Biography[ edit ] Groves was born in Newton Valence , Hampshire , England and was the only son in a family of six. Two years later he married his cousin Mary Bethia Thompson, and moved to Exeter. Call to missionary work[ edit ] In , while continuing his dentistry in Exeter, he enrolled as an external student of theology at Trinity College, Dublin , with a view to ordination in the Church of England and appointment with the Church Missionary Society. However, he had already laid the money aside and considered that he would be thought fickle if he suddenly abandoned his application. The morning before he was due to depart for Dublin, however, he was awoken by a noise and, on investigating, found that a burglary had taken place. Groves took this as a sign from God that he was not to go to Dublin and thereafter he gave up the idea.

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You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www. By Anthony Norris Groves Before this second edition was issued Groves had taken the step which he here had advocated. The tract is a revelation of the man, and affords an insight into the spirit and the glow which made his ministry attractive to sincere souls, and effectual.

It being long since unobtainable we give it in full. By it he, being dead, may yet speak, and other hearts be enlarged and enriched, to the glory of God. It reads PREFACE In sending a second impression of the following little work into the world after a lapse of four years from the publication of the former edition, it may be right to state, that my views on the subject of it, have undergone no change in the way of relinquishment; but on the contrary the experience of every day in my own history,--every observation I have been able to make on the history of those with whom I have come into the closest contact, and who have either received or rejected the view, and in whatever degree, has tended exceedingly to strengthen the conviction on my mind, of the infinitely deep knowledge of the human heart, and springs of human actions which these injunctions of our Blessed Lord manifest: and that he means simply what he says in "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," etc.

There is an eye-salve in this doctrine, when received by faith, that wonderfully clears the field of our spiritual perceptions; therefore, he that can receive it, let him receive it.

Many more, certainly, have been influenced by it, and some to a much greater extent than I had expected; and the clusters that have adorned their branches seem to be of the true Eschol grapes; however, of these, and many other things, time will be the manifester, and the Lord the judge.

The principal objections urged, seem to arrange themselves under three headsThe influence of which this principle would rob the Church;--the children it would leave without a provision;--and that it would require those having estates to sell them, and would not be satisfied with the dedication of the interest or profits arising out of such property.

My business, however, is not with the consequences of the precept, but with the precept itself. I purpose publishing, the Lord sparing me, a few remarks separately, in relation to the first of these subjects--that of Influence;--the nature of that which is Christian, and its distinction from that which is worldly, and which operates either upon worldly men, or that worldliness which still adheres to every one of us.

And I shall endeavour to show, that a grain of the pure gold of Christian influence, which is the exhibition, in truth, of the mind of Christ, springing from the love of Christ in the soul, is no wise increased in value by being beaten out into plates as thin as imagination can conceive, and employed to gild the brassy admixture of earthly influence,--the titles, honours, rank, wealth, learning and secular power of this world.

It looks indeed like a mighty globe of gold; and the eyes of the inexperienced may be caught by it; but the least scratch proves its brassy character. Then, as to our children, David knew that they shall not beg their bread--at least, that he, who had been young and then was old, had not seen such a thing; and to suspect such a thing, is to suspect the perfection of the Fatherly character of God; of whom our blessed Lord said, "Your Father knoweth you have need of all these things," and, therefore, "all these things shall be added unto you.

But some may say, Are not all things given us richly to enjoy? Yes; but it would be degrading indeed to the members of the Kingdom of Christ, to make their rich enjoyment appear in consuming on their own lusts like the members of the kingdom of Satan, those things which they are permitted to apply to the exaltation of their Lord and Redeemer.

For then it is gone for the Lord; and the world, the flesh, and the devil, cannot, though combined bring it back, and the Lord will not allow us to wish it were, so graciously will He receive our weak services and so kindly and overwhelmingly repay them with the light of His countenance, and the secret assurance in our own souls, that our dedication has been acceptable at our hand.

London, May 16, The writer of the following pages has been deeply affected, by the consideration of the strange and melancholy fact--that Christianity has made little or no progress for fifteen successive centuries: and having, as he trusts, perceived, in an attentive perusal of the Gospel History, [1] that primitive Christianity owed much of its irresistible energy to the open and public manifestation by the early disciples, of their love to their Redeemer and King, and to one another, by the evidence which they gave of it in their conduct, and being moreover convinced that the exhibition of this love tends directly and most powerfully to augment the prosperity of the Church of Christ within its own bosom, and to extend its influence throughout the world in all ages; he ventures to lay the result of his reflections open to the candid consideration of the sincere disciples of that Saviour, "who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich" 2 Cor.

This manifestation of love he believes to have been made by the entire and real not figurations devotion of themselves, their property, time and talents to Christ, their Lord and King. The subsequent remarks, however, more especially relate to the bestowment of property, and that whether of capital already possessed, or of income to be acquired by industry. The object proposed by the writer is to prove that such a Dedication is invariably enforced by the commands of our Saviour, and that it is illustrated by the practice of his Apostles and their immediate contemporaries [2] : and he entreats of all the sincere disciples of Christ, that they will weigh what is written in the balance of the Sanctuary, and not in the balances of this world;-that they will pray earnestly to the "Father of lights" to have, in their search after truth, a single eye to the glory of Him whose they are and whom they ought to serve, and to the extension of His Kingdom--that they will, while they search and pray, have a tender regard both to their own souls; and to those of the Millions of "Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics", whose ignorance and wretchedness they profess to deplore.

All that is, or that can fairly be, claimed, in investigating the question before us, is, that the various precepts and arguments, along with the uniform practice, of our Saviour and his Apostles, be allowed to explain his meaning in this particular instance. I shall, therefore, consider in the first place, the direct Scriptural account of the Principle, to which we have alluded, as it is enforced by precept and illustrated by example; and I shall next consider its important bearing upon other momentous commands, which, without it, are rendered exceedingly difficult, nay, impossible, to be understood and received.

I shall begin with the passage from which the motto is taken. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you, by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying--What shall we eat? But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" Mat. Luke is almost verbally the same. It is, however, more striking, as it is introduced by a practical warning derived from the conduct of the "rich man", [4] who cries out, on the contemplation of his security from want,--"Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years", and to whom God replies It also concludes with an exhortation somewhat different from that in St.

In the latter it is said--"Lay not up"; whereas in St. Luke it is said,--"Sell all that thou hast, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not. In endeavouring, therefore, to ascertain their true meaning, let us examine the evidence supplied by the remarks and conduct of our Blessed Lord and his Apostles, in those cases which bear upon the point in question. When the young man came to enquire what good thing he could do to inherit eternal life, after having mentioned several duties, our Lord says,--"Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said,--How hardly shall they, that have riches, enter into the Kingdom of God! If then this is the judgment of him in whom we believe to be "hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge",--who "Knew what was in man"--who was acquainted with all the secret influences by which his heart is governed; shall we, in opposition to his solemnly recorded judgment,--that if it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God"--strive, by the amassing of wealth, effectually, as far as in us lies, to stop our own heavenward course, as well as that of those dear little ones, whom our heavenly Father may have committed to our peculiar and tender care?

We may, without anxiety, contemplate the circumstance I shall not say the misfortunes of dying and leaving our families to struggle with many seeming difficulties in this world should obedience to the Divine Commands bring us and them into such a situation; because our faith could lay hold, for support and consolation, on the well-known declarations and the acknowledged truth--that the Captain of our Salvation was made "perfect through sufferings", and "learned obedience by the things that he suffered" Heb.

But a Family left, by our labour and contrivance, in a situation in which, as our Blessed Lord himself declares, it is all but impossible that they should be saved, [5] presents an object of contemplation widely different.

Faith can only lay hold of the fearful declaration;--"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God"; and if the situation of such a family is irretrievably fixed, and that by our exertions, the contemplation of it may well bring alarm and sadness and distress upon the last hours of a Christian Parent.

And these feelings may well rise to anguish, if he is conscious that his system of accumulation was carried on in defiance of solemn admonitions; and if he is persuaded that the wealth he has amassed--as it were to shut out heaven from the hopes and prospects of his children--if it had been dedicated day by day, as God had prospered him, as a manifestation of his love, and a tribute of his gratitude to his Lord and King, might have been the means of feeding with the bread of life some of the hundreds of millions who lie in darkness, hopelessness, and sin, because the Son of Righteousness has not arisen on them with healing in his wings.

Such are the views and feelings which an unbiassed consideration of the words of our Saviour is calculated to produce. Some, however, may be prepared to assert that his words give no encouragement or allowance to any such conclusions; and this assertion they may support by another--that a love of riches was the peculiar failing of the young man, whose conduct suggested the observations of our Saviour.

It ought, however, to be remarked that he does not say, How hardly shall this rich man enter into the Kingdom of God! Mark And the disciples were astonished at his words. When he observes the astonishment of his disciples, he explains to them the reason of his passing a judgment so severe, by stating the cause of that difficulty, of which he spoke as amounting almost to an impossibility.

It is next to Impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, because he trusts in his riches. So that the expression is not introduced with a view of making riches appear less dangerous to the possessor, but rather with a view of explaining why they are so dangerous.

The repetition of the general declaration in the strongest terms as it is found in the 25th verse, shows that this is the meaning of our Lord; and the increased astonishment of the Disciples plainly gives the same intimation. It is evident that they were not led, by this explanation, to consider the case of the rich less hopeless or deplorable; for they cry out: "Who then can be saved? But the man whose soul the love of Christ has touched, does not look on the question as one merely involving danger to himself: he looks on wealth, as well as every other gift, as an instrument of bringing glory to his Lord, by feeding the little ones of his kingdom, or in some way extending the savour of his name.

It is not a matter of law, but a golden opportunity on which affection seizes, to bring a leaf to the wreath of praise and honour, that crowns Him Lord, to the glory of God the Father, who has won the hearts, and is entitled to the uncontrolled dominion of his own saints. From the observations suggested by the conduct of the "young man" let us pass on to the memorable comment of our Lord on the charity of the poor Widow, as recorded by St.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. But how does our Blessed Lord judge, who judges not according to appearance, but righteous judgment? Observing that she ants quite according to his precept of giving up all, He does not call his disciples round him, to warn them, by her example, not to take his words literally, as he did Peter on the use of the sword; but, on the contrary, points out carefully the peculiarity and unequalled greatness of her sacrifice, and holds her up to admiration on account of it.

The rich cast in of their abundance, much; she, of her penury, cast in a little; but it was all that she had, even all her living. We have now only to go one step farther in order to ascertain in what sense the Apostles understood that command of our Saviour now under consideration. The conduct of them and their adherents is thus recorded by St.

Luke Acts 2. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.

The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things that he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. If this community of hearts and possessions was according to the mind of the Spirit then, why not now?

We have the general precept enforcing the conduct of our Blessed Lord himself;--a particular exhortation to it in his conversation with the "young man"; and a most pointed approbation of it in the case of the poor widow. We have, moreover, to encourage and urge it, not only the example of the Apostles, but that of all those who believed in Jerusalem.

The former truly said, "Lo we have left all and followed thee"; and of the latter it was also truly written,--"Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own".

I would just remark that such conduct does not essentially involve the institution of a common stock, but will be effectually secured by each individual blending himself with the whole household of faith, feeling their wants, and rejoicing in their welfare, as his own. This sympathy of the members of the holy family toward each other, is strongly enforced, and beautifully illustrated by St.

I mean not that other men may be eased, and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want, that there may be equality; as It is written: "He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack" 2 Cor. As then here, the superabundance of him, who had gathered much, ministered to the deficiency of him who had gathered little; so now, whatever the bounty of God may bestow upon us, above a sufficiency for our present necessities, is to be esteemed a blessing in proportion as it is distributed to relieve the temporal and spiritual wants of others.

Again I ask--How do we evade the application of all these precepts and arguments and exhortations and warnings and examples to our own times? Is there in the Holy Scriptures any limitation as to the time when the love which distinguished the primitive church was to be in exercise? Is not humiliation and suffering, the very character of this dispensation, as of the life of Him who introduced it? Are there no farther ends to be obtained by the crucifixion of self and selfish interests, and manifesting the mind that was in Christ Jesus?

Let the disputes and divisions in the Church of God, and the ,, who have never heard the name of salvation by the blood of Jesus declare. What then is the ground of evasion?

Why, that those were apostolic times and apostolic men. Could there be a stronger reason urged for following their steps? Their having supernatural aids, in addition to moral, makes the obligation to use moral more imperative on our part, if possible, than on theirs; for we have now only the silent and unobserved influences of the Spirit of God operating by them.

Those, who may be inclined to ask--Were not the miraculous powers, entrusted to the Apostles for the advancement of Christianity, also subservient to their personal comfort, amidst their want and pain and distress? We would refer those who enquire to the words of the Apostle Paul. I have been in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

They felt the beneficial effects of suffering on their own souls, and they saw it blessed to the conversion of the souls of others: and, looking beyond things which are seen and temporal, they beheld that "exceeding and eternal weight of glory" which their sufferings were working out 2 Cor.


Anthony Norris Groves

You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www. By Anthony Norris Groves Before this second edition was issued Groves had taken the step which he here had advocated. The tract is a revelation of the man, and affords an insight into the spirit and the glow which made his ministry attractive to sincere souls, and effectual. It being long since unobtainable we give it in full.


Christian Devotedness

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