Great Quotes

In paradise the Lord made a large grant to the sons of men in Adam; “Of all the trees in the garden thou shalt eat, save only the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” He reserved that one tree to himself, and but that one; he gave him of his bounty to eat of every one besides; and yet such was his itching humor, that of all others, fain would he be meddling there, till he brought ruin on his own head. In the gospel, all our grants are large; “All are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s: God spared not his own Son, but gave him up to death for us all;” nay more, “I am your God, and you are my people.” He thinks not much to give his Son, nor himself, to his people; there is but one thing he keeps to himself, Isaiah 43:8; “My glory will I not give to another, nor my praise to graven images;” all that the Lord reserves to himself; is but “the praise and glory of his own grace.” Oh! pilfer not that from God, which, when you have it, will do you no good in the world; and seeing he will have only this, do not grudge it him. It is not out of niggardliness that God keeps this to himself, for in Isaiah 42:6, you shall find that he is bountiful enough, for all that; “I will give thee for a covenant to the people, to open the blind eyes, and to bring the prisoners out of prison.” That will do us more good; and, that he may do us good, his own Son shall be given for a covenant; but “my glory, that shall not be given to another,” as it follows presently after. Oh! therefore, let not your performances, be they ever so exact, aspire so high, as to usurp that glory that is due to the Lord alone!

This seems to be a kind of paradox, that God should, from all eternity, look with eyes of love upon his people, and yet there should be a time in which there should be an alienation or enmity between God and them. For the reconciliation of this difference, you must know, it is one thing for God to recollect all future things that shall come in all the several times of the world, into one thought of his own; and it is another thing for these things to come to pass in their several times, according to their own nature. You must know, it is true, that in God’s eternal thoughts, according to the infinite vastness of his own comprehension, he did sum up, from first to last, all the occurrences and passages which in succession of time should come to pass. As for example: — he had at once in his eye man in his innocency, in his fall, and in his restoration by Christ; he had in his eye man committing sin against him from time to time; and, at the same instant, had in his eye Christ dying for these sins of men, and so satisfying his own justice for their transgressions. Now, because God had all things at once in his eye, which, in respect of their actual being, are in succession of time; therefore, it comes to pass, that God, from all eternity, had everlasting love unto his own people, though in time they do those actions which, in their own nature, are enmity against God. As God from all eternity had the present sins we now commit, in his eye, and at the same moment had the satisfaction in his eye; from hence it comes to pass, there was not a time in which God actually stood at enmity with our persons: but, in respect of the nature of things coming successively to pass, man’s condition may be considered as a condition of enmity; and again, it may be considered as a condition of reconciliation to God. That you and I were born in sin is true, and that this our being born in sin was a state of enmity against God, is as true; that in the fulness of time Christ came into the world, and then actually did bear our sins, by which God became reconciled unto us again, is also most certainly true. There is a great distance of time between sin committed, and that satisfaction actually made; but in respect of God’s eye looking upon all things at once, there is no distance of time between that enmity which sin did produce, and that reconciliation which the blood of Christ hath wrought, to take away this enmity. (Tobias Crisp, Christ Alone Exalted)

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