October 26, 2006

Judgment! By William S. Plumer

"For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14

God has appointed a day in the which He will judge the world. Respecting this day several things are noticeable.

All shall be judged. Saints and sinners, great and small, living and dead, the servant and his master, the prisoner at the bar and the judge who sat on his trial, the assassin and the assassinated, the seducer and his victim, the invader and the invaded, the hireling and his oppressor, the king and his subjects, the fool and the wise man, the persecutor and the persecuted, the apostate, the hypocrite, the child of God and the child of the devil, shall all be there! No one shall be so mighty, and no one shall be so lowly—as to elude the eye or the sentence of Him who shall sit upon the throne of judgment! What a massive multitude will this be—when prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, saints of all ages; when sinners, liars, infidels, blasphemers, moralists, and murderers—shall all be there; when the sea and the dry land shall give up their dead; when death and hell shall deliver up the dead who are in them; when all who lived before the flood, all who have lived since the flood, and all who shall have lived to the end of time shall stand before God! This will be the first and the last assembly—in which are found every person whom God ever made.

It will be a day of astounding exposures. Villainy will be covered up no more. Every disguise will be taken away. There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hidden, that shall not be known. It will be a day of intense excitement. There will be no listless spectators of those scenes. Every faculty of the intellect and of emotion will be aroused to the highest possible exercise. Men may sleep under sermons concerning the judgment, but they will not be dull when they go to judgment!

It will also be a day of final separation. The precious and the vile; the wheat and the tares; the sheep and the goats; saints and sinners—shall no longer mingle together. The separations of this day will be final. The righteous and the wicked shall part that day to meet no more. It shall be a day of despair to all the unregenerate. Everywhere sinners will be crying to the rocks and the mountains: "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb!" Was ever despair more dreadful than this?
The judgment is coming! The Judge stands at the door! The time is short!

By William S. Plumer

October 24, 2006

The Children Began to Hiss by William Tiptaft

Dear brother,

Since I last wrote, I have preached in Abingdon Great Church, on Christmas evening. I preached the truth, I trust, to a very crowded congregation, supposed to be (sitting and standing, who were able to get in) about 5,000 people. I pleased the believers; but very much displeased the carnally-minded, who were never before so puzzled and confounded in all their lives! I spoke the truth faithfully, and so as all could hear; but I had no idea that the gospel would have given so much offence! It is the truth that offends and disturbs Satan's kingdom! The neighboring clergymen, who are in darkness, say of me, "Away with such a fellow from the earth; it is not fit that he should live!"

My mind is not moved by the persecution. I believe if God has a work for me to do, I shall do it, in spite of the devil and all his children! Nature is not changed, the gospel is not changed, and Christ is not changed. What reason is there why they should not hate the truth now, as much as in the time of the apostles? I never saw any fruits of my labors until I roused and disturbed the 'roaring lion'. When, through the grace of God, I began to disturb his kingdom, I soon found that his children began to hiss!

The world and Satan hate believers. The Pharisees hate me the most. I cut off all their rotten props, and all their fleshly devotion! It is not coming near to the truth, it is not the 'mere letter' of the gospel, that will convert men; but the Holy Spirit.

Make the Word of God your study. Pin your faith to no man's views! I scarcely read any other book. Beware of those who want to exalt man in any manner.

Yours very affectionately,
William Tiptaft, Jan. 30th, 1830

October 18, 2006

Sovereign Grace by Charles Pennington

Sovereign Grace is an explicit term used by many to define the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the word grace as used in Scripture were understood, there would be no need to use the word sovereign; for grace by its very character must be sovereign. Grace that is by merit of any kind of degree ceases to be grace, “And if by grace, then is it no more works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6). Likewise, a scriptural understanding of who the Lord Jesus is renders the word sovereign unnecessary, for His person declares Him to be so. “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy Kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8). However, because so many in our generation give more credence to “I think” than they do the “Word of God”, we shall continue to use Sovereign Grace as a definitive term for that Gospel of the glory of the blessed God; by Whose free and unmerited favor, the salvation of a lost, condemned sinner, (without contribution from the sinner or any good in Him, either seen or foreseen, before or after conversion); was purposed, planned and purchased; and is applied and sustained; according to terms of strict justice and infinite love; unto the praise of our Blessed Redeemer, to Whom be glory, for ever and ever. – Charles Pennington

October 03, 2006

Is this your religion? By John Angell James

"If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing!" 1 Corinthians 13:2

LOVE is a grace which many professing Christians think far too little about; but it is of infinite value in the eyes of God. Love is the most characteristic feature of Christ's image in a renewed man. Love is the most precious fruit of grace; and yet the fruit which too many of His professed followers seem to think themselves hardly under any obligation to cultivate.

"Love is patient" and forbearing under injuries and annoyances--and does not revile, revenge, or retaliate.

"Love is kind," not harsh or crude--but ever ready, willing, and pleased by looks, words, and actions, to promote the comfort of others.

"Love does not envy." It does not pine and grieve at the sight of another's superior possessions, fame, happiness, or piety--and dislike him on that account.

"Love does not boast. Love is not proud." It neither boasts its own gifts, achievements, and possessions, nor despises others, nor makes insulting comparisons--but is humble and gentle.

"Love does not behave unseemly." It modestly keeps its place, and does nothing to offend by what is unfitting its rank, station, or circumstances.

"Love seeks not her own." It does not selfishly want to have its own way, or promote its own interest--to the neglect of others.

"Love is not easily provoked." It governs its temper, controls its passions, and is not soon or unreasonably irritable or petulant.

"Love thinks no evil." It is not censorious, nor forward to impute a bad motive to a doubtful action--but is disposed to put the best construction on the actions and words of others.

"Love rejoices not in iniquity--but rejoices in the truth." It does not delight in the sins--but in the excellences of an opponent.

"Love bears (or covers) all things." It does not divulge, proclaim, aggravate faults--but hides them as far as it can, and it is right to do so.

"Love believes all things," that are to the advantage of another.

"Love hopes all things," where there is not sufficient evidence to authorize belief.

"Love endures all things," bears hardships, sustains labor, makes sacrifices--in order to accomplish its purposes of good-will.

Beautiful description! Heavenly temper! Godlike mind! Now, dear friends, look at love! Gaze upon its lovely form, its beautiful countenance, its graceful actings. Observe its seraphic glow, its divine temper, until you are all enamored with its charms. But look at it not only as something to be admired--but to be possessed and practiced. Unless this is your temperament, you are not Christians. I do not say you cannot be Christians unless you have love in perfection. But you must have the principle of love, and must be living in its exercise. You are Christians no further than you live under its influence. No matter what knowledge you may have of the doctrines of the gospel; what seeming faith you may possess; what zeal you may manifest; what liberality you may exercise; what regularity, and punctuality in attendance upon the means of grace, you may maintain--if love is lacking, all this is of no avail. by John Angell James