Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Valley of Vision: The All Good

The All Good

My God,
Thou hast helped me to see,
that whatever good be in honor and rejoicing,
how good is he who gives them, and can withdraw them;
that blessedness does not lie so much
in receiving good from and in thee, but
in holding forth thy glory and virtue:
that it is an amazing thing
to see Diety in a creature, speaking, acting,
filling, shining though it;
that nothing is good but thee,
that I am near good when I am near thee,
that to be like thee is a glorious thing:
This is my magnet, my attraction.

Thou art all my good in times of peace,
my only support in days of trouble,
my one sufficiency when life will end.
Help me to see how good thy will is in all,
and even when it crosses mine
teach me to be pleased with it,
Grant me to feel free in fire, and food and every providence
and to see that thy many gifts and creatures
are but thy hands and fingers taking hold of me.
Thou bottomless fountain of all good,
I give myself to thee out of love,
for all I have or own is thine,
my goods, my family, church, self,
to do with as thou wilt,
to honor thyself by me, and by all mine.
If it be consistent with thy eternal counsels,
the purpose of thy grace,
and the great ends of thy glory,
then bestow upon me the blessings of thy comforts;
If not, let me resign myself to thy wiser determinations.

An Excerpt

"...they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to bless their outgoings and incomings, for which let His holy name have the praise forever, to all posterity.
They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to prepare their houses for the winter, being well recovered in health and strength, and plentifully provisioned; for while some had been thus employed in affairs away from home, others were occupied in fishing for cod, bass, and other fish, of which they caught a good quantity, every family having their portion, all the summer there was no want. And now, as winter approached, wild fowl began to arrive, of which there were plenty when they came here first, though afterwards they became more scarce. As well as wild fowl, they got abundance of wild turkeys, besides venison, etc. Each person had about a peck of meal a week, or now, since harvest, Indian corn in that proportion; and afterwards many wrote at length about their plenty to their friends in England,--not feigned but true reports."

From "Of Plymouth Plantation" Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quotables

"When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.” Mark Twain

He will because He has...

"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." —1 Samuel 7:12
The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, "hitherto the Lord hath helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto."
But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesu's likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for—
He who hath helped thee hithertoWill help thee all thy journey through.
When read in heaven's light how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye!

Charles Spurgeon
Morning and Evening- dec. 29