Death the Funeral of Sin

A man that sees his propriety in God knows that death shall be the funeral of all his sins, sorrows, afflictions, temptations, desertions, oppositions, vexations, oppressions, and persecutions. And he knows that death shall be the resurrection of his hopes, joys, delights, comforts, and contentments, and that it shall bring him to a more clear, full, perfect, and constant enjoyment of God.

—Thomas Brooks
The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, 2:81.

Seeing What Sin Is

The manner of Christ’s taking away sin doth represent the heinousness of it, and is a sufficient warning to the world not to continue in it: ‘For if these things were done to the green tree, what shall be done to the dry?’

When we look upon sin through Satan’s spectacles, and the cloud of our own passions and carnal affections, we make nothing of it

But in the agonies of Christ, and the sorrows and sufferings of his cross, we see the odiousness of it, that it may become more hateful to us. No less remedy would serve the turn than the agonies, bloodshed, and accursed death of the Son of God, to procure the pardon and destruction of sin. By this sin-offering and ransom for souls we may see what sin is.

Sin is far more than the breaking of God’s law

We make light of sin, but Christ found it not so light a matter to expiate it. Do but consider his fears and tears and strong cries when he stood in the place of sinners before God’s tribunal, when God ‘laid upon him the iniquities of us all.’

—Thomas Manton
The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 21 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1874), 9–10.

Forget Not All His Benefits

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits
Psalm 103:1–2

God’s children, when they have tasted of his mercy, break forth into his praise

This is the ultimate end of all of God’s blessings. Knowing this should stir us up all the more to this end.

Let us take notice of all God’s favours and blessings

Knowledge stirs up the affections. Blessing of God springs immediately from an enlarged heart, but enlargement of heart is stirred up from apprehension. For as things are reported to the knowledge, so the understanding reports them to the heart and affections. Therefore it is a duty that we ought to take notice of God’s favours, and with taking notice of them, to mind them, to remember them, forget not all his benefits.

—Richard Sibbes
Adapted from The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, 3:24.

The Immensity of God

From the greatness and immensity of God…

Your soul must reverently stay all its busy, bold inquiries, and know that God is to us, and to every creature, incomprehensible.

If you could fathom or measure Him, and know His greatness by a comprehensive knowledge, He were not God. A creature can comprehend nothing but a creature.

You may know God, but not comprehend Him

As your foot treads on the earth, but does not cover all the earth. The sea is not the sea, if you can hold it in a spoon.

—Richard Baxter
Adapted from The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, 13:29.

Love is able to Melt Hearts

Have you never beheld a condemned prisoner dissolved into tears upon the unexpected and unmerited receipt of a pardon, who all the time before was as hard as a flint?

The hammer of the law may break the icy heart of a man with terrors and horror, and yet it may remain ice still, unchanged; but when the fire of love kindly thaws its ice, it is changed and dissolved into water—it is no longer ice, but of another nature.…

Therefore meditate much on the love of God and Christ to your unworthy soul.

—George Swinnock
The Works of George Swinnock, 3:342.

Loving a False Notion of God

Self-love may be the foundation of a supposed love to God

Self-love, through the exercise of a mere natural gratitude, may be the foundation of a sort of love to God many ways. A kind of love may arise from a false notion of God that men have some way imbibed, as though he were only goodness and mercy and not revenging justice, or as though the exercises of his goodness were necessary and not free and sovereign, or as though his goodness were dependent on what is in them and as it were constrained by them.

Men, on such grounds as these, may love a God of their own forming in their imaginations when they are far from loving such a God as reigns in heaven.

—Jonathan Edwards
The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 1, 276.

Children Learn Regardless

If you neglect to instruct [children] in the way of holiness, will the devil [and the world and their own nature] neglect to instruct them in the way of wickedness? No; if you will not teach them to pray, he will to curse, swear, and lie. If ground be uncultivated, weeds will spring.

—John Flavel
The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel, vol. 4 (London: W. Baynes and Son, 1820), 374.