The Abuse of Casting Lots

The abuse of casting of the lot is a sin of the third commandment. The casting of the lot is an extraordinary or unusual request made to God that He would reveal His will in an important controversy which cannot be resolved by either wisdom, skill, or strength. It pertains to an issue that must be resolved, as there would otherwise be danger or great disadvantage to the country, church, or individual. The lot is abused in petty decision-making, games of chance, and gambling.… Read More The Abuse of Casting Lots

The Gospel Call Binds The Conscience

God in the gospel generally reveals two points unto us: the first, that there is perfect righteousness and life everlasting to be obtained by Christ; and the second, that the instrument to obtain righteousness and life eternal is faith in Christ. Moreover, when this gospel is dispensed and preached unto us, God reveals unto us two points more: the first, that He will make us particularly to be partakers of true righteousness and life everlasting by Christ; and the second, that He will have us without doubting to believe thus much of ourselves. And for this cause, every man to whom the gospel is revealed is bound to believe his own election, justification, sanctification, and glorification in and by Christ.… Read More The Gospel Call Binds The Conscience

Christian Fortitude is Meek

The whole Christian life is compared to a warfare, and fitly so. And the most eminent Christians are the best soldiers, endued with the greatest degrees of Christian fortitude. And it is the duty of God’s people to be steadfast and vigorous in their opposition to the designs and ways of such as are endeavoring to overthrow the kingdom of Christ, and the interest of religion. But yet many persons seem to be quite mistaken concerning the nature of Christian fortitude. It is an exceeding diverse thing from a brutal fierceness, or the boldness of the beasts of prey. True Christian fortitude consists in strength of mind, through grace, exerted in two things: 1) in ruling and suppressing the evil and unruly passions and affections of the mind; and 2) in steadfastly and freely exerting, and following good affections and dispositions, without being hindered by sinful fear, or the opposition of enemies.… Read More Christian Fortitude is Meek

A Godly Man Among the Godless

Pious young men, you form a happy and an important class, if not a numerous one. Rich and sovereign mercy has called you out of darkness, and made you the children of light. Bless God, that while so many are walking according to the course of this world, and fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind—you are walking in the ways of godliness and peace. And while you are thankful, be humble, be circumspect, and prayerful. You are, and will be exposed to great and painful trials of your steadfastness. Perhaps you are placed in a situation, where you find not one like-minded with yourself. You alone are “faithful found among the faithless,” and will need great grace to stand your ground against the annoyance, ridicule, and opposition, with which your religion will be assailed, by a set of mirthful, wicked and profane youths.… Read More A Godly Man Among the Godless

The Successive Steps of Going Astray

It rarely, if ever, happens, that the heart throws off at once all the restraints of virtue, and plunges suddenly into the depths of vice. It is not by one stride, that the moral youth passes from sober habits at home to those of an opposite nature abroad—but generally by slow and successive steps. The judgment and conscience would recoil from a temptation which proposed to him to become profligate at once; and if he ever becomes proficient in vice, he must be led on by insensible degrees, and little by little make advances in the way of wickedness, and in the counsels of the ungodly. This is what is meant by the deceitfulness of sin.… Read More The Successive Steps of Going Astray

The Justice of God’s Judgment

When the officers in church and state are corrupt, it is generally accompanied, if not preceded, by a thorough corruption of the people. “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30-31). When unsound doctrine and a low standard of morals are set forth by the leaders of the people, it is generally because the people “love to have it so” (Jer. 5:31). Let us seek to hear not so much what is palatable to our corrupt hearts, as what is profitable for the salvation of our souls!… Read More The Justice of God’s Judgment

How To Avoid The Cage Stage

Having made up your minds, upon evidence, as to what is truth, then have as little to do with religious controversy as you can. Seek a practical religion, rather than a polemical religion. Treat it as a something rather to be done than to be talked about. Be not fond of disputation. Be no religious knight-errant, fighting against every one who differs from you. A pugnacious disposition, whether it be from natural combativeness, or prevailing vanity—is a dangerous thing to piety, which, like the dew, falls only in a still atmosphere, and lies longest in the shade. Be too much taken up with adding “to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity” (2 Pet. 1:5-7), to have much time for strife and contention.… Read More How To Avoid The Cage Stage

Young Officers’ Conduct in Church Courts | Samuel Miller

I would earnestly advise every young minister to speak very little the first two or three times that he occupies a seat in the higher judicatories of the church. The art of transacting business wisely, expeditiously, and with suitable temper, in a deliberative assembly, is not to be learned in an hour, or a day. To do it well, requires close observation; considerable experience; watching the manner, course, and success of the best models; much attention to the discipline of our own feelings; and a frequent conning over the lesson, which we are always slow to learn, that other people have knowledge and wisdom, as well as we; and that opposing us, is not always infallible testimony that our opponent is wrong. All this requires time. The first two sessions of ecclesiastical bodies that you attend, then, are by no means too much for you to pass as a close, vigilant, silent learner. Rely on it, for any young minister to wish that distinguished precocity should mark his efforts as a speaker in church courts, is seldom, nay, never wise.… Read More Young Officers’ Conduct in Church Courts | Samuel Miller