Judge Yourself

watson-on-conscience

“Sin puts a child of God on self-judging;—he passes a sentence upon himself. ‘I am more brutish than any man.’ Prov. 30:2. It is dangerous to judge others, but it is good to judge ourselves. ‘If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.’ 1 Cor. 11:31. When a man has judged himself, Satan is put out of office: when he lays any thing to a saint’s charge, he is able to retort and say, ‘It is true. Satan, I am guilty of these sins, but I have judged myself already for them; and having condemned myself in the lower court of conscience, God will acquit me in the upper court of heaven.'”

Thomas Watson, 1620-1686

The Integrated Knowledge of the Christian

baxter

“1. A Christian indeed, is not only confirmed in the essentials of Christianity, but he hath a clear, delightful sight of those useful truths, which are the integrals of Christianity, and are built upon the fundamentals, and are the branches of the master-points of faith. Though he see not all the lesser truths (which are branched out at last into innumerable particles), yet he seeth the main body of sacred verities, delivered by Christ for man’s sanctification; and seeth them methodically in their proper places; and seeth how one supports another, and in how beautiful an order and contexture they are placed. And as he sticketh not in the bare principles, so he receiveth all these additions of knowledge, not notionally only, but practically, as the food on which his soul must live; Heb. 5:13, 14. 6:1, 2. &c. Matt. 13:11. Eph. 1:18. 3:18, 19. John 13:17.

2. A weak Christian (in knowledge) besides the principles or essentials of religion, doth know but a few disordered, scattered truths; which are also but half known, because while he hath some knowledge of those points, he is ignorant of many others, which are needful to the supporting, and clearing, and improving of them; and because he knoweth them not in their places, and order, and relation, and aspect upon other truths. And, therefore, if temptations be strong, and come with advantage, the weak Christian, in such points, is easily drawn into many errors; and thence into great confidence and conceitedness in those, errors and thence into sinful, dangerous courses in the prosecution and practice of those errors. Such are like “children tossed up and down, and carried to and fro by every wind of doctrine, through the cunning sleight and subtlety of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” Eph. 4:14. 2 Cor. 11:3. Col. 2:4. 2 Tim. 3:7.

3. The seeming Christian having no saving, practical knowledge of the essentials of Christianity themselves, doth therefore, either neglect to know the rest, or knoweth them but notionally, as common sciences, and subjecteth them all to his worldly interest. And, therefore, is still of that side or party in religion, which, upon the account of safety, honour, or preferment, his flesh commandeth him to follow. Either he is still on the greater, rising side, and of the rulers of religion, be it what it will; or if he dissent, it is in pursuit of another game, which pride or fleshly ends have started; 2 Pet. 2:14. Gal. 3:3. John 9:22. 12:42, 43. Matt. 13:21, 22.
Richard Baxter and William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 8 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 386–387.

Christ’s Rule

calvin 2,15,4

“We may patiently pass through this life with its misery, cold, contempt, reproaches, and other troubles—content with this one thing: that our King will never leave us destitute, but will provide for our needs until, our warfare ended, we are called to triumph. Such is the nature of his rule, that he shares with us all that he received from the Father. Now he arms and equips us with his power, adorns us with his beauty and magnificence, enriches us with his wealth.”

John Calvin, Institutes, 2.15.4

Christ's Rule

calvin 2,15,4

“We may patiently pass through this life with its misery, cold, contempt, reproaches, and other troubles—content with this one thing: that our King will never leave us destitute, but will provide for our needs until, our warfare ended, we are called to triumph. Such is the nature of his rule, that he shares with us all that he received from the Father. Now he arms and equips us with his power, adorns us with his beauty and magnificence, enriches us with his wealth.”

John Calvin, Institutes, 2.15.4

Cardiphonia

john-newton

From John Newton’s Cardiphonia:. This book strongly influenced poet Hannah More, of the Clapham Sect, the group (Wilberforce was a member) that was instrumental in abolishing the slave trade in the United Kingdom.

Romans 7:21 (ESV)

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

“But, blessed be God, though we must feel hourly cause for shame and humiliation for what we are in ourselves, we have cause to rejoice continually in Christ Jesus, who, as he is revealed unto us under the various names, characters, relations, and offices, which he bears in the Scripture, holds out to our faith a balm for every wound, a cordial for every discouragement, and a sufficient answer to every objection which sin or Satan can suggest against our peace. If we are guilty, he is our Righteousness; if we are sick, he is our infallible Physician; if we are weak, helpless, and defenceless, he is the compassionate and faithful Shepherd who has taken charge of us, and will not suffer any thing to disappoint our hopes, or to separate us from his love. He knows our frame, he remembers that we are but dust, and has engaged to guide us by his counsel, support us by his power, and at length to receive us to his glory, that we may be with him for ever.”

 

John Newton, Richard Cecil, The Works of the John Newton, vol. 1 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 439.

On Viewing National Sin

Manton

“There must be not only a constant disposition to mourn over the sins of others, but upon some more than ordinary occasions it must with much seriousness be exercised and set a-work. It is said of Lot, 2 Peter 2:8, ‘He vexed his righteous soul’ in seeing their filthiness with his eyes and hearing their blasphemies with his ears, these were continual torments to him; he could go nowhere but he heard or saw something that was matter of grief to him. That is a sad prognostic of an approaching judgment when a country is so bad that it is made, as it were, a prison to a godly man. Daily a Christian hath his occasions of sorrow. How can we walk the streets with dry eyes when we here shall see a reeling drunkard, there hear a profane swearer rending and tearing the sacred name of God in pieces, a filthy speaker, theatres and the devil’s temples crowded with such a multitude of people, that men may learn more how to please the flesh and hate godliness, and feast their ears with filthy talk? To see people so mad against God, and ready to cast off the yoke of Christ everywhere, this occasions matter of grief and mourning before the Lord. But besides this, there must be solemn exercises, when our eyes must gush out with tears, and we must open the flood-gates. We must wish, as Jer. 9:1, ‘Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!’ There are certain times when this is necessary, as times of great sin, and of judgment felt or feared.[1]

Thomas Manton, 1620-1677

[1] Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 8 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1872), 425.

Humble Bragging: “Please Admire Me”

“False affections, if they are equally strong, are much more forward to declare themselves, than true: because it is the nature of false religion, to affect show and observation; as it was with the Pharisees.

That famous experimental divine, Mr. Shepherd, says, A Pharisee’s trumpet shall be heard to the town’s end; when simplicity walks through the town unseen. Hence a man will sometimes covertly commend himself (and myself ever comes in), and tells you a long story of conversion; and a hundred to one if some lie or other slip not out with it. Why, the secret meaning is, I pray admire me. Hence complain of wants and weaknesses: Pray think what a broken-hearted Christian I am.” [Parab. of the Ten Virgins. Part I. pages 179, 180.]

And holy Mr. Flavel says thus: “O reader, if thy heart were right with God, and thou didst not cheat thyself with a vain profession, thou wouldst have frequent business with God, which thou wouldst be loath thy dearest friend, or the wife of thy bosom should be privy to. Religion doth not lie open to all, to the eyes of men. Observed duties maintain our credit; but secret duties maintain our life. It was the saying of a heathen, about his secret correspondency with his friend, What need the world be acquainted with it? Thou and I are theatre enough to each other. There are enclosed pleasures in religion, which none but renewed spiritual souls do feelingly understand.” [Flavel’s Touchstone of Sincerity, Chap. II. Sect. 2.]

 

Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections: In Three Parts … (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Humble Bragging: "Please Admire Me"

“False affections, if they are equally strong, are much more forward to declare themselves, than true: because it is the nature of false religion, to affect show and observation; as it was with the Pharisees.

That famous experimental divine, Mr. Shepherd, says, A Pharisee’s trumpet shall be heard to the town’s end; when simplicity walks through the town unseen. Hence a man will sometimes covertly commend himself (and myself ever comes in), and tells you a long story of conversion; and a hundred to one if some lie or other slip not out with it. Why, the secret meaning is, I pray admire me. Hence complain of wants and weaknesses: Pray think what a broken-hearted Christian I am.” [Parab. of the Ten Virgins. Part I. pages 179, 180.]

And holy Mr. Flavel says thus: “O reader, if thy heart were right with God, and thou didst not cheat thyself with a vain profession, thou wouldst have frequent business with God, which thou wouldst be loath thy dearest friend, or the wife of thy bosom should be privy to. Religion doth not lie open to all, to the eyes of men. Observed duties maintain our credit; but secret duties maintain our life. It was the saying of a heathen, about his secret correspondency with his friend, What need the world be acquainted with it? Thou and I are theatre enough to each other. There are enclosed pleasures in religion, which none but renewed spiritual souls do feelingly understand.” [Flavel’s Touchstone of Sincerity, Chap. II. Sect. 2.]

 

Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections: In Three Parts … (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

The Christian, The Weak Christian and the Seeming Christian

Baxter Quote

A Christian

1. A Christian indeed not only knoweth why he is a Christian, but seeth those reasons for his religion, which disgrace all that the most cunning atheist or infidel can say against it; and so far satisfy, confirm, and establish him, that emergent difficulties, temptations, and objections, do not at all stagger him, or raise any deliberate doubts in him of the truth of the word of God. He seeth first the natural evidence of those foundation-truths which nature itself maketh known; as that there is a God of infinite being, power, wisdom, and goodness, the Creator, the Owner, the Ruler, and the Father, felicity and end of man; that we owe him all our love and service; that none of our fidelity shall be in vain, or unrewarded, and none shall be finally a loser by his duty; that man who is naturally governed by the hopes and fears of another life, is made and liveth for that other life, where his soul shall be sentenced by God his Judge, to happiness or misery, &c. And then he discerneth the attestation of God to those supernatural, superadded revelations of the Gospel, containing the doctrine of man’s redemption. And he seeth how wonderfully these are built upon the former, and how excellently the Creator’s and Redeemer’s doctrine and laws agree; and how much countenance supernatural truths receive from the presupposed naturals; so that he doth not adhere to Christ and religion by the mere engagement of education, friends, or worldly advantages; nor by a blind resolution, which wanteth nothing but a strong temptation (from a deceiver or a worldly interest) to shake or overthrow it. But he is built upon the rock, which will stand in the assault of satan’s storms, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 13:23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

John 6:69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

 

A Weak Christian

2. But a weak Christian hath but a dim and general kind of knowledge of the reasons of his religion; or, at least, but a weak apprehension of them, though he have the best, and most unanswerable reasons. And either he is confident in the dark upon grounds which he cannot make good, and which want but a strong assault to shake them; or else he is troubled and ready to stagger at every difficulty which occurreth. Every hard saying in the Scripture doth offend him; and every seeming contradiction shaketh him. And the depth of mysteries, which pass his understanding, do make him say as Nicodemus of regeneration, “How can these things be?” And if he meet with the objections of a cunning infidel, he is unable so to defend the truth, and clear his way through them, as to come off unwounded and unshaken, and to be the more confirmed in the truth of his belief, by discerning the vanity of all that is said against it;

Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,

Hebrews 5:13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.

Matthew 15:16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding?

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

John 12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

 

The Seeming Christian

3. The seeming Christian either hath no solid reasons at all for his religion, or else if he have the best, he hath no sound apprehension of them; but though he be never so learned and orthodox, and can preach and defend the faith, it is not so rooted in him as to endure the trial; but if a strong temptation from subtlety or carnal interest assault him, you shall see that he was built upon the sand, and that there was in him a secret root of bitterness, and an evil heart of unbelief, which causeth him to depart from the living God;

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

Matthew 13:20–22 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

Matthew 7:26-27 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

John 6:60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)

John 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Richard Baxter and William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 8 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 384–386.