he was a Baptist minister and writing from New York during the mid 1800’s.henryfish

This extract is from his book entitled “Primitive Piety Revived, or The Aggressive Power Of The Christian Church.”

Love prompts to entire devotion. “Every drop of my blood thanks you,” cried a condemned criminal, as he cast himself at the feet of Dr. Doddridge, who had procured his pardon, “for you have had mercy upon every drop of it. Wherever you go, I will be yours.” Love inspires the desire to please. We are slow to grieve a bosom friend. Said our Saviour, “If a man love me he will keep my words.” It cannot be otherwise. And hence the strong language of some of the early Christians, on whose hearts the pure flame of love burned so brightly. “It seems to me,” said one, “much more bitter to offend Christ, than to be tormented in hell.” Another declares, “I say the truth, if on one hand I saw the pains of hell, and on the other the horror of sinning against the love of Jesus, and I must be plunged in one, I would choose the pains of hell, — I could never sin against this love.” We, too, could adopt such language, if, like them we were so full of love divine, as to be beside ourselves unto God.’

Love leads to ready sacrifices. From the force of this principle, the mother disregards her own comfort for the babe of her bosom; the father or husband lavishes his hard earnings upon a companion, or children; and the patriot sacrifices himself for the good of his country. “What a pity,” cried the Roman, “that we have but one life for our country!” Christ’s yoke is easy, and his burden is light, when we are borne upward and onward by the transporting power of love.

Now this grace, like all others, grows by exercise. And where else is it called into exercise, as at the cross of Christ? How much the Saviour loved us, is best seen in what he has done and suffered for us. In like manner our love to him is best proved by doing his will and bearing his cross. At his cross must we linger, if we would awaken all that is tender in affection, and self-sacrificing in devotion. On Calvary is found “a demonstration to convince the mind, and a talisman to kindle the heart.” How can we fail to love Christ, and strengthen the principle of entire self-devotement, if we study our obligations at the foot of the cross?

Under the inspiration of the affecting scenes that cluster around that sacred spot, self-denial becomes a pleasure. It is a positive relief to suffer. We rejoice that we are counted worthy of it, and are dissatisfied with ourselves if not suffering. We cannot, we will not be contented to offer to him that which costs us nothing; but gratitude will cast all her living into the treasury of the Lord, and Love will pour her most “precious ointment” upon the Saviour’s dying head; the one, feeling that her all is too little, and the other, that her most costly tribute is too poor to express the fervor of her affection, and ‘the entireness of her devotion.’

Read online here.

Also found in print by Sprinkle (Gano) Publications


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