“God’s glory is as dear to a saint as his own salvation. And that this glory may be promoted he endeavors the conversion of souls.”
–Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Prayer (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1662/1999), 44.
“Brethren, we become zealous when we hear the cries and tears of the oppressed.
I think I see a senator standing on the floor of the House of Commons, pleading, in years gone by, the cause of Africa’s down-trodden sons.
I do not wonder at the zeal of Wilberforce, or the marvelous eloquence of Fox. What a cause they had!
They could hear the clanging of the fetters of the slaves, the sighs of prisoners, the shrieks of women, and this made them speak, for they burned with an indignation which carried them away.
Pity pulled up the sluices of their speech, and their souls ran out in mighty torrents of overwhelming eloquence.
Now, think, the Lord this day hears the sighs of the oppressed all over the world. He hears the sighs of the sorrowful.
And beyond that there comes up the daily cries of His elect, who day and night beseech His throne.
Oh! That we were more clamorous! Oh! That we were more intensely importunate! Oh! That we gave Him no rest until He would establish and make Jerusalem a praise on the earth.
For, remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘And shall not God avenge His own elect? Though they cry night and day unto Him, I tell you He will avenge them speedily.'”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Zeal of the Lord,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 60 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1914), 60: 545.
“How little does the world know of that intercourse which is carried on between heaven and earth; what petitions are daily presented, and what answers are received at a throne of grace!
O the blessed privilege of prayer! O the wonderful love, care, attention, and power of our great Shepherd! His eye is always upon us.
When our spirits are almost overwhelmed within us, He knoweth our path. His ear is always open to us: let who will overlook and disappoint us, He will not.
When means and hope fail, when every thing looks dark upon us, when we seem shut up on every side, when we are brought to the lowest ebb, still our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
To Him all things are possible; and before the exertion of His power, when He is pleased to arise and work, all hindrances give way and vanish, like a mist before the sun.
And He can so manifest Himself to the soul, and cause His goodness to pass before it, that the hour of affliction shall be the golden hour of the greatest consolation.
He is the fountain of life, strength, grace and comfort, and of His fulness His children receive according to their occasions: but this is all hidden from the world.
They have no guide in prosperity, but hurry on as they are instigated by their blinded passions, and are perpetually multiplying mischiefs and miseries to themselves.
And in adversity they have no resource, but must feel all the evil of affliction, without inward support, and without deriving any advantage from it.
We have therefore cause for continual praise. The Lord has given us to know His name as a resting-place and a hiding-place, a sun and a shield.
Circumstances and creatures may change; but He will be an unchangeable friend. The way is rough, but He trod it before us, and is now with us in every step we take; and every step brings us nearer to our heavenly home.
Our inheritance is surely reserved for us, and we shall be kept for it by His power through faith.
Our present strength is small, and without a fresh supply would be quickly exhausted; but He has engaged to renew it from day to day. And He will soon appear to wipe all tears from our eyes; and then we shall appear with Him in glory.”
–John Newton, The Works of John Newton, Volume 2 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 2: 182-183.
“I remember some years ago visiting a church incognito. I sat in the back row. I wonder who’s in the back row tonight.
You know they often slip in there incognito. I’m not going to tell you the church. You won’t be able to identify it; it’s thousands of miles away from here.
When we came to the pastoral prayer, it was led by a lay brother, because the pastor was on holiday. So he prayed that the pastor might have a good holiday. Well, that’s fine. Pastors should have good holidays.
Second, he prayed for a lady member of the church who was about to give birth to a child that she might have a safe delivery, which is fine.
Third, he prayed for another lady who was sick, and then it was over. That’s all there was. It took twenty seconds.
I said to myself, it’s a village church with a village God. They have no interest in the world outside. There was no thinking about the poor, the oppressed, the refugees, the places of violence, and world evangelization.”
–John Stott, Ten Great Preachers: Messages and Interviews, Ed. Bill Turpie (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), 117.
[HT: Mark Dever]