Tuesday, September 30, 2014

William Bridge on Imputation

“When the sins of believers were laid on him, then he did make full satisfaction unto God the Father, and divine justice for all our sins. This is a bottom of much comfort. For if the Lord Jesus Christ our Surety had not satisfied to the utmost farthing, our great Creditor, God the Father, for all our debts, God the Father might come upon us the debtors. But our Surety, the Lord Christ, hath given full satisfaction unto God the Father, that no more demands can be made upon us. And indeed else, how could our Surety ever have come out of prison: he was under arrest, he was in the jail, in the grave: the Father, the great Creditor lets him out; and did not only let him out, but the Lord Jesus Christ, he goes into heaven, and sits down there at the right hand of the Father; surely, if the Creditor had not been satisfied, the Surety should never have been released out of prison…When the Lord Jesus Christ offered up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father, and had our sins laid upon him, he did give more perfect satisfaction unto divine justice for our sins, than if you, and I, and all of us had been damned in hell unto all eternity.” 

The Works of the Rev. William Bridge, Volume 1

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Daniel Rogers, On Marriage-Love

“Lastly, this point must be exhortation to couples, to practice and discharge faithfully, this joint duty of marriage-love, each to the other. Wheresoever thou art, whithersoever thou goest, whatsoever thou dost, remember thou carriest about thee a precious pearl, look to it, prize it and preserve it, as thy life. There be sundry motives to press this upon willing couples, as hammers to drive this nail home to the head: and indeed I may say some of it, as he once said, of one, an honest man need not, a dishonest man will not be warned: the general motive to both husband and wife, is God’s charge to them: live and love. Both of you think thus, he bids it who better knows the use of it, the danger of the contrary, than such silly ones as we. Commands of God are solemn things, especially such as serve for a trench, for a fortress, a fence to hedge in an ordinance. He that dares violate it, shall pay for it sweetly. Therefore, set your heart to obey this rule, and say it’s life or death: It’s the crutch of your lame limbs, if that fail you must fall, if the shores break, the house ruins.”

Daniel Rogers, Matrimonial Honour

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mutual Religious Devotion Is The Key To A Successful Marriage - Daniel Rogers

It may be demanded, wherein this art and skill consists, of saving this honor of marriage so unstained? The answer is, it stands in two sorts of duties; whereof, the former sort, concerns both husband and wife jointly and undividedly to practice: The latter concerns each of them in several, the husband apart, and the wife apart. Let us begin with the former.

Those duties which concern both equally are four: First, jointness in religion; mutual love; like loyal chastity; and suitable consent. Touching the first of religion: my meaning is, that, as they are entered already with a religious spirit into their marriage, so they must continue: not only to be religious still, but to cleave mutually together in the practice of all such means of worship, and duties of both tables, as concerns them; I say, in the parts of religious conversation to God. More plainly, first that they be joint in worship of God publicly, both ordinarily upon the Sabbath (and occasional at other times and seasons) as also extraordinary.

The Word must be heard by both jointly, Sacraments mutually received, prayers frequented, and all the worship attended. Secondly, family duties, concerning both themselves and their children, as reading of the Scriptures, conferring of them, prayer and thanksgiving: exercising those, whom God hath committed to their care, in the principles of Godliness, and the several duties of inferiors: the husband being the voice of God when they are together: touching which, more shall be said in the several offices belonging to the husband. If he be absent, and there be no man of better sufficiency to present, whom both of them allow of, then ought the wife to discharge the duty, as hereafter shall appear. Thirdly, and more especially those several duties of worship, which in private and apart from the other family do concern them: which although they ought to perform alone also, yet not always, but jointly and mutually: as to confer, read, pray, confess, and give thanks…

Let it be therefore exhortation to all good couples, to be mutual in all religious duties, ordinances, and service of God. This will strengthen the wheel of marriage, as the strong spokes in the cartwheel strengthen it from cracking and splitting. Live not like strangers to God: for so shall you never be inward with each other: your life will wax common and fulsome, past and spent out in a shadow and vanity, yea vexation of spirit: and at your death, you shall say, alas we never knew one another truly. I dare not snare you for setness of canonical hours, or for oftness of duty: I leave that to your own experience, who should best know each other’s wants, or at least your own to draw you to it. It is not meet families be made private to the privacy of their governors: it is the next way to make them despised: it’s best referring them to your own seasons: except yourselves be the whole family, for then the difference is taken away. I say, there may be secret cases wherein even each party may choose secrecy; in such, be wise, and power out your hearts to God, apart, as it’s like Rebecca did in the strife of her twins. There is a season for all things: and marriage secrets are tactedly to be kept. Therefore I say let this be the chief pearl of the marriage crown; search out all thy corruptions: make a register of all favors of God, which God hath granted to thee, and to thy wife in common; such as at the time of receiving, seemed most precious, and might ill have been spared: mark how God hath gone before thee and ordered thy conversation; consider how happily, and yet perhaps hardly you met in marriage: what sound love, and covenant the Lord bred at first in you: how they have since held firm; and although many things have come in to weaken them, yet they have not prevailed. Consider how your hearts are drawn daily to each other: calmeth your unquiet spirits, (which otherwise would not keep compass) so that you look not each upon the other with eyes of serpents, but of doves. Observe how Sabbaths and Sacraments are blessed, how your faith and peace grows, your fears decay, how your corruptions are purged; what dangers in body, state, children you avoid; and what sorrows, which cumber others, you are free from: also what success in your children’s tractableness, and towardness.

From: Matrimonial Honor, by Daniel Rogers

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

James Bannerman on the State's Duty to Defend Marriage

Marriage is one of those institutions which, although not of grace, but of nature, is yet adopted into the system of Christianity, and regulated by the rules which Christianity has laid down. The law of marriage has its origin in nature, and not in revelation; and yet the duties and rights connected with it, together with their exact nature and limits, are matters with which revelation deals. In so far as these involve moral or religious duties, we are to seek in the Bible for the code of law by which they are prescribed and determined. But marriage is, in another sense, a civil matter, coming under the province of the ordinary magistrate, and necessarily requiring to be dealt with in the way of civil enactment. There are civil rights intimately connected with it, in such a manner that the state cannot avoid the duty of legislating in regard to it, and regulating them by positive statutes and rules. In short, the institution of marriage is to be viewed in two lights, — either as a moral observance, falling to be regulated by the law of Scripture, or as a civil observance, falling to be regulated by the law of the state. And with this twofold character which it sustains, and this twofold legislation to which in every civilised and constituted society professing Christianity it is subjected, how, it may be asked, is a collision between the spiritual and the civil enactments on the subject — fraught, as it inevitably would be, with deadly consequence to the peace, if not the existence, of human society — to be avoided or prevented. If the state recognise the Bible as the Word of God, and the law of the Bible as the law of God, then it will take that law as the guiding principle for its own legislation, and make the enactments of the magistrate in regard to marriage coincident with the enactments of Scripture. But if the state do not recognise the Bible as the Word of God, there can be no security that its regulations shall not come into conflict with the regulations of Scripture as regards the institution of marriage, in such a manner as to put in peril not only the peace and purity of domestic life, but also through these the highest and holiest interests of human society. The ordinance of the family lies at the very foundation of civil society. It is the unit of combination around which the wider and more public relations of civil life associate themselves. Destroy or unhinge the domestic ordinances, unloose or unsettle the family bond, and no tie will be left holy enough or strong enough to bind up the broken and disjointed elements of human life. 

James Bannerman, The Church of Christ.

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