Monday, December 19, 2016

Book Review: Help Heavenward

Help Heavenward: Guidance and Strength for the Christian's Life Journey. Octavius Winslow. Foreword by Joel R. Beeke. Banner of Truth. 195 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: The children of God are on their way to the Father's house.

I really loved reading Octavius Winslow's Help Heavenward. How best to describe it? It was about the sanctification of believers, on how believers are supposed to live on earth while awaiting future glory. It wasn't so much about the destination (what heaven will be like) as the journey. Each chapter is supposed to guide or encourage Christian pilgrims on that journey. It is a practical book--instructional--and devotional.

Quotes from chapter 1:
  • Grace is the germ of glory; glory is the highest perfection of grace. Grace is glory militant; glory is grace triumphant. Thus the believer has two heavens to enjoy, a present heaven experienced in the love of God in his heart, and a future heaven in the fulness of joy that is at Christ's right hand, and the pleasures that are for evermore. (2)
  • Do not fail, beloved reader, to trace up your gracious springs to their infinite fountain, God's everlasting love. To stop at Calvary is to trace the river but halfway to its source. (5)
  • The cross is the only stand-point, and Christ is the only mirror, where God can be rightly studied and seen. (6)
Quotes from chapter 2
  • Sanctification, or heavenly meetness, is an initial work in the great process by which God prepares the soul for glory. Justification, that instantaneous act of his free grace by which the soul is brought into a state of divine acceptance, is a present and a complete work. (15)
  • There is no vision of God either present or future, save through the medium of holiness. (16)
  • The moment a poor believing soul is brought to Jesus, he is brought to rest. (18)
  • The believer has to fight his way to heaven. (19)
  • We must resolve the circumstance of God's permissive will touching the indwelling of sin in the believer into the same view of his character. His wisdom appoints it; his will permits it; his love controls it. (25)
Quotes from chapter 3
  • Spiritual sensibility is a sign of spiritual life. (31)
  • Each one has his cross, each his load, each his pressure. Oh, how this truth ought to unite the people of God in holy affection, forbearance, and sympathy towards one another! (31)
  • The curse, though removed, has left its lingering shadow upon the soul, and this, to a saint of God, is no little burden. (33)
  • A mind diseased involves more real suffering and demands more divine grace than a body diseased. (35)
  • What numbers are there of the Lord's people whose spiritual hope is obscured by mental disease, and whose mental disease is, in its turn, produced by some physical irritant--so close is the relation and so sympathetic the emotions of the body and mind. What a mystery is our being! (35)
  • You will advance more in divine instruction in one day at the feet of Jesus than in a lifetime at the feet of Gamaliel. (41)
Quotes from chapter 4:
  • Deem not your Christianity as true, nor your religion as sound, nor your hope as valid, unless you have seen by faith's spiritual, far-discerning eye Jesus in his divinity, the King riding in majesty and beauty in this cloud-chariot of his essential dignity and glory. (52)
  • The gospel is the vehicle in which Christ makes his constant advent to our souls. (54)
  • Let your great study be the mystery of Christ's love to sinners--the mystery of Christ's love to you. (55)
  • It is our wisdom and our happiness to know that there is not an event or circumstance, a cloud or a sunbeam, in our personal history and experience that is not a vehicle of Christ. (61)
Quotes from chapter 5:
  • A great cloud of witnesses all testify to sorrow as the ordained path to heaven. (67)
  • We know more of the Lord Jesus through one sanctified affliction than by all the treatises the human pen ever wrote. (69)
  • Our sins must bring us to his blood, our condemnation must bring us to his righteousness, our corruptions must bring us to his grace, our wants must bring us to his fulness, our weakness must bring us to his strength, our sorrow must bring us to his sympathy, and his own loveliness and love must attract us to himself. (69)
Quotes from chapter 6:
  • How few look fully into God's face as their Father? How few pray in the spirit of adoption? How few rejoice in the sense of pardoned sin and possess the peace which flows from the justified state procured by the blood and righteousness of our Emmanuel? (83)
  • Oh, come and rest where God rests, in the Crucified One! If he is pleased to accept you in his Son, are you not satisfied so to be accepted? If the blood and righteousness of Emmanuel are enough for God, are they not enough also for you? (87)
  • It is in submitting to his yoke and in bearing his burden that true freedom is found. (90)
Quotes from chapter 7:
  • We look at the want, and not at him who supplies it; at the storm, and not at him who controls it; at the care, and not at him who assumes it. (99)
  • Is not the Care-taker greater than the care itself? Yet how we limit the Holy One and magnify and multiply our cares, anxieties, and sorrows! (99)
  • To him there is nothing little, nothing insignificant, nothing beneath his notice and regard. (103)
  • You must believe that God's power is able, and that his love is willing, and that his grace is sufficient to assume the transfer; that Christ, who has borne the heavier pressure of your curse, and your sins, and your very hell, is prepared to sustain, succour, and comfort you, removing your burden of care by absorbing it in himself. (107)
  • Remember that this casting of our care on God is a present and a constant duty. (111)
  • A present care will find a present Receiver, a present Helper, and a present relief. (111)
Quotes from chapter 8:
  • There is no statement clearer in God's Word than this, that to enjoy heaven we must become heavenly. (117)
  • Your love to Christ will never increase by feeding upon itself. You must light your torch of affection at the altar of Calvary. You must go there, and learn and believe what the love of Jesus is to you: the vastness of that love, the self-sacrifice of that love, how that love of Christ laboured and wept, bleed, suffered, and died for you. (119)
  • It is not for your worth that you are saved, but for Christ's worth. It is not on the ground of your personal merits that you are justified, but on the ground of Christ's merits alone. (121)
  • The blood of Christ pardons, the righteousness of Christ justifies you, and this is all that you require, or that God demands. (121)
  • Your sins, countless as the stars, are no barrier to your salvation if you but believe in Jesus. (122)
  • Ah, how little we deal with the heart of our Lord! We find finite depths of iniquity in our own, but we forget the infinite depths of grace that are in his. (134)
Quotes from chapter 9:
  • The heart is ever swerving from God. (142)
  • The past is gone, the future all to us unknown, it is with the present we have to deal. (145)
  • All that we can do is to make burdens, forge chains, carve crosses, inflict wounds--in a word, destroy our own selves. (146)
  • Seek to bring souls to Jesus. Let this be an object of life. Be especially tender, gentle, and kind to Christians who have fallen into sin and are thereby wounded, distressed, and despairing. Extend a helping hand to lead them back to Christ. Your deep abhorrence of the sin must not be allowed to lessen your compassion and sympathy for the sinning one. Jesus did not do so. (149)
Quotes from Chapter 10:
  • Weak as may be your faith, small your grace, limited your experience, you shall not perish, for it is not your hold upon Christ, but Christ's hold upon you, that insures your safe and certain passage over. (163)
Quotes from chapter 11:
  • The fatherhood of God is the first truth our Lord propounds in connection with this picture of heaven. (172)
  • In claiming God as his Father, he claimed him as ours too. (173)
  • We go to no uncertain home. It is the family mansion, eternally ordained and prepared for the dwelling of the saints. The everlasting love which chose us to salvation, the predestination which appointed us to be sons, provided the home we were eternally to occupy. (177)
  • How full and rich is the gospel of Christ! How divine the provision, how ample the supply, how free the invitation! The forgiveness of all and every sin, your reconciliation with the offended Majesty of heaven, peace so divine, so great in your soul that it 'passeth all understanding', life and immortality, the consummation and crown of its blessings! Oh, pray for and cherish a spiritual zest for this banquet! Bring to it your soul's cravings, your spirit's weariness, your heart's sadness, your sin-woundings, your worst and lowest frames; there is enough in the unfoldings of Jesus to satiate every weary soul and to replenish every sorrowful soul. (180)
  • Oh, come away from your doings and your failings, from your merit and demerit, from the things you have done and the things you have not done, from the keeping of religious days and fasts and festivals, from all the fond conceits of goodness, holiness, and righteousness in yourself, from all self-approval, self-justification, self-trusting, and as a sinner betake yourself to the righteousness of Christ, accept it as a free gift, put it on in faith; and from that moment you shall be found complete in Christ, and robed for the banquet of heaven. (182)
  • I do not think that in the archives of heaven, the sacred scroll of God's revealed truth will be missing. (189)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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