The Illumination

Scripture can only be savingly understood by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is a picture of God’s free grace to sinners. Now, were we in a room hung with the finest paintings, and adorned with the most exquisite statues, we could not see one of them if all light were excluded. The Spirit’s light is the same to the mind that outward light is to the bodily eyes. The most correct and lively description of the sun cannot convey either the light, the warmth, the cheerfulness, or the fruitfulness, which the actual shining of that luminary conveys; neither can the most labored and accurate dissertation on grace and spiritual things impart a true idea of them without an experience of the work of the Spirit upon the heart. The Holy Spirit must shine upon your graces, or you will not be able to see them; and your works must shine on your faith, or your neighbors will not be able to see it. — Augustus Toplady

The Single Plank

When Mr. M’Laren of Edinburgh was dying, Mr. Gustart, his associate pastor, paid him a visit, and inquired of him, “What are you now doing, my brother?” The strong and earnest response of the dying minister was, “I’ll tell you what I am doing, brother; I am gathering together all my prayers, all my sermons, all my good deeds, all my ill deeds; and I am going to throw them all overboard, and swim to glory on the single plank of free grace.”

— from “Death-bed Scenes: Or, Dying With and Without Religion, Designed to Illustrate the Truth and Power of Christianity”, Edited by Davis Wasgatt Clark, 1851.