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Your Father’s love-tokens! By: Ann Dutton

Friday, April 10th, 2009

ann-dutton-1Dear Madam,


Though the Lord has tried you for many months of afflictions, think it not strange, since you are put among God’s children, that you have had and must have your own part of afflictions—they are, they shall be, your Father’s love-tokens! Satan and unbelief often misrepresent God to His tried children. “If God was your Friend, your Father,” say they, “if He loved you, He would not allow such grievous things to befall you—He takes no notice of you—He turns a deaf ear to your prayers—and who among God’s children are so greatly afflicted as you are? Do not these things show that you have been deceived—that you are not among the number of God’s children—that you have no saving interest in His special favor—but He lays these heavy strokes upon you in wrathful displeasure.” And especially do they urge these things upon God’s tried children from that sin which they sadly find to work in them under trying dispensations. And if they can but get God’s children to hearken to them, these enemies gain their end upon them—to weaken their faith, to dampen their love, to slay their meekness and patience, and to cause them to murmur and fret at afflicting providence.

 

It is wisdom, then, in God’s children, instantly to cry unto Him for wisdom and strength to discern and resist these enemies in their lying voice, upon the first hearing of it; for this we may be very certain of, “that whatever comes from God leads to Him—and whatever excites us to depart from Him as the God of all grace—is from unbelief and Satan.” Nothing like faith in God’s love to us, as His dear children in Christ—strengthens our spirits to endure afflictions patiently to His glory and our joy.

 

And therefore, says the apostle Paul, “whom the Lord loves, He chastens.” He proposes the ‘love of God in chastening’ as the ground of a believer’s faith, for his strength in patient suffering. And says James, “The trying of your faith works patience.” If faith has got a thwart in the fight, God will come in with His auxiliary aid for the help of His child, and give his faith renewed strength; and then, instantly, his tried faith being made to stand upright in God and for Him, after its thwarting and in its trial, the child of faith is patience. Says faith—“God’s love is in the sharpest stroke!” Then says patience—”I will endure it until love shall bring joyous fruit out of present grief.” And lest patience should faint when trials are great and of long continuance, the apostle adds, “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.” It is as if he should say—You are to be made perfect in very grace, and every perfected grace to redound to your eternal glory—therefore patiently endure the greatest, the longest trial here, that is to fit you for your immortal crown hereafter—that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing—nothing lacking in the exercise of grace—and lacking nothing in your crown of glory!

With permission from Grace Gems

“Quotes on Pride:” – By: Ann Dutton from Letters on Spiritual Subjects

Friday, April 10th, 2009

ann-dutton-1        1.     As pride is a sin that abides and works in all Christians in this world, let us all then, as the servants of Christ, trusting in Him—our victorious, sin-pardoning, sin-subduing and grace-giving Master—watch and oppose the enemy whenever attacked fiercely.

       2.      Pride is a sin by which the whole law of God, in each of its ten commandments, is broken.

       3.      Nothing like the sin of pride unfits us for divine service. It renders us incapable, so far as it prevails, of any acceptable service either to God or man.

4.      This sin of pride is a master-thief, as it robs God of that honor which would be given Him by His people if humble, and of that joy which He takes in their humility. Pride also robs believers of their present joy and comfort.

5.      This sin of pride which turned myriads of angels of light into legions of black devils, and that for this they were hurled down from heaven to the bottomless pit of hell.

6.      If pride is such a great iniquity, let us . . .
bewail it bitterly;
humble ourselves before God, on account of it, deeply;
wash in the fountain set open, instantly;
and entreat forgiving and subduing grace constantly.

7.      Again, if pride is such an abominable sin, let us set ourselves against it with all our might, or rather, to oppose and destroy it, let us be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. And since we cannot serve God as we would and should in this world, while this subtle, potent sin works within us, let us long for the nobler joys of the saints in glory; where by pride, nor by any other sin, we shall dishonor, wound, nor grieve our great and good God, the God of grace and love, no more forever.

With permission from Grace Gems

Anne Dutton’s Letters on Spiritual Subjects – 1692-1765

Friday, April 10th, 2009

ann-dutton-1“Here is a feast for souls who desire to feed on Christ; to have His glories opened out before them, and the riches of divine grace in all their fullness and freeness set forth. Here, too, is food for the ‘lambs of the flock,’ comfort for the sorrowing, and encouragement for the weak and trembling ones. There is in these letters a union of doctrinal, experimental, and practical teaching, rarely found in combination.”

 

A cup of bitters?

A love-stroke

A spiritual appetite

A sweet soft bosom to rest our weary heads

Adore the grace which opens our eyes

All our sufferings

And lead us not into temptation

As if we had never seen Him

Does the lion of hell roar at you?

Dreams

Glad for crumbs of mercy

Glory is grace made perfect

Head or heart?

Heart-ravishing and soul-attracting

His sovereign love

I may lose all created sweets

In every crumb of blessing

In the sweet bosom, in the kind arms

Indwelling Sin

Infant Grace & Giant Sin

It is a sweet thing to suffer with Christ

Jehovah’s grace

Jesus your Friend

Lie down in the bosom of Christ

Live, and bathe, and dive, to a blessed eternity!

My dear husband’s death

My ingratitude, unkindness, and unfruitfulness

No step in your thorny path

Not a trouble could touch you!

O proud worms!

Of refuges for sinners

Oh, come, poor, weak thing

Oh, free, rich, glorious grace!

Oh, I am confounded at my own vileness

Oh, the heights, depths, lengths, and breadths of grace!

Oh, the infinite patience of our loving Lord

Oh, what a heap of empty vanities and cruel vexations

Oh, why me, the chief of sinners

Oh, why was not I left among the ignorant

Our Captain-Leader, the Lord our Lover

Our extremity

Our light and momentary troubles

Overcome us! Melt us! Draw us!

Really a work of grace or not?

Regeneration

Religious parentage and education

Remaining enmity, sin, and ungodliness

Soon your little crosses

That eternal feast!

The bosom of His eternal Love!

The cup of damnation and salvation

The furnace of affliction

The Lord can work by whom He will.

The love of Christ to you

The most weak and unfit instruments

The New Birth

The Palm Tree (afflictions)

The soft embraces of those sweet arms

The spiritual Israelites

The sweet clusters of Canaan’s grapes

The valley of the shadow of death

The wonder and joy of heaven and earth

Then farewell forever!

There is a snake in the grass

These cross-providences

This frowning, emptying providence

This monster, pride—this hellish sin

Transcendent, soul-attracting glories

We are almost home!

We are cold and frozen

We live in a world of changes!

We live in a world of snares and sinsBottomless, boundless, endless love!

Weeping may endure for a night

When the veil is taken off

When we are in the furnace

While He seems to slay you

Who makes you differ from thousands?

Why was not our lot with devils and damned spirits?

Worth infinitely more than millions of worlds!

Your Father’s love-tokens!

With permission from Grace Gems

Anne (Williams) Dutton (1692-1765) – Bio

Friday, April 10th, 2009

ann-dutton-1Anne (Williams) Dutton (1692-1765)

Ann Dutton was an outstanding woman of her day, a strong Christian Calvinist and a woman of many talents. She corresponded with many strong godly religious leaders, she wrote hymns and poems and many strong theological writings.

Ann Dutton was born in 1692. Her parents were members of the Congregationalist Church in Northampton. Ann loved to read the Scriptures and enjoyed reading and singing hymns, which she delighted to commit to memory. I could not find the names of her parents or whether she had any siblings or not.

She said “That it pleased the Lord to work savingly upon my heart when I was about thirteen years of age. There was mighty impression made upon my heart, of the reality and consequence of a future state either of misery or of glory, of unspeakable happiness, or inconceivable torment…I pressed through all difficulties and cast myself at the foot of free grace in Christ….The blessed Spirit took me, as it were, by the hand and lead me to take a survey of Christ…I viewed all my sins meeting on Jesus! In the finished work of redemption, I viewed my salvation wrought out; and a perfection of peace, pardon, life, and glory, came flowing down to me in free grace, through the blood of Christ.” (Taken from Selected Spiritual Writing)

When she was in her late teens and was attending a Baptist church in Northampton, and it was here that she was baptized. She said here she found “Fat -green pastures.” Ann commented that under Pastor Moore’s ministry she established her judgment in the doctrines of the Gospel.

When Ann was 22 she married Mr. Cattell, the two of them moved to London and it is here she attended a Calvinistic Baptist church in Cripplegate and became greatly influenced by Calvinistic doctrine and grew spiritually under the preaching of Pastor John Skepp.

1720 was a very sad year for Ann as her husband Mr. Cattell pasted away. She moved back home to Northampton and a short time later she married a man by the name of Benjamin Dutton, a clothier. Benjamin trained for the Baptist ministry and served in several different congregations in Cambridgeshire, then later the couple moved to a Huntingdomshire village in Great Grandsend in 1731. As a pastor, Dutton’s preaching caused growth in hearts and minds as well as his congregation size, to the point they needed to build a new church which can still be visited in Great Grandsend today. 

During the next ten years Ann began to write several devotionals and theological works. Ann had been writing to several people, one of which was George Whitefield. It is said that he was her spiritual advisor.  Whitefield worked to promote her works as well as to get them published.  During George Whitfield early years he was friends with John Wesley, however the two of them had several bitter and heated arguments and George Whitefield stood firm on biblical Calvinistic views while John Wesley turned to the Arminian doctrine.  Ann herself being a strong Calvinist was a passionate opponent of John Wesley

In 1747 Ann’s dear husband Benjamin died at sea on a return voyage from North America where he had been on a fund raising trip. Upon his death Ann stayed in Great Grandsend. She would live another 18 years as a widow, however, during this time she wrote more than she did before her husband’s death. And became well known for her devoted life and work for the Lord on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ann being kind, yet she was quick to critique those who she felt were incorrect in their Scriptural views. She was a strong opponent of John Wesley and his Arminianism views. She wrote a book entitled “Letters to the Reverend Mr. John Wesley against Perfection as Not Attainable in this Life” which was a collection of her letters to him.

It has been said that one of her best works was her work on The Lord’s Supper which was published in 1748.

Notes taken from: Selected Spiritual Writings of Anne Dutton