When the Spirit would glorify Jesus ...

When the Spirit would glorify Jesus, he humbles you. When he would glorify his fulness, he makes you feel your emptiness. When he would bring you to rely on his strength, he convinces you of your weakness. When he would magnify the comforts of Jesus, he makes you sensible of your misery. When he would fix your heart on his heaven, he makes you feel your deserved hell. When he would exalt his righteousness, you find you are a poor miserable sinner.

~ William Romaine

Some wooden buttress to support God's iron pillar

The life of faith is called the fight of faith (1 Tim. 6.12); and truly called so. For, where divine faith is given, it is seldom exercised without a conflict in the heart, which loves an earthly refuge, and dreads a ‘naked’ promise; dearly loves a human prop and always seeks some wooden buttress to support God’s iron pillar. On this account, men dare not trust to Christ’s atonement alone for their peace, but clap their feeble shoulder to his cross, to strengthen it ...

~ John Berridge

 

Resolved to be happy in spite of God

It is the proper work of the grace of Jesus, to humble the proud sinner, to make him and to keep him sensible of his wants, convinced always that he has not any good of his own, and cannot possibly of himself obtain any, either in earth or heaven, but what he must be receiving every moment out of the fullness of Jesus. The devil fell by pride, and he drew man into the same crime. He promised him independence, and he still persuades deceived man to set up for himself. That’s the scheme of all unawakened men - they are resolved to be happy in spite of God. The Spirit of Jesus is sent to humble this proud sinner, which he does, by giving him a view of God’s holy nature, and God’s holy law. This makes sin, and consequently the sinner, hateful; discovers his guilt and his danger: if he attempts to do anything to make God love him, the Holy Spirit humbles him for that very thing, by showing him the sinfulness of his motive, and the imperfection of the action. Whatever he seeks to rest in, the Spirit of Jesus detects the false foundation, till he leaves him not resource but to believe in the only begotten Son of God.

~ William Romaine

Turning our liberty into licentiousness

There is so little of the Author of Christianity left in his own religion, that an apprehensive believer is ready to exclaim, with the woman at the sepulchre, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.’ The locality of Hell and the existence of an Evil Spirit are annihilated, or considered as abstract ideas. When they are alluded to, it is periphrastically; or they are discontinued not on the ground of their being awful and terrible, but they are set aside as topics too vulgar for the polished, too liberal for the learned, and as savouring too much of credulity for the enlightened.

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Beset on all sides with problems

Man gropes about as though walking in darkness. His way is beset on all sides with problems that press in upon him and clamour for a solution. To these problems man can often turn but an uncomprehending glance, for he has no knowledge to apply to their solution. Professing to know and also to be wise, nevertheless he does not know, and hence his decisions and judgments are not those of wisdom and knowledge. With God, however, knowledge is to be found, as well as the ability to apply this knowledge. God is all-knowing and God is all-wise. To be able to address such a God is a blessing indeed.

~ E. J. Young

 

To serve man, or even to serve myself

We certainly do not honour God when we bury or when we neglect to improve as far as we may, whatsoever talent he may have bestowed on us, whether it be little or much. In natural things as well as in spiritual it is a never-failing truth, that to him who hath, that is to him who occupies what he hath diligently and so as to increase it - more shall be given. Set me down therefore my Dear, for an industrious Rhymer so long as I shall have the ability, for in this only way it is possible for me, so far as I can see, either to honour God, or to serve man, or even to serve myself.

~ Letter from William Cowper to Lady Hesketh, 15th May 1786

We should like an independent fortune, but it cannot be

This is a beggar’s life; here’s nothing but alms. We don’t like it. We want some stock; if we could get it, we should like an independent fortune. But it cannot be. The Spirit of Jesus will witness of nothing, and glorify nothing but the Saviour’s all sufficient grace; and therefore he sets himself against all our greatness and goodness - that he who glorieth may glory only in the Lord Christ.

~ William Romaine

Piety maintains no natural war with elegance

Piety maintains no natural war with elegance, and Christianity would be no gainer by making her disciples unamiable. Religion does not forbid that the exterior be made to a certain degree the object of attention. But the admiration bestowed, the sums expended, and the time lavished on arts, which add little to the intrinsic value of life, should have limitations. While these arts should be admired, let them not be admired above their just value: while they are practised, let it not be to the exclusion of higher employments: while they are cultivated, let it be to amuse leisure, not to engross life.

~ Hannah More