Saturday, 18 July 2015

No hissing serpent!

No hissing serpent!
(Thomas Boston, "Human Nature in its Fourfold State")

Believers shall be made completely happy in the kingdom of Heaven. They shall be fully freed from sin, which of all evils, is the worst.

They shall be free from all temptation to sin. Satan can have no access to tempt them any more, by himself, or by his agents. No hissing serpent can come into the paradise above! No snare or trap can be laid there, to catch the feet of the saints. They may walk there without fear, for they can be in no hazard in the promised land. They shall be set beyond the possibility of sinning, for they shall be confirmed in holiness.

The guilt and the reigning power of sin are then taken away. The corrupt nature will be fully removed, and no vestiges of it left in their souls. Their nature shall be altogether pure and sinless.

There shall be no darkness in their minds; but the understanding will be as a globe of pure and unmixed light.

There shall not be the least aversion to good, nor the least inclination to evil, in their wills. They will be brought to a perfect conformity to the will of God--blessed with angelic purity, and fixed therein.

Their affections shall not be liable to the least disorder or irregularity. They will get such a fixed habit of purity, as they can never lose. They will be so refined from all earthly dross, as never more to savor of anything but of Heaven.

Their graces shall then be fully perfected.
There will be no more ground for complaints . . .
  of weakness of grace,
  or of an evil heart,
  or a corrupt nature.

And they shall be freed from all the effects of sin: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

In Heaven they find the completion and satisfaction of all their desires--having the full enjoyment of God, and uninterrupted communion with Him. In the heavenly Canaan, Immanuel's land--nothing is lacking to complete the happiness of the inhabitants. This is the holy and happy country--blessed with a perpetual spring, and which yields all things for necessity, convenience, and delight!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

It is His groans, His tears, His cries--which best tell what Hell means!

It is His groans, His tears, His cries--which  best tell what Hell means!
(Archibald Brown, "The Scriptural Doctrine of Hell!" 1878)

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:" 2 Peter 2:4-9

It is now customary to describe the views of future punishment held by most of us, as 'medieval', and to declare that our ideas are mainly gleaned from pictures to be found in old galleries. I suppose I have seen about as many of the old masters in the galleries of Europe as most--but I must acknowledge I have never yet seen any picture from hand of a medieval artist half so dreadful as some of the descriptions that fell from our Lord's lips!

'Medieval' is it, to speak about weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth? These words came not from the lips of any mortal man. They fell from the same lips that said, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' Neither Paul, nor Peter, nor any of the apostles, ever uttered such words as leaped from the lips of the Man of Sorrows. Christ's descriptions of Hell are the most fearful that we have! It is the lips of infinite love that speak of being cut asunder, and about burning with the fire that is never quenched!

O brethren, if you want to measure the deep horrors of the lost--you must measure them by the cross of Christ! It is His groans, His tears, His cries--which  best tell what Hell means! Your breaking heart, Lord Jesus--Your flowing blood--Your death-cry of 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'--these are the things that say to me more than anything else, 'There is a dreadful judgement to come upon the sinner for his sins!'

He who . . .
  hurled the angels from Heaven to Hell,
  and drowned the ancient world,
  and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah--
has still power to smite! Oh, do not rouse my God to anger. Will you count His patience to be indifference? Because He still lengthens out the time of grace, will you presume on it? 'Escape for your life! Flee from the wrath to come!'

Saturday, 4 July 2015

The nest was destroyed, and the poor bird lay bleeding and exposed!

The nest was destroyed, and the poor bird lay bleeding and exposed! 
(James Smith, "The Pastor's Evening Visit")

"Then I said, I shall die in my nest," Job 29:18

Job's nest was very comfortable--and appeared to be very secure. It was on high--and not to be easily reached. He knew that death could reach it--but he thought that nothing else would disturb it.

His conduct was consistent, his conscience was quiet; God was his Father, and providence was his friend.

"Then I said, I shall die in my nest,"

But, alas! Suddenly a 'storm' arose--the nest was destroyed, and the poor bird lay bleeding and exposed!

No earthly nest is out of danger! Temporal comforts are only lent to us. The higher the tree in which we build--the more exposed to the whirlwind and the storm!

Here on earth--we have no continuing city. In one moment--our fine nest may be devastated! Let us therefore endeavour to leave our matters fully with the Lord--and learn to be content with His appointments.

We must die. But when, and where, and how--should be left with the Lord.

Five minutes after death--it will matter very little whether we died on a bed of down, in a luxurious mansion, and surrounded by kind friends--OR as a poor diseased beggar, dying alone in squalor!

Present comforts may all leave us, and our soft nest may be scattered to the winds--but nothing can disturb our salvation and future glory!

"These all died in faith, ... and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11:13

"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16


Lost sinners should be afraid! They have . . . .
  an angry God above them,
  a guilty conscience within them,
  and a yawning Hell below them!
(Matthew Henry)

 As men cherish young plants at first, and fence them about to keep them from hurt, but when they are grown, they remove them, and then leave them to the wind and weather, so God besets His children first with props of inward comforts, but afterwards exposes them to storms and winds, because they are better able to bear it. Therefore let no man think himself the better because he is free from troubles. It is because God sees him not fit to bear greater.
(Richard Sibbes)