The Strength of the Church

Stephen Charnock wrote an excellent tome on “The Existence and Attributes of God.” This work is full of rich truth of great benefit to the Christian. For your edification I am going to periodically post heavily edited excerpts from Charnock’s writings on the goodness of God.

“In the deliverance of his church He is the “strength of Israel” (1 Sam. 15:29), and has protected His little flock in the midst of wolves. He has maintained their standing, when the strongest kingdoms have sunk and the strongest states have been broken in pieces. He has protected His church when judgments have ravaged countries and torn up the mighty as a tempestuous wind hath often done the tallest trees which seemed to threaten heaven with their tops and dare the storm with the depth of their roots. Though the mighty trees have toppled the vine and rose-bushes have stood firm and been seen in their beauty next morning.

“The church has outlived the most flourishing monarchies, when there hath been a mighty knot of adversaries against her; when the bulls of Bashan have pushed her, and the whole tribe of the dragon have sharpened their weapons; when the voice was strong, and the hopes high to demolish her foundation to the ground; when hell hath roared; when the wit of the world hath contrived, and the strength of the world hath attempted her ruin; when decrees have been passed against her, and the armies of the world armed for the execution of them; when her friends have drooped and skulked in corners; when there was no eye to pity, and no hand to assist, help has come from heaven. Her enemies have been defeated; kings have brought gifts to her; tears have been wiped off her cheeks, and her very enemies, by an unseen power, have been forced to court her whom they would have devoured. The devil and his armies have sneaked into their den, and the church has triumphed from the brink of the grave.”