Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Quote!!

“I have never been more terrified, Grandfather, I could feel the flames.”

“Aye, Lad. Feel the flames,’ said his grandfather, “Most young men’s problem, Ian, is that they donnae feel the flames. Young men think so much of their strength and enjoyments of the world that they’re in sore danger of becoming, as one great divine had it, “Sermon proof and sickness proof.”

‘All this is very good, lad,’ said his grandfather. ‘It is the spirit of God graciously doing a law work

in yer heart, What must ye do? There is but one thing, lad. Jesus, alone, stands ready to save ye.

‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,’ says the Word of Christ. It doesnae say be baptized as an infant, live a mortal life, have a form of religion. It says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.’

‘But I thought I believed all this,’ said Ian. “so why then do I feel as I do?”

‘So ye do, lad, but ye cannae have it both ways. Israel believed in God but made the mistake of seeking all in the corn and wine of present happiness. Ye must be like Jacob to Pharaoh when he said, ‘ I am a stranger, and a sojourner’ in Egypt. Ye too must be a pilgrim, a stranger in this country if ye would be a Christian, ye must be like Moses who chose ‘rather to suffer affliction with the people of God then to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.’ Like him ye must forsake Egypt, lad, and seek a heavenly country. Ye must seek first Christ’s Kingdom and righteousness.

Ye see, lad, believing on Jesus Christ means seeking him alone, hoping in him alone, living in him alone, worshipping him alone. Israel wanted to believe in God and worship idols; she wanted to believe in God but seek happiness in the things of Canaan.So we in New England are in danger of trusting in the work of our own hands, of pitching our hopes on our own prosperity.

And I’m thinking ye do the same, lad. But ye cannae have it both ways. Ye must in all things seek heavenly happiness and so ye must walk in the way that leads to heaven, the way of holiness. And Ye must ken that the land ye are traveling through on this pilgrimage is a wilderness, just as the lands west are untamed and wild, with mountains, rocks and rough places, so the way of holiness is an ascending way that requires effort and strength, self-denial, and determination. And such a road ye must begin early and throughout yer life bend all yer strength, pressing on toward heaven. Ye see, lad, the way of holiness must be your first concern; its destination-heaven- must be ever in yer thoughts. Ye muct hunger and thirst after righteousness, reaching forward, pressing onward ‘toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’

‘And here lies the test. All other concern of life must be entirely, subordinate to the aim of getting to yer journey’s end. All temporal enjoyments: money, gifts, ambitions must be employed as mere helps along the journey. So often these things clog and hinder a man in his journey and he comes to seek first these fading baubles that lie all about us here in self-reliant Connecticut. But donnae do that , lad. Anything that clogs and hinders ye on the way, ye must leave off then and there. Thus, lad, in all yer eating and drinking, talking and laughing, buying and selling, in whatever business ye are setting about, ye must ask yerself if it will forward ye on yer way to heaven. And if not, ye must quit all and press on in the strength of Christ yer Redeemer and his blessed Holy Spirit.”

As Ian listened, he thought how much his grandfather sounded like Mr. Edwards and how much both of their words sounded like the words of the Bible. And with those words he felt for the first time his heart awakened to his sinfulness and peril, like never before his longing for Christ and Salvation inflamed, his fears assuaged, and his desire for heaven so keen that it cut his soul as with a knife.

“God made ye for himself,” continued the old man, “and he made ye for heaven. Here in the wilderness ye must glorify and enjoy God, but ye only do so in a most imperfect manner. Aye, but in heaven ye will do all perfectly, because God made ye for heaven. So ye must daily grow in the way to heaven, to the knowledge of Christ, to the beauty of Christ, and to the Excellency of divine things.

Ye see, lad, God is the highest good of reasonable creatures, of these made in God’s image. And the good things of this world are but scattered beams of heaven, but God is the Sun. these are but Streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. God orders the sun to shine, the clouds and thunder and rain, the wonder of planting and harvesting, civil government, family joys and sorrows, even war- he orders all that he might lead us to heaven. Therefore Ian seek first God’s Kingdom and ye will find yer proper end: Salvation, holiness, happiness and heaven.”