Unclouded Hope

“Does every believer enjoy the unclouded hope of eternal life? He does enjoy that hope according to the measure of his faith. If he is strong in faith, he abounds in hope. But as every believer in the present state has but an imperfect apprehension both of the truth and of its evidence, and is still to a certain extent under the influence off false views, every believer, while in the present state, is imperfect both in holiness and in hope.”

Ibid, p.46

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Our Inheritance, cont.

“In all our enjoyments on earth, however pure and exalted in themselves, there is a mixture. There is always something wanting – something wrong; and sin, that vilest of all things, taints and pollutes them all. But into heaven there enters “nothing that defileth”. There is knowledge, without any mixture of error; holiness, without any mixture of sin; love, without any mixture of malignity; the highest dignities excite there no pride – the richest possessions, no covetousness. The inheritance is undefiled”.

Ibid, p.40

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Our Inheritance

“It is a state of complete freedom from evil, both moral and physical, in all its forms, and in all its degrees; and it is a state of perfect holy happiness, suited to a spiritual nature, endowed with intellect and affection and active power, united to a material frame, every way suited to minister to its progressive improvement and enjoyment; a state in which every capacity of blessedness shall be filled to overflowing, and in which the growing capacity shall never outrun the increasing blessedness.”

-John Brown, from his commentary on 1st Peter, p.37

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Self-Knowledge

“A weak Christian does not have clear insight into the close and spiritual failings which cleave to his performances. He sees his gifts, and takes notice of his affections, but he does not see the vanity of his mind, the unsoundness of his ends, his carnal dependence upon his duty, self-love, and vainglory; but in the course of time, a grown Christian takes notice of these things in himself. An experienced Christian will take as much notice of his failing in duty as of his ability in it.”

-Christopher Love, from his “Grace: The Truth, Growth and Different Degrees”,p.17

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Mortification

“If there is any tendency in your heart toward a greater resistance against the devil’s temptations to sin than formerly, this is a good argument that the Lord has brought you into a state of mortification”.

-Ibid, p.37

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Not in your Own Strength

“Do not encounter sin with confidence in your own strength, for you are but a feather before a whirlwind. You have no power of your own to resist the weakest temptation or subdue the least corruption.”

-Christopher Love, from his The Mortified Christian, p.22

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Faith and Works

“Though justifying faith is not without works, yet it justifies without them. Works before faith cannot justify, for without faith it is impossible to please God; and works after faith do not justify, but proceed from a man already justified.”

-Obadiah Grew, from his “The Lord Our Righteousness”,p.37

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Our Perseverance is Dependent on God

“We must not, then, in any way presume upon the grace of God but we must live in constant fear and trembling. If God relaxed His restraining care over us for a moment then no matter how far we may have progressed in sanctification, our hearts would immediately break out in insolent contempt of God. We are always prone to receive lies, to chase after frivolities and to abhor the truth. Even for the believing man nothing is so evanescent as faith and nothing flows away so easily as love.”

-Ron Wallace, from his Calvin’s Doctrine on the Christian Life, p.337

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Sharp Trials

“God often tests His own with sharp trials, as if He deliberately willed to snuff out their faith”.

-John Calvin, from his Institutes, vol.2 p.874

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Faith, the Mainspring

“Everything man does is because he believes something. Faith, in its widest sense, is the mainspring of man’s whole activity. Every volition arises from a belief and none can arise without it”.

R.L.Dabney, from his Systematic Theology, p.612

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God Gets the Glory

“We need a thorough breaking down, a thorough emptying, a thorough bruising. God cannot trust us with success till we are thus laid low…Therefore He sends us sore and heavy trials in order to make us vessels fit for the Master’s use…And oftentimes we see the heaviest trials are forerunners of our greatest usefulness. When we are entirely prostrated and crushed, then it is safe to grant us success, for God gets all the glory”.

-Ibid, p.149

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