There Is A Fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

-William Cowper, in Con­yer’s Col­lect­ion of Psalms and Hymns, 1772.

What is true about us? Discovering True Self-knowledge

By the fall and revolt of Adam the whole human race was delivered to the curse, and degenerated from its original condition; (the doctrine of original sin).

1. Our Creation by God

…knowledge of ourselves lies first in considering what we were given at creation and how generously God continues his favor toward us, in order to know how great our natural excellence would be if only it had remained unblemished; yet at the same time to bear in mind that there is in us nothing of our own, but that we hold on [patient endurance] whatever God has bestowed upon us.

Hence we are ever dependent on him.

2. Our Perversion by the Fall

Secondly, to call to mind our miserable condition after Adam’s fall; the awareness of which, when all our boasting and self-assurance are laid low, should truly humble us and overwhelm us with shame.

In the beginning God fashioned us after His image [Gen. 1:27] that He might arouse our minds both to zeal for virtue and to meditation upon eternal life.

Thus, in order that the great nobility of our race (which distinguishes us from brute beasts) may not be buried beneath our own dullness of wit, it behooves us to recognize that we have been endowed with reason and understanding so that, by leading a holy and upright life, we may press on to the appointed goal of blessed immortality.

But that primal worthiness cannot come to mind without the sorry spectacle of our foulness and dishonor presenting itself by way of contrast, since in the person of the first man we have fallen from our original condition.

From this source arise abhorrence and displeasure with ourselves, as well as true humility; and thence is kindled a new zeal to seek God, in whom each of us may recover those good things which we have utterly and completely lost.

-John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, II.1.1

Device Against Poor and Ignorant Souls

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 4 of 4

IV. Device Against Poor and Ignorant Souls

By causing them to affect ignorance and to neglect and despise the means of knowledge:

For remedies, consider that

A. An ignorant hearts is an evil heart
B. Ignorance is the deformity of the soul
C. Ignorance makes men objects of God’s hatred and wrath
D. Ignorance is a sin that leads to all sins

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Device Against the Saints

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 3 of 4

III. Device Against the Saints

By dividing them and causing them to ‘bite and devour one another’:

For remedies, consider that

A. It is better to dwell on saints’ graces rather than on their weaknesses and infirmities
B. Love and union best promote safety and security
C. God commands and requires the saints to love one another
D. It is better to eye the things in which saints agree rather than those things wherein they differ
E. God is the God of peace, Christ the prince of peace, and the Spirit the Spirit of peace
F. It is needful for the saints to make more care and conscience of maintaining their peace with God
G. It is needful to dwell much upon the relationship and union of the people of God
H. Discord is productive of miseries
I. It is good and honorable to be the first in seeking peace and reconcilement
J. Saints should agree well together, making the Word the only touchstone and judge of their words and actions
K. Saints should be much in self-judging
L. Saints should labor to be clothed with humility

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Device Against the Learned and the Wise

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 2 of 4

II. Device Against the Learned and the Wise

By moving them to pride themselves on their parts and abilities, and to despise men of greater grace but inferior abilities:

For remedies, consider that

A. Men have nothing but what they have received, gifts as well as saving grace coming alike from Christ
B. Men’s trusting to their parts and abilities has been their utter ruin
C. You do not transcend others more in parts and abilities than you do in grace and holiness
D. Men who pride themselves on their gifts and set themselves against the saints will find that God blasts and withers their gifts

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Devices Against the Great and Honorable of the Earth

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 1 of 4

I. Devices Against the Great and Honorable of the Earth

1. By causing them to seek greatness, position, riches, and security:

For remedies, consider that

A. Self-seeking sets men upon sins against the Law, the Gospel, and Nature itself
B. Self-seeking exceedingly abases a man
C. The Word pronounces curses and woes against self-seekers
D. Self-seekers are self-losers and self-destroyers
E. Saints have denied self and set public good above personal advantage
F. Self hinders the sight of divine things: hence prophets and apostles, when seeking visions, were carried out of themselves

2. By causing them to act against the people of the Most High:

For remedies, consider that

A. All who have acted against the saints have been ruined by the God of the saints
B. The Scriptures show that God gives victory to His people against their enemies
C. To fight against the people of God is to fight against God Himself
D. Men of the world owe their preservation from instant ruin, under God, to the saints

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Too Many, Lord, Abuse Thy Grace,

Too many, Lord, abuse Thy grace,
In this licentious day;
And while they boast they see Thy face,
They turn their own away.

Thy Book displays a gracious light
That can the blind restore;
But these are dazzled by the sight,
And blinded still the more.

The pardon, such presume upon,
They do not beg, but steal;
And when they plead it at Thy throne,
Oh! where’s the Spirit’s seal?

Was it for this, ye lawless tribe,
The dear Redeemer bled?
Is this the grace the saints imbibe
From Christ the living Head?

Ah, Lord, we know Thy chosen few
Are fed with heavenly fare;
But these, the wretched husks they chew
Proclaim them what they are.

The liberty our hearts implore
Is not to live in sin;
But still to wait at wisdom’s door,
Till mercy calls us in.

-William Cowper, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779).

O How I Love Thy Holy Word

O How I love Thy holy Word,
Thy gracious covenant, O Lord!
It guides me in the peaceful way,
I think upon it all the day.

What are the mines of shining wealth,
The strength of youth, the bloom of health!
What are all joys compared with those
Thine everlasting Word bestows!

Long unafflicted, undismayed,
In pleasures path secure I strayed;
Thou mad’st me feel Thy chast’ning rod,
And strait I turned unto my God.

What though it pierced my fainting heart,
I bless Thine hand that caused the smart;
It taught my tears awhile to flow,
But saved me from eternal woe.

O! hadst Thou left me unchastised,
Thy precept I had still despised;
And still the snare in secret laid,
Had my unwary feet betrayed.

I love Thee therefore O my God,
And breathe towards Thy dear abode;
Where in Thy presence fully blest,
Thy chosen saints forever rest.

-William Cowper, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779).

Continual Repentance

O God of Grace,

You have imputed my sin to my substitute,
and have imputed his righteousness to my soul,
clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,
decking me with jewels of holiness.

But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
my best prayers are stained with sin;
my penitential tears are so much impurity;
my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin;
my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
no loom to weave my own righteousness;

I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,
for you always justify the ungodly;
I am always going into the far country,
and always returning home as a prodigal,
always saying, “Father, forgive me,”
and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

Every morning let me wear it,
every evening return in it,
go out to the day’s work in it,
be married in it,
be wound in death in it,
stand before the great white throne in it,
enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.

-Arthur Bennett, ed. The Valley of Vision, 320. (language modernized by Tim Challies) http://www.challies.com/quotes/continual-repentance

Be Killing Sin or It Will Be Killing You

“Be killing sin or it will be killing you”

“There are two great things that are suitable to humble to souls of men. The first is due consideration of God. And the second is a due consideration of yourself. Of God, look at His greatness, his glory, His holiness, His power, His majesty and His authority, and of ourselves, to understand our mean, lowly, insignificant abject sinful condition.”

-John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation, ed. Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor, 282