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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Puritan Nuggets of Gold # 22


There must be great care taken, that when we seek to pluck up the tares, we pluck not up the wheat also; this may be understood of things, of truths and falsehoods, as well as of persons.... in respect of things good or evil, there are some things apparently evil, they are rather thistles and briars, than tares; we may freely pluck them up; but other things, though perhaps they may prove evil, yet they have some likeness to good, so as you can hardly discern whether they be good or evil; Now, saith Christ, take heed what you do then, do not out of eagerness to oppose all evil, to get out every tare, pluck out some wheat too; what if that you oppose with violence as evil, prove to be good? You had better let forty tares stand, then pluck up one wheat. (Jeremiah Burroughs)

There is more confidence needful in a thing that we impose upon others, than in what we practice ourselves. If a thing be to us rather true than otherwise, we may lawfully do it, but this is not enough to be a ground for the imposing it upon others, who cannot see it to be a truth; in such case we need to be very sure. (Jeremiah Burroughs)

The nature and end of judgment or sentence must be corrective, not vindictive; for healing, not destruction. (John Owen)

Prudence must be exercised in the proceeding, lest we do more hurt than good... we should deal humbly even when we deal sharply. (Richard Baxter)

By fasting, the body learns to obey the soul; by praying, the soul learns to command the body. (William Secker)


Would Christ not have His coat rent, and can He endure to have His body rent? (Thomas Watson)

God makes account, that He brings a heavy judgment upon a people when He Himself leaves them. If the Master leaves the ship, it is near sinking indeed; and truly, no readier way to send Him going than by strifes among brethren; these smoke Him out of His own house. (William Gurnall)

What! at peace with the Father, and at war with His children? It cannot be! (John Flavel)

Is it not to be bitterly lamented, that in a reformed and orthodox church there should be such schisms, rents and divisions; altar against altar, pulpit against pulpit, and one congregation  against another? And what is all this contention and separation for? Oh, they will tell you it is the purity of religion; for the true and sincere worship of God; that they may serve Him purely without human additions or inventions. Alas, my brethren, was there ever any schism in the world that did not plead the same? Do not others separate from their communion upon the same pretences on which they now separate from ours? And may not the same arguments serve to crumble them into infinite fractions and subdivisions; till, at last, we come to have almost as many churches as men? (Ezekiel Hopkins)

Better a holy discord than a profane concord. (Thomas Watson)

Division is better than agreement in evil. (George Hutcheson)

If we saw God, and heaven, and hell before us, do you not think it would effectually reconcile our differences and heal our unbrotherly exasperations and divisions? Would it not hold the hands that itch to be using violence against those that are not in all things of their minds. What abundance of vain controversies would it reconcile! As the coming in of the master doth part the fray among the school boys; so the sight of God would frighten us from contentions or uncharitable violence. (Richard Baxter)

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