Short quotes from the Puritan Thomas Manton
1620–1677


The more affected we are with our sinful misery—the fitter we are for Christ's marvelous mercy.

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God has a bottle for all the tears of His people—and a book wherein He records all their sorrows!

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If Christ shall be precious to you—then you must be vile in your own eyes!

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It is easy for Him who made all things out of nothing to help His redeemed children.
The Almighty Creator, ruler, and governor of the world—what can He not do?

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A man's greatest care should be for that place where He dwells longest; therefore eternity should be in his scope!

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By the same divine power by which Christ made all things—He preserves and sustains all things.
All creatures owe their continuance and preservation to Him.

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Hell and damnation are no vain scarecrows!

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It is a hard matter to enjoy the world, without being entangled with its cares and pleasures!

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A man who is satisfied with his own righteousness, does not prize Christ.

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Sin is sweet in commission, but bitter in its wages.

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We are perfect in no lessons so much as those into which God whips us.

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Excess in food and drink clouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. Many a man digs his own grave with his teeth! "Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony!" Proverbs 23:2

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Christ does not save us because we are holy—but that we may be holy!

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Pleasures being enjoyed—they do not satisfy.
Pleasures being loved—they defile.
Pleasures being lost—they increase our trouble and sorrow.

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The use of God's rod is to bring us back unto God. Affliction changes us . . .
  from vanity, to seriousness;
  from error, to truth;
  from stubbornness, to teachableness;
  from pride, to humility.
To the people of God, affliction is not a destructive punishment—but remedy for our maladies.

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There is in man, a mint always at work!
His mind is ever coining evil thoughts.
His heart is ever coining evil desires and carnal affections.
His memory is the closet and storehouse wherein these evil things are kept!
First we practice sin; then we defend it; then we boast of it.

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Divisions in the church, always breed atheism in the world.

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A finite creature can never fully comprehend an infinite Creator.

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The end of study is information.
The end of meditation is practice, and to work upon the affections.
The end of study is to hoard up truth.
The end of meditation to live it out in holy conduct and conversation.

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To hear and not to meditate, is unfruitful. We may hear and hear, but it is like putting a thing into a bag with holes! What we read in the Word—we must digest by meditation. Men are barren, dry, and sapless in their prayers—for lack of exercising themselves in holy meditation.

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All men in their unrenewed estate are slaves to sin and Satan, and subject to the holy wrath of God.

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It is a great part of a believer's work to have a deep sense of the Redeemer's excellency imprinted upon his mind and heart.


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Doctrine is but the drawing of the bow.
Application
is hitting the mark!

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There are three things that commend the value of Christ's sacrifice:
  the dignity of His person,
  the greatness of His sufferings,
  and the merit of His obedience.

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God's power was revealed in the creation, when God made us like Himself out of the dust of the ground.
God's love was revealed in our redemption, when He made Himself like us.

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When we consider what Christ is—we shall most admire what He has done for us.

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The angels fell from their first state as soon as they were created—so short and uncertain is all created glory!

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The best of God's children feel the motions of the sinful flesh—but they do not cherish and obey them.

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The angels live in a continual dependence upon Christ as their creator—and without His supporting influence, would be soon annihilated!

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What was lost in Adam, can only be recovered by Christ.

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Death takes all from us: honors, and riches, and strength, and life. But it cannot take God and Christ from us. They are ours, and everlastingly ours.

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By God all things exist—therefore He can . . .
  hear all prayers,
  relieve us in all our straits,
  supply us in all wants, and
  preserve us in all dangers.
Our whole life is in His keeping, and upheld by His intimate presence with us. Our days cannot be longer nor shorter than He pleases.

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The more perfections we have—the more prone we are to fall if He does not sustain us: witness the fallen angels, and Adam in innocence.

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"Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness—only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil." Isaiah 1:5-6. The Scripture represents man as . . .
  blind
in his mind,
  perverse
in his will,
  rebellious
in his affections,
  having no sound part in him.
Therefore it is necessary that man should be converted and changed.
Better we had never been born, unless new born!

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The devil seeks to weaken the truth of God's threatenings!

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Let your love to God, be like His love to you.
Love was at the bottom of all His grace—let it be at the bottom of all your duties.

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God delighted in man as innocent, but man as sinful is the object of God's wrath, loathing, and detestation! This breach continues until we are reconciled by Christ, until we love God, and are beloved by Him. It would have been better for us, if we had been in a lower rank of creatures—than to continue under God's wrath! For the misery of the beast dies with them—death puts an end to all their pains at once. But the wrath of God, not appeased by Christ, continues on the sinner forever!
Cry mightily to God: "Give me Christ—or else I perish forever!"

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Christ cannot be received—where He is not valued, and when other things come in competition with Him.

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The question is whether we will be friends the world, or of God? We must avoid the one, to obtain the other. "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God!" James 4:4

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It is our sinful appetites affections which make our abode in the world unsafe and dangerous. If it were not for our lusts—neither the baits nor the enticements of the world would tempt or hurt us. Mortify the lust, and you have pulled up the temptations by the roots!

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Alas! what a base heart have they who drive no higher trade than providing for the flesh, or accommodating a life which must shortly expire! They are like foolish birds who, with great art and contrivance, feather a nest—which within a little while they must leave!

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There is no pardon, without repentance.
There is no Heaven, without holiness.
Do not rest in mere mental assent to the Gospel.
This cost nothing, and is worth nothing!
The devils assent to the truths of Scripture.

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Were it not for God's scourge—we would forget our duty and the obedience we owe to Him.

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God's wrath is never more terrible, than when it is stirred up to avenge the quarrel of abused mercy! "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!" Hebrews 10:31

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The first rise and spring of saving mercy was at election, which is then manifested by effectual calling, and so flows down in the channels of faith and holiness, until it loses itself in the ocean of everlasting glory!

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They are not Christ's, who neither know how they are effectually called, nor can give any proof that they are effectually called. To some God speaks in thunder, to others in a still small voice—but to all He speaks!

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No soul ever came to Christ without a load of sin and guilt upon his back. It is God's way to speak terror, before He speaks comfort. Were you ever brought to say: "I was a wretch—a miserable, forlorn creature outside of Christ!" Unworthiness and wretchedness felt is the first occasion to bring us to Christ. Never a poor soul who takes sanctuary at the throne of grace, but he first stands guilty there, and in danger of damnation.

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Who will believe that you are saved—when you stick in the mud of pleasures, and live with such a zeal after worldly interests?

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It is not the matter that makes the work good, but the principles. All that we do, must come from a principle of faith, love, and obedience. All that is done in the spiritual life, be it an act of piety, justice, temperance, or charity, it must be done with this aim—that God may be glorified by our obedience to His will.

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That which we make our utmost end—we make it our God.

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One way or another, Satan holds unbelievers captive. Their fair show to the world—is but to serve their carnal interests, to hide a lust or feed a lust—and most commonly this sin is worldliness.

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The sanctification of the Spirit, is as necessary as the blood of Jesus!

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To cleanse the heart is beyond the power of the creature.
It can no more make itself holy—than make itself to be!

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Man's will contributes nothing to salvation—but resistance and rebellion! All the difference between the saved and the lost, arises from God's grace, who acts according to His good pleasure.

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If God the Father had not loved you before all worlds—then Christ would not have redeemed you. And if Christ had not redeemed you—then the Spirit would never regenerate and sanctify you.

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Christ has a charge to keep His saints safe, and to conduct them to everlasting glory! "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand!" John 10:28

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That a poor godly man who is counted the filth and off-scouring of the world—should be the only truly happy man; and that the great men of this world who have all things at will—should be poor, blind, miserable, and naked; is a blessed paradox of divine truth.

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There is a superstitious holiness, which is contrary to a genuine and scriptural holiness. It is a vain flesh-pleasing religion, which consists in a conformity to outward rites and ceremonies, and external mortifications, such as are practiced by the Papists and formalists. It is destructive to true godliness and Scriptural holiness.

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If you would be blessed, you must have a sincere, constant, uniform obedience.
The will of God must not only be known, but practiced!

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Here is the great work and business of your lives—diligently to seek after God!

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The very continuance of our glory in Heaven is a fruit of mercy, not of merit.
Our obligation to free grace never ceases!

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The way to true peace with God, is to apply yourselves to God for mercy to be accepted in Christ, and to be renewed according to the image of Christ.

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David, whose conscience smote him when he cut off the edge of Saul's garment—could plot the death of Uriah, his faithful servant, when he was at ease in his palace. In the same way, we lose much tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against sin, much of that lively diligence that we would otherwise show forth in carrying on the spiritual life—when we are at ease, and all things go well with us.
Our affections to heavenly things languish, when all things succeed with us in this world according to our heart's desire. This spiritual coldness and remissness is not easily shaken off!

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The beginning of all obedience is the mortification of the flesh, which naturally we cannot endure. After we have submitted and subjected ourselves to God—the flesh will be rebelling and waxing wanton against the spirit, until God snatches its allurements from us!

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Since we have a Father in Heaven—let us look up to Heaven often.

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Men in general do not live as if they expected to die. "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment!" Hebrews 9:27