Manton: measured by your mouth

MantonPuritan pastor Thomas Manton makes a point…

The ox bellows, the ass brayeth, goats and sheep may be known by their bleat; and so is a man by the tenor of his discourse. As the constitution of the mind is, so are the words. …. Still the tap runs according to the liquor with which the vessel is filled; and a man’s speech betrays him of what kind he is….

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Abandon low & carnal aims!

I constantly mark and underline in my books. Perhaps one of the most precious quotations I have found over the years is this, from Thornwell. (I found it many years ago in Iain Murray’s THE PURITAN HOPE, a real gem of a book).

J. H. Thornwell quote…

“If the Church could be aroused to a deeper sense of the glory that awaits her, she would enter with a warmer spirit into the struggles that are before her. Hope would inspire ardour. She would even now arise from the dust, and like the eagle, plume her pinions for loftier flights than she has yet taken. What she wants, and what every individual Christian wants, is faith — faith in her sublime vocation, in her Divine resources, in the presence and efficacy of the Spirit that dwells in her — faith in the truth, faith in Jesus, and faith in God. With such a faith there would be no need to speculate about the future. That would speedily reveal itself. it is our unfaithfulness, our negligence and unbelief, our low and carnal aims, that retard the chariot of the Redeemer. the Bridegroom cannot come until the Bride has made herself ready. Let the Church be in earnest after greater holiness in her own members, and in faith and love undertake the conquest of the world, and she will soon settle the question whether her resources are competent to change the face of the earth.”

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—from Collected Writings, 1871, volume 2, page 48; 
quoted by Iain H. Murray in The Puritan Hope, (Banner of Truth, 1971, page xxii).

Earnestly seeking things above,
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Read the Word in the new year!

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17 esv

The puritan pastor & author Thomas Brooks displays the beautiful implications of this Scripture, (in “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”) —

The Scriptures are sufficient . . .
to inform the ignorant,
to confute the erroneous,
to reform the wicked, and
to guide and direct, support and comfort–the godly.

Here a lamb may wade–and here an elephant may swim!

Here is milk for babes–and meat for strong men!

Here is . . .
comfort for the afflicted, and
support for the tempted, and
ease for the troubled, and
light for the clouded, and
enlargement for the straitened, etc.

Oh,
how full of light,
how full of life,
how full of love,
how full of sweetness,
how full of goodness,
how full of righteousness,
how full of holiness, etc.,
is every chapter, and every verse in every
chapter, yes, and every line in every verse!

No human writings are comparable to Scripture:
1. for antiquity;
2. for rarity;
3. for variety;
4. for brevity;
5. for plainness;
6. for harmony;
7. for verity.

All which should greatly encourage Christians, to a
serious perusal of them. “Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long!” Psalm 119:97

turn with me daily to the Word of God!
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A precious jewel indeed…

The puritan Thomas Brooks, in his work “The Hypocrite Detected” speaks of the great value of time….

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 5:16
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Time is a jewel more worth than a world!

Time is not yours to dispose of as you please; it is
a glorious talent, which men must be accountable
for–as well as any other talent. Of all talents, time
is the hardest to improve well. Ah, beloved, have
not you need to improve your time–who have
much work to do, in so short a time:

your souls to save,
a God to honor,
a Christ to exalt,
a hell to escape,
a race to run,
a crown to win,
temptations to withstand,
corruptions to conquer,
afflictions to bear,
mercies to improve, and
your generation to serve!

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

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Thanksgiving Quotations by Samuel Rutherford

From “The Loveliness of Christ” by Samuel Rutherford 9562h

“Because I am his own (God be thanked) he may use me as he pleaseth.”

“… God be thanked, I gave nothing for Christ; and now I protest, before men and angels, Christ cannot be exchanged; Christ cannot be sold, Christ cannot be weighed.”

“If there were ten thousand, thousand millions of worlds, and as many heavens full of men and angels, Christ would not be pinched to supply all our wants, and to fill us all.”

“I am in as sweet communion with Christ as a poor sinner can be; and am only pained that he hath much beauty and fairness, and I little love; he great power and mercy, and I little faith; he much light, and I bleared eyes.”

“Acquaint yourself with Christ’s love, and ye shall not miss to find new goldmines and treasures in Christ.”

“His ‘well done’ is worth a shipful of good days and earthly honours.”

“I know no sweeter way to heaven, than through free grace and hard trials together, and none of these cannot well want another.”

“No pen, no words, no image can express to you the loveliness of my only, only Lord Jesus.”

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day,
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Idle words weighed by God

In our day as a plethora of words fly through airwaves, TV cables, the internet and emails, we do well to hear and heed the following warning from Puritan Thomas Manton.

Idle words weigh heavy in God’s balance. God, that hath given a law to the heart, hath also given a law to the lips: “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Mt 12:36). Words will come to be judged; either we are to give an account of them here, or hereafter; either to condemn ourselves for them, and seek pardon, or to be condemned hereafter before GOD. A loose and ungoverned tongue will be one evidence brought against men, as a sign of their unrenewed hearts, in the day of judgment.

PSALM 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (esv)

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Why does God delay an answer to prayer?

(Here’s a dynamite little post from Justin Buzzard’s blog)

Thomas Watson, a Puritan pastor from 350 years ago, asked in his book, Body of Divinity, “Why does God delay an answer to prayer?” In other words, why would God ever keep us asking and seeking and knocking when he could respond sooner?

He gives four answers:

1. Because he loves to hear the voice of prayer. “You let the musician play a great while before you throw him down money, because you love to hear this music.”

2. That he may humble us. We may too easily assume we merit some ready answer, or that he is at our beck and call like a butler, not as sovereign Lord and loving Father.

3. Because he sees we are not yet fit or ready for the mercy we seek. It may be he has things to put in place—in us or in our church or in the world. There are a million pieces to the puzzle. Some things go first to make a place for the others.

4. Finally, that the mercy we pray for may be the more prized, and may be sweeter when it comes.

Thanks to Justin Buzzard for this.

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Meadow or Marsh? (a favorite Manton line)

I have read a lot of puritan writings, and Manton is among the best. One little phrase i read almost a decade ago (see boldface line in quote) has been very useful in pastoral counselling and has personally helped me greatly.

Thomas Manton (from his sermon on Psalm 119:3):

A man is known by his custom, and the course of his endeavors… If a man be constantly, easily, frequently carried away to sin, it discovers a habit of soul, and the temper of his heart. Meadows may be overflowed, but marsh ground is drowned with the return of every tide. A child of God may be carried away, and act contrary to the bent and inclination of the new nature; but when men are drowned and overcome with the return of every temptation, and carried away, it argues a habit of sin.

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