What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
About two hundred pounds a year,
And that which was proved true before
Proved false again? Two hundred more.
—Samuel Butler (1600-1680), in Hudibras. Part 3. Canto 1.
—Treasury of David—Psalm 26
Spurgeon quoted this verse, and nothing else, in his comment on Psalm 26.10, about sinners “who are always ready to do wrong or offer a bribe.” Remember that the pound is the UK’s currency.
Money changes what many people will preach as the truth. The Greek orators took up any argument for pay. That idolatry is found in religion today and in some places even in the church of God.
While we pray that the Lord of the harvest may send more workers into his fields, we pray also that they may be people of integrity and righteousness, people of conviction and loyalty to “the grace of God in all its truth” Col 1.6 (as rendered by the Brazilian NVI version).
I’ve put this stanza by Whittier in an image, to preserve the spacing. It comes from his poem “The Reformer” and spoke powerfully to me this morning.
The Son of Man was heaped with shame,
Stripped of dignity, the strain of sin
Upon his shoulders, pain of many:
The suffering Servant paid the ransom,
Freed all those in fear of death.
We share the Savior’s shame, his work
Scorned by worldly sinners, rejected
By rebellious scoffers, hated
By those determined to change his will—
Our hands hold the holy key.
For crime or sin, let no Christian suffer;
Let life be pure, our light undimmed
By doubt or fear or disobedience—
Let Christ be all and the Cross our glory,
Let heaven feed our daily hope.
The soul, unseen, is born and seeks
It’s maker—moves body and mind in space
And time—distracted by temptations,
Sights, and sounds—direction lost,
The path beyond in pale outline,
The fading flower falls from the vine.
The cold of winter seeps into my bones,
My body aches, my limbs are hard to move,
The heavy air would lull my eyes to sleep;
The chill of sin, the chains of self remove:
The first and fiery love help me to keep,
Devotion, zeal, and faith may Jesus prove,
Let not decisions be unmoving stones.
The plan fulfilled, the promise kept,
The Christ has come, for man to accept;
Before time was, and space and matter,
The goal was set, by blood and water,
To save mankind in spiritual birth,
Good news to spread in all the earth;
No word of God’s has ever failed:
When to the cross the Lord was nailed,
He struck and crushed the serpent’s head,
In triumph raised from among the dead.
One glorious promise yet remains:
Christ comes to take us to heaven’s domains.
In the quiet corner, alone,
Far from voices, in the still,
I seek you, Lord, to understand,
To know your ways, to do your will.
From emptiness to fullest blessing,
From tears of grief to joy’s increase,
From hard estrangement to love expressing:
In you I find unceasing peace.
The Lord of worlds and Launcher of suns
Inserted himself in human space;
No house or home to pillow his head,
He restored to man the holy place.
There’s nothing in the world for me:
No tenderness, no pleasure free
Of pain and death, no love that’s pure,
No higher reason, no good secure.
In Christ are all the gifts of God,
No giving of his is fleeting or flawed;
In him my every need is filled,
And life itself where the Lord was killed.
The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
Prov 10.8 NIV
Jesus came to earth in order to do the Father’s will, Heb 10.7. He learned obedience, Heb 5.8. As the obedient Son, “he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” Heb 5.9.
At heart, the self-named progressives rebel at obedience. They are self-willed and rebellious against the will of God. They are ruthless in removing from the faith the necessity to submit to God’s rule, all the while mouthing nonsense about love, tolerance, and acceptance. Continue reading