A More Noble Race

Here’s an excerpt from a sermon Edward Payson preached for New Year’s a couple centuries ago. It’s pretty challenging.

“Too long have I run in the race with men of this world, who have their portion in this life.

Too long have I been a competitor for the worthless prize which they are pursuing. But I will be so no longer.

I forsake the race, I stand aside, and say, Let others pursue and obtain, if they can, the pleasures, the applause, the possessions, which this world offers … I resign them all.

I have another race to run, I have nobler objects to pursue; and to this race, to these objects, to the service of my Savior, and to the pleasures, the honors, the possessions of eternity, I now, in the presence of God, consecrate my future life and all my powers.”

Read the entire sermon here.

~Edward Payson, 1783-1827


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

~Hebrews 12:1-2

A George Whitefield Christmas

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“When we consider the condescension and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, in submitting to be born of a virgin, a poor sinful creature; and especially as He knew how He was to be treated in this world; that He was to be despised, scoffed at, and at last to die a painful, shameful, and ignominious death; that He should be treated as though He was the off-scouring of all mankind; used, not like the son of man, and, therefore, not at all like the Son of God; the consideration of these things should make us to admire the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was so willing to offer Himself as a ransom for the sins of the people, that when the fullness of time was come, Christ came, made of a woman, made under the law: He came according to the eternal counsel of the Father; He came, not in glory or in splendor, not like Him who brought all salvation with Him: no, He was born in a stable, and laid in a manger; oxen were His companions.

O amazing condescension of the Lord Jesus Christ, to stoop to such low and poor things for our sake.”

~George Whitefield, 1714-1770

Merry Chr-ysostom-istmas!

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The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ is of course the great backdrop to Christmas. Here’s a weighty definition of the gospel that I stumbled across from a saint of old.

“… a release from punishment; a remission of sins; the gift of righteousness; the endowment of sanctification; redemption from every evil; the adoption of sons; the inheritance of heaven; and a most endeared, intimate relation to the infinitely majestic Son of God.

All these divinely precious privileges are preached, presented, bestowed to the foolish, to the disobedient, to enemies.”

~John Chrysostom, 349-407

Much to be thankful for when we take time to reflect on what Christmas represents.

Chrysostom’s quote was paraphrased slightly because of the old language.

Christmas by Spurgeon

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“Hark, yonder! What means the firing of the Tower guns? Why all this ringing of bells in the church steeples, as if all London were mad with joy? There is a prince born; therefore there is this salute, and therefore are the bells ringing.

Ah, Christians, ring the bells of your hearts, tire the salute of your most joyous songs, ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.’

Dance, O my heart, and ring out peals of gladness!

Ye drops of blood within my veins dance every one of you!

Oh! all my nerves become harp strings, and let gratitude touch you with angelic fingers! And thou, my tongue, shout—shout to his praise who hath said to thee—”Unto thee a child is born, unto thee a Son is given.”

Wipe that tear away! Come, stop that sighing! Hush yon murmuring. What matters your poverty? “Unto you a child is born.” What matters your sickness? ‘Unto you a Son is given.’

What matters your sin? For this child shall take the sin away, and this Son shall wash and make you fit for heaven.

I say, if it be so,

‘Lift up the heart, lift up the voice,

Rejoice aloud! ye saints rejoice!’”

~Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892

Read the full sermon here.

Silence Says a Lot

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“It is natural to man, from his earliest infancy, to cry for relief when in danger or distress, if he supposes that any one able to relieve him is within hearing of his cries.

Every man then who feels his own dependence upon God, and his need of blessings which God only can bestow, will pray to Him. He will feel that prayer is not only his duty, but his highest privilege.

The man then who refuses or neglects to pray, who regards prayer not as a privilege, but as a wearisome and needless task practically says in the most unequivocal manner, I am not dependent on God; I want nothing that He can give; and therefore I will not come to Him, nor ask anything from His hand.

I will not ask Him to crown my work with success, for I am able, and determined, to be the architect of my own future.

I will not ask Him to instruct or guide me, for I am competent to be my own instructor and guide.

I will not ask Him to strengthen and support me, for I am strong in the vigor and resources of my own mind.

I will not request His protection, for I am able to protect myself.

I will not implore His pardoning mercy nor His sanctifying grace for I have need of neither the one nor the other.

I will not ask His presence and aid in the hour of death.

For I can meet and grapple, unsupported, with the king of terrors, and enter, undaunted and alone, any unknown world into which He may usher me.

Such is the language of all who neglect prayer.”

~Edward Payson, 1783-1827

Up Now, Slight Man!

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The writings of some of the old writers can be a chore to understand. It takes a bit of mental wrestling. For me, that holds true for these short thoughts from a believer named St. Anselm.

Read through it, wrestle through it. I think it will be worth the effort.

“Up now, slight man!

Flee for a little while your occupation; hide yourself for a time from your disturbing thoughts.

Cast aside now your burdensome cares, and put away your toilsome business. Yield room for some little time to God, and rest for a little time in Him.
Enter the inner chamber of your mind; shut out all thoughts save that of God and such as can aid you in seeking Him.

Speak now, my whole heart! Speak now to God, saying, ‘I seek Your Face; Your Face, Lord, will I seek.’ ”

– St. Anselm, 1033-1109


“When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You,
‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.’ ”

~Psalm 27:8 (ESV)

I know very little about St. Anselm, but my pastor recommended this quote – not necessarily all his writings – to our church family a few years ago.