Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, April 19, 2019

The song of songs

by Rev. Alfred Hewlett

The author was the incumbent of St. Stephen's Church, Astley, Lancashire and editor of the monthlyChristian Cottager's Magazine. An article by the same author on "Christian Experience" was carried in issue 15 of thePresbyterian Standard. This piece is taken from the August 1847 edition and was the first in a series of expositions of this neglected portion of Scripture, done at the request of the Lord's people who attended his ministry. His treatment of the first verse of the Song helps us to understand the whole.

This article was published in thePresbyterian Standard, Issue No. 19, July-September 2000.

"The song of songs, which is Solomon's."
V ERSE 1st contains the preface of the book, a book but little read, seldom expounded, and rarely understood; the reason of which as it appears to me, is not merely the allegorical expressions, but the depth of feeling, the ardour and warmth of those raptures, which enchant and attract the bridegroom and bride, with the humble acknowledgement of her real state and condition expressed by the bride – all these are so foreign to the present sickly state of religion that its very earnestness seals the book to a great many persons. It is doubtless an allegorical book, abounding in such figurative expressions representing the relationship of Christ to his Church under the figure of bridegroom and bride, husband and wife. The glorious bridegroom is set forth in his infinite fulness, as contrasted with the coldness, dullness, deadness, faintings, and wanderings of his bride; she laments her emptiness, but rejoices in him, and tasting of his grace and love praises him. Expressions used in ordinary life are here used by the Holy Ghost to shew forth the greatness of the love of Christ towards his Church, and the greatness of her love towards him, when feeling as the blessed poet saith
"Loved of my God, for him again
With love intense I'd burn,
Chosen of him ere time began
I choose him in return."
To read this book profitably, I conceive that four things are necessary.First – An acquaintance with God, and in some degree with the whole of the sacred Scriptures.Secondly – An acquaintance with the experiences of the people of God.Thirdly A measure of watchfulness over the heart and spirit.Fourthly Very frequent intercourse and communion with the heavenly bridegroom; you must carry all, cares and joys, to him who is King of kings and Lord of lords; "a greater than Solomon is here."
Many people take some parts of Scripture, those particularly that are, or seem, suited to their own state and case, and do not seek to understand "all scripture." Many are satisfied with a mere formal religion; if they come to church they have satisfied their conscience, and whatever the preaching may be, all is to them equally good. Unitarianism,Socinianism,Arminianism,Legalism, and any other of the thousand and one isms are received, or listened to without the slightest difficulty or objection. If a man speak with a tongue like the pen of a ready writer, they are delighted to hear him without weighing his words in the balances of the sanctuary they lack sound judgment, and cannot, therefore, enjoy the word of God; but "doth not the ear discern words, even as the palate doth meat?" Again, how little acquaintance is there with the experiences of others how prone Christians are to try each other by their own puny standard; but if it were asked, do they know the business of other Christians? are they busybodies in other men's matter? how ready would the answer be; how prone are men to magnify the faults of their brethren, to impute motives to an indifferent action, making it sinful; to be jealous of others' success, yea, even of God's goodness to some of his people. Well might John Bunyan say, "when religion walks in silver slippers, Christ will have many followers." Such is the case now, there is nothing to suffer for the profession of religion, but it is in the time of trial and temptation that we appear as we really are. How do we act in the time of temptation? Do we swallow it down as a fish does the first bait that is presented to it, or as Eve ate of the forbidden fruit? Or do we look to God to preserve and keep us, and pray that he may give us a spirit of watchfulness? Do we cry to him, "Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me"? It is commonly said, "All men think all men mortal but themselves." So we may assuredly say, all men think all men should be perfect but themselves: they speak of their own imperfections, yet they think their brethren should be perfect.
This book is sometimes called Canticles, sometimes the Song of Solomon. Canticles meanssongs, for the book is, as it were, a cluster of small songs composing a larger one, all written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. There are three things to be noticed in this verse: first, it is a song;secondly, the song of songs;thirdly, whose it is, Solomon's.
In thefirst place, there are various parts of scripture which are songs; that is, they were written or composed in order that they might be sung either with, or without an instrument. In Ephesians 5:19, and in Colossians 3:16, we are exhorted to sing praises and to make melody with the heart unto the Lord. It was customary to sing songs after any victory gained. Thus Deborah and Barak sang after their triumph over Sisera (Judges 5); Moses, and Aaron, and Miriam after the destruction of the Egyptians (Exodus 15). David's psalms are songs written in the same manner, in the same spirit, and with the same intent. Gladness of heart has always been expressed by singing, and will be throughout all eternity. In the 96th Psalm we read of singing a new song, which does not mean as though it contained something new or unheard of, but some new effusion, for some new deliverance vouchsafed, or mercy granted. All these songs are written to shew the thankfulness of the heart for the lovingkindness of Christ to his Church, which is remarkable for its faithfulness, and for being everlasting, and for its strength and fervour; for many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love it would be utterly despised.
Secondly, It is THE song of songs. In this way the Hebrews expressed the superlative degree; we have three degrees of comparison, the Hebrews had two. Thus they say, "the heaven of heavens," meaning the highest heaven. So this means the chief or best song. No others are comparable to this, or can vie with it; the subject matter of it is superior to all others; nor can any songs composed by men be compared to it, seeing that it is written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; and of all those written by inspiration, this is the best, the most complete, powerful, and sublime; for it speaks of Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and declares that nothing can subdue or change his love, abate the ardour of his affections, or overturn the purpose of his eternal love, it is above all conception, and far eclipses our highest estimation. It sets forth the love of Christ to lost sinners, and uses the warmest expressions of loving-kindness that can possibly be used.
Thirdly, It is "Solomon's". The expression may be understood as pointing to the composer, it is written by Solomon king of Israel; or to the subject and hero of it, – the spiritual Solomon, the Lord Jesus; it is of, or concerning, a greater than Solomon. Now it was doubtless written by Solomon, King of Israel, a man remarkable for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:29 to end). Many have said that it is merely an Epithalmum, or bridal song, composed on his marriage with Pharaoh's daughter; but the fact is, that the date shows it to have been written eighteen years afterwards. Others affirm that Solomon was not permitted to write any part of scripture, for he turned away from God and lived and died a reprobate; but in 2 Samuel 7:12, God promises David that his son, if a transgressor, shall be chastised with the rod of men, but that he should not be put away as Saul was. Solomon was a type of Christ, though the book itself is not a typical book – a type, though a matter of real history, refers to and represents something future and further. The paschal lamb – Abraham offering his son Isaac the journeying of the children of Israel, though historical facts, were typical of some of the Lord's dealings with his spiritual Israel. This book is allegorical or figurative, describing under the names of Solomon and his bride, the Lord Jesus Christ and his chosen people. We have many allegorical passages in scripture, as "a certain king made a marriage for his son," etc. Solomon, as I said, was a strong type of Christ; both were sons promised, both of David, both called Jedidiah, beloved of the Lord, kings in Israel, both remarkable for the peacefulness and plentifulness of their respective reigns. No character comes up to the glowing description of the bridegroom, given of him by the Church, but Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and Husband of his Church (Isa. 54:6), and none knows the feelings pressed by the spouse or bride, but those who are amongst the number of the redeemed.

We preach Christ crucified



by Thomas Halyburton


"But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God"
– 1 Cor. 1:23, 24.
N OW from the words we offer this doctrine. "Christ crucified, held out in the gospel dispensation, is the powerful mean whereby God, in his wisdom, effectually saves all them that are called."

The doctrine needs no text to prove it; it is plain in the words; the context is full of it; the whole scriptures are so, as we shall see afterwards. In speaking to it,

I. We shall offer some remark about Christ crucified:

1. Our Lord was indeed the Christ of God, the Messiah, the anointed; him had God solemnly set apart, and fully furnished to be the Saviour of sinners. He is the holy child Jesus whom thou hast anointed, says the joyful congregation in their song of praise. Compare Matt. 1:21 with Luke 1:74.
2. The Christ of God, whom he ordained to save the world, was in the world, and by the world crucified, put to death. Jews and Gentiles, rulers and people, church and state, elect and reprobate, Acts 4:37; a full representation of the world concurred to crucify the Saviour of the world. This is a common, but a very strange truth. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at the monstrous ingratitude of the world below. What a strange thing also is it, that he who was ordained, anointed to save the world, should die! the Prince of Life lose his life! the Saviour be destroyed, as it were! But this is not all: for,
3. The Christ of God was sent into the world by God, to die, to be Christ crucified. God spared him not; he delivered him up: he gave his enemies power against him, as our Lord insinuates to Pilate. He bid the sword awake against him; he put him to grief, and bruised him. Strange! the Christ of God, by the determinate counsel of God, crucified! What must the matter be? which leads me to remark,
4. The Christ of God was not crucified for any sin of his own: He "was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." He needed no atonement for his own sins, Heb. 7:26, 27. He was "cut off, but not for himself," Dan. 9:26: his enemies could find no fault with him: heaven proclaims him innocent. Accursed, therefore, are the notions that now spread among us, That there were rebellions in his lower faculties, etc., and the apologies for this are no better.
5. Christ was crucified, in the stead of sinners; for "he was cut off from the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken;" that is, not merely for our good, as Socinians speak: nor was it only or principally to leave us an example of suffering: but it was in our stead, in our place. This, Socinians, and they who of old and of late fall in with them, oppose: and I wish that some amongst ourselves, with their new and useless disputes about the sense wherein Christ bore our persons, had not contributed too much to the darkening this glorious truth, whereon all the power of Christ's death toward our salvation hangs. I shall tell you what the scripture says in this matter plainly:

1. Christ was made, or admitted by God, to be our surety, Heb. 7, whereas we only were at first bound by and to the law: he was now allowed to come in our bond, and was made under the law, Gal. 4:5, whereby he became liable to answer all that the law required of us: and to this he willingly agreed. Though he was in the form of God, "he made himself of no reputation, took the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," Phil. 2:6-8; Psa. 40:6-8.

2. Our sins were charged on him; "God laid on him the iniquity of us all," Isa. 53:6 and he bare them, even our sins, v.11.

3. He was punished for those sins, he was cut off from the land of the living, Isa. 53:8, not for himself, Dan. 9:26, but for the "transgression of my people was he smitten, Isa. 53:8.

4. The punishment he suffered for these sins was the punishment threatened by the law. "He was made a curse for us, to deliver us from the curse of the law," Gal. 3:13.

5. His design in bearing this punishment was, that we might be delivered from the curse, as we see in the words last quoted.

6. His death is reckoned ours, that is, as undergone and suffered for us, and whereof the benefit should accrue to us. "If one died for all, then are all dead," 2 Cor. 5:14, 15. We are crucified with him, buried with him.

7. His death and punishment, we are instructed to plead as payment, or satisfaction, when we are accused and called to an account; and we are to plead his resurrection as our discharge, as to all that can be required of us, in order to our justification. See Rom. 8:34, 35.

II. Let us see who they are for whom Christ was crucified, and to whom he is the power of God.

This is a dispute. I shall give you some plain scripture characters of the persons.
1. They are such as were given to him of the Father. His power is to give life to as many as are given him, John 17:2, who shall all in time come to him, and none of them be lost, John 6:37,39.
2. They are in the text, those who are called, not merely externally, as those mentioned in the verse above, but internally and effectually, in opposition to them, and who are the same with the chosen, vv.26, 27, compared with the text.
3. They are such to whom Christ is in time given, and with him all things, Rom. 8:32. Here is the order. Christ,1. Is delivered for us.2. Given to us.3. All things with him.
4. They are such as believe on him, receive him; to them the gospel is the power of God, Rom. 1:16.
Finally, I might tell you, they are God's people, Isa. 53:8. Christ's sheep, John 10:11. The Church of God, etc.; but I pass these.

III. I shall now show, in some instances, that Christ crucified, or the death of Christ, is the power, and the wisdom of God to their salvation.

1. Christ's death, held forth in the gospel, is the power of God, the powerful mean, whereby sinners are called or converted. What is the great thing that prevails on sinners to turn to God? Why, it is the offer of a slain Saviour, Acts 2:42. Three thousand are converted! Well, what was it that prevailed on them? Look at the chapter; it is a sermon about Christ crucified. Who converted most to God? I believe never any did convert so many as our Apostle. Well, what means used he? It was the preaching of the cross, as he tells us in this context.
2. Christ crucified is the power of God to justification. This our apostle dwells on in the first five chapters of the epistle to the Romans, and frequently elsewhere. The case is this, guilty man is called to account, accused for his sins before God. What plea shall he make; where shall there an answer be got that will effectually clear him? If judgment is given against him, he is undone.
The wisdom of men, heathens and Christians, have laboured to find pleas, and to this day new defences are still sought. Some are for pleading not guilty, denying. Others for excusing, extenuating faults, like Adam. Some for making amends, by vows to do better in time coming. Some promise to do more than is required. Some pretend to expiate their sin with their tears. Some are for penances. Some run to sacrifices of beasts. Others to barbarous human sacrifices. Others, to the sacrificing their own children. And some fearing all this not enough, would be content to go to impossibilities, Mic. 6:6. Some place much in acts of charity. Others are for monastic vows, retirement, and mortification, as they falsely call it, or, to use the modish word, doing penance. Some to trusting to their own faith. Others to their sincere obedience, such as they can give. And, in effect, here they all land. We owe pounds, and we will pay pennies. You see there are two advantages. 1. God shall not have it to say, that he freely forgave them all.2. They may say they have paid some, though not what they ought, yet what they could, and it were cruelty to exact more. Finally, some fearing all this not enough, run to a purgatory, or, in the new language, a state of purification. Look how hard man's wisdom is put to it, and yet not one of all, nor all these together, have power to justify and bring us off.
The wisdom of God by the gospel reveals the righteousness of God, Rom. 1:17. If a sinner that believes is charged, threatened with condemnation for sin, it bids him plead, Christ has died for sin, that is, has obtained a discharge, and is in heaven to make it good, Rom. 8:34. This will powerfully bring us off; no other plea will; they are weak and foolish.
3. Christ's death is the power of God to sanctification. This must be cleared in an instance or two, especially as to mortification.

1. Christ's death is a satisfaction for sin, for the guilt of all their sins, that are partakers of it, and hereby sin loses its claim to their service. It is the power of God, to disable the foundation of sin's dominion. Sin has no right that prejudges God's, but sin and Satan both have a sort of lawful dominion over us by our own consent, according to the rule, Rom. 6:16; but as soon as we are partakers of Christ's sufferings and death, Phil. 3:10, and so dead with him, Rom. 6:4, 5; 2 Cor. 5:14, who died for sins, if sin pretend to reign, and say, we have yielded ourselves servants to obey it, we may now answer, We are dead, 2 Cor. 5:14, and so are no longer bound; for the law binds a man no longer than he lives, Rom. 7:1. Again, our consent is declared null, our surety has suffered for it among the rest of our sins, and so it is dead, binds no more. Finally, sin, thou art condemned as a traitor, when we were, or our surety, was condemned for our submitting to thee, judgment was thereby given against thee; our old man is crucified with Christ, Rom. 6:6; no service is due to a dead master, one legally dead. Thus we see the meaning of Rom. 6:6. "He that is dead is freed," or, as the Greek has it, "justified from sin." He is powerfully secured against any right that sin claimed to his service.

2. Christ's death, as the price of our redemption from the power of sin, has powerfully purchased, that is, effectually, or really merited the communication of the Holy Spirit, who actually breaks the power of sin, by planting, actuating, supporting, strengthening, reviving the opposite principle of grace, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, whereby we are freed from the law of sin, and sin is mortified, Rom. 8:2, 3. Now, Christ's death, as a price, purchased this, Gal. 3:13, 14, and through him it is shed on us abundantly, Tit. 3:6. Christ crucified is the power of God in a meritorious and real sense, to our salvation from the power of sin.

3. Christ's death, as an atonement, secures the acceptance of our service, and so removes discouragements, and affords the most effectual arguments to enforce holiness. Our labour is not in vain in the Lord, 1 Cor. 15:58, but acceptable through him, 1 Pet. 2:5, see 2 Cor. 5:14, 15. Thus it is morally the power of God to sanctification.

4. Christ's death, as held forth in the gospel, is the mean made use of to make us holy, and so it, instrumentally, as it were, is the power of God to sanctification, 2 Cor. 3:18. It is a principal part of that glory that changes us when we see it: we might allege many other instances of its influence in sanctification, as the patron of the destruction of the old man, Rom. 6:4-6, and the like. No wonder souls that desire to be holy join with the apostle's desire, Phil. 3:10.
4. Christ crucified, or his death, is the power of God, to our consolation, being the great pledge of God's love to us. God commended his love to us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Rom. 5:8, and this will bear much; see the context, vv.6, 12. This is the spring of consolation.
5. Christ's death is the power of God, to assure us of all the other blessings of the covenant. It is the pledge that makes us sure that all the rest shall be given in their season; direction, strength, support, provision, protection, light, life, love; see Rom. 8:32.
6. Christ crucified is the power of God to secure our acceptance, and obtain us safe access to the holiest, Heb. 10:16. We are safe, having the Lamb slain betwixt us and hazard. He has "borne the iniquity of our holy things," and we have "access," i.e. safe access, "into the holiest by his blood."
7. Christ's death is the power of God, to the overthrow of Satan, "by death, he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil," Heb. 2:14. This may be understood by what was said about sanctification; Christ pays the debt, and so, 1. Satan the jailor loses right to detain us in prison.2. We have a right to crave power to free us from the wrongous detainer.
8. Christ's death powerfully delivers from the sting of death, and that is, the guilt of sin. This has been cleared before, when we spoke of justification, Heb. 2:15.
9. Christ's death is the meritorious price of our inheritance; "he died that we might receive the promise of eternal inheritance," Heb. 9:15.
10. Christ's death confirms the testament, and so secures all grace and glory to us, Heb. 9:16,17.

IV. We might speak further of its power in crucifying the world, and the like: but we pass these, and come to the application.

Now, from what has been said, we may, for information learn,

1. The manifold wisdom of God, that by a mean, so unlikely and foolish in men's apprehensions, brings about so many glorious effects; this is what the angels look into, and the redeemed round the throne fix their eyes on, the Lamb that was slain. Again, we must learn,
2. That the doctrine of Christ crucified and its power, is a great, yea, the principal part, the glory of the mystery of the gospel, of the Christian religion: all models of religion that shorten its power cramp it into narrow bounds, pretend zeal for what they will, misrepresent the Christian religion, nay, miss it wholly; for all the power of our religion arises from the roots that the powerful death of Christ has in it; and therefore, the Jesuits in the Indies who conceal it, the Socinians, Quakers, modern mystics, who leave little room for the power of the death of Christ, if not as an example, or a notable act of obedience, in a difficult duty, teach not the gospel.
3. The more directly and evidently any gospel ordinance represents or sets forth Christ as crucified, or Christ in his death, the more glorious, useful, and valuable it is. How great then is the glory of this ordinance ye are now preparing for! How is he evidently set forth as crucified, in express words of revelation, and signs of his own appointment!
4. We may learn, that it is a great privilege to have those means whereby Christ is thus set forth evidently in his death; for these are the channels whereby all this saving power is conveyed to them that are called. There is no experience of this power, but by faith, "it is by faith we are saved," Eph. 2:8, and where there is no divine command for a warrant, no institution to lay stress on, no promise to grip to, but a "Who hath required this?" staring us in the face, there is no place for faith. It is cursed doctrine many are now drinking in, that every mean we may fancy useful for this or that end, e.g. mortifying sin, etc. may be used, this will bring in crucifixes, penances, and I know not what, yea, all the Pagan rites, this is a shoe for any foot: but, blessed be God, we have the means of God's own institution, that are the channels of this power, the ministration, the Spirit applying it, and "of these we are not ashamed," Rom. 1:16.
5. We may learn, that our religion is an experimental religion; it is a discovery of a saving remedy to perishing sinners, a remedy that is all power, and works many effects that may be, nay, that must be felt. Well then, if ye have no experience of the power of the death of Christ to those ends mentioned, ye are no Christians. Notions of truth make no man such, it is experience of the power of God, and sight, conviction of the wisdom of God herein, that does. The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Albert Mohler's love of Rome

I found this quote from Mohler concerning the Notre Dame fire...

"Indeed, the Protestant Reformers themselves would have mourned the loss of this great cathedral—a symbol of the Christianity they sought to reform."  source -https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/04/16/al-mohler-says-reformers-would-mourn-the-loss-of-notre-dame-john-calvin-disagrees/
These famous, influential 'evangelicals' like Mohler and the late Billy Graham are ecumenical tools in the hands of Satan leading the deluded back to the mother church. 
From that same article, this quote from John Calvin, "I come now to monstrous impieties, which it is strange they ventured to utter, and twice strange that all men did not protest against with the utmost detestation. It is right to expose this frantic and flagitious extravagance, and thereby deprive the worship of images of that gloss of antiquity in which Papists seek to deck it (Institutes 1:11.16)."
Seems Mr. Mohler is very much deluded if he thinks the Reformers agree with his evil mindset.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sinful Pride

As pride is a sin that abides and works in all Christians in this world, let us all then, as the servants of Christ, trusting in Him—our victorious, sin-pardoning, sin-subduing and grace-giving Master—watch and oppose the enemy whenever attacked fiercely.

1. The sin of pride is the child of unbelief. Pride springs from a disbelief of God to be what He is, in His immense and essential glory, in His infinite, underived, all-comprehending, incomprehensible self-sufficiency; and from a vain conceit of the creature's being that which indeed it is not—that the creature is something independent of God. Whereas, without His all-supporting and all-supplying hand, it would soon sink into its first nothing, and be, as in and of itself it is, a mere vacuity, less than nothing, and vanity.

2. This sin of pride which turned myriads of angels of light into legions of black devils, and that for this they were hurled down from heaven to the bottomless pit of hell.

3. Pride was the sin which cast down Adam, and in him all his posterity, even to the last, from the height of created, natural, and princely excellency, into an unsearchable depth of spiritual slavery, and the just desert of eternal misery.

4. Pride is a sin by which the whole law of God, in each of its ten commandments, is broken.

5. This sin of pride, as it springs from gospel-unbelief, is directly opposite to the gospel of Christ. Pride rejects the Savior, in whole or in part, and would rival it, in extreme vanity, with the Lord of glory. Pride would rob the Savior of His invaluable crown, who died in the sinner's room, to raise him from death to that eternal life of a seat with Him of His high and everlasting throne. Yes, pride is directly contrary to the great design of God the Father in the gospel, which is, to make Himself an everlasting name, to display the exceeding riches of His free grace, in the whole and in every part of a sinner's salvation and bliss, to the eternal praise of His own glory.

But pride—horrid pride—will not endure that the Lord should have the entire glory of His saving grace, of His free, rich, boundless grace, but sets up wretched self in Jehovah's place, to nullify, as much as in it lies, the sinner-saving, the God-glorifying, project of eternity! Pride sets up the creature as a co-partner with the Creator; a creature of time, a mere nothing, upon a level with the eternal I AM! Yes, pride excludes God—the everlasting God—and takes to a man, Jehovah's essential, eternal throne, and in the height of insolence, says, "I AM! And there is none besides me."

6. Pride renders the creature, man, though new-created in Christ, after the image of His purity, and as such, bearing upon him a fresh impress of divine glory, the most unlike to the Holy Jesus, who, by way of eminence, and to an all-surpassing excellence, was meek and lowly!

7. Pride makes a member of Christ to bear upon him the horrid image of the devil!Nothing gives such a hellish visage to a spirit of heavenly extraction as the sin of pride, the spawn of the old serpent, the infernal abomination.

8. This sin of pride, the first-born of unbelief, as springing from it, and living in it as a branch from and in the life of the root, is a pregnant monster that contains in itself, and is fertile to bring forth, a fullness of all sin.

9. Nothing like the sin of pride unfits us for divine service. It renders us incapable, so far as it prevails, of any acceptable service either to God or man.

10. That this sin of Pride, dragon-like, stands ready with open mouth to devour every heavenly birth as soon as it is brought forth. And it would destroy effectively all the saints' fruits which they by faith bring forth unto God by Christ, as soon as they appear, were they not caught up instantly by as Almighty hand unto God upon the throne of grace for security to His and His people's joy and glory.

11. Pride is that vile abomination which the Lord hates, and which He will not allow in those whom He loves. This sin of pride, if the heart is not humbled for it deeply, and if not repented sincerely, will bring down upon the children of God His fatherly chastisements severely.

12. This sin of pride is a master-thief, as it robs God of that honor which would be given Him by His people if humble, and of that joy which He takes in their humility. Pride also robs believers of their present joy and comfort.

13. Pride is a sin that militates directly against the whole of divine glory as displayed and ascribed. It turns away its lofty eye from that illustrious display of the glory of God the Father in election, of God the Son in redemption, and of God the Holy Spirit in effectual calling, and thwarts thereby, as far as it may, the great design of the God of glory, which in and by this bright display is to make us meek and lowly that we might be happy here and hereafter in being holy. Pride will not allow us to give unto the Lord in any of these respects the glory due unto His name. It robs God as well as His people, and in robbing them it aims at Him.

This horrid sin of pride will make the Lord's friends to behave as his enemies, yes, to fight against Him with His own mercies, and even with His freest, richest mercies, to act the greatest hostilities. This monster, pride—this hellish sin—will excite a man to render hatred to God for His greatest love, to wound His honor, to pierce His heart, to stab to death His infinite life, by those choicest favors which it turns into the keenest daggers, which, in his immense bounty, he bestows upon the most unworthy, and with which he crowns, unto life and immortal glory, the most rebellious subjects, who, for renewed acts of enmity, deserve to die continually, and eternally.

14. Pride is such an abominable sin that no tongue or pen can express a thousandth part of its aggravated guilt. None but the Lord Jehovah, in His understanding infinity, can search the immense depth of this great iniquity.

Then, if pride is so great a sin, and has in it such a fullness of malignity against God and man, no wonder that the people of God are tempted to it by Satan, who hates God, who hates us. Hence we may learn to admire the infinite wisdom and love of God, which devised and provided a way, by and through the death of His only Son, to save His people from this abominable sin—to save them from its dominion here, by grace—and from its very being hereafter in glory.

We hence admire the invincible strength of Jehovah's favor, in that He casts not away His chosen servants from their appointed services, though God-provoking pride makes its appearance in their best performances. We are forever amazed at that immeasurable grace which forgives this great iniquity, and continues to love us freely, notwithstanding for the Lord's choicest mercy we return enmity!

Hence we learn the infinite merit of the Redeemer's blood which atoned for this sin of an infinite guilt, and reconciled such 'children of pride', to an infinitely holy God, and which cleanses us continually from the filthy stains of this deep-dyed iniquity. And let endless wonder strike our hearts unto rising praises, and eternal ages, at and for the omnipotent grace of the Holy Spirit—Who has begun in us pride's destruction, and will perform it to our soul's perfection, and full and everlasting joy and glory.

If pride is such a great iniquity, let us . . .
bewail it bitterly;
humble ourselves before God, on account of it, deeply;
wash in the fountain set open, instantly;
and entreat forgiving and subduing grace constantly.

Again, if pride is such an abominable sin, let us set ourselves against it with all our might, or rather, to oppose and destroy it, let us be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. And since we cannot serve God as we would and should in this world, while this subtle, potent sin works within us, let us long for the nobler joys of the saints in glory; where by pride, nor by any other sin, we shall dishonor, wound, nor grieve our great and good God, the God of grace and love, no more forever.

The good will of Him that dwelt in the bush be with you, and prosper you exceedingly, until time fades into eternal glory.


From a letter penned by Anne Dutton

Anne Dutton's letter to God's elect

It is well the Lord loves you, for His love is unchangeable and infinite, and in it you have Himself, who has all things, yes, is all things, abundantly and eternally! Ten thousand changes may pass over you with respect to yourself, and the people and things you are concerned with. And how miserable would you be if your happiness lay in these changing, failing, dying things? But blessed with the Lord Jehovah for your portion, your bliss in Him is full, unchanging, and everlasting. Rejoice, brother, in your wondrous lot! Oh, how goodly is your heritage! It is enough that the Lord is your portion! What can you more desire? Can you desire any good that is not to be found in God? Can you desire any joy that He, even Himself alone, cannot afford you? Let your soul from henceforth embosom itself in infinite fullness. Say to creature-vanities and vexations, "Get away! Do not disturb my repose in God. I have a sweet, soft, full bosom to rest in, from which I will not be enticed, nor driven by you."
Oh, how blessed would we be amid all changes, if we always delighted ourselves in our unchangeable God! It is our going out of the eternal I AM that occasions all our fears and griefs and heart-faintings. Our wretched hearts, deceived by the serpent, desire something else besides God to make up a 'fancied happiness' for them. And thence, after this and that creature and thing they go. And when 'catching at shadows' we find them no substance, and that pursuing them they flee from us—this gives us disquietude. And oh, how well is it for us that every creature and thing concerning soul-rest says, "It is not in me!"
This, as being fore-appointed by the Lord our Lover, is by Him sanctified—to teach our silly hearts at times a little wisdom—to turn the mouth of faith to the 'breasts of divine consolations'—to God in Christ, the full fountain, the inexhaustible ocean of solid, endless bliss of all our life and joy!
And as our full and unchangeable God, in his great and glorious self, is our exceeding joy—and by 'creature-emptiness' and 'changes' is pleased at times to bring us to his blissful bosom, so this also may be the matter of our rejoicing—that all our time-changes respecting creatures and things are overruled by our eternal and unchangeable God, for his own endless praise, and for our everlasting salvation.
And if these great ends are, and shall be, the effects of all the changes which pass over us, why need we be much distressed by the most grieving changes? Yes, why should we not rejoice in tribulation, amid a thousand losses and crosses, griefs and disappointments, which attend us in this valley of tears? What ails our silly hearts to be so displeased or distressed, when things go not to our wish? What would we have? "Oh," we say, "the Lord's glory, and our advantage in this and that." If this is our desire, this we have always, even by the greatest crosses and disappointments we meet with. "Aye," replies our silly mind, "but I wanted the Lord's glory in this or that which I desired."
And must not God, then, glorify Himself in that way which He likes best? O proud worms! Can we teach the only wise God wisdom? Shall 'creature-darkness and ignorance' dictate to, dispute with, or reprove infinite understanding? Be astonished, O Heavens, at this! What—can we, foolish, blind, weak creatures—govern the world, or anything in it, better than the almighty, all-wise Creator, preserver, and disposer of all things? Shall we, who will not allow God His sovereign right of ruling His earth, and all the creatures and things of His forming and appointing, without a rebellious sigh when our desires are crossed—be thought capable of wielding the scepter of the world? Was ever such pride, such rebellion, as that is found in us, when we will not allow our Savior to glorify Himself, and save us by such ways and things that He, in His infinite wisdom, sees best?
Adoring, let us bow down; and loving, let us bless the Lord for everything He gives, or withholds, or takes from us, if we would behave as obedient children to the Lord our Father, as the God of love and peace, who, according to the exceeding riches of His grace, has abounded towards us in all things in all wisdom and prudence. To whom be dominion and glory forever. Amen