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Christ: the measure of God’s Love

It is a special consideration to enhance the love of God in giving Christ, that in giving him he gave the richest jewel in his cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value, Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is: He is the better half of heaven; and so the saints account him. “Whom have I in heaven but thee?” (Psalm 73:25). Ten thousand thousand worlds, saith one, as many worlds as angels can number, and then as a new world of angels can multiply, would not all be the bulk of a balance, to weigh Christ’s excellency, love, and sweetness. O what a fair One! what an only One! what an excellent, lovely, ravishing One, is Christ! Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in one; O what a fair and excellent thing would that be? And yet it should be less to that fair and dearest well-beloved Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths. Christ is heaven’s wonder, and earth’s wonder.

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners; and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as his Son was, yet not to account him too good to bestow upon us, what manner of love is this!

John Flavel (Works, 1:67-68)

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Stewarding Providence

The great Master Gardener, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in a wonderful providence, with His own hand, planted me here, where, by His grace, in this part of His vineyard, I grow. … And here I will abide till the great Master of the Vineyard think fit to transplant me.

Samuel Rutherford (Letters, 62).
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Our Secret Sins

The most hidden works of darkness shall be openly manifested. Though the actings of sin be in the dark, yet the judgings of sin shall be in the light (Luke 8:17). “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Notice that he does not say some work, but every work; and not only works, but secrets; and not only secrets, but every secret; whether good works or ill works, whether secret or open, all must be brought to judgment. The books of God’s omniscience, and man’s conscience, shall then be opened … All men’s secret sins are printed in heaven, and God will at last read them aloud in the ears of all the world. “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart” (1 Corinthians 4:5).

Look, as there are a world of flies and particles in the air, which we never see till the sun shines. So there are many thousands of proud thoughts, and unclean thoughts, and worldly thoughts, and malicious thoughts, and envious thoughts, and bloody thoughts, and many such thoughts which the world sees not and knows not. But in that great day, when the counsels of all hearts shall be manifest, then all shall come out, then all shall appear, for all to see. In that great day all masks, veils, and hoods shall be pulled off, and then all shall come out; all that you have ever done in the secret chamber, in the dark corner, shall be made known to men and angels, yea, to the whole court of heaven, and to all the world beside. “On that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” (Romans 2:16). On that great day, God will judge not only our words but our works, not only our open works, but also our secret works and ways. … Though sinners may hide and keep close their horrid abominations for a time, yet there will come a time when all shall come out, when all their secret sins shall be obvious to all the world.

Thomas Brooks (adapted from Works, 2:286-287)
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When God Gives Himself

My grace, saith God, shall be yours to pardon you, and my power shall be yours to protect you, and my wisdom shall be yours to direct you, and my goodness shall be yours to relieve you, and my mercy shall be yours to supply you, and my glory shall be yours to crown you. This is a comprehensive promise, for God to be our God: it includes all. … [It is] as if he said, You shall have as true an interest in all my attributes for your good, as they are mine for my own glory.

Thomas Brooks
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Study vs. Meditation

The end of study is information, and the end of meditation is practice, or a work upon the affections. Study is like a winter sun that shines but does not warm, but meditation is like blowing up the fire, where we do not mind the blaze but the heat. The end of study is to hoard up truth, but of meditation to lay it forth in conference or holy conversation. In study, we are rather like vintners that take in wine to store themselves for sale; in meditation, like those that buy wine for their own use and comfort. A vintner’s cellar may be better stored than a nobleman’s; the student may have more of notion and knowledge, but the practical Christian has more of taste and refreshment.

Thomas Manton (1620-1677)
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