Christ pacifies all inward troubles, and commands peace when their spirits are tumultuous—appeasing strife within. When the tumultuous affections are up, and in a hurry; when anger, hatred, and revenge begin to rise in the soul, this hushes and stills all. “I will hearken (saith the saints) what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, and to His saints” (Ps 75:8). He that saith to the raging sea, be still, and it obeys Him; He alone can pacify the disquieted spirit. They say of frogs, that if they be croaking never so much in the night, bring but a light among them, and they are all quiet: such a light is the peace of Christ among our disordered affections.
Adapted from The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel, 1:205–206.
Behold! on what sure foundations his happiness is built whose soul is possessed with divine love, whose will is transformed into the will of God, and whose greatest desire is that his Maker should be pleased. O the peace, the rest, the satisfaction that attends such a temper of mind!
The Works of the Rev. H. Scougal (London: Ogle, Duncan, and Co., 1822), 27.
Jesus Christ did not come into the world to help you to forget your sin. He has not come to furnish you with a cloak with which to cover it. He has not appeared that He may so strengthen your minds (as some men would have you believe) that you may learn to laugh at your iniquities, and defy the consequences thereof. For no such reason has the Son of God descended from Heaven to earth.
He has come, not to lull you into a false peace, not to whisper consolation which would turn out to be delusive in the end, but to give you a real deliverance from sin by putting it away, and so to bring you a true peace in which you may safely rejoice.
A contented Christian carries heaven about him
For, what is heaven, but that sweet repose and full contentment that the soul shall have in God? In contentment there are the first fruits of heaven. There are two things in a contented spirit, which make it like heaven.
God is there
Something of God is to be seen in that heart.
A discontented Christian is like a rough tempestuous sea; when the water is rough you can see nothing there; but when it is smooth and serene, then you may behold your face in the water.
When the heart rages through discontent, it is like a rough sea, you can see nothing there, unless passion and murmuring; there is nothing of God, nothing of heaven in that heart: but by virtue of contentment, it is like the sea when it is smooth and calm, there is a face shining there; you may see something of Christ in that heart, a representation of all the graces.
Peace of soul is there
O what a Sabbath is kept in a contented heart! What a heaven!
A contented Christian like Noah in the ark: though the ark were tossed with waves, Noah could sit and sing in the ark.
The soul that is gotten into the ark of contentment, sits quiet, and sails above all the waves of trouble; he can sing in this spiritual ark; the wheels of the chariot move, but the axle-tree stirs not; the circumference of the heavens is carried about the earth, but the earth moves not out of its center. When we meet with motion and change in the creatures round about us, a contented spirit is not stirred nor moved out of its center.
The sails of a mill move with the wind, but the mill itself stands still, an emblem of contentment; when our outward estate moves with the wind of providence, yet the heart is settled through holy contentment; and when others are like quicksilver, shaking and trembling through disquiet, the contented spirit can say, as David, “O God my heart is fixed” (Ps 57:7), what is this but a piece of heaven?