(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.