"Every scribe who is instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings forth from his treasure things new and old."

Matthew 13:52

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Acts 17:11

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Isaac Barrow (1630-1677)

Godliness is Profitable for All Things
by Isaac Barrow

Godliness is Profitable for All Things by Isaac Barrow (buy the 2011 Paperback Book)

Published by Hail & Fire
2011 Edition (Paperback)
Originally Published in 1683, London. From the 1823 Edition Edited & updated by Hail & Fire.

In all places and in all societies, piety—or godliness—produces, advances, and establishes order, peace, safety, prosperity, all that is good, all that is lovely and agreeable, and all that is convenient and pleasant for human society and ordinary life.

Piety is the special interest of all who are involved in governing and education. Piety is their greatest wisdom and policy; it will both preserve their outward state here in this world, and it will satisfy their consciences and save their souls. All the Machiavellian arts and tricks amount to nothing in comparison to this one plain and easy way of securing and furthering the interests of men. Piety is not moved to needless change. Piety cherishes worth and encourages industry, whereupon virtue flourishes and wealth is increased and, as a result, the occasions and means of disorder are stopped and the pretences for sedition and faction are cut off.

If every governor would have the people honest and diligent, if every parent would have his children obliging and grateful, if every man would have his friend faithful and kind, if we would have others act in a just and sincere manner, then we must each strive to further piety from which all good dispositions and practices proceed.

Piety is a fence protecting each individual—rendering each man civil, condescending, kind, and helpful to others. Piety is the only and right ballast of society.


(Full Paperback Details)

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Sermons on Various Subjects by Isaac Barrow

Excerpts from the 1823 Edition
Hail & Fire REPRINTS 2008

Isaac Barrow Sermons - find this 5 volume set in the Hail and Fire Library

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Isaac Barrow, D.D., 1630-1677, was an English Protestant Preacher and Master of Trinity College at Cambridge from 1672 until his death in 1677. Prior to his being appointed to this position by Charles II, he held a Greek Professorship and the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge. It was his friend and former pupil, Isaac Newton, who succeeded to this chair after he chose to devote himself entirely to divinity. The works of Isaac Barrow, were, upon his death, presented by his father, Thomas Barrow, to Heneage, the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Chancellor of England and member of the King's Privy Council, for the imparting of such works and sermons to the public. Isaac Barrow is entombed in Westminster Abbey, London. The following quotations are selected from the writings of Isaac Barrow.

On the Godly and Ungodly in Trials

Isaac Barrow quote on the difference between the godly and the ungodly during trials and hardship:

"And here is the difference between a pious and an impious man. Is the pious man in need? He has then an invisible refuge to fly to, an invisible store to furnish him; he has something beyond all these present things to hope in and to comfort himself with. Whereas the impious person has nothing beside present appearances to support or solace himself by, which things, when they fail, down he sinks into dejection and despair." – Isaac Barrow

Read more: "Godliness is Profitable for All Things" by Isaac Barrow, 2011 Hail & Fire Paperback Edition.

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On Cultivating Righteousness

Isaac Barrow quote on cultivating Christian righteousness; the most proper employment of reasonable souls:

"True religion is an employment most proper to us as reasonable men. For what more proper entertainment can our mind have than to be purifying and beautifying itself, to be keeping itself and its subordinate faculties in order, to be attending upon the management of thoughts, of passions, of words, and of actions that depend upon its governance?" – Isaac Barrow

Read more: "Godliness is Profitable for All Things" by Isaac Barrow, 2011 Hail & Fire Paperback Edition.

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On the Godly Man's Power

Isaac Barrow quote on the godly man's power; a Christian is not a slave to sin:

"The pious man is also the most potent man: he has a kind of omnipotence, because he can do whatever he will, that is, whatever he ought to do and because the divine power is ever ready to assist him in his pious enterprises, so that he can do all things by Christ that strengthens him. He is able to combat and vanquish ... to wage war with happy success against principalities and powers. He conquers and commands himself, which is the bravest victory and noblest empire: he quells fleshly lusts, subdues inordinate passions, and repels strong temptations. He, through his faith, overcomes the world with a conquest far more glorious than any that an Alexander the Great or a Caesar could gain. He, in fine, performs the most worthy exploits and deserves the most honorable triumphs. 'For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,' Romans 6:20-23. 'In all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,' Romans 8:37." – Isaac Barrow

Read more: "Godliness is Profitable for All Things" by Isaac Barrow, 2011 Hail & Fire Paperback Edition.

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On the Benevolence & Reliability of the Godly

Isaac Barrow quote on the benevolence and reliability of the pious and godly man; a Christian is profitable both for himself and all those around him:

"It is a fair adornment of a man and a great convenience both to himself and to all those with whom he converses and deals, to act uprightly, uniformly, and consistently. The practice of piety frees a man from interior distraction and from irresolution in his mind, from duplicity or inconstancy in his character, and from confusion in his proceedings, and consequently securing for others freedom from deception and disappointment in their transactions with him." – Isaac Barrow

Read more: "Godliness is Profitable for All Things" by Isaac Barrow, 2011 Hail & Fire Paperback Edition.

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On the Effects of Piety or Godliness in Society

Isaac Barrow quote on the piety or godliness of biblical Christianity rendering every relationship, society, and government benevolent:

"Piety is exceedingly useful to all sorts of men, in all capacities, all states, all relations; fitting and disposing them to manage all their respective concernments, and to discharge all their peculiar duties, in a proper, just, and decent manner.

Piety renders all superiors equal and moderate in their administrations; mild, courteous, and affable in their associations; and benign and condescending in their demeanor toward their inferiors. 'You masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him,' Ephesians 6:9. 'Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that you also have a Master in heaven,' Colossians 4:1.

Correspondingly, piety disposes inferiors to be sincere and faithful, modest, loving, respectful, diligent, and apt to willingly yield due subjection and service. 'Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ,' Colossians 3:22-24. 'Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear,' 1 Peter 2:18.

Piety inclines princes to be just, gentle, benign, careful for their subjects' good, apt to administer justice uprightly, to protect that which is right, to encourage virtue, and to rebuke wickedness.

Answerably, piety renders subjects loyal, submissive, obedient, quiet, and peaceable, ready to yield due honor, to pay the tributes and bear the burdens imposed, to discharge all duties and observe all laws prescribed by their governors, conscionably, patiently, cheerfully, without reluctance, grudging, or murmuring." – Isaac Barrow

Read more: "Godliness is Profitable for All Things" by Isaac Barrow, 2011 Hail & Fire Paperback Edition.

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On Godly Control of the Tongue

Isaac Barrow quote on the godly Christian's control over his tongue and the things he says:

"To govern the tongue well is a matter of exceeding difficulty. ... The tongue is a very loose and versatile engine, which the least breath of thought doth stir, and set on going. ... Since numberless swarms of things roving in the fancy, do thence incessantly obtrude themselves upon the tongue, very much application of mind and great judgment are requisite to select out of them those few which are good and fit, rejecting all that is bad, and improper to be spoken. Since continually temptations occur provoking or alluring to miscarriage in this kind, (for beside internal propensions and commotions of soul, every object we behold, every company we are engaged in, every accident befalling us, doth suggest somewhat inviting thereto ... it must be matter of huge skill and caution, of mighty industry and resolution, to decline it. We for that purpose need to imitate that earnest and watchful care of the holy Psalmist ... I have, saith he, purposed that my mouth shall not offend: and, I said, saith he again, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep my mouth with a bridle ... And, thus to maintain a constant guard over his heart and ways, thus in consequence thereof to curb and rule his speech well, must assuredly be the mark of a very good person." – Isaac Barrow

Read more: "Not to Offend in Word, Sermon XIII" by Isaac Barrow

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On Sly Exhortation and Rebuke

Isaac Barrow quote on using sly exhortation and rebuke in certain circumstances:

"They scorn to be formally advised or taught; but they may perhaps be slyly laughed and lured into a better mind. ... Good reason may be apparelled in the garb of wit, and therein will securely pass, whither in its native homeliness it could never arrive: and being come thither, it with especial advantage may impress good advice; making an offender more clearly to see, and more deeply to feel his miscarriage; being represented to his fancy in a strain somewhat rare and remarkable, yet not so fierce and frightful." – Isaac Barrow

Read more: "Against Foolish Talking and Jesting, Sermon XIV" by Isaac Barrow