Richard Sibbes and John Davenport, To the Christian Reader
(prefixed to John Preston’s The Saints’ Qualification)
-cited in A.B. Grosart, Memoir of Richard Sibbes, D.D., in v.1 of the BOT reprint of Sibbes’ works.

The foundation of Christianity is laid very low; and therefore the treatise of ‘Humiliation’ is well premised before that of the ‘New Creature.’ God will build upon nothing in us. We must be nothing in ourselves before we be raised up for a fit temple for God to dwell in, whose course is to pull down before he build. Old things must be out of request before all become new; and without this newness of the whole man from union with Christ, no interest in the new heavens can be hoped for, whereinto no defiled thing shall enter, as altogether unsuitable to that condition and place. Nothing is in request with God but this new creature, all things else are adjudged to the fire; and without this it had better be no creature at all.

Me embrujaste

October 24th, 2008

Two lines from this song:

Y toda mi sangre se puso de pie

Desde el alma hasta la boca se me sube el corazón

What elegant and vivid intensity! Plainly I need to read more Spanish poetry.

The Simplicity of Our God

October 12th, 2008

Henry P. Liddon, quoted in Spurgeon’s Treasury of David on Psalm 63
[Of the phrase ‘O God, thou art my God’, particularly the word ‘my’]

“The word represents not a human impression, or desire, or conceit, but an aspect, a truth, a necessity of the divine nature. Man can, indeed, give himself by halves; he can bestow a little of his thought, of his heart, of his endeavour upon his brother man. In other words, man can be imperfect in his acts as he is imperfect and finite in his nature. But when God, the Perfect Being, loves the creature of his hand, he cannot thus divide his love. He must perforce love with the whole directness and strength and intensity of his Being; for He is God, and therefore incapable of partial and imperfect action. He must give Himself to the single soul with as absolute a completeness as if there were no other being besides it, and, on his side, man knows that this gift of himself by God is thus entire; and in no narrow spirit of ambitious egotism, but as grasping and representing the literal fact, he cries ‘My God.’ (…) Therefore we find St. Paul writing to the Galatians as if his own single soul had been redeemed by the sacrifice of Calvary: ‘He loved me, and gave himself for me.’”

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, IV.8.5

First, if it is true, as Christ says, “Neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matthew 11:27), then those who wish to attain to the knowledge of God behoved always to be directed by that eternal wisdom For how could they have comprehended the mysteries of God in their mind, or declared them to others, unless by the teaching of him, to whom alone the secrets of the Father are known? The only way, therefore, by which in ancient times holy men knew God, was by beholding him in the Son as in a mirror. When I say this, I mean that God never manifested himself to men by any other means than by his Son, that is, his own only wisdom, light, and truth. From this fountain Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others, drew all the heavenly doctrine which they possessed. From the same fountain all the prophets also drew all the heavenly oracles which they published.