Quoting Jeremiah Burroughs . . .
|The power of God is glorious, not only in preserving His church, in raising the spirits of His servants in their greatest affliction, but in increasing His church by them. If it is a wonder to be upheld in them, it is much more a wonder to be increased by them. “The more we are cut down, the more we persist“, says Tertullian. The church never grew so fast as when it was under the most affliction. Sulpitius says of the Christians in primative times, that they were greedy of martyrdom, as in his time men were greedy of bishopric. The blood of martyrs was the seed of the church. Pliny reports of the lily, that it is increased by it’s own juice that drops from it, and so is the church, which is the lily that grows among the thorns; the very blood that drops from it, multiplies it; the sufferings of one beget many to the love of the truth.John Knox reports of a gentlemen, one John Lindsay, familiar to Bishop James Bettoune, that he said to the Bishop upon the occasion of Patrick Hamilton’s burning: “My Lord, if you burn any more, you will destroy yourselves; if you will burn them, let them be burnt in hollow cellars, for the smoke of Mr. Patrick Hamilton has infected as many as it blew upon.“It is reported of one Cecelia … that her constancy and exhortations, before and after her martyrdom, were the means to convert four hundred people. “By blood and prayer the church converts the whole world“, says Luther.|
|From:||Discovering The Healthy Condition of a Self-Denying Heart (from Day By Day w/Puritans)
(HT: Old Truth)