Archive for category Snippets
It seemed to me self-evident that one essential property of love, hate, fear, hope, or desire was attention to their object. To cease thinking about or attending to the woman is, so far, to cease loving; to cease thinking about or attending to the dreaded thing is, so far, to cease being afraid. But to attend to your own love or fear is to cease attending to the loved or dreaded object. In other words the enjoyment and the contemplation of our inner activities are incompatible. You cannot hope and also think about hoping at the same moment; for in hope we look to hope’s object and we interrupt this by (so to speak) turning round to look at the hope itself. Of course the two activities can and do alternate with great rapidity; but they are distinct and incompatible.
– C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
Jason Meyer has used this quote in class recently as it relates to our worship, and especially our worship as we herald God’s Word. I’ve been pondering it over in my mind as it relates to personal worship in morning devotions… do I focus on the action of reading, my worship… or the Object Who lies behind the reading and Whom the worship is towards? There’s a gap. I want to see it continually closed, by grace.
“… remembering that the kingdom will only be established when Jesus returns rightly centers our hopes, our affection, and our longing on Jesus himself. Instead of looking to some human power, some human action, some human authority, or even our own effort to set everything right, we look to heaven and cry out with the apostle John, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” Our longing for his return increases, our prayers to him grow more fervent, and our love for him deepens. In short, our desires and hopes center firmly – and rightly – not so much on the kingdom as on the kingdom’s king.”
When first even the least drop of faith is instilled in our minds, we begin to contemplate God’s face, peaceful and calm and gracious towards us. We see him afar off, but so clearly as to know we are not at all deceived. Then, the more we advance as we ought continually to advance, with steady progress, as it were, the nearer and thus surer sight of him we obtain; and by the very continuance he is made even more familiar to us.
So we see that the mind, illumined by the knowledge of God, is at first weapped up in much ignorance which is gradually dispelled. Yet, by being ignorant of certain things, or by rather obscurely discerning what it does discern, the mind is not hindered from enjoying a clear knowldge of the divine will toward itself. For what it discerns comprises the first and principal parts in faith. It is like a man who, shut up in a prison into which the sun’s rays shine obliquely and half obscured through a rather narrow window, is indeed deprived of the full sight of the sun. Yet his eyes dwell on its steadfast brightness, and he receives its benefits .
Thus, bound with fetters of an earthly body, however much we are shadower on every side with great darkness, we are neevertheless illumined as much as need be for firm assurance when, to show forth his mercy, the light of God sheds even a little of its radiance.
– John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion
And now, brethren, the work is before you. In these personal instructions of all the flock, as well as in public preaching, doth it consist. Others have done their part, and borne their burden, and now it comes in yours. You may easily see how great a matter lies upon your hands, and how many will be wronged by the failing of your duty, and how much will be lost by the sparing of your labour.
If your labour be more worth than the souls of men, and than the blood of Christ, then sit still, and look not after the ignorant or the ungodly; follwo your own pleasure or worldly business, or take your ease; displease not sinners, nor your own flesh, but let your neighbours sink or swim; and, if public preaching will not save them, let them perish. But, if the case be far otherwise, you had best look about you.
– Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor
Reformation is to many of us, as the Messiah was to the Jews. Before he came, they looked and longed for him, and boasted of him, and rejoiced in hope of him; but when he came they could not abide him, but hated him, and would not believe that he was indeed the person, and therefore persecuted and put him to death, to the curse and confusion of the main body of their nation… and the reason was, because it was another manner of Christ that the Jews expected; it was one who would bring them riches and liberty, and to this day they profess that they will never believe in any but such.
So it is with too many about reformation. They hoped for a reformation, that would bring them more wealth and honour with the people, and power to force men to do what they would have them: and now they see a reformation, that must put them to more condescension and pains than they were ever at before. They thought of having the opposers of godliness under their feet, but now they see they must go to them with humble entreaties, and put their hands under their feet, if they would do them good, and meekly beseech even those that sometime sought their lives, and make it now their daily business to overcome them by kindness, and win them with love. O how many carnal expectations are here crossed!
– Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor