Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It Is Good

Extract from a letter by John A Broadus to Maria Harrison, his wife-to-be, October 18, 1850:

It is good for us sometimes to be troubled, since it drives us to the Great Comforter; for it is good to feel our weakness and insufficiency, and then go to the Source of Strength.

Life and Letters of John Albert Broadus, by Archibald Thomas Robertson, 1901, reprint by Gano Books, p. 82.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Subjects of My Ministry

A selection from a letter by Augusta Toplady to Mr. Morris, September 2, 1768:

Electing, justifying, regenerating, sanctifying, and persevering grace, have been, and are, the subjects of my ministry; and, I hope, will be, to my latest breath.

The Works of Augustus Toplady, Bookshelf Publications, reprint from the 1794 edition, p. 831.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Too Easily Satisfied

A selection from a letter by John Newton to Captain Scott, May 20, 1769, writing about his preaching ministry:

I have no reason to complain of a want of liberty in public, but I wish I could be more concerned for success, and more affected to see poor sinners hardening under the sound of the gospel. I am afraid that if I am enabled to fill up my hour, and to come off with tolerable acceptance, I am too easily satisfied.

Letters of John Newton: with Biographical Sketches and Notes, by Josiah Bull, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, p. 146.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Frowns of Heaven

From the pen of Jonathan Edwards to the Scottish pastor, Thomas Gillespie, about his removal as pastor from his Northampton Church, written on April 2, 1750:

I desire your prayers that I may take a suitable notice of the frowns of heaven on me and this people (between whom was once so great an union), in the bringing to pass such a separation between us; and that these troubles may be sanctified to me; that God would overrule this event for his own glory (which doubtless many adversaries will rejoice and triumph in), that God would open a door for my future usefulness, and provide for me and my numerous family, and take a fatherly care of us in our present unsettled, uncertain circumstance, being cast on the wide world.

Jonathan Edwards: Letters and Personal Writings, edited by George S. Claghorn, vol. 16 in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale University Press, 1998, p. 339.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Bow to the Will of a Sovereign God

From a letter by J. H. Thornwell, about his acceptance to become the pastor the Second Presbyterian Church of Baltimore, to Dr. R. J. Breckinridge, October 4, 1845:

Had it been in my power to choose my own field of labour, I should never have thought of leaving South Carolina; but I bow to the will of a sovereign God, and acquiesce, without a murmur, in the plain intimations of His providence.

The Life and Letters of James Henley Thornwell, first published in 1875, republished by the Banner of Truth, 1974, p. 268.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Life is a Battlefield

A selection from a letter by Elizabeth Prentiss to Mrs. Condict, November 7, 1875:

Whatever may be said to the contrary by others, to me life has been a battlefield, and I believe always will be; but is the soldier necessarily unhappy and disgusted because he is fighting? I trow not.

More Love to Thee: The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss, George Lewis Prentiss, reprinted by Solid Ground Christian Books, p. 447.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

That None Be Left Behind

From a letter by Andrew Fuller to a relative, August, 1784:

My heart longs for you and the dear children. Give my love to them, and tell them to seek after the salvation of their souls; for they must soon die, as well as we. Let them not think that to be religious is to be melancholy; for surely to live in the fear of God is the happiest life in the world; and to die in his favour how desirable! May this be the case with us all. I long that none of the family may be left behind.

The Armies of the Lamb: The Spirituality of Andrew Fuller, edited and introduced by Michael A. G. Haykin, Joshua Press, p. 89.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fill Your Heart With Christ

Wise counsel from a father, David Kinghorn, to his son, Joseph Kinghorn, who was preparing for the ministry, April, 1791:

Though customs not enjoined by the great lawgiver are not binding on conscience [he was writing about Lent], yet we should be careful not to give offence to those who are bound by them. You have, for the present, got your head full of Moses. I wish your heart may be filled with Christ.

The Life and Works of Joseph Kinghorn, by Martin Hood Wilkin, reprinted by Particular Baptist Press, 1995, p. 191.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Total Abstinence

Writing to the recently established Tabernacle Total Abstinence Society at his church, March 15, 1882, pastor C. H. Spurgeon said:

I sincerely believe that, next to the preaching of the gospel, the most necessary thing to be done in England is to induce our people to become total abstainers.

He signed the letter, “Yours teetotally, C. H. Spurgeon.”

Letters of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Selected with Notes, by Iain H. Murray, Banner of Truth, p. 153.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

His Sufficiency

A selection from a letter by Mrs. Vera Pink to Evelyn Green:

There are times in the lives of all women when the changes which the years bring on are trying, but it is a wonderful opportunity for us to prove again, and yet again, his sufficiency. Ah, how patient he is – how longsuffering! The more we lean upon him the more we please him.

The Life of Arthur W. Pink, Ian Murray, Banner of Truth, p. 150.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Best Letter

An extract from a letter by Benjamin Morgan Palmer, to a friend about letter writing, May 16, 1866:

The best letter is that which contains the simple outpouring of feeling and thought, such as would spring to utterance in the freedom and abandon of conversation. No matter if it does ramble from topic to topic. This license of gossip is the privilege of fireside chat, and is the charm of correspondence. Never fear, then, to give your pen all the liberty of the tongue, for which at best it is only the sorry substitute.

The Life and Letters of Benjamin Morgan Palmer, by Thomas Cary Johnson, Banner of Truth, pp. 371-72).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Let Us Be Active Here

A selection from a letter by Thomas Charles, to a young clergyman, March 23, 1808:

Avoid indulgence, sloth and idleness. Let every portion of your time be usefully and conscientiously spent. Our time is short, and life is uncertain… We have eternity to rest; let us be active here.

Thomas Charles’ Spiritual Counsels: Selected from his Letters and Papers, by Edward Morgan, first published in 1836, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, 1993, p. 390.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Laying Up

From the pen of J. C. Philpot to Jesse Crake, November 24, 1856:

There must be times, especially in a minister, for laying up as well as laying out. There is a trading in divine matters whereby the soul becomes enriched with heavenly treasure.

Letters and Memoir of Joseph Charles Philpot, first published in 1871, reprinted by Baker Book House, 1981, p. 250.

Monday, October 1, 2007

To Whom Shall We Go?

A selection from a letter written by missionary Henry Martyn, July 11, 1808, to Rev. D. Corrie, about his sermon preached the day before to fourteen people in attendance at the church:

I spoke to them on the text, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.’ To whom shall we go? To the Padre – to the Virgin Mary – to the Saints – to the world – to works – to repentance? No; to Christ.

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, by John Sargent, first published in 1819, published by the Banner of Truth, 1985, p. 248.