Thursday, November 19, 2020

The High Cost Of Low Living

My post yesterday quoted some comments from J.G. Pilkington on the significance of what are often regarded as little things, including sins that we often underestimate. Adrian Rogers preached a great sermon on Samson, probably the best sermon I've ever heard from him, and it addresses this issue. You can listen to it here. The last several minutes are especially good, starting here, but I recommend listening to the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Subtle Power Of Little Things

"Augustin frequently alludes to the subtle power of little things. As when he says,—illustrating (Serm. cclxxviii.) by the plagues of Egypt,—tiny insects, if they be numerous enough, will be as harmful as the bite of great beasts; and (Serm. lvi.) a hill of sand, though composed of tiny grains, will crush a man as surely as the same weight of lead. Little drops (Serm. lviii.) make the river, and little leaks sink the ship; wherefore, he urges, little things must not be despised. 'Men have usually,' says Sedgwick in his Anatomy of Secret Sins, 'been first wading in lesser sins who are now swimming in great transgressions.' It is in the little things of evil that temptation has its greatest strength. The snowflake is little and not to be accounted of, but from its multitudinous accumulation results the dread power of the avalanche. Satan often seems to act as it is said Pompey did, when he could not gain entrance to a city. He persuaded the citizens to admit a few of his weak and wounded soldiers, who, when they had become strong, opened the gates to his whole army. But if little things have such subtlety in temptation, they have likewise higher ministries. The Jews, in their Talmudical writings, have many parables illustrating how God by little things tries and proves men to see if they are fitted for greater things. They say, for example, that He tried David when keeping sheep in the wilderness, to see whether he would be worthy to rule over Israel, the sheep of his inheritance." (J.G. Pilkington, in n. 766 to Augustine's Confessions, 9:8)

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Cause Is The Lord's

"But it is a great part of your glory that the cause is not yours, but your Lord's whom you serve. And I doubt not but Christ will count it His honour to back His weak servant; and it were a shame for Him (with reverence to His holy name) that He should suffer Himself to be in the common of such a poor man as ye are, and that ye should give out for Him and not get in again. Write up your depursments for your Master Christ, and keep the account of what ye give out, whether name, credit, goods, or life, and suspend your reckoning till nigh the evening; and remember that a poor weak servant of Christ wrote it to you, that ye shall have Christ, a King, caution for your incomes and all your losses. Reckon not from the forenoon. Take the Word of God for your warrant; and for Christ's act of cautionary, howbeit body, life, and goods go for Christ your Lord, and though ye should lose the head for Him, yet 'there shall not one hair of your head perish; in patience, therefore, possess your soul.' [Luke 21:18-19]…He who was dead and is alive will plead your cause, and will look attentively upon the process from the beginning to the end, and the Spirit of glory shall rest upon you." (Samuel Rutherford, Letters Of Samuel Rutherford [Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2012], 133-34)