Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
Most Christians I know believe that the times we live in are unparalleled. That the church has never seen darker days. Yet history is replete with “darker days,” — incredibly so. Why then do we insist on being the final era, the “it” generation, the final trump constituency? I think that it may rest in the axiom that “culture is religion externalized.” In other words, Darby’s rapture doctrines and dispensationalism have produced their children (and they are whining).
Let us look to the wisdom of John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, in his letters on politics.
The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, “The Lord reigns! Let the nations tremble!” Psalm 99:1
The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker–the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But He loves His children; some are sighing and mourning before Him, and I am sure He hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom; but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel–before we are humbled, and are taught to give Him the glory.
The state of the nation, the state of the churches–both are deplorable! Those who should be praying–are disputing and fighting among themselves! Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government–than for their own sins!
“I know I shall die, and I shall die on time. Therefore, I must make the most of the moments between here and there. And the way I can make most of these moments is to live them in terms of that which I know to be absolutely true and unchanging. I will not be swayed from this conviction though my moments be short, though my moments be long.” St. Boniface
Boniface – fruit of Columba’s ministry to the Scots – Cut down the pagan oak of Thor – and brought the gospel to the Germanic tribes.
He said “I yearn to go forth where the dangers are, not because I particular enjoy those dangers, but because I know it is there that the battle rages for the soul of men and nations. God set me before the front lines. Let me not end my days in comfort and complacency.”
How deeply do men err who conceive of God as subject to our human will or as standing respectfully to wait upon our human pleasure.
God has made us in His likeness and one mark of that likeness is our free will. We hear God say, “Whosoever will, let him come.” We know by bitter experience the woe of an unsurrendered will and the blessedness or terror which may hang upon our human choice. But back of all this and preceding it is the sovereign right of God to call saints and determine human destines. The master choice is His, the secondary choice is ours. Salvation is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our “accepting” and “willing” are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God. Continue reading