A few quotes from Thomas Watson (taken from Heaven Taken By Storm):
“The reason so many have been tricked into error is because they either did not know, or did not love, the truth.”
“Those who fly from the Word as a guide shall be forced to submit to it as a judge.”
“Those who slight God speaking in His Word shall hear Him speaking in His wrath.”
And now from Charles Spurgeon:
“The more prominent you are in Christ’s service, the more certain are you to be the butt of calumny. I have long ago said farewell to my character. I lost it in the earlier days of my ministry by being a little more zealous than suited a slumbering age. And I have never been able to regain it except in the sight of Him who judges all the earth, and in the hearts of those who love me for my work’s sake.”
And of course John Bunyan:
“In my preaching I was really in pain to bring forth children to God. I was not satisfied unless some fruit did appear in my work. If I were fruitless, it mattered not who commended me, but if I were fruitful, I cared not who condemned.”
And Best Of All from Psalm 31:20, “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”
A few excerpts from Thomas Watson’s The Lord’s Prayer:
The manner in which we do God’s will is as important as the thing itself. We obey acceptably when we obey from the heart. …
Many do God’s will by halves. They pick and choose like a lame horse that favours one leg. To play a lute you must strike every string or spoil the music…The command, not comfort, is the ground of duty. Secondly, we obey sincerely when we do God’s will with a pure eye to his glory. The Pharisees obeyed for vain-glory. He that does God’s will rightly desires God’s honour to be lifted up in all the world rather than his own glory. A gracious soul makes God his focus and obeys his commands with the pure motive of lifting up his glory.
From Thomas Case, Select Works, A Treatise on Afflictions (quoted in Voices From the Past)
In affliction God teaches us to redeem the time. When life is tranquil, how many golden hours we throw down the stream that we shall never see again. Who is there that knows how to value time at its true worth? Most men waste it as if they had more time than they could ever spend. We make short seasons even shorter.
From the preface of a sweet, old, little copy of The Loveliness of Christ:
“Strong and quaint and bracing are the words of this saint of olden time — very unlike the feeble wails we often hear in these days. People seem now to consider it more than unfair to have to bear the weakest cross, and certainly not to ‘count it all joy’ with St. James.”
We have a daily devotional reading from a wonderful collection of Puritan essays called Voices From the Past. I’ve got an arsenal of great quotes from these guys, and I often think of quoting them here for you all. So here’s one from today’s reading from Thomas Case. It’s a good sample of the Puritan view of affliction.
“In affliction God reveals the unknown corruptions in the hearts of his people: what pride, impatience, unbelief, idolatry, distrust of God,murmuring, and unthankfulness. Sin lies very close and deep and is not easily discerned until the fire of affliction comes. The furnace discovers the dross. In the furnace we see more corruption than was ever suspected. What self-love is there boiling and fretting within me, what pride, distrust in God, creature-confidence, discontent, murmuring, rising against the holy and righteous dispensations of God! Woe is me, what a heart I have!….
In affliction, he empties us of ourselves to make us fly to Jesus Christ for righteousness and strength. He lets us see what is crooked that we may straighten it; what is weak that we may strengthen it; what is lacking that we may supply it; and what is lame that it may not be turned out of the way.
Affliction also teaches us to pray. They that have never prayed before, will pray in affliction. They will pray more frequently and fervently…In our affliction, God keeps us upon our knees. Christ himself in agony prayed more intensively. So with David. He gathered up all his strength to pray, and like a true son of Jacob, wrestled with God, and would not let him go until he got the blessing.”
How typical and characteristic of him! He did the same thing on the cross itself, you remember, even after they had driven the cruel nails into his hands and his feet. There, dying on the cross, he had time to speak to that thief dying by his side. Bearing in his own body the sins of the world, he had sufficient compassion and love and sympathy and understanding to turn to the wretched man who was there being crucified with him….That is Jesus, the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ whom we preach. He is the center of this New Testament message and gospel. He is the one who, though he is the Son of God himself, is ready and willing and able to meet us exactly where we are.
from Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled