Categories
Excerpts Quotes

Delighting in Devotion to God

Never does a soul know what solid joy and substantial pleasure is till, once being weary of itself, it renounces all propriety, gives itself up to the Author of its being, and feels itself become a hallowed and devoted thing; and can say from an inward sense and feeling, My beloved is mine (I account all His interest mine own) and I am His: I am content to be anything for Him, and care not for myself, but that I may serve Him.

—Henry Scougal
Adapted from The Works of the Rev. H. Scougal (London: Ogle, Duncan, and Co., 1822), 28.

Categories
Excerpts Quotes

A Most Useful Love

The love of Christ is useful to fit you for the cross, and the greatest sufferings which you may be called to for the sake of Christ. If you have great love to Christ, you will be ready to suffer for Christ with patience and with cheerfulness. The heaviest cross will seem light, disgrace and shame will be accounted honor, losses will be esteemed gains, and pains, pleasures, or at least privileges. Prisons will seem like palaces, and death will be accounted life. O how have some run to the stake, and embraced the flames of fire kindled to burn them, when they have felt the fire of love to Christ burning strongly within them!

Thus this love is useful in life. The love of Christ is also useful at death.

Its strength will put a beauty upon the aspect of death which seems so grim and terrible to most. If you have much love to Christ, you will look upon death as Christ’s messenger, sent for you to bring you out of the dark prison of the world and body, and to convey you into the mansions of glory, where your dear Lord is, and you will not be unwilling to leave the world that you may live with Christ.

—Thomas Vincent

Categories
Excerpts Quotes

Nothing Avails But Christ

It avails nothing that a man is clever, learned, highly gifted, amiable, charitable, kind-hearted, and zealous about some sort of religion. All this will not save his soul if he does not draw near to God by Christ’s atonement, and make use of God’s own Son as his Mediator and Saviour. God is so holy that all men are guilty and debtors in His sight. Sin is so sinful that no mortal man can make satisfaction for it. There must be a mediator, a ransom-payer, a redeemer, between ourselves and God, or else we can never be saved. There is only one door, one bridge, one ladder, between earth and heaven,—the crucified Son of God. Whosoever will enter in by that door may be saved; but to him who refuses to use that door the Bible holds out no hope at all. Without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Let us beware, if we love life, of supposing that mere earnestness will take a man to heaven, though he know nothing of Christ. The idea is a deadly and ruinous error. Sincerity will never wipe away our sins. It is not true that every man will be saved by his own religion, no matter what he believes, so long as he is diligent and sincere. We must not pretend to be wiser than God. Christ has said, and Christ will stand to it, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”

—J. C. Ryle

Categories
Excerpts Quotes

Satisfaction Through Substitution

We strongly reject, therefore, every explanation of the death of Christ which does not have at its centre the principle of ‘satisfaction through substitution’, indeed divine self-satisfaction through divine self-substitution. The cross was not a commercial bargain with the devil, let alone one which tricked and trapped him; nor an exact equivalent, a quid pro quo to satisfy a code of honour or technical point of law; nor a compulsory submission by God to some moral authority above Him from which He could not otherwise escape; nor a punishment of a meek Christ by a harsh and punitive Father; nor a procurement of salvation by a loving Christ from a mean and reluctant Father; nor an action of the Father which bypassed Christ as Mediator. Instead, the righteous, loving Father humbled Himself to become in and through His only Son flesh, sin and a curse for us, in order to redeem us without compromising his own character. The theological words ‘satisfaction’ and ‘substitution’ need to be carefully defined and safeguarded, but they cannot in any circumstances be given up. The biblical gospel of atonement is of God satisfying Himself by substituting Himself for us.

– John Stott