The past several weeks, I have been sharing thoughts from different Puritans on selective topics. Most of these quotes have come from A Puritan's Golden Treasury. I have shared thoughts on Unity, Idleness, Excess, and Parenting. Today, I wanted to share some thoughts on the Church.
I love the church. If you have read much of anything I have written on here, you would know that I love the gospel and the church. I love the people of God, in spite of all of our weaknesses. And while the summer is a time of much relaxation and time away with the family, I pray it never becomes a time off of church. May these thoughts from the Puritans help you as you contemplate your involvement with the church.
"Though we have sins too many, yet the better part gives the name. Corn-fields we see have many weeds, yet we call them corn-fields, not fields of weeds." (Paul Bayne)
"God speaks by the Church (the true Church we mean); but He speaks nothing by her but what He speaks in the Scriptures, which she does only ministerially declare to us; and therefore the authority of God and His law is above hers, who, though she publish, yet did not make it, but is herself subject to it." (John Owen)
"Objection: I can profit as much by staying at home and reading the Scripture or some good book; it is the word of God which they preach, and it is that which I read at home. The books that are written by learned men are better than the sermons that are preached by our ministers. Answer: What foolish pretences are these against the plain command of God and our own necessary duty! When God hath appointed you your duty, will He allow you to forsake it upon your own reason, as if you were wiser than God, and knew what will profit you better than He?....Is it not horrible pride in you to think that you are able to understand the word of God as well without a teacher as with one?....as if your children that go to school should say, 'We have the same books at home, and therefore we will not go to school; our master doth but teach us grammar, and other books, and these we can read at home.'" (Richard Baxter)
"O be not too quick to bury the Church before she is dead." (John Flavel)