Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the divine life

It is now in the divine flow 4:21 PM Sunday early evening. I am down in the lower level of our home reading a treatise titled "The Divine Life" Part I. Chapter III Of The Knowledge of God" by the famous English Puritan divine Richard Baxter. I have been thinking a lot about the writings of Richard Baxter since our oldest son's visit last month. Our oldest son Caleb mentioned me reading to our children the writings of Richard Baxter for Family Devotions. It seems Caleb found the writings of Richard Baxter distasteful. Caleb failed to mention that at Family Worship we read most of the time the Bible or Bible stories from a Children's Bible Story set. Caleb believed all I ever read at Family Worship was High Calvinism literature. Caleb also failed to remember I stopped reading devotional books when they became teenagers. Our children were not forced to go to church. When our kids turned 16 years old I told them it was their choice to go to church on Sundays. Bethany and Josiah continue to go to church, whereas Caleb decided not to go. I never shoved Christianity down the throats of our children. Once in awhile I would warn them as a father that the way of sin leads to death and the way of Christ leads to eternal life. Bethany and Josiah are today professing Christians, whereas Caleb is lost and going to Hell. Caleb knows he is lost but refuses to repent and believe the Gospel of Christ.

When Caleb mentioned Richard Baxter I failed to mention to him that I read Baxter to them at Family Devotions because I loved the way he conveyed spiritual realities. Richard Baxter was a master at setting forth biblical realities/Christian piety.

It amazes me that children misinterpret the ways of their parents/Christian parents! All I ever wanted for our three children was to experience and to know the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Well I will quote Richard Baxter now-

"But what is the impress that the being of God must make upon the soul?

I answer, From hence the holy soul discerneth that the beginning and the end of his religion, the substance of his hope, is the Being of beings, and not a shadow; and that his faith is not a fancy. The object is as it were the matter of the act. If our faith, and hope, and love, and fear, be exercised in a illusory work, God is to the atheist but an empty name; he feels no life or being in him; and accordingly he offereth him a shadow of devotion, and a nominal service. But to the holy soul there is nothing that hath life and being but God, and that which doth receive a being from him, and leadeth to him. This real object putteth a reality into all the devotions of a holy soul. They look upon the vanities of the world as nothing; and therefore they look on worldly men as on idle dreamers that are doing nothing. This puts a seriousness and life into the faith and holy affections of the believer. He knows whom he trusteth, 2 Tim. 1.12. He knows whom he loveth, and in whom he hopeth. Atheists, and all ungodly men, do practically judge of God as the true believer judgeth of the world. The atheist takes the pleasures of the world to be the only substance; and God to be but a shadow, a notion, or a dream. The godly take the world to be as nothing, and know it is but a fancy and dream, and shadow of pleasure, and honour, and profit, and felicity, that men talk of and seek so eagerly below; but that God is the substantial object and portion of the soul. If you put into the mouth of a hungry man, a little froth, or breath, or air, and bid him eat it, and feed upon it, he will tell you, he finds no substance in it; so judgeth the graceless soul of God, and so judgeth the gracious soul of the creature, as separate from God." pg. 768,769 Richard Baxter "Baxter's Practical Works" Volume 3 The Saint's Everlasting Rest

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