Sunday, March 30, 2008

But be ye doers of the word....

“That the doers of the word are the best hearers. That is good when we hear things that are to be done, and do things that are to be heard. That knowledge is best which is most practical, and that hearing is best which endeth in practice. David saith, Ps. 169:105, ‘Thy word is a lantern to my feet, and a light to my steps.’ That is light indeed which directeth you in your paths and ways.
Mat. 7:24 ‘He that heareth my words, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise builder.’ That is wisdom, to come to the word so as we may go away the better. Divers hearers propound other ends. Some come to the word that they may judge it; the pulpit, which is God’s tribunal, is their bar; they come hither to sit judges of men’s gifts and talents. James 4:11 ‘Thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.’ Others come to hear pleasing things, to delight themselves in the elegancy of speech, rarity of conceits, what is finely couched and ordered, not what is proper to their case. This is not an act of religion so much as curiosity, for they come to a sermon with the same mind they would to a comedy or tragedy; the utmost that can be gained from them is commendation and praise;
Ezek. 33:32 ‘Thou art to them as a lovely song, or one that hath a pleasant voice; but they hear thy words, and do them not:’ they were taken with the tinkling and tunableness of the expressions, but did not regard the heavenly matter. So, that fond woman suddenly breaketh out into a commendation of our Lord, but, it seemeth, regarded the person more than the doctrine: Luke 11:27 ‘Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps that gave thee suck;’ for which our Savior correcteth her in the next verse, ‘Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.’ You are mistaken; the end of preaching is not to exalt men, but God. You will say ‘An excellent sermon!’ But what do you gain by it?
The hearer’s life is the preacher’s best commendation, 2Cor. 3:1,2 They that praise the man but do not practice the matter, are like those that taste wines that they may commend them, not buy them. Others come that they may better their talents, and increase their knowledge. Every one desireth to know more than another, to set up themselves; they do so much excel others as they excel them in knowledge: and therefore we are all for notions and head-light, little for that wisdom that ‘entereth upon the heart,’ Prov. 2:10, and serveth to better the life; like children with the rickets, that have big heads but weak joints: this is the disease of this age.”
Thomas Manton, one of the finest of the Puritan divines. - Photo by Christopher Martin

1 comment:

fcb4 said...

excellent...taste the wines but don't buy, love it.