Friday, September 30, 2011

The King in His Beauty #3

There is a review of this book in Reformatorisch Dagblad by Ds. R.W. de Koeijer, Putten under the title 'Gevoelige vroomheid van Samuel Rutherford' (roughly 'The Sensitive Piety of Samuel Rutherford').

Some people have asked how it can be obtained in the UK. Evangelical Press released this for distribution in the UK in July this year. They have sold out and have a quantity of back orders. They are in the process of organising an order from the USA shortly and will take orders direct, although it doesn't appear to be on their website. It is generally retailing for £7.50.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Questions we should not ask #4

We are not to ask such a question as that: “Wherefore have we fasted, and Thou hast not seen? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge?” (Isa. 58. 3). This is the language of the hypocrite and legalist, who hath an over-rating thought of all his duties: “Wherefore have we fasted, and Thou hast not seen? Wherefore have we prayed, and Thou hast not heard?” They challenge God of injustice, for not giving them what they think they merit. “I thank God,” said the Pharisee, “that I am not as other men, no adulterer, no murderer, nor like this publican; I fast twice a week, I give alms of all that I possess.” This was no prayer, but a proud boasting of what he had done for God, and what obligations he laid upon heaven. A poor believer is of another spirit; let him do never so much, he sees all his righteousness to be rotten rags, a menstruous cloth; my tears need to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Ralph Erskine

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

that they may be with me where I am

"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory" (John 17:24)

1. All the presence that Christ affords, and his people now enjoy here, is, in regard of this, but absence from the Lord: (2 Cor. 5:6,8). Perfect presence is, when all on both sides is present ; all of Christ, and all of the Christian. But now all of Christ is not with us ; and all of us is not with him...this presence is imperfect, and mixed with much distance and absence.

2. This being with Christ where he is, hath in it perfect and full fruition and enjoyment of Christ.

3. This presence, this enjoyment, is in the best state and place. It is where he is.

4. This is to be for ever. The greatest blessing hath the longest duration.
...Would you secure heaven to yourselves? Seek to get into Christ by faith; seek acquaintance with him, press after communion with him. Let all your thoughts of heaven, all your care to secure your possessing of it, and all your exercise in pressing towards it, let all centre in this one person, Jesus Christ ...You need no more to secure your right to eternal life, than to be possessed of Christ by faith; and you need no better eternal life, than to be with Christ where he is. He himself describes it by this that they may be with me where I am. And surely Christ best knows what heaven is ; since he bought it, prepared it, and possessed it, for his people. And he knows the way to it ; for he is both the way and the guide to it. Hear his voice, therefore, and follow and he will give you eternal life ; and ye shall never perish (John 10:27-29. Rom. 8:35-39).

Learn to pray moderately for the lives of Christ's people. There are some of the godly that are very useful by their gifts and grace; and, if spared, might be of great profit to the church of Christ. Such we should be loth to lose, and their lives we may pray for; yet it must be done moderately. Who can tell but Christ and we are praying counter to one another. He may be saying in heaven, "Father I will have such a one to be with me where I am;" and we saying on earth, " Lord we would have him to be with us where we are:" we saying, "We cannot spare him as yet;" and Christ saying, "I will be no longer without him." It is the force of this prayer of Christ, "I will have them to be with me where I am," that is the cause of the death of the godly. It is the force of this prayer that carries away so many of the saints in our day. Christ is saying in heaven, "I will have them where I am. They are despised in the world, and badly used on the earth: "Father, let us have them where we are." Should not we pray modestly for their lives, while we know not his secret will? and should not we believingly submit to his will, when he reveals it ? Say, "Let them go from us, since Christ calls them to be with him." It is his will, and their great advantage, (Phil. 1:23).

Robert Traill

"Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men". (Psalm 12:1)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Questions we should not ask #3

We are not to ask such a question as that: “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Can He give us bread to eat? Can He provide flesh for His people?” (Psa. 78. 19). This is the question of unbelief, Can God provide supply for my temporal or spiritual necessities? Can He pardon such sins as mine? Can He subdue such corruptions as mine? Can He supply such wants as mine? “How can these things be?” O blasphemous unbelief! What cannot a God of infinite power do? This infidelity hath a mouth full of blasphemy. What answer gave God to this question to Israel? It is said, “The Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His salvation.”
- Ralph Erskine