CHRISTIAN DEVOTEDNESS PDF

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This manifestation of love he believes to have been made by the entire and real not figurations devotion of themselves, their property, time and talents to Christ, their Lord and King. The subsequent remarks, however, more especially relate to the bestowment of property, and that whether of capital already possessed, or of income to be acquired by industry. The object proposed by the writer is to prove that such a Dedication is invariably enforced by the commands of our Saviour, and that it is illustrated by the practice of his Apostles and their immediate contemporaries [2] : and he entreats of all the sincere disciples of Christ, that they will weigh what is written in the balance of the Sanctuary, and not in the balances of this world;-that they will pray earnestly to the "Father of lights" to have, in their search after truth, a single eye to the glory of Him whose they are and whom they ought to serve, and to the extension of His Kingdom -- that they will, while they search and pray, have a tender regard both to their own souls; and to those of the Millions of "Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics", whose ignorance and wretchedness they profess to deplore.

All that is, or that can fairly be, claimed, in investigating the question before us, is, that the various precepts and arguments, along with the uniform practice, of our Saviour and his Apostles, be allowed to explain his meaning in this particular instance. I shall, therefore, consider in the first place, the direct Scriptural account of the Principle, to which we have alluded, as it is enforced by precept and illustrated by example; and I shall next consider its important bearing upon other momentous commands, which, without it, are rendered exceedingly difficult, nay, impossible, to be understood and received.

I shall begin with the passage from which the motto is taken. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.

Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you, by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying -- What shall we eat? But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" Mat. Luke is almost verbally the same. It is, however, more striking, as it is introduced by a practical warning derived from the conduct of the "rich man", [4] who cries out, on the contemplation of his security from want, -- "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years", and to whom God replies It also concludes with an exhortation somewhat different from that in St.

In the latter it is said -- "Lay not up"; whereas in St. Luke it is said, -- "Sell all that thou hast, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not. In endeavouring, therefore, to ascertain their true meaning, let us examine the evidence supplied by the remarks and conduct of our Blessed Lord and his Apostles, in those cases which bear upon the point in question. When the young man came to enquire what good thing he could do to inherit eternal life, after having mentioned several duties, our Lord says, -- "Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich. If then this is the judgment of him in whom we believe to be "hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge", -- who "Knew what was in man" -- who was acquainted with all the secret influences by which his heart is governed; shall we, in opposition to his solemnly recorded judgment, -- that if it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God" -- strive, by the amassing of wealth, effectually, as far as in us lies, to stop our own heavenward course, as well as that of those dear little ones, whom our heavenly Father may have committed to our peculiar and tender care?

We may, without anxiety, contemplate the circumstance I shall not say the misfortunes of dying and leaving our families to struggle with many seeming difficulties in this world should obedience to the Divine Commands bring us and them into such a situation; because our faith could lay hold, for support and consolation, on the well-known declarations and the acknowledged truth -- that the Captain of our Salvation was made "perfect through sufferings", and "learned obedience by the things that he suffered" Heb.

But a Family left, by our labour and contrivance, in a situation in which, as our Blessed Lord himself declares, it is all but impossible that they should be saved, [5] presents an object of contemplation widely different.

Faith can only lay hold of the fearful declaration; -- "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God"; and if the situation of such a family is irretrievably fixed, and that by our exertions, the contemplation of it may well bring alarm and sadness and distress upon the last hours of a Christian Parent. And these feelings may well rise to anguish, if he is conscious that his system of accumulation was carried on in defiance of solemn admonitions; and if he is persuaded that the wealth he has amassed -- as it were to shut out heaven from the hopes and prospects of his children -- if it had been dedicated day by day, as God had prospered him, as a manifestation of his love, and a tribute of his gratitude to his Lord and King, might have been the means of feeding with the bread of life some of the hundreds of millions who lie in darkness, hopelessness, and sin, because the Son of Righteousness has not arisen on them with healing in his wings.

Such are the views and feelings which an unbiassed consideration of the words of our Saviour is calculated to produce. Some, however, may be prepared to assert that his words give no encouragement or allowance to any such conclusions; and this assertion they may support by another -- that a love of riches was the peculiar failing of the young man, whose conduct suggested the observations of our Saviour.

It ought, however, to be remarked that he does not say, How hardly shall this rich man enter into the Kingdom of God! Mark And the disciples were astonished at his words. When he observes the astonishment of his disciples, he explains to them the reason of his passing a judgment so severe, by stating the cause of that difficulty, of which he spoke as amounting almost to an impossibility. It is next to Impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, because he trusts in his riches.

So that the expression is not introduced with a view of making riches appear less dangerous to the possessor, but rather with a view of explaining why they are so dangerous. The repetition of the general declaration in the strongest terms as it is found in the 25th verse, shows that this is the meaning of our Lord; and the increased astonishment of the Disciples plainly gives the same intimation.

It is evident that they were not led, by this explanation, to consider the case of the rich less hopeless or deplorable; for they cry out: "Who then can be saved? But the man whose soul the love of Christ has touched, does not look on the question as one merely involving danger to himself: he looks on wealth, as well as every other gift, as an instrument of bringing glory to his Lord, by feeding the little ones of his kingdom, or in some way extending the savour of his name.

It is not a matter of law, but a golden opportunity on which affection seizes, to bring a leaf to the wreath of praise and honour, that crowns Him Lord, to the glory of God the Father, who has won the hearts, and is entitled to the uncontrolled dominion of his own saints. From the observations suggested by the conduct of the "young man" let us pass on to the memorable comment of our Lord on the charity of the poor Widow, as recorded by St.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. But how does our Blessed Lord judge, who judges not according to appearance, but righteous judgment? Observing that she ants quite according to his precept of giving up all, He does not call his disciples round him, to warn them, by her example, not to take his words literally, as he did Peter on the use of the sword; but, on the contrary, points out carefully the peculiarity and unequalled greatness of her sacrifice, and holds her up to admiration on account of it.

The rich cast in of their abundance, much; she, of her penury, cast in a little; but it was all that she had, even all her living. We have now only to go one step farther in order to ascertain in what sense the Apostles understood that command of our Saviour now under consideration. The conduct of them and their adherents is thus recorded by St. Luke Acts 2. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.

The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things that he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. If this community of hearts and possessions was according to the mind of the Spirit then, why not now?

We have the general precept enforcing the conduct of our Blessed Lord himself; -- a particular exhortation to it in his conversation with the "young man"; and a most pointed approbation of it in the case of the poor widow. We have, moreover, to encourage and urge it, not only the example of the Apostles, but that of all those who believed in Jerusalem. The former truly said, "Lo we have left all and followed thee"; and of the latter it was also truly written, -- "Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own".

I would just remark that such conduct does not essentially involve the institution of a common stock, but will be effectually secured by each individual blending himself with the whole household of faith, feeling their wants, and rejoicing in their welfare, as his own.

This sympathy of the members of the holy family toward each other, is strongly enforced, and beautifully illustrated by St. I mean not that other men may be eased, and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want, that there may be equality; as It is written: "He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack" 2 Cor.

As then here, the superabundance of him, who had gathered much, ministered to the deficiency of him who had gathered little; so now, whatever the bounty of God may bestow upon us, above a sufficiency for our present necessities, is to be esteemed a blessing in proportion as it is distributed to relieve the temporal and spiritual wants of others. Again I ask -- How do we evade the application of all these precepts and arguments and exhortations and warnings and examples to our own times?

Is there in the Holy Scriptures any limitation as to the time when the love which distinguished the primitive church was to be in exercise? Is not humiliation and suffering, the very character of this dispensation, as of the life of Him who introduced it? Are there no farther ends to be obtained by the crucifixion of self and selfish interests, and manifesting the mind that was in Christ Jesus?

Let the disputes and divisions in the Church of God, and the ,, who have never heard the name of salvation by the blood of Jesus declare.

What then is the ground of evasion? Why, that those were apostolic times and apostolic men. Could there be a stronger reason urged for following their steps? Their having supernatural aids, in addition to moral, makes the obligation to use moral more imperative on our part, if possible, than on theirs; for we have now only the silent and unobserved influences of the Spirit of God operating by them. Those, who may be inclined to ask -- Were not the miraculous powers, entrusted to the Apostles for the advancement of Christianity, also subservient to their personal comfort, amidst their want and pain and distress?

We would refer those who enquire to the words of the Apostle Paul. I have been in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. They felt the beneficial effects of suffering on their own souls, and they saw it blessed to the conversion of the souls of others: and, looking beyond things which are seen and temporal, they beheld that "exceeding and eternal weight of glory" which their sufferings were working out 2 Cor.

Considering the preceding remarks to establish the sense, in which the Apostles received the command of our Saviour in regard to giving up all, as well as the meaning of our Saviour Himself; it may appear superfluous to state anything farther; particularly as my only desire is, to open the eyes of those who love their Lord and Master with a pure heart, fervently to the understanding of his mind on the subject of this little book; for it is not money, time, and talents, that I desire to see brought into the external service of Christ, as such; but only as the incense of praise and thanksgiving to Him "who has loved us, and washed [properly "loosed"] us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God the Father", from His own redeemed, yea, the ransomed of the Lord, not the extorted, but voluntary homage from those hearts which would crown Him Lord of all.

And certainly, any farther statement would be superfluous, if we were called upon to sit in judgment on the meaning of writers, whose opinions laid us under no practical obligation, or whose sentiments were in unison with our whole nature. Here however, the case is widely different; we have an old nature for this earth, as well as a new nature for heaven; and therefore, things require to be stated as fully as may be, that Satan may be stopped at every turn by "it is written". To admit an opinion -- is to admit a truth; and to admit a truth -- is to admit the obligation to act upon it, against our earthly constitution.

I come, therefore, secondly, to consider the important bearing of the Principle, I have endeavoured to establish and illustrate, on several momentous commands which, without the reception of it, are rendered exceedingly difficult, nay, impossible, to be understood and received; notwithstanding that the import and object of these commands are abundantly obvious, and the performance of them tends most directly and most powerfully to promote the highest good which the church is capable of enjoying.

Had there been the same doubt of the meaning and obligation of this precept in the infancy of Christianity, which these last ages have exhibited, it would scarcely have extended its influence beyond the confines of Judea. But, thanks be to God, the first Christians felt the gospel, committed to their trust, to be "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth"; and they felt it to be the mind of Him who had loved them with an everlasting love, and given Himself for them, that this great act of surpassing love should be published to every creature, for His own glory, and for salvation to the ends of the earth; and therefore they counted all things but loss, that they might fulfil His will, and advance His Kingdom.

Why has this spirit for so many centuries been slumbering? Because men have been seeking, every one his own things, and not the things of Christ. Let any one ask his own heart, as in the presence of God, in which state he should feel most disposed to embrace the command, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature" -- whether, when he is labouring for, and enjoying the comforts and conveniences of life, and providing against the future possible wants of himself and his family; or when, like the Apostles and first Christians, he has laid aside every earthly encumbrance, and waits ready to go or to stay, as the Spirit of God may appoint.

To the enquiry -- "Who will go for us? The one, having the eye single, since to glorify his Lord is the only object of his life, will be ready to answer -- "Here am I "; while those who are surrounded by the cares and comforts of this world, have so many earthly claims and relations to adjust, that the general result will be that of standing still, and the enquiry, -- "Who will go for us? It is not meant absolutely to say that every man should become a Missionary, in the proper sense of the term.

While one has that ministration of the Spirit which leads him to go and preach the gospel in person, another shows that he is guided by the same Spirit in carefully supplying the wants of him who thus goes "taking nothing of the Heathen" 3 John 7 , from the abundance yielded by devoted diligence in his honest vocation, and by rigid habits of self-denial.

Can we, with any truth, be said to love that neighbour as ourselves, whom we suffer to starve, whilst we have enough and to spare? May I not appeal to any, who have experienced the Joy of knowing the unspeakable gift of God, and ask -- Would you exchange this knowledge, with all the comforts and blessings it has been the means of imparting, for a hundred worlds, were they offered?

Let us not then withhold the means by which others may obtain this sanctifying knowledge and heavenly consolation. Are not these very difficulties, dangers, and afflictions, against which we so anxiously desire to provide, the very marks by which Jesus Christ himself, his Apostles and Prophets, and all the chosen servants of God, have ever been distinguished, and the means by which they have been perfected.

It has been remarked that some pious men have, from their imprudence, left their children a burden upon the Christian public, and thus disgraced their profession. If, however, the unprovided state of these children was owing to an enlarged view of devotedness to God on the part of these Parents, accompanied by frugal appropriations to themselves, and that strict honour and honesty, which must ever precede beneficence to others; all the disgrace, and ultimately all the loss, must rest on those that survive, who are so dead to the privileges of the Gospel, as either to forget that it was ever said, -- "Whosoever receivers one such little one in my name, receivers me" Matthew The whole tenor of the New Testament, however, pronounces the opinion to be false; and were a hundred individuals appointed to the once of choosing a portion for their children, in accordance with the obvious principles of Christianity, and with the declarations of its Author and his Apostles -- such a portion as bore the most favourable aspect on the acquisition of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; and were they conscientiously to perform their office, they would all unite in choosing a portion poor and dependent.

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Christian Devotedness Part 2

You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www. By Anthony Norris Groves Before this second edition was issued Groves had taken the step which he here had advocated. The tract is a revelation of the man, and affords an insight into the spirit and the glow which made his ministry attractive to sincere souls, and effectual. It being long since unobtainable we give it in full. By it he, being dead, may yet speak, and other hearts be enlarged and enriched, to the glory of God. It reads PREFACE In sending a second impression of the following little work into the world after a lapse of four years from the publication of the former edition, it may be right to state, that my views on the subject of it, have undergone no change in the way of relinquishment; but on the contrary the experience of every day in my own history,--every observation I have been able to make on the history of those with whom I have come into the closest contact, and who have either received or rejected the view, and in whatever degree, has tended exceedingly to strengthen the conviction on my mind, of the infinitely deep knowledge of the human heart, and springs of human actions which these injunctions of our Blessed Lord manifest: and that he means simply what he says in "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," etc.

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Christian Devotedness

And not only that, but it is illustrated by the conduct of the apostles and early Christians. The author therefore asks that all sincere disciples of Christ carefully weigh what is written here in the balance of the Sanctuary, not the balance of the world. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Groves put into personal practice the principles of Christian devotedness which he advocates in this booklet, and proved the possibility and blessing of accepting the teaching of the Lord literally. A word about the author: Anthony Norris Groves — was born in Hampshire, England and was the only son in a family of six. Having trained as a dentist in London, he set up practice in Plymouth.

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