05 May 2010

The Wisdom of Manton

"for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." (James 1:20, NASB)

"The righteousness of God is put for such righteousness as God requireth, God approveth, God effecteth; and in this sense in scripture things are said to be of God or of Christ which are effected by his power or commanded in his word: thus faith is said to be the work of God [John 6:29] because he commandeth we should labour in it, which plainly is the intent of that context..."

"The context speaketh of anger occasioned by differences about the word... should a meek religion be defended by our violences, and the God of peace served with wrathful affections, and the madness of an evil nature bewray itself in the best cause?... you cannot gratify Satan more than when you wrong the truth by an unseemly defence of it... Those engage most successfully that use the hardest arguments and the softest words; whereas railings and revilings, as they are without love, so they are without profit."

"All violent concitations of the spirit disturb reason, and hinder clearness of debate; and it is then with the soul as it is with men in a mutiny, the gravest cannot be heard; and there is in it somewhat of mist and darkness, by which reason, being beclouded, is rather made a party than a judge, and doth not only excuse our passion, but feed it, as being employed in representing the injury, rather than bridling our irrational excess."

(from The Complete Works of Dr. Thomas Manton, Volume 4)

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