“Let me have one of the good solid Puritan volumes” by Charles Spurgeon

“God gave Elijah forty days’ meat at one meal. Do you, dear friends, ever get meals such as that?

I do, when I read certain books. No modern thought books give me no such meat as that. But let me have one of the good solid Puritan volumes that are so little prized nowadays, and my soul can feed upon that.

You do the same, and see whether you do not find food that will last not merely for forty days, but that will make you strong to walk before the Lord even unto the Mount of God, there to bless and adore Him forever and ever.

But, oh, the milk-and-water diet that is too often given in these times! Well may we cry, ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’

Oh, to be fed once more upon the doctrines of discriminating grace!

Oh, to be told continually of the love without a beginning, love without a change, love without an end!

Oh, to hear of an atonement that is an atonement, and that does indeed put away sin,—not the kind of atonement of which many talk today, which is all mist and cloud, and which accomplishes something or nothing according as men are pleased to let it!

We want again to have meat unto life eternal, to know the great truth of union to Christ, of being in Him, and so safe before the Lord, and made well-pleasing unto the Most High. God send us back this food!

Brothers and sisters, do not be satisfied until you get it. Turn from all other tables, and say, ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah? Where is that flesh that is meat indeed, and that blood which is drink indeed?’

Be content with none but Christ. Have no gospel but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. May God so satisfy the souls of His saints that they shall be able either to serve well or to suffer well!

We are only strong either in patience or in zeal as the Lord God of Elijah feeds us with the Bread which came down from heaven, the Bread of life, Christ Jesus Himself. Lord, evermore give us this Bread!”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Where Is the God of Elijah?,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (vol. 44; London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1898), 44: 547.

“They were great souls serving a great God” by J.I. Packer

“Maturity is a compound of wisdom, goodwill, resilience, and creativity. The Puritans exemplified maturity; we don’t.

We are spiritual dwarfs. A much-travelled leader, a native American (be it said), has declared that he finds North American Protestantism, man-centered, manipulative, success-oriented, self-indulgent and sentimental, as it blatantly is, to be 3,000 miles wide and half an inch deep.

The Puritans, by contrast, as a body were giants. They were great souls serving a great God. In them clear-headed passion and warm-hearted compassion combined.

Visionary and practical, idealistic and realistic too, goal-oriented and methodical, they were great believers, great hopers, great doers, and great sufferers.

But their sufferings, both sides of the ocean (in old England from the authorities and in New England from the elements), seasoned and ripened them till they gained a stature that was nothing short of heroic.

Ease and luxury, such as our affluence brings us today, do not make for maturity; hardship and struggle however do, and the Puritans’ battles against the spiritual and climatic wildernesses in which God set them produced a virility of character, undaunted and unsinkable, rising above discouragement and fears, for which the true precedents and models are men like Moses, and Nehemiah, and Peter after Pentecost, and the apostle Paul.

Spiritual warfare made the Puritans what they were. They accepted conflict as their calling, seeing themselves as their Lord’s soldier-pilgrims, just as in Bunyan’s allegory, and not expecting to be able to advance a single step without opposition of one sort or another.

Wrote John Geree, in his tract The Character of an Old English Puritane or Nonconformist (1646): ‘His whole life he accounted a warfare, wherein Christ was his captain, his arms, praiers and tears. The Crosse his Banner and his word [motto] Vincit qui patitur [he who suffers conquers].’

The Puritans lost, more or less, every public battle that they fought.”

–J.I. Packer, “Why We Need the Puritans,” A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1990), 22-23.

“These blessed servants of God” by J.C. Ryle

“Some believers are rivers of living water long after they die. They do good by their books and writings in every part of the world, long after the hands which held the pen are mouldering in the dust.

Such men were Bunyan, and Baxter, and Owen, and George Herbert, and Robert M’Cheyne. These blessed servants of God do more good probably by their books at this moment, than they did by their tongues when they were alive. ‘Being dead they yet speak.’ (Heb. 11:4.)”

–J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 387.

“I am His” by Thomas Brooks

“Jesus Christ is mine. I can with the greatest confidence and boldness affirm it. He is my Head, my Husband, my Lord, my Redeemer, my Justifier, my Saviour. And I am His. I am as sure that I am His, as I am sure that I live. I am His by purchase and I am His by conquest; I am His by donation and I am His by election; I am His by covenant and I am His by marriage; I am wholly His; I am peculiarly His; I am universally His; I am eternally His.”

–Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth, in The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Ed. Alexander B. Grosart (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1866), 2:320.

[HT: Of First Importance]

“I am an heir of heaven” by Thomas Brooks

“Once I was a slave but now I am a son; once I was dead but now I am alive; once I was darkness but now I am light in the Lord; once I was a child of wrath, an heir of hell, but now I am an heir of heaven; once I was Satan’s bond-servant but now I am God’s freeman; once I was under the spirit of bondage but now I am under the Spirit of adoption that seals up to me the remission of my sins, the justification of my person and the salvation of my soul.”

–Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth, in The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Ed. Alexander B. Grosart (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1866), 2:345.

[HT: Of First Importance]