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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A.W. Pink - The Doctrine of Revelation

In The Doctrine of Revelation, Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952) treats the subject of Divine revelation along several lines of evidence:  The existence of God as manifested in the created world, in man, in human history, and in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; God's revealed Word; in subjective revelation (i.e., the workings of the Holy Spirit).  He also includes a consideration of further revelation in glory.  This book has an active table of contents for your e-reader device.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How To Install E-books On Your Device

To ensure a good install to your e-reader device, follow these steps:

1.) Download and install the free Calibre e-book management software appropriate to your operating system.

2.) During the installation, select your e-reader device (manufacturer and model).  It is not important that you enter an email for your e-reader device, as these instructions cover the typical manual installation.

3.) Download the appropriate file format for your device.  Kindle devices will use the MOBI format, while most other devices will use the EPUB format.  If you are uncertain about your device, refer to the manual for supported file formats.  If you don't own an e-reader device, select the PDF version for viewing on your desktop or laptop computer.

4.) Connect your e-reader device to your desktop computer or laptop using the data cable that came with your device.  Run Calibre, and drag and drop the e-book file (MOBI or PDF) into the main window of Calibre.  Confirm that Calibre has recognized your connected device.  With the chosen book selected in the main Calibre window, select "Send to Device" from the tool-button menu at the top of the Calibre GUI.  If you have dropped multiple e-book files into the Calibre main window, you may select them all and send them to your device simultaneously.

5.) Once the file copy is complete, disconnect your device (you may use the "eject device" function from within Calibre).  The e-books should now be accessible on your device.

A.W. Pink - A Guide To Fervent Prayer

In A Guide to Fervent Prayer, Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952) examines the apostolic prayers of the New Testament, to expound upon the nature and the basis of our communion with God.  Considering passages in the books of Hebrews, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation, Pink treats such topics as spiritual regeneration, sanctification, glorification, the resurrection of Christ, the suffering of the saints, faith and grace, restoring and preserving grace, the keeping of the saints and apostasy.  This e-book translation contains an active table of contents for your e-reader device.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Stick With Your Work

Stick with your work.
Do not flinch because the lion roars.
Do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs.
Do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits.

Do your work.

Let liars lie.
Let sectarians quarrel.
Let critics malign.
Let enemies accuse.
Let the devil do his worst.

But see to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you.

He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed.
He has never bidden you defend your character.
He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood (about yourself)
which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle,
or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation.
If you do these things, you will do nothing else.
You will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Keep at your work.
Let your aim be as steady as a star.
You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered,
wounded and rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motives;
You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends,
and despised and rejected of men.
But see to it with steadfast determination,
with unfaltering zeal,
that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being
until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”

- Anonymous

Monday, May 5, 2014

Richard Baxter on the Decline of Doctrine, Formalism and Dead Religion

Richard Baxter (1615-1691), under the heading of Christian Ethics in his Christian Directory writes,

"How apt men are to corrupt and debase all duties of religion, is too visible in the face of the far greatest part of the Christian world.  Throughout both the eastern and western churches, the papists, the Greeks, the Armenians, the Abassines, and too many others, (though the essentials of religion through God's mercy are retained, yet,) how much is the face of religion altered from what it was in the days of the apostles!  The ancient simplicity of doctrine is turned into abundance of new or private opinions, introduced as necessary articles of religion:  and, alas, how many of them false!  So that Christians, being too proud to accept of the ancient test of Christianity, cannot now agree among themselves what a Christian is, and who is to be esteemed a Christian; and so they deny one another to be Christians, and destroy their charity to each other, and divide the church, and make themselves a scorn by their divisions to the infidel world:  and thus the primitive unity, charity, and peace is partly destroyed, and partly degenerate into the unity, charity, and peace of several sects among themselves.  The primitive simplicity in government and discipline, is with most turned into a forcible secular government, exercised to advance one man above others, and to satisfy his will and lusts, and make him the rule of other men's lives, and to suppress the power and spirituality of religion in the world.  The primitive simplicity of worship is turned into such a mask of ceremony, and such a task of formalities and bodily exercise, that if one of the apostolical Christians should come among them, he would scarce think that this is the same employment which formerly the church was excercised in, or scarce know religion in this antic dress.  So that the amiable, glorious face of Christianity, is so spotted and defiled, that it is hidden from the unbelieving world, and they laugh at it as irrational, or think it to be but like their own:  and the principal hinderance of the conversion of heathens, Mahometans, and other unbelievers, is the corruption and deformity of the churches that are near them, or should be the instruments of their conversion.  And the probablest way to the conversion of those nations is the true reformation of the churches, both in the east and west:  which, if they were restored to the ancient spirituality, rationality, and simplicity of doctrine, discipline and worship; and lived in charity, humility and holiness, as those whose hearts and conversations are in heaven, with all worldy glory and honour as under their feet; they would then be so illustrious and amiable in the eyes of heathens and other infidels, that many would flock into the church of Christ, and desire to be such as they:  and their light would so shine before these men, that they would see their good works, and glorify their heavenly Father, and embrace their faith."

"The commonest way of the degenerating of all religious duties, is into this dead formality, or lifeless image of religion.  If the devil can but get you to cast off the spirituality and life of duty, he will give you leave to seem very devout, and make much ado with outward actions, words and beads; and you shall have so much zeal for a dead religion, or the corpse of worship, as will make you think that it is indeed alive.  By all means take heed of this turning of the worship of God into lip-service.  The commonest cause of it is, a carnality of mind (fleshly men will think best of the most fleshly religion); or else a slothfulness in duty, which will make you sit down with the easiest part.  It is the work of a saint, and a diligent saint, to keep the soul itself both regularly and vigorously employed with God.  But to say over certain words by rote, and to lift up the hands and eyes, is easy:  and hypocrites, that are conscious that they are void of the life and spirituality of worship, do think to make all up with this formality, and quiet their consciences, and delude their souls with a handsome image...."

Richard Baxter On Reading

Puritan Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was a Puritan with immense pastoral concern for fellow believers.  His works were genuinely practical, providing very succinct instructions for the various problems of life and in the Christian walk.  Under the heading Directions For Reading Other Books in Christian Directory, Baxter gave these general thoughts on reading truly Christian material...

"Because God hath made the excellent, holy writings of his servants the singular blessing of this land and age; and many a one may have a good book, even any day or hour of the week that cannot at all have a good preacher; I advise all God's servants to be thankful for so great a mercy, and to make use of it, and be much in reading:  for reading, with most, doth more conduce to knowledge than hearing doth, because you may choose what subjects and the excellentest treatises you please; and may be often at it, and may peruse again and again what you forget, and may take time as you go to fix it on your mind:  and with very many it doth more than hearing also to move the heart, though hearing of itself in this hath the advantage; because lively books may be easilier had than lively preachers."

Although giving this general commendation for Christian readings outside of Scripture, in a separate section of Christian Directory called Directions to Weak Christians for Their Establishment and Growth, Baxter also advises,

"Make careful choice of the books which you read.  Let the holy Scriptures ever have the pre-eminence; and next them, the solid, lively, heavenly treatises, which best expound and apply the Scriptures; and next those, the credible histories, especially of the church, and tractates upon inferior sciences and arts:  but take heed of the poison of the writings of false teachers, which would corrupt your understandings; and of vain romances, play-books, and false stories, which may bewitch your fantasies, and corrupt your hearts."

"As there is a more excellent appearance of the Spirit of God in the holy Scriptures, than in any other book whatever, so it hath more power and fitness to convey the Spirit, and make us spiritual, by imprinting itself upon our hearts.  And there is more of God in it, so it will acquaint us more with God, and bring us nearer Him, and make the reader more reverent, serious, and divine.  Let Scripture be first and most in your hearts and hands, and other books be used as subservient to it.  The endeavours of the devil and papists to keep it from you, doth show that it is most necessary and desirable to you.  And when they tell you, that all heretics plead the Scriptures, they do but tell you, that it is the common rule or law of Christians, which therefore all are fain to pretend; as all lawyers and wranglers plead the law of the land, be their cause never so bad, and yet the laws must not therefore be concealed or cast aside:  and they do but tell you, that in their concealment or dishonouring the Scriptures, they are worse than any of those heretics...."

"....The writings of the divines are nothing else but a preaching of the gospel to the eye, as the voice preacheth it to the ear.  Vocal preaching hath the preeminence in moving the affections, and being diversified to the state of the congregations which attend it:  this way the milk cometh warmest from the breast.  But books have the advantage in many other respects:  you may read an able preacher, when you have but a mean one to hear.  Every congregation cannot hear the most judicious or powerful preachers; but every single person may read the books of the most powerful and judicious.  Preachers may be silenced or banished, when books may be at hand:  books may be kept at a smaller charge than preachers:  we may choose books which treat of that very subject which we desire to hear of; but we cannot choose what subject the preacher shall treat of.  Books we may have at hand every day and hour; when we can have sermons but seldom, and at set times...."

"...As for play-books, and romances, and idle tales, I have already pernicious they are, especially to youth, and to frothy, empty, idle wits, that know not what a man is, nor what he hath to do in the world.  They are powerful baits of the devil, to keep more necessary things out of their minds, and better books out of their hands, and to poison the mind so much the more dangerously, as they are read with more delight and pleasure:  and to fill the minds of sensual people with idle fumes, and intoxicating fantasies, as may divert them from the serious thoughts of their salvation:  and (which is no small loss) to rob them of the abundance of that precious time, which was given them for more important business; and which they will wish and wish again at last, that they had spent more wisely.  I know the fantastics will say, that these things are innocent, and may teach men much good (like him that must go to a whore-house to learn to hate uncleanness, and him that would go out with robbers to learn to hate thievery):  but I shall now only ask them as in the presence of God,

     1. Whether they could spend that time no better?

     2. Whether better books and practices would not edify them more?

     3. Whether the greatest lovers of romances and plays, be the greatest lovers of the book of God,
         and of a holy life?

     4. Whether they feel in themselves that the love of these vanities doth increase their love to the
         word of God, and kill their sin, and prepare them for the life to come? or clean contrary?

And I would desire men not to prate against their own experience and reason, nor to dispute themselves into damnable impenitency, nor to befool their souls by a few silly words, which any but a sensualist may perceive to be mere deceit and falsehood.  If this will not serve, they shall be shortly convinced and answered in another manner."