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Thomas Goodwin Picture
July 2012

  from Thomas Goodwin

Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680) was an outstanding Puritan minister. As well as being a pastor, he was one of the members of the Westminster Assembly and an advisor to Oliver Cromwell. His writings are extensive, running to twelve substantial volumes. He was a Christian of fervent piety.

The indwelling of Christ by faith … is to have Jesus Christ continually in one’s eye, a habitual sight of him. I call it so because a man actually does not always think of Christ; but as a man does not look up to the sun continually, yet he sees the light of it … So you should carry along and bear along in your eye the sight and knowledge of Christ, so that at least a presence of him accompanies you, which faith makes.

Now when Christ comes first out of the other world, from the dead, clothed with that heart and body which he was to wear in heaven, what message does he send first to them
[his disciples]?  We would all think that as they would not know him in his sufferings, so now he would be strange to them in his glory; or at least that his first words would be to berate them for their faithlessness and falsehood. But here is no such matter, for his first word concerning them is this, ‘Go tell my brethren …’ … ‘He is not ashamed to call them brethren’, though surely his brethren had been ashamed of him. For him to call them so when he is first entering into his glory argues the more love in him toward them.

A common error in the faith of Protestants is that, though they put some trust and confidence in Christ, and in their opinions and sayings profess that they renounce all but Christ, yet secretly their own righteousness is the ground of their very trust on Christ, and so they make themselves the rock of their trust on that only true rock – Christ.

In marriages of people who are of lowly birth … with or into the nobility, it often happens that the height and loftiness of the noble spouses makes them in time despise those they have married, so that their hearts are turned away from them because of the disproportion in respect to class, so that such marriages prove to be uncomfortable unions in the long run. But it is not thus with the lofty heart of our God. His loftiness and your lowness, his heights and your depths, make the happiest union ever, because it is his grace that makes it and brings it about, and holds us together.


My brethren, what is it that makes God happy but God himself? And what is it that makes Christ so happy but that he is equal with God the Father? Now, if God makes himself happy, how happy shall we be when we communicate with God in his happiness? To be one with him, then, must make us happy.

All the graces we have are not only spiritual, to fit us for communion with God on earth, but they are preparations that make us more fit for the inheritance in light, to see God face to face. They all tend to lead us in the way to heaven and to bring us to heaven at last, and they have all the promises of heavenly things annexed to and entailed upon them.

Yes, my brethren, it is most certain that the bodies of the saints shall so shine as to put down or eclipse the glory of the sun. As a candle waxes pale in the presence of the sun, or as the fire is put out by the sun shining on it in the summer, so shall the bodies of the saints do.