The Word Makes us Knowing and Growing Christians

The Word preached will not only make us knowing Christians, but growing Christians. Ministers are compared to clouds (Isa. 5:6); their doctrine drops as the rain, and makes the trees of God fruitful. I wonder not that they are barren trees and nigh unto cursing, that are not under the droppings of the sanctuary. A Christian can no more be fruitful without ordinances, than a tree without showers. “Harmless as Doves” pg. 188

The Life of Sin is the Death of the Soul

The life of sin is the death of the soul. A sinner has all the signs of one that is dead; he has no pulse; for the affections are the pulse of the soul; his pulse does not beat after God. He has no sense: ‘Who being past feeling’ (Eph. 4:19). Dead things have no beauty, there is no beauty in a dead flower; dead things are not capable of privilege; the dead heir is not crowned. But grace is the vital artery of the soul; it does not only irradiate, but animate; therefore it is called ‘the light of life’ (Jn. 8:12). And believers are said to have their grave clothes pulled off, and to be alive from the dead (Rom. 6:13). By grace the soul is grafted into Christ the true vine (Jn. 15:5), and is made not only living but lively (I Pet. 1:3). Grace puts forth a divine energy into the soul. “Harmless as Doves” pg. 160

Virtue Leads to Glory

Virtue leads to glory. First you cleanse the vessel, and then pour in wine. God does first cleanse us by grace, and then pour in the wine of glory; the silver link of grace draws the golden link of glory after it: indeed grace differs little from glory; grace is glory in the bud, and glory is grace in the flower. In short, glory is nothing else but grace commencing and taking its degrees. “Harmless as Doves” pgs. 166-167

A Good Conscience can Sleep in the Mouth of a Cannon

A good conscience can sleep in the mouth of a cannon. Grace is a Christians coat of mail, which fears not the arrow or bullet. True grace may be shot at, but can never be shot through. Grace puts the soul into Christ, and there is is safe, as the bee in the hive, as the dove in the ark: ‘There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom. 8:1). “Harmless as Doves” pgs. 165-166

In Your Natural State, Your Souls are Mortgaged

Let me tell you, all you who are yet in your natural estate, your souls are mortgaged. If your land were mortgaged, you would endeavor to redeem it. Your souls are mortgaged: sin has mortgaged them, and has laid your souls to pawn, and where do you think your souls are? The pawn is in the devil’s hand, therefore a man in the state of nature is said to be ‘under the power of Satan’ (Acts 26:18).

 Now there are but two ways to fetch home the pawn, and both are set down in Acts 20:21; ‘Repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Unravel all your works of sin by repentance, honor Christ’s merits by believing: divines call it saving faith, because upon this wing the soul flies to the ark Christ, and is secured from danger. “Harmless as Doves” pg. 117-8

Our Sin should Humble Us

Though the saints have their golden graces, yet they have their leprous spots; seeing sin has made us vile, let it make us humble; seeing it has taken away our beauty, let it take away our pride; if God (saith Austin [Augustine]) did not spare the proud angels, will He spare you, who are but dust and rottenness? O look upon your boils and ulcers, and be humble! Christians are never more lovely in God’s eyes, than when they are loathsome in their own; those sins which humble, shall never damn. “Harmless as Doves” pg. 129

Ministers are Physicians under God to Cure Sick Souls

Ministers are physicians under God to cure sick souls; God has set in His church pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:11). The ministers are a college of physicians, their work is to find out disease and apply medicines; it is a hard work, while ministers are curing others they themselves are nigh unto death (Phil. 2:30). They find their people sick of several diseases; some have poisoned themselves with error, some are surfeited with the love of the creature, some have stabbed themselves at the heart with gross sin. O how hard is it to heal all these sick gangrened souls! Many ministers do sooner kill themselves by preaching than cure their patients; but though the work of the ministry be a laborious work, it is a needful work; while there are sick souls, there will be need of spiritual physicians. “Harmless as Doves” pgs. 127-128