( A Golden Treasury for the Children of God by C.H.V. Bogatzky is a daily devotional ~ translated from German to English, published by the American Tract Society in 1746. This new edition has been retyped in the same format here for downloading to your computer or wireless device.)
THE CHILDREN OF GOD
TREASURE IS IN HEAVEN
DEVOTIONAL AND PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS
Select Passages of Scripture
EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR
By C. H. V. Bogatzky
That this book may be better understood, and prove a means of edifying every reader, let the following remarks be particularly attended to.
1. The petitions and the divine answers, which are to be found among the scripture texts in several of the titles, may be of admirable use to many. The questions generally run in the complaining, inquiring strain, for information and redress under the painful anxieties of a wounded conscience; and the answers are well calculated to relieve and inform the distressed soul. They generally consist of gracious promises of Scripture, which may easily be turned into petitions; and if relief does not immediately come, yet the soul gets ease by thus pouring out its complaints, and reminding the Lord of his promises: faith in the word is hereby strengthened, and the soul is led to see that trouble and anxiety must lead the way to rejoicing and triumph.
2. The distinction that is made in several parts of the book between bare morality and true Christianity, respecting the motives of actions, the principle from which they are done, and the degree and extent of them, may also be useful. Morality is not Christianity, though there can be no true Christianity without morality: moral actions may be done from natural principles, and will certainly centre in self in some shape or other; but a truly Christian act must proceed from a gracious principle in the heart. A moral man, and a true Christian, may both give something to the poor: the poor is relieved by each; but the benevolence of the one may proceed from a natural generosity of spirit, while that of the other springs from true love to God and men, and gratitude for mercy received. They may both join in the same ordinances, pray to the same supreme Being, and yet the one continue self-righteous and vainly confident, while the other is humbled, and lives upon divine grace: the principle within makes the difference between them; and they who are only moral would do well to consider the difference.
3. In almost every page there are different portions of Scripture put together, which serve to throw a light on each other; so that what in one is obscure, is generally opened by its parallel, which will be found very useful, if diligently compared. This will serve to show the abundance, the superabundance of light, promises, privileges, and advantages there are in the word of God; and how they become “profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto every good work,” and, through the divine blessing upon him, be made “ wise unto salvation.”
4. Let the reader be careful to distinguish between a state of safety by faith in Christ, and a state of assurance arising from sensible comforts in the heart. The best Christians experience great changes in the frame of their minds: sometimes they are lively and comfortable, then they are low and depressed; now they have sensible tokens of divine favor, then again these are withdrawn, and they begin to question the safety of their state before God. The enemy often takes advantage of their uncomfortable frames, and would have them question the reality of grace in their heart; and the consequence generally is great anxiety and distress. In order to remove this, it is necessary to consider what is the true foundation of hope, and to distinguish between what is durable and what is changeable.
The work of the Redeemer is a perfect work, nothing can be added to it, and nothing must be taken from it. It is everlasting in its duration and efficacy; upon this the eye of faith should be invariably fixed, and from hence comfort and support in every state is to be drawn. Christ’s blood is a constant propitiation, his righteousness is a perfect covering; to these, reader, have daily recourse for cleansing and recommendation before God; by these you may silence all the accusations of Satan, all the clamors of conscience, all the threatenings of the law, for in Christ the believer is complete, and here may he safely rest in his dullest and heaviest moments. Happy frames, on the contrary, are bestowed and withheld as it pleases God: you may safely pray for them, because great peace is promised to the children of God; and, generally speaking, the diligent and watchful are most frequently favored with them; and when you are blessed with them, be thankful; but beware of depending upon them, for this is the readiest way to have them withdrawn: spiritual pride may arise from this quarter, while a feeling sense of weakness and unworthiness keeps the soul humble, and continually dependent upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone for pardon, strength, and salvation.
Lastly, dear reader, beware of formality in the use of this book; it will be of little service barely to read it over; see that these truths be brought home to thy conscience, and beg of the Almighty that he would be pleased to apply them by his Holy Spirit; then they will be blessed indeed to thy soul. Examine your experience as you go along, particularly how you hate and fight against sin; how you maintain communion with God through the Spirit; what it is to live by faith in Christ Jesus — which are subjects much insisted on in this work; and in the knowledge and experience of which consists the greatest part of a Christian’s happiness. See if your graces are lively and vigorous — if they are kept in exercise. The kingdom of heaven is a growing kingdom; the seeds of grace must bring forth fruit.
1. Hosanna. Mark 11:9
A New scene of time now begins: put up thy Hosanna, O my soul, that the Lord may save, bless, and prosper thee; may he grant thee a happy new year indeed. For this purpose begin it with a dedication of thyself to God; thy time, circumstances, and life, are in his hands; implore his blessing and protection over thee this ensuing year. Begin this and every following day with prayer. Let God have thy first thoughts in the morning; the impression they make will not be easily erased by worldly matters. Grace is promised in the use of means; be thou diligent, then, and punctual in the performance of them. Let thy daily request be for an increasing knowledge of thyself, and of Jesus Christ in his offices; for a sense of pardoning mercy; for a lively, vigorous faith; for communion with the Father and the Son through the Spirit; for true holiness in heart and life; for strength and protection against thy spiritual foes, and for persevering grace to hold out to the end. Pray for the prosperity of Zion; they prosper that love her; for thy friends and relations, begging the Almighty to take them into a covenant relation to himself; for a blessing on thy worldly affairs; for a sanctified use of health or sickness, prosperity or adversity, as God shall please to send. Perhaps, O my soul, this may be the last year of the Lord’s patience and thy pilgrimage. Is thy state safe? Art thou a real believer in Jesus? Is the oil of grace in thy vessel? If so, thou art prepared for every emergency.
And now, my soul, another year
Of thy short life is past;
I cannot long continue here,
And this may be my last.
Now a new scene of time begins,
Set out afresh for heaven;
Seek pardon for thy daily sins,
In Christ so freely given.
(Dear Father, let these thoughts from a by-gone era be our thoughts and our prayers for this day, the first week of the first month in the year of our Lord 2013. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen and Amen!)
The Lord bless you, and keep you and your family today, and through this new year! Join me at my personal blog site. God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory Fran