Archive for the ‘fear of the Lord’ Category

The greatest preacher of the English Reformation was Hugh Latimer, and often he was called to preach before King Henry VIII

November 17, 2009

The greatest preacher of the English Reformation was Hugh Latimer, and often he was called to preach before King Henry VIII. When he was made a king’s chaplain a courtier said to him, “Beware of contradicting the king. Speak as he speaks, and instead of presuming to lead him, strive to follow him.” “Away with your counsel !” replied Latimer. He took his calling seriously, and all he read confirmed his need to be faithful. One day he picked up Augustine’s writings and read there, “He who for fear of any power hides the truth, provokes the wrath of God to come upon him, for he fears men more than God.” Another day he picked up Chrysostom’s writings and read, “He is not only a traitor to the truth who openly for truth teaches a lie, but he also who does not pronounce and show the truth he knows.” Latimer said that those two sentences made him afraid and he vowed, “I had rather suffer extreme punishment than be a traitor unto the truth.” He met many obstacles in speaking to the king, some even in his own impetuous make-up, but he wrote a letter one day to Henry VIII, “Your Grace, I must show forth such things as I have learned in Scripture, or else deny Jesus Christ. The which denying ought more to be dreaded than the loss of all temporal goods, honour, promotion, fame, prison, slander, hurts, banishment, and all manner of torments and cruelties, yea, and death itself, be it never so shameful and painful … There is as great distance between you and me as between God and man; for you are here to me and to all your subjects in God’s stead; and so I should quake to speak of your Grace. But as you are a mortal man having in you the corrupt nature of man, so you have no less need of the merits of Christ’s passion for your salvation than I and others of your subjects have”

(The Reformation in England, D’Aubigne, Vol.2, p.42).

The king was not offended by the letter and continued to appreciate his chaplain Hugh Latimer.

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Evangelistic zeal – the perspective of eternity

July 31, 2009

‘O sirs, surely if you had all conversed with neighbour Death as oft as l have done, and as often received the sentence in yourselves, you would have an unquiet conscience, if not a reformed life, as to your ministerial diligence and fidelity: and you would have something within you that would frequently ask you such questions as these:

“Is this all thy compassion for lost sinners? Wilt thou do no more to seek and to save them? . . .

Shall they die and be in hell before thou wilt speak to them one serious word to prevent it? Shall they there curse thee for ever that thou didst no more in time to save them?”

Such cries of conscience are daily ringing in my ears, though, the Lord knows, I have too little obeyed them…. How can you choose, when you are laying a corpse in the grave, but think with yourselves, “Here lieth the body; but where is the soul? and what have I done for it, before it departed? It was part of my charge; what account can I give of it?” O sirs, is it a small matter to you to answer such questions as these? It may seem so now, but the hour is coming when it will not seem. ‘

— the cries of the vicar of Kidderminster, Richard Baxter, to his ministerial brethren.From the Reformed Pastor, Banner, p.194

if by faith we did indeed look upon them as within a step of hell, it would more effectually untie our tongues, than Croesus’ danger, as they tell us, did his son’s. He that will let a sinner go down to hell for want of speaking to him, doth set less by souls than did the Redeemer of souls; and less by his neighbor, than common charity will allow him to do by his greatest enemy. O, therefore, brethren, whomsoever you neglect, neglect not the most miserable! Whatever you pass over, forget not poor souls that are under the condemnation and curse of the law, and who may look every hour for the infernal execution, if a speedy change do not prevent it. O call after the impenitent, and ply this great work of converting souls, whatever else you leave undone.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, Banner, p.95

Croesus, King of Lydia (6th C. BC) was about to be killed by a Persian soldier, when the horror of the sight loosened the tongue of Croesus’ dumb son, and he cried out, ‘Fellow, slay not Croesus.’ The power of speech thereafter remained with the youth.

(ibid note)

Fear of the Lord

December 12, 2008

And if we are ever to grow reverent again, we must love more. There never was a time when so much was spoken and written about Christian love. If we loved more and said less about it, we might revive our dying reverence. Oh, how much of our so-called love to Jesus is spurned by an infinite God because the feeling of reverence is not in it. It is so easy to talk of leaning on Jesus’ bosom. It is so easy to forget that he who leaned on Jesus’ bosom fell down at Jesus’ feet as dead. I plead for more love, not to increase, but to remove that light familiarity that blots our Christian service. From: Devotional Sermons: George H. Morrison)