BLTC Press Titles


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Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse


Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, D.D.

by Thomas Manton

Excerpt:

1. A compellation, 'O righteous Father.'

2. The qualification of the disciples for that glory which he sought for them, saving knowledge. Which is illustrated—

[1.] By its opposite, the affected and obstinate ignorance of the world, 'The world hath not known thee.'

[2.] By its efficient and exemplary cause, ' But I have known thee.'

First, A compellation, ' Righteous Father.' In which there is an irgument secretly couched, for always titles of God are suited to the matter in hand. It is brought to show the reason why the world is excluded the participation of heavenly glory, and the equity in bestowing it upon the elect. He had before called him 'Holy Father,' now ' Righteous Father.'

God is just and righteous two manner of ways—in a legal and in an evangelical sense. In a legal sense, his justice is rewarding men according to the merit of their actions. Thus he dealeth with the reprobate lost world. In the evangelical sense, God's righteousness doth not regard the merit of their actions, but the state of the person; and judgeth them rather according to what they have received than what they have done. And so God dealeth with the elect and reprobate; the one are rewarded according to their works, the other according to their state, evidenced by their works; to both God is just. So that I might—

Observe, first, that in the condemnation of the world, God is just, though they remain in blindness.

1. Because God hath done enough; God is aforehand with them; they have more means than they use well. The Gentile world had light enough from the creatures to convince them of the true God: Rom. i. 19, 20, 'Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead; so that they are ava.iroX6yrjroi, without excuse.' Yet they would not acknowledge the true God. The Jewish world had miracles enough to convince them of the true Messiah: John xv. 24, 'If I had not done among them the works that no other man did, they had not had sin; but now they have both seen and hated me and my Father.'

The carnal world within the pale of the church have had means enough to be better; and though it be blind in the things of God, yet the Lord is clear: Isa. v. 4, ' What could I have done more for my vineyard than I have done?' in point of external administration. The Lord loveth 'to be clear when he judgeth,' Ps. li. 4, compared with Rom. iii. 26. In all debates he loveth the victory: Isaiah lxv. 2, 'I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way which was not good, after their own thoughts.' None goeth to hell for want of warning: Mat. xxiii. 37, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not.'

2. They have not done their part. They dally with means, scorn wisdom; their weakness is wilful, and their blindness affected. The things of God must be spiritually discerned. But they are folly to them: 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' There is not only an impotency, but a scorn; there is a positive enmity, as well as an incapacity: John iii. 19, 'This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.' Man is in love with his own misery; when we should hate sins, we hate the light that discovereth them. An ignorant people love a sottish ministry; the faithful witnesses are the world's torment: Rev. xi. 10, 'These two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.' The world would fain lie down upon the bed of ease, and sleep. Light is troublesome to sore eyes. Ignorant priests are the people's idols; the blind lead the blind, and they both fall into the ditch. They do not only err in their minds, but err in their hearts; the one is sad, the other worse. It is evil that we do not know, it is doubly evil that we desire not to know: Job xxi. 14, 'Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.' Spiritual blindness is worse than bodily. When Elymas was stricken blind, he desired somebody to lead him by the hand, Acts xiii. 11. We count it our happiness to have fit guides; but in spiritual blindness it is quite otherwise; we cannot endure a faithful guide: 'the prophets prophesy lies and the people love to have it so.' Blind people are all for blind guides.


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