Lawful blessings are the secret idols, and do most hurt;
the greatest injury is in the having,
the greatest good in the taking away.
In love divest me of blessings that I may glorify thee the more;
remove the fuel of my sin,
and may I prize the gain of a little holiness
as overbalancing the losses. . . .
Keep me from all things that turn to unbelief
or lack of felt union with Christ.
(From THE VALLEY OF VISION, p. 20.)
“God is best known in Christ; the sun is not seen but by the light of the sun.” (William Bridge)
“In the Scriptures there is a draught of God, but in Christ there is God Himself. A coin bears the image of Caesar, but Caesar’s son is his own lively resemblance. Christ is the living Bible.” (Thomas Manton)
“In nature, we see God, as it were, like the sun in a picture; in thelaw, as the sun in a cloud; in Christ we see Him in His beams; He being ‘the brightness of His glory, and the exact image of His person.'”(Stephen Charnock)
(From THE GOLDEN TREASURY OF PURITAN QUOTATIONS, p. 45.)
ON KNOWING GOD’S WILL
If therefore, in doubtful cases, you would discover God’s will, govern yourselves in your search after it by these rules:
1. Get the true fear of God upon your hearts; be really afraid of offending Him.
2. Study the Word more, and the concerns and interests of the world less.
3. Reduce what you know into practice ,and you shall know what is your duty to practice.
4. Pray for illumination and direction in the way that you should go.
5. And this being done, follow Providence as far as it agrees with the Word, and no farther.
(John Flavel, cited in THE GOLDEN TREASURY OF PURITAN QUOTATIONS, ed. I.D.E. Thomas, p. 132.)