I have recently read some excerpts from the writings of George Swinnock called Trading and Thriving in Godliness. I found it an enjoyable and easily understandable read, not always the case with 17th century Puritans. While I enjoyed the whole book, there was one particular section that stood out for me, three excerpts from his book, Christian's Man's Calling, which is entitled The Value of Godliness. These excerpts all bear in their title the word great. here are a few of Swinnock's thoughts:
- Our Great End - Now the great end to which man is designed by God, is the exercising himslef to godliness...Man is made of glass, to represent the perfections that are in God. A glass can receive the beams of the sun into it, and reflect them back again to the sun.
- Our Great Weight - Now godliness is, amongst all man's works, of greatest weight...We must say of this work of Christianity, compared with all other works, what David said of Goliath's sword, "There is none like it;" (1 Samuel 21:9), this is soul-work, this is God-work, this is eternity-work, and therefore of greatest weight, and requireth us all to make it our business; such blows as these three are, one would think, might force fire out of flint.
- Our Great Reward - The reward of godliness is of infinite worth, the end of holiness (as of hope) is the salvation of the soul, the eternal immediate enjoyment of God in heaven...And can we think the God of nature will give men to know him, as they are known of him...while they lie lazying on the bed of idleness?