John Calvin (1509-1564) and Matthew Henry (1662-1714) on 2 Tim. 4:13

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Over at the Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor provides Charles Spurgeon’s (1834-1892) noteworthy comments on 2 Tim. 4:13. The passage in question reads:

“When you [Timothy] come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.”

To add to Spurgeon’s comments, here’s what John Calvin (1509-1564) and Matthew Henry (1662-1714) had to say on this passage:

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Calvin:

“It is evident from this, that the Apostle had not given over reading, though he was already preparing for death. Where are those who think that they have made so great progress that they do not need any more exercise? Which of them will dare to compare himself with Paul? Still more does this expression refute the madness of those men who — despising books, and condemning all reading — boast of nothing but their own ἐνθουσιασμοὺς divine inspirations. But let us know that this passage gives to all believers a recommendation of constant reading, that they may profit by it.”

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Henry:

“Paul was guided by divine inspiration, and yet he would have his books with him. Whereas he had exhorted Timothy to give attendance to reading, so he did himself, though he was now ready to be offered. As long as we live, we must be still learning.”

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Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) on the effect of intercessory prayer

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“There was once in a village, where there had been a revival in religion, a man who was a confirmed infidel. Notwithstanding all the efforts of the minister and many Christian people, he had resisted all attempts, and appeared to be more and more confirmed in his sin. At length the people held a prayer meeting specially to intercede for his soul. Afterwards God put it into the heart of one of the elders of the church to spend a night in prayer in behalf of the poor infidel. In the morning the elder rose from his knees, saddled his horse, and rode down to the man’s smithy. He meant to say a great deal to him, but he simply went up to him, took him by the hand, and all he could say was, “O sir! I am deeply concerned for your salvation. I am deeply concerned for your salvation. I have been wrestling with God all this night for your salvation.” He could say no more, his heart was too full. He then mounted on his horse and rode away again. Down went the blacksmith’s hammer, and he went immediately to see his wife. She said, “What is the matter with you?” “Matter enough,” said the man, “I have been attacked with a new argument this time. There is elder B_______ has been here this morning; and he said,” I am concerned about your salvation.’ Why, now, if he is concerned about my salvation, it is a strange thing that I am not concerned about it.” The man’s heart was clean captured by that kind word from the elder; he took his own horse and rode to the elder’s house. When he arrived there the elder was in his parlor, still in prayer, and they knelt down together. God gave him a contrite spirit and a broken heart, and brought that poor sinner to the feet of the Saviour.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Conversion, Sermon 45

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892): Woe unto the men who lead women astray!

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“Shall I speak a sharp word, like a two-edged sword? There are men—and seamen to be found among them—who are not satisfied with being ruined themselves, but they thirst to ruin others. They lay traps for precious souls, and they are vexed that their victims should escape them. They are angry because certain poor women are not altogether in their power. Woe unto the men who lead women astray! I have heard of sailors who, in every port they enter, try to ruin others. I charge you to remember that you will have to face these ruined ones at the day of judgment. You sailed away, and they never knew where you went; but the Lord knew. It may be, when you lie in hell, eyes will find you out, and a voice will cry aloud, ‘Are you here? You are the man that led me to perdition!’ You will have to keep everlasting company with those whom you dragged down to hell; and these will for ever curse you to your face. I say there are men who would like to have full license to commit wantonness, and they are grieved that they are hindered in their carnival of sin. May God grant that you may be stopped altogether; and instead of lusting to pollute others, may you have a desire to save them! May God grant that the channel of evil may be blocked for you, and may you be piloted into the waters of repentance and faith!”

– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Am I a Sea, or a Whale?, Sermon 2206

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892): It is Christ who saves the sinner, not the sinner’s feelings

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“How many there are among God’s people, who say, ‘I know that Christ died for sinners, but I do not get any comfort from it because I do not feel as if I were saved.’ That is self-righteousness in a very deceitful form. You will not be saved by feeling that Christ died for you, but by his dying for you. If he died for you, you were saved when he died. If he took your sins, he took them in very deed, and they are not yours. If Christ was your substitute at all, then God can never punish two for one offence—first the substitute, and then the sinner himself. If Christ really died for you, then your sins are pardoned, whether you feel that they are pardoned or not. ‘Yes,’ one says, ‘but I want to realise that.’ It is a very blessed thing to realise it; but it is not the realising that saves. It is the death of Christ that saves, not your realising the death. If there is a lifeboat, and some poor man is about to drown, and some strong hand rescues him, when he comes to himself he realises that he is in the boat; but it is not the realising that he is in the boat that saves him; it is the lifeboat. So it is Christ who saves the sinner, not the sinner’s feelings.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), The Cleansing of the Leper, Sermon 353

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892): He shall best preach salvation who has felt his own need of it

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“Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. No man is competent to judge in matters of the kingdom, until first he has been tried; since there are many things to be learned in the depths which we can never know in the heights. We discover many secrets in the caverns of the ocean, which, though we had soared to heaven, we never could have known. He shall best meet the wants of God’s people as a preacher who has had those wants himself; he shall best comfort God’s Israel who has needed comfort; and he shall best preach salvation who has felt his own need of it.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Salvation of the Lord, Sermon No. 131, May 10, 1857

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) on Christian maturity

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“Look at the corn in the field, it holds its head erect while it is green, but when the ear is filled and matured, it hangs its head in graceful humbleness. Look at your fruit trees, how their blossoming branches shoot up towards the sky, but when they begin to be loaded with fruit, since the riper the fruit the greater its weight, the branch begins to bow, until it needs oftentimes to be propped up and to be supported, lest it break away from the stem. Weight comes with maturity, lowliness of mind is the inevitable consequence.

Growing Christians think themselves nothing. Full-grown Christians know that they are less than nothing. The nearer we are to Heaven in point of sanctification, the more we mourn our infirmities, and the humbler is our estimate of ourselves. Lightly laden vessels float high in the water, heavy cargo sinks the boat to the water’s edge. The more Grace, the more the need of Grace is felt. He may boast of his Grace who has none. He may talk much of his Grace who has little, but he who is rich in Grace cries out for more, and forgets that which is behind.

When a man’s inward life flows like a river, he thinks only of the Source, and cries before his God, ‘All my fresh springs are in You.’ He who abounds in holiness feels more than ever that in him, that is in his flesh, there dwells no good thing. You are not ripened, my Brothers and Sisters, while you have a high esteem of yourself. He who glories in himself is but a babe in Christ, if indeed he is in Christ at all. When you shall see death written on the creature, and see all your life in Christ. When you shall perceive even your holy things to have iniquity in them, and see all your perfectness in Him who is altogether lovely. When you shall lie prostrate at the foot of the Throne, and only rise to sit and reign in Him who is your All, then are you ripening, but not till then.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Ripe Fruit, Sermon No. 945, August 14, 1870

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892): The most daring feat in all the world

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“To come to Christ as a saint is very easy work. To trust to a doctor to cure you when you believe you are getting better is very easy. But to trust to your physician when you feel as if the sentence of death were in your body, to bear up when the disease is rising in your skin and when the ulcer is gathering its venom, to believe even then in the efficacy of the medicine–that is faith.

And so, when sin gets the master of you, when you feel that the law condemns you–then, even then, especially then–as a sinner, to trust Christ is the most daring feat in all the world. The faith that shook down the walls of Jericho, the faith that raised the dead, the faith that stopped the mouths of lions, was not greater than that of a poor sinner who dares to trust the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ when he is in the jaws of all his sins.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Faith, p. 20-21