Jul 30, 2012

A sense of guilt, and of Divine wrath - William Rushton

If sin itself be not transferable, Christ could not have borne all the effects and consequences of our iniquities. The shame and pain which the undefiled Redeemer endured from the Jews, the Roman soldiers, the cross, the nails, and the thorns, were a very small part of the reward of our transgressions. The principal part of the punishment of sin, consists in a sense of guilt, and of Divine wrath: but neither of these could Immanuel have endured, unless he had borne our sins themselves.

Jul 23, 2012

Anti-Christian in the sight of God - William Rushton

...the very thing which constitutes a believer righteous, is not any inherent holiness of which he is the subject, nor any works of his own, either legal or evangelical, whether performed with the help of divine grace, or in his own strength; but that which makes the sinner just, is the alone work of Christ, finished on the cross, imputed to all for whom it was accomplished, and received by faith alone. This is the grand article of Christianity, the glory of the gospel, and the very foundation of Zion. [Isa. liv. 14.] A departure from this is the grand apostacy so often spoken of in the New Testament, whence all the abominations of popery arise; and that church, whatever be its denomination which departs from this foundation principle, is anti-Christian in the sight of God.

Jul 16, 2012

A believer in Jesus cannot live under the dominion of sin - William Rushton

DIVINE truth, when cordially received, always produces effects corresponding to its own nature. No man who has beheld the divine glory shining in the atonement of Christ, and who has found salvation therein, can possibly exhibit, in his own character and habitual conduct, the dominion of principles that are the very reverse of the gospel which he has received. It is impossible for a genuine believer to be an unjust man, because he has seen in the cross of Christ, such a display of divine justice, as hath transformed his own mind into the same image. Such a one cannot be an unmerciful or an implacable man, because he has beheld in the atonement, the highest display of divine compassion towards his guilty soul; and accordingly as he is influenced by the discovery, will he be kind and tender-hearted towards others, ready to forgive injuries, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven him. A true Christian cannot be a deceitful man or a liar, because his mind has been deeply affected by the character of Jehovah, as it appears in the grand plan of salvation; he has been taught to admire the truth and faithfulness of his redeeming God, and in some measure he exhibits the same character, agreeably to the apostolic exhortation, "Be ye followers, (or imitators,) of God, as dear children." In fine, a believer in Jesus cannot live under the dominion of sin, for as the seal makes its own impression on the melted wax, so does divine truth, in the hand of the Spirit, on the mind of a sinner, when his heart is softened by the melting of divine grace; "but ye have obeyed from the heart, that form of doctrine, whereunto ye where delivered." [Romans vi. 17.]

Jul 9, 2012

This spirit of dissimulation - William Rushton

But this spirit of dissimulation has appeared visibly in the conduct of many, from whom better things might have been expected. A disposition to conceal their real sentiments, especially at such times as do not suit their purpose to advance them, and a professed attachment to doctrines which they do not heartily receive, may be often observed in many who have imbibed Mr. Fuller’s sentiments. They profess to maintain inviolably the doctrines of eternal personal election, free justification, and efficacious grace in regeneration; yet in their public discourses these important points are seldom ever advanced, or if they are mentioned occasionally, for the sake of an orthodox reputation, it is in such a manner as shews the preacher does not cordially receive those truths nor heartily approve them. Such persons know well which way the stream of popular approbation runs; and while they bear a rooted aversion towards an honest witness for the doctrines they themselves allow, they can openly countenance the avowed foes of sovereign electing grace.

Praying when we cannot speak - George Whitefield

...there is a way (and that an excellent one too) of praying when we cannot speak; thus Anna prayed, when she spoke not aloud, only her lips moved. Thus God says to Moses, “Why criest thou?” when, it is plain, he did not speak a word. This is what the apostle means by the “spirit making intercession (for believers) with groanings which cannot be uttered.” For there are times when the soul is too big to speak; when God fills it as it were, and overshadows it with his presence, so that it can only fall down, worship, adore, and lie in the dust before the Lord. Again, there is a time when the soul is benumbed, barren and dry, and the believer has not a word to say to his heavenly Father; and then the heart only can speak. And I mention this for the encouragement of weak Christians, who think they never are accepted but when they have a flow of words, and fancy they do not please God at the bottom, for no other reason but because they do not please themselves. Such would do well to consider, that God knows the language of the heart, and the mind of the spirit; and that we make use of words, not to inform God, but to affect ourselves. Whenever therefore any of you find yourselves in such a frame, be not discouraged: offer yourselves up in silence before God, as clay in the hands of the potter, for him t write and stamp his own divine image upon your souls.

Jul 2, 2012

Conformity to the world in the very worst form - William Rushton

The direct tendency of a "yea and nay" gospel is to produce a worldly profession of Christianity. Every attempt to render the gospel more acceptable to men, by softening down any of its offensive doctrines, is in itself an act of conformity to the world in the very worst form. The command of God is, "let them return unto thee; but return not unto them." [Jer. xv. 19.] The offence of the cross never can cease in this world, but by a corruption of the doctrines thereof; and wherever such corruption exists, conformity to the world in other respects will proportionately prevail. "True Christianity is," as an acute writer has observed, "an insult on the taste of the public; yea, the most respectable part of the public, and that in the most important matters." This, it is evident, must always be the case, so long as that which is "highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." While a church of Christ is keeping the word of his patience, and faithfully holding forth the doctrines of the cross, it will meet with sufficient reproach from the world to illustrate those consolatory words, "If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans viii. 17.

The Pharisees - George Whitefield

The Pharisees were the strictest sect among the Jews. “I was of the strictest sect, of the Pharisees,” says Paul. They prayed often; not only so, but they made long prayers; and, that they might appear extraordinary devout, they would pray at the corners of the street, where two ways met, that people going or coming, both ways, might see them. “They made broad (as our Lord informs us) the borders of their phylacteries,” they had pieces of parchment sown to their long robes, on which some parts of the Scripture were written, that people might from thence infer, that they were lovers of the law of God. They were so very punctual and exact in outward purifications, that they washed at their going out and coming in. They held the washing of pots, brazen vessels and tables, and many other such-like things they did. They were very zealous for the traditions of the fathers, and for the observation of the rites and ceremonies of the church, notwithstanding they frequently made void the law of God by their traditions. And they were so exceedingly exact in the outward observation of the Sabbath, that they condemned our Lord for making a little clay with his spittle; and called him a sinner, and said, he was not of God, because he had given sight to a man born blind, on the Sabbath-day. For these reasons they were had in high veneration among the people, who were sadly misled by these blind guides: they had the uppermost places in the synagogues, and greetings in the market-places (which they loved dearly) and were called of men, Rabbi; in short, they had such a reputation for piety, that it became a proverb among the Jews, that, if there were but two men saved, the one of them must be a Pharisee.

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