A reading from Plumer’s Commentary on Hebrews 3:7-19
Let a soul in such an estate awake and look about him. His enemy is at hand, and he is ready to fall into such a condition as may cost him dear all the days of his life. His present estate is bad enough in itself; but it is an indication of that which is worse that lies at the door. The disciples that were with Christ in the mount had not only a bodily, but a spiritual drowsiness upon them. What says our Savior to them? “Arise; watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” We know how near one of them was to a bitter hour of temptation, and not watching as he ought, he immediately entered into it.
SELECTIONS FROM THE FLOWER OF GODLY PRAYERS, VERY NECESSARY … OF ALL DEGREES AND ESTATES ;
This is a booklet at the end of their famed book, Cases of Conscience
This discovery of forgiveness in God is great, holy, and mysterious, and which very few on gospel grounds do attain unto.
How unreasonable then is it to despair of mercy; while this season, this opportunity of obtaining mercy is afforded; unless you are determined not to improve it. The precious privileges which you enjoy, while this season continues, render despair still more unreasonable. What walls are these which surround you? Are they not the walls of God’s house, a place where he has recorded his name, and respecting which he says, Wherever I record my name, there will I meet with you and bless you?
The one who bows to the solemn and searching teaching of God’s Word, the one who there learns the awful wreckage which sin has wrought in the human constitution, the one who sees the exalted standard of holiness which God has set before us, cannot fail to discover what a vile wretch he is. If he is given to behold how far short he falls of attaining to God’s standard; if, in the light of the divine sanctuary, he discovers how little he resembles the Christ of God; then will he find this language most suited to express his godly sorrow. If God reveals to him the coldness of his love, the pride of his heart, the wanderings of his mind, the evil that defiles his godliest acts, he will cry, “O wretched man that I am.”
“Jesus often met there with His disciples.” (John 18:2)
Would it not be well if disciples often met there with Jesus? Is there not, indeed, a sense in which Gethsemane ought to be regarded as the very oratoire of the Church, the closet, spiritually, where we may, with many precious aids to faith, pray to our Father who sees in secret and rewards openly, as we shall see He rewarded the Man of Sorrows?
The most settled and general part of my unbelief may appear by the following hints, viz. I cannot view Jesus Christ in that loveliness, excellency, and preeminence, as I find him set forth in the word of truth. I cannot find sufficient ability in my soul to believe in him, wholly and unfeignedly ; and how can I believe in him, without a right view of him ? Sometimes I can set him forth to others, in the words and light of Scripture, so that I believe many of the children of God have their very souls nourished and fed by what I say: and upon certain times I myself am much delighted in, and with the work ; but when I retire into myself, and consider the barrenness of my soul, my strangeness to, and alienation from God, Jesus Christ?
We ordinarily and naturally lack the ability to raise and extract holy and useful considerations and thoughts from all ordinary occurrences and occasions. But a heart which is sanctified, in whose affections true grace is enkindled, will out of all God’s dealings with him, out of the things he sees and hears, will distil holy and sweet, useful meditations from them.