12 March, 2006

Lord's Day Feature: a' Brakel on the Spiritual Life

PRESBYTERIAN THOUGHTS will host a new feature (since all great blogs have features) for the Lord's Day. With the Lord's help there will be a classic and meaty quote that can aid in your spiritual meditations for the Lord's Day.

All quotes are going to be taken from the magum opus of Wilhelmus a'Brakel (1635-1711) entitled, A Christian's Reasonable Service. The quotes will all revolve around the Christian's spiritual life. I hope that these meditations will aid in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

~NE

Love is the sweet motion of the heart toward God--infused into the hearts of believers by the Holy Spirit--whereby they, by virtue of union with Him and in view of His perfections, delight themselves in God, and in a joyous embrace of His will fully surrender themselves to His service (III: 264).

The Holy Spirit, igniting love in the hearts of God's children, operates in harmony with man's nature. Man cannot love what he does not know and his love cannot go beyond that which he knows. The Holy Spirit thus also works this love by the medium of knowledge. God gives enlightened eyes of understanding to His children. He reveals Himself to them, they know His perfections, and the love of God is thus ignited in them. "Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:7-8); "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Mat. 22:37) [III: 265].

To love God is a privilege of the elect. They, as others, were the children of wrath. However, God draws them out of the state of sin, gives them life and a child-like disposition, and thus also a loving heart. Since they are born of God, and since God is love, their nature resembles the nature of their heavenly Father, and they love Him. Their intellect, will, and affections have not only been rendered capable, but they are also active in love toward God. It is not sufficient for them to nourish love within, but they are active in manifesting this with their tongue, eye, and the entire body. They are thus known as lovers of God and are therefore also referred to as "those that love." Ye that love the LORD, hate evil" (Psa. 97:10); "They that love His Name shall dwell therein" (Psa. 69:36) [III: 266].

6 comments:

Droll Flood said...

"To love God is a privilege of the elect. They, as others, were the children of wrath. However, God draws them out of the state of sin, gives them life and a child-like disposition, and thus also a loving heart."
"Their intellect, will, and affections have not only been rendered capable, but they are also active in love toward God."

-That's the Gospel that I know, love, and believe. Effectual grace!

Mark said...

Ooh... nice start. Looking forward to seeing more of this.

Nate said...

a'Brakel is worth adding to your library. It is $80 as the seminary. (Normally $160)

If people want copies I can pick them up...let me know.

Mark said...

Half.com has a copy for about $20... my budget just got very tight, so it's not an option for me, but I'm sure somebody would be interested.

edwardseanist said...

I appreciate your focus on pursuing personal holiness. thanks for the edifying posts.

Loretta said...

ah! it's magNum opus. Cicero turned in his grave.