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THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to seek Him above…
who sought me.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to acknowledge Him…
who found me.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to let God’s Spirit…
guide my life.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to reflect in life…
Jesus Christ.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to pray fervently…
constantly.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to live a pure life…
in God’s sight.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to live the new life…
before all.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to increase talents…
I received.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to preach Gospel truth …
to the lost.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to always practice…
what I preach.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to bring some succour…
to the poor.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to encourage all…
Christ’s brethren.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to bring constant praise..
to our God.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to ever prepare…
to meet God.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to humbly give thanks…
EVERMORE.

© Jeff Maxwell 6th April 2018

John Newton’s Works: A Recommendation.

John Newton’s Works: A Recommendation.

This is a great set of books including most of the Works of the Rev. John Newton.*
The 3rd Edition is now very collectable and not often seen complete.
The Banner of Truth Trust printed their edition from this 3rd edition printed in 1824.

* The life of the Rev. Mr. Grimshaw is omitted as the copy-right was in the hands of others.

You cannot read many of these letters and sermons without feeling that spiritually you have been fed and watered. They do good to your soul. The life of John Newton, first as a slave and then a Minister of the Gospel, is well-known, superficially, because not many have taken the time to read the whole of his life and circumstances.

Some of John Newton’s hymns are likewise well-known, take for instance “Amazing Grace” and “How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds” or “Glorious things of Thee are spoken” and “Sometimes a light surprises” but in the Olney hymns, written with William Cowper, there are 348 hymns of which William Cowper wrote 67 and the other 281 came from the hand of Newton himself. Many are unknown today but repay the time it takes to read them, abundantly.

There are within these volumes such tender gems, as when Newton writes “Letters to a wife”,   his wife !! , and says ” Oh! that it was possible for you to go with me where I go, to cheer and enliven me amidst fatigues and difficulties, without sharing  them ! How light would they seem to me! But I submit. At least, happen what may, it will give me pleasure to think that my better, dearer part, is in safety at home.

Many instructive hours can be spent reading Newton’s Cardiphonia (the utterance of the heart) and other letters, if you are like me, you will be able to identify and find a resonance with what he writes, often he bares his own heart, the inner working of his mind, the longings of his soul, and the spiritual battles that war within his breast, which at least, in my case, gives me an assurance that I am not travelling the narrow way alone, others have passed this way before, having similar experiences, and finding such sweet succour in Christ alone to answer their deepest spiritual needs.

May I heartily recommend you to own and read of the Works of the Rev. John Newton. J.M.

Vol 1 CONTENTS
Memoir of the author.
41 Letters on religious subjects by OMNICRON and VIGIL
Cardiphonia or the Utterances of the Heart in the course of real correspondence.

Vol 2  CONTENTS
Cardiphonia Continued.
Six Sermons (Or Discourses) as intended for the Pulpit
20 Sermons preached in the Parish Church at Olney.

Vol 3 CONTENTS
A review of Ecclesiastical History
Book 1 The first period of Christianity
Book 2 The second period of Christianity
Olney Hymns  Books 1: 2 : 3

Vol 4  CONTENTS
Fifty Sermons on Various subjects.

Vol 5  CONTENTS
Tracts
Apologia in four letters.
A Plan of Academical Preparation for the Ministry
A Monument of Praise of the Lord’s Goodness in the Memory of Dear Eliza Cunningham
Sermons 7 on various subjects.
Letters to a wife written during three voyages to Africa from 1750 to 1754.
Letters to a Wife written in England from 1755 to 1785.
7 Appendix’s

Vol 6  CONTENTS
Letters intended to be a sequel to Cardiphonia (143 in all)
Miscellaneous Papers Extracted from periodical publications.

Ps. The Banner of Truth have now produced a 4 volume set which has been entirely reset, some archaic words updated, and notes added. It also includes Newton’s Authentic Narrative in which he tells the story of many remarkable events in his life, in fourteen letters to his friend Rev. T. Haweis of Northamptonshire.

© Jeff Maxwell 2017

 

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

 

FLEEING TO CHRIST Rev G B Cheever

Let us flee to Christ, and, by His Grace, live the life of righteousness, and so our last end shall be like His !

Of true peace in death there is no possibility but by being in Christ: but even the peace of a true Christian may be greatly obscured and troubled if he has been willing to live at a distance from His Saviour.

But where the soul is in Christ, relying on His precious blood and righteousness, and the affections are habitually fixed upon the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, then indeed dying is but going home; and such blessedness is worth all the daily watchfulness in life, that can possible be given for it.

Such blessedness makes the soul live on the borders of Heaven, in the Land Beulah; for to be in the land Beulah is to be spiritually minded, and that is the secret of all the blessed visions to be seen in that land.

“To be spiritually minded is life and peace;”  and they who are eminently so, are eminently happy. Nor is any labour to be accounted painful, in comparison to the sweetness of so resting upon God.

The way of blessedness may be trying, the steps taken may cost much self denial, but the results are unspeakably glorious and delightful.

Nor is there any happiness to be compared with that which is to be enjoyed by a growing Christian, a saint, whose life is truly hid with Christ in God. The happiness of walking with God daily is very great.

It is blessedness to breathe after God, to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and to long for the communication of His Spirit. It is blessed to feel with the Psalmist that the soul thirsts for God, thrice blessed to cry out  “As the hart pants for the water-brook so pants my soul after Thee, O God !”

If the experience of such desires be blessed, much more is the fruition of them, when God reveals himself to the soul that waits on Him. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

A watchful earnest attention to the increase of one’s personal piety, makes every part of the Christian’s experience animated and delightful . There is a divine relish in all the exercises of the Christian life, a savour of Heaven, a foretaste of the enjoyments of the saints in glory.

The Word of God is precious, the duty of prayer is precious, the vision of faith is clear and strong, and heavenly realities come in with vivid power upon the soul, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps the heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. He will hold it up to their view, unfold its rich blessings in their sight, and show them that they have a part and a place in it. He will open and expound its glories, its glories of wisdom and knowledge in the revelation of Christ, its glories of spiritual things, into which the angels desire to look, its glories in the purchased possession of the saints and the riches of their heavenly inheritance, amid the wonders of that infinite love, by which such celestial, everlasting treasures were procured.

All this, and infinitely more than can be described, is the heritage of them that fear the Lord, that rest upon the Saviour, and who earnestly endeavour, renouncing every sin, to maintain daily that close walk with him which he requires, and to follow on after that perfection, which he has exhibited as the only right standard of the soul.

Is not this a life to be chosen, to be greatly desired, to be laboured after with exceeding great diligence, perseverance and earnestness ? Is it not worth a great deal of self-denial and fervent energy in prayer, and a great deal of time given to the, Word of God, and to all the secret exercises of the Christian life ?

Is it not worth a great many sacrifices of external ease and comfort, if that were necessary, and of external business, if that presses too urgently ? Is it not worth every thing, and are not all things else laid in the balance with it empty and worthless ?

Is it not the pearl of great price which he that is wise will readily sell all that he hath to be master of; the one thing needful, for the attainment of which all other things may well be given up, and forgotten as of no moment?

Yea, it is the kingdom of God and his righteousness, without which the universe cannot make you happy, but with which all things else shall be added unto you. Give what God will, without that you are poor, but with that rich, take what He will away. For when He gives himself, He gives all blessings.

Who would not rather be the poorest wanderer that walks the earth, the most down trodden and despised outcast of creation, and have his daily meals at God’s spiritual table, his daily walks with his Redeemer, his daily visits of refreshment at the full fountain of his love, than without that refreshment to possess the riches of all kingdoms, or be the worshipped idol of the world .

Yea, who would not rather be perishing for want of daily bread, or begging from door to door, if that were necessary, and yet daily faithful in prayer, growing in grace, and having his life hid with Christ in God, than surrounded with all affluence and at ease amidst all luxuries, and yet living in that worldly frame and at that distance from the Saviour, and in that gloomy coldness of spirit, which worldly prosperity, without great secret diligence in walking with God, so invariably produces !

 

Rev G B Cheever.  

Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan)

Extracted and typed by Jeff Maxwell

 

 

 

 

RECENTLY READ AND RIPE FOR CONTEMPLATION

RECENTLY READ AND RIPE FOR CONTEMPLATION

COUNTING THE COST

If any reader of this paper really feels that he has counted the cost, and taken up the cross, I bid him persevere and press on. I dare say you often feel your heart faint, and are sorely tempted to give up in despair. Your enemies seem so many, your besetting sins so strong, your friends so few, the way so steep and narrow, you hardly know what to do. But still I say, persevere and press on.

The time is very short. A few more years of watching and praying, a few more tossing’s on the sea of this world, a few more deaths and changes, a few more winters and summers, and all will be over. We shall have fought our last battle, and shall need to fight no more.

The presence and company of Christ will make amends for all we suffer here below. When we see as we have been seen, and look back on the journey of life, we shall wonder at our own faintness of heart. We shall marvel that we made so much of our cross, and thought so little of our crown. We shall marvel that in “counting the cost” we could ever doubt on which side the balance of profit lay. Let us take courage. 

We are not far from home. It may cost much to be a true Christian and a  consistent believer; but it pays. 

J C RYLE   (Holiness page 81/82 James Clark & Co. Edition 1956)

FOOD OF LOVE

The food of love is a sense of sin,

and a grateful sense of forgiveness.  

If you and I felt more deeply the guilt of our past lives, we should love Jesus Christ better.

If we had but a clearer sense that our sins deserve the deepest hell, that Christ suffered what we ought to have suffered in order to redeem us from our iniquities, we should not be the cold hearted creatures we are.

We are perfectly monstrous in our want of love to Christ, but the true secret of it is a forgetfulness of our ruined and lost estate, and a forgetfulness of the sufferings by which we have been redeemed from that condition.

O that our love might feed itself and find renewal of its strength in remembering what Sovereign Grace has done.

C H Spurgeon

( Flashes of Thought No:508 1880)

DIFFICULT TIMES

Steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise of faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace Him, this is the patience of the saints.

Matthew Henry

When in prosperity, we are ready to think our mountain will never be brought low; so when in adversity, we are ready to think that our valley shall never filled up. But to conclude that tomorrow must be as this day, is absurd as to think that the weather, when fair or foul, will be always so.

Matthew Henry

Oh, He is a sweet Master! One smile from Jesus sustains my soul amid all the storms and frowns of this passing world. Pray to know Jesus better. Have no other righteousness, no other strength, but only Jesus. Soon we shall see Him coming in the clouds of heaven. May you be kept faithful to death. 

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

TEARS FOR SIN

Let your tears fall because of your sins;

but,

at the same time,

let the eye of faith steadily behold the Son of Man lifted up,

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

those that are bitten by the old serpent  my look unto Jesus and live.

Our sinnership is that emptiness into which our Lord pours His Mercy.

C H Spurgeon

 From Breaking the Silence   ( A Letter written from Menton  31/12/1891 approx 1 month before his death on 31/1/1892)

Adversity

Adversity is the best University.

Schola crucis est Schola lucis. 

School of the Cross is the School of Light.
Or

The School of Affliction is the School of Instruction.

Afflictions teach us to know God, not only in His power and greatness, in His anger, and His hatred for sin, but also in His Goodness and Mercy: For God so sweetens the bitter cup of affliction that a Child of God will taste more of God’s love in one month’s affliction than in many years of prosperity.

Add to this – afflictions teach us to know God experimentally and affectionately not just cerebrally but cordially (not just with the mind but the heart) so to know Him, as to love and fear  Him, and to fly to Him as our Rock and Hiding place in the day of our distress.

He that seeks after God in the night of adversity does not seek Him to see Him, to know Him formally or superficially, but to embrace Him, lean on Him, and know Him experimentally.

Here is rich comfort for the Children of God, under the greatest afflictions.
For the best of  Saints are subject to the worst afflictions.
This is the lot of all God’s children, Christ Himself was not excepted or exempt.

Let us labour that we may reap good by our afflictions and that “the good” may abide upon us after our recovery from the afflictions.

Let us labour that the good we get by afflictions may not vanish away with our afflictions after we are recovered; so we may be able to say with David ” It was good that I was afflicted” and to say that it was good; not only after the event but to say “it is good that I am afflicted now and it will be good if I am afflicted in the future.”

We need to be good Scholars in the School of Afflictions; for if we are, God will either deliver us out of affliction with much blessing or send us to Heaven by our afflictions to our eternal blessing. Amen

Extracted, edited and compiled by Jeff Maxwell ©

© Jeff Maxwell 2014

A POEM OF ENCOUAGEMENT TO TWEET FOR GOD

LITTLE BIRDIE

There was a little birdie
Sitting in a tree
There was a little birdie
Looking down on me

There was a little birdie
Such a joy to see
There was a little birdie
Singing yet to be

There was a little birdie
Hear my call to thee
There was a little birdie
Do not silent be

There was a little birdie
Bring some glee so free
There was a little birdie
Sing a song my plea

There was a little birdie
As I sat for tea
There was a little birdie
Tweet a tune in key

There was a little birdie
Make a tuneful spree
There was a little birdie
Fit for more than three

There was a little birdie
Rings a melody
There was a little birdie
Such that none should flee

There was a little birdie
Trill without a fee
There was a little birdie
Abba watches thee

There was a little birdie
 List’ning now to me
There was a little birdie
Warbling from the tree

There was a little birdie
Lilting now to me
There was a little birdie
Out across the sea

© Jeff Maxwell 23/8/2013
Dedicated to
 @daughterofFostr

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and marvellous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty;
just and true are thy ways,
thou King of saints.
Rev 15:3

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PLease Leave a Comment »

QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION

 

A QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION

I asked this question.

As a comment on the article  “RUNNING THE RACE-World Athletics Moscow”       

Tell me please.

Why is there not as much rejoicing and giving of praise, when a Christian finishes his earthly course, as when an athlete wins the race ?

Surely we are deficient in this !

I asked it here and on facebook, and not surprisingly, as yet, I have not had any comments or answers !
As I feel concerned about this subject I would like to stimulate debate by making a comment myself and chose to do so here as well.

Here we go then …..

When we come to glory we will realise the extent of rejoicing and praise there is on that side when a saved sinner enters into their rest. That rejoicing and praise will properly reflect the amazing sacrifice that was made with the extent of Grace that was daily in effect to bring that one to glory. The joyful adoration of God will be, because all their eyes are opened and their understanding enlightened fully.

The feeling of loss and sadness when loved one’s / fellow believer’s pass on, is very real, and that temporarily deadens the emotions of rejoicing and praise that we might otherwise feel and express.

 

One of the reasons for our deficiency is that we fail to see and appreciate NOW what God has been doing in their lives. We see good points, faults, failings, natural abilities, but do not fully appreciate what God is doing in the lives of those closest to us. We are not moved to give enough thanks now, much less then, when we feel our sadness and loss.

 

Another reason is that we fail to prepare for this great event. We all live, as if we shall always live! 

We do not converse about death (it’s still taboo), we do not prepare ourselves for the loss of loved ones. I have tried to engage with some who should have been mindful of the approaching end and it is not easy to get a useful conversation. I often fail to see an emotional anticipation of soon, being in His presence. If we talked more about our fears and anticipations, we could encourage and comfort now …. then come with more rejoicing and praise at this momentous event.

 

Why is there not as much rejoicing and giving of praise, when a Christian finishes his earthly course, as when an athlete wins the race ?

“Are we deficient in this?   YES     can we change?  YES  please Lord by your Grace.

© Jeff Maxwell 19/08/2013

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