Personal Godliness

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matt 22:37-40

“I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

Gen. 17:1




Prayer Before Meals

On Thankfulness

Spiritual Conferencing

Vain Disputings



Order of Contents

On Intellectual & Theological Errors





Durham, Margaret – ‘On Communion with Christ’  1669  11 paragraphs  being an extract from her Epistle Dedicatory to her husband, James Durham’s, Commentary on the Song of Solomon.

Lady Durham’s letter is impressive, being much more spiritually full and edifying, savoring of a rich, experiential acquaintance with the deep truths of Christ’s Word, than even the preface to the reader by the justly renowned scholar, John Owen.  In it you will find, sweetly and graphically described, Christ’s communion with His beloved people.



Alexander, Archibald

‘Love to an Unseen Savior’1863  12 pp.

‘The Nature of Vital Piety’  1843  19 pp.  being the introductory essay to Advice to a Young Christian, by J.B. Waterbury

An important work in its own right.  It begins, “True religion not only enlightens the understanding, but rectifies the affections of the heart. All genuine feelings of piety are the effects of divine truth…”

Binnie, William – ‘Personal Religion in the Psalms’, p. 218 ff.  39 pp.  being two chapters from his The Psalms: their History, Teachings and Use

Hodge, Charles

‘Let him who Boasts, Boast in the Lord’from his Commentary on 1 Corinthians, 1:26-31

‘The Nature and Necessity of a Public Profession of Religion’  HTML  Buy  from his The Way of Life, 1841

All too often Christianity is thought to be a personal opinion that one can keep to themselves and requires nothing.  Here is a Biblical corrective.  Christ said, “whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  Mt. 10:33



Beeke, Joel – Calvin on Piety, no date, 33 pages, including a two page bibliography

Fentiman, Travis – The Most Predominate Sin of Reformed Christians  2014  6 paragraphs

Gebbie, D. Douglas – ‘The Experiemental Religion of the Westminster Standards’  2015  22 paragraphs

Rev. Gebbie has been a pastor in the Free Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Reformed Church.

Isbell, Sherman – Recovering Experimental Religion  2009  13 pp.

Young, William – What is Experimental Religion?  2015  6 paragraphs



On Intellectual & Theological Errors


George Gillespie

Treatise of Miscellany Questions, ch. 12, ‘Whether a Sound Heart and an Unsound Head can Consist Together? and Vice Versa; or, Whether Truth and Holiness be not Insepararable Companions?’  in Works, vol. 2

“It is one of the greatest objections against the suppressing… of…  errors and schisms, ‘O,’ say they, ‘this is a persecuting of those that are godly; this is a wound to piety, and the power of godliness.’

I do not deny but there may be, and is, true piety in many who are somewhat infected with the leaven of false doctrine, and live in some erroneous opinion…

Those that are truly godly may in diverse things differ in opinion. Every error is not inconsistent with holiness, yet every error doth pro tanto [by so much], and proportionably retard, hinder, and prejudge holiness; and although the devil sow his tares among Christ’s wheat (I mean in the same persons as well as in the same church), yet who will say that a field of wheat is nothing the worse for the tares?…

And this I hold as a good rule in practical divinity… so error of judgment, if continued in, doth not only hinder growing, but makes a dangerous decreasing and falling short in true piety…

It is to be observed that sometimes the Scripture speaks of an error of the judgment concerning the faith as a fountain and cause of ungodliness, profaneness… 2 Tim. 2:16-19; Gal. 5:4; 2 Jn. 9; as contrariwise, there is a light and knowledge which preserves from sin and ungodliness, and leads the soul in ways of holiness and obedience, Ps. 9:10; 119:33-34; Jn. 17:17. If the knowledge of God, of his Christ, and of his Word, and will, and name and statutes, preserve us from sin, and lead us in the ways of obedience, then, by the rule of contraries, error of judgment in these things will ensnare us in sin and wickedness.”


Francis Turretin

Institutes  (P&R), vol. 3, 19th Topic, Q. 30, ‘The Adoration of the Eucharist’, section 21, p. 547

“Therefore, although the Romanists in their hypothesis [about Transubstantiation] do not intend to worship the bread, but Christ (whom they believe to be there in place of the bread), they are not on that account the less to be considered as really adoring the bread.

This false hypothesis and erroneous intention arises from an induced and voluntary ignorance, which so far from being worthy of excuse only increases the guilt.  It is not occupied with a thing not revealed and which they are not bound to know, but about a thing which it is their duty to know and which is with sufficient clearness revealed to us in the word.  Thus it can readily be perceived unless we are readily blind.

Nor can the crime be lessened from its seeming to be only a theoretical error of the intellect.  A theoretical error necessarily draws after it a practical sin; otherwise every idolatry (even the most gross) would deserve an excuse because it arises always from a theoretical error of the intellect.  For no one would worship an idol, who did not believe it to be God, unless he imagined him to be present.”



Shedd, William G.T.

‘Sin in the Heart the Source of Error in the Head’  in Sermons to the Natural Man, pp. 101-122

‘Pride Vitiates Religious Knowledge’  in Sermons to the Spiritual Man, pp. 272-85  on 1 Cor. 8:2, “If any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”




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