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Vital Godliness

Category Articles
Date August 21, 2003

It is a great attainment to lie passive in God’s hands, and know no will but His.

[Of all the Reformed writers in the 19th century, none was more doctrinally sound, experientially searching and practically realistic than William S. Plumer (1802-1880). A graduate of Old Princeton, Plumer was widely known as pre-eminently a preacher of the Gospel, while a contemporary described his public prayers as "the tender pleadings of a soul in communion with God." Among his publications is a recently republished book of sterling worth entitled "Vital Godliness" from which the following quotations have been taken. John Brentnall, who made this selection and passed the above judgment, has gathered into an enchanting volume the best sayings of Rabbi Duncan, "Just a Talker" (Banner of Truth). The Banner of Truth published Plumer’s 1200 page commentary on the book of Psalms. ]

There is not a doctrine of revelation the power of which ought not to be felt in the human soul.

An external remedy will not cure an internal disease.

Let no man. . .suppose that he is willing to come to Christ and that Christ is not willing to receive him.

Every man’s heart has always been more wicked than he ever thought it to be.

All bad company is dangerous.

Let no man lay down anything as essential unless in His Word God has made it so.

The air we breathe, the water we drink, is not more free than is Gospel grace.

To refuse to rely upon Christ’s finished work is to reject the sinner’s only hope.

We cannot have too low an opinion of ourselves or too high an opinion of Christ.

God will not be dictated to.

Conviction is not a saving grace.

A sinner under conviction is in great danger of being more anxious to be comforted than to be converted.

In practical religion there is no greater mistake than the persuasion that if we are pleased with ourselves, God is also pleased with us.

When God’s cause languishes, the righteous must be sad.

Fear of man is a great foe to grace.

Your salvation depends not on your comfortable or uncomfortable frames, but on the grace and power of God.

Be conscientious in the performance of every duty.

In fulfilling His promise, God will choose His own time.

No man acts so wisely as he who implicitly believes God.

Come to the study of God’s Word not as a judge or a critic, but as a child, a scholar, a criminal [slightly altered]

The world is full of mournful cases of persons who believed what was agreeable (in Scripture) and rejected all else.

Yield your understanding to be taught of God, yield your heart to be purified and educated for God, yield your life (to be) a sacrifice to God.

Always believe just what God has revealed for your salvation.

Mere regret is not repentance.

True repentance is sorrow for sin, ending in reformation.

He does not really confess sin who does not forsake it.

Nothing can be kinder than God’s urgent calls to repent.

Some indeed complain of bad memory, but very few of bad judgment.

How many profess to see into things which they have never studied.

If you would be more like God, know how little you are yet like Him.

Blessed is the man who avoids little sins and minds little duties.

The great attraction of the moral law is that it is a copy of God’s character.

It is not of the nature of true love to God to count the cost, or to make much of its services.

The righteous wish to please God. His will is their law. His favour is their life. His smile is their joy.

Logic is a poor substitute for love.

He who finds his heart warmed with love to God need not trouble himself respecting his election.

Child of sorrow, come and welcome to Jesus Christ. He will give you rest. His peace shall rule your heart.

We are all by nature prone to narrow-mindedness.

Perhaps there is no better evidence of a renewed heart than a cordial forgiveness of injuries, nor a surer sign that we are yet in our sins than carrying old grudges about with us.

Whoever heard of a happy or thriving church where the spirit of love was not? Perhaps there is no method of teaching any grace so well as by example.

[The apostle John] His love was not blind and fond. It did not make him pretend brotherly love to those enemies of righteousness who had crept into the church under false pretences.

Brotherly love never willingly leaves one to perish in his ignorance, errors or vices. It goes after the lost sheep.

If we will mind His glory, He will mind our welfare.

We are…not at liberty to forsake God or deny His truth in order to promote peace.

The world is never pleased with the people of God.

Men of the world have no better temper towards Christianity than when they crucified its Author.

He who would be a Christian must be so at the risk of all he counts dear in this

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