(William Secker, “The Consistent Christian” 1660) (excerpts)
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“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
I see–but enlighten my darkness!
And I hear–but cure my deafness!
I move–but quicken my dullness!
Lord, I desire–but help my unwillingness!
Wherever sin proves hateful, it shall not prove hurtful.
What an apology does a sorrowful Savior make for His sleeping saints:
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!”
Take a carnal man, and what he can do–that he will not do.
Take a Christian man, and what he would do–that he cannot do.
God will pity impotency, but He will punish obstinacy.
In Heaven, there is service alone, without any sin.
In Hell, there is sin alone, without service.
But on earth, there is sin and service in the same man,
as there is light and shade in the same picture.
Though the lowest believer is above the power of sin,
yet the highest believer is not above the presence of sin!
It is in a living Christian that sin is to be mortified.,
Sin never ruins, but where it reigns.
The more trouble sin receives from us,
the less trouble sin does to us.
Our graces are our best jewels,
but they do not yield their brightest luster in this world.
The moon, when she shines brightest, has its spots;
and the fire, when it burns the hottest, has its smoke.
Sin is an enemy at the Christian’s back.
It is true, they have sin in them, and that should make them sorrowful.
But it is just as true, that they have a Savior for them, and that should make them joyful.
The heavenly Bridegroom will not put out a believer’s candle, because of the dimness of its burning;
nor will He overshadow a believer’s sun, because of the weakness of its shining.
Though that vice may be found in us, for which God might justly damn us;
yet that grace is to be found in Him, by which He will justly save us.
He does not come with water to extinguish the fire, but with wind to disperse the smoke!
“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Poor Peter had faith enough to keep him from drowning, but not enough faith to keep him from doubting.
As Alexander’s painter could find a finger to conceal the scar on his master’s face, so when Jesus Christ draws the picture of the saint’s excellency, He can find a covering for all the scars of his infirmities!
God will not throw away His jewels, for every speck of dirt which may be on them!
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