Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Emptied of earth I fain would be,
Of sin, of self, of all but thee;
Reserv'd for Christ that bled and died—
Surrender'd to the Crucified!

Sequester'd from the noise and strife,
The lust, the pomp, and pride of life;
Prepar'd for heaven, my noblest care,—
And have my conversation there.

Nothing, save Jesus, would I know!
My friend, and my companion thou:
Lord, take my heart—assert thy right,
And put all other loves to flight.

Each idol tread beneath thy feet,
And to thyself the conquest get:
Let sin no more oppose my Lord,
Slain by thy Spirit's two-edg'd sword.

Constrain my soul thy sway to own:
Self-will, self-righteousness, dethrone:
Let Dagon fall before thy face,—
The ark remaining in its place.

Detach from sublunary joys
One that would only hear thy voice,
Thy beauty see, thy grace admire,
Nor glow but with celestial fire.

Larger communion let me prove
With thee, blest object of my love;
But, oh! for this no power have I;
My strength is at thy feet to lie.
              Augustus M. Toplady

And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not.....Jeremiah 45:5

.....The differences of high and low, rich and poor, are only calculated for the present world, and cannot outlive time.  The grave takes away the civil differences; skulls wear no wreaths and marks of honour; the small and great are there; the servant is free from his master.  So at the day of judgment I saw the dead, both great and small, stand before the Lord.  None can be exempt from standing before the bar of Christ.  When the civil difference ceases, the moral takes place; the distinction then is, good and bad, not great and small.  Then you will see that there is no birth like that to be born again of the Spirit, no tenure like an interest in the covenant, no estate like the inheritance of the saints, no magistracy like that whereby we sit at Christ's right hand judging angels and men.  How will the faces of great men gather blackness, who now flourish in the pomp and splendor of an outward estate, but then shall become the scorn of God, and of saints and angels and these holy ones shall come forth and say, "Lo, this is the man who made not God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness!"  Wealth and power are of no use in that day, unless it be to aggravate and increase the judgment.  Many who are now so despicable and obscure that they are lost in the tale and count of the world, shall then be taken into the arms of Christ; he will not be ashamed to confess them before men and before his Father—"Father, this is one of mine."  So also in heaven there are none poor; all the vessels of glory are filled up.  If there is any difference in degree, the foundation of it is laid in grace, not in greatness.  Greatness hath nothing greater than a heart to be willing, and a power to be able, to do good.  Then it is a fair resemblance of that perfection which is in God, who differs from man in nothing so much as in the eternity of his being, the infiniteness of his power, and the unweariedness of his love and goodness.  It is a fond ambition of men to sever these things.  We all affect to be great, but not good; and would be as gods, not in holiness, but in power.  Nothing has cost the creature dearer:  it turned angels into devils, and Adam out of Paradise.  You will bear with my plainness and freedom—other addresses would neither be comely in me nor pleasing to you.  Our work is not to flatter greatness.....
                                                                                         written by Thomas Manton to Colonel Popham

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