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God never seeks in vain. An earthly shepherd may lose many a sheep, and lose them beyond retrieval. But Christ never lost a sheep, which he did not seek; and never sought a sheep, which he did not find.

And, when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders rejoicing. He does not suspend the return of the sheep, on the sheep's own free-will, (which would be very sheepish policy indeed)nor stand expostulating, and giving the sheep, what Arminianism would call, "a gentle pull" by the fleece: but actually lays hold on the wanderer; takes it up in his arms; layeth it upon his shoulders, by main strength; nor lets it go, until he has actually and finally brought it home. As all who seek his favour and an interest in his righteousness, are sure to find both one and the other; so all whom he seeks, are sure to be found of him.
(from Works of Augustus Toplady)


Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners, to hear him. We never go to Christ, until his Spirit has beat us off from every other confidence, and driven us out of every other refuge. Under our first serious impressions, we usually try a variety of self-righteous expedients for our own relief. We have recourse to moral reformation, good resolutions, vows, long prayers, frequent church-goings, monthly sacraments; accompanied, perhaps, by a train of abstinences, austerities, and rigorous mortifications. While we do these things with a view to spin from them a justifying righteousness for ourselves, we are as absolute enemies to the gospel of Christ, and as far from the kingdom of God, as the devil and his angels. We must come, not as pharisees, but as publicans; not as scribes, but simply as sinners; if we would come, so as to be graciously received.
(from Works of Augustus Toplady)


Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Felice Dunas
(from a Facebook post)


“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

“I love to hear my Lord spoken of, and wherever I have seen the print of His shoe in the earth, there have I coveted to put mine also.”
John Bunyan


I do not wonder at so many ministers pouring contempt upon a feeling religion, for how is it possible for those that never were plunged into these depths of feeling, the misery of their own foolishness, their own baseness, their own nothingness, and believing it was horrid presumption for such wretches to open their mouths in the name of a holy God, and who never knew what it was to have those pangs, sighs and groans that cannot be uttered; how, I say, is it possible for these to tell anything about feeling either the one side or the other, when they are utter strangers to it? They cannot enter into it till it enters into them; but my poor soul has proved both sides; so that I am obliged, with the ability God gives, to come before the people again and again with what I have handled, tasted and felt; so that necessity is laid upon me to vindicate a feeling religion. O bless the Lord, my soul, that ever He has taught thee the sweetness of proving His truth to drop as the rain, and His speech to distil as the dew. The soul that knows this is a living witness that it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts; and that the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
(from The Mercies of A Covenant God by John Warburton)


...this is my request; be not angry with me, but in tender mercy answer my petition." He answered me with such a smile, "It is done as thou hast requested." O what confidence I felt that God had heard and answered my cries! My body and soul leaped up like a giant refreshed with new wine. Not one devil was to be found, nor even heard to whisper, for the sun had risen upon my poor soul, and they had all gathered themselves together into their dens, and my delighted soul went to her work of praise and love to my dear God and Saviour; for I was like a bird let loose from the snare; the snare was broken, and I was escaped....
(from "The Mercies of a Covenant God" by John Warburton.


I dare say, that in such an auditory as this, a number of Arminians are present. I fear that all our public assemblies have too many of them. Perhaps, however, even these people, idolaters as they are, may be apt to blame, and indeed with justice, the absurdity of those who worship idols of silver and gold, the work of men's hands. But let me ask, if it be so very absurd to worship the work of other men's hands; what must it be to worship the works of our own hands? Perhaps you may say, "God forbid that I should do so." Nevertheless, let me tell you, that trust, confidence, reliance, and dependence for salvation, are all acts, and very solemn ones too, of divine worship: and upon whatsoever you depend, whether in whole, or in part, for your acceptance with God, and for your justification in his sight; whatsoever you rely upon, and trust in, for the attainment of grace or glory; if it be any thing short of God in Christ, you are an idolater to all intents and purposes.
(from Works of Augustus Toplady)


All things, saith the Psalmist, serve thee (z): they have all a direct tendency, either effectively or permissively, to carry on his unalterable designs of providence and grace. Observe, effectively, or permissively. For we never say, nor mean to say, that God is the worker of evil: we only maintain, that for reasons unknown to us, but well known to God, he is the efficacious permitter (not the (a) agent, but the permitter) of whatsoever comes to pass. But when we talk of good, we then enlarge the term; and affirm, with the Psalmist, that all the help [i. e. all the good] that is done upon earth, God does it himself (Ps 74:13).
(z) Psalm 119:91. Liturgy Version.
(a) To say, that the doctrine of predestination makes God the author and actuator of sin, is one of the most daring, (and at the same time) most irrational cavils, that ever dishonoured Arminianism itself. The state of the matter stands thus. - Since the fall of Adam and his sons (an event, the divine motives to the permission of which, we are not entitled to know), God need only leave men to themselves by withholding the restraints of grace and providence; and men's corrupt free-agency will, of itself, carry them headlong into all evil.
(this is a snip from a sermon by Augustus Toplady. I don't know who put the footnotes but notice footnote (a).


Thou, Lord, hast wrought all our [good] works in us (Isa 26:12); and, for all the works so wrought, - for the will to please thee, for the endeavour to please thee, for the ability to please thee, and for every act whereby we do please thee. - Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give glory.


And, indeed, was not this the truth of the case, i. e. if conversion and sanctification and good works were not God's gifts, and of his operation; men would have not only somewhat, but much, even very much, to boast of: for they would be their own converters, sanctifiers, and saviours. Directly contrary to the plain letter of scripture, which asks, Who maketh thee to differ from others, and what hast thou, which thou didst not receive (1Co 4:7) from above? Nor less contrary to the scriptural direction, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (1Co 1:31).
(From Works of Toplady)


O holy, blessed Trinity of Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, One God, whom reason cannot fathom, but faith believes, love embraces, and praise adores, bless Thy holy Name. It is in Thy light that I see light; it is Thy smiles that make my smiles; it is Thy strength and power made manifest in me that holds me up and makes me strong; it is Thy Spirit of grace and supplications poured into my heart that brings my soul to pour it out unto Thee; it is Thy precious gift of faith, and Thy precious power, that draws it into exercise, which enables my soul to come with confidence and say, "My Lord and my God;" it is Thy precious Presence as my Father, my Friend, and my eternal All that changes a dungeon into a palace. Without Thee I am more and more confident I can do nothing...
(from The Mercies of A Covenant God by John Warburton)


The following is from a sermon by Toplady on the text: Psalm 115:1 "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name, give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake."

At the famous battle of Azincourt, in France, where, if I mistake not, 80,000 French were totally defeated by about 9000 English, under the command of our immortal king Henry V.; after the great business of the day was over,
 and God had given that renowned prince the victory, he ordered the foregoing Psalm (that is, the 114th), and part of this Psalm from whence I have read you the passage now under consideration, to be sung in the field of battle; by way of acknowledging, that all success, and all blessings, of what kind soever, come down from the Father of lights. Some of our historians acquaint us, that, when the triumphant English came to those words which I have taken for my text, the whole victorious army fell down upon their knees, as one man, in the field of conquest; and shouted with one heart, and with one voice, Not unto Us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name, give the glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake.

And thus will it be, when God has accomplished the number of his elect, and completely gathered in the fulness of his redeemed kingdom. What, do you think, your song will be, when you come to heaven? Blessed be God, that he gave me free-will; and blessed be my own dear self, that I made a good use of it? O no, no. Such a song as that was never heard in heaven yet, nor ever will, while God is God and heaven is heaven. Look into the Book of Revelation, and there you will find the employ of the blessed, and the strains in which they sing. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation (Rev 4:10). There is discriminating grace for you! Thou hast redeemed us out of every kindred, &c. that is, from (Rev 14:4) among the rest of mankind. Is not this particular election, and limited redemption?


 

DYING MOMENTS OF A BELIEVER

How does the lusture of what men call great, and the splendid actions by which they are dazzled, appear to fade, and prove to be as illusive shadows, when we view a believer in his dying moments, felicitated in the bright and unclouded prospect of eternal felicity!  (From Memoirs in Works of Augustus Toplady)


 

INABILITY

Mankind lie covered beneath the ruins of their lapsed state, and no more able to raise themselves from under their weight of guilt than one buried under the ponderous rubbish of a fallen house is able to free himself. The Holy Spirit finds sinners in as helpless a condition, as unable to repent, or believe on Christ for salvation, as they were to purchase it. ibid.
(from Works of Toplady)


 

GOD'S THRONE

God has two thrones:  one in the highest heavens, the other in the lowest hearts.    Wright.  (from works of Augustus Toplady)


 

DOUBTS
Oh trembling believer! if Satan should at any time move thee to doubt of thy election, answer him by telling him that he was never of God's cabinet-council. 
Anon. (from Works of Augustus Toplady)


 

CHRIST'S PURCHASE
The whole election of grace, all the children of God scattered about in the world; all the Lord's people that ever have been, are, or shall be; may truly be said to be the pearl of great price, which Christ came into this world to seek for, and found: and finding it, sold all that he had, shed his blood, parted with his life, and gave himself for it, and bought it.
Dr. Gill.


 

CHRIST'S COMPANY

While Christ was upon earth, he was more among publicans and sinners, than among scribes and pharisees; for these were self-righteous [and so, not fit company for him who came to seek and to save the lost]. Wilcox.             
(taken from Works of Augustus Toplady - Excellent Passages From Eminent Persons)


CONVERSION
Conversion refers to the coming of a regenerated child of God to the conscious realization and manifestation of the spiritual life that was given to him in regeneration. Conversion manifests itself in faith, repentance and spiritual growth. Regeneration is accomplished by the Holy Spirit alone. Conversion is brought about by the gospel, the Bible and writings which are based on the Bible. Only regenerated persons are converted. People who have not been quickened by the Holy Spirit are dead in trespasses and in sins and are totally unable to perform any spiritual act.

Elder Zack Guess


The quote below is from someone named Dinwiddle on Esther 1:5-7.
Do we not do well to even examine ourselves under such light without thinking that this troublesome problem only applies to men like King Ahasuerus?  Does it not cut deeply?

 

If not under the grace of God, men will submit to greater hardships and burdens in pursuit of things that are sinful and disappointing than in the pursuit of what is necessary to true honour and happiness.


 When tempted to be disgusted at the dullness of another, or to be revenged on one who has wronged you, call to remembrance God's infinite patience and longsuffering with yourself.
-A. W. Pink


  A "god" whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nought but contempt.
-A. W. Pink


 The Lord is gracious in his gifts, gracious in his love, gracious in his salvation. Everything he gives, is from his mercy, and is ever to be so acknowledged. But Jesus’s gifts, are not himself: I cannot be satisfied with his gifts, while I know that to others he gives his person. It is Jesus himself that I want. Though he give me all things that I need, yet if he be to me himself all things that I need, in him I have all things. Hence, therefore, let us see, that Jesus not only gives us all, but that he is our all. 
(from Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary on Psalms 149:1-2)


If you believe that the Bible is God’s very Word-read it, study it, meditate upon it, and obey it. What does it gain you if you believe that the Bible is God’s Word and yet do not listen to God speak in His Word?
-Unknown


The art of economics consists of looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.-Henry Hazlitt [These principles of economics also have some validity in the spiritual realm.] 


A mite of spirit is of more worth than a mountain of flesh.-Stephen Charnock 


If we are honest with ourselves, we see ourselves as sinners-sinners saved by grace, but nevertheless sinners. We are never surprised to see sin in ourselves; we should not be surprised to see sin in others.-Mark Rushdoony 


One of the characteristic signs that a culture is under divine judgment is a loss of wonder in the greatness of God’s works.-James Nickel 


Our weakness renders God’s power more illustrious. He delights in and under our weakness, to manifest most of His helping power. As the stars never shine so gloriously as in the sharpest frosty night, so the power of God never appears so signally and conspicuously as in and under our weakness.-William Burkitt 


It is the praise of omnipotency to work by improbabilities: God delights to do great things by weak and unlikely means, knowing that the weakness of the instrument redounds to the greater honour of himself, the principal agent.-William Burkitt 


Every effort on the part of man to salvage some tattered remains of his own goodness so that he may make his own contribution to salvation and earn merit with God is pride.-Herman Hanko 


Just as we must learn to obey God one choice at a time, we must also learn to trust God one circumstance at a time…We honor God  by choosing to trust Him when we don’t understand what He is doing or why He has allowed some adverse circumstance to occur.-Jerry Bridges 


Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful-Samuel Johnson 


The need of the hour for today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.-Spurgeon 


You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.-Pearl Buck 


The soul finds its greatest joy and most profound delight in the contemplations of God, not self.-Unknown


David, in his dying hours, under the spirit of prophecy, described Christ as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds, 2Samuel 23:4; and another prophet represented the remnant of Jacob begotten to Christ in the midst of many people, as the dew is from the LordMicah 5:7. Probably to show that sove­reign grace will give to Christ an abundance of souls like the dew drops, so numerous as to be perfectly incalculable. And they shall come, as the dew cometh, of heavenly extraction, being born of God, and not of the will of the flesh, John 1:13. And unperceived, unnoticed, un­known, as the silent dew-drops of the morn; for the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, Luke 17:20. And as they are begotten, like the dew, without the aid of man; so also shall they be preserved by the same predisposing cause, without man's deserts. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts, Zechariah 4:6. (From Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary on Psalm 110:3)David, in his dying hours, under the spirit of prophecy, described Christ as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds,2Samuel 23:4; and another prophet represented the remnant of Jacob begotten to Christ in the midst of many people, as the dew is from the LordMicah 5:7. Probably to show that sove­reign grace will give to Christ an abundance of souls like the dew drops, so numerous as to be perfectly incalculable. And they shall come, as the dew cometh, of heavenly extraction, being born of God, and not of the will of the flesh, John 1:13. And unperceived, unnoticed, un­known, as the silent dew-drops of the morn; for the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, Luke 17:20. And as they are begotten, like the dew, without the aid of man; so also shall they be preservedby the same predisposing cause, without man's deserts. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts, Zechariah 4:6.
(From Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary on Psalm 110:3)


 A little faith, or lively exercise, will carry a believer through great difficulties. But if the Lord for the trial of our grace, and to let us see what mere feathers we are in the wind of temptation, if the Lord for a moment withdraws the arm of his strength, by which our faith is upheld; depend upon it, in that moment we fall. 
(from Hawker on Judges 11:30)


Reader! it is most blessed to see, and yet more blessed to experience, our own personal interest in those divine teachings. I the Lord teacheth, thee to profit, may be discerned and read by every enlightened eye as the title page of the whole of inspiration. And when, in the corrections and visitations of the Lord, by the Lord's great army, we plainly discover the Lord's hand; when in the locusts and palmer worms of the earth, we both hear the rod and who hath appointed it; when the fatherly reproofs of a gracious God in Christ are sanctified to bring the heart to Christ: oh! how blessed are the awakening judgments of our God, in rousing his people from the sottish stupidity and indolence in which the world and its pursuits have intoxicated the soul, and calling home the heart to Jesus and his salvation. (from Hawker’s Reflections on Joel 1)


(Read Psalm 24:6) Here is all safe, all is secure. But if our admission into God’s holy hill here below in church communion, or our everlasting admission into the heaven above, depended upon our clean hands and a pure heart; or even taking into our view Christ’s righteousness, as a partly-procuring cause to make our hands clean and our hearts pure; when will any man, that knows what passes every day within, find confidence of ever ascending there? Surely nothing short of the righteousness ofChrist himself, as the very righteousness in which his seed and the generation of them that seek his face, are accepted and justified, can give comfort now, or confidence in the day of judgment.
(Robert Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary)