Tag Archives: Eternity

“There is no doctrine more excellent in itself than the doctrine of Jesus Christ” by John Flavel

“There is no doctrine more excellent in itself, or more necessary to be preached and studied, than the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

All other knowledge, how much soever it be magnified in the world, is, and ought to be esteemed but dross, in comparison to the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 34.

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“Eternity itself cannot fully unfold Him” by John Flavel

“Though something of Christ be unfolded in one age, and something in another, yet eternity itself cannot fully unfold Him.

I see something, said Luther, which blessed Augustine saw not; and those that come after me, will see that which I see not.

It is in the studying of Christ, as in the planting of a new discovered country.

At first men sit down by the sea-side, upon the skirts and borders of the land. And there they dwell, but by degrees they search farther and farther into the heart of the country.

Ah, the best of us are yet but upon the borders of this vast continent!”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 36.

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“Remember this” by Thomas Brooks

“My desires to you are:

That you would make it your business to study Christ, His Word, your own hearts, Satan’s plots, and eternity, more than ever;

That ye would endeavour more to be inwardly sincere than outwardly glorious: to live, than to have a name to live;

That ye would labour with all your might to be thankful under mercies, and faithful in your places, and humble under divine appearances, and fruitful under precious ordinances;

That as your means and mercies are greater than others’ so your account before God may not prove a worse than others’;

That ye would pray for me, who am not worthy to be named among the saints, that I may be a precious instrument in the hand of Christ to bring in many souls unto Him, and to build up those that are brought in in their most holy faith; and ‘that utterance may be given to me, that I may make known all the will of God,’ (Eph. 6:19);

That I may be sincere, faithful, frequent, fervent, and constant in the work of the Lord, and that my labour be not in vain in the Lord; that my labours may be accepted in the Lord and His saints, and I may daily see the travail of my soul.

But, above all, pray for me:

That I may more and more find the power and sweet of those things upon my own heart, that I give out to you and others;

That my soul be so visited with strength from on high, that I may live up fully and constantly to those truths that I hold forth to the world;

And that I may be both in life and doctrine ‘a burning and a shining light,’ that so, when the Lord Jesus shall appear, ‘I may receive a crown of glory which He shall give to me in that day, and not only to me, but to all that love His appearance.’

For a close, remember this: your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure. Therefore, faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all.

I shall now take leave of you, when my heart hath by my hand subscribed, that I am, your loving pastor under Christ, according to all pastoral affections and engagements in our dearest Lord,

-Thomas Brooks”

–Thomas Brooks, The Works of Thomas Brooks, Volume 1, Ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1666/2001), 6-7.

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“We hurl grenades into the enemy’s ranks” by Charles Spurgeon

“This is what you must do with your sermons: make them red-hot. Never mind if men do say you are too enthusiastic, or even too fanatical.

Give them red-hot shot. There is nothing else half as good for the purpose you have in view.

We do not go out snow-balling on Sundays, we go fire-balling. We ought to hurl grenades into the enemy’s ranks.

What earnestness our theme deserves! We have to tell of an earnest Saviour, an earnest heaven, and an earnest hell.

How earnest we ought to be when we remember that in our work we have to deal with souls that are immortal, with sin that is eternal in its effects, with pardon that is infinite, and with terrors and joys that are to last forever and ever!

A man who is not earnest when he has such a theme as this– can he possess a heart at all? Could one be discovered even with a microscope?

If he were dissected, probably all that could be found would be a pebble, a heart of stone, or some other substance equally incapable of emotion.

I trust that, when God gave us hearts of flesh for ourselves, He gave us hearts that could feel for other people also.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Soul-Winner (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1963), 76.

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“Come into the pulpit as one who feels the weight of eternal things” by Lemuel Haynes

“The pious preacher will endeavor to adapt his discourses to the understanding of his hearers. He will not be ambitious of saying fine things to win applause, but of saying useful things to win souls.

He will consider that he has the weak as well as the strong, children as well as adults to speak to, and that he must be accountable for the blood of their souls if they perish through his neglect. This will influence him to study plainness more than politeness.

Also he will labor to accommodate his sermons to the different states or circumstances of his hearers. He will have comforting and encouraging lessons to set before the children of God, while the terrors of the law are to be proclaimed in the ears of the impenitent.

He will strive to preach distinguishingly so that every hearer may have his portion. The awful scenes of approaching judgment will have an influence on the Christian preacher with respect to the manner in which he will deliver himself.

Such a preacher will not come into the pulpit as an actor comes to the stage to personate a feigned character or to display his talents, but as one who feels the weight of eternal things. He will not address his hearers as though judgment was a mere empty sound.

But he will address his hearers viewing eternity just before him and a congregation on the frontiers of it, whose eternal state depends upon a few uncertain moments.

Oh! With what zeal and fervor will he speak! How will death, judgment, and eternity appear as it were in every feature, and every word! Out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will speak.

His hearers will easily perceive that the preacher is one who expects to give an account. He will study and preach with reference to a judgment to come, and deliver every sermon in some respects, as if it were his last, not knowing when his Lord will call him or his hearers to account.”

–Lemuel Haynes, “The Character and Work of a Spiritual Watchman Described,” in Black Preacher to White America: The Collected Writings of Lemuel Haynes, 1774-1833, Ed. Richard Newman (Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing, 1990), 50-51.

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“While immortality endures we shall not be done giving thanks” by William Plumer

“While life lasts, we shall not be done praying. But while immortality endures, we shall not be done giving thanks (Ps. 136:1, 2, 3, 26). The cause for this delightful branch of worship will continue forever. And the heart of the pious will always be actuated by love. They will carry on this blessed service in the finest style long after the sun shall cease to rise and set.”

–William Plumer, Studies in the Book of Psalms: A Critical and Expository Commentary With Doctrinal and Practical Remarks (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1867/2016), 1152. Plumer is commenting on Psalm 136.

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“For eternity” by Sinclair Ferguson

“Like many others I owe an incalculable debt to William Still for the way in which he invested himself in me from my earliest encounter with him in my teenage years until his death in 1997. Particular conversations with him return to the front of my memory as I think of him now—and with respect to the work of the pastor none more clearly than the occasion on which he said to me, quietly:

‘I never preach now without believing that something will be done that will last for eternity.’

With some sense of the extent to which his ministry had that kind of effect on my own life, I recall thinking ‘That is the measure of faith I too need to have.’ The words have lingered with me now for four decades and been a constant reminder to me of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s wise comment that it is not ‘many words’ but ‘words spoken in faith’ that God blesses.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, “Foreword,” in William Still, The Work of the Pastor (Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, IV20 1TW, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1984/2010), 9.

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