William Bates on Revenge

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 5:30 AM

"ln imitation of God and Christ, we must abstain from all revenge of the greatest evils suffered by us: we must extinguish any inclination to revenge. Sin begins in the desire, and ends in the action. We must not take the least pleasure, that evil befalls one that has been injurious to us; for the root of it is devilish."

William Bates

Thomas Becon on Prayer

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“When we ask anything of God, we may not ask it in our own name, in our own dignity and worthiness, in our own justice and righteousness, in our own good deeds and merits, in our own innocency and pureness, but in the name of Christ. What is it to ask in the name of Christ, but only to confess that for our own dignity and worthiness we are not worthy to be heard, and therefore, desiring to obtain mercy, grace, favour, and remission of our sins, we approach unto the throne of God with our faithful prayers, not in our own name, but in the name of Christ; that is to say, in Christ's dignity, worthiness, justice, righteousness, innocency, pureness, good deeds, and merits? And for his sake and for his goodness do we desire to be heard and to have our petitions granted.

This is a great comfort for them that shall pray, that, though they be imperfect, yet is Christ perfect, and his perfection is their perfection; though they be unrighteous, yet is Christ righteous, and his righteousness is their righteousness; though they be unholy, yet is Christ holy, and his holiness is their holiness; though they be void of perfect good works, yet hath Christ perfect good works, and his good works are their good works, if they leave their ungodliness, turn from their wicked ways, and study to live innocently; and therefore need they not fear for to pray, but boldly to ask all things in the name of Christ.” 

Thomas Becon

Hugh Binning on Temptation

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Monday, December 29, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“'Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed,' James 1:14. Temptation were no temptation, if our hearts were not wicked hearts. Nay, many of us are ready to tempt temptations, to provoke the devil to temptations; we cast ourselves open to temptations. Temptations find lust within, and lust within is the mother to conceive sin, if temptation be the father. Times do not bring evils along with them, they do but discover what was hid before. All the evils and corruptions you now see among us, where were they in the day of our first love, when we were as a loving and beloved child? Have all these risen up of late? No certainly, all that you have seen and found were before, though they did not appear; before they were in the root, now you see the fruit. All the apostacy and profanity that hath been vented in these days, was all shut up within the corners of men’s hearts at the beginning. Time and temptation hath but uncovered the heart, and made the inside out, hath but opened a sluice to let out this sea of corruption. It is not bred since, but seen since.”

Hugh Binning

Matthew Mead on Sin and Godliness

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Friday, December 26, 2014 at 8:35 AM

"As it is a great proof of the baseness and filthiness of sin, that sinners seek to cover it; so it is a great proof of the excellency of godliness, that so many pretend to it."

Matthew Mead

William Wilberforce on the Depravity of Man

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Thursday, December 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

"That the sacred name of Religion has been too often prostituted to the most detestable purposes; that furious bigots and bloody persecutors, and self-interested hypocrites of all qualities and dimensions, from the rapacious leader of an army, to the canting oracle of a congregation, have falsely called themselves Christians, are melancholy and humiliating truths, which (as none so deeply lament them) none will more readily admit, than they who best understand the nature, and are most concerned for the honor of Christianity. We are ready to acknowledge also without dispute, that the religious affections, and the doctrine of divine assistances, have almost at all times been more or less disgraced by the false pretences and extravagant conduct of wild fanatics and brain-sick enthusiasts. All this, however, is only as it happens in other instances, wherein the depravity of man perverts the bounty of God."

William Wilberforce

John Calvin on Our Reliance on God to Bear Fruit

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 5:49 AM

"'I am the vine,' says He, 'ye are the branches. My Father is the husbandman. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. For without me ye can do nothing.' (John 15:1,4-5). If we cannot bear fruit of ourselves, anymore than a branch can bud after it is torn up from the ground, and deprived of moisture, we must no longer seek for any aptitude in our nature to that which is good. There is no ambiguity in this conclusion, 'Without me ye can do nothing.' He does not say that we are too weak to be sufficient for ourselves, but reducing us to nothing, excludes every idea of ability, however diminutive."

John Calvin

J.C. Philpot on Pride

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 5:58 AM

“In order that we should glory in the Lord, it is absolutely necessary that we should cease to glory in SELF. By nature, we are all prone to glory in self through those cursed principles of self-esteem and self-exaltation. Nothing but the mighty power of God can put down these cursed principles. We are prone to this pride, and it is strengthened and matured in a fallen sinner's heart. “

J.C. Philpot

G.K. Chesterton on Democracy and the Origins of Man

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Monday, December 22, 2014 at 5:23 AM

“The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.”

G.K. Chesterton

Samuel Bolton: Five Reasons Why the Law Cannot Condemn the Believer

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Friday, December 19, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“All this the apostle puts plainly: ‘Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died’ (Rom. 8. 34). He sets the death of Christ against all the charges that can be brought. It is evident that the court of the law cannot condemn the believer:

(1) Because that court is itself condemned; its curses, judgments, and sentences are made invalid. As men that are condemned have a tongue but no voice, so the law in this case has still a tongue to accuse, but no power to condemn. It cannot fasten condemnation on the believer.

(2) Because he is not under it as a court. He is not under the law as a covenant of life and death. As he is in Christ, he is under the covenant of grace.

(3) Because he is not subject to its condemnation. He is under its guidance, but not under its curses, under its precepts (though not on the legal condition of ‘Do this and live’), but not under its penalties.

(4) Because Christ, in his place and stead, was condemned by it that he might be freed: ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us’ (Gal. 3. 13). It may condemn sin in us, but cannot condemn us for sin.

(5) Because he has appealed from it. We see this in the case of the publican, who was arrested, dragged into the court of justice, sentenced and condemned. But this has no force because he makes his appeal, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner’ (Luke 18. 13). He flies to Christ, and, says the text, ‘He went down to his house justified’. So the court of the law (provided that your appeal is just) cannot condemn, because you have appealed to the court of mercy.”
Samuel Bolton
From: The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, pg 32)

Samuel Bolton on Sin in the Believer

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“We still have the presence of sin, nay, the stirrings and workings of corruptions. These make us to have many a sad heart and wet eye. Yet Christ has thus far freed us from sin; it shall not have dominion. There may be the turbulence, but not the prevalence of sin. There may be the stirrings of corruption. It was said of Carthage that Rome was more troubled with it when half destroyed than when whole. So a godly man may be more troubled with sin when it is conquered than when it reigned. Sin will still work, but it is checked in its workings. They are rather workings for life than from life. They are not such uncontrolled workings as formerly. Sin is under command. Indeed, it may get advantage, and may have a tyranny in the soul, but it will never more be sovereign. I say, it may get into the throne of the heart and play the tyrant in this or that particular act of sin, but it shall never more be as a king there. Its reign is over; you will never yield a voluntary obedience to sin. Sin is conquered, though it still has a being within you.”
Samuel Bolton
From: The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, pg 26)

Samuel Bolton on Christ's Payment for Sin

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , , | Posted On Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“It would not be righteous of God to require payment from Christ, nay, to receive the full satisfaction of Christ, and to require anything from you. This is what God has done: H e laid on him the iniquity of us all’ (Isa. 53. 6). This is what Christ has done: He paid God till God said He had enough. He was fully satisfied, fully contented: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ (Matt. 3. 17 and 12. 18), that is, ‘in whom I am fully satisfied and appeased’. Hence the apostle writes: God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself… for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him’ (2 Cor. 5. 19-21). God was paying Himself out of the blood, scourgings, and sufferings of Christ; and in that, Christ made a full payment.”
Samuel Bolton
From: The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, pg 23)

Samuel Bolton on Christian Feedom

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“Then, too, it is a constant freedom; a Christian is brought into a condition of freedom, a state of freedom, as previously he was in a state of bondage. Wherever the Lord’s jubilee is proclaimed and pronounced in a man’s soul, he will never hear again of a return to bondage. He will never again come under bondage to Satan, the law, or aught else.”
Samuel Bolton
From: The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, pg 21)

Samuel Bolton on Sin and the Abuse of Christian LIberty

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Monday, December 15, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“It is evil to sin, to do any act of maliciousness, but much more so to cloak or cover it; and much more again to make Christian liberty the cloak of sin: that is most damnable. To make religion, to make the truth of God, to make Christian liberty so dearly purchased, a cloak or pretext to sin, or to take occasion to sin by it, is a fearful sin.”
Samuel Bolton
(From: The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, pg 20)

The Valley of Vision: The Grace of the Cross

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Friday, December 12, 2014 at 5:30 AM


I thank thee from the depths of my being
    for thy wondrous grace and love
  in bearing my sin in thine own body on the tree.
May thy cross be to me
  as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs,
  as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty,
  as the brazen serpent that calls forth
    the look of faith.
By thy cross crucify my every sin;
Use it to increase my intimacy with thyself;
Make it the ground of all my comfort,
  the liveliness of all my duties,
  the sum of all thy gospel promises,
  the comfort of all my afflictions,
  the vigour of my love, thankfulness, graces,
  the very essence of my religion;
And by it give me that rest without rest,
    the rest of ceaseless praise.


Thou hast also appointed a cross for me
    to take up and carry,
  a cross before thou givest me a crown.
Thou hast appointed it to be my portion,
  but self-love hates it,
    carnal reason is unreconciled to it;
  without the grace of patience I cannot bear it,
    walk with it, profit by it.
O blessed cross, what mercies dost thou bring
    with thee!
Thou art only esteemed hateful by my rebel will,
  heavy because I shirk thy load.
Teach me, gracious Lord and Saviour,
  that with my cross thou sendest promised grace
    so that I may bear it patiently,
  that my cross is thy yoke which is easy,
    and thy burden which is light.

Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), p. 312. © 1975, used by permission. www.banneroftruth.org

The Valley of Vision: Love

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Give me to love thee, to embrace thee,
      though I once took lust and sin in my arms.
      Thou didst love me before I loved thee,
  an enemy, a sinner, a loathsome worm.
Thou didst own me when I disclaimed myself;
Thou dost love me as a son,
  and weep over me as over Jerusalem.
Love brought thee from heaven to earth,
  from earth to the cross,
  from the cross to the grave.
Love caused thee to be
  weary, hungry, tempted,
  scorned, scourged,
  buffeted, spat upon,
  crucified, and pierced.
Love led thee to bow thy head in death.
My salvation is the point where
  perfect created love
  and the most perfect uncreated love
    meet together;
  for thou dost welcome me,
  not like Joseph and his brothers,
  loving and sorrowing, but loving and rejoicing.
This love is not intermittent, cold, changeable;
  it does not cease or abate for all my enmity.

Holiness is a spark from thy love
  kindled to a flame in my heart by thy Spirit,
  and so it ever turns to the place
    from which it comes.
Let me see thy love everywhere,
  not only in the cross,
  but in the fellowship of believers
  and in the world around me.
When I feel the warmth of the sun
  may I praise thee who art the Sun of righteousness
    with healing power.
When I feel the tender rain
  may I think of the gospel showers
    that water my soul.
When I walk by the river side
  may I praise thee for that stream that makes
    the eternal city glad, and washes white my robes
    that I may have the right to the tree of life.
Thy infinite love is a mystery of mysteries,
  and my eternal rest lies
  in the eternal enjoyment of it.

From The Valley of Vision; Puritan Prayers and Devotions

Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), p. 290. © 1975, used by permission. www.banneroftruth.org

The Valley of Vision: Living By Prayer

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Teach me to live by prayer
      as well as by providence,
  for myself, soul, body, children, family, church;
Give me a heart frameable to thy will;
  so might I live in prayer,
  and honour thee,
  being kept from evil, known and unknown.
Help me to see the sin that accompanies all I do,
  and the good I can distil from everything.
Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring
    my will to thine,
  and that without this it is folly to pray;
When I try to bring thy will to mine it is
    to command Christ,
  to be above him, and wiser than he:
    this is my sin and pride.
I can only succeed when I pray
  according to thy precept and promise,
  and to be done with as it pleases thee,
  according to thy sovereign will.
When thou commandest me to pray
    for pardon, peace, brokenness,
  it is because thou wilt give me the thing promised,
    for thy glory,
    as well as for my good.
Help me not only to desire small things
  but with holy boldness to desire great things
    for thy people, for myself,
    that they and I might live to show thy glory.
Teach me
  that it is wisdom for me to pray for all I have,
    out of love, willingly, not of necessity;
  that I may come to thee at any time,
    to lay open my needs acceptably to thee;
  that my great sin lies in my not keeping
    the savour of thy ways;
  that the remembrance of this truth is one way
    to the sense of thy presence;
  that there is no wrath like the wrath of being
    governed by my own lusts for my own ends.

Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), p. 266. © 1975, used by permission. www.banneroftruth.org

The Valley of Vision: Weakness

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 5:30 AM

O Spirit of God,
Help my infirmities;
When I am pressed down with a load of sorrow,
perplexed and knowing not what to do,
slandered and persecuted,
made to feel the weight of the cross,
help me, I pray thee.

If thou seest in me any wrong thing encouraged,
any evil desire cherished,
any delight that is not thy delight,
any habit that grieves thee,
any nest of sin in my heart,
then grant me the kiss of thy forgiveness,
and teach my feet to walk the way of thy commandments.

Deliver me from carking care,
and make me a happy, holy person;
help me to walk the separated life with firm and brave step,
and to wrestle successfully against weakness;
teach me to laud, adore, and magnify thee,
with the music of heaven,
and make me a perfume of praiseful gratitude to thee.

I do not crouch at thy feet as a slave before a tyrant,
but exult before thee as a son with a father.
Give me power to live as thy child in all my actions,
and to exercise sonship by conquering self.

Preserve me from the intoxication that come of prosperity;
sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes not from thee.
Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom,
not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.

I request only to see the face of him I love,
to be content with bread to eat,
with raiment to put on,
if I can be brought to thy house in peace.

Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), p. 188. © 1975, used by permission. www.banneroftruth.org

The Valley of Vision: Freedom

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Monday, December 8, 2014 at 5:30 AM

O Holy Father, thou hast freely given thy Son,
O Divine Son, thou hast freely paid my debt,
O Eternal Spirit, thou hast freely bid me come,
O Triune God, thou dost freely grace me with salvation.

Prayers and tears could not suffice to pardon
my sins,
nor anything less than atoning blood,
but my believing is my receiving,
for a thankful acceptance is no paying of the debt.
What didst thou see in me?
that I a poor, diseased, despised sinner
should be clothed in thy bright glory?
that a creeping worm
should be advanced to this high state?
that one lately groaning, weeping, dying,
should be as full of joy as my heart can hold?
that a being of dust and darkness
should be taken like Mordecai from captivity,
and set next to the king?
should be lifted like Daniel from a den
and be made ruler of princes and provinces?
Who can fathom immeasurable love?
As far as the rational soul exceeds the senses,
so does the spirit exceed the rational in its
knowledge of thee.
Thou hast given me understanding to compass
the earth,
measure the sun, moon, stars, universe,
but above all to know thee, the only true God.
I marvel that the finite can know the Infinite,
here a little, afterwards in full-orbed truth;
Now I know but a small portion of what
I shall know,
here in part, there in perfection,
here a glimpse, there a glory.
To enjoy thee is life eternal,
and to enjoy is to know.
Keep me in the freedom of experiencing
thy salvation continually.

Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), p. 100. © 1975, used by permission. www.banneroftruth.org

Augustus Strong on God and The Atonement

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Friday, December 5, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“God requires satisfaction because He is holiness, but He makes satisfaction because He is love.”

Augustus Strong

George Downame on Dealing with Evil

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 5:24 AM

“The Christian soldier must avoid two evils – he must not faint or yield in the time of fight, and after a victory he must not wax insolent and secure.  When he has overcome, he is so to behave himself as though he were presently again to be assaulted. For Satan’s temptations, like the waves of the sea, do follow one in the neck of the other;  and when one is past another is ready to overwhelm us, if, like skillful pilots, we be not ready to break the violence of that which follows, as well as of that which went before.”

George Downame

Abraham Wright on Hating Sin

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 5:30 AM

“None can hate it [sin] but that love the law of God; for all hatred comes from love. A natural man may be angry with his sin, but hate it he cannot; nay, he may leave it, but not loathe it; if he did, he would loathe all sin as well as any one sin.”
Abraham Wright


Herman Bavinck on the Earth

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , , | Posted On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 5:28 AM

“In an astronomical sense the earth may be small and insignificant; in mass and weight it may be surpassed by thousands of planets and suns and stars; but in a religious sense the earth remains the center of the universe. It and it alone has been chosen as a dwelling place for man. It is the arena in which the great struggle against every evil power is conducted. It is the place for the establishment of the kingdom of heaven.”

Herman Bavinck

Christopher Love on Grace

Posted by BluegrassRunner | Labels: , | Posted On Monday, December 1, 2014 at 5:15 AM

"Grace is the understanding that God is a better savior than you are a sinner."

Christopher Love