"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Monday, December 27, 2004

Augustine on John 6:44

John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” (ESV)
4. Thence also He says here, if thou turn thy attention to it, "No man cometh to me except he whom the Father shall draw." Do not think that thou art drawn against thy will. The mind is drawn also by love. Nor ought we to be afraid, lest perchance we be censured in regard to this evangelic word of the Holy Scriptures by men who weigh words, but are far removed from things, most of all from divine things; and lest it be said to us, "How can I believe with the will if I am drawn?" I say it is not enough to be drawn by the will; thou art drawn even by delight. What is it to be drawn by delight? "Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart." There is a pleasure of the heart to which that bread of heaven is sweet. Moreover, if it was right in the poet to ! say, "Every man is drawn by his own pleasure," --not necessity, but pleasure; not obligation, but delight,--how much more boldly ought we to say tthat a man is drawn to Christ when he delights in the truth, when he delights in blessedness, delights in righteousness, delights in everlasting life, all which Christ is? Or is it the case that, while the senses of the body have their pleasures, the mind is left without pleasures of its own? If the mind has no pleasures of its own, how is it said, "The sons of men shall trust under the cover of Thy wings: they shall be well satisfied with the fullness of Thy house; and Thou shalt give them drink from the river of Thy pleasure. For with Thee is the fountain of life; and in Thy light shall we see light"? Give me a man that loves, and he feels what I say. Give me one that longs, one that hungers, one that is travelling in this wilderness, and thirsting and panting after the fountain of his eternal home; give! such, and he knows what I say. But if I speak to the cold and indifferent, he knows not what I say. Such were those who murmured among themselves. "He whom the Father shall draw," saith He, "cometh unto me."
5. But what is this, "Whom the Father shall draw," when Christ Himself draws? Why did He say, "Whom the Father shall draw"? If we must be drawn, let us be drawn by Him to whom one who loves says, "We will run after the odor of Thine ointment." But let us, brethren, turn our minds to, and, as far as we can, apprehend how He would have us understand it. The Father draws to the Son those who believe on the Son, because they consider that God is His Father...
Photius said, "Christ is only a man, he is not also God." The Father hath not drawn him who thus believes. One whom the Father has drawn says: "Thou art Christ, Son of the living God." Not as a prophet, not as John, not as some great and just man, but as the only, the equal, "Thou art Christ, Son of the living God." See that he was drawn, and drawn by the Father. "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonas: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven." This revealing is itself the drawing. Thou holdest out a green twig to a sheep, and thou drawest it. Nuts are shown to a child, and he is attracted; he is drawn by what he runs to, drawn by loving it, drawn without hurt to the body, drawn by a cord of the heart. If, then, these things, which among earthly delights and pleasures are shown to them that love them, draw them, since it is true that "every man is drawn by his own pleasure," does not Chris! t, revealed by the Father, draw? For what does the soul more strongly desire than the truth? For what ought it to have a greedy appetite, with which to wish that there may be within a healthy palate for judging the things that are true, unless it be to eat and drink wisdom, righteousness, truth, eternity?

Friday, December 03, 2004

God's Will and Man's Will

Lord, deny me what you wilt,
Only ease me of my guilt;
Pleading at Your feet I lie,
Give me Christ, or else I die.

Why, then the Lord speaks to you this morning, to you if not to any other man in the church, he speaks to you and says-”Whosoever wishes, let him come.” You cannot say this does not mean you. When we give the general invitation, you may exempt yourself perhaps in some way or other, but you cannot now. You are willing, then come and take the water of life freely. “Shouldn’t I pray first?” It does not say so; it says, take the water of life. “But hadn’t I better go home and get better first?” No, take the water of life, and take the water of life now. You are standing by the fountain, and the water is flowing and you are willing to drink; you are picked out of a crowd who are standing about, and you are especially invited by the person who built the fountain. He says, “Here is a special invitation for you; you are willing; come and drink.” “Sir,” you say, “I must go home and wash my pitcher.” “No,” says he, “come and drink.” “But, sir, I want to go home and write a petition to you.” “I do not want it,” he says, “drink now, drink now.” What would you do? If you were dying of thirst, you would just put your lips down and drink. Soul, do that now. Believe that Jesus Christ is able to save you now. Trust your soul into his hands now. No preparation is needed. Whosoever will let him come; let him come at once and take the water of life freely. To take that water is simply to trust Christ; to rest in him; to take him to be your all in all. Oh that you would do it now! You are willing; God has made you willing.