Prayer

A. W. Pink, “…what is now being taught on the subject of prayer, and the deplorable thing is that scarcely a voice is lifted in protest. To say that “human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man” is rank infidelity—that is the only proper term for it. Should any one challenge this classification, we would ask them whether they can find an infidel anywhere who would dissent from such a statement, and we are confident that such an one could not be found. To say that “God has ordained that human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man”, is absolutely untrue. “Human destiny” is settled not by “the will of man,” but by the will of God. That which determines human destiny is whether or not a man has been born again, for it is written, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. And as to whose will, whether God’s or man’s, is responsible for the new birth is settled, unequivocally, by John 1:13—”Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD”. To say that “human destiny” may be changed by the will of man, is to make the creature’s will supreme, and that is, virtually, to dethrone God. But what saith the Scriptures? Let the Book answer: “The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory” (1 Sam. 2:6-8). Link

John Gill provides a proper theological background to prayer, “…it should be said that God’s will is immutable, and cannot be altered by our crying. When the mind of God is not toward a people to do them good, it cannot be turned to them by the most fervent and importunate prayers of those who have the greatest interest in Him—”Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth” (Jer. 15:1). The prayers of Moses to enter the promised land is a parallel case.

Our views respecting prayer need to be revised and brought into harmony with the teaching of Scripture on the subject. The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonoring and degrading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No; prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best. This makes my will subject to His, instead of, as in the former case, seeking to bring His will into subjection to mine. No prayer is pleasing to God unless the spirit actuating it is, “not my will, but thine be done”.

“When God bestows blessings on a praying people, it is not for the sake of their prayers, as if He was inclined and turned by them; but it is for His own sake, and of His own sovereign will and pleasure. Should it be said, to what purpose then is prayer? it is answered, This is the way and means God has appointed, for the communication of the blessing of His goodness to His people. For though He has purposed, provided, and promised them, yet He will be sought unto, to give them, and it is a duty and privilege to ask. When they are blessed with a spirit of prayer, it forebodes well, and looks as if God intended to bestow the good things asked, which should be asked always with submission to the will of God, saying, Not my will but Thine be done

The Wise Builder

A friend of mine is dealing with his wife’s cancer and immediately I was reminded of this portion from writings of Dr. John Gill. God is in control of all things. He has a plan. Trust in Jesus Christ alone. 

...if anything comes to pass without the will of God, or contrary to it, or what he has not commanded, that is decreed, (Lam. 3:37) how is he a sovereign Being, that does according to his will in heaven and in earth, and works all things after the counsel of his will? (Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11)

…and if anything is by chance and fortune, or the mere effect of second causes, and of the free will of men, independent of the will of God, and if he works under these, in subserviency to them, and takes his measures of operation from them, then he must be dependent on them; and how then can it be said with truth, that “of him, and through him, and to him, are all things?

He continues;

The “immutability” of God requires eternal decrees in him, concerning everything that is in time; for if anything is done in time, that did not fall under his notice and will in eternity, this must be new to him, and produce a change in him; or if an after will in time arises in him, respecting anything he would have done, which he willed not before, this argues a change in him; whereas, in him there is “no variableness, nor shadow of turning”. The knowledge of God, supposes and clearly proves and establishes the decrees of God; he is a “God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed”, (1 Sam. 2:13) he has knowledge of all actions done in time; and such an exact knowledge of them, as if they were weighed by him, and before him; and this knowledge of them is not successive, as they are performed; “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning”, or from eternity, (Acts 15:18) both what he would do himself, and what he wills to be done by others: and this knowledge is founded on his decrees; he knows that such and such things will be, because he has determined they shall be. Once more, the “wisdom” of God makes it necessary that there should be eternal purposes and decrees in him, concerning things future; he is the all-wise and only wise God, and in wisdom makes all his works; which cannot be supposed to be made without previous thoughts and determinations concerning them:

The analogy of the wise builder has been used many times, maybe A.W. Pink? I don’t recall. Here’s Gill;

what wise man undertakes a building, without first determining what it shall be, of what materials it shall be made, in what form and manner, as well as for what end? And can we imagine that the all-wise God, who builds all things, should go about them without preconcerted measures, and settled determinations concerning them; “Who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working?” (Isa. 28:29).

Still Reforming, Still a Protestant…

f.jpgor years I have visited different online forums to discuss theological topics and recently spent some time on a forum discussing Anglicanism with Anglicans. Although friendly, it was immediately clear that even a very general orthodox position was not tolerated by Anglicans on the forum. It was as if Christian doctrine was being re-assessed by current cultural trends! Sure, there are plenty of orthodox Anglicans out there in the world but I have to wonder how much longer they can hold out, how much longer will they last in Anglicanism before being driven out? We can find spin-off groups and churches, some Anglo-Catholic and others Evangelical, but as we’ve learned from “Joey,” a spin-off of “Friends,” spin-offs can be terrible. (For the older reader think “Joanie Loves Chachi” and “Happy Days”) We get a lot of the same “stuff” but it’s just not the same.

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majority of Anglican theologians tend to be less than orthodox and their theological views are out of sync with the often conservative worship offered on Sunday mornings. For example, did you know that two percent of Anglican Priests in the UK do not believe in God? Instead of growing in faith Anglican Ministers seem to fall into unbelief with age:

“Clergy were significantly more likely to hold unorthodox beliefs the older they were and the longer they had been in the ministry. Nearly 90 per cent of those ordained since 2011 believe in God compared with  only 72 per cent of those who became priests in the 1960s, the research discovered.” (Source)

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n the Apostles Creed we confess, “Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried…” It was reported back in 2002, that 500 English clergyman took part in a poll and found that 27 percent denied the Virgin Birth! This is astounding. One Priest was quoted, “We will be having a traditional service because that is what people expect and enjoy.” (Source) Not because it was a matter of worship but because “that is what people expect!” In another survey 1 in 50 Anglican Priests in the UK believe God is nothing more than a human construct used to deal with the stresses of day to day life. (Source) The Anglican Church in the West has been declining for decades and is there any wonder, when they lack faith in the essentials?

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t has been pointed out that, “For most of the past 50 years, a great deal of Christian wrangling has been about whether the church needs a doctrinal shift towards liberalism or conservatism to survive.” (SourceAccording to God & Politics “those calling themselves Christians, 40% defined it as ‘I try to be a good person’, 26% chose ‘It’s how I was brought up’ and only 16% selected the statement ‘I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour’. 49% had not attended a church service in the previous 12 months. Also more worryingly, 49% did not think is Jesus the Son of God and bizarrely 6% did not believe in God at all.” The problem is obviously liberalism, which reinterprets orthodox doctrines in new and fanciful ways. When 60 percent of Church of England Christians never read their Bibles therein the problems lies. The article on God & Politics includes a breakdown of Anglicanism in the UK that can probably be extrapolated for other Anglican Churches in the West.

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s you all know I’ve been attending an Anglican parish for a while now. It was all good at first, everything was new and exciting. It was a good experience getting into the rhythm of the church calendar, the seasons, such as Lent and Easter. If you have ever experienced Anglican worship you will likely agree that it’s beautiful with the candles, vestments, stained glass windows, etc. That all stated I feel my time with the Anglican church maybe coming to an end. The polling data is clear, the vote to allow same sex marriage seems inevitable and with it, so does the departure of the remaining orthodox Anglicans. The local parishes in my area are still very orthodox and Protestant so I’m not sure how they will handle all of this. How did we get here, how did this all happen?

It’s not as if the Church of England hadn’t been warned:

As the Church is now internally constituted, her Calvinism is impregnable; while she lives, this is immortal. The legislature have it, indeed, in their power (God forbid they should ever have the inclination!) to melt down her Liturgy, Homilies, and Articles; and, when her component particles are severed by state chemistry, to cast her into the Arminian mould: but, until this is really done, all the artifice of man will never be able to fix the banner of Arminius in the citadel, how daringly soever some of his disciples (John Wesley) may display it on the walls. Our pulpits may declare for free-will; but the desk, our prayers, and the whole of our standard writings as a Church, breathe only the doctrines of grace.” Augustus Toplady, Historic Proof of the Doctrine Calvinism of the Church of England

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oplady’s Church is no more. At least not held by the majority…but was it ever? I have stated many times that the Book of Common Prayer is beautifully Reformed and Calvinistic, however, Arminianism (and with it Liberalism) slipped into the citadel. The enemy is within the Anglican Gates and has been for years. The more any church moves away from biblical Calvinism, the more it places man over all as sovereign.

“The type of religion which rejoices in the pious sound of traditional phrases, regardless of their meanings, or shrinks from “controversial” matters, will never stand amid the shocks of life. In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism

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lassic clip:

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hat I have Learned 

My sojourning with the Anglicans was not all for nothing and I am stepping away, for now at least, with a deeper understanding of my own failings, especially when it comes to my personal idealism and sectarianism. Some might say idealism is really “legalism” but I disagree. In my case I was placing such a high ideal on the local church it was bound to leave me wanting. I’ve been a Christian for just shy of 20 years and for most of that time I’ve been extremely sectarian and dogmatic, the Anglicans have taught me to loosen up on what “I” require as a confession from another believer and trust God to sort out the details.

I’ve also been reminded that orthodox Protestantism is in the minority.

Our voice online is often louder than our presence in the local congregation and even though we can download thousands of sermons by orthodox preachers a solid sermon can be difficult to find locally. Where does this leave me? Hopeful. I’m very hopeful and have enjoyed visiting different churches and denominations since leaving the Anglican parish. I’m not sure where I’ll end up or where I’ll plant roots but I know I will. Tomorrow I’m back at First Baptist and looking forward to it after all…it is the Lord’s Day, not mine.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Faith Feeds Upon Christ

Quotations to edify and encourage from John Gill’s Practical Divinity. (emphasis added)

“Faith receives a whole Christ, not in part only, but in whole, he is “altogether”, or “all of him lovely;” the whole of him is, amiable in the sight of a believer, and acceptable to him. As the passover Lamb was to be eaten wholly by the Israelites, no part of it to be left, so faith feeds upon a whole Christ, Christ in his person, offices, grace, and righteousness. “Is Christ divided?” He is not, not in his person; he is but one, God manifest in the flesh; nor in his doctrines; nor from his ministers: nor from his ordinances; where Christ is received all are received.” p65

“Believers feed and live upon Christ by faith; “he”, says Christ, “that eateth me”, his flesh and blood by faith, “even he shall live by me”, a life of grace, which will issue in eternal life; yea, such as thus feed on Christ “have eternal life” (John 6:54,57), and a most comfortable life this is, which a believer lives by faith on Christ, and so a very desirable one; “the life which I now live in the flesh”, says the apostle, “I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20), nor did he desire any other; a better and a more comfortable life cannot be lived in this world; “the just shall live by faith”; not upon his faith; but by faith on Christ (Rom. 1:17).” p73

“The administration of ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s supper; which give such views of Christ in his sufferings and death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, and of the benefits arising from them, as yield delight to believing souls; the eunuch, upon his baptism, “went on his way rejoicing;” the supper of the Lord is a “feast of fat things,” a rich entertainment, where the flesh of Christ, as “meat indeed,” and the blood of Christ, as “drink indeed,” are presented to faith to feed upon; these ordinances are “breasts of consolation,” at which saints may “suck and be satisfied,” and “milk out,” and be “delighted” with the abundance of the glory in them; these are the “lattices” through which Christ shows himself, and these the “galleries” in which he is beheld, to the great joy and satisfaction of those who are favored with a sight of him.” p131

“Christ the Son of God is theirs; the gift of his Father’s love, an unspeakable one he is; given as an head unto them; as an head of government, to rule over them and protect them; and an head of influence, to supply them; he is their husband, to love, nourish, and cherish them, as his own flesh, and to all whose goods they have a common right; he is their Saviour and Redeemer from sin, Satan, the curse of the law, and wrath to come; he is their Mediator and Peacemaker, their Prophet, Priest, and King. All that belong to him are theirs; his righteousness is theirs, for justification; his blood is theirs, to cleanse and pardon them; his flesh is theirs, to feed upon by faith; his fulness theirs, to supply their wants; he is ALL in ALL unto them; and what, not content!” p152

John Gill Audio

gillMy lucky day!

During lunch hour I retreated to my bat cave (not really a cave but a dark 3rd floor storage area were we keep old files and records) to listen to a sermon or two and found some of John Gill’s work on SermonAudio!

The voice is robotic sounding but still…it’s John Gill! I was able to put up with the creepy voice and maybe you can as well. Anyways, I’m very thankful to the folks at Grace Chapel Community Church for taking the time to post them.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Mourning the Departed

Image result for wisdom of sirach

I’ve posted this before but I thought it may be of some use to my brothers and sisters who have trouble grieving.
“My son, let tears fall down over the dead, and begin to lament, as if thou hadst suffered great harm thyself; and then cover his body according to the custom, and neglect not his burial.

Weep bitterly, and make great moan, and use lamentation, as he is worthy, and that a day or two, lest thou be evil spoken of: and then comfort thyself for thy heaviness.

For of heaviness cometh death, and the heaviness of the heart breaketh strength. In affliction also sorrow remaineth: and the life of the poor is the curse of the heart.

Take no heaviness to heart: drive it away, and member the last end. Forget it not, for there is no turning again: thou shalt not do him good, but hurt thyself. Remember my judgment: for thine also shall be so; yesterday for me, and to day for thee. When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance rest; and be comforted for him, when his Spirit is departed from him.” Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of Sirach) Chapter 38.16-23 Authorized King James Version

From The Orthodox Study Bible, “Proper mourning for the dead is essential to the healing of our grief. An honorable burial for the departed was considered a great work of mercy in the ancient Church. Each parish had its volunteers who washed and dressed the body, making preparation for burial. We are warned not to allow our hearts to be grief-stricken (v.18) so grief overpowers us, for some have even died from grief. Thus, St. Paul says we grieve, but not as those “who have no hope” (1 Th. 4:13) (END QUOTE)

John Gill on 1 Th. 4.13, “the apostle’s view is not to encourage and establish a stoical apathy, a stupid indolence, and a brutal insensibility, which are contrary to the make of human nature, to the practice of the saints, and even of Christ and his apostles, and our apostle himself; but to forbid excessive and immoderate sorrow, and all the extravagant forms of it the Gentiles ran into; who having no notion of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, had no hope of ever seeing their friends more,

but looked upon them as entirely lost,

as no longer in being,

and never more to be met with, seen, and enjoyed;

this drove them to extravagant actions, furious transports, and downright madness; as to throw off their clothes, pluck off their hair, tear their flesh, cut themselves, and make baldness between their eyes for the dead; see Deuteronomy 14:1 practices forbidden the Jews, and which very ill become Christians, that believe the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead:

the words are to be understood not of other Christians, who have no hope of the eternal welfare of their deceased friends; not but that the sorrow of those who have a good hope of the future Well being of their dear relatives, must and ought to be greatly different from that of others, who have no hope at all: it is observed by the Jews on those words in Genesis 23:2 and “Abraham came to mourn for Sarah”

“it is not said to weep for Sarah, but to mourn for her; “for such a woman as this, it is not fit to weep”, after her soul is joined in the bundle of life, but to mourn for her, and do her great honour at her funeral; though because it is not possible that a man should not weep for his dead, it is said at the end, “and to weep for her”:’

but here the words are to be understood of the other Gentiles that were in a state of nature and unregeneracy, who had no knowledge of the resurrection of the dead, or and hope of a future state, and of enjoying their friends in it: they are called οι λοιποι, “the rest”; and the Syriac version renders it, “other men”. (END QUOTE)

Grieve passionately for a time but keep in mind the hope we have in Christ.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Gill on John 13.1

The CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 2 Chapter 6Section 1—John 13:1.

Having loved his own which were in the world he loved them unto the end.

These words are expressive of the unchangeable and everlasting love of Christ to his people; who are his own by choice, by his Father’s gift, and his own purchase. Now such shall certainly persevere to the end, and be eternally saved; for who shall separate from the love of Christ? But to this, the following things are objected.

1. That “Christ speaks not of them, whom he had chosen to eternal life, but of them only, whom he had chosen to be his apostles.”[1] To which I reply that though Christ speaks of his apostles, yet not of them all; I speak not of you all, says he, I know whom I have chosen: and of whom he does speak, he does not speak of them as chosen to be apostles, but as men chosen to eternal life; which was not the case of them all, nor were they all his own in this special sense; one of them was a devil, and the son of perdition. Nor does he speak only of these. Were none his own but the apostles? Had he no propriety in any but them? Certainly he had: and if he loved his apostles unto the end, why may he not be thought to love all to the end, who are equally his own, and equally loved by him as they were?

2. That Christ’s loving them to the end, only signifies “the affection he showed to them, by washing their feet when he was to leave them.”[2] To which may be replied, that this was not so much an instance of affection to them, as of humility and meekness; and was designed as an instruction and example to them, how they should behave to each other; and at most was an instance only of his love to them, and what Judas had a share in with the rest of the apostles; and not to be compared with some other instances of his love, and which were nearer the end of his life, as particularly his shedding his blood for them on the cross. Now there is no comparison between washing the feet of his disciples with water, and washing us from our sins in his own blood.

3. That he here speaks “not of his love of them to the end of their lives, but of his own life on earth.”[3] Christ’s love is not allowed to continue to the end of their lives, for that would prove their final perseverance; but the end of his life, as if his love ended with his life: whereas Christ still expresses his love to his people, by appearing in the presence of God, acting as an advocate, and interceding with the Father, and preparing mansions in his Father’s house for them. It is much, that the love of Christ to his own is not confined, by the writers of this cast, to supper time, or to the end of the supper; since it immediately follows, and supper being ended, which would scarce be a more jejune sense of the words than what is given. Why may not te>lov be understood of the end of their lives, as in Matthew 24:13? or of the end of the world? (vv. 6, 14), or of the end of all things, as in 1 Peter 4:7? Besides, eijv te>lov may be rendered continually, as it is in Luke 18:5, or for ever, in which sense it is used by the Septuagint in Psalm 9:6, 18, and Psalm 44:23, where it answers to t[nl, which signifies for ever: and agreeably the words may be read, Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them for ever, as they are rendered by the Ethiopic version. And then the sense of them is, that those who are Christ’s, are loved by him with an everlasting love; and therefore shall not perish, but have eternal life.

ENDNOTES:

[1] Whitby, p. 437; ed. 2. 426.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., and Remonstr. Coll. Hag. Art. V. p. 91.

Oh yes, it’s free!

Some great quotes found on Wiki, enjoy!

Christopher Ness
“Evangelical repentance is the gift of free grace; faith is the gift of God. What is God’s, as a gift to bestow, cannot be man’s duty to perform as a condition of salvation. Those who are invited to look to Christ, to come to Him for salvation, are very minutely described: they are the weary and heavy laden with sin, the penitent, the hungry and thirsty soul, etc., etc.; these are the characters invited to come to and believe in Christ, and not all men (Mt 11:28; Isa 55:1; Mr 2:17).”

J.H. Gosden
“We believe that all men are under obligation to believe and obey God. Though the Adam Fall utterly depraved and alienated human nature from God and goodness, rendering him as entirely incapable as unwilling to submit to God’s law, yet the divine Lawgiver has not lost His power to command and to judge. Man’s inability does not exonerate him… But what is every man duty-bound to believe? Surely not that each individual is himself interested in the redemption work of Christ, Man is not called upon to believe a lie.”

William Styles
“If Faith be a duty, it is a work; but according to the reasoning of the Apostle, the works of the Law are contradistinguished from Faith. Yet if Faith be a natural duty—though we are saved by grace—it is through the works of the law. The Covenant of Works is blended with the Covenant of Grace, and “grace is no more grace.”

Benjamin Taylor
“A man is called upon to believe in God so far as his knowledge goes of God, both in His works of grace and His works of providence. No man is called upon to believe what he never heard… To believe in Christ as my own Saviour is purely a spiritual act; and before I can do this, it is certain I must have a revelation of Christ to my soul.”

John Foreman
“…faith cannot be separated from any part of its connection and interest… If faith unto salvation be the natural man’s duty, then it must be the natural man’s duty to be all that the actual believer, through grace unto salvation, really and properly is… it must be the natural man’s duty to have all what the actual believer through grace unto salvation truly and properly has, according to the word of God… it must be the natural man’s duty for God himself to be to him all what by promise and gift he is to those who through grace do believe unto salvation… it must be the natural man’s duty for God to do for him, and give to him, all what by promise he does and gives to those who through grace do really believe unto salvation… If duty faith were a truth, it must have some meaning with God in regard to salvation; and such a meaning too, as that if it were the universal duty of all men, wherever the gospel comes, to believe unto salvation, then salvation would be as universal as the spread of the gospel, if all men did but do their duty.”

William Huntington
“…such doctrine had no good effect, either upon the saint, or upon the sinner: not to the saint, for he was sent to Moses for help; nor to the sinner, for he was sent to the physician before he was sick. Nor will God ever attend with his blessing and his seal such a doctrine as this to the conversion of any soul living… There is a great difference between law and gospel, works and grace, the letter and the Spirit; and between a legal commandment and a life-giving commandment.”

John Gill
“…the law is not of faith, so faith is not of the law. There is a faith indeed which the law requires and obliges to, namely, faith and trust in God, as the God of nature and providence; for as both the law of nature, and the law of Moses, show there is a God, and who is to be worshipped; they both require a belief of him, and trust and confidence in him… moreover the law obliges men to give credit to any revelation of the mind and will of God he has made, or should think fit to make unto them at any time; but as for special faith in Christ as a Saviour, or believing in him to the saving of the soul; this the law knows nothing of, nor does it make it known.”

John Gill
“The gospel is indeed ordered to be preached to every creature to whom it is sent and comes… And that there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men I utterly deny; nay, I deny they are made to any; no, not to God’s elect; grace and salvation are provided for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit.”

Robert Hawker
“And the advocates of a yea and nay gospel, all act in perfect conformity to those principles… Offers of Christ, yea pressing Christ upon the congregation, are the chief topics adopted. And sometimes, from the great earnestness with which they have worked up their natural feeling to persuade, they enforce the present opportunity as if, should it be neglected, never another perhaps may be afforded them.”

John Brine
“With respect to offers and tenders of mercy and salvation to sinners I observe: That Christ and his salvation are to be proposed for acceptance, to all who see their need of him, that this includes an offer in it, but is more than an offer, and that he is graciously given to them, and ‘tis their duty to embrace and receive him.”

William Tant
“If then the gospel is good tidings because it proclaims blessings that are given to, secured for, and wrought in the souls of all interested in them, independent of creature merit, creature wisdom, creature seeking, creature asking, or creature diligence; then that gospel which gives an opposite view of these things is not good tidings. An offered gospel does do so; therefore an offered gospel is a contradiction to itself, and cannot be the gospel of the ever blessed God, for he is not the author of confusion, 1 Cor. 14:23, Therefore an offered gospel is contrary to God’s Word and Will.”

Posted back in 2011

a soul purely naked

Two portions:worship

John Gill on true internal worship, “…the subject I am upon I consider it as an assemblage of graces, as containing the whole of grace in the heart, the exercise of which is necessary to serve and worship God with reverence and godly fear (Heb. 12:28), and without this there can be no internal worship of God. This is no other than the inward devotion of the mind, a fervency of spirit in serving the Lord; it is a holy disposition of the soul towards God. This is qeosebeia, the true worship of God (1 Tim. 2:10), the ground and foundation of it, without which there can be none. This is “life and godliness”, or vital powerful godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), and “the things pertaining” to it are faith, hope, love, and every other grace, of which it consists, and in the exercise of which it lies, and in this is all internal religion and worship.”

On true and experimental religion, “Now as inward powerful godliness is, as has been seen, a disposition of the soul Godward, from whom all grace comes and to whom it tends, and as it is an assemblage of every grace, in the exercise of which all internal worship and experimental religion lies, I therefore begin with it, and shall in the following chapters consider the branches of it in which it opens; as the knowledge of God, repentance towards God, fear of him, faith and trust in him, the hope of things from him, love to him, joy in him, humility, self-denial, patience, submission, and resignation to the will of God, thankfulness for every mercy, with every other grace necessary to the worship of God, and which belongs to experimental religion and godliness.” (Practical Theology)

William Gurnall on carnal Christians who place their trust in themselves, their prayers, their religion, “When Satan tempts to sin, if he hath not presently a peaceable entrance, yet the resistance commonly made is carnal; the strength carnal they rest on, their own, not God’s; the motive’s carnal, as the fear of man more than of God; [as to which] one saith, ‘How shall I do this and sin against God?’ Many in their hearts say, How shall I do this and anger man, displease my master, provoke my parents, and lose the good opinion of my minister?  Herod feared John, and did many things.  Had he feared God, he would have laboured to have done everything. The like may be said of all other motives, which have their spring in the creature, not in God; they are armour which will not out-stand shot.”

And further, “A soul purely naked, nothing like the wedding garment on, he is speechless.  The drunkard hath nothing to say for himself, when you ask him why he lives so swinishly; you may come up to him, and get within him, and turn the very mouth of his conscience upon him, which will shoot into him.  But come to deal with one who prays and hears, one that is a pretender to faith and hope in God; here is a man in glittering armour, he hath his weapon in his hand, with which he will keep the preacher, and the word he chargeth him with, at arm’s length.  Who can say I am not a saint?  What duty do I neglect?  Here is a breastwork he lies under, which makes him not so fair a mark either to the observation or reproof of another; his chief defect being within, where man’s eye comes not.  Again, it is harder to work on him, because he hath been tampered with already, and miscarried in the essay.  How comes such a one to be acquainted with such duties—to make such a profession?  Was it ever thus?  No, the word hath been at work upon him, his conscience hath scared him from his trade of wickedness, into a form of profession, but, taking in short of Christ, for want of a thorough change, it is harder to remove him than the other.” (The Christian in Complete Armour)

(edited to add a note I found on Wiki: “The writing style is akin to that of the King James Bible, so in 1988 [Banner of Truth Trust] did a revised and abridged version in contemporary English.” The edition published by Hendrickson is the one I’d recommend.)

Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may pe

I’ve been using the BCP for devotions off and on for a few years now. At one time I believe it was nothing more than popish doctrine made more palatable to Protestants (see Gill here and here) but I have since changed my mind and recommend it as a source guide for devotion and prayer. I’ll include some information for your perusal:

How to use the Book of Common Prayer

About the Canadian Prayer Book

App – I found mine using Play Store

daily prayer app