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FRIENDSHIP

FRIENDSHIP

Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion.”
Thomas Brooks

He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God.
Abraham Kuyper

By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable
Jeremy Taylor

He that forgets his friend is ungrateful to him; but he that forgets his Saviour is unmerciful to himself.
John Bunyan

I am convinced, by the way, that friendships provide the most fertile soil for evangelism. When the reality of Christ is introduced into a relationship of love and trust that has already been established, the effect is powerful. And it seems that invariably, when someone becomes a true follower of Christ, that person’s first impulse is to want to find a friend and introduce that friend to Christ.
John MacArthur

The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.
Oswald Chambers

Show me a man’s books and show me a man’s companions–and I will tell you what sort of a man he is.
William Tiptaft

Love is friendship set on fire.
Jeremy Taylor

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.
E B Browning

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

Christ Jesus is that FRIEND (of Sinners) that stays closer than a brother.

THE GOSPEL FEAST

 

THE GOSPEL FEAST

“Come; for all things are ready.”

Luke 14:17

Ye devotees of pleasure, ye lovers of the world,

ye egregious triflers with your immortal interest;

ye, who, though hastening to your graves,

are still sporting on destruction’s brink,

and indulge a false and fatal levity,

though the precipice is before you,

and one single step would determine your doom for ever;

ye, who are pursuing phantoms,

and grasping at shadows,

while you suck happiness in a world lying in wickedness,

and,

amidst all your cares and schemes for this world,

forget you are to die,

neglect your souls,

and never take one solemn anxious thought about eternity;

to you also I bring the invitation of my text:

 

“Come; for all things are ready.”

I invite you this day,

in the Name of my great Lord and Master,

to Christ, to happiness, to heaven.

Ye have been long toiling for that which is not bread,

and spending your strength for what can yield little satisfaction in life,

and none at all in the hour of death.

Still time flies with its wonted velocity;

and the king of terrors is drawing from his quiver the arrow,

that shall, ere long, lay you in the dust.

Satan, the world and sin,

strongly unite to keep you in their servitude;

and spread ten thousand baits to allure you to destruction.

but shall their call be obeyed  ?

and God’s invitation disregarded ?

Shall hell be preferred to heaven ?

the care of you bodies to that of your souls ?

Shall time engross all your solicitude,

and eternity, dread eternity, none ?

Shall the adversary of God and man

call with a more attractive voice,

than He who bled for sinners ?

and the biting pleasures of sensuality,

be preferred before the joys that are at God’s right hand ?

God forbid !

O sirs, pause a moment !
Consider what you are, whither you are going.

Your souls are at stake,

and you must soon stand before the living God in judgement.

 

Obey the call of the Gospel:

and all shall yet be well;

disobey it;

and the call itself shall be more than a thousand witnesses against you:

and he who gives it,

shall be clear of your blood.

But, embrace the invitation;

and my soul shall rejoice over you,

even mine;

and you shall rejoice with joy unspeakable,

When the Judge comes in the clouds of heaven’

and time shall be no more.

Amen.

Richard De Courcy 1745- 1804
Sermons by the Late Richard De Courcy Vicar of Alkmond 1810
Sermon III   An invitation to the Gospel Feast.

 

AN EVENING PRAYER

AN EVENING PRAYER

O God, your greatness is unsearchable. Your name is most excellent in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens. Thousands minister unto you and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before you.

We feel ourselves in your awesome presence to be nothing, less than nothing, and vanity: we do not presume to approach you because we are deserving of your notice, for we have sinned, we have incurred your righteous displeasure,  we acknowledge that you are justified when you speak, and clear when you judge. 

But our necessities compel us to come; and your promises encourage us. You are near to those with a broken heart, and save those with a contrite heart. You have provided and revealed a Mediator, who has not only obeyed, but magnified the law, and made it honourable; and you have made us accepted in the beloved. We behold an innumerable multitude returning from your throne of grace, successful, rejoicing, and encouraging us to go forward. They were not, though guilty and destitute, refused, nor upbraided; but freely obtained pardon, holiness, righteousness, strength, and were blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

O look upon us Lord, and be merciful unto us, as you have done to those that love your name ! Convince us of sin both in its penalty, and in its pollution; and may we mourn over it with a godly sorrow. Give us that faith by which we shall be enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and believing may we have life through His Name. May we not only have life, but have it more abundantly.

We often question the reality of our grace; because  the imperfections of our Christian life are too obvious not to be acknowledged, and to great not to be deplored. Our souls cleave unto the dust; quicken us according to your Word. Strengthen us in the things that are ready to die. May we not only live in the Spirit, but also walk in the Spirit. May we put on the Lord Jesus Christ. May the same mind be in us which was also in Him; and may we feel our dignity and delight to go about doing good. As He suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His footsteps, may we learn to suffer with the same spirit as He did. When reviled, may we not revile again, but commit ourselves to Him that judges righteously. Who ever is the instrument of our grief, may we never lose sight of your over-ruling agency, in preparing and presenting it, but be able to say, “The cup which my Father gives me shall I not drink it ?” In patience may we possess our souls. May we calmly enquire what you are doing with us. Let us not by weeping, hinder sowing, nor by sorrowing, hinder duty.

We live in a world of changes, and have no continuing city, so we seek one to come; having our minds kept in perfect peace, being stayed upon God. Be with us Lord to the end of our journey, and after honouring you by the life we have lived, may we glorify you by the death we shall die. When heart and flesh shall fail, be the strength of our heart and our portion for ever, for at death we shall fall asleep in Jesus, and in the resurrection morning, He will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like His own glorious body, so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Who can understand his errors ? Forgive O God, the sins of the past day, in thought, word, and deed, against your divine majesty. We bless you for our preservation, in our going out and coming in, and in all our ways. We bless you for all the supplies and indulgences which your good providence has afforded us.

Now, O Lord, keeper of Israel, we commit our souls and our bodies to your all sufficient care. Suffer no evil to befall our persons, and no plagues to come near our dwelling. May our sleep be sweet, or if you hold our eyes waking, may we remember you upon our bed, and meditate on you in the night watches. So now with the innumerable company who never slumber nor sleep, who rest not day or night, we would join in ascribing blessing, honour, glory, and power unto him that sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever Amen.

William Jay (1769  – 1853)

English nonconformist Pastor for sixty years at Argyle Chapel in Bath.

From  1st week Thursday Evening.

The Domestic Minister’s Assistants; or, Prayers for the use of Families. (Twelfth Edition 1830)

© Reproduced and Modernised  Jeff Maxwell March 2016

 

PATRICK HAMILTON ……… THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH

THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH

1

Faith is to believe God;

” Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15.)

“He that believes God, believes his Word.” (John 5.)

To believe God, is to believe his Word, and account what He speaks as true. 

He that believes not God’s Word, believes not God Himself.

He that believes not God’s Word, counts God false, a liar,

and believes not that God can and will fulfil his word;

and so he denies both the power of God and God himself.

2

Faith is the gift of God.

“Every good thing is the gift of God.” (James 1.)

Faith is good.

Therefore, faith is the gift of God.

The gift of God is not within our power 

“Faith is the gift of God.”

Therefore, faith is not within our power.

3
Faith pleases God.

He that lacks faith cannot please God.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11)

All that comes not of faith, is sin; for without faith no man can please God.

Besides, he that lacks faith, trusts not God.

He that trusts not God, trusts not in His Word.

He that trusts not in His Word, holds God false and a liar.

He that holds God false and a liar, does not believe that God can do what He promises, so he denies  that God is God.

And how can a man, being of this mind, please God? 

No way; even if he could do all the work of man and angel.

All that is done in faith, pleases God

“The Word of the Lord is righteous, and all His works are faithful” (Psalm 33)

“Lord, Your eye looks for faith.”

That is to say, Lord, You delight in faith.

God loves him that believes in Himself.

How can they then displease Him?

He that has true faith, is just and good.

 A good tree brings forth good fruit.

Therefore, all that is done in faith pleases God.

4

He that has faith, and believes God, cannot displease him.

Moreover, he that has faith believes God.

He that believes God and believes His Word.

He that believes His Word, knows well that He is true and faithful, and may not lie.

He knows well that God can and will fulfil his Word.

How can he then displease Him?

For you can not do any greater honour unto God, than to count Him true.

Will you say then, that theft, murder, adultery, and all vices please God?

No, assuredly ; for they can not be done in faith:

“for a good tree bears good fruit.”

He that has the faith knows well that he pleases God; for all that is done in faith pleases God. (Heb. 11.)

5

Faith is certainty, an assuredness.

“Faith is a sure confidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11.)

“The Spirit bears itself with our spirit that we are the children of God.” (Rom. 8.)

Moreover, he that has the faith, knows well that God will fulfil his word

Therefore, faith is a certainty, an assuredness.

 

Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528 (Burnt for his faith in St Andrews)

Patrick’s Places.

© Extracted, Edited, Arranged  and Modernised by Jeff Maxwell Feb 2016

PATRICK HAMILTON ….. THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL

THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL

The law shows us our sin; the Gospel shows us a remedy for it.

The law shows us our condemnation; the Gospel shows us our redemption.

The law is the word of wrath; the Gospel is the word of grace.

The law is the word of despair; the Gospel is the word of comfort.

The law is the word of unrest; the Gospel is the word of peace.

The law says, Pay thy debt; the Gospel says, Christ has paid it.

The law says, you are a sinner, despair, you shall be dammed; the Gospel says, your sins are forgiven you, be of good comfort, you shall be saved.

The law says, Make amends for your sins; the Gospel says, Christ has made it for you.

The law says, Where is your righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction; the Gospel says, Christ is your righteousness, your goodness, and satisfaction.

The law says, you are bound and obliged to me, to the devil, and to hell; the Gospel says, Christ has delivered you from them all.

 

Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528. ( Burnt at St Andrews for his Faith)

From Patrick’s Places

The Nature and the Office of the Law, and of the Gospel

A disputation between the Law and the Gospel.

 

Lightly edited by Jeff Maxwell  2016

 

 

A SIGHT OF SIN AND A SIGHT OF JESUS

A Sight of Sin and a Sight of Jesus

“They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.”—

Zech. 12:10

 We can only properly deal with sin as, at the same moment, we personally and closely deal with Jesus. 

A spiritual sight of one’s SIN, apart from a believing sight of  the Lord Jesus Christ, will plunge the soul into the deepest despair. A sight of atoning blood must accompany the sight of our guilt.

Seen and dealt with alone, dissociated from the Saviour, sin is the darkest and most appalling object that can engage human study. But God has graciously and marvellously met the case. The instrument that exhibits sin in its greatest blackness at the same moment exhibits it in its fullest pardon.

A sight of sin and a sight of Jesus, as presented in the cross, is found in no other spot in the universe. Nowhere, not upon earth, where sin’s ravages are vividly and fearfully traced— not in hell, where sin’s punishment is fully and eternally endured—is sin seen as in the light of Christ’s cross.

God’s hatred of its nature and infliction of its penalty, as exhibited in the soul-sorrow, and bodily suffering of His beloved Son, is a demonstration unsurpassed, yes, unparalleled. Oh, how great the love of God to provide such a mirror in which to see at the same moment both the enormity of sin and the completeness of its forgiveness—the utter blackness of its guilt—and the snow-white purity of its cleansing.

There was but one Being in the universe who concentrated upon Himself so much sin— yet, “He knew no sin”—and in whom met so much punishment of sin, as Jesus, the Sin Bearer of His Church.

What defective views and realizations have we of this truth! How shallow our sounding of its infinite depths, how faint our experience of its preciousness and power ! And yet it is all and everything to us in the momentous matter of our comfort, holiness, and hope. If Jesus did not bear my transgression and curse; He did nothing for me, and I am yet in my sins. If He did, then the load is gone, the burden is annihilated, all transferred to Him, and by Him borne into eternal oblivion.

I am no longer my own sin bearer; my sins were all laid on Jesus, not by my hand, but by the hand of God. Since, then, Jesus has dealt with my sins, my only care should be first to realize their full pardon, and then to live a holy life as not to recommit those sins which Christ bore, and for which He sorrowed in Gethsemane, bled and expired on the tree, and so crucify the Son of God afresh.

Deeply interesting to the believing, spiritual mind is the theme of our present chapter. To have a sight of sin and a sight of Jesus at the same moment constitutes one of the holiest and richest pages in the history of a child of God. There are many of the Lord’s people who see sin, but who do not see Jesus at the same moment—who do not look at their sins through the medium of the cross.

To look at sin through the divine holiness, as reflected in the divine law, is to look and despair, to look and die!

BUT to look at sin through Christ—to see it in the blood that cleanses it, in the righteousness that covers it, in the love that pardons it fully, freely, and forever; oh, this is to look and hope, to look and live!

One eye upon sin, and one eye upon sin’s atonement, will enable the soul to walk humbly and filially with God. One eye looking at self and one eye looking at Christ will so regulate the experience of the soul, so accurately adjust its moral compass, as to keep the balance between presumption and despair; leading to a humble, holy, watchful walk as it regards sin on the one hand, and to an assured, happy, hopeful sense of pardon, acceptance, and glory on the other.

No fact in Christian experience is more certain than this, that sin is never properly seen until Christ is known; and that Christ is never fully known, until sin is seen in its existence, guilt, and power.

It is a sense of our vileness, guiltiness, and condemnation that takes us to Christ; and when we see Christ, and accept Christ, and enter into believing rest in Christ, we then have the deepest conviction of the greatness, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and at the same moment the most assured conviction of our full and eternal deliverance from its guilt, tyranny, and condemnation. 

This harmony of tint— the blending of light and shade—sin and Christ—forms one of the loveliest and most impressive pictures of the many which illustrate the history of the Christian’s life. 

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell

 

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The Cross and Gospel of Christ

The Cross and Gospel of Christ

What is your attachment to the gospel of Christ?

Is it increasingly precious to your soul, sanctifying your heart, and influencing your life?

Would you bid high for the truth of Jesus, at any cost to your personal ease or worldly advantage, and sell not that truth, for earth’s richest gem or greatest rewards?

Do you increasingly love the truth of Jesus, because it searches, rebukes, and humbles you, yet, also strengthens, comforts, and sanctifies you?

Do you feel a growing love for those doctrines that are especially identified with, springing from, and leading the soul to, the Cross of Jesus?

That is how you may test the closeness of your soul to the Crucified Christ.

Christ being precious to you, then oh how precious will be the truth He taught!

Purer than the purest silver, richer than the richest gold, sweeter than the sweetest honey, lovelier than the fairest gem, will be to you those doctrines, precepts, and promises which your Lord and Saviour demonstrated in His life and by His teachings.

They demand your simple faith, your fervent love, your holy walk, your zealous evangelism, and, if need be, your testimony at the martyr’s stake.

The doctrines of the substitutionary offering, the expiatory suffering, the atoning blood, the imputed righteousness of Christ, derive their virtue, their power, and their efficacy from, the divine dignity and spotless holiness of His person, and need to be combined with your increasing love and unswerving faith.

The precepts which encourage your bearing Christ’s cross, your confession of His name, your self-denying service in His cause, your death to the world, and your simple, unreserved obedience to His commands, will be to you His easy yoke and His light burden.

Test, then, your spiritual nearness to the Cross by your ardent attachment to the doctrines of the Cross.

“If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine.”

“O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

“How sweet are your words unto my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

“Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.”

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell 7/12/2014

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