My husband received The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions for his birthday, and I've been blessed by the eloquent expressions of theology found in this book.
Tonight, on the way to church, we caught ~5 minutes of a preacher on the radio. He was very specifically arguing against Calvinism. One of the big issues he had with the teaching of Calvinism was the sovereignty of God. Since the sovereignty of God is a biblical thought (Ps.103:19, 1 Tim.6:15), the attacks he was mounting were pathetic. Nonetheless, the conviction and passion with which he spoke was disturbing to me, since he was speaking from a "pulpit" (radio or otherwise).
Oh what a blessing to have words such as the following prayer from The Valley of Vision, which resonate with the power, authority and might that God has and is.
God the All
O God whose will conquers all,
There is no comfort in anything
apart from enjoying thee
and being engaged in thy service;
Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what to me
thou makest them, and no more.
I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is,
or should be in all respects.
And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair
I would choose to refer all to thee,
for thou art infinitely wise and cannot do amiss,
as I am in danger of doing.
I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal,
and it delights me to leave them there.
Then prayer turns wholly into praise,
and all I can do is to adore and bless thee.
What shall I give thee for all thy benefits?
I am in a strait betwixt two, knowing not what to do;
I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer,
and can only rejoice that thou doest all,
that none in heaven or on earth shares thy honour;
I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name,
but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to thee,
I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith,
that the whole work of redemption is thine alone,
that every good work or thought found in me
is the effect of thy power and grace,
that thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do
is for thy good pleasure.
O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much
about man's creaturely power and goodness,
when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment,
we should be devils incarnate.
This, by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself.