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"Let us never be ashamed to maintain that no Government can expect to prosper which refuses to recognise religion, which deals with its subjects as if they had no souls, and cares not whether they serve God, or Baal, or no God at all." J. C. Ryle

Expository Comments on John 18:36

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856).

"A Christian not possessing foreknowledge can only pray for guidance and direction as to the steps of his life and the ways and times of his actions; and having prayed, then make the best use of his judgment, trusting that a faithful God will not let him make mistakes." J. C. Ryle

Technical Notes on John Chapter 7

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856).

"A man enjoys the greatest peace of mind when he has once settled himself in a firm and steadfast belief in God's providence, and an absolute dependence upon his design and will." Quesnel

Technical Notes on John Chapter 8

Quoted by J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856).

"Unless government has the right to the highest form of punishment, its basic authority is questionable and insufficient to protect properly those whom it governs." Charles Caldwell Ryrie

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Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today (1965).

"We will rest easy when we resolve that whatever pleases God shall please us." Matthew Henry

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Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (1706), at Prov. 16:3.

"God's ways are not like men's ways. To men, former favors are arguments why they should do no more; but to God, they are motives for the adding of new ones." Matthew Poole

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Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Whole Bible (1685), at Gen. 18:18.

"We must not judge of Christ's love to us by his mere external dispensations of providence, nor judge that he does not love us because he does not presently come to our help at our time, and in such ways and methods as we think reasonable." Matthew Poole

Technical Notes on John Chapter 9

Quoted by J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856). Original source, comments on John 8:6 by Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, Vol. III.

"Let us remember that our principles, good and evil, are exemplified in the most trivial transactions, and gather strength from the slightest, as well as from the most important, exercise." Charles Bridges

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Charles Bridges, A Commentary on Proverbs (1846), at Prov. 14:5.

"Firmly believing that my times are in God's hand, I here submit myself and all my affairs for the ensuing year to the wise and gracious disposal of the divine providence. Whether God appoint for me health or sickness, peace or trouble, comforts or crosses, life or death, his holy will be done." Matthew Henry

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
January 1

Quoted in his biography, The Life of Matthew Henry by J. B. Williams (1828).

"When a man can thank and praise, he has learned the lesson as to what true worship is." H. C. Leupold

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H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (1969), at Psalm 50.

" 'Longsuffering' endures the injuries of others and 'kindness' pays them back only with good deeds." Rev. John MacArthur, commenting on 1 Cor. 13:4

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Radio broadcast of "Grace to You," February 22, 2010

"A humble saint likes that condition which God sees best for him. A proud man complains that he has no more; a humble man wonders that he has so much." Thomas Watson

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
January 11

Thomas Watson, The Godly Man's Picture.

In Matthew 1:20-21 an angel appears to Joseph, assuring him that he should go ahead with his marriage to Mary and telling him what to name the new child. In commenting on this, Matthew Henry gives some very practical advice when it comes to discerning the Lord's will for ourselves: "Extraordinary direction like this [from an angel] we are not now to expect, but God has still ways of making known his mind in doubtful cases: by hints of providence, debates of conscience, and advice of faithful friends. By each of these, applying the general rules of the written word, we should, therefore, in all the steps of our life...take direction from God, and we shall find it safe and comfortable to do as he bids us." Matthew Henry

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Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (1706), at Matthew 1:20-21.

"To anyone who aims at having clear thoughts and well-based beliefs, nothing is more helpful than adverse criticism." Sir Robert Anderson

Chapter 9

Sir Robert Anderson, The Silence of God, chapter 9 (1897; Kregel reprint, 1952).

"Psalm 139:17: How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God. How vast is the sum of them. Perish the thought that God's notice of us consists of occasional bits of attention in a passing mood!" H. C. Leupold

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H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (1969), at Psalm 139.

"The possession of an independent will is man's proud but perilous boast. His duty and safety and happiness alike demand that this will shall be subordinated to the will of God, and all revolt against the Divine will is sin." Sir Robert Anderson

Chapter 11

Sir Robert Anderson, The Silence of God, chapter 11 (1897; Kregel reprint, 1952).

"Let us learn that no case is too desperate for prayer, and perseverance will surely find at last that our Lord delights to be gracious." G. A. Chadwick

"The Children and the Dogs"

G. A. Chadwick, The Gospel According to St. Mark, at Mark 7:24-30 (1891).

"If it were a glorious expression of the Divine justice in the days of old to punish guilty nations, why is it to be thought that God is now weary of exhibiting such specimens of the excellency of his administration?" George Lawson

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
March 5

George Lawson, one of three sermons from "The Divine Agency in War and Revolution" (1810).

"The care of Salem, or Zion, lies at the bottom of all God's powerful actings and workings among the sons of men. Every mighty work of God throughout the world may be prefaced with these two verses. The whole course of affairs in the world is steered by Providence in reference to the good of Salem [Jerusalem]." John Owen, commenting on Ps. 76:2,3

Selections from The Treasury of David, Part VI: Psalms 76-90

Quoted by Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David (1885).

"I say, that if there be such a thing as gratitude in the heart of man, it is the duty of all Gentile Christians to take special interest in the work of doing good to the Jews." J. C. Ryle

"Scattered Israel to Be Regathered"

J. C. Ryle, Present Events and Present Duties (1867), Sermon 5

"Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces." Matthew Henry

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Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (1706), at Job 8:1-7.

"It becomes the wisdom of God so to order it that things of great value and importance should not be obtained without great labor and diligence." Jonathan Edwards

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
January 12

Jonathan Edwards, The Manner in which the Salvation of the Soul is to be Sought, a pastoral sermon on Gen. 6:22.

"We are unhappily prone to be most positive when we have least warrant for our assertions, simply because our pride whispers that our credit for discernment is at stake, and that having made statements mainly on the authority of our own judgment, we are specially bound to defend them." J. C. Ryle

Sermon 6: "The Reading Which Is Blessed"

J. C. Ryle, Coming Events and Present Duties (1867).

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight" (Phil. 1:9). Concerning "depth of insight": "Love...should be judicious. This keen the ability of mind and heart to separate not only the good from the bad, but also the important from the unimportant...A person who possesses love but lacks discernment may reveal a great...enthusiasm. He may donate to all kinds of causes. His motives may be worthy and his intentions honorable, yet [without discernment] he may be doing more harm than good...[and] may at times be misled doctrinally." William Hendriksen

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William Hendriksen, Exposition of Philippians (1962).

"It is God's method to reveal to us by degrees the depths of our corruption; were he to do it all at once, we should be liable to fall into despair." E. W. Hengstenberg

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E. W. Hengstenberg, "The Book of Job" in Commentary on Ecclesiastes with Other Treatises (1869).

"God uses the nations with the absolute control that a man uses a rod or a staff. They are in his hands, and He employs them to accomplish his purposes. He breaks them in pieces as a potter's vessel, or He exalts them to greatness, according to his good pleasure." Charles Hodge


Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3 vols., I:588.

"It is generally conceded that the cement which holds men together in groups and nations is what we call a common culture, and the very core of such a culture is found in language." Alva J. McClain

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Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (1959).

"It is a kindness to ourselves and contributes to the repose of our own minds to extenuate and excuse the injuries and affronts that we receive, instead of aggravating them and making the worst of them, as we are apt to do." Matthew Henry

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
February 1

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (1706), at Prov. 12:16.

"Private prayer is the test of our sincerity, the index to our spirituality, the principle means of growing in grace. It is the one thing, above all others, that Satan seeks to prevent, for he knows full well that if he can succeed at this point, the Christian will fail at every other." Arthur W. Pink, commenting on Matt. 6:6

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
January 2

Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount.

"The person who merely skims the Book of God will not profit from it. We must dig and mine until we obtain the treasure." Charles Spurgeon

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
January 15

Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening.

"When other vices are corrected by age or succession of time, or when they at least do not possess the entire man, the vice of the tongue continues to spread and prevail over every part of life." John Calvin

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
May 26

Calvin's Commentary, at James 3:1,2.

"We learn, firstly, from these verses, how honorable in the sight of Christ is the estate of matrimony. . .it is a state which ought never to be spoken of with levity or regarded with disrespect. . .Society is never in a healthy condition, and true religion never flourishes in that land where the marriage tie is lightly esteemed." J. C. Ryle, commenting on John 2:1-11

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
August 11

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856).

"Last of all, when actions have been bridled and the tongue taught the law of truth, comes the full recognition that the work is not done till the silent longing of a hungry heart is stilled, and that unselfish love of our neighbour is only perfect when we can rejoice in his good and wish none of it for ourselves." Alexander Maclaren, commenting on Exod. 20:12-21

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Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture (1910).

"The worst of all afflictions is a wasted affliction, and they are all wasted unless they teach us more of the reality and the blessedness of the love of Jesus Christ." Alexander Maclaren, commenting on Rom. 8:37

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Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture (1910).

"The storms that agitate the nations are the chariot in which he rides to take possession of the earth and make it an abode of righteousness and peace." William Binnie

Psalms 91-105

Cited by Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 98:9, The Treasury of David (1885).

"It is easy to forget that 'we the people' in the long run must always pay for whatever the government does for us. Only fools suppose that by committing a matter to the government, they can get it done for nothing. Still worse, human government not only makes the people pay for everything done for them, but it always makes them pay more than it should cost." Alva J. McClain

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Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (1968).

"The great sin of the nations--all will be involved in it in the time of Jacob's trouble (Jer. 30:7)--is that against Israel. Little do the nations realize how they incur the wrath of God when they lay violent hands upon His heritage and the plant of His choosing. He will not suffer it always." Charles L. Feinberg, commenting on Joel

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Charles L. Feinberg, The Minor Prophets (1976).

"It is impossible to read the Old Testament with any degree of understanding without being struck very early in the record with the fact that God had willingly and sovereignly entered into certain binding relationships with Israel....The relationship was and is inward, sacred, indissoluble." Charles L. Feinberg, commenting on Hosea 3

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Charles L. Feinberg, The Minor Prophets (1976).

"Let us all seek to be assured of our state; let us not be content with a faint hope, or wish that we may be saved in the day of Christ; but let us endeavour after that blessed assurance by which Paul was animated, when he said, 'Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of glory, which the Lord the righteous Judge will give unto me, and not unto me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.'" Alexander McCaul

"Prayer for the Second Advent"

Alexander McCaul Plain Sermons On Subjects Practical and Prophetic (1840).

"Those who would be truly used of God in public ministry should take careful note that it was not superb organization, a 'snappy' program, beautiful music or sparkling entertainment, provided by Paul and Barnabas, that had such an effect upon their audience. It was the power of their message." Cornelius R. Stam

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Cornelius R. Stam on Acts 14:1, Acts Dispensationally Considered, Vol. II (1955).

"He who despises holiness and neglects good works, under the vain pretense of giving honor to justification by faith, shows plainly that he has not the mind of Christ." J. C. Ryle

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
October 12

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856).

"We cannot substitute fellowship groups, relational theology, transactional therapy, topical seminars, 'what-do-you-think' (pooled ignorance) Bible study groups, rugged Western individualistic relevancy statements about the Bible, or alleged Spirit-derived interpretations for the abiding truth as sent from the hands of a loving and speaking God and known to us by the verbal-intentions of the prophets and apostles." Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.

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Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "The Fallacy of Equating Meaning with the Reader's Understanding," Trinity Journal 6 (1977):190-93.

"Every effort to give the habits of sin the appearance of normality betrays something of the frenzy of an uneasy conscience." Reinhold Niebuhr

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Reinhold Niebuhr, The Nature and Destiny of Man, 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964).

"In neither conquest nor pompous display is the true greatness of a king, but in numerous people dwelling happily together." Robert D. Culver, commenting on Proverbs 14:28

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Robert D. Culver, Toward a Biblical View of Civil Government (1974).

"The government shutdown has led to many noisy conversations that have largely involved finger-pointing and hang-wringing over how broken both our economy and our system of government seem to be. In situations like this, when we seem divided, when so many have expressed a lack of trust in elected officials, we need to be reminded that God is in control – and we must put our ultimate trust in Him." Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

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Newsletter, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (10-10-2013).

"I'm struck by Paul's description of a society experiencing judicial abandonment, viz., as one that flaunts wrath-evoking attitudes and actions (Rom. 1:18-32). This is contemporary America isn't it? Our society affirms, applauds, and advocates God-defying lifestyles. Surely this indicates His wrath is already on us. Without repentance it will only worsen." Dr. Charley Chase, Chaplain, First Presbyterian Day School, Macon, Georgia

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Personal communication to me.

"There is a sense also in which present choices fix character; a time is coming when change will be impossible. Present choices will become permanent in character." John F. Walvoord

Cited in "A Short Study on the Book of Revelation"
Part IV: Chapter 22

John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ: A Commentary (1966).

"That God has been providentially involved in the historically unique preservation of the people of Israel up to this point is difficult to deny. That he has done so because Israel yet has a role to play in his plan for the world seems most reasonable in the light of the prophetic Scriptures." Robert L. Saucy

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Robert L. Saucy, "A Rationale for the Future of Israel," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 28 (December 1985).

"Repentance is more than saying, 'I'm sorry,' or asking forgiveness. Repentance means being sorry enough to change. It means being willing to make amends to the person we've offended. Good intentions are only part of the process. We must agree to 'do righteousness' as well." Mitch Glaser, President, Chosen People Ministries

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Mitch and Zhava Glaser, The Fall Feasts of Israel (1987). Posted 12-15-2013.

But his delight is in the law of Yahweh, and in His law does he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2). "In our verse, the deliberate echo of the charge to Joshua reminds the man of action that the call to think hard about the will of God is not merely for the recluse, but is the secret of achieving anything worthwhile." Derek Kidner

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Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary on Books I and II of the Psalms (1973). Posted 12-22-2013.

"It is an inexpressible comfort in these days of upheaval and turmoil to know that all events, great and small, are embraced in God's sovereign providence. Present history is not moving toward chaos. It is moving in the grand drama of God's plan and purpose to the accomplishment of His holy designs and to the vindication of His glory." John Murray

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John Murray, late professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, cited by Iain Murray in his short biography, John Murray (Banner of Truth Trust, 1975). Posted 1-23-2014.

"Ill-temper is incompatible with living faith in the providence and government of God. Faith is sure that no evil, either great or small, from the slightest mishap in everyday life to the most terrible calamity, can befall us without the will of God." Theodor Zahn

"He Doeth All Things Well"

Theodor Zahn Bread and Salt from the Word of God (1905).

"This hearing of the Word of God, hearing what the Lord of the church wants to say to his church in its actual situation, is the primary task of the church, the basic human action in worship. It is the task not just of the clergy but of the people of God as a whole...and, as a task of tremendous urgency, is meant to be engaged in eagerly, seriously, and resolutely....[Scripture reading is] not a time for relaxation between the more serious activities of hymns and anthems, as is sometimes foolishly imagined, but the time for the greatest attentiveness....If a congregation is serious about its business of hearing the Word of God, it will tend to prefer the lessons to represent a consecutive reading of the Bible rather than selection of the minister's favorite passages, and the sermon texts similarly to be determined by something other than the preacher's whim (for instance, the preacher might well preach through a book of the Bible, as was Calvin's practice...). The custom...of the congregation standing during the reading of the sermon-text can be a salutary reminder of the fact that here above all the church expects to hear the voice of its Lord and therefore here above all its full attention is required." C. E. B. Cranfield

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C. E. B. Cranfield, "Divine and Human Action: The Biblical Concept of Worship," Interpretation 12 (October 1958):387-98. Posted 2-23-2014.

"The world will deify any leader who will give to the people enough 'bread and circuses,' while making no high moral and spiritual demands upon them. But they will reject the true God if He asks them to receive what they do not want." Alva J. McClain

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Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (1968).

"In a world like this...where the terrorist threat against the Jewish state and Jewish people continues, it would be easy for those who love lose heart. But those of us who see the birth of the modern state of Israel as a miracle--who recognize not just human courage...but also the hand of God at work--know better than to lose heart." Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

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Newsletter, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (5-1-2014).

"Weak and imperfect men shall, notwithstanding their frailties and defects, be received as having pleased God if they have done their utmost to please Him." William Law

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
June 17

William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.

"Though God perfectly knows all our wants and has determined beforehand what mercies to grant, yet he has also determined to make us sensible of our need of mercy and humbly to ask for it before he bestows it upon us." Joel Baker

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
March 10

Joel Baker, A Sermon (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1811)

" 'All your anxiety'--whether for the body or the soul, whether for this life or for that which is to come--all of it 'cast upon Him,' and know that in no other way can you please Him so well. You will thus best manifest your humility and that filial confidence which is His due: "for He cares for you." John Lillie, commenting on 1 Peter 5:7

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John Lillie, Lectures on the First and Second Epistles of Peter (1869). Posted 8-22-2014.

"He who has learned to trust his soul with God, and felt it safe in his hand, can trust Him with all else." John Ker

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John Ker, Sermons (Second Series, 1888). Posted 10-6-2014.

"Take notice of your disposition in hoarding up and keeping wealth, and your reluctance to spend it; for covetousness consists as much (if not more) in keeping as in getting." William Gouge

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
January 28

William Gouge, Commentary on Hebrews.

"Let me caution you, brethren, against the ignorant frivolity which, professing to reverence the Scriptures of the New Testament, speaks slightingly of those of the Old. As well may you sever the light of the meridian from its dawn; or, cutting a sunbeam in two, retain only the nearer portion. The New Testament itself refuses to accept any such partial and exclusive homage. Its very highest glory is, that from first to last it is but the unfolding of the law and the prophets. 'The Spirit of Christ' was 'in them,' and spake by them." John Lillie

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John Lillie, Lectures on the First and Second Epistles of Peter (1869). Posted 12-27-2014.

Note: You can read two excerpts from John Lillie's commentaries on these pages:

2 Peter 1:20, 21 from his commentary of 1 and 2 Peter.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 from his commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

"The best security for upright and correct official conduct is uprightness of private character. There never can be full confidence in a government of which the conductors, supreme and subordinate, are in their private deportment destitute of principle. Principle in the personal character will alone resist temptation to malversation [improper or corrupt behavior] in public office." Ralph Wardlaw, commenting on Prov. 16:12

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Ralph Wardlaw, Lectures on the Book of Proverbs, J. S. Wardlaw, gen. ed., vol. II, 2nd ed., 1869. Posted 1-9-2015.

"Though we may slumber, and forget, and grow careless in intercession, never in the almost two thousand years that have passed since He went up into the heavenlies, has He for one moment ceased to make intercession for His people and His Kingdom. If Jesus the Son of God is living in the glory in ceaseless intercession, surely we poor earthlings dare not belittle nor disobey His call to us to live with Him the life of prayer." James McConkey

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James McConkey, Prayer (1869). Posted 2-17-2015.

"You have heard people say, "The world owes me a living, and I mean to have it." A falsehood! The world owes no man a living. It is only lazy, indolent, worthless creatures that talk in that way. It is every man's duty to do two things: [first], to earn a livelihood; [second], to produce in some way or other that is honest, and by some kind of labor, what he consumes--to produce as much at least as will supply his own needs. He who does not, who consumes but earns nothing, is a parasite on the community and ought to be shaken off, and compelled to work if he is able, or starve." Joseph King

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
August 19

Sermons by the Late Joseph King (1893). Posted 3-20-2015

"Brethren, the entire procedure of Jehovah toward His ancient people was a manifestation of His character. His delight was in giving and fulfilling promises, not in denouncing and executing threathenings; in blessing, not in cursing; in returning, not in forsaking; in saving, not in destroying." Ralph Wardlaw

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Ralph Wardlaw, Lectures on the Prophecies of Zechariah (1869). Posted 5-6-2015.

"What can be the design of God in what I must still call the wonderful preservation of this people [the Jews] in separation from all the nations among which they have, for eighteen hundred years, been scattered? . . . Why, when so many other tribes have in much shorter periods been lost beyond all distinction among the nations by whom they have been overcome, has this nation, "scattered and peeled" in so extraordinary a degree, still maintained, and maintained everywhere, its distinct existence? . . . Is not this to be interpreted as a sign of God's purpose, not only to turn them individually to Himself, but to preserve them also nationally, and to fulfil to them the temporal as well as the spiritual promises?" Ralph Wardlaw (1869)

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Ralph Wardlaw, Lectures on the Prophecies of Zechariah (1869). Posted 5-27-2015.

"We often think it too much boldness to approach God. What! such sinners as we to come for pardon! we shall be denied. This is a sinful modesty. Did we come in our own name, it would indeed be presumption; but Christ intercedes for us in the force and efficacy of his own blood; therefore, now to be afraid to come to God in prayer would be a dishonor to Christ's intercession." Joseph Samuel C. F. Frey (1837)

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Joseph Samuel C. F. Frey, Joseph and Benjamin: A Series of Letters on the Controversy between Jews and Christians, vol. II (1837). Posted 7-2-2015.

"When Jehovah says, 'FEAR NOT,' he, in almost every instance, accompanies the injunction with a reason: and we may be sure, that a divinely assigned reason cannot fail to be a satisfactory one. For instance, 'Fear not; for I am with thee.' Can there be a better reason for banishing fear than that? Again, 'Fear not; for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.' Again, 'He it is that shall go with thee: he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; fear not nor be discouraged.' Who could fear, believing this?" Ralph Wardlaw (1869)

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Ralph Wardlaw, Lectures on the Prophecies of Zechariah (1869). Posted 9-29-2015.

"Chariots pulled by horses passed off the scene centuries ago. But just like those ancient foes of David and Israel, it is very natural and tempting for us to place our confidence and hope in the things we can see, feel, and measure. While we certainly need to trust and work with other people who care about us, let us be sure that our ultimate hope and expectation are in God." Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, commenting on Psalm 20

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Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, "Psalms of Comfort and Hope," International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Posted 11-28-2015.

"Many a nation has been blest because they favoured Zion; but who has ever prospered that injured her? He who has touched her has touched the apple of God's eye....Let us look on Israel as God looks on her." Horatius Bonar

Chapter XIII: "Israel"

Horatius Bonar, Prophetical Landmarks (1847). Posted 12-25-2015

"Believe me, my brethren, the great obstacle in the way of Jewish conversion is not the prejudice nor the obstinacy of the Jewish people, but the past oppression and the present apathy of the Christian church. Jews have learned from history to regard Christians as their natural enemies. Oh, let us endeavour to convince them that we are their friends and their brethren. Let us do all that we can ourselves to promote their temporal and eternal welfare; and let us pray to the God of their fathers that he would give them repentance and remission of sins, and put it into the hearts of His church to look with compassion upon their misery, and vigorously to employ the means which He has appointed for their conversion and restoration to his favour." Alexander McCaul

Sermon 14: "Our Duty Toward the Jewish People."

Alexander McCaul, Plain Sermons on Subjects Practical and Prophetic (1840). Posted 2-8-2016

"Vice of all kind, but vice most particularly of the licentious kind, is astonishingly infectious. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. A small number of persons, addicted to them and allowed to practice them with impunity or encouragement, will spread them through the whole mass." William Paley

Sermon XXIX: "The Destruction of the Canaanites."

William Paley, Sermons on Several Subjects (1808). Posted 3-12-2016

"Any possession, or pursuit, or amusement, or enjoyment--however useful, however agreeable I may find it--must be rejected and renounced forever if it be to me, though it may not be to others, a necessary source of temptation or occasion of sin." Prof. John Brown, commenting on Matt. 5:29

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John Brown, Discourses and Sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ (1854). Posted 5-22-2016.

"One leading object of the offering of this prayer was, that not only the interests of his disciples should be secured, but that they should be made aware of this, [in order] that they might see how strong a hold they had of his affections, and might be assured that, wherever he might be, all his influence with his Father would be employed for their advantage." Prof. John Brown, commenting on the Lord's prayer, John 17

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John Brown, An Exposition of our Lord's Intercessory Prayer (1866). Posted 6-21-2016.

"I charge every reader of this address to remember the special blessing which God has promised to all who care for Israel. Whatever a sneering world may say, the Jews are a people 'beloved for their fathers' sake.' Of Jerusalem it is written, 'They shall prosper who love thee' (Ps. 122:6). Of Israel it is written, 'Blessed is he who blesses thee, and cursed is he who curses thee' (Num. 24:9)...Is there anyone that desires God's special blessing? Then let him labor in the cause of Israel, and he shall not fail to find it." J. C. Ryle

Sermon 5: "Scattered Israel to be Regathered"

J. C. Ryle, Coming Events and Present Duties: Being Miscellaneous Sermons on Prophetical Subjects (1867). Posted 7-15-2016

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"And will not this national revival of Israel and Judah afford the brightest illustration of the divine perfections, and evince to an adoring world, that 'the gifts and calling of God are without repentance?' A more important assertion, indeed, than this does not stand recorded on the hallowed page of Scripture. It is, in truth, the charter of human felicity; for, if the favour of God ultimately depended on any other than on his own purpose of grace, would not the hope of its enjoyment die away from the earth?" Gerard T. Noel

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Gerard T. Noel, Brief Enquiry into the Prospects of the Church of Christ in Connexion with the Second Advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1828). Posted 9-30-2016.

"The worst enemies of the truth and of the church are professed friends within her own pale--theological professors and preachers, at heart infidels, doing what they can to undermine the foundations of faith, to unsettle the canon of Scripture and the interpretation thereof." Francis Sampson

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Francis Sampson, Critical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1856). Posted 11-24-2016.

"Free agency is the power to decide according to our character; ability is the power to change our character by a volition. The former, the Bible and consciousness affirm belongs to man in every condition of his being; the latter, the Bible and consciousness teach with equal explicitness does not belong to fallen man. The two things, therefore, ought not to be confounded." Charles Hodge

"Free Agency"

Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, Part II, Chapter IX (1873). Posted 1-7-2017.

See also the Charles Hodge page.

"The object of God's will is the display of his own glorious perfections, in order that the greatest happiness of his intelligent creatures may be promoted by leading them to admire and love this display." Thomas H. Gallaudet

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Thomas H. Gallaudet, Discourses on Various Points of Christian Faith and Practice (1818). Posted 2-7-2017.

"There is no peculiar sacredness in any place now as there was in the temple of old. But the exercises of the worship of God are themselves sacred, and ought to be solemn, in whatever place performed." Ralph Wardlaw

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Ralph Wardlaw, Lectures on the Book of Ecclesiastes (1822). Posted 3-18-2017.

"Is it not a delightful thought, Christian friends, that the ever-watchful eye of your heavenly Father is over all your concerns, and that His gracious and all-wise providence unceasingly superintends everything relating to your present and your future well being? Note the minute particularity of the divine regard to his people's interests: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matt. 10:30). God's eyes are the eyes of faithful love and vigilant care. They are not the eyes of keen scrutiny detecting guilt, but the eyes of tender kindness furnishing supply in need, guidance in perplexity, and protection in danger." Ralph Wardlaw on Proverbs 15:3

"Proverbs 15"

Ralph Wardlaw, Lectures on the Book of Proverbs, Vol. II (1869). Posted 5-28-2017.

"There never can be full confidence in a government in which its officers are destitute of principle in their private deportment. Principle in personal character will alone resist temptation to corrupt behavior in public office." Ralph Wardlaw on Proverbs 16:12

"Proverbs 16"

Ralph Wardlaw, Lectures on the Book of Proverbs, Vol. II (1869). Posted 5-28-2017.

"Magistrates and nations are bound to make the Bible their standard of principle and action; and every principle they embrace and every act they do, which is repugnant to this inspired rule, provokes the Almighty and exposes them to his wrath." Brown Emerson

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Brown Emerson, The Equity of God's Dealings with Nations (1812). Posted 3-18-2017.

"Let us take care that we have clear views of our Lord Jesus Christ's nature and person. It is a point of the deepest importance. We should settle it firmly in our minds that our Savior is perfect man as well as perfect God, and perfect God as well as perfect man. If we once lose sight of this great foundation truth, we may run into fearful heresies. The name Emmanuel takes in the whole mystery. Jesus is 'God with us.'" J. C. Ryle

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
December 21

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (1856). Posted 12-10-2017.

"There is no point in the life of a Christian at which he can do without the supply of God's grace; [and] none at which he can expect the supply if he be not cultivating the spirit and habit of prayer." Henry Melvill

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Henry Melvill, Sermons on Certain of the Less Prominent Facts and References in Sacred Story (1843). Posted 1-29-2018.

"Christians ought to know that God blesses them, not on the spur of the moment, not in consequence of any recent and sudden determination to do so, but in accordance with an everlasting intention. Nothing magnifies the grace of God more than his eternal purpose to exercise it. No consideration is better suited to promote both humility and gratitude. It fills the soul of the believer with wonder, love, and joy, that he should have been among the thoughts of God from eternity." William Nevins

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William Nevins, Select Remains of the Rev. William Nevins D.D. (1843). Posted 7-31-2018.

"There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ's sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only 'when we believe.' It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in Christian behavior may be. It is always on His 'blood and righteousness' alone that we can rest." Benjamin B. Warfield

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Benjamin B. Warfield, Perfectionism (compilation of articles reprinted from journals, 1931). Posted 8-26-2018.

"God's knowledge of our afflictions and adversities is more than theoretic; it is personal, warm, and compassionate. Whatever may befall us, God knows and cares as no one else can." A. W. Tozer

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
November 22

A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (1961). Posted 11-23-2018.

"Allow me now to share a timeless truth from Scripture that has sustained me in times of unpredictability. God said to Abraham, 'Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward' (Genesis 15:1). We can read this and know God who sustained us last year will once again faithfully guide and strengthen us in 2019. Acknowledging our relience on the Lord is most fitting in any season of the year. Clearly, the Bible also teaches us that times of uncertainty call us to declare our trust in God, who holds our times in His hands (Psalm 31:15)." The late Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

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Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Shoresh, February, 2019, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (2-12-2019).

"Man's idea of greatness is that of preeminence over his fellow man, in virtue of which all should be his servants. God's idea of greatness is that of lowly love, in virtue of which a man should be willing to be the servant of all." Horatius Bonar

Daily Devotions from the Classics:
April 12

Horatius Bonar, Family Sermons (1863). Posted 4-1-2019.

"Every student will see the advantage of studying the fulfilled before the unfulfilled, the easy before the obscure, the foreground before the background. He thus builds on a sure foundation, advancing from step to step, distinguishing the shadows from the substance, and detecting the main outlines of what is still future by the aid of his accurate study of the past." Robert Girdlestone

Robert Girdlestone, The Grammar of Prophecy

Robert Girdlestone, The Grammar of Prophecy (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1955; originally published by Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1901).

"'In thee [Abraham] shall all families of the earth be blessed' (Gen. 12:3). All the hard discipline of the centuries has had only one divine intention--the preparation of a nation [Israel] to be the channel of divine blessing to a world unable to solve its own problems. To see this clearly sweeps away all objections to the idea of a 'chosen nation.'" Alva J. McClain

A Short Study on the Book of Revelation
Chapter 20, page 25.

Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1974; originally published by Zondervan, 1959).

"A knowledge of Israel's history is important if one is to understand the message of the Old Testament. Both message and history are inseparably intertwined. This is especially true for the student who accepts the supernatural origin of the Bible, for then Israel's history is seen to be divinely ordained as preparatory for the coming of Christ. One cannot understand Him without knowing of those events which called for and led to His coming." Leon J. Wood

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Dr. Leon J. Wood, A Survey of Israel's History (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970). Posted 5-11-2020

"The worst evils of life are those which do not exist except in our imagination. If we had no troubles but real troubles, we should not have a tenth part of our present sorrows. We feel a thousand deaths in fearing one, but the Psalmist [23:4] was cured of the disease of fearing. 'I will fear no evil.'" Charles Spurgeon

Psalms 16-30

Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 23:4, The Treasury of David (1885). Posted 8-9-2020

"Dear friends, if you love Jesus, if the mind of Jesus is in you, you will love the Jewish people. You will understand something of that sorrow which Jesus felt. You will understand something of those tears which Jesus shed when He wept over Jerusalem. This is the foremost thing, the foundation of all missionary effort...The mission to the Jews is not to be regarded simply as one among many other missions. It is the first mission. In the mind of God it has a priority among all missions. The Gentiles are continually to remember that God has not forsaken His people and that God has not given up His old plan. After 'the times of the Gentiles' there will come a period when the kingdom shall be restored to Israel, and when all the nations shall walk in the favor of God." Adolph Saphir

Daily Devotions from the Classics: July 9

Adolph Saphir, Christ and Israel: Lectures on the Jews (1911). Posted 9-28-2020

"When God's anger is kindled, ours must be stifled. Such is the law of meekness, that whatsoever pleases God must not displease us." Matthew Henry

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Matthew Henry (1662-1714), A Discourse on Meekness and Quietness of Spirit (no date). Posted 1-20-2021

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