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Pen of the Puritans:    Previous Messages from the Pen of the Puritans


Previous Messages from the
Pen of the Puritans


The Nature of Godliness   by Thomas Watson       * Feature Message *
It will first be enquired, 'What is godliness?' I answer in general, 'Godliness is the sacred impression and workmanship of God in a man, whereby from being carnal he is made spiritual.' When godliness is wrought in a person, he does not receive a new soul, but he has 'another spirit' (Numbers 14:24). The faculties are not new, but the qualities are; the strings are the same, but the tune is corrected.

The New Birth   by John Bunyan
They boasted they were Abraham's seed: "No, no," says he, "it is not of blood. 'Think not to say you have Abraham to your father,'" You must be born of God, if you go to the kingdom of heaven.

Hope is a Glorious Grace   by John Owen
Hope is a glorious grace, whereunto blessed effects are ascribed in the Scripture, and an effectual operation unto the supportment and consolation of believers. By it are we purified, sanctified, saved.

The Table and Shew-Bread, Typical of Christ and His Church   by John Gill
"Every sabbath, he shall set it in order before the Lord, continually; being taken from the children of Israel, by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron's and his sons', and they shall eat it in the holy place for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, for a perpetual statute."   Leviticus 24:8, 9

Praying in the Name of Christ   by Thomas Boston
Sin has set us at a distance from God, and has bolted the door of our access to him, that it is beyond our power, or that of any creature, to open it for us. His justice rejects the criminal, his holiness the unclean creature, unless there be an acceptable person to go between him and us. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

Holy Violence   by Thomas Watson
The exercises of the worship of God are contrary to nature; therefore, there must be a provoking of ourselves to them. The movement of the soul toward sin is natural, but its movement toward heaven is violent. It has an innate propensity downward, but to draw up a millstone into the air is done by violence because it is against nature. So to lift up the heart to heaven in duty is done by violence and we must provoke ourselves to it.

Holiness   by Thomas Manton
"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness" (Matt. 5:6)., So it is in desiring holiness, we have not yet attained (Phil. 3:13). There is an indigence and emptiness; we are not already perfect-we want more than we have, and our enjoyments are little in comparison of our expectations.

The Sinfulness of Man's Natural State   by Thomas Boston
"God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5)  We have seen what man was, as God made him; a lovely and happy creature. Let us view him now as he has unmade himself; and we shall see him a sinful and a miserable creature.

The School of Suffering   by John Newton
What! The master always a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, and the servant always happy and full of comfort! Jesus despised, reproached, neglected, opposed, and betrayed; and His people admired and caressed! He living in the poverty, and they filled with abundance; He sweating blood for anguish, and they strangers to distress!

Tears Of Repentance   by Thomas Watson
There is no rowing to paradise except upon the stream of repenting tears. Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."   Revelation 3:20

Consecration to God   by Matthew Henry
Our eye must be ever towards God; to him we must, in every thing, make our requests known, as Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh, Judg. xi. 11. For our encouragement to do this, it is promised, "He shall direct thy paths, so that thy way shall be safe and good and the issue happy at last." Note, Those that put themselves under a divine guidance shall always have the benefit of it.

Enter Ye In at the Strait Gate   by Robert Traill
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, aha broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13,14     (In three sermons – 1,   2, and 3)

Obedience   by Thomas Watson
"Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the LORD thy God, and do His commandments and His statutes, which I command thee this day." Deuteronomy 27:9-10

Reading and Searching the Scriptures   by Thomas Boston
Some parts of the Bible are more difficult, some may seem very dry for an ordinary reader; but if you would look on all of it as being the very Words of God, never to be disregarded, but read with faith and reverence, then without a doubt you will find great gain.

The Greatness of God's Love to His Elect   by Thomas Goodwin
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:4-6.

Saving Faith   by John Bunyan
When I write of justification before God, from the dreadful curse of the law, then I must speak of nothing but grace, Christ, the promise, and faith. But when I speak of our justification before men, then I must join to these, good works.

The Church WITHOUT The Spirit   by Samuel Chadwick
The Church that multiplies committees and neglects prayer may be fussy, noisy, enterprising, but it labors in vain and spends its strength for nought. It is possible to excel in mechanics and fail in dynamic. There is a superabundance of machinery; what is wanting is power.

God's Word in Our Hearts   by Thomas Manton
"Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee" Psalms 119:11  The duty of God's children is to hide His Word in their hearts, and in so doing there must be a right end; their knowledge of it and delight in it is to be directed to practice.

The Temptation of Believers   by John Owen
Sin not only deceives, it also entices. People are drawn away "and enticed" (James 1:14). Sin draws the mind away from a duty, but it entices the emotions. We will consider three things: Sin's enticement of the emotions, how sin accomplishes this, and our need to guard our affections because of this danger.

Of Spiritual Mindedness   by John Gill
The contrast between a carnal man and a spiritual man, and between carnal mindedness and spiritual mindedness, is very strongly expressed by the apostle in Romans 8:5, 6.

Self-Denial   by Richard Baxter
You hear ministers tell you of the odiousness and danger and sad effects of sin; but of all the sins that you ever heard of, there is scarce any more odious and dangerous than selfishness, and yet I doubt there are many that never were much troubled at it, nor sensible of its malignity.

Mortified Eyes   by Thomas Manton
"Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity: quicken Thou me in Thy way." (Psalms 119:37) The first request is for the removing of impediments to obedience, the other for addition of new degrees of grace. These two are fitly joined, for they have a natural influence upon one another: unless we turn away our eyes from vanity, we shall soon contract a deadness of heart.

When is Prayer Heard?   by Christopher Love
God is first pleased with the worker be'fore He can accept the work. This is also laid down in Hebrews 11:5: "By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death, for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Now without faith in Christ to justify your person, you cannot please God.

How the Spirit Enables Us to Pray   by Thomas Boston
It is by the help of the Holy Spirit that we are able to pray, Gal 4:6, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'" Rom 8:26, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Motives To Secret Prayer   by Thomas Boston
It is a piece of worship expressly commanded of God, and it is directly required by him, Eph. 6:18. 'Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.' Will ye then counteract God's express command? If ye do, it will be at your peril.

A Reproof to Such as are Only Pretenders to Godliness   by Thomas Watson
Men are ambitious of credit, and wish to gain repute in the world, therefore they will dress themselves in the garb and mode of religion, so that others may write them down for saints. But alas, what is one the better for having others commend him, and his conscience condemn him? What good will it do a man when he is in hell that others think he has gone to heaven?

Christian Knowledge   by Jonathan Edwards
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Hebrews 5:12   The apostle complains, that they had not made that progress in their acquaintance with the things taught in the oracles of God, which they ought to have made. And he means to reprove them.

The Eternity of God   by Stephen Charnock
God is a perpetual refuge and security to his people. His providence is not confined to one generation; it is not one age only that tastes of his bounty and compassion. His eye never yet slept, nor hath he suffered the little ship of his church to be swallowed up, though it hath been tossed upon the waves; he hath always been a haven to preserve us.

A Discourse of the Cleansing Virtue of Christ's Blood   by Stephen Charnock
The blood of Jesus Christ. By this is meant the last act in the tragedy of his life, his blood being the ransom of our souls, the price of our redemption, and the expiation of our sin. The shedding his blood was the highest and most excellent part of his obedience, Philip. ii. 8, His whole life was a continual suffering, but his death was the top and complement of his obedience, for in that he manifested the greatest love to God and the highest charity to man.

Christ is the Life of Believers   by Thomas Brooks
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." The words do speak out the time when the glorious life of believers shall be manifested, and that is, when Christ shall appear in glory. I have in some other place observed from these words this point-namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the life of believers.

The Mind of God in Scripture   by John Owen
"THE means to be used for the right understanding and interpretation of the Scripture are of two sorts: I. That which is general and absolutely necessary. II. Such as consist in the due improvement thereof."

The Godly Man Strives to Make Others Godly   by Thomas Watson
He is not content to do to heaven alone but wants to take others there. Spiders work only for themselves, but bees work for others. A godly man is both a diamond and a lodestone-a diamond for the sparkling luster of grace and a lodestone for his attractiveness. He is always drawing others to embrace piety. Living things have a propagating virtue.

The Hearing of the Word   by William Ames
Hearing here, therefore, means any receiving of the word of God whether it be communicated to us by preaching, reading, or any other way. God is accustomed to work in his own way and by his own institution by the preaching and hearing of the word.

A New Creature   by Thomas Watson
First, that the true definition of a Christian is to be in Christ. "If any man is in Christ." He may be in the visible church yet not in Christ. It is not to be baptized into Christ's name which makes a true Christian but to be in Christ, that is, to be grafted into Him by faith.

Seen of Angels   by Augustus Toplady
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1 Timothy 3:16) The compass of this single verse, St. Paul comprises several fundamental Articles of the Christian Faith. The whole passage, so far as it extends, may be considered as a little system of divinity; and literally deserves the name of the Apostle's Creed.

A Word about Pride   by Richard Baxter
I confess I have often wondered that this most heinous sin should be made so light of, and thought so consistent with a holy frame of heart and life, when far less sins are by ourselves, proclaimed to be so damnable in our people and I have wondered more, to see the difference between godly preachers and ungodly sinners, in this respect.

Why Salvation Must Be Supernatural   by Stephen Charnock
Nothing can act beyond its own principle and nature. Nothing in the world can raise itself to a higher rank of being than that which nature has placed it in; a spark cannot make itself a star, though it mount a little up to heaven; nor a plant endue itself with sense, nor a beast adorn itself with reason; nor a man make himself an angel.

The Hallway to the Saints' Rest   by Richard Baxter
The hallway to heaven is not barricaded anymore. The flaming sword no longer bars the passage to Paradise, for Christ has provided the way in. The porch of this temple is magnificent, and the gate of it is called "Beautiful." Here are the four corners of this porch of Paradise.

The Mystical Temple   by Thomas Watson
The outward temple of his body. 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." The body is like a temple; the bones may be resembled to the stonework, the blood to the cement, the eyes to the windows, the head to the roof, and the mouth to the door of the temple. What a care we should have to keep our bodies decent, which are the temples of God!

Do Not Frustrate the Grace of God   by Robert Traill
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."  In the text the apostle hath two arguments for this truth, against the contrary error, with which the Galatians were plagued; and both arguments are taken from the absurdities that follow upon the contrary doctrine.

The One Thing Necessary   by Thomas Watson
If there be anything excellent, it is salvation; if there be anything necessary, it is working out salvation; if there be any tool to work with, it is holy fear. "Work out your salvation with fear." The words are a grave and serious exhortation, needful, not only for those Christians who lived in the apostle's time, but may fitly be calculated for the meridian of this age wherein we live.

Discourse On the Eternity of God   by Stephen Charnock
There is no succession in God. God is without succession or chance. It is a quality of eternity; "from everlasting to everlasting he is God," i.e. the same. God doth not only always remain in being, but he always remains the same in that being: "thou art the same" (Psalm 102:27).

The Wisdom of Patience   by Thomas Goodwin
The opening of these words, 'If any of you lack wisdom,' will greatly conduce to ease your heart as to that; the effect of which is, that the Apostle plainly supposeth that true believers may both really, and in their own apprehensions especially, be found greatly lacking in point of patience when trials do befall them.

The Importance Of Leading A Heavenly Life Upon Earth   by Richard Baxter
More particularly consider, it will evidence your sincere piety; it is the highest excellence of the Christian temper; it is the way to live most comfortably; it will be the best preservative from temptations to sin; it will enliven your graces and duties; it will be your best cordial in all afflictions; it will render you most profitable to others; it will honor God.

Transformed by the Beholding of Christ   by Richard Sibbes
The very beholding of Christ is a transforming sight. The Spirit that makes us new creatures, and stirs us up to behold this Saviour, causes it to be a transforming beholding. If we look upon him with the eye of faith, it will make us like Christ.

Love the Lord Jesus Christ!   by Thomas Brooks
Look that ye love the Lord Jesus Christ with a superlative love, with an overtopping love. There are none have suffered so much for you as Christ; there are none that can suffer so much for you as Christ. The least measure of that wrath that Christ hath sustained for you, would have broke the hearts, necks, and backs of all created beings.

Sanctification   by William Ames
Sanctification is the real change in man from the sordidness of sin to the purity of God's image. Eph. 4:22-24, Put off that which pertains to the old conversation, that old man, corrupting itself in deceivable lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Put on that new man who according to God is created to righteousness and true holiness.

Of Rules to Find Out Covetousness   by William Gouge
Well weigh the effects of thy desire of riches. If thoughts thereupon break thy sleep, and care thereabouts consume thy flesh, and labour and toil therein take up all thy time, and impair health and strength, that desire is immoderate, it is plain covetousness.

The Elect of God   by John Gill
"And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed." II Kings 4:6   The Elect Of God, Chosen Vessels Of Salvation, Filled With The Oil Of Grace.

National Sins And National Judgments   by John Owen
"For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves." Isa. iii. 8, 9.

Directions Against Sinful Desires and Discontent   by Richard Baxter
Be well acquainted with your own condition, and consider what it is that you have most need of; and then you will find that you have so much grace and mercy to desire for your souls, without which you are lost for ever, and that you have a Christ to desire, and an endless life with God to desire, that it will quench all your thirst after the things below.

John Bunyan's Dying Sayings   by John Bunyan
The Life and Power of Divine Truth in Christ   by John Owen
Satisfaction in God   by Cotton Mather
True and False Consolation   by Horatious Bonar
The Work of Conversion   by John Owen
The White Devil   by John Bunyan

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"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."