© 1994-2017, Scott Sperling
Christian Quotes - 3 If you would like to be sent the Christian Quote of the Week (each week or so), via email, please send a request to ssper@scripturestudies.com The Breadth and Depth of the Bible “As the parcels of the Bible were published and delivered by divers notaries, the instruments of God’s own lips, in divers ages, divers places, upon divers occasions, so neither the argument nor the style, nor the end and purpose is the same in them all: some recounting things past, some foreseeing things to come; some singing of mercy, some of judgment; some shallow for the lamb to wade in, some deep enough to bear and drown the elephant; some meat that must be broken and chewed with painful exposition, some drink that at the first sight may be supped and swallowed down; somewhat in some or other part that may please all humors, as the Jews imagine of their manna, that it relished not to all alike, but to every man seemed to taste accordingly as his heart lusted; yet, they were all written for our learning and comfort.” -- John King (c. 1559-1621) Related Bible Verse:  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).   Note: The work from which the above quote was taken, Lectures Upon Jonah, by John King, is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/king_john/King-Jonah.pdf Temptations: All Christians Face Them “All the heirs of heaven pass under the yoke; all true gold must feel the fire; all wheat must be threshed; all diamonds must be cut; all saints must endure temptation.” -- Charles H. Spurgeon (1856-1917), from Sermon 487, Spurgeon’s Sermons - Vol. IX (1863)   Related Bible Verse:  “For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, CSB) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken, Spurgeon’s Sermons - Vol. IX, is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge. All We Have is from God “We have our all from the hand of God, and are entrusted with it as stewards, and consequently are accountable. We should have this thought as a golden thread running through all the comforts of every day, ‘These are God’s gifts’: every bit we eat, and every drop we drink, is his mercy; every breath we draw, and every step we take, is his mercy: this will keep us continually waiting upon him, and will put a double sweetness into all our enjoyments. God will have his mercies taken fresh from his compassions, which for this reason are said to be new every morning; and therefore it is not once a-week that we are to wait upon him, as people go to market to buy provisions for the whole week, but we must wait on him every day, and all the day, as those that live from hand to mouth, and yet live very easy.” -- Matthew Henry (1662-1714), from A Method for Prayer (1710) Related Bible Verse “He makes grass grow for the cattle,  and plants for people to cultivate—  bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil  to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts” (Ps. 104:14-15) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/henry_matthew/Henry-Method_for_Prayer.pdf New Life: Necessary The doctrines of Christianity, however important and essential, are not mere theories, but great practical realities, which can only have a saving efficacy by being received into the soul.  A mere speculative belief in them, if unaccompanied by a spiritual influence upon us, is of no consequence.  We cannot be Christians without a new life.   -- Paton Gloag (1823-1906), from Practical Christianity (1866) Related Bible Verse: "We were therefore buried with Christ through baptism into death  in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead  through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4, NIV)  Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/gloag_paton/Gloag- Practical_Christianity.pdf Ashamed of the Gospel? “’I am not ashamed of the Gospel.’ So the Apostle affirms, as he looks toward Rome. What is it about this Gospel of God, and of His Son, which gives occasion for such a word? Why do we find, not here only, but elsewhere in the New Testament, this contemplated possibility that the Christian may be ashamed of his creed, and of his Lord?... What is there about this revelation of the heart of Eternal Love, this record of a Life equally divine and human, of a Death as majestic as it is infinitely pathetic, and then of a Resurrection out of death, to occasion shame? Why, in view of this, should man be shy to avow his faith, and to let it be known that this is all in all to him, his life, his peace, his strength, his surpassing interest and occupation?” -- Handley Moule (1814-1920), from The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, pg. 35-36 Related Bible Verse: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel,  because it is the power of God  that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/expos_bible/Expos-v34- Romans.pdf Possessing Faith “The chief part of faith lies in... an affiance to the truth; not the believing it merely, but the taking hold of it as being ours, and in the resting on it for salvation... Leaning on it; saying, ‘This is truth, I trust my salvation on it.’ Now, true faith, in its very essence rests in this – a leaning upon Christ. It will not save me to know that Christ is a Saviour; but it will save me to trust him to be my Saviour. I shall not be delivered from the wrath to come by believing that his atonement is sufficient, but I shall be saved by making that atonement my trust, my refuge, and my all. The pith, the essence of faith lies in this – a casting one-self on the promise.” -- Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), from Spurgeon’s Sermons - Vol. III,     Sermon 107 (1857) Related Bible Verse:  "Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/spurgeon_charles/Spurgeon- NewPark-pt03.pdf Heeding the Bible’s Wisdom "The children of Wisdom accept her words. They do not shut their ears against them. They do not slight them. They do not hastily and thoughtlessly disregard them. They give them what they are entitled to, a serious and deliberate attention. They listen, they remember, they meditate, they examine, they accept, they lay up for use.—The words of divine wisdom are now in the Bible. There the voice of Wisdom, and of God, addresses you. In reading the Bible, you should consider yourselves as listening to God. And it is a blessed privilege to have this Word in your possession,—to have God addressing you in it." -- Ralph Wardlaw (1779-1853), from Lectures on the Book of Proverbs, Lecture V (1844) Related Bible Verse:  "My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,  preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck" (Proverbs 3:21-22) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Lectures on the Book of Proverbs), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/wardlaw_ralph/Wardlaw- Vol_I_lecturesonbookp01wardgoog.pdf Paul's Life and Service "Paul, in the prosecution of his high purpose and great commission, We thus see him travelling from country to country; Enduring every species of hardship and privation; Encountering every extremity of danger; Assaulted by the populace; punished by the magistrate; Scourged, beaten, stoned, and left for dead; Expecting everywhere the same treatment and the same dangers; Yet when driven from one city, preaching in the next; Spending his whole time in proclaiming Christ and Him crucified; Sacrificing pleasure, ease, safety, worldly position; Persisting in this course for more than thirty years; Unaltered by the experience of ingratitude, perverseness, prejudice; Unsubdued by anxiety, want, labor, persecution; Unwearied by long-continued conflict; Undismayed by the prospect of a violent death: The love of Christ and of souls his great constraining motive; A glorious monument of the power and riches of divine grace." -– Thomas Robinson (c. 1870), from Suggestive Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans (1870), pg. 5 Related Bible Verse:  "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus..." (Romans 1:1) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Suggestive Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/robinson_thomas/Robinson-Romans- pt1.pdf Christ's Suffering for Us "[Remember, whenever you hear or read of Christ’s sufferings, that they were all carried out on our behalf, in order that we may not suffer for our sins.] We are intended to see this truth in every part of His passion. We may follow Him all through, from the bar of Pilate, to the minute of His death, and see him at every step as our mighty Substitute, our Representative, our Head, our Surety, our Proxy, -- the Divine Friend who undertook to stand in our stead, and by the priceless merit of His sufferings, to purchase our redemption. -- Was He scourged? It was that 'through His stripes we might be healed' -- Was he condemned, though innocent? It was that we might be acquitted though guilty. -- Did He wear a crown of thorns? It was that we might wear the crown of glory. -- Was He stripped of His raiment? It was that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness. -- Was he mocked and reviled? It was that we might be honored and blessed. -- Was He reckoned a malefactor, and numbered among transgressors? It was that we might be reckoned innocent, and justified from all sin. -- Was he declared unable to save Himself? It was that He might be able to save others to the uttermost. -- Did He die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful of deaths? It was that we might live for evermore, and be exalted to the highest glory. -- Let us ponder these things well. They are worth remembering -- Our sins are many and great. But a great atonement has been made for them." -– J. C. Ryle, from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels - Matthew (1857), pg. 391-392 Related Bible Verse:  "'He himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.'" (I Peter 2:24) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Expository Thoughts on the Gospels - Matthew), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/ryle_jc/Ryle_Expos_Thoughts_Matthew.pdf The Significance of the Cross "The cross is the central point of the world’s history; all the great lines of our deepest moral and spiritual interests meet in it or radiate from it. It was once a thing must hateful and most horrible... But the Lord most holy died thereon for our salvation; and the glory of his precious love has shed an aureole of golden light around the tree of shame. And now the cross is to Christian hearts, of all things dear, the dearest and the most sacred; for it tells us with its silent eloquence the blessed story of the exceeding great love of our Master and only Savior Jesus Christ." -– B. C. Caffin, from The Pulpit Commentary (1881), Vol. 34 (Matthew, pt. 2), pg. 608 Related Bible Verse:  "'He himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.'" (I Peter 2:24) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 34), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/pulpit_commentary/Pulpit_Commentary_v34_Ma tt2.pdf The Dangers of the World, and God's Sovereignty "For what else can be said where heat and cold bring equal danger? Then, in what direction soever you turn, all surrounding objects not only may do harm, but almost openly threaten and seem to present immediate death. Go on board a ship, you are but a plank’s breadth from death. Mount a horse, the stumbling of a foot endangers your life. Walk along the streets, every tile upon the roofs is a source of danger. If a sharp instrument is in your own hand, or that of a friend, the possible harm is manifest. All the savage beasts you see are so many beings armed for your destruction. Even within a high-walled garden, where everything ministers to delight, a serpent will sometimes lurk. Your house, constantly exposed to fire, threatens you with poverty by day, with destruction by night. Your fields, subject to hail, mildew, drought, and other injuries, denounce barrenness, and thereby famine. I say nothing of poison, treachery, robbery, some of which beset us at home, others follow us abroad. Amid these perils, must not man be very miserable, as one who, more dead than alive, with difficulty draws an anxious and feeble breath, just as if a drawn sword were constantly suspended over his neck?... But when once the light of Divine Providence has illumined the believer's soul, he is relieved and set free, not only from the extreme fear and anxiety which formerly oppressed him, but from all care. For as he justly shudders at the idea of chance, so he can confidently commit himself to God. This, I say, is his comfort, that his heavenly Father so embraces all things under his power — so governs them at will by His nod — so regulates them by His wisdom, that nothing takes place save according to His appointment; that received into His favour, and entrusted to the care of His angels, neither fire, nor water, nor sword, can do him harm, except in so far as God their master is pleased to permit." -– John Calvin (1509-1564), from Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book I, Chapter 17, Sections 10-11 Related Bible Verse:  "My times are in your hands." (Ps. 31:15) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/calvin_john/Calvin-Insts-pt1.pdf Judging Yourself "Acquaint yourselves with those marks that are proper only to a true Christian. Overlook all those that are common with hypocrites, such as outward profession, constant attendances, some affections in duties. Let us not judge ourselves by outward acts: A player is not a prince, because he acts the part of a prince. But we must judge ourselves by what we are in our retirements, in our hearts. He only is a good man, and does good, that does it from a principle of goodness within, and not from fear of Laws, or to gain a good opinion in the world… The great accusation the devil brings against Job was that he served not God for naught, that his service was not sincere, that he acted a righteous part for his own ends, and to preserve his worldly prosperity (Job 1:9,10). But if our ends be right, and our actions in the course of them according to His rule, if our hearts in them respect God’s Law, and His glory, how the devils arrows will drop down, as shot against a brazen wall." -– Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), from "Discourse on Self-Examination", in The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 7, pg. 209 Related Bible Verses:  "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: prove your ownselves. Know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (II Cor. 13:5, KJV) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 7, by Stephen Charnock) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/charnock_stephen/Charnock-Works-pt7.pdf The First Winter of the Pilgrims "'Twas a most heavy trial of their patience, whereto they were called the first winter of this their pilgrimage, and enough to convince them and remind them that they were but Pilgrims. The hardships which they encountered, were attended with, and productive of deadly sicknesses; which in two or three months carried off more than half their company. They were but meanly provided against these unhappy sicknesses; but there died sometimes two, sometimes three in a day, till scarce fifty of them were left alive; and of those fifty, sometimes there were scarce five well at a time to look after the sick. Yet their profound submission to the will of God, their Christian readiness to help one another, accompanied with a joyful assurance of another and better world, carried them cheerfully through the sorrows of this mortality: nor was there heard among them a continual murmur against those who had by unreasonable impositions driven them into all these distresses. And there was this remarkable providence further in the circumstances of this mortality, that if a disease had not more easily fetched so many of this number away to Heaven, a famine would probably have destroyed them all, before their expected supplies from England were arrived. But what a wonder was it that all the bloody savages far and near did not cut off this little remnant! If He that once muzzled the lions ready to devour the man of desires, had not admirably, I had almost said, miraculously restrained them, these had been all devoured! But this people of God were come into a wilderness to worship Him; and so He kept their enemies from such attempts, as would otherwise have soon annihilated this poor handful of men, thus far already diminished." -– Cotton Mather, from Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Ecclesiatical History of New England, Book I, Chapter 1, Section 10 (1702) Related Bible Verses:  "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Ecclesiatical History of New England, by Cotton Mather) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/mather_cotton/mather-magnalia-v1.pdf The Cross "The cross, which to the old world was the symbol of deepest abhorrence, shame, infamy, and perdition, has now become for the new world the symbol of honor, blessing, and redemption. Even the superstition and vanity of the world have adopted this sign. It has risen to be the object of veneration. It is the original form of most of our orders of honor. But the glorification of the cross is the symbol and type of the transformation of death from a curse into salvation." -– Johann Peter Lange, from A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical - Matthew, pg. 531 Related Bible Verses:  "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (I Cor. 1:18) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical - Matthew, by Johann Peter Lange) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/lange_johann/Langes_v17-Lange-Matt.pdf God's Grand Design "Look around! God’s inventiveness and ingenuity is displayed in the variety of creatures rife throughout the creation: from earwig to eagle; from mite to mammoth; from oyster to orchid. God is full of wisdom; He has considered every contingency; He is a grand designer who has left no need unsatisfied in His self-sustaining creation. The flower depends on the bee, the whale makes use of the parasite, the hermit crab utilizes the castoffs of the snail. The existence of all is intertwined with the existence of all others. The large and the small, the great and the humble, the hideous and the beautiful all have their God-given niche in the completed puzzle of the creation. All have a purpose; all are equally important. Never consider yourself unimportant. If the grains of wheat can feed the world, what great purpose must God have for you. Seek it! In prayer, dedicate yourself to His desire for you in His grand design." -– Scott Sperling, from Scripture Studies, Vol. I, No. 2 Related Bible Verses:  "So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:21) "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1) "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Romans 1:20) Our Failure in Prayer "What a shame is this to us, that God is more willing to be prayed to, and more ready to hear prayer, than we are to pray." -– Matthew Henry, from "How to Begin Every Day with God", in A Method for Prayer (1710) Related Bible Verses:  "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning." (Psalm 5:3, KJV) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (A Method for Prayer, by Matthew Henry) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/henry_matthew/Henry-Method_for_Prayer.pdf If you would like to be sent the Christian Quote of the Week (each week or so), via email, please send a request to ssper@scripturestudies.com Quotes - 3     Quotes - 2     Quotes - 1
Christian Quotes - 3 If you would like to be sent the Christian Quote of the Week (each week or so), via email, please send a request to ssper@scripturestudies.com The Breadth and Depth of the Bible “As the parcels of the Bible were published and delivered by divers notaries, the instruments of God’s own lips, in divers ages, divers places, upon divers occasions, so neither the argument nor the style, nor the end and purpose is the same in them all: some recounting things past, some foreseeing things to come; some singing of mercy, some of judgment; some shallow for the lamb to wade in, some deep enough to bear and drown the elephant; some meat that must be broken and chewed with painful exposition, some drink that at the first sight may be supped and swallowed down; somewhat in some or other part that may please all humors, as the Jews imagine of their manna, that it relished not to all alike, but to every man seemed to taste accordingly as his heart lusted; yet, they were all written for our learning and comfort.” -- John King (c. 1559-1621) Related Bible Verse:  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).   Note: The work from which the above quote was taken, Lectures Upon Jonah, by John King, is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/king_john/King- Jonah.pdf Temptations: All Christians Face Them “All the heirs of heaven pass under the yoke; all true gold must feel the fire; all wheat must be threshed; all diamonds must be cut; all saints must endure temptation.” -- Charles H. Spurgeon (1856-1917), from Sermon 487, Spurgeon’s Sermons - Vol. IX (1863)   Related Bible Verse:  “For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, CSB) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken, Spurgeon’s Sermons - Vol. IX, is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge. All We Have is from God “We have our all from the hand of God, and are entrusted with it as stewards, and consequently are accountable. We should have this thought as a golden thread running through all the comforts of every day, ‘These are God’s gifts’: every bit we eat, and every drop we drink, is his mercy; every breath we draw, and every step we take, is his mercy: this will keep us continually waiting upon him, and will put a double sweetness into all our enjoyments. God will have his mercies taken fresh from his compassions, which for this reason are said to be new every morning; and therefore it is not once a- week that we are to wait upon him, as people go to market to buy provisions for the whole week, but we must wait on him every day, and all the day, as those that live from hand to mouth, and yet live very easy.” -- Matthew Henry (1662-1714), from A Method for Prayer (1710) Related Bible Verse “He makes grass grow for the cattle,  and plants for people to cultivate—  bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil  to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts” (Ps. 104:14-15) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/henry_matthew/Henry- Method_for_Prayer.pdf New Life: Necessary The doctrines of Christianity, however important and essential, are not mere theories, but great practical realities, which can only have a saving efficacy by being received into the soul.  A mere speculative belief in them, if unaccompanied by a spiritual influence upon us, is of no consequence.  We cannot be Christians without a new life.   -- Paton Gloag (1823-1906), from Practical Christianity (1866) Related Bible Verse: "We were therefore buried with Christ through baptism into death  in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead  through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4, NIV)  Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/gloag_paton/Gl oag-Practical_Christianity.pdf Ashamed of the Gospel? “’I am not ashamed of the Gospel.’ So the Apostle affirms, as he looks toward Rome. What is it about this Gospel of God, and of His Son, which gives occasion for such a word? Why do we find, not here only, but elsewhere in the New Testament, this contemplated possibility that the Christian may be ashamed of his creed, and of his Lord?... What is there about this revelation of the heart of Eternal Love, this record of a Life equally divine and human, of a Death as majestic as it is infinitely pathetic, and then of a Resurrection out of death, to occasion shame? Why, in view of this, should man be shy to avow his faith, and to let it be known that this is all in all to him, his life, his peace, his strength, his surpassing interest and occupation?” -- Handley Moule (1814-1920), from The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, pg. 35-36 Related Bible Verse: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel,  because it is the power of God  that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/expos_bible/Ex pos-v34-Romans.pdf Possessing Faith “The chief part of faith lies in... an affiance to the truth; not the believing it merely, but the taking hold of it as being ours, and in the resting on it for salvation... Leaning on it; saying, ‘This is truth, I trust my salvation on it.’ Now, true faith, in its very essence rests in this – a leaning upon Christ. It will not save me to know that Christ is a Saviour; but it will save me to trust him to be my Saviour. I shall not be delivered from the wrath to come by believing that his atonement is sufficient, but I shall be saved by making that atonement my trust, my refuge, and my all. The pith, the essence of faith lies in this – a casting one-self on the promise.” -- Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), from Spurgeon’s Sermons - Vol. III,     Sermon 107 (1857) Related Bible Verse:  "Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://classicchristianlibrary.com/library/spurgeon_charles/Sp urgeon-NewPark-pt03.pdf Heeding the Bible’s Wisdom "The children of Wisdom accept her words. They do not shut their ears against them. They do not slight them. They do not hastily and thoughtlessly disregard them. They give them what they are entitled to, a serious and deliberate attention. They listen, they remember, they meditate, they examine, they accept, they lay up for use.—The words of divine wisdom are now in the Bible. There the voice of Wisdom, and of God, addresses you. In reading the Bible, you should consider yourselves as listening to God. And it is a blessed privilege to have this Word in your possession,—to have God addressing you in it." -- Ralph Wardlaw (1779-1853), from Lectures on the Book of Proverbs, Lecture V (1844) Related Bible Verse:  "My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,  preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck" (Proverbs 3:21- 22) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Lectures on the Book of Proverbs), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/wardlaw_ralph/Wardlaw- Vol_I_lecturesonbookp01wardgoog.pdf Paul's Life and Service "Paul, in the prosecution of his high purpose and great commission, We thus see him travelling from country to country; Enduring every species of hardship and privation; Encountering every extremity of danger; Assaulted by the populace; punished by the magistrate; Scourged, beaten, stoned, and left for dead; Expecting everywhere the same treatment and the same dangers; Yet when driven from one city, preaching in the next; Spending his whole time in proclaiming Christ and Him crucified; Sacrificing pleasure, ease, safety, worldly position; Persisting in this course for more than thirty years; Unaltered by the experience of ingratitude, perverseness, prejudice; Unsubdued by anxiety, want, labor, persecution; Unwearied by long-continued conflict; Undismayed by the prospect of a violent death: The love of Christ and of souls his great constraining motive; A glorious monument of the power and riches of divine grace." -– Thomas Robinson (c. 1870), from Suggestive Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans (1870), pg. 5 Related Bible Verse:  "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus..." (Romans 1:1) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Suggestive Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/robinso n_thomas/Robinson-Romans-pt1.pdf Christ's Suffering for Us "[Remember, whenever you hear or read of Christ’s sufferings, that they were all carried out on our behalf, in order that we may not suffer for our sins.] We are intended to see this truth in every part of His passion. We may follow Him all through, from the bar of Pilate, to the minute of His death, and see him at every step as our mighty Substitute, our Representative, our Head, our Surety, our Proxy, -- the Divine Friend who undertook to stand in our stead, and by the priceless merit of His sufferings, to purchase our redemption. -- Was He scourged? It was that 'through His stripes we might be healed' -- Was he condemned, though innocent? It was that we might be acquitted though guilty. -- Did He wear a crown of thorns? It was that we might wear the crown of glory. -- Was He stripped of His raiment? It was that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness. -- Was he mocked and reviled? It was that we might be honored and blessed. -- Was He reckoned a malefactor, and numbered among transgressors? It was that we might be reckoned innocent, and justified from all sin. -- Was he declared unable to save Himself? It was that He might be able to save others to the uttermost. -- Did He die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful of deaths? It was that we might live for evermore, and be exalted to the highest glory. -- Let us ponder these things well. They are worth remembering -- Our sins are many and great. But a great atonement has been made for them." -– J. C. Ryle, from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels - Matthew (1857), pg. 391-392 Related Bible Verse:  "'He himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.'" (I Peter 2:24) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Expository Thoughts on the Gospels - Matthew), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/ryle_jc/R yle_Expos_Thoughts_Matthew.pdf The Significance of the Cross "The cross is the central point of the world’s history; all the great lines of our deepest moral and spiritual interests meet in it or radiate from it. It was once a thing must hateful and most horrible... But the Lord most holy died thereon for our salvation; and the glory of his precious love has shed an aureole of golden light around the tree of shame. And now the cross is to Christian hearts, of all things dear, the dearest and the most sacred; for it tells us with its silent eloquence the blessed story of the exceeding great love of our Master and only Savior Jesus Christ." -– B. C. Caffin, from The Pulpit Commentary (1881), Vol. 34 (Matthew, pt. 2), pg. 608 Related Bible Verse:  "'He himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.'" (I Peter 2:24) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 34), is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/pulpit_c ommentary/Pulpit_Commentary_v34_Matt2.pdf The Dangers of the World, and God's Sovereignty "For what else can be said where heat and cold bring equal danger? Then, in what direction soever you turn, all surrounding objects not only may do harm, but almost openly threaten and seem to present immediate death. Go on board a ship, you are but a plank’s breadth from death. Mount a horse, the stumbling of a foot endangers your life. Walk along the streets, every tile upon the roofs is a source of danger. If a sharp instrument is in your own hand, or that of a friend, the possible harm is manifest. All the savage beasts you see are so many beings armed for your destruction. Even within a high-walled garden, where everything ministers to delight, a serpent will sometimes lurk. Your house, constantly exposed to fire, threatens you with poverty by day, with destruction by night. Your fields, subject to hail, mildew, drought, and other injuries, denounce barrenness, and thereby famine. I say nothing of poison, treachery, robbery, some of which beset us at home, others follow us abroad. Amid these perils, must not man be very miserable, as one who, more dead than alive, with difficulty draws an anxious and feeble breath, just as if a drawn sword were constantly suspended over his neck?... But when once the light of Divine Providence has illumined the believer's soul, he is relieved and set free, not only from the extreme fear and anxiety which formerly oppressed him, but from all care. For as he justly shudders at the idea of chance, so he can confidently commit himself to God. This, I say, is his comfort, that his heavenly Father so embraces all things under his power — so governs them at will by His nod — so regulates them by His wisdom, that nothing takes place save according to His appointment; that received into His favour, and entrusted to the care of His angels, neither fire, nor water, nor sword, can do him harm, except in so far as God their master is pleased to permit." -– John Calvin (1509-1564), from Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book I, Chapter 17, Sections 10-11 Related Bible Verse:  "My times are in your hands."  (Ps. 31:15) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/calvin_jo hn/Calvin-Insts-pt1.pdf Judging Yourself "Acquaint yourselves with those marks that are proper only to a true Christian. Overlook all those that are common with hypocrites, such as outward profession, constant attendances, some affections in duties. Let us not judge ourselves by outward acts: A player is not a prince, because he acts the part of a prince. But we must judge ourselves by what we are in our retirements, in our hearts. He only is a good man, and does good, that does it from a principle of goodness within, and not from fear of Laws, or to gain a good opinion in the world… The great accusation the devil brings against Job was that he served not God for naught, that his service was not sincere, that he acted a righteous part for his own ends, and to preserve his worldly prosperity (Job 1:9,10). But if our ends be right, and our actions in the course of them according to His rule, if our hearts in them respect God’s Law, and His glory, how the devils arrows will drop down, as shot against a brazen wall." -– Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), from "Discourse on Self-Examination", in The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 7, pg. 209 Related Bible Verses:  "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: prove your ownselves. Know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (II Cor. 13:5, KJV) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 7, by Stephen Charnock) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/charnoc k_stephen/Charnock-Works-pt7.pdf The First Winter of the Pilgrims "'Twas a most heavy trial of their patience, whereto they were called the first winter of this their pilgrimage, and enough to convince them and remind them that they were but Pilgrims. The hardships which they encountered, were attended with, and productive of deadly sicknesses; which in two or three months carried off more than half their company. They were but meanly provided against these unhappy sicknesses; but there died sometimes two, sometimes three in a day, till scarce fifty of them were left alive; and of those fifty, sometimes there were scarce five well at a time to look after the sick. Yet their profound submission to the will of God, their Christian readiness to help one another, accompanied with a joyful assurance of another and better world, carried them cheerfully through the sorrows of this mortality: nor was there heard among them a continual murmur against those who had by unreasonable impositions driven them into all these distresses. And there was this remarkable providence further in the circumstances of this mortality, that if a disease had not more easily fetched so many of this number away to Heaven, a famine would probably have destroyed them all, before their expected supplies from England were arrived. But what a wonder was it that all the bloody savages far and near did not cut off this little remnant! If He that once muzzled the lions ready to devour the man of desires, had not admirably, I had almost said, miraculously restrained them, these had been all devoured! But this people of God were come into a wilderness to worship Him; and so He kept their enemies from such attempts, as would otherwise have soon annihilated this poor handful of men, thus far already diminished." -– Cotton Mather, from Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Ecclesiatical History of New England, Book I, Chapter 1, Section 10 (1702) Related Bible Verses:  "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (Magnalia Christi Americana, or The Ecclesiatical History of New England, by Cotton Mather) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/mather_ cotton/mather-magnalia-v1.pdf The Cross "The cross, which to the old world was the symbol of deepest abhorrence, shame, infamy, and perdition, has now become for the new world the symbol of honor, blessing, and redemption. Even the superstition and vanity of the world have adopted this sign. It has risen to be the object of veneration. It is the original form of most of our orders of honor. But the glorification of the cross is the symbol and type of the transformation of death from a curse into salvation." -– Johann Peter Lange, from A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical - Matthew, pg. 531 Related Bible Verses:  "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (I Cor. 1:18) Note: The work from which the above quote was taken (A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical - Matthew, by Johann Peter Lange) is available as a PDF eBook at the Classic Christian Library, free of charge at: http://www.classicchristianlibrary.com/library/lange_jo hann/Langes_v17-Lange-Matt.pdf God's Grand Design "Look around! God’s inventiveness and ingenuity is displayed in the variety of creatures rife throughout the creation: from earwig to eagle; from mite to mammoth; from oyster to orchid. God is full of wisdom; He has considered every contingency; He is a grand designer who has left no need unsatisfied in His self-sustaining creation. The flower depends on the bee, the whale makes use of the parasite, the hermit crab utilizes the castoffs of the snail. The existence of all is intertwined with the existence of all others. The large and the small, the great and the humble, the hideous and the beautiful all have their God-given niche in the completed puzzle of the creation. All have a purpose; all are equally important. Never consider yourself unimportant. If the grains of wheat can feed the world, what great purpose must God have for you. Seek it! In prayer, dedicate yourself to His desire for you in His grand design."