1 Kings 18:20
So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel.
Elijah and the Prophets of BaalE. De Pressense 1 Kings 18:1-46
Deliverance from the Mouth of the LionF. W. Krummacher, D. D.1 Kings 18:17-20
Elijah Meeting AhabMonday Club Sermons1 Kings 18:17-20
Christ or Belial!J.A. Macdonald 1 Kings 18:19-21
Elijah and the Prophets of BaalJ. H. Cadoux.1 Kings 18:19-40
Elijah and the Prophets of BaalC. J. Baldwin.1 Kings 18:19-40
The Priests of BaalMonday Club Sermons1 Kings 18:19-40
The Prophet of the LordH. M. Booth, D. D.1 Kings 18:19-40

Here is a curious phenomenon. A monarch, who had searched all kingdoms for a prophet that he might reek anger upon his life, now sought out and confronted by that prophet, and submitting to his orders to call an assembly of the nation! How God can turn about the hearts of princes! Conspicuous in this vast concourse are the idolatrous priests with gnashing teeth. Elijah stands alone undaunted, a witness for Jehovah, and, appealing to the multitude, he accuses them of unworthy hesitation between irreconcilable services.


1. No joys can compare with the heavenly.

(1) There are, indeed, sad professors of the true religion.

(a) Some are constitutionally melancholy. This is a disease which certainly is not aggravated by the sense of the favour of God.

(b) Some have false views of religion. They caricature it into a sepulchral thing. They do it injustice.

(c) But the case most common is that sad professors do not experience what they profess. They halt between Jehovah and Baal - between Christ and Belial. In fashion. In friendships. In pursuits. So conscience stings them sore.

(2) When religion is true there is the best reason for joy.

(a) It brings emancipation from the slavery of sin.

(b) Deliverance from the tyranny of Satan.

(c) Adoption into the family of God.

(d) Heirship to everlasting life.

The true heir has the title-deeds of his inheritance in his heart (Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:4, 5). Thus does he antedate the very bliss of heaven (Luke 17:21; Ephesians 1:3).

2. If sinners be not sad, the more shame.

(1) For sin degrades the man below the brute. As far below as the powers of a man are superior. The degradation of a devil would be impossible to a brute. If a man can be transformed into a compound of swine and devil and not be sad, this is the climax of depravity.

(2) Sin is perfidy to infinite love. Such ingratitude can only be reconciled with the absence of sadness upon the ground of the most shameful perversity.

(3) The sinner is befooled by Satan. In his reflective moods he must loathe himself; but Satan whirls him away from his reflections into some mad dance, and drowns the voice of his conscience in some boisterous laugh. So the fool still befooled exults in his folly. O shame!


1. Life is the determining period.

(1) It is the seed-time for the reaping in eternity. The yield then will be according to the sowing now. In quality: "After its kind." Also in quantity.

(2) Therefore the young have a splendid opportunity. They have time in their favour. "How long shall ye?"

2. Procrastination is precarious work.

(1) "How long (פסח) hop ye?" - this word denotes the passing over from one place to another - "between two opinions." It is used scornfully of the awkward leaping of the priests of Baal, in ver. 26. As the squirrel hopping from branch to branch may miss its footing and fall, so may the halting sinner hop into ruin.

(2) Consider the uncertainty of life. Read the gravestones. How enormous is the mortality amongst the young! Unroof heil!

(3) Consider the solemnities of eternity. The freshness and vividness of memory in the disembodied state. What a preparation for the day of judgment!

III. FOR INDECISION THERE IS NO DEFENCE. "The people answered him not a word." But there are motives to evil when there are no good reasons. Such are -

1. Conjugal influence.

(1) Ahab's heart was estranged from God by the influence of Jezebel His predecessors suffered from the same cause. Notably so Solomon.

(2) Beware of contracting ungodly matrimonial alliances. Remember the famine in Samaria. The same God still "ruleth in the kingdom of men."

2. The smile of favouor.

(1) Idolatry was favoured at court. The priests of Ashere feasted "at Jezebel's table." Mean-spirited Israelites sought court favour at the expense of the favour of God.

(3) True worshippers were persecuted. Elijah had to hide himself at Cherith and Zarephath. The sons of the prophets had to hide in the eaves of Obadiah. To keep a whole skin many hesitated. Will you encounter the frown of God to escape the sneer of an old companion?

3. The force of example.

(1) Elijah stood alone as the prophet of the Lord. He had with him a handful of laymen. Obadiah was conspicuous amongst them. If the prophets fed by Obadiah had issued from their caves, they did not stand forth on Carmel in their official character.

(2) The pronounced idolaters were a larger company. There were the prophets of Baal four hundred, and the prophets of Ashere four hundred and fifty, with a proportionate following.

(3) Still "the people" were vacillators. These were the majority. The power and influence of numbers were with the moderate people who would fain keep good terms with God and the devil. The halters are still the majority. How few amongst the multitude of the wicked have resolved in heart and soul that they will go to the devil! It is time you made up your mind one way or the other. How long halt ye? - J.A.M.

Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto Mount Carmel.
Monday Club Sermons.
Mendelssohn has wrought the harmonies and discords of this scene into a grand oratorio, and the painter or poet can find in it abundant material for his art. The actors are a king and royal court, hundreds of priests in splendid vesture, masses of people, anxious and hungry-eyed; and over against them a single man, big, fearless, with hairy mantle and leathern girdle, and loose locks waving like a mane about his stern face. Our lesson to-day stops short with the failure of the priests. We may call it the helplessness of heathenism. Who was Baal? Whence did he come? Where did he get his power? How did he rule? There was no such being. He never lived, never blessed a servant, or crushed a foe. When the priests cried, there was no answer, because there was no one to hear. Yet the name had a fiendish personality in the history of Israel, as a most alluring and ruinous force. An actual Baal never lived, possibly the ideal Baal has never died.

I. THE HEATHENISM OF TO-DAY. We still find idolatrous nations, with the same licentiousness, cruelty, and error. One African tribe has six words for murder, not one for love. The missionary who goes among them is an Elijah pleading for Jehovah against Baal. May the prophet's mantle fall upon such, and may the Lord be with them as he was with Elijah. One definition of a heathen is "an irreligious, unthinking person"; a pagan, "one who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedan, nor a Jew." A cleaner and brighter heathenism appears in the high-bred infidelity, of which we hear more than its worth demands. This is not ignorant and boorish, but elegant and learned. It affects to look down on the simplicity of believers, as the gorgeously robed priests may have sneered at Elijah's rough mantle. It uses the terms of science and philosophy. Its worship is mostly of the silent sort before an unknown God. Investigating the development of religious belief, it finds everywhere the longing, but nowhere the Creator who inspires it; everywhere the child's heart, nowhere the infinite Father. Speaking for art, it forgets that faith has inspired its masterpieces, and would put its visions above Him who made the splendours of earth, sea, and sky, human face divine, teeming brain, and skilful hand. Be not deceived by them. The greater number of sound thinkers and investigators are to-day, as in the past, believers. It is easy to see the paganism in such cases; not so easy where it touches us more closely in the heathenism of worldliness. Baal-worship was popular because it was gay, festal, splendid, while the Mosaic ritual was calm, earnest, self-controlled, chaste. Under the first, men could do what they liked best, and yet pass for religious. It dignified self-indulgence, and deified strength and lust. Love of God is the source and crown of all delights; but, to a multitude of meaner impulses in us, the world appeals with more flattery and promise than heaven. Let us hold fast to the Bible, in which speaks the only living and true God. If we turn from Jehovah, the deity we make ourselves will prove a Baal. Earth-born religions are dishonourable to the conscience, false to the intellect, and cruel to the heart. And if we acknowledge Jehovah to be God, let us follow Him.

II. THE TESTING OF HEATHENISM. Anything which claims our service and our love should be able to support us in emergencies. Infidelity and worldliness may do very well in good times, when bright suns and genial rains mingle to bless our lot; so did Baal. And so all blasphemy, and polite infidelity, and every. thing that is not of God, when it has had its fling, and tried its power, drops back, helpless to save its followers. The testing is not often so dramatic as upon Carmel, but is continually repeated.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

But Mount Carmel, a celebrated mountain on the southern boundary of the tribe of Assher, which extends itself into the Mediterranean Sea. It runs north-west of the plain of Esdraelon.

I. WE NOTICE THE PROPOSAL OF ELIJAH TO THE MULTITUDE. He speaks to them, not to the royal court. Religion is not an affair concerning the great and titled of the earth only. It respects every man. It is for the multitude as well as for the rich and great.

II. NOTICE THE PROPOSAL OF ELIJAH ACCEPTED. All the people said, "The word is good." It was an advantageous one to the prophets of Baal. They had the prepossessions of the people and of the royal court in their favour: .It. is easy to take up religion when it is in prosperity: but to take it up when it is m a drooping, dying state, is the work that demands principle, sterling principle. To be zealous, when the very stones of the altar are to be replaced — when the alternative is ruin or revival — extirpation or reform — then to be zealous — then to be a reformer — to seek to restore truth and religion to their pristine dignity, that is a work honourable indeed, and arduous as it is honourable.





VII. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE PRIESTS. These prophets had been the cause of the grievous famine, of the death of cattle and human beings not a few. They had also sacrificed thousands of dear children to Baal. The rites of Baal were frequently celebrated with human victims. They had also brought Jezebel to think it a meritorious act to slay the prophets of the Lord. Also, according to the laws of Moses, idolatry was considered treason against God, as the national king, and death was denounced as the punishment of that sin. These men suffered nothing but the due reward of their deeds. Those who live by imposing on the weaknesses and superstitious feelings of others shall sooner or later meet with a suitable retribution. They that dig pits for others frequently fall into them themselves. Their own lies frequently slay the authors of them. Men first utter lies, then believe them, then perish by them. And they perish without pity. They perish amidst the execrations of those whom they have deceived.

(J. H. Cadoux.)

1. We are reminded of the great disparity between these opposing forces. Now, as then, Truth is in the minority. It was one man against four hundred and fifty. But so it is always. The world has never seen a popular majority for the truth. Only eight souls were saved in the ark; Abraham was alone in his faith; Israel was but a handful; and the "peculiar peoples" in every age have been "a remnant." Even the Son of God did not restore the equilibrium. The Reformation effected but a partial equalisation. The present age of missions, with all its conquests, finds the Church outnumbered in every region by its foes. Not only so, but in respect to earthly rank, power, prestige, the advantage has always been on the side of error. If at intervals the tide seems to turn, as when David, Solomon, Constantine give to religious truth political pre-eminence, such episodes are transient, and soon the old disproportion returns.

Truth for ever on the scaffold,

Wrong for ever on the throne,

abides as the rule obtaining in every age for the fortunes of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

2. This disparity was intensified and emphasised by divine direction. Elijah was commanded to give to his opponents precedence at every point. The criterion which he must submit for the testing of the rival religions was "the god that answereth by fire." That was a concession to the claims of Baal, who was called the "sun-god," with whom fire was a native element. On the other hand, Elijah's task was rendered as difficult as possible. He must stand by and see his rivals consume the entire day. This magnifying of evil and minimising of the resources of good has marked the Divine policy from the first. God has seemed to give to sin every advantage that it could ask for, and to keep his own cause at a corresponding inferiority. What a surprising difference, according to earthly standards, between Jesus and His enemies! Not only was He alone, unfavoured and unhelped, but they were supported by all the power of the Jewish Church, the Gentile government, and even the infernal world. Sin was allowed to parade and employ its uttermost resources, while holiness seemed to be proportionately depressed in the person of Him who was born in a manger and reared at Nazareth, who became the Friend of publicans and sinners, was betrayed by His own followers, and condemned to the accursed death. Similar fortunes have attended the people of God to this day. Not only have they been left to engage in a one-sided conflict where the numerical odds were always against them, but peculiar aggravations of this disparity have been common. The Church is still burdened with such unnecessary drawbacks. How often are we tempted to take literally the words which speak of the "foolishness of preaching," and to wonder why God hath chosen such needlessly foolish, weak, and base things of this world to serve Him!

3. This disparity between the two contestants was emphasised by Jehovah for the purpose of suitably displaying His own superiority to both of them. He gave to Baal every advantage and reduced His own resources to a minimum, in order to show that Truth at its lowest is stronger than Error at its highest. The result justified this plan; for the people were all the more impressed by the final victory of Elijah, because of the tremendous inequality of the conflict at the beginning. This gives us a clue to that policy of the Divine government which has been referred to. God has allowed sin to prosper in this world, and has permitted His own religion to take an inferior place, for the purpose of thus furnishing an arena for the exhibition of the Divine self-assertion. We understand, then, why Christianity has never been allowed to compete on equal terms with the dominant faiths of the world. God does not intend that His religion shall obscure Himself. He knows how readily the eye of man is caught and held by visible forms, and that spiritual truth is always endangered by material associations. Accordingly the earthly medium through which His grace shines must be as thin and plain as safety will permit. This was the reason why Jesus the Christ asked and received so little from the world. He owed nothing to its favour or its help. But as we now see, all that humiliation was the most effective background that could have been provided for the display of the spiritual kingdom of God.

4. The triumphs of grace thus obtained are also magnified by the Divine concessions to the enemy. It was yielding much to Baal when the ordeal of fire was proposed, for that meant to meet the sun-god on his own field and with his own weapons. Other tests might have been chosen which would have been more favourable to Elijah. But no; he must go into the enemy's territory and challenge him in his very citadel. Do the Egyptians worship the river Nile? Lo, the rod of Moses turns those sacred waters into blood. Are they the most cleanly of peoples, making a religion of physical purity? They are stricken with vermin by the word of the Lord. Do they idolise the goat, the ram, and the bull? The cattle of their fields must perish before the Divine scourge. Thus Pharaoh is taught that even within the range of his own religion the God of the Hebrews can find means to overthrow him. Similar transformations mark all the great conquests of Christianity. He meets scientific scepticism with the scientific faith of Miller, Hitchcock, and Drummond. He compels the art of sensuous Italy to minister to biblical truth in the Madonnas and Nativities. He transforms the pagan temple into the Christian church, and puts the Gothic spire to spiritual uses. This process of overruling and utilising grace is spreading through all the ranges of human enterprise.

5. These exhibitions of Divine self-assertion furnish a severe but useful test of human character. The priests of Baal were not the only ones whose faith and patience were taxed on Mount Carmel. It must have cost Elijah not a little to find himself placed for an entire day at so great a disadvantage. Nothing less than intense consecration and courage could have endured such a trial. This experience also was typical. It represents the lot of God's people in all ages. The very greatness of the Divine interpositions in their behalf has imposed on them burdens of self-denial and self-effacement.

6. The trials of God's people are sure to result in their triumph as well as His glory.

(C. J. Baldwin.)

The debate on Mount Carmel was conducted by Elijah with remarkable ability. A vital question had forced its way into prominence.

I. When he met his opponents on Mount Carmel, ELIJAH HAD VERY CLEAR CONVICTIONS. In some way he had gained a strong hold upon God. He was personally conscious of God. Unlike many a speculative philosopher who has framed an elaborate argument to prove that God is, Elijah seems to have advanced with a single step to a firm belief in God. His name was an announcement of his belief: "My God is Jehovah!" A conviction like this is an argument in itself. Men are willing to listen to a man who believes what he says. This was an important element of the success of Moses, who was compelled to go into the presence of Pharaoh and there to demand the liberation of a large number of valuable slaves. Daniel had the same advantage when he was called upon to face the idolatry of Babylon: it was widely known that Daniel feared God. The ministry of Paul was always conditioned by this strong faith. He was more than a match for his antagonists because he knew whom he had believed. , the youthful archdeacon of Alexandria, became the successful advocate of Christian truth at the Council of Nicaea in view of his recognition of the divinity of our blessed Lord. Luther at the Diet of Worms rallied the unorganised resistance of Germany to the papal authority when he exhibited his confidence in the evangelical doctrines. These men, and others like them, were "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." They felt the rock upon which they stood. They had clarified their thought, so that they could utter it forcibly. If we can gain this consciousness we shall be prepared for the great debate.

II. When he challenged the Baal-worshippers to the proof by fire, ELIJAH UNDERTOOK TO PRESS THEIR OPINIONS TO A PRACTICAL EXPRESSION. The challenge was perfectly fair. They had accepted Baal and Ashtaroth as the representative of the life-principle in nature. They were asked to exhibit the results of their faith in these divinities. Any opinion which lays claim to the faith of man must bear the strain of his ordinary burdens. What is your religion good for? what is the quality of its manhood? What sort of a God does it present? what is its immortality? — these are questions which must be met. There is no escape from them. Now, we may inquire, What will be the natural results of the general prevalence of the opinions which antagonise the Gospel?

III. When he had repaired the altar of the Lord and placed upon it a sacrifice, ELIJAH MADE AN APPEAL WHICH MET THE TERMS OF THE DIVINE COMMAND. There was an old altar on Mount Carmel — perhaps a relic of patriarchal times, but certainly a witness to the-reality of a pure worship. As the day was closing Elijah called the people to this altar and began to repair it. You may safely press Christian truth to its proper issues. We should have a very happy world, indeed, if all Christians would show their faith by their works. Christ-like lives, what would they be! — how sober! how industrious! how pure! how sweet! how attractive! Multiply these Christ-like lives, and how beautiful the social life of the world would appear. It is essential, therefore, that the Christian in the great debate should state clearly "the truth as it is in Jesus."

IV. When he had received the fire of the Lord, which consumed his sacrifice, ELIJAH DREW FROM THE PEOPLE THE CONFESSION, "Jehovah is God, Jehovah is God." The occasion was pentecostal. Conviction was instantaneous. Out from the clear, dry atmosphere flames of fire leaped as Elijah was praying; they seized upon the sacrifice and consumed it with the wood upon which it rested; they licked up the water in the trench and left the altar bare. A transformation occurred. An explanation must be given. What could be said except to confess the supremacy of Jehovah? Prof. Christlieb of Bonn has remarked that the regeneration of the human soul is the standing miracle of Christianity. This regeneration converts corrupt natures into natures which are holy. It is associated with Christian truth, and with belief in that truth.

(H. M. Booth, D. D.)

Ahab, Elijah, Isaac, Jacob, Jezebel, Jezreel, Obadiah
Jezreel, Kishon River, Mount Carmel, Samaria, Zarephath
Ahab, Assembled, Carmel, Gathered, Gathereth, Got, Message, Mount, Prophets, Sons, Throughout
1. In the extremity of famine Elijah, sent to Ahab, meets good Obadiah
9. Obadiah brings Ahab to Elijah
17. Elijah, reproving Ahab, by fire from heaven convinces Baal's prophets
41. Elijah, by prayer obtaining rain, follows Ahab to Jezreel

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 18:16-40

     4254   mountains
     5541   society, negative

1 Kings 18:17-40

     8747   false gods

1 Kings 18:18-21

     7734   leaders, spiritual

1 Kings 18:19-40

     7774   prophets, false

1 Kings 18:20-29

     5092   Elijah

1 Kings 18:20-39

     7712   convincing

To the Young '... I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth.--1 KINGS xviii.12. This Obadiah is one of the obscurer figures in the Old Testament. We never hear of him again, for there is no reason to accept the Jewish tradition which alleges that he was Obadiah the prophet. And yet how distinctly he stands out from the canvas, though he is only sketched with a few bold outlines! He is the 'governor over Ahab's house,' a kind of mayor of the palace, and probably the second man in the kingdom. But
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Trial by Fire
'And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose yon one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Elijah's Appeal to the Undecided
Now, we have these three classes here this morning. We have, I hope, a very large number who are on Jehovah's side, who fear God and serve him; we have a number who are on the side of the evil one, who make no profession of religion, and do not observe even the outward symptoms of it; because they are both inwardly and outwardly the servants of the evil one. But the great mass of my hearers belong to the third class--the waverers. Like empty clouds they are driven hither and thither by the wind;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

Obadiah; Or, Early Piety Eminent Piety
The Lord does not love that his servants, however great they are, should think lightly of their lesser comrades, and it occurs to me that he so arranged matters that Obadiah became important to Elijah when he had to face the wrathful king of Israel. The prophet is bidden to go and show himself to Ahab, and he does so; but he judges it better to begin by showing himself to the governor of his palace, that he may break the news to his master, and prepare him for the interview. Ahab was exasperated
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 30: 1884

The Prophet Hosea.
GENERAL PRELIMINARY REMARKS. That the kingdom of Israel was the object of the prophet's ministry is so evident, that upon this point all are, and cannot but be, agreed. But there is a difference of opinion as to whether the prophet was a fellow-countryman of those to whom he preached, or was called by God out of the kingdom of Judah. The latter has been asserted with great confidence by Maurer, among others, in his Observ. in Hos., in the Commentat. Theol. ii. i. p. 293. But the arguments
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

But Some one Will Say, Does He not Know Without a Monitor Both what Our...
But some one will say, Does he not know without a monitor both what our difficulties are, and what is meet for our interest, so that it seems in some measure superfluous to solicit him by our prayers, as if he were winking, or even sleeping, until aroused by the sound of our voice? [1] Those who argue thus attend not to the end for which the Lord taught us to pray. It was not so much for his sake as for ours. He wills indeed, as is just, that due honour be paid him by acknowledging that all which
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Selfishness and Prayer. A Contrast.
"So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees."--1 KINGS xviii. 42. WHAT A CONTRAST! And yet, both men were perfectly consistent. It is in each case what you would expect, and yet how differently it might have been. What a different story it would have been if only Ahab had listened to the teaching of God! How often we see men having chances of turning round and beginning a new
Thomas Champness—Broken Bread

The West Coast of Galilee-Carmel.
The people of Issachar had "Carmel and the river for their bounds in length": the people of Zabulon, "Carmel and the sea." Carmel was not so much one mountain as a mountainous country, containing almost the whole breadth of the land of Issachar, and a great part of that of Zabulon. It was, as it seems, a certain famous peak among many other mountain tops, known by the same name, lifted up and advanced above the rest. The promontory Carmel, in Pliny, and in the mountain a town of the same name, heretofore
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Ninth Sunday after Trinity. How Long Halt Ye Between Two Opinions? if the Lord be God, Follow Him; but if Baal, Then Follow Him.
How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him. Was kinket ihr betrognen Seelen [106]Lehr. 1733. trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855 Why halt thus, O deluded heart, Why waver longer in thy choice? Is it so hard to choose the part Offered by Heaven's entreating voice? Oh look with clearer eyes again, Nor strive to enter in, in vain. Press on! Remember, 'tis not Caesar's throne, Nor earthly honour, wealth or might Whereby God's favour shall be
Catherine Winkworth—Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year

Fall of the Western Empire (Ad 451-476)
The empire of the West was now fast sinking. One weak prince was at the head of it after another, and the spirit of the old Romans, who had conquered the world, had quite died out. Immense hosts of barbarous nations poured in from the North. The Goths, under Alaric, who took Rome by siege, in the reign of Honorius, have been already mentioned (p 93). Forty years later, Attila, king of the Huns, who was called "The scourge of God," kept both the East and the West in terror. In the year 451, he advanced
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Will the Knowledge that Some of Our Own are Lost, Mar Our Happiness in Heaven?
This is a difficult question to answer satisfactorily, on account of our instinctive feelings of natural affection, which arise, and, like a mist, obscure our judgment. Nevertheless, the difficulty is much lessened, and even entirely removed from some minds, at hast, by the following considerations. 1. Our happiness, even in this world, does not depend on the happiness of those who are bound to us by the ties of kindred or of friendship. This is especially the case when their unhappiness proceeds
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

Of Prayer --A Perpetual Exercise of Faith. The Daily Benefits Derived from It.
1. A general summary of what is contained in the previous part of the work. A transition to the doctrine of prayer. Its connection with the subject of faith. 2. Prayer defined. Its necessity and use. 3. Objection, that prayer seems useless, because God already knows our wants. Answer, from the institution and end of prayer. Confirmation by example. Its necessity and propriety. Perpetually reminds us of our duty, and leads to meditation on divine providence. Conclusion. Prayer a most useful exercise.
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

This was Antony's First Struggle against the Devil...
7. This was Antony's first struggle against the devil, or rather this victory was the Saviour's work in Antony [1005] , Who condemned sin in the flesh that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.' But neither did Antony, although the evil one had fallen, henceforth relax his care and despise him; nor did the enemy as though conquered cease to lay snares for him. For again he went round as a lion seeking some occasion against him. But Antony
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Upon Our Lord's SermonOn the Mount
Discourse 7 "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: And thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:16-18. 1. It has been the endeavour of Satan, from the beginning of the world,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Subterraneous Places. Mines. Caves.
Thus having taken some notice of the superficies of the land, let us a little search into its bowels. You may divide the subterraneous country into three parts: the metal mines, the caves, and the places of burial. This land was eminently noted for metal mines, so that "its stones," in very many places, "were iron, and out of its hills was digged brass," Deuteronomy 8:9. From these gain accrued to the Jews: but to the Christians, not seldom slavery and misery; being frequently condemned hither by
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him,
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

But I give myself unto prayer.' Psa 109: 4. I shall not here expatiate upon prayer, as it will be considered more fully in the Lord's prayer. It is one thing to pray, and another thing to be given to prayer: he who prays frequently, is said to be given to prayer; as he who often distributes alms, is said to be given to charity. Prayer is a glorious ordinance, it is the soul's trading with heaven. God comes down to us by his Spirit, and we go up to him by prayer. What is prayer? It is an offering
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Of Passages from the Holy Scriptures, and from the Apocrypha, which are Quoted, or Incidentally Illustrated, in the Institutes.
TO THE AUTHORS QUOTED IN THE INSTITUTES PREFATORY ADDRESS TO HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY, THE MOST MIGHTY AND ILLUSTRIOUS MONARCH, FRANCIS, KING OF THE FRENCH, HIS SOVEREIGN; [1] JOHN CALVIN PRAYS PEACE AND SALVATION IN CHRIST. [2] Sire,--When I first engaged in this work, nothing was farther from my thoughts than to write what should afterwards be presented to your Majesty. My intention was only to furnish a kind of rudiments, by which those who feel some interest in religion might be trained to
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

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