Tag Archives: Elder

“The goodness of a wonder-working God” by John Newton

“The believer shall so conquer in the close of the campaign, that he shall never hear the sound of war any more and so conquer in time as to triumph to eternity.

This we owe to Jesus. We overcome not by our own might, but by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of His testimony.

He has conquered for us, and He goes before us, and He fights in us by His Spirit, and in His own time He will bruise Satan under our feet.

In the meanwhile, He will be your strength and your shield. He will be your song and your salvation. In His name you may lift up your banner, and bid defiance to Satan and all his hosts…

I think, when the Lord permits us all to meet here again together, we shall have much to say on the subject of redeeming love.

We shall have much to ascribe to the wisdom, the power, and the goodness of a wonder-working God, who causes light to shine out of darkness, and has given us the light of the knowledge of His glory in the person of Jesus Christ.

What an amazing change in our state, in our heart, in our views, is the result of this discovery! Old things pass away. All things become new.

Then we see how unavoidably we must be men wondered at by all who have not experienced the same things, and we are content to be so for His sake who has loved us, and to account His cross our glory.

Believe me to be, my dear Sir, most affectionately your’s, in the nearest and strongest bond of friendship,

John Newton”

–John Newton Letter V to Mr. William Cowper, March 15, 1770,” in The Works of John Newton, Ed. Richard Cecil (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 6: 155–156.

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“The Lord of Hosts is on our side” by John Newton

“I can only advise you to resist, to the utmost, every dark and discouraging suggestion. The Lord has done great things for you, and wonderfully appeared in your behalf already.

Take encouragement from hence to hope that He will not forsake the work of His own hands (Judges 13:23). There is much weight in the apostle’s argument in Romans 5:10.

Surely He who showed us mercy before we asked it, will not withhold it now that He has taught us how to plead for it agreeably to His own will. Though sin has abounded in us, grace has superabounded in Him.

Though our enemies are many and mighty, Jesus is above them all.

Though He may hide Himself from us at times for a moment, He has given us a warrant to trust in Him, even while we walk in darkness, and has promised to return and gather us with everlasting mercies.

The Christian calling, like many others, is easy and clear in theory, but not without much care and difficulty to be reduced to practice. Things appear quite otherwise, when felt experimentally, to what they do when only read in a book.

Many learn the art of navigation by the fireside at home, but when they come to sea, with their heads full of rules, and without experience, they find that the art is only to be thoroughly learned upon the spot.

So, to renounce self, to live upon Jesus, to walk with God, to overcome the world, to hope against hope, to trust the Lord when we cannot trace Him, and to know that our duty and privilege consist in these things, may be readily acknowledged or quickly learned.

But, upon repeated trial, we find, that saying and doing are two things. We think at setting out that we sit down and count the cost. But, alas! Our views are so superficial at first, that we have occasion to correct our estimate daily.

For every day shows us some new thing in the heart, or some new turn in the management of the war against us which we were not aware of. And upon these accounts, discouragements may arise so high as to bring us (I speak for myself) to the very point of throwing down our arms, and making either a tame surrender or a shameful flight.

Thus it would be with us at last, if the Lord of Hosts were not on our side. But though our enemies thrust sore at us that we might fall, He has been our stay.

And if He is the captain of our salvation, if His eye is upon us, if His arm stretched out around us, if His ear open to our cry, and if He has engaged to teach our hands to war, and our fingers to fight, and to cover our heads in the day of battle, then we need not fear, though a host rise up against us.

But, lifting up our banner in His name, let us go forth conquering and to conquer (Romans 16:20).

We hope we shall all be better acquainted soon. We please ourselves with agreeable prospects and proposals but the determination is with the Lord.

We may rejoice that it is. He sees all things in their dependencies and connections, which we see not, and therefore He often thwarts our wishes for our good.

But if we are not mistaken, if any measure we have in view would, upon the whole, promote our comfort, or His glory, He will surely bring it to pass in answer to prayer, how improbable whatsoever it might appear.

For He delights in the satisfaction and prosperity of His people, and without a need-be, they shall never be in heaviness. Let us strive and pray for an habitual resignation to His will for He does all things well.

It is never ill with us but when our evil hearts doubt or forget this plainest of truths.

I beg an interest in your prayers, and that you will believe me to be,

Your affectionate servant,

John Newton”

–John Newton, Letter I to Mr. William Cowper, July 30, 1767,” The Works of John Newton, Ed. Richard Cecil (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 6: 141–143.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Faith, Fear, Jesus Christ, John Newton, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification, The Gospel

“The privilege of a faithful elder” by David Dickson

“To be but hewers of wood and drawers of water in such a Master’s house would be a great honor, but ours is still greater. As friends of the Bridegroom, to be helps and witnesses to the betrothal of sinners to Jesus; to stand by and see the salvation of God; to watch the operations of His hand; to guide and encourage His ransomed ones on their way Zionward; and to see many of them safe home before Himself– this is the privilege of a faithful elder.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 129.

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“A praying mother” by David Dickson

“Richer and brighter sheaves are not to be found in God’s harvest than can be gathered in by a praying mother.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 101.

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“A church in miniature” by David Dickson

“Your district of fifteen or twenty families is a little world, or rather a church in miniature. There are all ages– the little children, the young men, the fathers.

And there are all varieties of temper and disposition and spiritual state– the careless, those at ease in Zion, the anxious, the newborn believer, the fretful, the desponding, the lively, the peaceful, the rejoicing, the steady, the excitable, those who have left their first love, and those who are pressing toward the mark.

There are Peters and Thomases, Marys and Marthas, Pliables and Stand-fasts, Little Faiths and Great Hearts; and among them there is a constant change going on. Your one specific for all cases is, ‘Looking unto Jesus’ (Heb. 12:2). For saints and sinners, He is the one thing needful.

For ourselves and for our people, the balm of Gilead and the living Physician are our all in all. Looking to Him, we are lightened, we are humbled, we are sanctified, changed into His image from glory to glory, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeping our hearts and minds.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 81.

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“Prayer is the most powerful thing in the world” by David Dickson

“In every way let an elder seek to stir up his people to pray– private prayer especially, but public also. Prayer is the most practical and powerful thing in the world, for it moves the Hand that moves the universe.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 80.

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“The family” by David Dickson

“The family– how much of a nation’s happiness and prosperity depends on that institution as a nursery, a school, a society, a sanctuary, a little church, and an emblem of the great family– ‘the whole family’ (Eph. 3:15), part of which is in heaven, and part still on earth.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 55.

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