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Choice Gleanings

Arch Alexander Picture
April 2012

  from Archibald Alexander

Archibald Alexander (1772-1851), an American minister from Virginia, was the first professor of Princeton Seminary. He was distinguished for his simple, earnest piety and modesty, as well as his wide learning.

Referring to someone who sought him out to speak to him of Christ
He then represented Christ as an Advocate before the throne of God, ready to undertake my cause, and able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. A new view opened before me at this moment. I did feel that I needed a Saviour, and I knew Christ as an Advocate was able to save me.

From his inauguration address as professor of the seminary
How delightful it must be to sit as a disciple at the feet of Jesus, and with a child-like docility imbibe the precious instruction from his Word and Spirit! … When at times it pleases God to shine upon his Word, whilst the believer reads its sacred contents, what a divine glory illuminates the holy page! What wonders do his opened eyes behold in the cross! He seems to be translated into a new world, and is ready to exclaim, ‘I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee’ …  O! Could the pious reader of the Scriptures constantly retain these spiritual views and these holy impressions, heaven would be begun …  But whilst we are on our pilgrimage to this promised land, the Scriptures will be ‘a light to our feet and a lamp to our paths’. They will answer the same purpose to us which the pillar of cloud and of fire did to the Israelites. They will guide us in the right way through all our journey. Let us, then, be persuaded diligently ‘to search the Scriptures’.

Two snippets
We regard the missionary cause as the greatest beneath the sun.
There are few truths of which I have a more unwavering conviction, than that the sheep of Christ, for whom he laid down his life, shall never perish.

On the new birth
There is no more important event which occurs in our world than the new birth of an immortal soul. Heirs to titles and estates, to kingdoms and empires, are frequently born, and such events are blazoned with imposing pomp, and celebrated by poets and orators; but what are all these honours and possessions but the gewgaws [gaudy playthings] of children, when compared with the inheritance and glory to which every child of God is born an heir! But this being a birth from above, and all the blessings and privileges of the young heir, of a hidden and spiritual nature, the world around cannot be expected to take a lively interest in the event. It is with the children of God as with the divine Saviour; ‘the world knoweth them not, as it knew him not’.

On spiritual warfare
The Christian is a soldier and must expect to encounter enemies, and to engage in many a severe conflict … The enemies of the Christian have been commonly divided into three classes, the world, the flesh, and the devil: but though these may be conceived of, and spoken of, separately, they resist the Christian soldier by their combined powers. The devil is the agent, the world furnishes the bait or the object of temptation, and the flesh, or our own corrupt nature, is the subject on which the temptation operates.