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The Potter's Clay

Scripture, Theology, the Christian worldview, and other ramblings.

29 March 2006

They are soon seen dancing along the slippery path!

--Archibald Alexander, "Thoughts on Religious Experience" 1844

There is a class of people, who seem never to feel the force of Christian truth. They are such as spend their whole waking hours in the giddy whirl of amusement and social company. Full of health and spirits, and optimistic in their hopes of enjoyment from the world--they put away 'serious reflection' as the very bane of pleasure. The very name of Jesus is hateful to them: and all they ask of Christian people is to let them alone, that they may seize the pleasures of life while within their reach.

If we may judge from appearances, this class is very large. We find them in the many places of fashionable resort. The theater, the ballroom, and the very streets are full of such. They flutter gaily along, and keep company with each other--while they are strangers to all serious reflection. If a Christian ever gets the opportunity of addressing a word of serious advice to them, their politeness may prevent them from behaving rudely--but no sooner is his back turned, than they laugh him to scorn, and hate and despise him for his endeavors. They habituate themselves to think that Christianity is an awkwardly foolish thing, and wonder how any person of sense can bear to attend to it.

Very often this high reverie of pleasure is short. In such a world as this, events are apt to occur which dash the 'cup of sensual delights' while it is at the lips. Death will occasionally intrude even upon this mirthful circle and put a speedy end to their unreasonable merriment. O how sad is the spectacle, to see one of these 'votaries of fashion' suddenly cut down, and carried to the grave! When mortal sickness seizes such people--their cruel friends make it their chief study to bar out every idea of true religion, and to flatter the poor dying creature with the hope of recovery--until death has actually seized his prey. Such an event produces a shock in the feelings of the others--but such is the buoyancy of their feelings and their forgetfulness of mournful events--that they are soon seen dancing along the slippery path, with as much insane thoughtlessness as before!

23 March 2006

Yours! Mine!

John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life"

Lord, the condemnation was Yours,
that the justification might be mine!

The agony was Yours, that
the victory might be mine!

The pain was Yours,
and the ease mine!

The stripes were Yours, and the
healing balm issuing from them mine!

The vinegar and gall were Yours,
that the honey and sweet might be mine!

The curse was Yours, that
the blessing might be mine!

The crown of thorns was Yours,
that the crown of glory might be mine!

The death was Yours,
the life purchased by it mine!

You paid the price, that
I might enjoy the inheritance!

21 March 2006

Has He put you so many times into the furnace?

John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life" 1671

You have a further advantage to a holy life, by all the
chastisements with which God visits you.

By these afflictions, God prevents your straying and wandering.
Others may wander even as far as hell, and God will not spend
a sanctified rod upon them, to reduce or stop them; but says,
"let them alone!" Hosea 4:17. But if you wander out of the way
of holiness, He will clog you with one trouble or other to keep
you within bounds.

Holy Basil was a long time sorely afflicted with an inveterate
headache, he often prayed for the removal of it. At last God
removed it, but in the place of it, he was sorely exercised with
the motions and temptations of lust; which, when he perceived,
he heartily desired his headache again, to prevent a worse evil.

You little know the ends and uses of many of your afflictions.

Are you exercised with bodily weakness? It is a mercy you are
so; and if these pains and infirmities were removed, these clogs
taken off, you may with Basil, wish for them again, to prevent
worse evils.

Are you poor? Why, with that poverty God has clogged your pride!

Are you reproached? With these reproaches God has clogged your
sinful ambition.

Corruptions are prevented by your afflictions. And, is not this
a marvelous help to holiness of life?

By your afflictions, your corruptions are not only clogged, but
purged. By these God dries up and consumes that spring of sin
which defiles your lives. God orders your wants to fill your
wantonness; and makes your poverty poison to your pride.

Afflictions are God's medicines, to purge ill humours out
of your souls. They are both fire for the purifying; and water
for the cleansing of your souls. Christ's blood is the only
fountain to wash away sin. But, in the virtue and efficacy of
that blood, sanctified afflictions are cleansers and purifiers too.

A cross without a Christ never made any man better; but with
Christ, saints are much the better for the cross. Has God been
so many days and nights a whitening you, and yet is not the
hue of your conversation altered? Has He put you so many
times into the furnace, and yet is not the dross separated?
The more afflictions you have been under, the more assistance
you have had for this life of holiness.

By all your troubles, God has been weaning you from the world,
the lusts, loves, and pleasures of it; and drawing out your souls
to a more excellent life and state than this. He often makes you
groan under your burdens. And yet will you not be weaned from
the lusts, customs, and evils of this world?

19 March 2006

Sweet 16 Bound

It'll be Huskies vs. Huskies in DC. Should be a great game. UConn better be ready for the REAL player of the year, Brandon Roy. The guy does it all.

16 March 2006

O that dreadful house-idol

John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life" 1671

O that dreadful house-idol--myself!

We have need to be redeemed from ourselves,
as much as from the devil and the world!

I would like to make a sweet bargain, and shuffle
out self, and substitute Christ my Lord in place of
myself! Not I, but Christ! Not my will, but Christ's!
Not my ease, not my lusts, not my home--but Christ,

O wretched idol, myself! When shall I see you wholly
cast out--and Christ wholly put in your place?

10 March 2006

Spurgeon Fix

If you need a Spurgeon fix, head here.

08 March 2006

The most precious thing in heaven or earth

John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life" 1671

In giving Christ to die for poor sinners, God gave the
richest jewel in His cabinet; a mercy of the greatest
worth, and most inestimable value.

Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ
is! Ten thousand thousand worlds--as many worlds as
angels can number, would not outweigh Christ's love,
excellency and sweetness! O what a lovely One! What
an excellent, beautiful, ravishing One--is Christ!

Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden
of Eden, into one; put all flowers, all fragrances, all colors,
all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness into one;
O what a lovely and excellent thing would that be! And yet
it would be less to that loveliest and dearest well-beloved
Christ--than one drop of rain to all the seas, rivers, lakes,
and fountains of ten thousand earths!

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most
precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners;
and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as His Son was--what
kind of love is this!

05 March 2006

O what a melting consideration is this!

John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life" 1671

"Christ died for the ungodly." (Romans 5:6)

O what a melting consideration is this! That . . .
out of His agony, comes our victory;
out of His condemnation, comes our justification;
out of His pain, comes our ease;
out of His stripes, comes our healing;
out of His gall and vinegar, comes our honey;
out of His curse, comes our blessing;
out of His crown of thorns, comes our crown of glory;
out of His death, comes our life!

02 March 2006

Who is this Jesus?

This is one of the best sermons I have ever heard. Read it and be blessed!

Who is this Jesus? by Melito of Sardis

Also, I finally got off my duff and updated my links to the right. Hope you like.

01 March 2006

Come to Christ as Mary Magdalene did!

--Jonathan Edwards, "Directions How to Conduct Yourself
in Your Christian Course"--A Letter addressed to a young
lady in the year 1741

"There was a woman who was a notorious sinner in that city.
When she learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's
home, she took an alabaster jar of perfume and knelt at His
feet behind Him. She was crying and began to wash His feet
with her tears and dry them with her hair. Then she kissed
His feet over and over again, anointing them constantly
with the perfume." (Luke 7:37-38)

When you engage in the duty of prayer, or come to the Lord's
supper, or attend any other duty of divine worship--come to
Christ as Mary Magdalene did! Come, and cast yourself at
His feet, and kiss them, and pour forth upon Him the sweet
perfumed ointment of divine love, out of a pure and broken
heart, as she poured the precious perfume out of her pure
broken alabaster jar!