July 4

 

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.    Philippians 4:11

 

 

There are rocks and quicksands that faith must take the utmost care to avoid. (1.)  Watch for distracting cares (Phil. 4:6).  God who feeds the sparrow will provide.  (2.)  Watch carnal counsel, and do not trust inn man or fleshly help.  To pursue deliverance by unlawful means is to fish with a gold hook only to catch a gudgeon; it might preserve the body, but destroy the soul.  (3.)  Do not limit the Holy One of Israel to only one manner of deliverance.  Naaman wanted the prophet to wave a hand over the leper to heal him.  (4.)  Watch impatient fretting, murmuring, and quarrelling against God’s dispensation.  This was poor Jonah’s great stumble:  His anger, unto death for the withering of the gourd.  (5.)  Don’t doubt God’s love under sufferings.  God’s heart cannot be understood infallibly from his action.  Faith many times discovers love in God’s heart when it sees nothing but frowns on his forehead.  The ballast of faith runs in a different current than these.  It runs in the current of contentment (Phil. 4:11) and of humility.  Humility steadies the soul and makes it ride out the storm.  Pride swells the heart and makes it unable to bear any burden laid upon it.  Faith also runs in the current of heavenly mindedness.  It savours, and sets its affection on things above.  A faith infected with heavenly mindedness flies high and looks beyond the stars.  It only needs a little of the dregs of earth to pass its worldly pilgrimage.  Faith looks for the hand of heaven in the events of life.  It looks beyond to the heart of God.  ‘The Lord took away’ said Job.  God always acts from love, and the saints’ good is always the end of his dispensations.  Faith’s heart is upon future glory.  Christ went from a cross to paradise; so do Christians.  The cross today, the crown of life tomorrow. (James 1:12).

 

Biblical Theology

 

Lovers of theology, and particularly of the Puritans, will welcome this English translation of John Owen’s Latin writings. The major portion of this volume is a history of theology from Adam to Christ. Owen characterizes evangelical theology as a gift of the Holy Spirit generating faith in Christ, holiness through Christ, and worship of Christ.

 

Appendixed to this important work is Owen’s Defense of Scripture against Modern Fanaticism, which is a defense of the authority and proper interpretation of the Bible against the subjectivism of his day.

 

“Published in Latin in 1661 as a contribution to international Reformed scholarship, this treatise draws on a very wide range of learning. The final part, in particular, where Owen characterizes evangelical theology as a gift of the Holy Spirit generating faith in Christ, holiness through Christ, and worship of Christ, is pure gold. To have it now – at last! – in English is a great boon. Those with a taste for Owen, or for theology, or (best of all) for both, will read this Puritan proto-Biblical Theology with joy.”

– J.I. Packer

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