The Weakness of Human Resolutions

daily-devotionalsOne would have thought that Peter, upon the warning of a denial, should have begun to tremble, and not to boast; to arm himself and not presume, to suspect his strength, and not to promise. But a double warning (Matthew 26:31, 34) finds in Peter a double presumption which makes him confident, believing that even naked and empty human nature, with such an invincible resolution, if lacking courage, would have enough shame to persist. If the resolution is broken it would imply a weak and inconsistent spirit more faithless in the execution of the promise and impotent in its contempt of death than the courage and honesty of Peter could admit to.

It is the justice of God to give man over to fainting and falling when he relies on himself. One tear or sigh, though signs of weakness, could have prevailed more to strengthen Peter’s faith, than so many fruitless boasts, the gildings and flourishing of a rotten confidence. A little pebble stone will overturn and sink down a Goliath, when all the armour of Saul will more hinder than profit in such a conflict (1 Samuel 17:29ff).

Dr. Edward Reynolds was born in 1599 in Southampton, England. He received his BA degree at Oxford in 1618. In 1622, before studying for his masters, Reynolds became a chaplain to the king and preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, London. The puritanical inclinations of Dr. Reynolds were well known; his character of piety and decorum were evident even in his college years. Edward Reynolds is known as the Bishop of Norfolk, but he was bishop for only the final fifteen years of his life and ministry. Prior to that he was the rector of Braunston, Northamptonshire, for almost thirty years. Although Reynolds was a Presbyterian by conviction, he had a reputation of moderation in his church polity. This was evidenced in his role in the Westminster Assembly. He was the only member to sit on all three of the major committees on the Confession of Faith, and with his moderate spirit provided balance in the discussions.

These devotions are taken from the works of Edward Reynolds. They have been edited for © 2013 thinkgospel.