“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.
“Tom Carson never rose very far in denominational structures, but hundreds of people in the Outaouais and beyond testify how much he loved them.
He never wrote a book, but he loved the Book.
He was never wealthy or powerful, but he kept growing as a Christian: yesterday’s grace was never enough.
He was not a far-sighted visionary, but he looked forward to eternity.
He was not a gifted administrator, but there is no text that says, ‘By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you are good administrators.’
His journals have many, many entries bathed in tears of contrition, but his children and grandchildren remember his laughter. Only rarely did he break through his pattern of reserve and speak deeply and intimately with his children, but he modeled Christian virtues to them.
He much preferred to avoid controversy than to stir things up, but his own commitments to historic confessionalism were unyielding, and in ethics he was a man of principle.
His own ecclesiastical circles were rather small and narrow, but his reading was correspondingly large and expansive.
He was not very good at putting people down, except on his prayer lists.
When he died, there were no crowds outside the hospital, no editorial comments in the papers, no announcements on television, no mention in Parliament, no attention paid by the nation.
In his hospital room there was no one by his bedside. There was only the quiet hiss of oxygen, vainly venting because he had stopped breathing and would never need it again.
But on the other side all the trumpets sounded.
Dad won entrance to the only throne room that matters, not because he was a good man or a great man-he was, after all, a most ordinary pastor-but because he was a forgiven man.
And he heard the voice of Him whom he longed to hear saying, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.'”
–D.A. Carson, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 147-148.