Some Puritan Quotations That Make My Previous Point


From Thomas Goodwin (a Puritan)

"Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayers and won with thanks."

"Grace" is more than mercy and love, it superadds to them. It denotes, not simply love, but the love of a sovereign, transcendly superior, one that may do what he will, that may wholly choose whether he will love or no. There may be love between equals, and an inferior may love a superior; but love in a superior, and so superior as he may do what he will, in such a one love is called grace: and therefore grace is attributed to princes; they are said to be gracious to their subjects, whereas subjects cannot be gracious to princes. Now God, who is an infinite Sovereign, who might have chosen whether ever He would love us or no, for Him to love us, this is grace."

"I am going to the three Persons with whom I have had communion: They have taken me, I did not take Them. I shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye; all my lusts and corruptions I shall be rid of, which I could not be here; those croaking toads will fall off in a moment." (Doctrinally, I think he is wrong here, but he has the right idea about the end of Christian Life)

From Thomas Watson:

"How shall we do to draw near to God?

Let us contemplate the excellencies of God. He is the ‘God of glory,’ Psalm xxix. 3. full of orient beauty: in comparison of whom both angels and men are but as the ‘small dust of the balance.’ He is the ‘God of love,’ 2 Cor. xiii. 11. who triumphs in acts of mercy. Well may this encourage us in our approaches to him who delights to display the banner of free grace to sinners. If we should hear of a person of honour who was of a lovely disposition, obliging all that came to him by acts of kindness and civility, it would make us ambitiously desirous to ingratiate ourselves with him and to obtain his acquaintance. God is the most sovereign good, the wonder of love, ready to diffuse the silver streams of his bounty to indigent creatures. This, if anything, will make us willing to draw near to him and acquiesce in him as the centre of felicity.

If we would draw near to God, let us study our own wants. Let us consider in what need we stand for God and that we cannot be happy without him. The prodigal never drew near to his father, until he ‘began to be in want,’ Luke xv. A proud sinner, who was never convinced of his want, minds not to come near God; he hath a stock of his own to live upon, Jer ii. 31. ‘We are Lords; we will come no more unto thee.’ -- A full stomach despises the honey-comb. -- It is the sense of want which brings us near to God. Why did so many lame and paralytical resort to Christ, but because they wanted a cure. Why doth the thirsty man draw near to a fountain but because he wants water. Why doth a condemned man draw near his prince but because he wants a pardon. -- When a poor soul reviews its wants; I want grace; I want the favour of God, I am damned without Christ; this makes him draw near to God, and be an earnest supplicant for mercy.

If we would draw near to God, let us be careful to clear our interest in God, Heb. x. 22. ‘Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.’ When we know him to be our God, then we draw near to him. The spouse, by virtue of the conjugal union, draws near to her husband, Psalm xlviii. 14. ‘This God is our God.’

Let us beg the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God hath a magnetical virtue. Corruption draws the heart from God; the Spirit draws it to him, Cant. i. 4. ‘Draw me, we will run after thee.’ The Spirit, by his omnipotent grace, draws the heart to God not only sweetly, but powerfully.

Let us get our hearts fired with love to God: whichever way love goes, that way the heart is drawn. If God be the treasure delighted in, our hearts will be drawn to him. Servile fear makes the soul fly from God; sacred love makes it fly to him. "
More to come.

The point, however, is to show that we all know, either instinctively or through scripture what is required. Many choose not to follow the path in this life. This is neither vocation nor holy activity in most cases, it is merely waywardness.

Contemplation feeds holy action. Contemplation is not an either/or, it is a both/and. St. Teresa of Avila founded thirty-two or more foundations--this is a life of intense activity, made possible only by her constant turning to God. So with all the great saints. Where there is a life of intense activity, there is also a life of drawing closer to God. Intense activity alone does nothing to make one Holy. We do not earn salvation by works, but works are merits that flow from a soul properly oriented toward God.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 13, 2004 7:19 AM.

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