Grace Gems Collection 2000

Grace Gems Collection 2000
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The text has been revised for contemporary readers.
Sovereign Grace Treasures http://www.lulu.com/gracetreasures
2006
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Our Purpose is to humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation, and to promote real holiness in heart in life.
Our objective is to set before the Christian pilgrim some reflections which may prove challenging, consolatory and encouraging—as he journeys up from this bleak, arid, wilderness world, leaning on his Beloved.
May God’s blessing attend a humble effort to minister comfort to the downcast, strength to the weak, and courage to those who have set their faces towards their glorious eternal home.
The editors
Please visit us at http://www.GraceGems.org. Join our free Grace Gems mailing list to receive a daily devotional quote!
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PURE, UNALLOYED, PERFECT TRUTH
Charles Spurgeon
The Bible is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed by quartz or any earthly substance.
This is…
a star without a speck,
a sun with a blot,
a light without darkness,
a moon without its paleness, and a glory without a dimness.
O Bible! It cannot be said of any other book that it is perfect and pure, but of the Bible we can declare that all wisdom is gathered up in it without a particle of folly. This is the judge that ends the strife where wit and reason fail.
This is the Book untainted by any error, but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth.
R
THE JOY OF OUR SOULS!
Charles Spurgeon
Christ became to us the joy of our souls. Home, friends, health, wealth, comforts—all lost their ‘luster’ that day when He saved us, just as stars are hidden by the light of the sun.
R
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OUR EVERLASTING SONG!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST—PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS”
In Christ’s soul there was an exceeding heaviness even unto death, and an agony which no tongue can tell, for we have found no words in which to speak of it.
We believe that this agony was commensurate with the agonies of the lost in hell—not the same agony, but an equivalent for it; and remember, not the equivalent for the agony of one, but an equivalent for the hells of all that innumerable host whose sins He bore, condensed into one black draught to be drained in a few hours.
The miseries of an eternity without an end, miseries caused by a God infinitely angry because of an awful rebellion, and these miseries multiplied by the millions for whom the man Christ Jesus stood as covenant Head.
What a draught was that, men and brethren! Well might it stagger even Him!
And yet He drained that cup, drained it to its utmost dregs—not a drop was left. For you, my soul, no flames of hell; for Christ the Paschal-lamb has been roasted in that fire! For you, my soul, no torments of the damned, for Christ has been condemned in your stead! For you, my spirit, no desertion of your God, for He was forsaken of God for you! It is done, it is finished, and by Your sufferings, Jesus, You have become perfect as the expiation of Your people’s sins.
Do, my brethren, remember that your sins are perfectly expiated. Do not let them trouble you as to punishment; the punishment is gone. Sins cannot lie in two places at one time—they were put on Christ, and they cannot be on you. In fact, your sins are not to be
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found—the scapegoat has gone, and your sins will never be found again. Your sins, if they were searched for, could not be discovered. Not even by the piercing eye of God can a single blemish be found in you!
Oh! how we will sing, how we will chant His praise when we get to heaven! This shall be the highest note—that we owe ALL to that bright one, that Lamb in the midst of the throne. We will tell it over, and over, and over again, and find it an inexhaustible theme for melodious joy and song that He became man, that He sweat great drops of blood, that He died, that He rose again.
While the angels are singing “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” we will bid them stop the song a moment, while we say, “He whom you thus adore was once covered with bloody sweat.” As we cast our crowns at His feet, we will say, “And He was once despised and rejected of men.” Lifting up our eyes and saluting Him as God over all, blessed forever, we will remember the reed, the sponge, the vinegar, and the nails; and as we come to Him and have fellowship with Him, and He shall lead us beside the living fountains of water, we will remember the black brook of Kedron of which He drank, and the awful depths of the grave into which He descended.
Amid all the splendors of heaven, we shall never forget His agony, and misery. And when we sing the loudest sonnets of God’s love, and power, and grace, we will sing this after all, and before all, and above all—that Jesus the Son of God died for US, and this shall be our everlasting song—“He loved us and gave Himself for us, and we have washed our robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!”
R
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PECULIAR PEOPLE
Don Fortner
Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a PECULIAR PEOPLE, zealous of good works.—Titus 2:14
The Holy Spirit declares that God’s elect, once they are called and converted by His sovereign grace, are made to be a ‘peculiar people.’ The word “peculiar” means “distinctively excellent, valuable, and honorable.” We are Christ’s portion, the lot of His inheritance, the jewels of His crown, His fullness (Eph. 1:23), His peculiar people.
Grace has distinguished God’s elect from all others— They are a people loved by God with a peculiar love (Jer. 31:3), with a love that He does not have for the rest of Adam’s race. Let men talk all they wish about “universal benevolence,” “universal grace,” and “universal love,”—the Word of God declares plainly that God’s love for His own people is a peculiar, distinct love (Isa. 43:3-4; Rom. 9:13). It is the distinctiveness of God’s love for us, who deserve His wrath as fully as Satan himself, which forms the great motive for our consecration to our God and His glory (Rom. 12:1-2).
We are the objects of God’s peculiar delight—The Lord God has made us “accepted in the Beloved.” Being accepted in Christ, because of Christ, and for Christ’s sake, washed in His blood and robed in His righteousness, we are a people with whom God is well pleased, even delighted (Zeph. 3:17).
Being the objects of His love, chosen to eternal salvation and accepted in Christ, every believer has been blessed with all the peculiar blessings of God’s free, covenant grace from eternity (Eph. 1:3-4), and
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supplied with all the provisions of the Father’s house day by day and forever.
Every believer has been SEPARATED from the world by peculiar grace—
Electing grace (2 Thess. 2:13-14), Redeeming grace (1 Cor. 6:19-20), Regenerating grace (Isa. 43:1-5), Preserving grace (1 Pet. 1:5), and Providential grace (Rom. 8:28-30),
are the things which make us to differ from the rest of the world. The distinction is not the work of our will or of our obedience. It is the work of God’s grace alone.
“Zealous of good works”—Yet, Christ’s peculiar people are made by the grace of God to be zealous of good works. God the Father ordained that we should walk in good works (Eph. 2:10). God the Son redeemed us that we should walk in good works. And God the Holy
Spirit effectually teaches every chosen, ransomed sinner to be zealous of good works.
R
OX OR DONKEY?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, WHAT MEANEST THOU, O SLEEPER?
I should not expect if I were a member of a commercial firm, to take half the profits, and to do none of the work. It is low to the very last degree to share the ‘benefits’ without uniting in the ‘toil.’ And yet some Christian professors are guilty of this miserable conduct.
As it was in the days of Job, so it is even until now— “the OXEN were ‘ploughing,’ and the DONKEYS were ‘feeding’ beside them.” There is always a large
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proportion of the latter class in the churches, too glad to feed, but quite unwilling to work.
R
MODERN CHURCH MACHINERY
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FAITH OMNIPOTENT”
Friends! the churches of Christ have no need of the Modern Machinery which has supplanted the simplicity of faith.
I verily believe, if the Lord swept the church committees and missionary societies out of the universe, we would be better without them.
I hope the church will soon say, like David in Saul’s clanking armor, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them,” and with only her sling and her stone, confident in her God, I trust she will confront her foe.
We can do all things, if we can but trust Christ.
“All things are possible to him that believes.” But nothing is possible to your schemes, and to your systems. God will sweep them away yet, and happy shall be that man who shall lead the van in their utter destruction! Go up against her, take away her bulwarks, for they are not the Lord’s; He did not ordain them, nor will He stand by them.
Act in faith, O you people of God, and prove the power of prayer, for “all things are possible to him that believes.”
The fact is, God does not need our power, but our weakness; not our greatness, but our nothingness.
R
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A SUPERIOR RACE
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN”
There can be no comparison between a soaring seraph and a crawling worm.
Christian men ought so to live that it were idle to speak of a comparison between them and the men of the world. It should not be a comparison but a contrast. The believer should be a direct and manifest contradiction to the unregenerate.
The life of a saint should be altogether above, and out of the same list as the life of a sinner.
If we were what we profess to be, we should be as distinct a people in the midst of this world, as a white race in a community of Ethiopians—there should be no more difficulty in detecting the Christian from the worldling than in discovering a sheep from a goat, or a lamb from a wolf.
The lost world should be rebuked by our unworldly, unselfish character.
There should be as much difference between the worldling and the Christian, as between hell and heaven, between destruction and eternal life.
As we hope at last that there shall be a great gulf separating us from the doom of the impenitent, there should be here a deep and wide gulf between us and the ungodly in the present.
The purity of our character should be such, that men must take knowledge of us that we are of another and superior race.
There should be a ring of true metal about our speech and lifestyle, so that when a brother meets us, he can
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say, “You are a Christian, I know, for none but Christians speak like that, or act like that.” “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth, for your speech betrays you.”
Alas! the Church is so much adulterated. God grant us more and more to be most clearly a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that we may show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
R
PRAYER DELIGHTS GOD’S EAR
It melts His heart, and opens His hand. God cannot deny a praying soul.—Thomas Watson R
THE MELODY OF THE CROSS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S LOGIC”
The religion of the cross was intended to stir the soul with deep emotion, and where it is truly received it accomplishes its end.
If the passions be not moved by it, there is a strong presumption that it has never been in true operation. We do not wonder that, to the man who views religion as a mere compendium of truths for the head, it is a powerless thing, for it is intended to work in another manner.
Wine may serve to cheer the heart, but who would expect to feel its exhilarating influence by pouring it upon his head?
Likewise, the holy Gospel makes its first appeal to man’s HEART, and until it be heard in that secret chamber it is not heard at all.
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So long as mere REASON is the only listener, the melody of the cross will be unheard. Charm we ever so wisely, men cannot hear the music until the ears of the heart are opened.
R
YOUR NATIVE AIR…
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S CROWNING DEED”
We have sometimes heard of sickly persons, that the physician has recommended them to try their ‘native air,’ in hopes of restoration. Likewise, we also recommend every backsliding Christian to try the native air of Christ’s love, and we charge every healthy believer to abide in it.
Let the believer under decays of grace go back to the cross again; there he found his hope, there he must find it again: there his love to Jesus began—we “love Him because He first loved us,” and there must his love be again inflamed.
The ‘atmosphere around the cross of Christ’ is bracing to the soul; get to think much of His love and you grow strong and vigorous in grace.
If men are ever to be truly great they must be nurtured beneath the wing of free grace and dying love!
R
CLING!
“None can perish that are clinging to the cross.” —Spurgeon
R
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THE WEEPINGS AND WAILINGS OF THE DAMNED…
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST—PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS”
The weepings and wailings of the damned are but the deep bass of the astounding praise which the whole universe, willingly or unwillingly, must give to Christ.
R
CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE!
by Don Fortner
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was
cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
I must warn you who are yet without Christ, if you will not trust Christ you must be forever damned! Soon, you shall be “cast into the lake of fire!” All who are found guilty of sin in that great and terrible day of God’s wrath and judgment shall be cast into the lake of fire. There you shall be made to suffer the unmitigated wrath of Almighty God forever!
One by one the Lord God will call the damned before His throne and judge them. As He says to you, “Depart you cursed!” He will say to His holy angels, “Take him! Bind him! Cast him into outer darkness!” There will be no mercy for you! There will be no pity for you! There will be no sorrow for you! There will be no hope for you! There will be no end for you!
To hell you deserve to go! To hell you must go! To hell you will go! Unless you flee to Christ and take refuge in Him, in that great day the wrath of God shall seize you and destroy you forever! I beseech you now, by the mercies of God, be reconciled to God by trusting His darling Son! “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men!” Come to Christ now! Eternity is before you!
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Behold His infinite love revealed in the sacrifice of His dear Son, and know that God is gracious, merciful, and willing to save sinners (2 Cor. 5:14-15). Behold Christ’s finished atonement, and know that God in Christ has found a way to deliver sinners from going down to the pit (2 Cor. 5:21). Infinite wisdom found an infinitely meritorious ransom in the sin-atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, God can be and is both just and the Justifier of all who believe on His Son. Behold His amazing, almighty, saving grace, and know that our God is a God who is able to save.
“For Him who knew no sin He made to be sin on our behalf; so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” 2 Cor. 5:21.
In that great and terrible day I hope to be found in Christ, not having my own righteousness, but having His righteousness. How will it be for you in that day?
R
PROFESSING CHRISTIANS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NOMINAL CHRISTIANS—REAL INFIDELS”
Professing Christians, the love of this world is enmity against God. You PROFESS to love God, yet you are as worldly, as fond of its fashions and its frivolities, as pleased with its pomp and its fooleries, as hungry for its honors and its fripperies, as you can well be.
“Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.” This verse teaches that if you continue to sow sin you will have to reap the result of it, and that, unless through divine grace you are led to give up your right-eye sins, and to cut often your right-arm lusts, you will perish.
Christ only bids you give up that which will ruin you; He only asks you to do that which will make you happy.
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The Son of God was nailed to the cross, and out of love to you He demands that you forsake the sin which will destroy you.
God demands repentance. Repentance is a change of mind—With reference to SIN, caring no more for its pleasures, despising it and turning away from it. With regard to HOLINESS; seeking your happiness in it. With regard to CHRIST, so that you shall no longer look upon Him as without form or loveliness, but as a most precious Savior, such as you need.
Christ demands of you that you should throw out your ornaments of self-righteousness, and wrap yourself in the sackcloth of humiliation, and cast the ashes of penitence upon your head, and cry, “Unclean! unclean! unclean!”
R
THE NEVER-FAILING FRIEND
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S LOGIC”
Experience of the love, tenderness, and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ will weld our hearts to Him.
The very THOUGHT of the love of Jesus towards us is enough to inflame our holy passions, but the EXPERIENCING of His love heats the furnace seven times hotter.
He has been with us in our TRIALS, cheering and consoling us, sympathizing with every groan, and regarding every tear with affectionate compassion. Do we not love Him for this?
He has befriended us in every TIME OF NEED, so bounteously supplying all our neediness out of the riches of His fullness, that He has not allowed us to
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lack any good thing. Shall we be unmindful of such unwearying care?
He has helped us in every DIFFICULTY, furnishing us with strength equal to our day; He has leveled the mountains before us, and filled up the valleys; He has made rough places plain, and crooked things straight. Do we not love Him for this also?
In all our DOUBTS He has directed us in the path of wisdom, and led us in the way of knowledge. He has not allowed us to wander; He has led us by a right way through the pathless wilderness. Shall we not praise Him for this?
He has repelled our ENEMIES, covered our heads in the day of battle, broken the teeth of the oppressor, and made us more than conquerors. Can we forget such mighty grace?
Are we not constrained to call upon all that is within us to bless His holy name?
Not one promise of His has been broken, but all have come to pass.
In no single instance has He failed us; He has never been unkind, unmindful, or unwise.
The harshest strokes of His providence have been as full of love as the softest embraces of His condescending fellowship.
We cannot, we dare not find fault with Him. He has done all things well.
His love toward His people is perfect, and the consideration of His love is sweet to contemplation; the very remembrance of it is like ointment poured forth, and the present enjoyment of it, the experience of it at the present moment, is beyond all things delightful!
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At home or abroad, on the land or the sea, in health or sickness, in poverty or wealth, JESUS, THE NEVER- FAILING FRIEND, affords us tokens of His grace, and binds our hearts to Him in the bonds of constraining gratitude.
If we were we not dull scholars, we would, in the experience of a single day, discover a thousand reasons for loving our Redeemer.
R
A VERY TEMPEST OF DELIGHT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S LOGIC”
What will it be like, to love Jesus when we get to Heaven?
Here we utterly fail in description or conception.
The best enjoyments of Christ ON EARTH are but as the ‘dipping our finger’ in water for the cooling of our thirst. But HEAVEN is ‘bathing’ in seas of bliss!
Even so our love here is but one drop of the same substance as the waters of the ocean, but not comparable for magnitude or depth.
Oh, how sweet it will be to be married to the Lord Jesus, and to enjoy forever, and without any interruption, the heavenly delights of His society!
Surely, if a GLIMPSE of Him melts our soul, the FULL FRUITION of Him will be enough to burn us up with affection!
It is well that we shall have more noble frames in heaven than we have here, otherwise we should die of love in the very land of life. An honored saint was once so ravished with a revelation of his Lord’s love, that
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feeling his mortal frame to be unable to sustain more of such bliss, he cried, “Stop, Lord, it is enough, it is enough!” But there we shall be able to set the bottomless well of love to our lips, and drink on forever, and yet feel no weakness.
Ah, that will be love indeed which shall overflow our souls forever in our Father’s house above!
Who can tell the transports, the raptures, the amazements of delight, which that love shall beget in us?
And who can guess the sweetness of the song, or the swiftness of the obedience which will be the heavenly expressions of love made perfect?
No heart can conceive the surpassing bliss which the saints shall enjoy when the sea of their love to Christ and the ocean of Christ’s love to them, shall meet each other, and raise a very tempest of delight!
R
THE BASIS OF ALL TRUE PIETY
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S LOGIC”
Heaven itself, although it be a fertile land, flowing with milk and honey, can produce no fairer flower than the ‘Rose of Sharon.’ Heaven’s highest joys mount no higher than the head of Jesus; its sweetest bliss is found in His name alone.
If we would know heaven, let us know Jesus. If we would be heavenly, let us love Jesus. Oh that we were perpetually in His company, that our hearts might ever be satisfied with His love!
Let the young believer seek after a clear view of the person of Jesus, and then let him implore the kindling
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fire of the Holy Spirit to light up his whole soul with fervent affection.
LOVE TO JESUS IS THE BASIS OF ALL TRUE PIETY, and the intensity of this love will ever be the measure of our zeal for His glory. Let us love Him with all our hearts, and then diligent labor and consistent living will be sure to follow.
Love is love’s food.
R
LOVE’S FOOD
by Spurgeon
There is a power in Christ’s love which conquers, captivates, and overpowers the man, so that he cannot but love Christ in return.
God’s love has a GENERATIVE power—our love to Him is brought forth by His love to us.
The best way for begetting love to Christ is a sense of the love of Christ to us. His love is a loadstone to attract our love.
As fire grows by the addition of fuel, so does our love to Christ increase by renewed and enlarged discoveries of His love to us.
Where much of divine love is perceived by the soul, there will be a return of affection in some degree proportionate to the measure of the manifestation. As we pour water into a dry pump when we desire to obtain more—so must we have the love of Christ imparted to the heart before we shall feel any uprisings of delight in Him.
We have all too much cause to mourn the poverty of our love. Beloved fellow Christian, pray for more open discoveries of the love and loveliness of Christ, and
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thus shall your languid passions move more readily in the paths of obedience.
R
HIGH PROFICIENCY IN DIVINE THINGS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S LOGIC”
There must be in our religion fair proportion of believing, thinking, understanding, and discerning. But there must be also the preponderating influences of feeling, loving, delighting, and desiring.
That religion is worth nothing which has no dwelling in man but in his brain!
To love Jesus much is to be wise.
To grow in affection is to grow in knowledge, and to increase in tender attachment is to be making high proficiency in divine things.
Make God glad! Is it possible to make God glad? We make God glad by our love.
See, loving heart, how He delights in you.
When you lean your head on His bosom, you not only receive, but you give Him joy.
When you gaze with love upon His all-glorious face, you not only obtain comfort, but impart delight.
Our praise too, gives Him joy—not the song of the lips alone, but the melody of the heart’s deep gratitude.
R
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WHAT A SIGHT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S LOGIC”
O the beauty of the person of Jesus, when seen with the eye of faith by the illumination of the Holy Spirit!
As the light of the morning, when the sun arises, “as a morning without clouds,” is our Well-Beloved unto us.
The sight of the burning bush made Moses put off his shoes, but the transporting vision of Jesus makes us put off all the world!
When once He is seen we can discern no beauties in all other creatures in the universe.
He, like the sun, has absorbed all other glories into His own excessive brightness.
This is the pomegranate which love feeds upon, the flagon wherewith it is comforted.
A sight of Jesus causes such union of heart with Him, such goings out of the affections after Him, and such meltings of the spirit towards Him, that its expressions often appear to carnal men to be extravagant and forced; when they are nothing but the free, unstudied, and honest effusions of its love.
Carnal men are themselves ignorant of the divine passion of love to Jesus, and therefore the language of the enraptured heart is unintelligible to them. They are poor translators of love’s celestial tongue who think it to be at all allied with the amorous superfluities uttered by carnal passions. Jesus is the only one upon whom the loving believer has fixed his eye, and in his converse with his Lord he will often express himself in language which is meant only for his Master’s ear, and which worldlings would utterly scorn could they but
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listen to it. The pious feelings at which they jeer, are as much beyond their highest thoughts as the ‘sonnets of angels’ excel the ‘gruntings of swine.’
R
IF GOD SHOULD FORSAKE THE BEST SAINT?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!”
We know that if God should forsake the best saint alive, that man would immediately fall into sin.
He now stands securely on yonder lofty pinnacle, but his brain would reel and he would fall, if secret hands did not uphold him.
He now picks his steps carefully; take away grace from him and he would roll in the mire, and wallow in it like other men.
Let the godly be forsaken of his God, and he would go from bad to worse, until his conscience, now so tender, would be seared as with a hot iron. Next he would ripen into an atheist or a blasphemer, and he would come to his dying bed foaming at the mouth with rage; he would come before the bar of his Maker with a curse upon his lip; and in eternity, left and forsaken of God, he would sink to hell with the condemned, ay, and among the damned he would have the worst place, lower than the lowest, finding in the lowest depths a lower depth, finding in the wrath of God something more dreadful than the ordinary wrath which falls upon common sinners!
He has said, “I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.”— Hebrews 13:5.
R
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NEVER!
by J. C. Ryle
“I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Let every believer grasp these words and store them up in his heart.
Keep them ready, and have them fresh in your memory; you will need them one day.
The Philistines will be upon you,
The hand of sickness will lay you low,
The king of terrors will draw near,
The valley of the shadow of death will open up
before your eyes.
Then comes the hour when you will find nothing so comforting as a text like this, nothing so cheering as a real sense of God’s companionship.
Stick to that word, “never.” It is worth its weight in gold. Cling to it as a drowning man clings to a rope. Grasp it firmly, as a soldier attacked on all sides grasps his sword. God has said, and He will stand to it, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
NEVER! Though YOUR HEART be often faint, and you are sick of self, and your many failures and infirmities overwhelm you—even then the promise will not fail.
NEVER! Though THE DEVIL whispers, “I shall have you at last; yet a little time and your faith will fail, and you will be mine.” Even then the Word of God will stand.
NEVER! When the cold chill of DEATH is creeping over you, and friends can do no more, and you are starting on that journey from which there is no return—even then Christ will not forsake you.
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NEVER! When the day of JUDGMENT comes, and the books are opened, and the dead are rising from their graves, and eternity is beginning—even then the promise will bear all your weight; Christ will not leave His hold on your soul.
Oh believing reader, trust in the Lord forever, for He says, “I will never leave you.”
Lean back all your weight upon Him, do not be afraid. Glory in His promise. Rejoice in the strength of your consolation.
You may say boldly, “The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear.”
R
BIBLE KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT REPENTANCE
Bible knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell.”—Thomas Watson R
SALVATION BY SACRAMENTS?
BY JOHN CAMPBELL
“The doctrine of salvation by sacraments is… a deadly delusion,
the overthrow of the gospel, the destruction of souls and the path to perdition.”
R
POPERY
BY JOHN DAVIES
“Popery is a lamb when inferior, a fox in equality, and a wolf when superior.”
R
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WITHOUT HOLINESS
C. H. SPURGEON
Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy, then your heart is unchanged, and you are an unsaved person.
The Savior will…
sanctify His people,
renew them,
give them a hatred of sin, and a love of holiness.
The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins.
Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. R
WORLDLINESS
DON FORTNER
Worldliness is not easily observed. It is not to be measured by…
the style of our clothes,
the means of innocent relaxation and entertainment, or the place of our residence.
Worldliness is…
the love of the world,
the atmosphere of greed,
the spirit of ambition,
the passion for pleasure and self-gratification,
which consumes the hearts, lives, thoughts, and deeds of lost souls.
R
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THE PILGRIM
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“RETURN, RETURN, O SHULAMITE; RETURN, RETURN!”
A pilgrim bound for the Celestial City cannot go through the world, even through the worst part of it, such as Vanity Fair, without being noticed, and questioned, and sought after, and if possible ensnared.
R
A REAL CHRIST?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LEANING ON OUR BELOVED”
The Christ of a great many professors is only fit to occupy a niche on the church wall, as a dead, inactive, but revered person.
Jesus is not a real Christ to many; He is not a Christ who can really befriend them in the hour of grief; not a brother born for adversity, not a condescending companion.
But the Christ of the well-taught Christian, is a sympathizing, practical friend, who is actually near, entering into our sorrows, sharing in our crosses, and taking a part with us in all the battle of life.
R
UNLESS ALMIGHTY GRACE SHALL SUPERVENE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “INWARD CONFLICTS”
We shall never be out of gunshot of the devil until we have crossed the river of death.
Our carnal minds are like gunpowder. They only need a spark; and ah, what an explosion there would be with any of us. May the Lord keep the sparks away.
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Let us be very vigilant and very careful; there is an enemy behind every hedge; there is a foe waiting for us at every step; and before this day is over, you and I may have slipped and have fallen into sin, to our own perpetual hurt and hindrance, unless almighty grace shall supervene.
R
MORE ENOCHS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE REAL PRESENCE, THE GREAT NEED OF THE CHURCH”
Oh, for more Enochs!—men who walk with God, whose habitual spirit is that of close communion with Jesus, meditating upon Him, yes more than that, sympathizing with Him, drinking into His spirit, changed into His likeness, living over again His life, because He is in them the Monarch of their souls.
I would beg every believer to ask himself a few questions, such as these—
Am I walking in constant fellowship with Christ?
If I am not, why not? Is it that I am worldly? Am I indulging myself in any sin? Is it that I am proud, or indolent, or envious, or careless?
Is there anything whatever that divides me from Christ my Lord?
Where there is a prayerful, careful, holy, loving, believing walk towards Jesus, the fellowship of the saint with his Lord will not be broken, but it may continue for months and years.
R
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SPIRITUALLY SICK?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NEARER AND DEARER”
Alas! my brethren, as in this world our bodies are subject to many sicknesses, so our souls also, by reason of the body of this death with which we are encompassed, are often sorely afflicted with sin, spiritual sickness, and an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Lord.
We are not what we might be, We are not what we should be, We are not what we shall be, We are not what we wish to be.
I fear that many of us are not walking in the light of God’s countenance, are not resting with our heads upon the Savior’s bosom, nor sitting with Mary at the Master’s feet.
We dwell in Kedar rather than Zion, and sojourn in Mesech rather than Jerusalem.
Spiritual sickness is very common in the church of God, and the root of the mischief lies in distance from Jesus, following Christ afar off, and yielding to a drowsy temperament.
Away from Jesus, away from joy. Without the sun the flowers pine; without Jesus our hearts faint.
R
WORSE THAN THE BEASTS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S VIGILANCE REWARDED”
If He has loved us with an everlasting love, if He loved us even when we were His enemies, and loved us so as to take upon Himself our nature, if this dear Son of
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God loved us so that He became man for our sakes, and, being found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross—Oh! then, we must love Him in return.
We would be worse than the beasts that perish if, conscious of such love as this, we did not feel that it melted us, and that, being melted, our soul did not bow down in love to Him alone!
Can you stand at the cross-foot, and not kiss the feet of Him who was wounded for your transgressions?
R
BLISS BEYOND WHAT THE ANGELS KNOW
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE’S VIGILANCE REWARDED”
Why me, Lord?
Words cannot express the joy of heart which I feel in knowing that Jesus is with me, and that He has loved me with an everlasting love.
I shall never understand, even in heaven, why the Lord Jesus should ever have loved me.
There is no love like it—why was it fixed upon me?
Have you never felt that you could go in, like David, and sit before the Lord, and say, “Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that you have brought me here?”
Yet wonderful as it is, it is true; Jesus loves His believing people, loves them now at this very moment. Do you not rejoice in it?
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I assure you that, in the least drop of the love of Christ when it is consciously realized, there is more sweetness than there would be in all heaven without it.
Talk of bursting barns, overflowing wine-vats, and riches treasured up—these give but a poor solace to the heart.
But the Love of Jesus, this is another word for Heaven. It is a marvel that even while we are here below we should be permitted to enjoy a bliss beyond what the angels know!
R
GAZE UPON THAT FACE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FRAGRANT GRACES”
I fear we do not enough gaze upon that face covered with the bloody sweat, for if we did…
we would be more like Him,
we would love Him better;
we would live more passionately for Him, and would spend and be spent,
that we might promote His glory.
R
WHAT A PITY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE LILY AMONG THORNS”
I know churches in which there are many who make a profession, but, ah me, it is a pity that they should, for their life does not adorn their doctrine, and their temper is not consistent with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
They live like worldlings— to amass money, or
to carry on business, or
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to enjoy good eating and drinking, or
to dress and go to parties.
They are as much for ‘this world’ as if they were never renewed, and it is to be feared they never were.
R
MY SON, GIVE ME YOUR…
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE CHURCH’S LOVE TO HER LOVING LORD”
When a man has true love to Christ, it is sure to lead him to dedication. There is a natural desire to give something to the person whom we love, and true love to Jesus compels us to give ourselves to Him.
One of the earliest acts of the Christian’s life is to take ourselves, and lay body, soul, and spirit upon the altar of consecration, saying, “Here I am; I give myself to You.”
“My son, give me your HEART”—this is what Jesus asks for. If you love Him, you must give Him this.
R
I MUST LOVE HIM!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE TO JESUS”
Did you love me Jesus, King of heaven, Lord of angels, Master of all worlds—did You set Your heart on ME?
What? did You love me from of old, and in eternity choose me to Yourself?
Did You continue to love me as the ages rolled on?
Did You come from heaven to earth that you might win me to be Your spouse, and do You love me so that You do not leave me alone in this poor desert world; and are
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You this very day preparing a house for me where I shall dwell with You forever?
A very wretch, Lord, I should prove, had I no love to You!
I MUST love You—it is impossible for me to resist You.
The thought that You love me has compelled my soul to love You.
Me! me! what was there in me—could You see beauties in me? I see none in myself; my eyes are red with weeping, because of my blackness and deformity; I have said even to the sons of men, “Look not upon me, for I am black.”
And do You see beauties in ME? What a quick eye must You have—no, rather it must be that You have made my eyes to be Your looking-glass, and so you see Yourself in me, and it is Your image that You love; surely You could not love me.
That ravishing text in the Canticles, where Jesus says to the spouse, “You are all fair My love, there is no spot in you.” Can you imagine Christ saying that to you? And yet He has said it, “You are all fair My love, there is no spot in you.”
He has put away your blackness, and you stand in His sight as perfect as though you had never sinned, and as full of loveliness as though you were what you shall be, when made like unto Him at last.
Oh brothers and sisters, some of you can say with emphasis, “Did He love me, then I must love Him.”
R
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THE EGYPTIAN DOG!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A REFRESHING CANTICLE”
The old Puritan pastors frequently compared their hearers to the Egyptian dog that ran to the Nile, and drank, and then ran away. Their hearers came up to the meetinghouse, and heard the minister, took a little sip of the gospel, which sufficed them, and then they were off.
One preacher said that he wished they were like the fishes—not come and lap at the stream, as the dog did, but swim in it, and live in it.
There are too many, in this age, who are content with hearing a little of Christ’s love; a sip by the way is all that they seem to need.
But it would be far better if you could come up to Rutherford’s ideal—“I would have my soul sunk over its masthead in a sea of love to Christ. I would be sunken fifty fathoms deep in the mighty shoreless ocean of His love, so that there might be nothing left of me, and that I might be swallowed up in love to Christ, and in Christ’s love to me.”
R
MR. PRIDE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “WARNING AND ENCOURAGEMENT”
Our very ‘perfect’ brethren, although they do not see it, generally exhibit some glaring imperfection if you let them talk for five minutes.
If you knock at the door to see if Mr. Pride is at home, you need not praise them long before he will show his full-length portrait.
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We are thankful for these brethren so far as they are saints, for good people are scarce; but I wish they would not tell us so much about their saintliness, for I have noticed the noisiest thing that goes down the street is the dust-cart.
He who makes most noise about his own perfection has the least of it.
Let us be careful whenever we rise to the summit of the hill; careful to stay up, careful that we so act when we are up, that we do not come down with a crash.
R
THIS LOVE IS MINE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”
Christ’s love to His people is no new thing. He loved us long before we were born. When His foreknowledge sketched us in His mind’s eye, He beheld us in love. He proved His love, too. It was not merely contemplative love, but it was practical love, for He died for us before we knew anything of Him, or were even here to learn about Him.
His love is of such a wondrous kind that He always will love us. When heaven and earth have passed away, and shall be rolled up, or be put away like a worn-out vesture, He will still love us as He loved us at the first.
The greatest wonder to me is that this unpurchasable love, this unending love is mine! and you, my brethren and sisters, can always say, each one of you, if you have been regenerated, “This love is mine! the Lord Jesus Christ loves me with a love I never could have purchased!”
R
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AQUEOUS FLUID TO AN INFANT’S BROW!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”
The most unpopular truth in the world is this sentence which fell from the lips of Christ—“You must be born again.”
Consequently, there are all sorts of inventions to remove the truth out of those words. “Oh, yes!” say some, “you must be born again, but that means the application of aqueous fluid to an infant’s brow.”
As God is true, that teaching is a lie; there is no grain or shade of truth within it. No operation that can be performed by man can ever regenerate the soul. It is the work alone of God the Holy Spirit, who creates us anew in Christ Jesus.
Men do not like that truth. Spiritual truth still displeases the natural man.
R
THE LOVE OF YOUR HEART
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”
If you do not give to God your heart, you have given Him nothing.
If you do not give to God your soul, if you do not love Him, if you do not serve Him because you love Him, if you do not come to Him, and surrender to Him your inner self, you may have been baptized,—immersed or sprinkled,—you may have come to the communion table; you may have bowed your knees until your knees have grown horny, you may have prayed until you are hoarse, and wept until the fountains of your eyes are dry, you may have given all your gold, and lacerated
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every member of your body with mortifications, and starved yourself to a skeleton—but you have truly done nothing towards obtaining love to Christ. The substance of your house is utterly scorned if you offer it to the Lord in the stead of the love of your heart.
Love He must have; this is His lawful demand. His people delight to render it; and if you do not, then you are none of His.
R
KISS THE ROD!
FROM SPURGEON’S SERMON, “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”
God’s children do not love Him simply because He caresses them, for if He chastens them, they love Him still, and kiss the rod with which He smites them.
R
THE OLD MAN
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “INWARD CONFLICTS”
Why does God not remove the old sinful nature out of the Christian?
Sin remaining in the believer…
drives him humbly to confess his own nothingness, excludes all boasting from his tongue,
compels him to trust in his God,
takes away from him his propensity to trust in
himself,
leads him to value the precious blood which cleanses
him,
to prize the Holy Spirit who sanctifies him,
to rejoice in the faithfulness and patience of God who
still continues to be gracious to him.
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And oh! what songs will the man of God sing when he gets to heaven! How much sweeter will be the music, because of the conflict! How much more glorious the victory, because of the warfare!
If I could be totally delivered from sin, root and branch, I certainly would; but yet am I conscious that no Christian would glorify God so much in heaven as he now does, if there were not sin to be contended with. A creature that could not sin, could scarcely show forth much of the praise of God by its holiness; but that the creature can sin, nay, that there is a strong drawing towards sin, and yet the divine grace keeps a man from it, and sanctifies him even to perfection, why this will make the song come swelling up of “Hallelujah! hallelujah! hallelujah!”
If no adversaries had been fought, then no victories could have been won; if there were no temptations for us to struggle with, then there would have been no elbowroom for our faith, and no power for the display of the bare arm of God.
Many believers would have grown too proud to be borne with, if some infirmity had not plucked the plume from their helmets and made them mourn with brokenness of heart before God.
God can bring good out of evil by His overruling grace, while on the other hand our good works have often been the greatest curse we have ever had!
Good works have puffed us up, and so have led us into pride; while our sins, though pulling us down, have, through almighty grace, led us to work for eternity.
R
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THIS SEA OF LOVE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE SHULAMITE’S CHOICE PRAYER”
Christian, turn it over in your mind—“Christ loves you!”—not a little; not a little as a man may love his friend; not even as a mother may love her child; for she may forget the infant of her womb.
Jesus loves you with the highest degree of love that is possible; and what more can I say, except I add, He loves you with a degree of love that is utterly impossible to man.
No finite mind could, if it should seek to measure it, get any idea whatever of the love of Christ towards us.
You know, when we come to measure a drop with an ocean, there is a comparison. A comparison I say there is, though we should hardly be able to get at it; but when you attempt to measure our love with Christ’s, the finite with the infinite, there is no comparison at all.
Though we loved Christ ten thousand times as much as we do, there would even then be no comparison between our love to Him and His love to us. Can you believe this now?—“Jesus loves me!”
Why, to be loved by others here on earth often brings the tear to one’s eye. It is sweet to have the affection of one’s fellow; but to be LOVED BY GOD, and to be loved so intense—so loved that you have to leave it as a mystery the soul cannot fathom—you cannot tell how much!
Be silent, O my soul! and be silent too before your God, and lift up your soul in prayer thus—“Jesus, take me into this Sea of Love, and let me be ravished by a sweet
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and heavenly contentment in a sure confidence that You have loved me and given Yourself for me.”
R
CAST THE LINKS OF YOUR LOVE ABOUT ME
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”
Give me but a vision of the Crucified, let me see that thorn-crowned brow, let me but gaze into His dear languid eyes so full of love for me, and I will then say, “My Master, through floods or flames, if You shall lead, I’ll follow where You go. When the many turn aside, I will still cling to You, and witness that You have the living Word, and that there is none upon earth that I desire beside You. I will give up the treasures of Egypt, for I have respect unto the recompense of the reward. I will let the ingots of gold go, every one of them, I will cast them into the sea without regret; but if You will abide in the vessel, my soul shall be content. Bind me to Your altar, for I am but flesh and blood, and may start aside in the trial-hour. Cast the links of Your love about me; chain me to Yourself; yes, crucify me; nail me to Your cross, and let me be dead to the world, for then the world will leave off tempting a corpse. Let me be dead with You, for then the world that cast You out, may cast me out, too, and be done with me; and it were well then to be counted as the offscouring of all things for Your dear sake, my Lord!”
R
OUT OF THE WILDERNESS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE BRIDEGROOM’S PARTING WORD”
Once you and I pined in the wilderness, and sighed after God from a barren land. All around us was the
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wilderness of this world, a howling wilderness of danger, and need, and disorder.
We said of the world at its very best, “Vanity of vanities, al is vanity.” Do you remember how you roamed, seeking rest and finding none? Your way was the path of darkness, which leads unto death. Then you were poor and needy, and sought water and there was none, and your tongue cleaved unto the roof of your mouth for thirst.
Then came the Lord that bought you, and He sought you until He brought you into the gardens of His love, where He satisfied you with the river of the water of life, and filled you with the fruits of His Spirit, and now you dwell in a goodly land.
R
DISGRACE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE UNKEPT VINEYARD”
It is shocking to find men and women speaking fluently about religion, and yet their houses are a disgrace to Christianity.
R
‘SHAM’ REDEMPTION
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”
Christ’s ‘Church’ is His by purchase.
There are some who say that ‘all men’ are Christ’s by purchase.
But, beloved, you and I do not believe in a ‘sham’ redemption which does not redeem. We do not believe in a ‘universal redemption’ which extends even to those
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who were in hell before the Savior died, and which includes the fallen angels, as well as unrepentant men.
We believe in an ‘effectual redemption,’ and can never agree with those who would teach us that Christ’s blood was shed in vain.
The good Shepherd laid down His life for HIS SHEEP.
Christ loved HIS CHURCH, and gave Himself for it.
He bought HIS OWN PEOPLE with His blood.
R
HOT WITH INFINITE AFFECTION!
FROM SPURGEON’S SERMON, “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE.”
I tell you, redeemed soul, that God sees you as much as if there were no others for His eyes to look upon!
And He cares for you as infinitely, and with as undivided a heart, as if you were the only soul that He ever bought with His blood!
If you were His only elect one, His only redeemed one, His only loved one, He could not deal with you more tenderly and more lovingly than He is dealing with you now.
He can always see you, though you cannot always see Him. When your eye of your faith is dim, His eye of His care is not.
When your heart seems dead and cold toward Him, His heart is still hot with infinite affection toward you.
R
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MORE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “COME, MY BELOVED!”
The more you see Jesus,
the more you know Him,
the more you live with Him,
the more reason will you have for loving Him.
R
SOUL-WORSHIP!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE CHARIOTS OF AMMINIDAB”
What is most needed in all religious exercises is the motion and exercise of the soul.
‘Soul-worship’ is the soul of worship, and if you take away the soul from the worship, you have killed the worship; it becomes dead and barren.
There are ‘professors’ who are perfectly content if they have gone through the ‘mechanical’ part of public devotion. If they have occupied their seats, joined in the hymns and the prayers, and listened to the preaching, they go away quite content and easy. They would not like to be absent from the solemn assembly, and their conscience would prick them if they neglected the outward ordinances, but having gone through them, and complied with the ‘expected form,’ they are perfectly content with themselves, and think they have done that which is lawful and right, lovely and excellent.
Now, it is never so with the child of God. If his soul is awakened from the torpor of death, and his sensibilities quickened into the vigor of life, he will feel that, unless in the song he has really praised God in strains of gratitude with emotions of thankfulness, he has rather
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mocked his heavenly Father than acceptably adored Him.
He knows that prayer, if it is not the soul that speaks with God, is but the ‘carcass of prayer,’ destitute alike of the sweet savor which can find acceptance with God, and of the sweet satisfaction that can bring refreshment to one’s own breast. When he hears the word preached, he longs to feel it penetrate his heart, even as the rain soaks into the soil.
Beloved, in our public services we ought to account nothing truly and rightly done which is not done with the heart. Heartless worship is unacceptable to God— He cannot receive it. If we have not thrown our heart into it, depend upon it God will never take it to His heart and be pleased with it.
Only that prayer which comes from our heart can get to God’s heart. If we pray only from the lips, or from the throat, and not low down from the very affections of our nature, we shall never reach the affections of our Father who is in heaven.
I am afraid we may get satisfied with ourselves, especially if we are regular in private Scripture reading, private prayer, family prayer, and public prayer, while instead of being satisfied with these exercises we ought to be weeping over them and deploring the formal and heartless manner in which we are prone to discharge them.
Be it always recollected that we do not pray at all, unless the soul is drawn out in pleading and beseeching the Lord. With every kind of religious exercise, ‘the soul’ is the standard of the whole compass of worship.
R
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A CERTAIN CURE FOR EVERY ILL
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GOOD WORKS IN GOOD COMPANY”
Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill.
Whether it be the bitterness of woe, or the cloying overabundance of earthly delight, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take the gall from the one, and the satiety from the other.
Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is matter of secondary import whether you live on the ‘mountain of honor’ or in the ‘valley of humiliation.’
Live near to Jesus, and the glowing coals of the furnace cannot consume you, nor the chill blasts of wintry affliction destroy you.
Living near to Jesus, you are covered with the wings of God, and underneath you are the everlasting arms.
R
HEART OR HEAD?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “COME, MY BELOVED!”
When you really come to see Jesus, and to say, “I love Him; my heart yearns toward Him; my delight is in Him; He has won my love, and holds it in His own heart,” then you BEGIN to know Him.
Brethren, true religion has many sides to it—true religion is practical, but it is also contemplative.
It is not true religion at all if it is not full of love and affection to Jesus. Jesus must reign in your heart, or else, though you may give Him what place you like in your head, you have not truly received Him.
R
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ALL
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A CALL FOR REVIVAL”
Love to Jesus constrains us to give over ALL that we have to Him, while faith appropriates ALL that Jesus has to itself.
Beloved, we are joint heirs with Him— ALL that we have is His,
and ALL that He has is ours!
R
HEALTH TO YOUR SPIRIT
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A CALL FOR REVIVAL”
Love to Christ is the fittest and most powerful motive to holy service. Love to Jesus is the fountain of courage, the mother of self-denial, and the nurse of steadfastness.
Strive then for a well-assured sense of the Savior’s love.
Do not be content until you possess it, for it will be health to your spirit and marrow to your bones: it will be a girdle of strength to your loins and a chain of honor about your neck.
R
THE SPOT REMOVER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE CHARIOTS OF AMMINADAB”
The Lord has said, concerning every one of His people—“You are all fair, my love; there is no spot in you.”
But you say, “Why, now, I am all covered over with spots and blemishes and have no beauty.”
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But the Lord Jesus Christ has washed you with His blood, and covered you with His righteousness. Do you think He can see any imperfection in that?
You are members of His body, united to Him. In Christ you are without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.
You are all spots in yourself, but He sees you as He intends to make you before He is done with you, and He can discern unspeakable beauties in you.
R
FOR CONTEMPLATION
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST’S ESTIMATE OF HIS PEOPLE”
Not all the love of angels, nor all the joys of Paradise, are so dear to Christ as the love of His poor people, sprinkled with sin, and compassed with infirmity.
If you saw Him standing here tonight, and looking into your eyes, and saying to you personally—“You love Me, I know that you love Me, your love is to me better far than wine;” would you not fall at His feet and say, “Lord, is my love so sweet to You? then shame upon me that I should give You so little of it.”
R
BAPTIZED INFANTS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “TELL IT ALL”
Little do our friends know how much mischief they do by teaching infant baptism. I believe it to be the root and pillar of Popery.
It is an invention of man, against which Christians ought to protest every day, because infant sprinkling is a practical denial of the need of personal godliness.
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It puts into the Church those who are not in the Church.
It gives religious rites to the unconverted.
It teaches men that because their mothers and fathers were good people, therefore these baptized infants are Christians; whereas they are not, they are heathens, and as much heathens as if they were born amidst the Hottentot’s kraals. They are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, notwithstanding all their parents’ excellence.
To give Christian ordinances to unconverted persons is to pervert the testimony of God’s Church.
R
GOD’S WORD
by Spurgeon
“He sends forth His commandment upon earth:
His word runs very swiftly”—Psalm 147:15.
No language ever stirs the deeps of my nature like the Word of God, and none produces such a profound calm within my spirit.
As no other voice can,
it melts me to tears,
it humbles me in the dust, it fires me with enthusiasm, it fills me with pleasure,
it elevates me to holiness.
Every faculty of my being owns the power of the sacred Word.
It sweetens my memory,
it brightens my hope,
it stimulates my imagination,
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it directs my judgment,
it commands my will, and it cheers my heart.
The word of man charms me for the time, but I outlive and outgrow its power.
It is altogether the reverse with the Word of the King of kings; it rules me more sovereignly, more practically, more habitually, more completely every day. Its power is for all seasons—
for sickness and for health,
for solitude and for company,
for personal emergencies and for public assemblies.
I had sooner have the Word of God at my back than all the armies and navies of all the great powers, aye, than all the forces of nature; for the Word of the Lord is the source of all the power in the universe, and within it there is an infinite supply in reserve.
R
LOOK! GAZE! SEE! BEHOLD!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SLAYING THE SACRIFICE”
The doctrine of the death of Christ for our sins should inspire us with greater love for the Lord Jesus.
Can you look at His dear wounds, and not be wounded with love for Him?
Are not His wounds as mouths which plead with you to yield Him all your hearts?
Can you gaze upon His face bedewed with bloody sweat, and then go away and be ensnared with the world’s painted beauties?
Oh, for the vision of the Crucified!
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When shall we see the face that was so marred for us?
When shall we behold the hands and feet that bear the nail-marks still, and look into the wounded side bejeweled with the spear-wound?
Oh, when shall we leave all our sins and griefs, forever to behold Him shine and see Him still before us?
Oh, when shall we be—
“Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in”?
Our hope, our solace, our glory, our victory, are all found in the blood of the Lamb, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
R
WHAT DO YOU DEPEND ON?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE CEDARS OF LEBANON”
O Christian. You are to live expecting nothing from man, and you shall never be disappointed.
You are to live looking upon the Lord alone, and there again disappointment shall never come.
Understand that one of God’s objects with you is to knock away every prop from you, to take away every buttress, and to make you lean upon God alone.
There is the round world, what bears it up? God hangs the world upon nothing!
If you are what you should be, you are just like that earth—you have no visible support—there is nothing upon which you can depend that the carnal eye can see.
But yet as the earth moves not and falls not from her orbit, so you, by the power of faith, shall be maintained and kept just where you are. “The young lions do lack and
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suffer hunger, but they that wait on the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”
It is a life’s work to learn independence of the creature, and almost another life’s work to learn dependence upon the Creator.
To wean us from the breasts of this world is a long and painful process; to get us clean rid of that walking by sight, which is the disease of man, and to bring us to walk by faith in the Spirit, which is the glory of a Christian, this is a work well worthy of a God, and blessed is the man who has this work to a great extent accomplished in himself.
The best Christians are those who are most delivered from confidence in the creature. In proportion as men become little in self and little in creature love and creature trust, they become great and mighty in their doings for the Lord.
I do feel, brethren, more and more, that my soul must wait only upon the Lord, and that my expectation must be from Him alone.
You too, must come here, and learn that the Lord will provide, but it is only in the mount of the Lord that this sweet truth can be seen.
R
LIVE IT OUT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH”
There was a Prince of right royal blood, who once upon a time left his Father’s palace and journeyed into a distant part of the king’s dominions, where he was little known and cared for. He was a true Prince, and he had about his face those princely marks—that strange
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divinity which do mark kings—that might have made the onlooker know that he was right royal.
But when he came into the place, the people said, “This is the heir to the throne; let us insult him, let us hoot him!” Others said he was no heir at all. And they agreed to set him in the pillory.
As he stood there, every man did pelt him with all kinds of filth, and used all manner of hard words towards him; and they said, “Who dare acknowledge him for a Prince? Who dare stand by him?”
There stood up one from the crowd, and said, “I dare!”
They set him up in the pillory side by side with the Prince; and when they threw their filth on the Prince it fell on him, and when they spoke hard words of the Prince they spoke hard words of him. He stood there, smiling, and received it all.
Now and then a tear stole down his cheek; but that was for them, that they should thus ill-treat their sovereign.
Years went by, the king came into those dominions and subdued them; and there came a day of triumph over the conquered city. Streamers hung from every window, and the streets were strewn with roses. Then came the king’s troops dressed in burnished armor of gold, with plumes upon their glittering helmets. The music rang right sweetly, for all the trumpets of glory sounded. It was from heaven they had come. The Prince rode through the streets in his glorious chariot; and when he came to the gates of the city, there were the traitors all bound in chains. They stood before him trembling.
He singled out from among the crowd one man only who stood free and unfettered, and He said to the traitors, “Do you know this man? He stood with me in that day when you treated me with scorn and
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indignation. He shall stand with me in the day of my glory. Come up hither!” said he.
And amidst the sounding of trumpets and the voice of acclamation, the poor, despised and rejected citizen of that rebellious city rode through the streets in triumph, side by side with his King, who clothed him in purple, and set a crown of pure gold upon his head!
There is the parable. Live it out!
R
ENGRAVED!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A PRECIOUS DROP OF HONEY”
Fly back as far as you will, until this present world and all the worlds within the universe slept in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an acorn-cup, and even then you have not reached the time, before all time when it was first said—“I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:16
Before the young earth had burst her swaddling bands of mist, yes, before the globe had been begotten, or yonder sun had darted his infant arrows, or yon stars had opened their eyes, the Eternal had fixed His eye of love upon His favorites!
God was always thinking of you; there was never a period when you were not in His mind and on His heart! “I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands.”
Child of God, let your cheerful eyes and your joyful heart testify how great a wonder it is that you, once so vile, so hard of heart, so far estranged from God, are this day written on the palms of His hands!
There is no sorrow to which our text is not an antidote! If you are a child of God, though your troubles have
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been as innumerable as the waves of the sea, this text, like the depths of the ocean, can contain them all.
I care not this morning though you have lost everything, though you came here a penniless bankrupt beggar; so long as you have this text you are rich beyond a miser’s dream!
“I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands.” R
PEACE IN TROUBLE
“The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.”—Thomas Watson R
HOUSE OR HORSE?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH”
I am to be a Christian in my actions, my deeds, my thoughts, my words.
When we used to go to school, we would draw houses, and horses, and trees on our slates, and we remember how we used to write “house” under the house, and “horse” under the horse, for some persons might have thought the horse was a house.
So there are some people who need to wear a label round their necks to show that they are Christians at all, or else we might mistake them for lost sinners, their actions are so alike. Avoid that.
Let your profession be manifest by your practice. Be so clearly a piece of divine painting, that the moment a man puts his eye upon you, he says, “Yes, that is the work of God; that is a Christian, the noblest work of God.”
R
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CHRISTIANITY
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE POWER OF AARON’S ROD”
Christianity is either an awful deception, or else deserves to have our whole heart, our whole spirit, soul and body devoted to it.
R
OUR GREATEST JOY!
Spurgeon
Nothing gives the believer so much joy as fellowship with Christ. He has enjoyment as others have in the common mercies of life. He can be glad both in God’s gifts and God’s works, but in all these separately, and in all of them added together, he does not find such substantial delight as in the matchless person of
his Lord Jesus.
R
SONS OF GOD
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SONS OF GOD”
If we are born into God’s family, it is a miracle of mercy! It is one of the ever-blessed exhibitions of the infinite love of God which without any cause in us, has set itself upon us.
If you are this day an heir of heaven, remember you were once the slave of hell. Once you wallowed in the mire.
If you should adopt a swine to be your child, you could not then have performed an act of greater compassion than when God adopted you!
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And if an angel could exalt a gnat to equal dignity with himself, yet the gain would not be such a one as that which God has conferred on you.
He has taken you from the dunghill, and He has set you among princes!
R
WHO CHOSE WHO?
by Don Fortner
“The decision is yours… Now it is all up to you… God has done all He can to save, the rest is up to you… You must choose Christ for yourself… You must make the final decision.” How often we have all heard statements like those from the pulpit. I want to raise a question regarding this matter of eternal salvation: WHOSE CHOICE IS IT? Our Lord Jesus Christ has answered the question very plainly—“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you,” John 15:16.
Divine election is a very humbling, and at the same time it is a very encouraging and blessed doctrine of Scripture.
It is humbling to know that we would never have chosen Christ. Our needs were so many, our hearts were so hard, that we would never have sought the Lord.
Yet, it is exceedingly comforting to hear our Savior say, “I have chosen you.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ loved us long before we ever loved Him. He loved us even when we were dead in sin. Had He not loved us, we would never have loved Him. Had He not chosen us, we would never have chosen Him.
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Language could not be clearer. Our Savior tells us that man, by nature, will never choose Christ. It is true, in one sense, that every believer chooses Christ. This is the result, however, not the cause, of Christ’s choosing him.
The natural ear is so deaf that it cannot hear. The natural eye is so blind that it cannot see. The natural heart is so hard that it cannot feel. Man sees no beauty in Christ.
He feels no need of Christ. He has no desire for Christ.
Only after God by almighty grace opens the blind eye, unstops the deaf ear, quickens the dead heart, and gives strength to the withered hand is the sinner made willing to seek Christ and given the strength of faith to embrace Him.
All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in time, were chosen by God in eternal love; and that choice of them secures their faith and holiness in Christ.
What does election mean? Accurate statements on this doctrine are essential. No doctrine in the Bible has suffered so much damage from the erroneous views of its foes and the inaccurate statements of its friends.
Election may be defined this way: God has been pleased from all eternity to choose certain men and women, whom He has determined to save by the righteousness and shed blood of Christ. None are finally saved except those whom He has chosen. Therefore, the Word of God calls His people “the elect.” And the choice, or the appointment of them to eternal life, is called “the election of God.”
All those whom God was pleased to choose in eternity were redeemed by Christ at Calvary. All who were
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chosen and redeemed are (in due season) called to salvation and eternal life by the Holy Spirit.
He convinces them of sin.
He leads them to Christ.
He works repentance and faith in them.
He keeps them by His grace from falling entirely away. He brings them all safely to eternal glory.
In short, election is the first link in the chain of salvation, of which eternal glory is the end. All who are redeemed, justified, called, born again, and brought to faith in Christ are elect. The primary and original cause of the saint’s being what he is, is God’s eternal election.
What does the Word of God teach about election? God’s election of men to salvation is gracious and free, absolute and sovereign. It is an unconditional act of sovereign mercy. He did not choose us because He foresaw that we would repent and believe on Christ. Our repentance and faith is the result of God’s election, not the cause of it (John 10:16, 26; 15:16; Acts 13:48). God’s election is personal: He chose not a mass of nameless faces, but individual sinners, calling them His sons and daughters. This election of grace is also eternal and immutable (Eph. 1:4). When the triune Godhead existed alone in glorious self-sufficiency, we were chosen in covenant mercy. God chose us because of His eternal love and sovereign pleasure, simply because He would be gracious. We were chosen in Christ Jesus.
Behold God’s strange choice! He chose not the noble, but the common. He chose not the wise, but the foolish. He chose not the righteous, but the wicked. He chose us, “that no flesh should glory in His presence… that according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the
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Lord” (1 Cor. 1:29,31). Let all who are born again confess, “By the grace of God, I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).
Let us sing of electing love:
“Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee, But Thou hast chosen me.
“My heart owns none before Thee;
For thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first.”—Josiah Conder
R
WILL YOU DO ME A LITTLE FAVOR?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE MINISTER’S STOCK-TAKING”
Will you take a little time alone, perhaps this evening— Get a paper and pencil, and after you have honestly and fairly thought on your own spiritual state, and weighed your own condition before the Lord, will you write down one of these two words. If you feel that you are not a believer write down this word “Condemned.” And if you are a believer in Jesus, and put your trust in Him alone, write down the word “Forgiven.” Do it, even though you have to write down the word condemned.
We lately received into Church-fellowship a young man, who said—Sir, I wrote down the word condemned, and I looked at it; there it was; I had written it myself—“Condemned.” As he looked the tears began to flow, and his heart began to break; and before long he fled to Christ, put that paper in the fire, and wrote down on another paper, “Forgiven.”
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Remember you are either one or the other; you are either condemned or forgiven. Do not stand between the two.
Let it be decided, and remember if you are condemned today, yet you are not in hell. There is hope yet. Blessed be God, still is Christ lifted up, and whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. The gate of glory is not closed; the proclamation of mercy is not hushed; the Spirit of God still goes forth to open blind eyes and to unstop deaf ears, and still is it preached to you, to every creature under heaven— Whoever believes on the Son of God has everlasting life; he that believes and is baptized shall be saved; he that be believes not shall be damned. Believe. God help you to believe. Trust Jesus; trust Him now; and may the Lord grant that your name may be written among the some that believe, and not among the some that believe not.
R
LIVING LIKE HELL?
by Don Fortner
Almost everyone I know makes some kind of religious profession, has some hope of going to heaven when he dies, and attends church, at least occasionally. Yet, I know very few people whose religion has made any radical change in their lives. Most everybody I know lives like hell, though almost all think, by some strange delusion, that because they say, “I believe in Jesus,” they are going to heaven.
Are you such a person? If you are, listen carefully to this preacher—If you live like hell, when you die, you will go to hell.
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I know you do not want to be told that; but I am not running for political office. I am trying to help you, to help you eternally. If you do not want to go to hell when you die, pay attention to what I have to say. Pay attention to what God says in His Word. Will you hear the Word of the Lord?
“Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor. 6:9-10
“Don’t be deceived,” imagining that through doctrinal knowledge and religious profession you are saved, even though you live contrary to the righteous character of God.
No one living in sin, under its dominion, has been made a partaker of the divine nature.
Lest anyone mistake his meaning, Paul plainly describes those people who shall never inherit the kingdom of God. In the list given in these verses of Scripture, the Holy Spirit is not talking about isolated acts. He is describing people whose lives are characterized by these abominable things. If these things characterize your life, the wrath of God is upon you. Except you repent, you will perish in hell forever! God help you to repent.
It matters not what we profess, or claim to believe. Those who live like children of wrath are children of wrath.
If these characteristics describe you, do not be deceived, no matter what you say, profess, and pretend; no matter what society, religion, and preachers say to
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the contrary, you are a child of wrath. You shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
R
DOES GOD NEED ANY OF US?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GOOD NEWS FOR THE AGED”
What! He who guides the stars, and keeps them revolving in their orbits by the motions of His fingers, does He need an insignificant atom like one of ourselves to serve Him?
What! He whom all the hosts of angels do worship, and before whose throne the cherubim do veil their faces with their wings, does He need a tiny creature like man to give Him homage and reverence?
If He did need men, He could soon create as many mighty kings and princes as He pleased to wait upon Him, and He could have crowned heads to bow before His footstool, and emperors to conduct Him through the world in triumph. But He needs not men; He can do without them if He pleases.
O you stars! you are bright; but you are not the lamps which light the way of God; He needs you not.
O sun! you are bright; but your heat warms not Jehovah.
O earth! you are beautiful; but your beauty is not needed to gladden His heart; God is glad enough without you.
O you lightnings! though you write His name in fire upon the midnight darkness, He needs not your brightness.
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And you, wild ocean! you are mighty; but though you hymn His deep praise in your solemn chorus, your storms do not add to His glory.
You winds! though you attend the march of God across the pathless ocean;—you thunders! though you utter God’s voice in terrible majesty, and track the onward progress of the God of armies, He needs you not.
He is great without you, great beyond you, great above you; and, as He needs you not, He needs us not.
R
MARRIED TO A JEALOUS HUSBAND!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A JEALOUS GOD”
The Lord Jesus Christ is very jealous of your love, O believer. Did He not choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did He not buy you with His own blood? He cannot endure that you should think you are your own, or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love that He could not stay in heaven without you; He would sooner die than that you should perish; He stripped Himself to nakedness that He might clothe you with beauty; He bowed His face to shame and spitting that He might lift you up to honor and glory, and He cannot endure that you should love the world, and the things of the world.
His love is strong as death towards you, and therefore will be cruel as the grave. He will be as a cruel one towards you if you do not love Him with a perfect heart. He will take away that husband; He will smite that child; He will bring you from riches to poverty, from health to sickness, even to the gates of the grave, because He loves you so much that He cannot endure
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that anything should stand between your heart’s love and Him.
Be careful Christians, you that are married to Christ; remember, you are married to a jealous husband!
R
LOVED BEFORE TIME!
Spurgeon
Jesus loved us before the world was.
He is no new lover of His people’s souls, but He loved them before the day-star knew its place, and before the planets began their mighty revolutions.
Every soul whom Jesus loves now, He loved forever and ever.
What a wondrous love was that— infinite,
unbounded,
everlasting,
which led Him to bear our sins, and suffer our penalties, that He might redeem us from going down into the pit!
R
A FIERY FURNACE OF LOVE!
From Spurgeon’s sermon, “A PRECIOUS DROP OF HONEY”
If you have a spark of love to Christ, His soul is like a fiery furnace of love toward you!
Isaiah 49:16. “I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands.”
R
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FORGETFUL OF JESUS?
Spurgeon
Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away your heart, and you are unmindful of Him upon whom your affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention when you should have your eye steadily fixed upon the cross.
It is the incessant round of world, world, world; the constant din of earth, earth, earth, that takes away the soul from Christ.
Oh! my friends, is it not too sadly true that we can recollect anything but Christ, and forget nothing so easy as Him whom we ought to remember?
While memory will preserve a poisoned weed, it allows the Rose of Sharon to wither.
R
CESSPOOLS OF INIQUITY!
Don Fortner
The hearts of all men and women are cesspools of iniquity, in which the loathsome monster, sin, produces its many offspring.
R
WALKING DUNGHILLS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “EBENEZER!”
Brethren, let us recollect our sins. They will serve as a black foil on which the mercy of God shall glisten the more brightly.
That God should be so good is marvellous, but that He should be so good to you and to I, who are so rebellious, is a miracle of miracles! I know not a word
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which can express the surprise and wonder our souls ought to feel at God’s goodness to us!
Our…
hearts playing the harlot;
lives far from perfect;
faith so feeble,
unbelief often prevailing;
pride lifting up its accursed head;
patience a poor sickly plant, almost nipped by one night’s frost;
courage little better than cowardice; love lukewarmness; and our
ardor but as ice.
Oh, my dear brethren, if we will but think what a mass of sin we are, if we will but reflect that we are after all, walking dunghills, we should indeed be surprised that the sun of divine grace should continue so perpetually to shine upon us, and that the abundance of heaven’s mercy should be revealed in us.
It is the Lord’s rule to bring good out of evil, and so to prove His wisdom and magnify His grace.
R
MAN
from Don Fortner
The religion of the world, the religion of man, the religion of antichrist, is man-centered, man-exalting, and man-pleasing.
The religion of the Bible is exactly opposite.
Hear the words of God by the Prophet Isaiah, as he describes what happens in the day God saves a sinner by His almighty grace—“The loftiness of man shall be
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bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.”
God’s eternal purpose of grace is humbling to man and exalts the Lord alone.
Natural men rebel against sovereignty, denounce predestination, and ridicule God’s immutable purpose of grace.
Proud men can never rejoice in a sovereign God, because the fact of God’s sovereign purpose robs man of all possibility of adulation.
The Gospel is designed to strip men of all price and self- righteousness and to exalt the Lord God alone.
Here is a test, by which you may prove every doctrine and every preacher you hear—if the doctrine you hear causes your face to glow with pride, it is not of God. Anything that lifts up man, anything that lowers God, is not of God and is not the gospel.
The gospel of the grace of God abases the flesh and glorifies God.
“Christ came to save everybody except the self- righteous.”
If you are not a sinner, there is nothing in the gospel for you.
But if you are a sinner, I have good news for you— Christ died for sinners—Christ saves sinners. Your sinfulness will never keep you from Christ. Only your “goodness” can do that. Your sin will never keep you out of heaven. Only your righteousness can do that.
There is pardon for the guilty! There is a robe for the naked! There is bread for the hungry! There is water for the thirsty!
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There is rest for the weary! There is grace for the needy! There is cleansing for the dirty! There is help for the fallen!
But there is nothing in the gospel, not one word of good news, for the good, the great, and the righteous.
The gospel is addressed to sinners who are spiritually dead! Eph. 2:1-3.
Talk about helpless!
What is more helpless than death?
Talk about hopeless!
What is more hopeless than death?
Talk about obnoxious!
What is more obnoxious than death?
There is not a complimentary, dignifying, honorable word between the covers of the Bible to fallen man.
If you want a picture of humanity, as the Bible describes man, you must go to the cemetery, dig up a coffin, open the box, and look upon the rotten, decayed body of corruption.
The unconverted man’s works are dead works. The unconverted man’s religion is dead religion. The unconverted man’s doctrine is dead doctrine. The unconverted man’s faith is dead faith.
R
THE TIME OF LOVE!
Don Fortner
There is a day appointed by God for the salvation of His elect, a day fixed from eternity when grace will come to the chosen sinner, an hour determined before the world began when the Good Shepherd will seek out and find His lost sheep.
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There is a time fixed before time began, called “the time of love,” when the predestined child, the elect sinner, redeemed by the blood of Christ, must be saved. At that hour, salvation must and shall come to the soul loved of God with an everlasting love.
Only one thing is really important in this matter, only one question must be answered, only one issue must be settled. “Do you believe on the Son of God?”
You will know that God has saved you, that you are chosen, redeemed, and called by grace, when you find yourself believing the gospel. Do you believe? If you do, the Lord has sought you out and found you by His grace.
R
DEAD!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE MIGHTY POWER WHICH CREATES AND SUSTAINS FAITH”
By nature we are spiritually dead. We were dead in trespasses and sins.
Try to stir the natural man to spiritual action, and you cannot do it.
Lift up his hand to good works, he has no power to perform them. Try to make the feet run in the ways of righteousness; they will not move an inch.
The fact is that the heart is dead.
Neither can the eye perceive any beauty in Immanuel, nor can the nostril discover the fragrance of the Lord’s sweet spices, nor can the ear hear the voice of the Beloved.
The man is absolutely and entirely dead as to anything like spiritual life.
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There he lays in the grave of his corruption, and must lay there and rot too, unless divine grace shall interpose.
“You were made alive when you were dead through trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved),” Ephesians 2:1-5
R
GAUDY WORDS
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“BENHADAD’S ESCAPE—AN ENCOURAGEMENT FOR SINNERS”
How does your child come to you when he needs anything? Does he open a big book, and begin reading, “My dear, esteemed, and venerated parent, in the effulgence of thy parental beneficence….” Nothing of the kind. He says—“Father, my clothes are worn out, please buy me a new coat,” or else he says—“I am hungry, let me have something to eat.”
That is the way to pray, and there is no prayer which God accepts but that kind of prayer—right straight from the heart, and right straight to God’s heart.
We miss the mark when we go about to gather gaudy words. What! gaudy words on the lips of a poor sinner! Fine phrases from a rebel!
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There is more true eloquence in “God be merciful to me a sinner,” than in all the books of devotion which bishops, and archbishops, and divines ever compiled!
R
OUR POOR PRAYERS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PRAY, ALWAYS PRAY.”
Is prayer a reality with you, dear friends, or is it a mere mockery?
Is it a sort of religious rite that you feel bound to perform, or has it become as essential to your spiritual being as breathing is to your natural being? Is it now to you a matter of course that you should pray? Is it as natural for you to ask of your Father who is in heaven as it is for your little children to ask of you who are fathers on earth?
Prayer should be to you an instinct of your new nature, as natural to your spiritual being as a good appetite is to a man in health. There should be a holy hunger and thirst to pray, and the soul never prays so well as when it is reminded, not by the hour of the day or night, but by its real needs; and when it resorts to its place of private prayer, not because it thinks it ought, but because it feels that it must, and shall, and will go there, and is delighted at the privilege of having communion with its God.
Someone perhaps asks, “Why do you pray, when everything is settled by the divine decree?” It is true that everything is so settled, and it is for that very reason that we do pray. The Spirit of God leads us to desire exactly what God has decreed, and though we cannot open and read the book of His decrees, the Holy Spirit can read that book, so He guides us to pray in
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accordance with its secret records, and He also makes intercession for us “according to the will of God.” A true prayer is the echo of the eternal purpose. Our prayers are the shadows before God’s mercies. He who can truly pray has first read the heart of God, and then spoken out what is there.
Our poor prayers are blotted, and blurred, and stained with sin, but our great High Priest sprinkles them with His own most precious blood, and so purifies them, and then, with His own dear hand, He lays them before the mercy-seat, and for His sake they are sure to be accepted.
R
HUMILITY
by Jonathan Edwards
Humility may be defined to be a habit of mind and heart corresponding to our comparative unworthiness and vileness before God; or a sense of our own comparative lowness in His sight, with the disposition to a behavior answerable thereto.
A truly humble man is sensible of the small extent of his knowledge, and the great extent of his ignorance, and of the small extent of his understanding, as compared with the understanding of God.
He is sensible of his weakness, how little his strength is, and how little he is able to do.
He is sensible of his natural distance from God, of his dependence on Him, of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom; and that it is by God’s power that he is upheld and provided for; and that he needs God’s wisdom to lead and guide him, and His might to enable him to do what he ought to do for Him.
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Humility tends to prevent an aspiring and ambitious behavior among men.
The man that is under the influence of a humble spirit is content with such a situation among men, as God is pleased to allot to him, and is not greedy of honor, and does not affect to appear uppermost and exalted above his neighbors.
Humility tends also to prevent an arrogant and assuming behavior.
On the contrary, humility, disposes a person to a condescending behavior to the meekest and lowest, and to treat inferiors with courtesy and affability, as being sensible of his own weakness and despicableness before God.
If we then consider ourselves as the followers of the meek and lowly and crucified Jesus, we shall walk humbly before God and man all the days of our life on earth.
Let all be exhorted earnestly to seek much of a humble spirit, and to endeavor to be humble in all their behavior toward God and men.
Seek for a deep and abiding sense of your comparative lowness before God and man.
Know God.
Confess your nothingness and ill-desert before Him.
Distrust yourself.
Rely only on Christ.
Renounce all glory except for Him.
Yield yourself heartily to His will and service.
Avoid an aspiring, ambitious, ostentatious, assuming, arrogant, scornful, stubborn, willful, leveling, self-
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justifying behavior; and strive for more and more of the humble spirit that Christ manifested while He was on earth.
Humility is a most essential and distinguishing trait in all true piety.
Earnestly seek then, and diligently and prayerfully cherish a humble spirit, and God shall walk with you here below; and when a few more days shall have passed, He will receive you to the honors bestowed on His people at Christ’s right hand.
R
THE WORLD’S HOPE, HEAVEN’S JOY, HELL’S
TERROR, ETERNITY’S SONG!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE ROOT OF THE MATTER”
The substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is the world’s hope, heaven’s joy, hell’s terror, and eternity’s song!
R
THERE MUST BE A DIVORCE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE CHIEF OF SINNERS”
Within the egg of sin there sleeps the seed of damnation!
Man, there must be a divorce between you and your sins. Not a mere separation for a season, but a clear divorce. Cut off the right arm; pluck out the right eye, and cast them from you, or else you cannot enter into eternal life.
R
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IS THE SAINT STILL A SINNER?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE SINNER’S ADVOCATE”
Saints are, without exception, sinners still. Sinner is my name, sinner my nature, but thanks be to Him who came to save sinners, I am a sinner saved!
But the Christian no longer loves sin; it is the object of his sternest horror; he no longer regards it as a mere trifle, plays with it, or talks of it with unconcern.
He looks upon it as a deadly serpent, whose very shadow is to be avoided.
He would no more venture voluntarily to put its cup to his lip, than a man would drink poison who had once almost lost his life through it.
Sin is dejected in the Christian’s heart, though it is not ejected. Sin may enter the heart, and fight for dominion, but it cannot sit upon the throne. It haunts the town of Mansoul, and lurks in dens and corners to do mischief, but it is no longer honored in the streets, nor pampered in the palace. The head and the hands of Dagon are broken, although the stump remains.
The Christian never sins with that enormity of boasting of which the unregenerate are guilty. Others wallow in transgressions, and make their shame their glory, but if the believer falls he is very quiet, mournful, and vexed. Sinners go to their sins as children to their own father’s orchard, but believers slink away like thieves when they have been stealing forbidden fruit. Shame and sin are always in close company in a Christian. If he be drunken with evil he will be ashamed of himself; and go to his bed like a whipped cur. He cannot proclaim his transgressions as some do in the midst of a ribald crowd, boasting of their exploits of evil. His heart is
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broken within him, and when he has sinned he goes with sore bones for many and many a day.
Nor does he sin with the fullness of deliberation that belongs to other men. The sinner can sit down by the month together, and think over the iniquity that he means to perpetrate, until he gets his plans well organized and has matured his project; but the Christian cannot do this. He may put the sin into his mouth and swallow it in a moment, but he cannot continue to roll it under his tongue. He who can carefully arrange and plot a transgression is still a true child of the old serpent.
And again, he never chews the cud of his sin; for after he has sinned, however sweet it may have been in his mouth, it becomes bitterness in his stomach, and glad enough would he be to be rid of it altogether. The retrospect of sin to a converted man is nothing but blackness and darkness in his heart.
The Christian, unlike other men, never finds enjoyment in his sin; he is out of his element in it. Conscience pricks him; he cannot, even if he would, sin like others. There is a refined taste within him, which all the while revolts at the apparently dainty morsel of sin. The finger of grace, with its secret and mysterious touch, turns all the honey of sin into gall, and all the sweetness of sin into wormwood.
If the Christian shall sin, and sin I grant he will, yet it shall always be with half-heartedness; still he clings to the right. The evil that he desires not to do, he does; while the good that he would do, he fails to perform.
You will notice too, how different the Christian is as to the habit of sin. The ungodly man is frequent in overt deeds of rebellion, but the Christian, at least in open acts of crime and folly, rather falls into them, than
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abides in them. The swallow dips with his wing the brook, and then he is up again into the skies, soaring toward the sun; but the duck can swim in the pool or dive under the water—it is in its element. So the Christian just touches sometimes with his wing—alas! for him—the streams of earth, but then he is up again where he should be; it is only the sinner that can swim in sin and delight therein. You may drive the swine and the sheep together side by side; they come to some mire, and they both fall into it, and both stain themselves; but you soon detect the difference in nature between them, for while the swine lies and wallows with intense gusto, the sheep is up again, escaping as soon as possible from the filth. So with the Christian; he falls, God knows how many times, but he rises up again—it is not his nature to lie in sin; he abhors himself that ever he should fall to the ground at all: while the ungodly goes on in his wicked way until sin becomes a habit, and habit like an iron net has entangled him in its meshes.
R
WHY A MAN IS SAVED?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE MINISTER’S STOCK-TAKING”
If you are asked why a man is saved, the only Scriptural answer is—“Sovereign grace”—grace, unmoved by anything in the creature, flowing spontaneously from the mighty depths of the divine heart.
The answer is this—because God willed it that way. “He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion.” “It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.”
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If any man is saved, it is not because he willed to be saved.
If any man be brought to Christ, it is not of any effort of his, but the root, the cause, the motive of the salvation of any one human being, and of all the chosen in heaven, is to be found in the predestinating purpose and sovereign distinguishing will of the Lord our God.
It is God who quickens the souls of those who believe.
If men be saved all the glory must be unto God from first to last, and not an atom nor a particle attributed to the goodness, or the power, or the will of the creature.
This is a doctrine which some people have not learned very fully yet, but they will have to learn it if they are God’s people. Jonah, you know, had never learned it from the schools, but when the Lord got him in the whale’s belly, at the bottom of the sea, with the weeds wrapped about his head, then it was that he said, “Salvation is of the Lord;” and often some sore trials and terrible afflictions are necessary schoolmasters to teach us this lesson, that salvation is of the Lord alone.
It is one of the instinctive apprehensions of every enlightened man’s mind, that if he is saved, it is because of God’s mercy.
R
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
Samuel Brengle
Spiritual Leadership is not won by promotion, but by prayers and tears.
It is attained by much heart-searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold uncompromising, and uncomplaining
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embracing of the cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified.
This is a great price, but it must be unflinchingly paid by him who would be a real spiritual leader of men, a leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, on earth and in hell.
R
DARKNESS OF IGNORANCE, DUNGEONS OF
FALSEHOOD, AND CHAINS OF SUPERSTITION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “WHAT GOD CANNOT DO!”
Truth once reigned supreme upon our globe, and then earth was Paradise. Man knew no sorrow while he was ignorant of falsehood.
The Father of Lies invaded the garden of bliss, and with one foul lie he blighted Eden into a wilderness, and made man a traitor to his God. Cunningly he handled the glittering falsehood and made it dazzle in the woman’s eyes—“God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Proud ambition rode upon that lie as a conqueror in his chariot, and the city of Mansoul opened its gates to welcome the fascinating enemy.
As it was a lie which first subjugated the world to Satan’s influences, so it is by lies that he secures his throne.
Among the heathen his kingdom is quiet and secure, because the minds of the people are deluded with a false mythology. The domains of Mohammed and the Pope are equally the kingdom of Satan, and his reign is
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undisturbed, for human merit, priestly efficacy, and a thousand other deceptions buttress his throne.
The darkness of ignorance, the dungeons of falsehood, and the chains of superstition, are the main reliance of that monster who oppresses all the nations with his infernal tyranny!
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BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE
Thomas Brooks
Reader, remember this: if your biblical knowledge does not now affect your heart, it will at last, with a witness, afflict your heart. If it does not now endear Christ to you, it will at last provoke Christ the more against you. If it does not make all the things of Christ to be very precious in your eyes, it will at last make you the more vile in Christ’s eyes.
R
WE NEED REVIVAL
N. L. DeMoss
. . . when we do not love Him as we once did.
. . . when earthly interests and occupations are more important to us than eternal ones.
. . . when we would rather watch TV and read secular books and magazines than read the Bible and pray.
. . . when church dinners are better attended than prayer meetings.
. . . when concerts draw bigger crowds than prayer meetings.
. . . when we have little or no desire for prayer.
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. . . when we would rather make money than give money.
. . . when we put people into leadership positions in our churches who do not meet scriptural qualifications.
. . . when our Christianity is joyless and passionless.
. . . when we know truth in our heads that we are not practicing in our lives.
. . . when we make little effort to witness to the lost.
. . . when we have time for sports, recreation, and entertainment, but not for Bible study and prayer.
. . . when we do not tremble at the Word of God.
. . . when preaching lacks conviction, confrontation, and divine fire and anointing.
. . . when we seldom think thoughts of eternity.
. . . when God’s people are more concerned about their jobs and their careers, than about the Kingdom of Christ and the salvation of the lost.
. . . when God’s people get together with other believers and the conversation is primarily about the news, weather, and sports, rather than the Lord.
. . . when church services are predictable and “business as usual.”
. . . when believers can be at odds with each other and not feel compelled to pursue reconciliation.
. . . when Christian husbands and wives are not praying together.
. . . when our marriages are co-existing rather than full of the love of Christ.
. . . when our children are growing up to adopt worldly values, secular philosophies, and ungodly lifestyles.
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. . . when we are more concerned about our children’s education and their athletic activities than about the condition of their souls.
. . . when sin in the church is pushed under the carpet.
. . . when known sin is not dealt with through the biblical process of discipline and restoration.
. . . when we tolerate “little” sins of gossip, a critical spirit, and lack of love.
. . . when we will watch things on television and movies that are not holy.
. . . when our singing is half-hearted and our worship lifeless.
. . . when our prayers are empty words designed to impress others.
. . . when our prayers lack fervency.
. . . when our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.
. . . when we aren’t seeing regular evidence of the supernatural power of God.
. . . when we have ceased to weep and mourn and grieve over our own sin and the sin of others.
. . . when we are content to live with explainable, ordinary Christianity and church services.
. . . when we are bored with worship.
. . . when people have to be entertained to be drawn to church.
. . . when our music and dress become patterned after the world.
. . . when we start fitting into and adapting to the world, rather than calling the world to adapt to God’s standards of holiness.
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. . . when we don’t long for the company and fellowship of God’s people.
. . . when people have to be begged to give and to serve in the church.
. . . when our giving is measured and calculated, rather than extravagant and sacrificial.
. . . when we aren’t seeing lost people drawn to Jesus on a regular basis.
. . . when we aren’t exercising faith and believing God for the impossible.
. . . when we are more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks about us.
. . . when we are unmoved by the fact that 2.5 billion people in this world have never heard the name of Jesus.
. . . when we are unmoved by the thought of neighbors, business associates, and acquaintances who are lost and without Christ.
. . . when the lost world around us doesn’t know or care that we exist.
. . . when we are making little or no difference in the secular world around us.
. . . when the fire has gone out in our hearts, our marriages, and the church.
. . . when we are blind to the extent of our need and don’t think we need revival.
R
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COMFORT IN ALL YOUR TROUBLE
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE BARLEY-FIELD ON FIRE”
We seldom learn much except as it is beaten into us by the rod, in Christ’s school-house, under Madam Trouble.
You, believer, have very special comfort in all your trouble.
You have this sweet reflection—that there is no curse in your cross.
The cross may be very heavy, especially while it is green, and our shoulders unused to carrying it; but remember, though there may be a ton-weight of sorrow in it, there is not a single ounce of the curse in it.
God does never punish His children in the sense of avenging justice. He chastens as a father does his child, but He does never punish His redeemed ones as a judge does a criminal. It would be unjust to exact punishment from redeemed souls since Christ has been punished in their place and stead. How shall the Lord punish twice for one offense? If Christ took my sins and stood as my substitute, then there is no wrath of God for me; and though my cup may be bitter, yet there cannot be a single drop of the wormwood of Almighty wrath in it. I may have to smart, but it will never be beneath the lictor’s rods of justice, but under the Parent’s rod of wisdom.
O Christian, how sweet this ought to be to you! A God of love inflicts our sorrows!
He is as good when He chastens as when He caresses! There is no more wrath in His afflicting providences
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than in His deeds of bounty. God may seem unkind to unbelief, but faith can always see love in His heart.
Strike, Lord, if you will, now that you have heard the Savior’s plea and justified our souls.
Consider everything that you have to suffer as the appointment of wisdom, ruled by love, and you will rejoice in all your tribulation, knowing that it shall reveal to you the loving-kindness and wisdom of your God.
You have this comfort, that your trials work your lasting good by bringing you nearer and nearer to your God.
Some Christians have their trials in the shape of sickness. They drag about with them a diseased body all their lives; or they are suddenly cast upon the bed of sickness, and they toss to and fro by night and by day in pain and weariness.
This is God’s medicine; and when God’s children have it, let them not think it is sent to kill them, but to heal them.
R
“Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.
If a wicked man seems to have peace at death, it is not from the knowledge of his happiness, but from the ignorance of his danger.”—Thomas Watson
R
SEVEN LESSONS LEARNED TOO LATE
By Don Fortner
Luke 16:19-31. Here is the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus died, and was carried up to heaven.
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Chosen, redeemed and born of God, he entered into glory.
But “the rich man also died!” What became of him? “In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment!” Our Lord allows us to look beyond the grave. He allows us to look into hell itself. He shows us the pains, feelings and desires of a damned sinner, one who is forever shut up in hell.
Here are seven things that old Dives learned. But he learned them too late.
He learned them in hell!
I pray that you will not learn them too late.

  1. Death does not end all.
    “If a man die, shall he live again?” Indeed, we shall. We all have an immortal soul that will live on forever, after our bodies are in the grave. Will you spend eternity in the bliss and glory of heaven or in the torments of the damned in hell?
  2. There is a real place called “Hell.”
    Hell is real. The same Inspired Book that tells us about heaven and the eternal bliss of the redeemed tells us about hell and the eternal misery of the damned. I do not know where it is, and I cannot imagine what it is, but hell is a real place. The rich man found out too late that hell is not a myth.
  3. A holy God must and will punish sin.
    God is so inflexibly just and holy that when He found sin upon His own dear Son He poured out His infinite wrath upon Him. And He who punished His Son for sin will certainly punish you for sin, if your sin is not removed by His Son.
  4. Hell is a place of endless torment. –86–

Dives cried, “I am tormented in this flame!” Hell is a place of lust and desire unfulfilled, a place of mental, moral and physical agony.

  1. Christ is the only way of salvation.
    The rich man’s riches, religion and works were of no value to him in hell. Missing Christ, he lost all!
  2. Except a man repent he will surely perish.
    In hell this man realized that without repentance there is no salvation (v. 30).
  3. No one can ever be saved without hearing and believing the Gospel (vv. 28-31). Be wise now, and believe the gospel. Trust Christ, lest you also perish forever under the wrath of God.
    R
    DIVINE PREDESTINATION
    by Don Fortner
    “Them He also did predestinate.”Romans 8:29
    Do not be afraid of predestination. And do not be ashamed of it. We are predestinarians, because we believe the Bible; and predestination is a Bible doctrine, full of comfort and joy for God’s saints.
    Predestination is God’s infallible purpose of grace regarding His elect whom He foreknew. It simply means that our eternal destiny was settled by God, and infallibly secured by Him before the world began.
    In sovereign predestination, God eternally and immutably determined WHO He would save, HOW He would save them, WHEN He would save them, and WHERE He would save them.
    Then He sovereignly arranged everything necessary, both to accomplish their salvation and to bring them to
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glory at last, perfectly conformed to the image of His dear Son.
Predestination marked the house into which grace would come, paved the road by which grace would travel to that house, set the time when grace would enter, and guaranteed that grace actually would come and enter in at the appointed time!
Nothing was left to chance, blind fate, luck, or man’s imaginary free will!
Predestination is no more and no less than God Almighty having arranged from eternity everything necessary to bring His elect children into heaven in the perfection of everlasting life.
R
WHY CHRIST OFFENDS MEN
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “UNBELIEVERS STUMBLING; BELIEVERS REJOICING”
There are some who stumble at Christ because of His holiness.
He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians, but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they would like to be washed in His blood, but they desire still to roll in the mire of sin.
Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ, if, after receiving Him, they might continue in their drunkenness, their wantonness, and self- indulgence. But Christ lays the axe at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be given up, for “because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience,” and “without holiness no man can see the Lord.”
Human nature kicks at this.
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“What! May I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a new creature in Christ Jesus?”
These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt, and clings to the garlic and the onions of the old estate of bondage, and will not be set free even though a greater than Moses lifts up the rod to part the sea, and promises to give to them a Canaan flowing with milk and honey.
Christ offends men because His gospel is intolerant of sin.
R
THE MYSTERY OF HIS LOVE!
by Augustus Toplady
If anything can awake astonishment, and inflame our gratitude, it must be that mystery of love—God manifested in our nature, and made man, to bleed and die for our salvation.
That He should condescend to be sold for thirty shekels of silver, to be apprehended and condemned as a malefactor; to be crowned with piercing thorns; to be scourged at the bloody pillar; to bear His cross; to be numbered with transgressors; to be reviled by rufianly soldiers, and a merciless populace; to be torn with tormenting nails; and pierced with a hostile spear; and suspended on the ignominious tree, between heaven and earth, as unworthy of either, though He was the maker and preserver of both.
What thought can reach, what tongue can tell, the infinite riches of His love to man, that induced Him freely to undergo all this, only to make man happy!
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Nay, He not only freely underwent it, but even longed for the time of His crucifixion to come—“I have a baptism of sufferings to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished?” (Luke 12:50)
R
EVERYTHING TO CHARM AND REJOICE AND
SATISFY THE HEART!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BETTER THAN WINE”
He who delights himself in the love of Christ will tell you that he finds everything to charm and rejoice and satisfy the heart.
R
GRASP THE THOUGHT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“A PROMISE FOR US AND FOR OUR CHILDREN”
O beloved, did you ever did try to grasp the thought that God loves you? Whenever I try at it, it brings the tears into my eyes and I can go no farther.
That the eternal God should pity me I can understand; that He should regard my misery and deliver me, I can comprehend; that He should look upon me with eyes of benevolence seems reasonable enough; but that He should love me, love me too with a love infinitely stronger than any love I have to my own children, or to my own spouse; that He should so love me that His own darling son, the only begotten, was not better loved than I have been, this is a wonder of wonders!
I must not say that Jesus was not so well loved by God as poor sinful men were, but I will say when the question came to this—whether those poor sinful but beloved ones should die or Christ should die, He
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spared not His own Son, but freely delivered Him up for us all!
Oh! what mysterious love, that Christ should suffer that we may go free! That the Father’s darling should hang upon the accursed tree and bleed away His life that we might be received into the eternal bosom of Jehovah, and might be forever accepted as the favored ones of His electing love!
He loves you!
Oh! there is nothing can melt the heart like this—God loves you!
And while it melts it strengthens. While God loves me, whom shall I fear? If Jehovah has chosen me, if He has set His heart upon me, of whom shall I be afraid? Verily with this I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil; with this in the midst of war I may have confidence; upon this in famine I shall be fed; and in affliction I shall not be afraid.
Oh! the joy which dwells in the thought that God loves His people. Jesus loved me, and gave Himself for me! Can you say this, my hearer? If you can, you can say more than Demosthenes or Cicero were ever able to say with all their eloquence.
R
I MUST KNOW HIM!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “DO YOU KNOW HIM?”
Imagine for a moment that you are living in the age of the Roman emperors. You have been captured by Roman soldiers and dragged from your native country; you have been sold as a slave, stripped, whipped, branded, imprisoned, and treated with shameful
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cruelty. At last you are appointed to die in the amphitheater, to make holiday for the tyrant. The populace assemble with delight. There they are, tens of thousands of them, gazing down from the living sides of the capacious Coliseum. You stand alone, and naked, armed only with a single dagger—a poor defense against gigantic beasts. A ponderous door is drawn up and forth there rushes the monarch of the forest—a huge lion; you must slay him or be torn to pieces! You are absolutely certain that the conflict is too stern for you, and that the sure result must and will be that those terrible teeth will grind your bones and drip with your blood. You tremble; your joints are loosed; you are paralyzed with fear, like the timid deer when the lion has dashed it to the ground.
But what is this? O wonder of mercy! A deliverer appears!
A great unknown leaps from among the gazing multitude, and confronts the savage monster. He shrinks not at the roaring of the devourer, but dashes upon him with terrible fury, until, like a whipped cur, the lion slinks towards his den, dragging himself along in pain and fear. The hero lifts you up, smiles into your bloodless face, whispers comfort in your ear, and bids you be of good courage, for you are free! Do you not think that there would arise at once in your heart a desire to know your deliverer? As the guards conducted you into the open street, and you breathed the cool, fresh air, would not the first question be, “Who was my deliverer, that I may fall at his feet and thank him?” You are not, however, informed, but instead you are gently led away to a noble mansion house, where your many wounds are washed and healed with salve of rarest power. You are clothed in sumptuous apparel; you are made to sit down at a feast; you eat and are satisfied;
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you rest upon the softest down. The next morning you are attended by servants who guard you from evil and minister to your good. Day after day, week after week, your needs are supplied. You live like a king. There is nothing that you can ask which you do not receive.
I am sure that your curiosity would grow more and more intense until it would ripen into an insatiable craving. You would scarcely neglect an opportunity of asking the servants, “Tell me, who does all this, who is my noble benefactor, for I must know him?” “Well, but” they would say, “is it not enough for you that you are delivered from the lion?” “No,” say you, “it is for that very reason that I pant to know him.” “Your needs are richly supplied—why are you vexed by curiosity as to the hand which reaches you the boon? If your garment is worn out, there is another. Long before hunger oppresses you, the table is well loaded. What more do you want?” But your reply is, “It is because I have no wants, that, therefore, my soul longs and yearns even to hungering and to thirsting, that I may know my generous loving friend.”
Suppose that as you wake up one morning, you find lying up on your pillow a precious love-token from your unknown friend, a ring sparkling with jewels and engraved with a tender inscription, and a bouquet of flowers bound about with a love-motto! Your curiosity now knows no bounds. But you are informed that this wondrous being has not only done for you what you have seen, but a thousand deeds of love which you did not see, which were higher and greater still as proofs of his affection! You are told that he was wounded, and imprisoned, and scourged for your sake, for he had a love to you so great, that death itself could not overcome it: you are informed that he is every moment occupied in your interests, because he has sworn by
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himself that where he is there you shall be; his honors you shall share, and of his happiness you shall be the crown. Why, methinks you would say, “Tell me, men and women, any of you who know him, tell me who he is and what he is!” and if they said, “But it is enough for you to know that he loves you, and to have daily proofs of his goodness,” you would say, “No, these love-tokens increase my thirst. If you see him, tell him I am sick with love. The flagons which he sends me, and the love-tokens which He gives me, they keep me for awhile with the assurance of his affection but they only impel me onward with the more unconquerable desire that I may know him. I must know him; I cannot live without knowing him! His goodness makes me thirst, and pant, and faint, and even die, that I may know him.”
Methinks what I have now pictured before you will wake the echoes in your breasts, and you will say, “Ah, it is even so! It is because Christ loved me and gave Himself for me that I want to know Him; it is because He has shed His blood for me and has chosen me that I may be one with Him forever, that my soul desires a fuller acquaintance with Him.”
R
ONE INCONCEIVABLE BEAUTY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BETTER THAN WINE”
There is nothing in the Lord Jesus Christ that we could wish to have taken away from Him; there is nothing in His love that is impure, nothing that is unsatisfactory. Our precious Lord is comparable to the most fine gold; there is no alloy in Him; no, there is nothing that can be compared with Him, for “He is altogether lovely,” all
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perfections melted into one perfection, and all beauties combined into one inconceivable beauty.
R
NEVER ENOUGH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BETTER THAN WINE”
No lover of the Lord Jesus has ever said that he has had enough of Christ’s love. Never did he who drinks of the wine of Christ’s love become satiated or even content with it; he ever desires more and yet more of it.
R
BETTER THAN ANY EARTHLY PLEASURE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A REFRESHING CANTICLE”
The impression which the love of Christ makes on the true believer is far greater and deeper than the impression which is made by anything earthly.
Mere mortal joys write their record on the sand, and their memory is soon effaced; but Christ’s love is like an inscription cut deeply into marble, the remembrance of it is deeply engraven in our hearts.
The joy of the creature is something like a lithograph cut lightly on the stone; when the stone is cleaned, the picture is gone; but the love of Christ is like the steel engraving, it is deeply cut, and cannot be easily erased.
Earthly joys tread with light feet, and leave but a faint impression; but the love of Christ treads into the very core of our soul at every footstep, and therefore it is that we remember it better than we remember any earthly pleasure.
R
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THE BEST WAY TO SPEND YOUR LEISURE TIME
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PAUL—HIS CLOAK AND HIS BOOKS”
“Give yourself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read. We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure time, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books”—join in the cry.
R
HONEY OUT OF THE ROCK
Quotes by Thomas Wilcox FROM “HONEY OUT OF THE ROCK”
“A Christless, formal religion, will be the blackest sight next to hell that can be.”
“See the vanity of the world, and the doom of all earthly things; and love nothing but Christ.”
“To see grace and salvation in Christ, is the greatest sight in the world!”
“Believer, Christ drank up all the Father’s wrath at one draught; and nothing but salvation is left for you.”
“Search the Scriptures daily as mines of gold in which the heart of Christ is laid open.”
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THE TWO BOOKS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “WHERE TO FIND FRUIT”
There are two books I have tried to read, but I have not got through the first page yet.
The first is the book of my own ignorance, and emptiness, and nothingness—what a great book is that! It will take us all our lives to read it, and I question whether Methuselah ever got to the last page.
There is another book I must read, or else the first volume will drive me mad—it is the book of God’s all- sufficiency. I have not got through the first word of that, much less the first page, but reading the two together, I would spend all my days. This is heaven’s own literature, the wisdom which comes from above.
Cultivate a spirit of deep humiliation before the Most High; seek to know more your nothingness, and to prove more the omnipotence of the eternal God.
Less than nothing I can boast, and yet “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” “Having nothing yet possessing all things.” Black as the tents of Kedar, yet fair as the curtains of Solomon; dark as hell’s profoundest night, and yet “Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.”
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A VERY LITTLE SIN!
Spurgeon
Repentance is as much a mark of a Christian, as faith is. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a true Christian.
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PRAYER
Spurgeon
Prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is no small blessing to such proud beings as we are.
True prayer is—
an inventory of needs,
a catalogue of necessities,
an exposure of secret wounds, a revelation of hidden poverty.
While prayer is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness.
I believe that the most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty, and always depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because while it adores God, it lays the creature where he should be, in the very dust.
Prayer…
clothes the believer with the attributes of Deity, girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the serenity of the
immortal God.
I know not what prayer cannot do!
I thank you, great God, for the mercy-seat, a choice gift of your marvelous loving-kindness. Help us to use it aright!
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THE GATE OF HEAVEN!
Thomas Brooks
The best and sweetest flowers of Paradise God gives to His people when they are upon their knees. Prayer is the gate of heaven, a key to let us into Paradise.
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THIS MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A JEALOUS GOD”
With what indignation must the Lord look down upon that apostate harlot, called the Romish Church, when, in all her sanctuaries, there are pictures and images, relics and statues, and poor beguiled beings are even taught to bow before a piece of bread.
I have seen thousands adore the wafer, hundreds bow before the image of the Virgin, scores at prayer before a crucifix, and companies of men and women adoring a rotten bone or a rusty nail, because said to be the relic of a saint.
Let us, above all, never have any complicity with this communion of devils, this gathering together of the sons of Belial: and since our God is a jealous God, let us not provoke Him by any affinity, gentleness, fellowship, or unity with this mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.
Renounce, my brethren, every ceremony which has not Scripture for its warrant, and every doctrine which is not established by the plain testimony of the Word of God.
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THE DISTINGUISHING GRACE OF GOD
by Don Fortner
“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” 1 Cor. 4:7
The only difference there is between the believer and the unbeliever, between the righteous and the wicked, between the seed of Christ and the seed of the serpent, is the difference which grace has made. This we must acknowledge—“By the grace of God I am what I am!” God’s grace is always particular, distinctive, and distinguishing. Those who are saved by the free grace of God in Christ have been and forever are distinguished from those who are lost by these five distinct acts of grace—
The first distinguishing act of God’s grace is His Eternal Election. If you can, with the eye of faith, trace every spiritual blessing that you now enjoy, and those which you hope to enjoy, back to the place of their original source, the place of their origin would be spelled “ELECTION” (Eph. 1:3-4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Jer. 1:4; 31:3).
The second act of grace by which God has distinguished His elect from the rest of mankind is Effectual Redemption. By His precious blood, poured out unto death upon the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ has effectually ransomed and redeemed God’s elect from the hands of divine justice, by satisfying the claims of justice against us (Isa. 53:8-11; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12).
The third act of grace by which the Lord has distinguished us from the rest of the world is His Adorable Providence. Our God governs all the affairs of this world. And He has governed all the affairs and circumstances of our lives to bring us to the place
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where we now are, and to eternal glory in Christ and with Christ in heaven (Matt. 10:29-31; Rom. 8:28).
The fourth act of grace by which we are distinguished from all other men is God’s Sovereign Work of Regeneration. The only thing that makes you different from any other being on this planet, if you are born again, is the fact that God has saved you. He gave you life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and grace of His Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:1-10).
The fifth act of grace by which God distinguishes His elect from the unbelieving is His Merciful Preservation. The only thing that keeps us in grace is grace itself. The only thing that holds us to Christ is Christ Himself (Jer. 32:38-40). The Lord Jesus says, with regard to all His people, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” The salvation He gives is eternal salvation. The life He gives is eternal life. That means that all who are saved by Him are saved forever!
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ALL OF GRACE
by Don Fortner
The glory, bliss, and perfection of heaven, whatever it is and all that it includes, is but the consummation of salvation; and it is, in its totality, the gift and work of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ.
In heaven’s glory we shall forever adore and praise our great God for the wondrous mystery of His grace, by which we are saved.
Everything in the great work of salvation sets forth the splendor of the grace of the Most High God. What do we see in election, predestination, redemption, regeneration, and preservation, but His grace?
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The whole work of salvation displays God’s rich, free, almighty, irresistible, sovereign, saving grace in Christ!
In, salvation as well as in creation, all things are of God, all things are by God, and all things are for God. Unto Him alone all praise must be forever!
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GOD RULES!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“ELECTION NO DISCOURAGEMENT TO SEEKING SOULS”
“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Exod. 33:19
Because God is the maker, and creator, and sustainer of all things, He has a right to do as He wills with all His works.
“Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? Has not the potter power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?”
God’s absolute supremacy and unlimited sovereignty naturally flow from His omnipotence, and from the fact that He is the source and support of all things. Moreover, if it were not so, the superlative excellence of the divine character would entitle Him to absolute dominion.
He should be chief who is best. He who cannot err, being perfect in wisdom; He who will not err, being as perfect in holiness; He who can do no wrong, being supremely just; He who must act in accordance with the principles of kindness, seeing He is essentially love, is the most fitting person to rule.
Tell me not of the creatures ruling themselves: what a chaos would this be! Talk not of a supposed republic of
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all created existences, controlling and guiding themselves. All the creatures put together, with their combined wisdom and goodness—if, indeed, it were not combined folly and wickedness—all these, I say, with all the excellencies of knowledge, judgment, and love, which the most fervid imagination can suppose them to possess, could not make the equal of that great God whose name is holiness, whose essence is love, to whom all power belongs, and to whom alone wisdom is to be ascribed.
Let Him reign supreme, for He is infinitely superior to all other existences.
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FREE WILL OR FREE GRACE?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“A PROMISE FOR US AND FOR OUR CHILDREN”
How did you become believers in Christ? By any internal energy of your own? Speak, believer, was it your free will that brought you to the Savior’s feet, or was it God’s free grace?
Men may hold free-will doctrine as a matter of theory, but you never find a believer hold it as a matter of experience. We can all say—
“Oh! to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be.”
“It was all of Your grace that I was brought to obey, while others were allowed to go the downward road to destruction.”
About this you can have no difficulty, for your own experience tells you that you were dead in trespasses and sins, and it must have been something beyond any power of yours that quickened you into spiritual life.
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Men might as well claim the honors of creation or resurrection as boast of commencing their own spiritual life.
The Lord alone shall have the glory of that opening hour of love!
Since that happy day what has sustained you? Has your fire of piety been fed by internal, self-produced fuel? Have you kept yourselves from the power of Satan? My brethren, have you kept yourselves in communion with God? You know that you have not. You are debtors for your soul’s daily bread to your Father who is in heaven. Every good thing which you have, you have received from Him, the great Father of lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning. He has given you every good and perfect gift which you have received.
You have profited in nothing by the flesh, but in all things by the Spirit of the living God.
Taking you from your first conviction and tracking you to the present moment, it has been all of God’s creating and forming.
In the womb of conviction He fashioned you, and He has nurtured you until now.
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THE GRACE OF GOD
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“A PROMISE FOR US AND FOR OUR CHILDREN”
The grace of God is peculiar, discriminating, and distinguishing.
God calls us, “My chosen.” We did not chose Him first, but He has chosen us. If we are now God’s servants, we were not always so—to sovereign grace the change must be ascribed!
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We might have been left, like other men, to continue in sin, and to be rebels against the king of heaven, but the eye of sovereignty singled us out from among others not more unworthy than we were, and it was the voice of love which said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Long before those stars were kindled into flames—long before the sun begun his mighty course—long before the mountains lifted their hoary heads, or the sea clapped its hands in the tumultuous joy of tempest— long before time began, or space was created, God had written upon His heart the names of His elect people.
He had selected them, never to change His choice! He had united them unto the person of His Son Jesus Christ by a divine decree never to be revoked. He had predestinated them to be conformed unto the image of His Son, and had made them the heirs of all the fullness of His love, His grace, and His glory!
It may be that we wear today the common well-worn garb of labor; our names never glitter in the rolls of earth’s mighties. But if the life of God be in our soul, we are allied unto the King of kings! We are of the royal family, we are princes of the blood imperial! We shall take our seats among those lordly spirits who forever dwell before the majesty of the Most High!
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DRIVE THE NAIL OF THE CROSS!
Spurgeon
The greatest instrument of sanctification is the love of Jesus. Oh, that He would drive the nail of the cross right through your hearts, that it might be forever fastened there!
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BEWARE! LEST YOU FALL INTO THE FIRE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NOTHING BUT LEAVES”
“He found nothing but leaves.” Mark 11:13
Thousands go to Church or chapel, and they think that the mere going into the place, and sitting a certain time, and coming out again, is an acceptable act to God.
Mere formality, you see, is mistaken for spiritual worship! They offer Him their ignorant will-worship either in obedience to custom, or in the superstition of ignorance. What the ritual is, or why it is, they do not inquire, but go through a performance as certain parrots say their prayers.
They know nothing about the inward and spiritual grace.
They have a name to live and are dead.
Their religion is a mere show—
a signboard without an inn;
a well-set table without food;
a pretty pageant where nothing is gold, but
everything gilt;
nothing real, but all pasteboard, paint, plaster, and
pretense.
Multitudes live and die satisfied with the outward trappings of religion, and are utter strangers to internal vital godliness.
There is nothing to be done with such trees which bring forth only leaves, but in due time to use the axe upon them, and to cast them into the fire: and this must be your doom, fruitless professor.
As sure as you live under the sound of the gospel, and yet are not converted by it, so surely will you be cast
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into outer darkness. Jesus Christ will certainly send His angels to gather the dead branches together, and you among them, to cast them into the fire.
Beware! beware! you fruitless tree! You shall not stand forever! Mercy waters you with her tears now; God’s patience digs about you still; still the husbandman comes, seeking fruit upon you year after year.
Beware! the edge of the axe is sharp, and the arm which wields it is nothing less than almighty. Beware! lest you fall into the fire!
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THE BLACK HORSE OF AFFLICTION
Spurgeon
The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart upon the black horse of affliction.
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AFFLICTIONS
Thomas Watson
Afflictions add to the saints’ glory. The more the diamond is cut, the more it sparkles; the heavier the saints’ cross is, the heavier will be their crown.
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FOUR FACTS OF SCRIPTURE
by Don Fortner
Here are the four facts revealed in Holy Scripture which I most cherish. Those four blessed gospel truths are the pillars of our faith, the joy of our hearts, the comfort of our souls, and the constant themes of our songs in worship and of the message we preach.
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  1. The God we worship and serve, our Heavenly Father, is absolutely sovereign in all things (Dan. 4:34-37).
  2. The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, our Savior has effectually redeemed His people from all sin (Gal. 3:13).
  3. Salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-9).
  4. And the Lord our God sovereignly rules, controls, and disposes of all things in providence according to His own wise and holy will (Isa.46:9-13; Rom. 8:28; 11:36; 2 Cor. 5:18).
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    SOVEREIGN GRACE HATED BY THE MODERN RELIGIONIST
    By C H Spurgeon
    If anything is hated bitterly, it is the out-and-out gospel of the grace of God, especially if that hateful word “sovereignty” is mentioned with it. Dare to say “He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion” (Romans 9:15), and furious critics will revile you without stint.
    The modern religionist not only hates the doctrine of sovereign grace, but he raves and rages at the mention of it. He would sooner hear you blaspheme than preach election by the Father, atonement by the Son, or regeneration by the Spirit.
    If you want to see a man worked up till the Satanic is clearly uppermost, let some of the new divines hear you preach a free grace sermon. A gospel which is after men will be welcomed by men; but it needs divine operation upon the heart and mind to make a man willing to
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receive into his inmost soul this distasteful gospel of the grace of God. My dear brethren, do not try to make it tasteful to carnal minds.
Hide not the offense of the cross, lest you make it of none effect. The angles and corners of the gospel are its strength—to pare them off is to deprive it of power. Toning down is not the increase of strength, but the death of it.
Learn, then, that if you take Christ out of Christianity, Christianity is dead. If you remove grace out of the gospel, the gospel is gone. If the people do not like the doctrine of grace, give them all the more of it.
I preach the doctrines of grace because I believe them to be true; because I see them in the Scriptures; because my experience endears them to me; and because I see the holy result of them in believers.
The doctrine which I preach to you is that of the Puritans: it is the doctrine of Calvin, the doctrine of Augustine, the doctrine of Paul, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Author and Finisher of our faith Himself taught the most blessed truth which well agreed with our text—“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Eph. 2:8
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SOUND THEOLOGIANS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PLAIN WORDS WITH THE CARELESS”
A man may know a great deal about true religion, and yet be a total stranger to it.
He may know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and yet he may be possessed of a devil.
Mere knowledge does nothing for us but puff us up.
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We may know, and know, and know, and so increase our responsibility, without bringing us at all into a state of salvation.
Beware of resting in head-knowledge.
Beware of relying upon orthodoxy, for without love to Christ, with all your correctness of doctrine, you will be a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.
It is well to be sound in the faith, but the soundness must be in the heart as well as in the head.
There is as ready a way to destruction by the road of orthodoxy as by the paths of heterodoxy.
Hell has thousands in it who were never heretics.
Remember that the devils “believe and tremble.”
There are no sounder theologians than devils, and yet their conduct is not affected by what they believe, and consequently they still remain at enmity to the Most High God. A mere head-believer is on a par therefore with fallen angels, and he will have his portion with them forever unless grace shall change his heart.
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HOW TO UNDERSTAND SCRIPTURE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE GOLDEN KEY OF PRAYER”
John saw a book in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne—a book sealed with seven seals which none was found worthy to open or to look thereon. What did John do? The book was by-and-by opened by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who had prevailed to open the book; but it is written first before the book was opened, “I wept much.” Yes, and the tears of John which were his liquid prayers, were, as far as he was concerned, the sacred keys by which the folded book was opened.
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Brethren in the ministry, you who are teachers in the Sunday school, and all of you who are learners in the college of Christ Jesus, I beg you remember that prayer is your best means of study!
Like Daniel you shall understand the dream, and the interpretation thereof, when you have sought unto God; and like John you shall see the seven seals of precious truth unloosed, after that you have wept much.
“Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up the voice for understanding; if you do you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures; then shall you understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
Stones are not broken, except by an earnest use of the hammer; and the stone breaker usually goes down on his knees. Use the hammer of diligence, and let the knee of prayer be exercised, too, and there is not a stony doctrine in Scripture which is useful for you to understand, which will not fly into shivers under the exercise of prayer and faith.
To have prayed well is to have studied well.
You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayer.
Thoughts and reasoning may be like the steel wedges which may open a way into truth; but prayer is the lever which forces open the iron chest of sacred mystery, that we may get the treasure that is hidden therein for those who can force their way to reach it.
Take care that you work with the mighty tool of prayer, and nothing can stand against you.
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THUS SAYS THE LORD!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THUS SAYS THE LORD”
“Thus says the Lord” is the only authority in God’s Church.
The faintest whisper of Jehovah’s voice should fill us with solemn awe, and command the deepest obedience of our souls.
Brethren, how careful should we be that we do not set up in God’s church anything in opposition to His Word, that we do not permit the teachings of a creature to usurp the honor due to the Lord alone.
“Thus says antiquity.” “Thus says authority.” “Thus says learning.” “Thus says experience.”
—These are but idol-gods which defile the church of God!
Be it yours and mine as bold warriors to dash them in pieces without mercy, seeing that they usurp the place of the Word of God.
“Thus says the Lord,”—this is the motto of our standard; the war cry of our spiritual conflict; the sword with which we hope yet to smite through the loins of the mighty who rise up against God’s truth.
“Thus says the Lord God.” This is the trowel, and this the hammer of God’s builders; this the trumpet of His watchmen and the sword of His warriors. Woe to the man who comes in any other name!
If we, or an angel from heaven, shall preach unto you anything but a “Thus says the Lord,” no matter what our
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character or standing, give no heed to us, but cleave unto the truth as it is in Jesus.
To the law and to the testimony, if we speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in us.
That test which we demand to be exercised upon others we cheerfully consent to be exercised upon ourselves, praying that we may have grace to forsake our errors as we would have other men forsake theirs.
We will listen to the opinions of great men with the respect which they deserve as men, but having so done, we deny that we have anything to do with these men as authorities in the Church of God, for there nothing has any authority, but “Thus says the Lord of hosts.” Yes, if you shall bring us the concurrent consent of all tradition—if you shall quote precedents venerable with fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen centuries of antiquity, we burn the whole as so much worthless lumber, unless you put your finger upon the passage of Holy Writ which warrants the matter to be of God.
To the true Church of God the only question is this, is there “Thus says the Lord” for it? And if divine authority be not forthcoming, faithful men thrust forth the intruder as the cunning craftiness of men.
Let us use much of Scripture, much of the pure silver of sacred revelation, and no human alloy. “What is the chaff to the wheat, says the Lord?”
Many sorrows shall be to those who dare to dash themselves against the thick bosses of Jehovah’s buckler by opposing His “Thus says the Lord.” Upon whomsoever this stone shall fall it shall grind him to powder, and whosoever shall fall upon it shall be broken to his own lasting damage.
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O! my brethren, I would that we trembled and stood more in awe of God’s Word. I fear that many treat the things of God as though they were merely matters of opinion, but remember that opinion cannot govern in God’s house.
God’s Word, not man’s opinion, claims your allegiance. O for a stern integrity that will hold the Word and will never depart from it, come what may.
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THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE
Don Fortner
“And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7
There are some men and women in this world whom God has chosen to salvation from eternity, who must and shall be saved (John 15:16; 2 Thess. 2:13). There is a multitude, scattered among the fallen sons of Adam, in every age, in every nation who must be saved. The number of God’s elect is so great that no man can calculate it, though it always appears as only a remnant at any given time.
The number is unalterably fixed by God. All the elect must be saved.
Nothing can prevent their salvation.
The Lord Jesus Christ has made atonement for the sins of God’s elect and redeemed them from the curse of the law by His own precious blood (Gal. 3:13). Contrary to popular opinion, Christ did not die for all men. He refused to even pray for all men (John 17:9, 20). All His work was and is for His elect alone. To say otherwise is to declare that His work, His atonement, His intercession, all His work as the sinner’s Substitute
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was and is futile, meaningless, and vain. The death of Christ was for His particular, chosen, elect people (Isa. 53:8; John 10:11) for the satisfaction of justice on their behalf.
All God’s elect, having been redeemed by the blood of Christ, shall be called from death to life by the irresistible power and almighty grace of God the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:13-14; Psa. 65:4; 110:3). Repentance toward God, faith in Christ, and eternal life are the results of the Spirit’s call. Theses are things effectually wrought in God’s elect (not offered to them) by His almighty grace. There is specific day appointed by God in which each of His elect will be called to life and faith in Christ by the gospel (Psa. 110:3; Ezek. 16:68). God will see to it that the sinner whom He has chosen will be in the place He has ordained, with his heart thoroughly prepared to receive the gospel, at the appointed time. And He will send His Word to that sinner in the irresistible power and grace of the Holy Spirit. In that day, God says, regarding every chosen, redeemed sinner, “They shall be My people.”
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THE WORDLESS BOOK!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, ZECHARIAH’S VISION OF JOSHUA THE HIGH PRIEST.
I have heard of a certain man that he always carried about with him a little book. This little book had only three pages in it, and there was not a single word in the book.
The first was a sheet of jet-black paper; the next was a sheet of scarlet-red; and the next was a sheet of white without spot.
Day by day he used to take out this little book, and at last he told someone the secret of what it meant.
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He explained, there is the black page—that is my sin, and the wrath of God which my sin deserves. I look, and look, and think it is not black enough, though it is black as black can be.
Then the next, that is the page of the atoning sacrifice, the precious blood—the red page—how I do delight to look at that, and look, and look again.
Then there is the white page, that is my soul, as it is washed in Jesus’ blood, made white as snow, through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and washing in the fountain which Christ has filled from His own veins.
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SIN
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENTS”
See the blackness of your sin by the light of hell’s fire!
Hell is the true harvest of the sowing of iniquity.
Come, lost sinner, I charge you to look at hell— Hell is what sin brings forth.
Hell is the full-grown child.
You have dandled your sin.
You have kissed and fondled it.
But see what sin comes to.
Hell is but sin full-grown, that is all.
You played with that young lion; see how it roars and how it tears in pieces now that it has come to its strength.
Did you not smile at the azure scales of the serpent? See its poison; see to what its stings have brought those who have never looked to the brazen serpent for healing.
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Do you account of sin as a peccadillo, a flaw scarcely to be noticed, a mere joke, a piece of fun? But see the tree which springs from it. There is no joke there—no fun in hell.
You did not know that sin was so evil. Some of you will never know how evil it is until the sweetness of honey has passed from your mouth, and the bitterness of death preys at your vitals.
You will count sin harmless until you are hopelessly stricken with its sting!
My God, from this day forward help me to see through the thin curtain which covers up sin, and whenever Satan tells me that such-and-such a thing is for my pleasure, let me recollect the pain of that penalty wrapped up in it. When he tells me that such a thing is for my profit, let me know that it can never profit me to gain the whole world and lose my own soul. Let me feel it is no sport to sin, for only a madman would scatter firebrands and death, and say it is sport.
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REVELATIONS AND VAIN IMAGININGS?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE PARACLETE”
Take care never to impute the vain imaginings of your fancy to the Holy Spirit. I have seen the Spirit of God shamefully dishonored by people—I hope they were insane—who have said that they have had this and that revealed to them.
There has not for some years passed over my head a single week in which I have not been pestered with the ‘revelations’ of hypocrites or maniacs. Semi lunatics are very fond of coming with messages from the Lord to me, and it may save them some trouble if I tell them
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once for all that I will have none of their stupid messages. When my Lord and Master has any message to me He knows where I am, and He will send it to me direct, and not by madmen.
Never dream that events are revealed to you by heaven, or you may come to be like those idiots who dare impute their blatant follies to the Holy Spirit.
If you feel your tongue itch to talk nonsense, trace it to the devil, not to the Spirit of God.
Whatever is to be revealed by the Spirit to any of us is in the Word of God already—He adds nothing to the Bible, and never will. Let persons who have revelations of this, that, and the other, go to bed and wake up in their senses. I only wish they would follow the advice, and no longer insult the Holy Spirit by laying their nonsense at His door.
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FREE WILL
Martin Luther
If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly.
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CAN THESE DRY BONES LIVE?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE RESTORATION AND CONVERSION OF THE JEWS”
Men, by nature, are just like these dry bones exposed in the open valley. The whole spiritual frame is dislocated; the sap and marrow of spiritual life has been dried out of manhood. Human nature is not only dead, but, like the bleaching bones which have long whitened in the sun, it has lost all trace of the divine life. Will and power have
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both departed. Spiritual death reigns undisturbed. Yet the dry bones can live. Under the preaching of the Word, the vilest sinners can be reclaimed, the most stubborn wills can be subdued, the most unholy lives can be sanctified. When the holy “breath” comes from the four winds, when the divine Spirit descends to own the Word, then multitudes of sinners, as on Pentecost’s hallowed day, stand up upon their feet, an exceedingly great army, to praise the Lord their God.
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THE SUPERLATIVE EXCELLENCE
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE SUPERLATIVE EXCELLENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”
Christ crucified is of no practical value to us without the work of the Holy Spirit; and the atonement which Jesus wrought can never save a single soul unless the blessed Spirit of God shall apply it to the heart and conscience.
Jesus is never seen until the Holy Spirit opens the eye. The water from the well of life is never received until the Holy Spirit has drawn it from the depths.
As medicine unused for lack of the physician’s prescription; as sweets untasted because out of reach; as treasure unvalued because hidden in the earth; such is Jesus the Savior, until the Holy Spirit teaches us to know Him, and applies His blood to our souls.
R
THE LOVE OF GOD
By Don Fortner
God’s redeeming love is Particular and Distinguishing. Those who declare that God loves all people alike, the saved
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as well as the damned, greatly tarnish the love of God, reducing it to a fickle, helpless, frustrated passion. But that cannot be. The love of God is like Himself, from everlasting to everlasting, immutable and sure. “Nothing is more absurd than to imagine that anyone beloved of God can eternally perish.” (A. W. Pink)
God’s love is Effectual and Saving. When Paul says, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” the word “us” refers to God’s elect, those sinners who are actually saved by His grace. There are some people in this world whom God does not love. The Scriptures state that fact in clear and unmistakable terms (Ps. 5:5; 11:5-7; Jn. 3:36; Ro. 9:13). And there are some whom He does love. They are His elect, those who are chosen of God, redeemed by Christ, and called to life and faith in Him by the Holy Spirit. To tell sinners that God loves them regardless of their relationship to Christ is either to assure them that God will save them without Christ, or to imply that God is weak, mutable, helpless and frustrated. Surely, God will save those whom He loves if He is able to do so. And He is able to do so! God’s love is more than a sympathetic passion. It is His determination to save. Because the love of God is in Christ, nothing can separate us from His love, for nothing can separate us from Christ!
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
The love of God has been, and forever is, manifested and revealed to sinners in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ as the sinners’ Substitute. Here are three characteristics of God’s love, which set it apart from any other thing that is called “love.”
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  1. The love of God is free and unconditional. God’s declaration concerning the manifestation of His love to His elect is this—“I will love them freely” (Hos. 14:4). That simply means that God’s love toward us is an unconditional, unqualified, unmerited, and uncaused love. God does not love His elect because of anything amiable and attractive in us. He says, “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated,” and that before either had done anything good or bad, “that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls” (Rom. 9:13, 11). Not even the death of Christ caused God to love us. Christ’s death as our sin-atoning Substitute is the result of God’s love for His people (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10).
  2. The love of God is eternal. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). Try to get hold of this. As God the Father loved His Son from eternity, so He loved His elect from eternity. And as the love of God is in Christ, God’s love for Christ and His love for us is the same! Only faith can grasp this blessed truth. It is higher than reason and emotion. God loves His elect in Christ. As He beholds His people in His dear Son, He loves us as He loves His Son, delights in us as He delights in His Son, and is pleased with us as He is pleased with His Son. This is exactly what our Savior declares in His great, high priestly prayer in John 17:23.
  3. The love of God is immutable, irrevocable, and indestructible. God’s love is not like man’s love. God’s love does not change, ever, under any circumstances or conditions. Having loved us from eternity, He will never call back His love in time. There is nothing we can do to destroy, or even lessen, the love of God for us (John 13:1). We did nothing to compel God to love us; and we can do nothing to repel God’s love. The love of
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God is not dependent upon, or regulated by our faithfulness to Him (Mal. 3:6).
The freeness, eternality and immutability of God’s love to us in Christ means that our everlasting salvation is a matter of absolute certainty. Nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.”
“Because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, has the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” Deut. 7:8
Love is seen in its deeds. And we know the love of God by the gracious operations of His love which He has performed on our behalf. All the acts of God’s grace performed for His people in time are expressions of His love for us from everlasting.
The very first act of God’s love, as it is revealed in the Bible, is election and predestination (Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Thess. 2:13). No one believes in the love of God who does not believe in election. And no one can talk about the love of God in Bible terms who does not talk about predestination. Election and predestination are eternal acts of God’s amazing love toward hell deserving sinners such as we are.
Secondly, The love of God is revealed in the redemption of our souls by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10; 3:16). We read the love of God clearly spelled out in the precious blood of Christ. The love of God is not fully revealed and made manifest in Christ’s incarnation, nor His example, nor His doctrine, nor His prayers, nor even His life of righteousness, but only in His blood. Had Christ done everything else and left this undone, had He not poured out His life’s blood unto death for the atonement of our sins and the redemption of our souls, we could never have known the love of
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God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But because He died for us, His love is made manifest.
“Amazing love! How can it be,
That You my God should die for me!”
Thirdly, The new birth, by which we have been born into the family and kingdom of God, is the result of God’s love toward us from eternity. Our regeneration came in “the time of love” (Ezek. 16:6-8). The effectual call, by which we were given faith, was the fruit of God’s love (Jer. 31:3). And our adoption into the family of God was the work of our heavenly Father’s eternal love (1 John 3:1).
Fourthly, Our preservation in grace is the work of God’s love (John 13:1; Isa. 43:1-4; Jer. 32:38-40). “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it” (Song of Sol. 8:7). God’s love toward His elect is invincible and unquenchable. There is no possibility that it will expire. The black waters of our sin cannot extinguish it. And the floods of our unbelief cannot drown it. With men, nothing is stronger than love. His love for us overcomes every obstacle that might stand in the way of our everlasting glory. Every sinner loved of God from eternity was redeemed by Christ at Calvary, shall be called by the Spirit in time, and shall be saved forever.
R
HIS UNUTTERABLE LOVELINESS!
by Spurgeon,
“FROM EVERY POINT OUR WELL BELOVED IS MOST BEAUTIFUL.”
“Behold, you are beautiful, my Beloved.” Song of Solomon 1:16
Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus.
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How amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen Him from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and He has shone upon us as the sun in his strength; but we have seen Him also “from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards,” and He has lost none of His loveliness.
From the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave, have we turned our eyes to our soul’s spouse, and He has never been otherwise than “all lovely.”
Many of His saints have looked upon Him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake, yet have they never uttered an ill word of Him, but have died extolling His surpassing charms.
Oh, noble and pleasant employment to be forever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus!
Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Savior in all His offices, and to perceive Him matchless in each? To shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of peerless graces?
In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on His throne, in the garden and in His kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, He is everywhere “altogether lovely.”
Examine carefully every little act of His life, and every trait of His character, and He is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic.
Judge Him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh Him as you please, and He will not be found lacking.
Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, His hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendor,
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and His unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial minds!
R
LOATHSOME, DETESTABLE, OBNOXIOUS,
DREADFUL, ABOMINABLE, DAMNABLE
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE GREAT PHYSICIAN AND HIS PATIENTS”
Sin is a very loathsome thing. In God’s esteem, and in the esteem of all holy minds, the most detestable, obnoxious, dreadful thing in the whole world is moral evil. If that could be got rid of, all other evil would cease to be.
Sin is the mother and nurse of all evil. Sin is the egg of all mischief.
Sin is the fountain of bitterness.
Sin is the root of misery.
Sin is the distilled essence of hell.
Sin is the quintessence of everything that is unlovely, disreputable, dishonest, impure, abominable—in a word—damnable!
R
THE CURE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
THE GREAT PHYSICIAN AND HIS PATIENTS.
Man cannot cure himself of sin.
He may reform, he may drive the disease inward, and prevent its coming out upon the skin; he may so model, and guide, and restrain himself, that the coarser forms of sin which are condemned among men may not appear in him.
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But the virus, the essential poison of sin, no man can ever extract from his own heart, nor can another man do it for him.
Jehovah Rophi, the healing Lord, must manifest His omnipotent power.
The utmost religiousness, the most devout prayers, the greatest possible prudence in living, will not avail to remove the taint of sin, if they spring from an unrenewed heart.
The carnal mind is enmity against God, and is not reconciled to God, neither, indeed, can it be.
Teach a horse astronomy? I never try to teach a horse astronomy; and to teach an unconverted man spiritual truth and experience would be a folly of the same sort.
“…the natural man doesn’t receive the things of the God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14
R
THE EVIL OF SIN!
by Thomas Boston.
Learn the evil of sin.
Sin is a stream that will carry down the sinner, until he is swallowed up in the ocean of wrath!
The pleasures of sin are bought too dear, at the rate of everlasting burnings!
What did the rich man’s purple clothing and sumptuous food avail him, when in hell he was encircled by purple flames, and could not have a drop of water to cool his tongue?
Alas! that men should indulge themselves in sin which will bring such bitterness in the end!
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That they should drink so greedily of the poisonous cup, and hug that serpent in their bosom that will sting them to the heart!
R
GOD’S PROVIDENCES
Arthur Pink
God’s providences are but the manifestations of His decrees. What God does in time is only what He purposed in eternity.
R
FOR WHOM DID CHRIST DIE?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LAUS DEO”
We hold that Christ did not redeem every man, but only redeemed those men who will ultimately attain unto eternal life.
We do not believe that He redeemed the damned.
We do not believe that He poured out His life blood for souls already in hell.
We never can imagine that Christ suffered in the room and stead of all men, and that then afterwards these same men have to suffer for themselves.
We do not believe that Christ pays their debts, and then God makes them pay their debts again a second time.
We hold to this—that Christ laid down His life for His sheep, and that His laying down His life for the sheep involved and secured the salvation of every one of them.
R
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OPEN SESAME!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.”
You may cry as long as you will, reform as much as you please, pray as earnestly as you like, but the gate of heaven will never stir to your knockings until you plead, “For Jesus’ sake!” That is the “Open Sesame” which will make the gates of the city turn on their hinges. But if you have not this watchword, all your doings and almsgivings, and praying, and what not, will be but a heap of filth, piled up against heaven’s gate.
The whole pith of the gospel lies here. All true theology is comprehended in this, “For Christ’s sake.” Substitution—saving the guilty through the innocent; substitution—blessing the unworthy through the worthy. Do try this precious plea, poor soul, and I will warrant you that, before long, you shall find peace with God.
R
THE DUTY OF EVERY CHRISTIAN
Martin Luther
It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor.
R
CRIMSON HIEROGLYPHICS
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“A WARNING AGAINST HARDNESS OF HEART”
It is a grievous token of hardness of heart when we can live contentedly without the present enjoyment of the Savior’s face.
There is no doubt whatever that living among sinners has a hardening tendency even upon Christian men.
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You cannot walk about in this great lazar-house, without receiving some contagion.
Though you were pure in heart, the prince of this world would make you his prey. It were hard to dwell in so foul a world as this without contracting some impurity. Those black coals which fill this earthly cellar, if they will not burn us, will at least blacken us. When so many fires of sin are pouring forth their smoke, the whitest of linen cannot escape the falling black soot.
If “the thought of foolishness is sin,” then even to think of sin exercises a polluting influence. Can I read a description of another man’s sin without getting my heart hardened? I question if reading the daily reports of crime in the police news is not a very fertile cause of sin. Great crimes usually produce their like in congenial winds, and even in the purest hearts their recital cannot but have an injurious effect.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil bears dangerous fruit; it were well if we restrained our curiosity, and left foul deeds alone, unknown, unread by us. What good can come from turning over the foul dunghill of crime? Let those traverse our sewers whose business it is to do so; were it not better for the most of us to keep out of them? Those who are called in providence to deal daily with the coarser sins had need to set a special watch over themselves lest they fall by little and little.
He who handles sharp-edged tools, is apt to cut his fingers, and none the less so because the knife is made of the best steel. Let us walk warily among men, like a man with naked feet when going over thorny ground, lest our hurt be grievous.
I daily feel that the atmosphere of earth has as much a tendency to harden my heart, as to harden plaster which is newly spread upon the wall; and unless I am
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baptized anew with the Spirit of God, and constantly stand at the foot of the cross, reading the curse of sin in the crimson hieroglyphics of my Savior’s dying agonies, I shall become as steeled and insensible as the mass of professors already are.
Shame on us, that any of us should be guilty of such tampering with that accursed thing which slew the Lord of glory.
R
AVENGE HIS DEATH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.”
One of the first things which every Christian should feel bound to do “for Christ’s sake” is to avenge His death. “Avenge His death,” says one, “upon whom?” Upon His murderers. And who were they? Our sins! Our sins? “Each of our sins became a nail, and unbelief the spear.”
The very thought of sin having put Jesus to death should make the Christian hate it with a terrible hatred. When I recollect that my sins tore my Savior’s body on the tree, took the crown from His head, and the comfort from His heart, and sent Him down into the shades of death, I vow revenge against them.
“O sin! Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against a stone!”
Yes, doubly blessed is he who, like Samuel, shall hew the Agag of his sins in pieces before the Lord, and not spare so much as one single fault, or folly, or vice, because it slew the Savior.
Be holy, be pure, be just, be separate from sinners for Christ’s sake.
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“See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did ever such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
“His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads over His body on the tree; Then am I dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me.
“Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
R
THE CHRISTIAN AND SIN
Spurgeon
The position of sin in a natural man is that of a king on his throne. The position of sin in a Christian is that of a bandit hiding in secret places trying to get back its old usurped dominion, but failing in the attempt, for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace.
R
BELIEVERS ERR IN MANY THINGS
Don Fortner
Believers err in many things, fall in many ways, and sin is mixed with all they do; but in the tenor of their lives all believers are faithful, seeking the will and glory of God in all things and above all things. As we become increasingly aware of our personal sinfulness and corruption, as we are humbled by the depravity of our hearts, nothing is more comforting, cheerful, and reassuring to God’s saints, than the knowledge of the
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fact that in the eyes of Christ we stand perfect in the beauty of His righteousness, the beauty which He has put upon us.
R
THE BACK DOOR TO THE PIT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A HEARER IN DISGUISE”
Many come to God’s house disguised in manner and appearance. How good you all look!
When we sing and you take your books, how heavenly- minded! And when we pray, how reverent you are! How your heads are all bowed—your eyes covered with your hands! I do not know how much praying there is when you sit in a devout posture, though you assume the attitude and compose your countenance as those who draw near to supplicate the Lord. I am afraid there are many of you who do not pray a word or present a petition, though you assume the posture of suppliants.
When the singing is going on there are many who never sing a word with the spirit and the understanding.
In the house of God I am afraid there are many who wear a mask, stand as God’s people stand, sit as they sit, pray as they pray, and sing as they sing—and all the while what are you doing? Some of you have been attending to your children while we have been singing tonight. Some of you have been casting up your ledger, attending to your farms, scheming about your carpentering and bricklaying; yet all the while if we had looked into your faces we might have thought you were reverently worshiping God.
Oh! those solemn faces, and those reverent looks, they do not deceive the Most High God!
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He knows who and what you are!
He sees you as clearly as men see through glass. As for hiding from the Almighty, how can you hide yourself from Him? As well attempt to hide in a glass case, for all the world is a glass case before God!
When you look into a glass beehive, you can see the bees and everything they do—such is this world, a sort of glass beehive in which God can see everything. The eyes of God are on you continually; no veil of hypocrisy can screen you from Him.
It is a melancholy and a most solemn reflection that there are many who profess to be Christians who are not Christians.
There was a Judas among the twelve; there was a Demas among the early disciples; and we must always expect to find chaff on God’s floor mingled with the wheat.
I have tried, the Lord knows, to preach as plainly and as much home to the mark as I could, to sift and try you; but for all that the hypocrite will come in. After the most searching ministry, there are still some who will wrap themselves about with a ‘mantle of deception.’ Though we cry aloud and spare not, and bid you lay hold on eternal life, yet, alas! how many are content with a mere name to live and are dead.
Many come here and even hold office in the Church, yes, the minister himself may even preach the Word, and after all be hollow and empty. How many who dress and look fair outside, are only fit to be tinder for the devil’s tinder box, for they are all dry and empty within!
God save as from a profession if it is not real!
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I pray that we may know the worst of our case. If I must be damned, I would sooner go to hell unholy, than as a hypocrite—that back door to the pit is the thing I dread most of all.
Oh! to sit at the Lord’s table, and to drink of the cup of devils! To be recognized among God’s own here, and then to find one’s own name left out when God reads the muster-roll of His servants!
Oh! what a portion for eternity!
I bid you tear off this mask, and if the grace of God is not in you, I beg you to go into the world which is your fit place, and abstain from joining the Church, if you are not really a member of the body of Christ.
“You, God, see me!” Write that on the palm of your hand, and look at it; wake up in the morning with it; sleep with it before you on your curtains.
“You, God, see me!”
R
SWEET AFFLICTION! SWEET AFFLICTION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“A MYSTERY! SAINTS SORROWING AND JESUS GLAD!”
“I am glad for your sakes that I was not there.” John 11:14-15.
The more beloved by God you are the more of the rod you shall have!
Jesus is glad that your husband is taken away, that your child is buried; glad that your business does not prosper. He is glad that you have those pains and aches, and that you have so weak a body, to the intent that you may believe. You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you, if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire.
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Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith.
Our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon His people’s faith, that He will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened.
There is no faith so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity!
Untried faith is always small in stature; and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. There is no room in the ‘placid pools of ease’ for faith to gain leviathan proportions, she must dwell in the ‘stormy sea’ if she would be one of the chief of the people of God.
You never know your own weakness until you have been compelled to go through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods.
Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more she is exercised with tribulation, and the more she has been cast down, and lifted up again.
Oh, blessed axe of sorrow, which clears a pathway for me to my God by cutting down the thick trees of my earthly comforts!
When I say, “My mountain stands firm, I shall never be moved,” the visible fortification, rather than the Invisible Protector, engages my attention. But when the great earthquake shakes the rocks, and the mountain is swallowed up, I fly to the immovable Rock of Ages to build my confidence on high.
Worldly ease is a great foe to faith; it loosens the joints of holy valor, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage.
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The balloon never rises until the cords are cut— affliction does this sharp service for believing souls.
While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man—it must be threshed out of its resting- place before its value can be known.
Trial plucks the arrow of faith from the repose of the quiver, and shoots it against the foe.
Trial is of special service to faith when it drives her to her God!
Trials fetch us to our God, as the barking dog drives the wandering sheep to the shepherd’s hand.
Oh, dear friends, we are in much danger of making idols of our mercies!
God gives us His temporal favors as refreshments by the way, and then straightway we kneel down and cry, “These are your gods, O Israel.”
It is of the Lord’s mercy that these idol-gods are broken in pieces!
He blasts the gourds under which we sat in ample shade, in order that we may lift up our cry to Him, and trust in Him alone.
The emptiness of the creature is a lesson we are so slow to learn, and we must have it whipped into us by the rod of affliction; but learned it must be, or else faith can never attain to eminence.
The only wise God does not put His servants in ‘hothouses’ and rear them delicately, but He exposes them to trial that they may know how to bear it when it comes.
There is no fellowship with Christ so near and sweet, as that which comes to us when we are in deep trials!
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Then the Master unbosoms Himself, and takes His child, not upon His knee, but to His very heart, and bids him lay his head upon His beating bosom.
Christ will reveal His secrets to you when the world is against you, and trials surround you. There are then special loves, special visits, and special fellowship.
“Sweet affliction! sweet affliction! Thus to bring my Savior near.” R
LOSSES, ADVERSITIES, AFFLICTIONS, GRIEFS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE SUPERLATIVE EXCELLENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”
The saints of God may very justly reckon their losses among their greatest gains.
The adversities of believers minister much to their prosperity.
Although we know this, yet through the infirmity of the flesh we tremble at soul-enriching afflictions, and dread to see those black ships which bring us such freights of golden treasure.
When the Holy Spirit sanctifies the furnace, the flame refines our gold and consumes our dross, yet the dull ore of our nature likes not the glowing coals, and had rather lie quiet in the dark mines of earth.
As silly children cry because they are called to drink the medicine which will heal their sicknesses, even so do we.
Our gracious Savior, however, loves us too wisely to spare us the trouble because of our childish fears; He foresees the advantage which will spring from our griefs, and therefore thrusts us into them out of wisdom and true affection.
R
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THAT PAINTED HARLOT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JESUS MEETING HIS WARRIORS”
Brother, if ever you have seen Christ’s face, that painted harlot, the world, will never win your love again.
Did you ever eat the pure white bread of heaven? Then the brown, gritty bread of earth will never suit you, but will break your teeth with gravel stones.
You will never care to drink earth’s sour and watery wine, if you have once been made to drink of the wines on the lees well refined—the spiced wine of Christ’s pomegranate.
If you want to be strengthened against the most subtle worldly temptations, cry, “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for His love is better than wine;” and you may go forth to conflicts of every kind, more than a conqueror, through Him that has loved you!
R
THE WORST ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE GOSPEL’S POWER IN A CHRISTIAN’S LIFE”
Oh! the great thing the Church needs is more holiness.
The worst enemies of the Church are the hypocrites, the formalists, the mere professors, the inconsistent walkers.
It is shocking to think how persons dare to remain members of Christian churches, and even to enter the pulpit, when they are conscious that their private life is foul. Oh, how can they do it? How is it that their hearts have grown so hard? What! has the devil bewitched them? Has he turned them away from being men, and made them as devilish as himself, that they should dare
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to pray in public, and to sit at the sacramental table, and to administer ordinances, while their hands are foul, and their hearts unclean, and their lives are full of sin?
I charge you, if there are any of you whose lives are not consistent, give up your profession, or else make your lives what they should be.
May the eternal Spirit, who still winnows His Church, blow away the chaff, and leave only the good golden wheat upon the floor!
And if you know yourselves to be living in any sin, may God help you to mourn over it, to loathe it, to go to Christ about it tonight; to take hold of Him, to wash His feet with your tears, to repent unfeignedly, and then to begin anew in His strength, a life which shall be such as becomes the gospel.
R
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
from Spurgeon.
Believers, as they grow in grace, are made to feel more and more acutely the evil of their old nature. You will find that those who are most like Christ have the deepest knowledge of their own depravity, and are most humble while they confess their sinfulness.
I think, throughout eternity, if we had this problem to solve, “Why did He save me?” we should still go on making wrong guesses, but we never could arrive at the right conclusion, unless we should say, once for all, I do not know. He did as He willed. He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion. There is nothing in life worth living for but Christ. “Whom have I in heaven but you, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside you!”
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Christ is the cream; the rest is mere skim milk and curds fit to be given to the swine. The Lord Jesus is the pure flour; all else is but the husk and bran, and coarse gritty meal, all that remains is the chaff; fan it, and the wind shall carry it away, or the fire shall burn it, and little shall be the loss. Christ is the golden grain, the only thing worth having. I would give nothing for your religion if you do not seek to be like Christ. If your heart is truly wedded to the Lord Jesus, and lives in near fellowship with Him, it must grow like Him. There will be a similarity of spirit, temper, motive, and action; it will not be manifest merely in great things but in little matters too, for even our speech will betray us.
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MAKE YOUR LIVES CLEAR!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GOD’S WITNESSES”
Beloved, make your lives clear!
Be as the brook wherein you may see every stone at the bottom. Do not be as the muddy creek, of which you only see the surface—but be clear and transparent, so that your heart’s love to God and man may be distinctly visible to all.
You need not tell men that you love them—make them feel that you love them.
You need not say “I am true.” Be true.
Do not boast of your integrity, but be upright.
So shall your testimony be such that men cannot help seeing it.
R
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PROVE IT!
Spurgeon
I pray that we may be able to prove constantly by our acts, that Jesus Christ is He whom our soul loves.
R
THE ATTRACTION OF THE CROSS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A BLOW FOR PUSEYISM”
“It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.” John 6:63
True religion has always been spiritual, but mere professors have ever been content with the outward form alone.
The most of mankind cannot get on with a religion in which there is nothing to see, nothing to please the ear, or nothing to gratify their taste.
It is only the spiritual man who is so overwhelmed with the glories of God that he does not need the glories of man—so overcome with the splendor of Christ that he does not want the splendor of the multitude—so taken up with the magnificence of the great High Priest that he does not care for gorgeously appareled priests.
“What!” they say, “a religion in which there is nothing for me to see! What! an unseen altar?” Yes, an unseen altar. “Am I not to see the sacrifice?” No. “Never to see it? Then I do not understand it. What! a God, but no symbols! No crucifixes! No crosses! What! no holy wafer, no sacred place, nothing sacred.” O, nothing visible to be reverenced, nothing whatever but the unseen God. “What! not even my place of worship, is not that to be holy?” No!
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If you are a Christian—all places must alike be sacred to you. “Neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, shall men worship the Father, but those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” You must be yourself a temple, and God must dwell in you. You must be yourself a priest, and anywhere you may offer spiritual sacrifice.
Ritual performances are very pretty spectacles for silly young ladies, and sillier men to gaze upon, but there is no shadow of spiritual life in them! Now, you see at once that ritual performances are not spiritual things— these are not life.
Church rituals do not look like a divine thing—on the contrary, if I stand among the throng, and gaze at all its prettinesses, it looks amazingly like a nursery game, or a stage play.
“Lack of taste!” you say.
Not so, I reply—my eyes admire your glittering colors, and the splendor of your services is breathtaking to me. As a man, I enjoy the swell of your organ, and I can even put up with the smell of your incense, but my spirit does not care for these fooleries, it turns away sickened, and cries, “There is nothing here for me— there is no more nourishment for the spirit in all this than there is food for man in a swine’s trough!”
The words of Jesus Christ are thoroughly unceremonial and informal—they are spirit and they are life, and we turn to them with all the greater zest after having seen enough of your childish things.
The external observances of religion in themselves are utterly unprofitable!
What is the life of godliness? What is the vitality and essence of acceptable worship?
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Jesus’ answer virtually is, “It is not your outward observances, but your inward emotions, desires, believings, and adorings, which are living worship.”
Much is said now-a-days about an ornate form of worship—The excellency of melodious music is much extolled. The swell of the organ, it is said, begets a hallowed frame of mind. But how far is the effect sensuous, and how far spiritual? Is it not to be feared that a song in a church service is often no more a spiritual exercise than a tune at a concert?
Music has charms, and he who cannot feel them is to be pitied. But, then, acceptable heart worship is quite another thing—no arrangement of notes and chords can ever do the work of God the Holy Spirit. Unless music can aid in making sinners penitent, in leading souls to Jesus Christ, or uplifting saints in holy joy to the throne of God, we must hold that in vital godliness it profits nothing.
Architecture, with its arched roofs, and noble pillars, and dim religious light, is supposed to impart a reverence and awe which befit the solemn engagements of the Sabbath, and draw the mind towards the invisible God. Well, if combinations of stone can sanctify the spirit of man, it is a pity that the gospel did not prescribe architecture as the remedy for the ruin of the fall!
If gorgeous buildings make men love God, and long- drawn aisles renovate men’s spiritual nature, build, all you builders, both day and night! If bricks and mortar can lead us to heaven, alas for the confusion which stopped the works at Babel! If there be such a connection between spires and spiritual things as to make human hearts beat in unison with the will of
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God, then build high and loftily, and lavish your gold and silver!
But if all that you produce is sensuous, and nothing more, then turn to living stones, and seek to build up a spiritual house with spiritual means.
The real inward spirit of man is not blessed by sounds which charm the ear but appeal not to the understanding, nor by colors which delight the eye but gladden not the affections of man.
To gratify taste is well enough for the carnal, but it profits nothing in the sight of God.
It may be as well to be artistic as to be plain, but it is of no matter either way, if tested by the Word—in the balances of the sanctuary these matters are lighter than vanity!
We must make precisely the same remark concerning the eloquence of the preacher. Many persons have come to think that oratorical ability is essential in the minister. It is not enough, some think, to preach the truth with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven—we must also preach it in the wisdom of words with excellency of speech. The trappings of oratory, and the drapery of eloquence, are thought to be profitable.
Ah! dear friends, one half of the emotions excited in our places of worship are of no more value than those excited at the theater!
The mere ring of words is no more profitable than a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. “The flesh profits nothing.”
So far as the truth itself moves our inmost souls, preaching is of real service. But if that which you hear only commends itself to you because of the sweet voice that speaks it, or the entertaining tones in which it is
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delivered, your hearing is a carnal exercise, and profits you nothing.
It is only when your spirit grasps the truths, when your heart embraces Christ, when your soul beholds God by the eye of faith, that you derive benefit.
I grant you that excitement may sometimes be used by God to stir the spirit of man, but unless, my dear hearers, your religion is based on something more than natural excitement, it is based upon a lie.
Your spirit must come to know its ruin before God, and be humbled. Your spirit must come to take hold of Jesus Christ and believe in Him. Your spirit must undergo the divine change which only God the Holy Spirit can work, or else that excitement shall be nothing more than the blowing up of a bubble, which shall burst and leave not a vestige behind!
Take care of any religion which merely tickles your fancy, excites your passions, or stirs your blood!
True grace penetrates the very core of our nature, it changes the heart, subdues the will, renews the passions, and makes us new creatures in Christ Jesus.
You would feel unhappy if you had spent the whole Sunday without going to a place of worship, but you are quite at ease if you come here and leave your hearts at home. When we are singing, you sing with us, and when we are praying, you cover your eyes too, and when we are preaching, some of you think of what I am talking about, and some do not. And when you get through the appointed hour, you feel quite easy. But
oh! remember that the mere physical act of being here, profits nothing!
Oh! dear friends, do shake off the idea, that going up to a place of worship, or opening a Bible, or reading family
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prayer, or kneeling down, can, as mere acts, save your souls.
The mere form of worship profits nothing!
It is only…
as your spirit prays,
as your spirit seeks,
as your spirit worships,
as your spirit listens to God’s Word,
that there is any quickening power in it whatsoever.
I wish that all ministers of Christ would scorn to use any carnal weapons.
I know the talk is, that we ought to vie with the false churches in the beauty of our services. But this is a temptation of the devil!
If the simple preaching of the cross will not attract the people, let them stay away!
Let the Lord’s servants abandon the sword and shield of Saul, and go forth with the gospel sling and stone!
Our weapons are the words of Jesus—these are spirit and these are life.
Architecture, apparel, music, liturgies—these are neither spirit nor life—let those rest on them who will—we can do without them, by God’s help.
My dear brethren in Christ, ministers of the Gospel— let me implore you, stick to the gospel!
Set your backs against the tendency of the times to depart from the simplicity of Jesus Christ.
If men will not come to hear us because we preach the gospel, draw them by no other attractions. We need no attraction but the cross! An uplifted Savior draws all men to Him still!
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“It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.” John 6:63
R
TOO WISE TO ERR AND TOO GOOD TO
BE UNKIND!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “HEART’S-EASE”
The worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could occur to me, if God ordains it.
“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God.”
The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet—the poisonous drugs that have been mixed in the compound have nevertheless worked the cure.
The sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing.
Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results. And so, believing this—that God rules it, that God rules wisely, that God brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is fixed and he is well prepared.
Here, bring me whatever cup you will, my Father fills them all and I will drink them as He sends them, not merely with resignation, but with sanctified delight.
Send me what You will, my God, so long as it comes from You—never was that a bad portion which came from Your table to any one of Your children.
My Father, write what You will concerning Your child, I will not seek to pry between the folded leaves, but I will patiently hope and quietly wait as leaf by leaf is
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unfolded, knowing You are too wise to err and too good to be unkind.
R
I WILL HELP YOU
“I will help you, says the Lord.” Isaiah 41:14
Let us hear the Lord speak to each one of us—I will help you. It is but a small thing for Me, your God, to help you. Consider what I have done already. What! not help you? Why, I bought you with My blood. What! not help you? I have died for you; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help you! I have done more, and will do more—Before the world began I chose you. I laid aside My glory and became a man for you; I gave up My life for you; and if I did all this, I will surely help you now. In helping you, I am giving you what I have bought for you already. If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it you; you require little compared with what I am ready to give. It is much for you to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help you?’ Fear not!
If there were an ant at the door of your granary asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat. And you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of My all-sufficiency. I will help you.
O my soul, is not this enough? Do you need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Do you need more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit?
Bring here your empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it.
Hasten, gather up your needs, and bring them here— your emptiness, your woes, your poverty. Behold, this
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river of God is full for your supply! What can you desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this your might. The Eternal God is your helper!
R
“It is a grievous token of hardness of heart when we can live contentedly without the present enjoyment of the Savior’s face.”—Spurgeon
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THE KNOCK!
by Spurgeon
“With lovingkindness have I drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3
The Master came one night to the door, and knocked with the iron hand of the law; the door shook and trembled upon its hinges. But the man piled every piece of furniture which he could find against the door, for he said, “I will not admit that man.”
The Master turned away, but by-and-by He came back, and with His own soft hand, using most that part where the nail had penetrated, He knocked again—oh, so softly and tenderly.
This time the door did not shake, but, strange to say, it opened, and there upon his knees the once unwilling host was found rejoicing to receive his guest!
“Come in, come in; you have so knocked that my affections are moved for you. I could not think of your pierced hand leaving its blood mark on my door. I yield, I yield, Your love has won my heart.”
So in every case, the love of Christ wins the day. What Moses with the tablets of stone could never do, Christ does with His pierced hand!
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Such is the doctrine of effectual calling. Do I under- stand it experimentally?
“With lovingkindness have I drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3 R
THE PURPOSE OF GOD
by Don Fortner
The Lord our God is a God of purpose—absolute and unalterable purpose.
God’s purpose must and shall be accomplished.
Before the world was made, before time began, almighty God sovereignly purposed all that comes to pass.
Everything that is, has been, and shall hereafter be, was purposed by God from eternity.
Everything in the universe is moving toward the predestined end of God’s eternal purpose with absolute, precision and accuracy.
Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity.

  1. The purpose of God is eternal.
  2. The purpose of God includes all things.
  3. The purpose of God has for its particular design the spiritual and eternal benefit of God’s elect. Everything God has purposed is for the ultimate, spiritual, and eternal blessedness of His covenant people.
  4. The purpose of God is immutable and sure. That which comes to pass in time is exactly what God purposed from eternity.
  5. In its ultimate end, God’s purpose will accomplish the eternal salvation of His elect and the glory of His own great name.
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All God’s elect shall be saved. Not one of Christ’s sheep shall perish. Every sinner redeemed by blood shall be saved by grace and crowned with glory. The purpose of God demands it. The law of God demands it. Justice satisfied, cannot punish those for whom it has been satisfied.
R
PARABLE OF THE FISHLESS FISHERMEN
Author Unknown
Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.
Year after year these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing.
Continually they searched for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and to promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing.
These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn’t do, however; they didn’t fish.
They organized a board to send out fishermen to where there were many fish. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived.
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Also the board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish.
Expensive training centers were built to teach fishermen how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology, but the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing. Year after year, graduates were sent to do full-time fishing, some to distant waters filled with fish.
Further, the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. A speaker’s bureau was also provided to schedule special speakers on the subject of fishing.
Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded, and were sent to fish. But like the fishermen back home, they never fished.
Some also said they wanted to be part of the fishing party, but they felt called to furnish fishing equipment. Others felt their job was to relate to the fish in a good way so the fish would know the difference between good and bad fishermen.
After one stirring meeting on “The Necessity for Fishing,” a young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported he had caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible to tell how he did it.
So he quit his fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen. He was also placed on the Fishermen’s General Board as a person having considerable experience.
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Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished.
They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men?”
Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who didn’t catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?
R
HE LOVES YOU WITH ALL HIS INFINITE HEART!
by Spurgeon
Bear patiently the rod for a season, and under the darkness still trust in God, for His love burns towards you. God loves you, His child, with a love too deep for human imagination!
He loves you with all His infinite heart!
God has not forgotten us because He smites—His blows are no evidences of lack of love.
You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: He who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting His own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature He ever made, or the only saint He ever loved.
Approach Him and be at peace.
R
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THE PARADISE OF LOVE!
by Jonathan Edwards
There are many principles contrary to love, that make this world like a tempestuous sea. Selfishness, and envy, and revenge, and jealousy, and kindred passions keep life on earth in a constant tumult, and make it a scene of confusion and uproar, where no quiet rest is to be enjoyed except in renouncing this world and looking to heaven.
But oh! what rest is there in that world which the God of peace and love fills with His own gracious presence, and in which the Lamb of God lives and reigns, filling it with the brightest and sweetest beams of His love; where there is nothing to disturb or offend, and no being or object to be seen that is not surrounded with perfect amiableness and sweetness; where the saints shall find and enjoy all that they love, and so be perfectly satisfied; where there is no enemy and no enmity; but perfect love in every heart and to every being; where there is perfect harmony among all the inhabitants, no one envying another, but everyone rejoicing in the happiness of every other; where all their love is humble and holy, and perfectly Christian, without the least carnality or impurity; where love is always mutual and reciprocated to the full; where there is no hypocrisy or dissembling, but perfect simplicity and sincerity; where there is no treachery, or unfaithfulness, or inconstancy, or jealousy in any form; where there is no clog or hindrance to the exercises or expressions of love, no imprudence or indecency in expressing it, and no influence of folly or indiscretion in any word or deed; where there is no separation wall, and no misunderstanding or strangeness, but full acquaintance and perfect intimacy in all; where there is no division through different opinions or interests, but
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where all in that glorious and loving society shall be most nearly and divinely related, and each shall belong to every other, and all shall enjoy each other in perfect prosperity and riches, and honor, without any sickness, or grief, or persecution, or sorrow, or any enemy to molest them, or any busybody to create jealousy or misunderstanding, or mar the perfect, and holy, and blessed peace that reigns in heaven!
And all this in the garden of God—in the paradise of love, where everything is filled with love, and everything conspires to promote and kindle it, and keep up its flame, and nothing ever interrupts it, but everything has been fitted by an all wise God for its full enjoyment under the greatest advantages forever!
And all, too, where the beauty of the beloved objects shall never fade, and love shall never grow weary nor decay, but the soul shall more and more rejoice in love forever!
Oh! what tranquility will there be in such a world as this!
And who can express the fullness and blessedness of this peace! What a calm is this! How sweet, and holy, and joyous! What a haven of rest to enter, after having passed through the storms and tempests of this world, in which pride, and selfishness, and envy, and malice, and scorn, and contempt, and contention, and vice, are as waves of a restless ocean, always rolling, and often dashed about in violence and fury!
What a Canaan of rest to come to, after going through this waste and howling wilderness, full of snares, and pitfalls, and poisonous serpents, where no rest could be found!
And oh! what joy will there be, springing up in the hearts of the saints, after they have passed through
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their wearisome pilgrimage, to be brought to such a paradise as this!
Here is joy unspeakable indeed, and full of glory—joy that is humble, holy, enrapturing, and divine in its perfection!
Love is always a sweet principle; and especially divine love. Love, even on earth, is a spring of sweetness; but in heaven it shall become a stream, a river, an ocean! All shall stand about the God of glory, who is the great fountain of love, opening, as it were, their very souls to be filled with those effusions of love that are poured forth from His fullness, just as the flowers on the earth, in the bright and joyous days of spring, open their bosoms to the sun, to be filled with His light and warmth, and to flourish in beauty and fragrance under His cheering rays.
Every saint in heaven is as a flower in that garden of God, and holy love is the fragrance and sweet odor that they all send forth, and with which they fill the bowers of that paradise above.
Every soul there, is as a note in some concert of delightful music, that sweetly harmonizes with every other note, and all together blend in the most rap- turous strains in praising God and the Lamb forever!
And so all help each other, to their utmost, to express the love of the whole society to its glorious Father and Head, and to pour back love into the great fountain of love whence they are supplied and filled with love, and blessedness, and glory.
And thus they will love, and reign in love, and in that godlike joy that is its blessed fruit, such as eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has ever entered into the heart of man in this world to conceive; and thus in the full sunlight of the throne, enraptured with joys that are
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forever increasing, and yet forever full, they shall live and reign with God and Christ forever and ever!
R
THE BOTTOMLESS, SHORELESS SEA OF
INFINITE JOY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NO TEARS IN HEAVEN”
In heaven, all inward evils will have been removed by the perfect sanctification wrought in us by the Holy Spirit.
No evil of heart, nor unbelief in departing from the living God, shall vex us in Paradise. No suggestions of the archenemy shall be met and assisted by the uprisings of iniquity within.
We shall never be led to think harshly of God, for our hearts shall be all love.
Sin shall have no sweetness to us, for we shall be perfectly purified from all depraved desires.
There shall be no lusts of the eye, no lusts of the flesh, no pride of life to be snares to our feet.
Sin is shut out, and we are shut in.
We are forever blessed, because we are without fault before the throne of God. What a heaven must it be to be without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing!
Well may we cease to mourn when we have ceased to sin. In heaven, every holy desire is gratified!
They cannot wish for anything which they shall not have. Eye and ear, heart and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire, will, every faculty shall be satisfied. All their capacious powers can wish, they shall continually enjoy. Though “Eye has not seen, nor ear
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heard the things which God has prepared for them that love Him,” yet we know enough, by the revelation of the Spirit, to understand that they are supremely blessed.
The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite joy!
R
SIN AND SALVATION
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE GREAT PHYSICIAN AND HIS PATIENTS”
Many people think that, when we preach salvation, we mean salvation from going to hell. We do not mean that, but we mean a great deal more. We preach salvation from sin; we say that Christ is able to save a man; and we mean by that that He is able to save him from sin and to make him holy; to make him a new man. No person has any right to say, “I am saved,” while he continues in sin as he did before. How can you be saved from sin while you are living in it?
R
WHY DO WE LOVE HIM?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE CHURCH’S LOVE TO HER LOVING LORD”
Because before this round earth ever was fashioned between the palms of the great Creator—before He had painted the rainbow, or hung out the lights of the sun and moon, Christ’s delights were with us. He foresaw us and He knew what we should be—and as He looked upon us, the glance was love.
He delighted to sit upon the throne of glory, and to remember His dear ones who were yet to be born. It was the great prospect which His mighty and infinite
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spirit had—a joy that was set before Him, that He should see a multitude that no man could number who should be His beloved forever!
Oh, if you know that Jesus had loved you from before all worlds, you must love Him. At least you will grant there cannot be a better reason for love than love. Love demands; no, it does not demand—it takes by almighty force, by irresistible energy, that heart captive, upon whom it thus sets itself.
R
Surely to be beloved by Jesus, is enough to satisfy the soul of a worm of the dust.—Jonathan Edwards R
THE INFINITE LOVE OF CHRIST!
Spurgeon
No truth can so subdue the human mind as the majesty of the infinite love of Christ! No imagination can picture love more deep and pure than that which is reflected in the life and death of Jesus Christ.
R
PRECIOUS!
Spurgeon
Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord.
A shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweler one diamond,
nor a mother one child,
nor a man one limb of his body.
Neither will the Lord lose one of His redeemed people. However little we may be, if we are the Lord’s, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus.
R
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INFINITE EXCELLENCY!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon,
“SAFETY, FULLNESS, AND SWEET REFRESHMENT IN CHRIST”
The inquiry of the soul is after that which is most excellent.
The excellency of Christ is such, that the discovery of it is exceedingly contenting and satisfying to the soul.
The carnal soul imagines that earthly things are excellent—one thinks riches most excellent, another has the highest esteem of honor, and to another carnal pleasure appears the most excellent.
But the soul cannot find contentment in any of these things, because it soon finds an end to their excellency. Worldly men imagine that there is true excellency and true happiness in those things which they are pursuing. They think that if they could but obtain them, they would be happy. But when they obtain them, and cannot find happiness, they look for happiness in something else, and are still upon the pursuit.
But Christ Jesus has true excellency, and so great excellency, that when they come to see Him they look no further, but the mind rests there.
It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in Jesus!
It sees that until now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance.
It sees that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean!
The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill the capacity. It is an infinite excellency, such a one as the
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mind desires, in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind is used to it, the more excellent it appears.
Every new discovery of Jesus makes His beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind sees no end—here is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom.
The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on His beauty, and it is never weary of it!
The mind never has any satiety, but Christ’s excellency is always fresh and new, and tends as much to delight, after it has been seen a thousand or ten thousand years, as when it was seen the first moment!
The delight and contentment that is to be found in Jesus passes understanding, and is unspeakable and full of glory.
It is impossible for those who have tasted of this fountain, and know the sweetness of it, ever to forsake it.
The soul has found the river of water of life, and it desires no other drink!
It has found the tree of life, and it desires no other fruit!
R
BIGGER WORMS!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “THE EXCELLENCY OF JESUS CHRIST”
If one worm be a little exalted above another, by having more dust, or a bigger dunghill, how much does he make of himself! What a distance does he keep from those that are below him!
Christ condescends to wash our feet, but how would great men (or rather the bigger worms), account themselves debased by acts of far less condescension!
R
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YOUR IDOL?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE AND JEALOUSY”
This world swarms with idols! Man is such an idolater that, if he cannot idolize anything else, he will idolize himself, and set himself up, and bow down and worship himself.
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A VIPER TO THE HEART!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon,
“SAFETY, FULLNESS, AND SWEET REFRESHMENT IN CHRIST”
Sin is the most evil and odious thing, as well as the most mischievous and fatal.
Sin is the most mortal poison.
Sin, above all things, hazards life, and endangers the soul.
Sin exposes to the loss of all happiness, and to the suffering of all misery, and brings the wrath of God.
All men have this dreadful evil hanging about them, and cleaving fast to the soul, and ruling over it, and keeping it in possession, and under absolute command.
Sin hangs like a viper to the heart!
Sin holds us powerfully, as a lion does his prey.
How can a poor worm bear the wrath of the great God?
O prize that Savior, who keeps your soul in safety, while thousands of others are carried away by the fury of God’s anger, and are tossed with raging and burning tempests in hell!
O, how much better is your case than theirs! And to whom is it owing but to the Lord Jesus Christ?
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Remember what was once your case, and what it is now, and prize Jesus Christ!
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UTTERLY DESTROY IT!
by Spurgeon.
“That henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:6 Christian, what have you to do with sin?
Has it not cost you enough already?
Burnt child, will you play with the fire?
What! when you have already been between the jaws of the lion, will you step a second time into his den?
Have you not had enough of the old serpent?
Did he not poison all your veins once, and will you play upon the hole of the asp, and put your hand upon the cockatrice’s den a second time?
Oh, do not be so mad! so foolish!
Did sin ever yield you real pleasure?
Did you find solid satisfaction in it?
If so, go back to your old drudgery, and wear the chain again, if it delights you.
But inasmuch as sin did never give you what it promised to bestow, but deluded you with lies, do not be snared by the old fowler a second time—be free, and let the remembrance of your ancient bondage forbid you to enter the net again!
It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, which all have an eye to your purity and holiness; therefore do not run counter to the purposes of your Lord.
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Another thought should restrain you from sin— Christians can never sin cheaply; they pay a heavy price for iniquity—transgression destroys peace of mind, obscures fellowship with Jesus, hinders prayer, brings darkness over the soul—therefore do not be the serf and bondsman of sin.
Oh! if you have fallen into any special sin during this day, it may be my Master has sent this admonition today, to bring you back before you have backslidden very far.
The only proper treatment of sin, is to destroy it—cut it off and cast it from you. Do not pamper it or excuse it, but smite it, smite it to the heart if you can, and never be satisfied until you have utterly destroyed it.
Turn to Jesus anew; He has not forgotten His love to you; His grace is still the same. With weeping and repentance, come to His footstool, and you shall be once more received into His heart; you shall be set upon a rock again, and your goings shall be established.
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MEDITATION
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A SERMON FROM A RUSH”
Isaac walked in the fields at evening time to meditate. I commend him for his occupation. Meditation is exceedingly profitable to the mind. If we talked less, read less, and meditated more, we would be wiser men.
I commend him for the season that he chose for that occupation—at evening time, when the business of the day was over, and the general stillness of nature was in harmony with the quiet of his soul.
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I also commend him for the place that he selected—the wide expanse of nature—the field.
Wise men can readily find a thousand subjects for contemplation abroad in the open country. When a man walks in the fields, having the Lord in his heart, and his whole mental faculties directed towards heavenly things, all things aid him in his pleasing occupation.
If we look above to sun, moon, and stars, all these remind us of the grandeur of God, and make us ask ourselves, “What is man, that the Lord should be mindful of him, or the son of man, that Jehovah should visit him?”
If we look below, the green meadows, or golden cornfields, all proclaim divine care and bounty. There is not a bird that sings, nor a grasshopper that chirps in the grass, which does not urge us to praise and magnify the name of the Most High. While the plants, from the hyssop on the wall to the cedar that spreads its boughs so gloriously on Lebanon, exhibit to observant eyes the wisdom of the great Creator of all things.
The murmuring brook talks to the listening ear in hallowed whispers of Him whose cloudy throne supplies its stream. And the air, as it sighs amid the trees, tells in mysterious accents of the great unseen, but overactive Spirit of the living God.
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WHERE PRIDE CANNOT LIVE
by Spurgeon
“He humbled Himself.” Philippians 2:8 Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart.
We need daily to learn of Him. See the Master taking a towel and washing His disciples’ feet!
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Follower of Christ, will you not humble yourself?
See Him as the Servant of servants, and surely you cannot be proud! Is not this sentence the compendium of His biography—“He humbled Himself.”
Was He not on earth always stripping off first one robe of honor and then another, until, naked, He was fastened to the cross, and there did He not empty out His inmost self, pouring out His life blood, giving up for all of us, until they laid Him penniless in a borrowed grave?
How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then can we be proud?
Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed; see the thorn crown; mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills; see hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and His whole self to mockery and scorn. See the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in His outward frame. Hear the chilling shriek, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it.
If you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten. Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourself in lowliness at His feet.
A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt.
May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary, then our position will no longer be that of the pompous
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man of pride, but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him.
Pride cannot live beneath the cross.
Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice.
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THE GOD OF MODERN RELIGION
by Don Fortner
“The Lord does whatever pleases Him throughout all heaven
and earth, and on the seas and in their depths.” Psalm 135:6 The very foundation of our confidence and faith in our
God is His sovereignty.
Were He not sovereign, absolutely, universally sovereign, we could not trust Him implicitly, believe His promises, or depend upon Him to fulfill His Word.
Only an absolute sovereign can be trusted absolutely. We can and should trust our God implicitly because He is sovereign.
Nothing is more delightful to the hearts of God’s children than the fact of His great and glorious sovereignty.
Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, and when enduring the most heavy trials, we rejoice to know that our God has sovereignly ordained our afflictions, that He sovereignly overrules them, and that He sovereignly sanctifies them to our good and His own glory.
The God of the Bible is utterly unknown in this religious generation. A God who is not sovereign is as much a contradiction as a God who is not holy, eternal,
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and immutable. A God who is not sovereign is no God at all.
If the god you worship is not totally sovereign, you are a pagan, and your religion is idolatry. You would be just as well off worshipping a statue of Mary, a totem pole, a spider, or the devil himself as to worship a god who lacks total sovereignty over all things.
The god of this generation no more resembles the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth than a flickering candle resembles the noonday sun.
The god of modern religion is nothing but an idol, the invention of men, a figment of man’s imagination.
Pagans in the dark ages used to carve their gods out of wood and stone and overlay them with silver and gold. Today, in these much darker days, pagans inside the church carve their god out of their own depraved imaginations. In reality, the religionists of our day are atheists, for there is no possible alternative between a God who is absolutely sovereign and no God at all.
A god…
whose will can be resisted, whose purpose can be frustrated, whose power can be thwarted, whose grace can be nullified, whose work can be overturned,
has no title to Deity. Such a god is not a fit object of worship. Such a puny, pigmy god merits nothing but contempt.
When I say that God is sovereign, I am simply declaring that God is God.
He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth, overall, blessed forever. He is subject to none. He is influenced by none.
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God is absolutely independent of, and sovereign over, all His creatures. He does as He pleases, only as He pleases, and always as He pleases—
None can thwart Him. None can resist Him. None can change Him. None can stop Him. None can hinder Him.
He declares, “Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” Isaiah 46:10
“All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: “What have you done?” Daniel 4:35
Divine sovereignty means that God sits upon the throne of universal dominion, directing all things, ruling all things, and “working all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephes. 1:11).
God’s sovereignty is irrefutably revealed in the eternal predestination of all things. God chose certain men and women in eternity to be the objects of His saving grace and predestinated those elect ones to be conformed to the image of His dear Son (Rom. 8:28-29). Before the world began God sovereignly determined that He would save some, who they would be, and when He would save them. Having determined these things, our great God infallibly secured His eternal purpose of grace by sovereign predestination.
Eternal election marked the house into which God’s saving grace must come. Eternal predestination marked the path upon which grace must come. And sovereign providence led grace down the path to the house at the appointed time of love.
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God’s indisputable sovereignty is conspicuously revealed in the salvation of sinners by His almighty grace (Rom. 9:8-24). God chose to save some, but not all. He gave Christ to die for some, but not all. He sends His gospel to some, but not all. He gives His Spirit to some, but not all. He causes some to hear His voice, but not all.
He planned it.
He purchased it.
He performs it.
He preserves it.
He perfects it.
He shall have all the praise for it.
“Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.” Psalm 115:3
Let us, therefore—
believe Him confidently, walk with Him in peace, submit to Him cheerfully, serve Him faithfully,
and honor Him supremely.
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THE SHARP ARROWS OF AFFLICTION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “HEART’S EASE”
Let us remember the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies—how soon may evil tidings come concerning them.
We rightly class our families first in our possessions— We look with delight into the faces of our children; we mark their growing abilities; we are charmed with evidences of opening intelligence—yet they may never live to manhood, their sun may go down before it is yet
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noon. We are, perhaps, perplexed as to what we shall do with them when they shall be old enough to be apprenticed to a trade, or initiated into a profession— we may never have that task to care for; long before they reach that period of life, they may be slumbering in their graves.
We gaze with ever fresh delight upon those beloved ones with whom we are united in the ties of wedlock, but if we gaze wisely, we shall clearly see mortality written upon the fairest brow, and glistening in the most loving eye.
How soon may these partners of our hearts’ best affections be rent away from us! We must beware of making idols of those who are nearest and dearest, for the objects of our idolatry may soon, like the golden calf, be dashed in pieces, and we may have to drink the waters of bitterness because of our sin.
If we would remember that all the trees of earth are marked with the woodman’s axe, we should not be so ready to build our nests in them.
We should love, but we should love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations.
Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the lender’s hand may be even at the door.
There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction.
The fondest hope which you and I have cherished may yet drop like the fruit of the tree before it is ripe, smitten at the core by a secret worm.
Set not your affections upon things of earth. Set your whole heart upon things above, for here on earth, the
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rust corrupts, and the moth devours, and the thief breaks through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal.
What is there here after all but cloudland? Why do we seek to be lords of acres of mere mist? What are earth’s treasures but vapor? Will you heap up for yourself haze and fog?
Cloud and mist will pass away, and if these are your riches, how poverty-stricken will you be when you can carry none of these airy riches into the land of solid wealth.
Christian, remember well the insecurity of all earthly things, and be content to have it so.
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ALL-SUFFICIENT SALVATION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “WITHHOLDING CORN”
Christ’s salvation is an all-sufficient salvation!
However great your sins, Christ’s blood can take them all away.
However deep your needs, Christ can supply them.
You cannot be so big a sinner as He is a Savior. You may be the worst sinner out of hell, but your sins are not too great for Him to remove. He can carry elephantine sinners upon His shoulders, and bear gigantic mountains of guilt upon His head into the wilderness of forgetfulness.
He has enough grace for you however deep your necessity.
Your biggest sins shall no longer trouble you, your blackest iniquities shall no longer haunt you.
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Believing in Jesus, every sin you have of thought and word and deed shall be cast into the depths of the sea and never shall be mentioned against you any more forever!
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“SHOW ME WHY YOU CONTEND WITH ME.” JOB 10:2
by Spurgeon.
Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop your graces.
There are some of your graces which would never be discovered if it were not for your trials.
Do you not know that your faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter?
Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness.
Hope itself is like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, but only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
Afflictions are often the black foils in which God does set the jewels of His children’s graces, to make them shine the better.
Real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.
God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians.
He trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and forcing them to difficult marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs.
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Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you?
“Trials make the promise sweet; Trials give new life to prayer; Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.”
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THE COLLEGE OF FOOLS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PRAISE THY GOD, O ZION”
There are no prerequisites necessary in order to enter into Christ’s college. He takes fools, and makes them know the wonders of His dying love!
“You see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble; but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong; and God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised…. that no flesh should boast before God.” 1 Cor. 1:26-29
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HEADS & LEGS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FAITH VERSUS SIGHT”
“We walk by faith…” 2 Cor. 5:7
Oh! I wish that some Christians would pay a little attention to their legs, instead of paying it all to their heads!
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When children’s heads grow too fast it is a sign of disease, and they get the rickets, or water on the brain.
So, there are some very sound brethren, who seem to me to have got some kind of disease, and when they try to walk, they straightway make a tumble of it, because they have paid so much attention to perplexing doctrinal views, instead of looking, as they ought to have done, to the practical part of Christianity.
By all means let us have doctrine, but by all means let us have precept too. By all means let us have inward experience, but by all means let us also have outward “holiness, without which no man can see the Lord.”
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AGAINST THE FLOW!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A SERMON FROM A RUSH”
Be a man who can be singular when to be singular is to be right. If the whole world shall run headlong down the broad road, be it yours to thread your way through the crowd against the current along the uphill way of life. The dead fish floats down the stream, the live fish goes against it!
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THE MISSIONARY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE GREAT ITINERANT”
A minister once announced to his congregation one Sunday morning, “I am going on a mission to the heathen.”
Now he had not told his deacons about it, and they looked puzzled at one another. Some of the good people in the congregation began to take out their pocket
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handkerchiefs, as they thought their minister was going to leave them—he was so useful and necessary to them that they felt sad at the bare idea of losing him.
“But” he added, “I shall not be out of town.” So may you also go on a mission to the heathen without going out of this huge town of yours! You might almost preach to every sort of heathen within the bounds of your town. If you want to reach the heathen who have gone farthest into sin, you need not certainly leave your town for that. You shall find men and women rotten with sin, and reeking in the nostrils of God with their abominations. You may go about on a mission to the heathen, and your railway ticket need not cost you one penny!
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HOME CHURCHES
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH”
These first believers were in such a condition that their homes were holy places. I beg you to notice this, that they were breaking bread from house to house, and did eat their food with gladness and singleness of heart.
They did not think that religion was meant only for Sundays, and for what men now-a-days call the ‘House of God.’
Their own houses were houses of God, and their own meals were mixed and mingled with the Lord’s Supper. They elevated their meals into diets for worship. They so consecrated everything with prayer and praise that all around them was holiness unto the Lord.
I wish our houses were thus dedicated to the Lord, so that we worshipped God all the day long, and made our
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dwellings temples for the living God. Does God need a ‘special house’?
He who made the heavens and the earth, does He dwell in temples made with hands? What crass ignorance is this! No house beneath the sky is more holy than the place where a Christian lives, and eats, and drinks, and sleeps, and praises the Lord in all that he does. There is no worship more heavenly than that which is presented by holy families, devoted to His fear.
To sacrifice home worship to public worship is a most evil course of action.
Morning and evening devotion in a cottage is infinitely more pleasing in the sight of God than all the cathedral pomp which delights the carnal eye and ear.
Every truly Christian household is a church, and as such it is competent for the discharge of any function of divine worship, whatever it may be.
Are we not all priests? Why do we need to call in others to make devotion a performance? Let every man be a priest in his own house.
Are you not all kings if you love the Lord? Then make your houses palaces of joy and temples of holiness.
One reason why the early church had such a blessing was because her members had such homes. When we are like them we shall have “added to the church daily of the saved.”
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WHAT SHOULD THE CHURCH LOOK LIKE?
by Buff Scott
What should the community of believers in the 21st century look and be like?
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  1. Simple, as opposed to elaborate organizational structures, projects, and programs.
  2. Informal but serious meetings.
  3. Independent but cooperative.
  4. Benevolent and evangelistic.
  5. Non-ritualistic and non-formalistic.
  6. Shepherds who lead rather than dictate, teach and persuade rather than command.
  7. All believers recognized as ministers, servants, and priests.
    “You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
    “He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Rev. 1:6
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    CHRIST, THE EXAMPLE OF MINISTERS
    by Jonathan Edwards
    It is not only our great duty, but will be our greatest honor, to imitate Christ, and do the work that He has done, and so act as co-workers with Him.
    The ministers of Christ should be persons of the same spirit that their Lord was of—the same spirit of humility and lowliness of heart; for the servant is not greater than his Lord.
    They should be of the same spirit of heavenly mindedness, and contempt of the glory, wealth, and pleasures of this world.
    They should be of the same spirit of devotion and fervent love to God. They should follow the example of His prayerfulness; of whom we read from time to time
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of His retiring from the world, away from the noise and applause of the multitudes, into mountains and solitary places, for secret prayer, and holy converse with His Father.
Ministers should be persons of the same quiet, lambike spirit that Christ was of, the same spirit of submission to God’s will, and patience under afflictions, and meekness towards men; of the same calmness and composure of spirit under reproaches and sufferings from the malignity of evil men; of the same spirit of forgiveness of injuries; of the same spirit of charity, of fervent love and extensive benevolence; the same disposition to pity the miserable, to weep with those that weep, to help men under their calamities of both soul and body, to hear and grant the requests of the needy, and relieve afflicted; the same spirit of condescension to the poor and lowly, tenderness and gentleness toward the weak, and great and effectual love to enemies.
They should also be of the same spirit of zeal, diligence, and self-denial for the glory of God, and advancement for His kingdom, and for the good of mankind; for which things’ sake Christ went though the greatest labors, and endured the most extreme sufferings.
And in order to our imitating Christ in the work of the ministry, in any tolerable degree, we should not have our hearts weighed down, and time filled up with worldly affections, cares, and pursuits.
The duties of a minister that have been recommended, are absolutely inconsistent with a mind much taken up with worldly profit, glory, amusements, and entertainments.
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POWERFUL, SUPERNATURAL, IRRESISTIBLE, MIGHTY, OVERWHELMING, CONSTRAINING
by Spurgeon
We declare on scriptural authority that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful, supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no one will ever be constrained toward Christ.
A man is not saved against his will, but he is made willing by the operation of the Holy Spirit. A mighty grace which he does not wish to resist enters into the man, disarms him, makes a new creature of him, and he is saved.
If I did not believe that there was might going forth with the word of Jesus which makes men willing, and which turns them from the error of their ways by the mighty, overwhelming, constraining force of divine influence, I should cease to glory in the cross of Christ.
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GOD’S HAMMER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE MIGHTY ARM”
“You have a mighty arm. Your hand is strong, and Your right hand is exalted.” Psalm 89:13
God’s power is perfectly irresistible.
When God puts forth His omnipotence, who, who is there that can stay His hand?
proud hearts are humbled, hard hearts are broken, iron melts, and
rock dissolves!
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There is no heart so hard but what God’s hammer can dash it in pieces!
The Lord has but to will it with His omnipotent will, and the sinner becomes a saint, and the most rebellious cast down their weapons!
Let us never despair, while we can say of our God, “Powerful is your arm!” Lord, here is a great and hard rock; now wield your great hammer, and the sparks shall fly, and the adamant rock shall be broken into pieces.
Quarry your own stones, O God, and make them fit for your temple, for “Powerful is Your arm!”
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SUBDUED BY SOVEREIGN LOVE!
by Spurgeon
“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me.” John 6:37 This declaration involves the doctrine of election—
there are some whom the Father gave to Christ.
It involves the doctrine of effectual calling—these who are given must and shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it, yet they shall be brought out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.
It teaches us the indispensable necessity of faith—for even those who are given to Christ are not saved except they come to Jesus.
Even they must come, for there is no other way to heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. All that the Father gives to our Redeemer must come to Him, therefore none can come to heaven except they come to Christ.
Oh! the power and majesty which rest in the words “shall come.” He does not say they have power to come, nor they may come if they will, but they “shall come.”
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The Lord Jesus does by His messengers, His word, and His Spirit, sweetly and graciously compel men to come in that they may eat of His marriage supper. And this he does, not by any violation of the free agency of man, but by the power of His grace.
Jehovah Jesus knows how, by irresistible arguments addressed to the understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections, and by the mysterious influence of His Holy Spirit operating upon all the powers and passions of the soul, so to subdue the whole man, that whereas he was once rebellious, he yields cheerfully to His government, subdued by sovereign love!
But how shall those be known whom God has chosen? By this result—that they do willingly and joyfully accept Christ, and come to Him with simple and sincere faith, resting upon Him as all their salvation and all their desire.
Reader, have you thus come to Jesus?
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IDIOTS CATCHING FLIES!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“HOPE, YET NO HOPE. NO HOPE, YET HOPE”
“You were wearied with the length of your way; yet you didn’t say, It is in vain: you found a reviving of your strength; therefore you weren’t faint.” Isa. 57:10
Most people are not seeking to escape from the wrath to come—they are busy in worldly things while hell is near them. They are like idiots catching flies on board a ship which is in the very act of sinking!
We see many people busy about their bodies, decorating themselves, when their soul is in ruin. They
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are like a man painting the front door, when the house is in flames!
Men are in a restless pursuit after satisfaction in earthly things. They will hunt the alleys of wealth, they will travel the pathways of fame, they will dig into the mines of knowledge, they will exhaust themselves in the deceitful delights of sin, and, finding them all to be vanity and emptiness, they will become very perplexed and disappointed. But they will still continue their fruitless search.
Though wearied, they still stagger forward under the influence of spiritual madness, and though there is no result to be reached except that of everlasting disappointment, yet they press forward with much ardor.
Living for today is enough for them—that they are still alive, that they possess present comforts and present enjoyments, this contents the many.
As for the future, they say, “Let it take care of itself.”
As for eternity, they leave others to care for its realities;
the present life is enough for them.
Their motto is, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” They have no forethought for their eternal state; the present hour absorbs them.
Carnal minds pursue with all their might earth’s vanities, and when they are wearied in their pursuit they but change their direction, and continue the idle chase.
They turn to another and another of earth’s broken cisterns, hoping to find water where not a drop was ever discovered yet.
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DELUGED WITH LOVE!
Spurgeon
God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light.
Every stream of holy love, yes, every drop that is, or ever was, proceeds from God.
In heaven, this glorious God is manifested, and shines forth, in full glory, in beams of love.
And there this glorious fountain forever flows forth in streams, yes, in rivers of love and delight, and these rivers swell, as it were, to an ocean of love, in which the souls of the ransomed may bathe with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, as it were, be deluged with love!
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BAD DOGS!
From Spurgeon’s,
“THE GREAT ARBITRATION CASE”
“There is no umpire between us, that might lay his hand on us both.” Job 9:33.
Which of you would keep a dog, which, instead of fawning upon you, would bark at you, fly at you, and tear you in his rage?
Some of us have done this to God—we have perhaps cursed Him to His face, laughed at His gospel, and persecuted His saints.
You would have said of such a dog, “Let it die!” Why should I harbor in my house a dog that treats me thus?
Yet, hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! God has borne with your evil ways, and he still cries, “Refrain!”
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He puts the lifted thunder back into the arsenal of His dread artillery.
I wish I could state the case as I ought. My lips are but clay; and these words should be like fire in the sinner’s soul. When I meditated upon this subject, I felt much sympathy with God, that He should have been so ill treated!
And whereas some men speak of the flames of hell as too great a punishment for sin, it seems ten thousand marvels that we should not have been thrust down there long ago!
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LET ME TAKE YOU TO YOUR DYING CHAMBER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LAST THINGS”
“You will groan in your latter end, when your flesh and your body are consumed.” Proverbs 5:11
Let me take you upstairs to your own dying chamber!
Look at actions which you have thought to be great, and upon which you have prided yourself—how will they look at the last?
You made money; you made money fast; you did it very cleverly; you praised yourself for it, just as others have praised themselves for conquering nations, or forcing their way to fame, or lifting themselves into eminence.
Now you are dying, and what do you think of all that? Is it so great as it seemed to be? Oh, how you leaped up to it, how you strained yourself to reach it, and you have got it, and you are dying. What do you think of it now?
The greatest of human actions will appear to be insignificant when we come to die, and especially those
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upon which men most pride themselves—these will yield them the bitterest humiliation.
We shall then say what madmen we must have been to have wasted so much time and energy upon such paltry things!
When we shall discover that they were not real, that they were but mere bubbles, mere pretenses, we shall then look upon ourselves as demented to have spent the whole of our life and of our energy upon them!
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NO ESCAPE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LAST THINGS”
“You will groan in your latter end, when your flesh and your body are consumed.” Proverbs 5:11
We are immortal, every one of us, and when the stars go out and Sol’s great furnace is extinguished for lack of fuel, and, like a vesture, God’s wide universe shall be rolled up, we shall be living still, a life as eternal as the Eternal God Himself.
Oh, when we leave this world, we are told that after death there comes a judgment to us.
How will you face Him, you who have despised Him? You who have doubted His deity, how will you bear the blaze of it? You rejected and trampled on His precious blood, how will you bear the weight of His almighty arm? When on the cross you would not receive Him, and when on the throne you shall not escape from Him!
That silver scepter which He stretches out now to you, if you refuse to touch it, shall be laid aside, and He will take one of another metal, a rod of iron, and He shall
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break you in pieces, yes, He shall dash you in pieces like potters’ vessels!
What will it be to stand at the bar of God and to receive from Him the sentence of damnation!
Your eyes shall see Him in that day; you shall understand His presence.
You will try to be hidden from Him; you would desire hell itself, and think it a place of shelter, if you could escape from Him; but everywhere that fire shall encircle you, shall consume you, for “our God is a consuming fire.”
You shall no more be able to escape from yourself than from God. You shall find Him as present with you as your own soul will be, and you shall feel His hand of fire searching for the chords of your soul, and sweeping with a doleful Miserere all the heartstrings of your spirit.
Misery unspeakable must be yours when the voice of the God-man, shall say, “Depart, you cursed ones, into everlasting fire in hell.”
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THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS IN HELL!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LAST THINGS”
“You will groan in your latter end, when your flesh and your body are consumed.” Proverbs 5:11
How will unbelief look in the flames of hell?
There are no infidels anywhere but on earth! There are none in heaven, and there are none in hell.
Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice, for “the devils believe and tremble.”
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And there are some of the devil’s children that have gone beyond their father in sin, but how will it look when they are forever lost?
When God’s foot crushes them, they will not be able to doubt His existence!
When He tears them in pieces and there is none to deliver, then their sophistical syllogisms, their empty logic, their brags and bravadoes, will be of no avail!
Oh, that they had been wise and had not darkened their foolish hearts, but had turned unto the living God!
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A VAST DEN OF POISONOUS HISSING SERPENTS!
from Jonathan Edwards’ book, “CHARITY AND ITS FRUIT”
Hell is a place where God manifests His displeasure and wrath.
Everything in hell is hateful.
There is not one solitary object there that is not odious and detestable, horrid and hateful.
There is no person or thing to be seen there, that is amiable or lovely; nothing that is pure, or holy, or pleasant, but everything abominable and odious.
There are no beings there but devils, and damned spirits that are like devils.
Hell is, as it were, a vast den of poisonous hissing serpents—the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and with him all his hateful brood!
Those in hell hate God, and Christ, and angels, and saints in heaven; and not only so, but they hate one another, like a company of serpents or vipers, not only
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spitting out venom against God, but at one another, biting and stinging and tormenting each other.
All things in the wide universe that are hateful shall be gathered together in hell, as in a vast receptacle provided on purpose, that the universe which God has made may be cleansed of its filthiness, by casting it all into this great sink of wickedness and woe.
It is a world prepared on purpose for the expression of God’s wrath. He has made hell for this; and He has no other use for it but there to testify forever His hatred of sin and sinners, where there is no token of love or mercy.
In hell, there is nothing there but what shows forth the Divine indignation and wrath.
Every object shows forth wrath.
It is a world all overflowed with a deluge of wrath, as it were, with a deluge of liquid fire, so as to be called a lake of fire and brimstone, and the second death.
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THE FOULEST AND MOST DETESTABLE THING IN
THE WHOLE UNIVERSE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FROM THE DUNGHILL TO THE THRONE”
“He raises up the poor out of the dust. Lifts up the needy from the ash heap; that He may set him with princes, even with the princes of His people.” Psalm 113:7-8
All the filth and loathsomeness that ever offended eye and nostril, is sweetness itself compared with sin.
The foulest and most detestable thing in the whole universe is sin!
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Sin is that which keeps the fire of hell burning as God’s great sanitary necessity.
Well may God cause the fiery flames of eternal torment to go up forever and ever, for it is only by such terrific punishment that the plague of sin can be at all restrained within bounds.
Sin is a horrible evil, a deadly poison; and yet, sinner, though you be as full of sin as an egg is full of meat, and as reeking with sin as the foulest piece of noxious matter can be reeking with foul smell—yet the infinite mercy of God in Christ Jesus can lift you from this utmost degradation, and make you to shine as a star in His kingdom at the last!
To know that my Beloved is mine, and that I am His, and that He loved me and gave Himself for me, this is far better than to be heir-apparent to a score of empires!
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DEATHBED SALVATIONS?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “MAN’S THOUGHTS AND GOD’S THOUGHTS”
As for peace in the hour of death, he who is not pardoned while living is not likely to be pardoned when dying. Nine out of ten, perhaps nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand of professed deathbed salvations are a delusion.
We have good facts to prove that. A certain physician collected notes of several hundred cases of people who professed conversion when they thought they were dying. These people did not die as they had expected to, but continued to live. In the case of all but one they lived just as they had lived before, though when they
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were thought to be dying they appeared as if they were truly converted.
Do not look forward to a deathbed salvation, it is a mere snare of Satan. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” 2 Peter 2:22
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HOLY AND HUMBLE CHRISTIAN LOVE
from Jonathan Edwards’ book, “CHARITY AND ITS FRUIT”
Holy and humble Christian love, is a principle of wonderful power to give ineffable quietness and tran- quility to the soul. It banishes all disturbance, and sweetly composes and brings rest to the spirit, and makes all divinely calm and sweet and happy. In that soul where divine love reigns and is in lively exercise, nothing can cause a storm, or even gather threatening clouds.
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THE REMEDY, CURE, ANTIDOTE, PANACEA,
AND GOLDEN KEY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE RAVENS’ CRY”
“He provides food for the cattle, and for the young ravens when they call.” Psalm 147:9
Prayer is—
ruin’s remedy,
doubt’s destroyer,
the cure of all cares,
the antidote to all anxieties,
the grand panacea for all pains, and
the golden key that can open the gate of mercy!
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THE SHIP OF PRAYER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “MEMORY—THE HANDMAID OF HOPE”
“This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope.” Lam. 3:21
In all states of dilemma or of difficulty, prayer is an available source. The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God; and though she may be outward bound with only griefs, and groans, and sighs, she shall return freighted with a wealth of blessings!
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UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION
by Don Fortner
When the Lord Jesus Christ poured out His life’s blood at Calvary, He did not make salvation a possibility, but a reality. He obtained eternal redemption for God’s elect.
Any doctrine which says that Christ wants to save those who perish, tries to save those who perish, and provides salvation for those who perish is nonsense, theological rubbish, and blasphemy.
Jesus Christ is God almighty! He is not a whining wimp. What He wants to do He does (Isa. 46:10). He never tries to do anything. He simply does what He will. His grace, His power, and even His will are irresistible. (Ps. 135:6; Dan. 4:34-35).
If He wanted to save everybody in the world, where is the force that could stop Him from doing so?
Any man who worships a god who wants to do what he cannot do, or tries to do what he fails to accomplish, is a fool. Such a god, if he existed, would be as useless as a lantern without oil, or a bucket without a bottom.
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Failure is an embarrassment to man. How much more so it would be to the eternal God.
The doctrine of universal redemption—that doctrine which says that Christ wants to save everybody, tries to save everybody, and provides salvation for everybody, tramples the blood of Christ under foot, despises the work of Christ, robs the Son of God of all glory in salvation, and puts Him to an open shame.
Those who say, “Jesus loves everybody and died for everybody,” proclaim a love and a death which are totally useless for anything more than sentimentalism. They preach a redemption by which no one was redeemed.
Universal redemption is no redemption at all.
Redemption was effectually accomplished by Christ on the cross (John 19:30; Heb. 9:12). And redemption is effectually applied by Christ on the throne (John 17:2). It never was our Lord’s intention, desire, or purpose to save all men.
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THE VITAL SPARK!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LIGHT, NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL”
“You must be born again.”
Do not think Christians are made by education; they
are made by creation.
You may wash a corpse as long as you please, and that corpse could be clean, but you cannot wash life into it!
You may deck it in flowers, and robe it in scarlet and fine linen, but you cannot make it live!
The vital spark must come from above!
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Regeneration is not of the will of man, nor of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but by the power and energy of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God alone!
See then, the ruin of nature and the freeness of grace!
Void and dark, a chaos given up to be covered with blackness and darkness forever, and, while as yet it is unseeking God, the light arises, and the promise is fulfilled, “I am found of them that sought me not; I said, behold me! behold me! to a people that were not a people.”
While we were lying in our blood, filthily polluted, defiled, He passed by, and He said in the sovereignty of His love, “Live!” and we do live.
The whole must be traced to sovereign grace!
From this sacred well of discriminating distinguishing grace we must draw water this morning, and we must pour it out, saying, “Oh Lord, I will praise Your name, for the first origin of my light was Your sovereign purpose, and nothing in me.”
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SALVATION BY CEREMONIES?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“HOPE, YET NO HOPE. NO HOPE, YET HOPE”
I turn with loathing from gaudily decorated churches, dedicated to salvation by ceremonies, daubed with paint, smothered with glitter, and bedizened with pictures, dolls, and all sorts of baby prettinesses.
I turned aside from them uttering, “If your god accepts such rubbish as this, he is no God to me—my God is too sublime, too noble, too great minded to take delight in your genuflections, and stage play devotions.” When I behold processions with banners, and crosses, and smoking censers, and see men who
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claimed to be sent of God, and yet dress themselves like Tomfools, I do not care for their god, but reckon that it was some heathenish idol whom I scoff at and despise.
Has it never struck you that ceremonial salvation would be a very wicked way of salvation? What is there, for instance, about drops of baptismal water which could make men better? What is there about confirmation that should assure you of the forgiveness of your sins? What is there about receiving a piece of bread and drinking a drop of wine that should confer grace? Might you not remain as bad at heart and as wicked after all these ceremonies as you were before?
And is it not a violation of the eternal principles of morality that a man should be endowed with grace while still his soul clings to sin?
Now, if there be no effect in water to make you hate sin, and no result from the priest’s hands to make you love God, and no result from sacraments to make you holy and heavenly-minded, why do you trust in them?
Surely it is immoral in the highest degree to tell a man that by outward ceremonies, which cannot change the life, he shall have his sin forgiven!
The gospel gives not a vestige of confidence to anybody who hopes to be saved by the performances of ritualism.
The gospel is so simple, so divine; how is it that so many cast it aside, and take up with these sillinesses which are the inventions of man?
Only divine grace can turn you from the delusive path of trusting in vain religious ceremonies for salvation!
R
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I WOULD SOONER BE A DEVIL
THAN BE A PRIEST!
From Spurgeon’s sermon, “OBEDIENCE BETTER THAN SACRIFICE”
I would sooner be a devil than be a priest! Of all pretensions on earth, there is none so detestable as the pretense of being able to bestow grace upon men, and of standing between their souls and God.
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WE HATE THE WORLD’S RELIGION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JESUS, THE SHEPHERD”
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and will gently lead those who have their young.” Isaiah 40:11
The Church is in the desert now. We have left the world—we have left its maxims, its customs, its religion. We hate the world’s religion as much as we do its irreligion.
Editor’s note—Biblical Christianity is the ONLY religion to teach salvation by grace alone, obtained without any human merit whatsoever. All other religions teach that salvation is somewhat dependent on human merit. The reason why Scripture is so adamant in denouncing these false religious systems is because they dishonor God by rejecting His only way of salvation, and effectually damn the eternal souls of their adherents.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8-9.
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“We believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are.” Acts 15:11
“Not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to His mercy, He saved us.” Titus 3:5
“But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any gospel other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed. As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any gospel other than that which you received, let him be cursed.” Galatians 1:8-9
Our purpose at Grace Gems will remain—
to humble the pride of man,
to exalt the grace of God in salvation, and to promote real holiness in heart and life.
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SOVEREIGN GRACE!
by Don Fortner
There is absolutely no difference between the denial of God’s sovereignty and the denial of God’s being. Arminianism is neither more nor less than religious atheism.
The sovereignty of God’s grace is set before us most clearly in Hebrews 2:16. It is written, “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.”
The Sovereignty Of God’s Grace—
We were lost, rushing headlong to destruction, until Christ reached down the hand of His sovereign power and delivered us. Every saved sinner is “a brand plucked from the burning” (Zech. 3:2), snatched out of the jaws of hell, snatched out from among perishing men by sovereign mercy and irresistible grace. He passed by the fallen angels, and took hold upon the seed of Abraham.
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God our Savior reserves the right of absolute sovereignty in the exercise of His saving grace and in the application of His mercy. As He is sovereign in creation and in providence, our God is absolutely sovereign in the salvation of sinners.
Let men, if they dare, deny it, ridicule it, and rebel against it as they will. God’s indisputable sovereignty is a fundamental doctrine of Holy Scripture, a vital point of Christian theology.
Sovereign grace ilustrated—grace for fallen men, no grace for fallen angels.
As a result of their sin, the angels were forever doomed to suffer the wrath of God. No mercy was extended to them. No grace was offered to them. No Savior was sent to deliver them. The fallen angels were forever damned without the least measure of grace. The angels who sinned were passed by, reprobate, without mercy.
Yet, when Adam did the same thing, God extended mercy to man. That is divine sovereignty.
Why did God pass by the angels that fell? Why did God extend mercy to fallen men? Only one answer can be given, “He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens” (Rom. 9:18).
The God of the Bible is an absolute sovereign. He can save you, or He can damn you. That is His right as God. It is entirely up to Him.
Great Grace For Some Men—No Grace For Others
Among the fallen sons of Adam there are some who are chosen of God, to whom He will be gracious, and there are some whom God has passed by, to whom no grace is given.
Adam had two sons, Cain and Abel. God passed by Cain, the older, and saved Abel.
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Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. God passed by Ishmael and saved Isaac.
Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. God passed by Esau because He hated Esau, and saved Jacob because He loved Jacob.
In the days of Noah, God destroyed the entire human race, except for one man and his family. Why did God save Noah? Because “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8).
It is God’s right as God to do with His own what He will, to be gracious to whom He will be gracious, to have compassion on whom He will have compassion, to save whom He will and to harden whom He will.
The God of glory is absolutely sovereign in salvation. He wounds; and He heals. He kills; and He makes alive.
It is His sovereign right to either save me or damn me, to either be gracious to me, or to pass me by.
For God’s elect, and them alone, He made intercession. For them, and them alone, He shed His precious blood. For them, and them alone, He obtained eternal redemption.
In this day of man centered, man exalting, man pleasing “will worship,” while men everywhere declare God’s helplessness, I am determined to lift high the glorious banner of God’s absolute sovereignty, calling for proud worms to bow down before God’s sovereign throne. I am, in the name of God, calling for lost sinners to lay down their weapons of rebellion and surrender to God our Savior in His total sovereignty.
Do you ask, “Where does that leave man?” I answer, it leaves man in the hands of God almighty. Do you ask, “What about my choice? Have I no choice in this matter?” I answer, you do indeed. You have two
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choices: Either surrender to Christ’s sovereign dominion, or be crushed into hell for your rebellion.
Men rail at God’s servants for preaching the sovereignty of His free grace in Christ. They angrily denounce us. I care nothing for their opinions. I count it an honor to be the brunt of their slander and scorn. If a man hates the truth, I shall never be backward about stirring up his wrath. If a man is offended by the character of God, I shall be delighted to offend him. (Isa. 45:5-10, 20-25; 43:1-13).
It is the very glory of God to have mercy on whom He will have mercy and to be gracious to whom He will be gracious (Ex. 34:6).
Those who deny His sovereignty hate the fact that He is God and would rob Him of His glory as God. Do not be numbered among them.
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THE ABSOLUTE MONARCH OF THE UNIVERSE!
by Don Fortner
To worship a god…
whose purpose can be defeated, whose will can be thwarted,
whose work can be overturned, and whose grace can be frustrated—
is to worship an idol. Such a god is no GOD at all!
Jesus Christ our Lord is the unrivaled Sovereign of the universe (Matt. 28:18; John 17:2). He who is God our Savior does as He will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. He makes one a vessel of honor and another a vessel of dishonor, one a vessel of mercy and another a vessel of wrath, one to show forth the riches of His grace and another to show forth the
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severity of His justice, exactly as it pleased Him from all eternity.
To deny that Christ created all things and rules all things is to deny that He is God. To deny that He is God is to mock Him, blaspheme Him, and attempt to deny Him His glory.
To deny that Christ is God, sovereign upon His throne is to deny hope to needy sinners who look to Him alone for grace, salvation, and eternal life (John 17:2; Rom. 14:9).
None but an absolute sovereign Lord can save. None but an absolute sovereign can be trusted implicitly. None but an absolute sovereign will be worshipped. Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, rules all things absolutely (Ps. 76:10; 115:3; 135:6; Pro.16:1, 33; 21:1).
Jesus Christ is the absolute Monarch of the universe! Our Savior is the great King! Nothing more fully shows forth the unrivaled excellence of Christ than His total sovereignty, “upholding all things by the word of His power.”
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THE GREATEST WONDER IN HEAVEN, OR EARTH,
OR EVEN IN HELL!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “OPEN HOUSE FOR ALL COMERS”
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2
Jesus receives sinners into His heart’s love! This is the greatest wonder in heaven, or earth, or even in hell!
There is no marvel like the truth that He who ever lives bowed His head to die for sinners; and having made atonement for sin, now receives the very chief of sinners
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into His heart’s love, and makes us His companions and His friends!
He takes us from the dunghill and wears us as jewels in His crown!
He plucks us as brands from the burning, and preserves us as precious monuments of His mercy!
None are so precious in His sight as the sinners for whom He died!
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THE LITTLE GARDEN!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “MEMORY—THE HANDMAID OF HOPE”
“This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope.” Lam. 3:21
A child had a little garden in which she planted many flowers, but they never grew. She put them in, as she thought tenderly and carefully, but they would not live. She sowed seeds and they sprang up; but very soon they withered away. So she ran to her father’s gardener, and when he came to look at it, he said, “I will make it a nice garden for you, that you may grow whatever you want.” He fetched a pick, and when the little child saw the terrible pick, she was afraid for her little garden. The gardener struck his tool into the ground and began to make the earth heave and shake, for his pickaxe had caught the edge of a huge stone which underlayed almost all the little plot of ground. All the little flowers were turned out of their places and the garden spoiled for a season so that the little maid wept much. He told her he would make it a fair garden yet, and so he did, for having removed that stone which had prevented all the plants from striking root he soon filled the ground with flowers which lived and flourished.
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Just so, the Lord has come, and has turned up all the soil of your present comfort to get rid of some big stone that was at the bottom of all your spiritual prosperity, and would not let your soul flourish. Do not weep with the child, but be comforted by the blessed results and thank your Father’s tender hand!
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THE KING OF MISERY & THE EMPEROR OF WOE!
by Spurgeon
“Behold the man!” John 19:5
If there is one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes the joy and comfort of His people, it is where He plunged deepest into the depths of woe.
Come here, gracious souls, and behold the man in the garden of Gethsemane—behold His heart so brimming with love that He cannot hold it in—so full of sorrow that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distills from every pore of His body, and falls upon the ground.
Behold the man as they drive the nails into His hands and feet.
Look up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your suffering Lord. Mark Him, as the ruby drops stand on the thorn-crown, and adorn with priceless gems the diadem of the King of Misery!
Behold the Man when all His bones are out of joint, and He is poured out like water and brought into the dust of death. God has forsaken Him, and hell compasses Him about.
Behold and see, was there ever sorrow like unto this sorrow that is done unto Him?
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All you that pass by draw near and look upon this spectacle of grief, unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men and angels, a prodigy unmatched!
Behold the Emperor of Woe who had no equal or rival in His agonies! Gaze upon Him, you mourners, for if there be not consolation in a crucified Christ, there is no joy in earth or heaven.
If in the ransom price of His blood there be not hope, you harps of heaven, there is no joy in you, and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for evermore.
We have only to sit more continually at the cross-foot to be less troubled with our doubts and woes.
We have but to see His sorrows, and our sorrows we shall be ashamed to mention.
We have but to gaze into His wounds and heal our own!
If we would live aright it must be by the contemplation of His death. If we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering His humiliation and His sorrow.
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THAT MAN OF SORROWS IS THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!
by Gardiner Spring
O! who was it that suffered? What did He suffer? For whom did He suffer?
Think of Him—the Father’s fellow, and the church’s Shepherd.
Think of the Garden and the Cross, and see how they demonstrate, on the one hand, the enormity of our guilt, and on the other, the force of His Almighty love.
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Think of the debased and abject character of those for whom He died—men born in sin, forgetful of every obligation, and the enemies of God!
That man of sorrows is the Saviour of the world!
That naked, bleeding victim, is the Mighty Champion and Conqueror of death and hell!
O what triumphs of love, of holiness, of heaven were there, when the earth trembled; and the sun grew dark; and the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the rocks rent asunder; and the graves gave up their dead; and hell itself was moved with terror; and the Great Redeemer exclaimed, “It is finished.”
Christ is precious to those that believe! Abraham “rejoiced to see Christ’s day, and he saw it and was glad.” Moses esteemed Him more precious that all the treasures of Egypt. David esteemed Him “fairer than the children of men.” The Church in her divine songs speaks of Him as the “rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys;” as “the chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely;” and as the one whom “her soul loves.” The wise men of the East adored Him. Simeon took Him up in his arms, and said, “Now Lord, let you your servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation!” And to holy men wherever found, Jesus is precious. “The upright love you.” “Whom having not seen, they love; in whom, though now they see Him not, yet believing, they rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
In all your duties and trials He will be precious. When the world loses its charms, He will become more glorious and lovely than ever. When death invades, He will become its mighty conqueror. When you sleep beneath the clods of the valley, He will be the resurrection and the life. When the books shall be
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opened, and small and great shall stand before God, the precious Saviour shall come in the clouds of heaven, and you shall go to be ever with the Lord; He shall be doubly precious, and more and more precious through interminable ages!
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THOSE VIPERS DIE AT THE SIGHT OF CHRIST!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING, BUT BELIEVING IS SEEING”
“How shall I ever break the neck of my corruptions?” You can never do it, but Jesus can!
Do you not remember that when they pierced His side that blood flowed—that was for pardon. And also water flowed—what was that for? That was for cleansing. He will be of sin the double cure!
Is there some sin or some lust that you would conquer, or an angry disposition? Take it to Jesus! Those vipers die at the sight of Christ! There is no form of sinfulness to which you are addicted which Christ cannot remove.
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THE DIRT-SCRAPERS OF THIS WORLD!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE REWARD OF THE RIGHTEOUS”
Go about this present world as kings and princes of a race superior to the dirt-scrapers of this world who are on their knees, crawling in the mud after yellow earth.
Remember with joy that your future inheritance shall be all that your kingly soul pants after in its most royal moments.
It will be a state of unutterable richness and wealth of soul!
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A BASE HEATHENISH INVENTION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE VOICE OF THE CHOLERA”
The word “chance” should be forever banished from the Christian’s conversation.
Luck or chance is a base heathenish invention!
God rules and overrules all things, and He does nothing without a motive.
The falling of a sparrow to the earth is in the divine purpose, and answers an end.
Every grain of dust that is whirled from the threshing- floor is steered by God with as unerring a wisdom as the stars in their courses.
There is not a leaf that trembles in the autumn from the tree but is piloted by the plan and purpose of the Lord.
The insatiable archer of death is not permitted to shoot his bolts at random. Every arrow that flies bears this inscription, “I have a message from God for you.” A purpose, consistent with the love and justice of God, lies hidden in the harvest of death.
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THE RIGHT WAY FOR A CHRISTIAN TO LIVE
Spurgeon
The right way for a Christian to live is to do what his Master bids him, leaving all consequences to the Almighty. If I am willing to do what God tells me, as He tells me, when He tells me, and because He tells me, I shall not turn back in the day of battle.
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WE ARE NATURALLY FOOLS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“SEEING AND NOT SEEING, OR MEN AS TREES WALKING”
One of the first lessons in the school of wisdom is to know that we are naturally fools. That man is growing wise who is growing conscious of his own deficiency and ignorance.
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THE WHITE DEVIL!
Spurgeon
Luther used to say, “You need to fear a white devil twice as much as a black one.”
The white devil of self-righteousness is more dangerous to the Christian than even the black devil of open sin!
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GOD’S RELIGION IS SPIRITUAL!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING, BUT BELIEVING IS SEEING”
We need no altar, or vestments, or other paraphernalia.
We preach the gospel, and exhort men to faith in Christ, and have no need of robes, and architecture, and rubrics, and ceremonies. All that may sound very pretty; I think it shamelessly infantile—to me it looks like a return to the absurd superstitions of the dark ages. I have no more reverence for their genuflections, performances, and theatricals, than for the incantations of an old hag who pretends to be a witch! There is nothing manly, much less divine, in the new-fangled Romanism.
God’s religion is spiritual, theirs is carnal and sensuous.
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“OH THAT I WERE AS IN MONTHS PAST.” JOB 29:2
from Spurgeon
Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction; they look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness.
Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from Him, and they say, “O that I were as in months past!” They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for God’s glory.
The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold—It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline.
Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the things of earth, instead of the things of heaven.
A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; He must be loved first and best.
He will withdraw the sunshine of His presence from a cold, wandering heart. Or the cause may be found in self-confidence and self-righteousness.
Pride is busy in the heart, and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross.
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Christian, if you are not now as you “were in months past,” do not rest satisfied with wishing for a return of former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master, and tell Him your sad state. Ask His grace and strength to help you to walk more closely with Him; humble yourself before Him, and He will lift you up, and give you yet again to enjoy the light of His countenance.
Do not sit down to sigh and lament. While the beloved Physician lives there is hope, nay there is a certainty of recovery for the worst cases!
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THE PLAN!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A FEAST FOR FAITH”
God does not work without a plan. God has not left the world to chance.
There are some men who are always kicking against the doctrine of an eternal purpose, and who grow angry if you assert that God has settled what shall occur.
It is by the consent of all agreed that men are foolish if they work without a plan, and yet they cry out when we insist that God also, in all His working, is fulfilling a well-arranged design.
Depend upon it, however, let men rebel against this truth as they will, that God has determined the end from the beginning.
He has left no screw loose in the machine, He has left nothing to chance or accident.
Nothing with God is the subject of an “if” or a “peradventure,” but even the agency of man, free as it is, as untouched and undisturbed as if there were no God, even this is guided by His mysterious power, and
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works out thoroughly His own purpose in every jot and tittle.
God wings the thunderbolt, and shall He not guide the most passionate spirit?
God puts a bit into the mouth of the whirlwind, and shall He not control the most ambitious will?
God takes care that even the sea shall come no farther than He bids it, and shall not the heart of man be equally subject to the Divine purpose?
Yielding to man his free agency, giving to him his responsibility, leaving him as free as if there were no purpose and no decree, yet the eternal Jehovah works out His plans, and achieves His purpose to the praise of His glory.
Everything that has moved or shall move in heaven, and, earth, and hell, has been, is, and shall be, according to the counsel and foreknowledge of God, fulfilling a holy, just, wise, and unalterable purpose!
God is wonderful in His design and excellent in His working.
Believer, God overrules all things for your good. The needs-be for all that you have suffered, has been most accurately determined by God.
Your course is all mapped out by your Lord. Nothing will take Him by surprise. There will be no novelties to Him. There will be no occurrences, which He did not foresee, and for which, therefore, He was not provided. He has arranged all, and you have but to patiently wait, and you shall sing a song of deliverance.
Your life has been arranged on the best possible princi- ples, so that if you had been gifted with unerring wisdom, you would have arranged a life for yourselves exactly similar to the one through which you have passed.
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Let us trust God where we cannot trace Him.
In the end we shall read the whole of God’s purpose as one grand poem, and there will not be one verse in it that has a syllable too much, or a word too little. There will not be one stanza or letter redundant, much less one that is erased. But from beginning to end we shall see the master pen and the mastermind drawing forth the glorious array of majestic thoughts. And with angels, and seraphs, and principalities, and powers, shall burst forth into one mighty song, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”
We shall see how from the first even to the last, the King has been ruling all things according to His own will.
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SINNERS SHOULD BE AFRAID!
Matthew Henry
They have . . .
an angry God above them, a guilty conscience in them, a yawning hell below them!
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HELLISH SIN! STUPENDOUS WICKEDNESS!
MONSTROUS IMPIETY!
from Thomas Doolittle’s book, “LOVE TO CHRIST”
What! Not love the Lord! Hellish sin!
What! Not love Jesus! Stupendous wickedness! What! Not love Christ! Monstrous impiety!
Not love Him who is Lord, and Jesus, and Christ? What name shall we call him by? a man or beast? One that does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, is he a man or a devil?
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Can you love sin, and not Jesus?
Can you love the world, and not Jesus? What cursed wickedness is this?
This may be the astonishment of the heavens, the amazement of the earth, the wonder of angels, and the joy of devils!
The earth groans to bear such as do not love Jesus. The sun is grieved to give them light. The air laments its vapors to be sucked into such filthy bodies, wherein are more filthy souls.
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WEEP NO MORE!
“The voice of weeping shall be no more heard.” Isaiah 65:19
The glorified weep no more, for all outward causes of grief are gone. There are no broken friendships, nor blighted prospects in heaven.
Poverty, famine, peril, persecution, and slander, are unknown there. No pain distresses, no thought of death or bereavement saddens.
They weep no more, for they are perfectly sanctified. No “evil heart of unbelief” prompts them to depart from the living God; they are without fault before His throne, and are fully conformed to His image.
Well may they cease to mourn who have ceased to sin.
They weep no more, because all fear of change is past. They know that they are eternally secure.
Sin is shut out, and they are shut in!
They dwell within a city which shall never be stormed. They bask in a sun which shall never set.
They drink of a river which shall never dry.
They pluck fruit from a tree which shall never wither.
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Countless cycles may revolve, but eternity shall not be exhausted, and while eternity endures, their immortality and blessedness shall co-exist with it. They are forever with the Lord!
They weep no more, because every desire is fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything which they have not in possession.
Eye and ear, heart and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire, will—all the faculties are completely satisfied. And imperfect as our present ideas are of the things which God has prepared for those that love Him, yet we know enough, by the revelation of the Spirit, that the saints above are supremely blessed.
The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite happiness!
That same joyful rest remains for us. It may not be far distant.
Before long the weeping-willow shall be exchanged for the palm-branch of victory, and sorrow’s dewdrops will be transformed into the pearls of everlasting bliss!
“Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thess. 4:18
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THE CREAM OF HEAVEN!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE HEAVEN OF HEAVEN”
“They shall see His face.” Revelation 22:4
It is the chief blessing of heaven, the cream of heaven, the heaven of heaven, that the saints shall there see Jesus.
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A sight of Jesus first turned our sorrow into joy. Renewed communion with Him lifts us above our present cares, and strengthens us to bear our heavy burdens. What must heavenly communion be?
When we have Christ with us we are content with a crust, and satisfied with a cup of water. But if His face be hidden the whole world cannot afford a solace—we are widowed of our Beloved, our sun has set, our moon is eclipsed, our candle is blown out.
Christ is all in all to us here, and therefore we pant and long for a heaven in which He shall be all in all to us forever.
Heavenly Paradise is intense spiritual fellowship with the Lord Jesus—a place where it is promised to faithful souls that “they shall see His face.”
Spiritually our mental faculties shall be enlarged, so that we shall be enabled to look into the very heart, and soul, and character of Christ, so as to understand Him, His work, His love, His all in all, as we never understood Him before.
The babe in Christ admitted to heaven discovers more of Christ in a single hour, than is known by all the divines of the assemblies of the church on earth. We only talk about these things now, we do not really understand them. Brethren, in heaven we shall dive into the lowest depths of fellowship with Jesus. “We shall see His face,” that is, we shall see clearly and plainly all that has to do with our Lord. This shall be the topmost bliss of heaven.
O how delightful it will be then to understand His everlasting love; how without beginning, before the earth was, His thoughts darted forward towards His dear ones, whom He had chosen in the sovereignty of His choice, that we should be His forever!
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We will come not to the sea’s brink to wade into it up to the ankles, but we will swim in bliss forever. In waves of everlasting rest, in richest, closest fellowship with Jesus, we will bathe in ineffable delight!
Forever we shall lie in the bosom of Jesus, in the nearest possible place of communion with Him who redeemed us with His blood.
Beholding Christ, His likeness is photographed upon us. We become in all respects like Him as we gaze upon Him world without end.
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CAN WE FORGET SUCH MIGHTY GRACE?
from Spurgeon’s book, “THE SAINT AND HIS SAVIOR”
Experience of the love, tenderness, and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ will weld our hearts to Him.
The very thought of the love of Jesus towards us is enough to inflame our holy passions, but experience of it heats the furnace seven times hotter.
He has been with us in our trials, cheering and consoling us, sympathizing with every groan, and regarding every tear with affectionate compassion. Do we not love Him for this?
He has befriended us in every time of need, so bounteously supplying all our needs out of the riches of His fullness, that He has not allowed us to lack any good thing. Shall we be unmindful of such unwearying care?
He has helped us in every difficulty, furnishing us with strength equal to our day; He has leveled the mountains before us, and filled up the valleys; He has made rough places plain, and crooked things straight. Do we not love Him for this also?
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In all our doubts He has directed us in the path of wisdom, and led us in the way of knowledge. He has not allowed us to wander; He has led us by a right way through the pathless wilderness. Shall we not praise Him for this?
He has repelled our enemies, covered our heads in the day of battle, broken the teeth of the oppressor, and made us more than conquerors. Can we forget such mighty grace?
In no single instance has He failed us.
He has never been unkind, unmindful, or unwise.
The harshest strokes of His providence have been as full of love as the softest embraces of His condescend- ing fellowship.
We cannot, we dare not find fault with Him. He has done all things well.
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ONE PERFECT SWEET!
by Spurgeon
“You are fairer than the children of men.” Psalm 45:2 The entire person of Jesus is but as one gem, and His
life is all along but one impression of the seal.
He is altogether complete; not only in His several parts, but as a gracious all-glorious whole. His character is not a mass of fair colors mixed confusedly, nor a heap of precious stones laid carelessly one upon another; He is a picture of beauty and a breastplate of glory.
In Him, all traits are in their proper places, and assist in adorning each other. Not one feature in His glorious person attracts attention at the expense of others; but He is perfectly and altogether lovely.
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Oh, Jesus! Your power, Your grace, Your justice, Your tenderness, Your truth, Your majesty, and Your immu- tability make up such a man, or rather such a God-man, as neither heaven nor earth has seen elsewhere!
Your infancy, Your eternity, Your sufferings, Your triumphs, Your death, and Your immortality, are all woven in one gorgeous tapestry, without seam or rent.
You are music without discord.
As all the colors blend into one resplendent rainbow, so all the glories of heaven and earth meet in You, and unite so wondrously, that there is none like You in all things; nay, if all the virtues of the most excellent were bound in one bundle, they could not rival You!
You are mirror of all perfection.
You have been anointed with the holy oil of myrrh and cassia, which Your God has reserved for You alone. And as for Your fragrance, it is as the holy perfume, the like of which none other can ever mix, even with the art of the apothecary. Your every spice is fragrant, and the compound is divine.
“Oh, sacred symmetry! oh, rare combination,
Of many perfects, to make one perfection!
Oh, heavenly music, where all parts do meet
In one sweet strain, to make one perfect sweet!”
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“THE MERCY OF GOD.” PSALM 52:8
by Spurgeon.
Meditate a little on this MERCY of the Lord.
It is tender mercy! With gentle, loving touch, He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. He is as gracious in the manner of His mercy as in the matter of it.
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It is great mercy! There is nothing little in God. His mercy is like Himself—it is infinite! You cannot measure it. His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins of great sinners, after great lengths of time, and then gives great favors and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God!
It is undeserved mercy! Indeed all true mercy must be undeserved, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the sinner’s part to the kind mercy of the Most High. Had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the doom. If delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself.
It is rich mercy! Some things are great, but have little efficacy in them. But the mercy of God is—
A cordial to your drooping spirits!
A golden ointment to your bleeding wounds! A heavenly bandage to your broken bones!
A royal chariot for your weary feet!
A bosom of love for your trembling heart!
It is manifold mercy! As Bunyan says, “All the flowers in God’s garden are double.” There is no single mercy. You may think you have but one mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole cluster of mercies!
It is abounding mercy! Millions have received it, yet far from its being exhausted! It is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever!
It is unfailing mercy! It will never leave you. Mercy will be with you in temptation to keep you from yielding. Mercy will be with in trouble to prevent you from sinking. Mercy will be with you while living to be the light and life of your countenance. Mercy will be with
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you when dying to be the joy of your soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.
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PRIDE & HUMILITY
by J. C. Ryle
Humility may well be called the queen of the Christian graces. To know our own sinfulness and weakness and to feel our need of Christ is the start of saving religion.
Humility is a grace which has always been a distinguishing feature in the character of the holiest saints in every age. Abraham and Moses and Job and David and Daniel and Paul were all eminently humble men.
Above all, humility is a grace within the reach of every true Christian. All converted people should work to adorn with humility the doctrine they profess. If they can do nothing else, they can strive to be humble.
Do you want to know the root and spring of humility? One word describes it. The root of humility is right knowledge.
The person who really knows himself and his own heart, who knows God and His infinite majesty and holiness, who knows Christ and the price at which he was redeemed, that person will never be a proud person.
He will count himself, like Jacob, unworthy of the least of all God’s mercies. He will say of himself, like Job, “I am unworthy.” He will cry, like Paul, “I am the worst of sinners.” He will consider others better than himself (Philippians 2:3).
Ignorance—nothing but sheer ignorance, ignorance of self, of God, and of Christ—is the real secret of pride. From that miserable self-ignorance may we daily pray
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to be delivered. The wise person knows himself and will find nothing within to make him proud.
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THE NATURAL MAN
Spurgeon, from his sermon, “DEATH & LIFE”
The natural man does not perceive and discern spiritual things, for he is dead to them. Speak to him about the joys of the spiritual life, and you will soon discover that you are casting your pearls before swine—he thinks you a fanatic for talking such nonsense. He is as dead to spiritual realities as a mole is blind to astronomy, or a stone is dead to music.
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RUBBISH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “OBEDIENCE BETTER THAN SACRIFICE”
I do not think anything of all your good works. I would not give a penny for a wagonload of them. If you trust in them they will be your ruin!
The whole of them are just what Paul calls them— RUBBISH! He says, “I consider them RUBBISH that I may win Christ, and be found in Him.”
All your best works are but so much RUBBISH to be carted out of the way!
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THE DARK AGES!
From Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE STANDARD UPLIFTED IN THE FACE OF THE FOE”
In 325, Emperor Constantine, for reasons of state craft and subtle policy, made Christianity the national
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religion, and thus struck the most fearful blow at the vitals of Christianity. The union of church and state is a fatal blow to true religion. The king’s hand wherever it falls upon the church of Christ brings the king’s evil with it. There never was a church whose spirituality survived it yet, and there never will be.
Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and if we try to marry the church of Christ to a worldly kingdom, we engender innumerable mischiefs.
So it happened that when the church became outwardly glorious she became spiritually debased. Her communion table glittered with gold and silver plate, but her communion with Christ was not so golden as before. Her ministers were enriched, but their doctrine was impoverished. For every ounce of outward gold which she gained, she lost a treasure of grace. Her bishops became lords, and her flocks were famished. Her humble meeting-places were exchanged for grand basilicas, but the true glory was departed.
She became like the heathen around her, and began to set up the images of her saints, until at last, after years of gradual declension, the Church of Rome ceased to be the church of Christ, and that which was once nominal- ly the church of Christ actually became the Antichrist.
Black darkness covered the lands, and the dark ages set in. Instead of pardon bought with the blood of Jesus, false priests made merchandise of souls, and pardons were hawked in the streets. Instead of deacons and elders adorned with holiness and purity; monks, and nuns, and priests, and even popes became monsters of filthiness. Instead of justification by faith, men proclaimed justification by pilgrimages and by penances. The crucifix took the place of Christ Jesus, and a piece of bread was lifted up as a god, and men
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bowed before it, and said, “These be your gods, O Israel, that redeemed you from the wrath to come.”
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TRIALS, TROUBLES & AFFLICTIONS!
“Man is born to trouble.” He is heir apparent to it; he comes into the world with a cry, and goes out with a groan.—Thomas Watson
“Affliction may be lasting, but it is not everlasting.”— Thomas Watson
“There is more evil in a drop of sin, than in a sea of affliction.”—Thomas Watson
“The Lord does not measure out our afflictions according to our faults, but according to our strength, and looks not at what we have deserved, but what we are able to bear.”—George Downame
“Whoever brings an affliction, it is God that sends it.”—Thomas Watson
“If a sheep stray from the flock, the shepherd sets his dog after it, not to devour it, but to bring it in again; even so our Heavenly Shepherd.”—Daniel Cawdray
“The vessels of mercy are first seasoned with affliction, and then the wine of glory is poured in. Thus we see afflictions are but beneficial to the saints.”—Thomas Watson
“A holy person is like a silver bell, the harder he is smitten, the better he sounds.”—George Swinnock
“We often learn more of God under the rod that strikes us, than under the staff that comforts us.”—Stephen Charnock
“God’s house of correction is His school of instruction.”—Thomas Brooks
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“As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst things.”—William Jenkyn
“Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride.”—Richard Sibbes
“Let us learn like Christians to kiss the rod, and love it.”—John Bunyan
“When God lays men upon their backs, then they look up to heaven.”—Thomas Watson
“The black foils of trouble shall bring out the brighter jewel of divine grace.”—Spurgeon
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ONE DROP OF HUMAN MERIT IN A SEA
OF FREE GRACE
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “ROBBERS OF GOD”
Many rob God by rebelling against His sovereignty.
I have known men bite their lip and grind their teeth in rage whom I have been preaching the sovereignty of God.
“Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.” Romans 9:18
Men seem to think that God is under obligation to grant salvation to guilty men; that if He saves one He must save all.
They talk about rights, as if any man had any right before the throne of God, except the right to be pun- ished for his sin.
Mercy can only be shown to the guilty on the ground of the royal prerogative. It must be the free act of God’s grace, done at His own good pleasure if any guilty man be saved from death.
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The doctrinaires of today will allow a God, but He must not be King: that is to say, they choose a god who is no god, and rather the servant than the ruler of men.
We, however, declare on God’s behalf, that “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”—and at the sound of this doctrine they stamp their foot with rage. They would rob God of His crown, and leave Him neither throne, nor will.
This will not do for me; my heart delights to say, “It is the Lord: let Him do what seems good to Him.” Whatsoever is His pleasure shall by my pleasure.
Even if the Lord condemn me, I cannot say that He is unjust. But if He has mercy upon me, I must ascribe it wholly to His free and sovereign grace.
Do not rob God of His sovereignty; but rejoice that the Lord reigns and does as He wills.
God’s free grace is one of the brightest jewels of His crown! God saves not according to merit, but according to mercy!
“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life.” Salvation is freely given, not because man merits it, but because Jehovah wills it.
All salvation is of grace, and not of works.
I say it is of free grace—Salvation comes because God wills to save. Grace is given to the most unworthy of the sons of men, to show that it is of grace, and not of debt.
One drop of human merit put into a sea of free grace will spoil it all.
“And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6
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ALONE WITH GOD
“We may lay it down as an elementary principle of Christianity, that no large growth in holiness was ever gained by one who did not take time to be often long alone with God.”—Phelps
“Those who make the most rapid, consistent, and evident growth in Christlikeness are those who have developed a daily time of being alone with God for Bible meditation, prayer, and private worship.”— Whitney
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DISASTER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE VOICE OF THE CHOLERA”
“When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?”
Amos 3:6
When cholera comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?
It is not the cholera which has slain these hundreds, the cholera was but the sword. The hand which scattered death is the hand of a greater than mere disease. God Himself is traversing London. God with silent footstep walks the hospitals, enters the chamber, strikes the wayfarer in the street.
God, the great Judge of all, at whose girdle swing the keys of death and hell, the mysterious one whose voice bids the pillars of heaven’s starry roof to tremble, who made the stars, and can quench them at His will—it was none other than He who walked down our crowded streets, and entering our lanes and alleys called one after another the souls of men to their last account! God is abroad!
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It is not the rod of disease that smites, but God Himself that uses the rod!
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THE MASS? PENANCE? PURGATORY?
“The death He died, He died to sin once for all…” Romans 6:10
“He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.” Hebrews 7:27
“He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by
His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12
“But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26
“So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people….” Hebrews 9:28
“We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10
from Spurgeon
Where, then, did the mass come from, and of what avail is it? The Lord’s Supper was intended to be the remembrancer to us of our Lord’s sufferings; instead of which it has been prostituted by the Church of Rome into the blasphemy of a pretended continual offering up of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, a continual sacrifice. According to the Romish doctrine the offering upon Calvary is not enough—the atonement for sin is not finished—it has to be performed every day, and many times a day, in the Catholic churches, by certain appointed persons, so that that sacrifice is always being
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offered. Oh! brethren, the mass is a mass of abomina- tions, a mass of hell’s own concocting, a crying insult against the Lord of glory. It is not to be spoken of in any terms but those of horror and detestation. When- ever I think of another sacrifice for sin being offered, by whoever it may be presented, I can only regard it as an infamous insult to the perfection of the Savior’s work. Popery swarms with worshipers of the god whom the baker bakes in the oven, and whom they bite with their teeth.
What of the Catholic sacrament of penance? Is not penance in its essence an offering for sin? I do not care who it is that prescribes the penance, nor what it is, whether it is licking the pavement with your tongues, or wearing a hair-shirt, or laying on the whip—if it be supposed that by the mortification of the flesh, men can take away sin, the Scripture is like a two-edged sword to pierce the inmost heart of such teaching. Take off your hair-shirt, poor fool! Wash the stones with a dish-cloth, and keep your tongue clean. There is no need for these fooleries! Christ has completed the atonement, you need not suffer thus. You need not, like Luther, go up and down the stone staircase on your knees, and think that your poor sore knees will find favor with God. Christ has suffered, God exacts no more. Do not try to supplement His gold with your dross. Do not try to add to His matchless robes, the rags of your poor penance.
How these verses shut the gates of purgatory! It is held that there are some who die who are believers, but who are not quite purified from sin, and in an after state they must undergo a purgatorial quarantine to be purged by fire, so that they may become quite complete.
Beloved, when the thief died on the cross he had but just believed, and had never done a single good work,
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but where did he go to? Well, he ought to have gone to purgatory by rights, if ever anybody did, but instead of that the Savior said to him, “Today you shall be with me in Paradise.” Why? Because the ground of the man’s admission into Paradise was perfect. The grounds of his admission there was Christ’s work, and that is how you and I will get into heaven, because Christ’s work is finished. The thief did not go down to purgatory, nor, blessed be His name, neither shall you nor I if we trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus.
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THE MURDERERS OF CHRIST!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “EPHRAIM BEMOANING HIMSELF”
A sight of Christ on the cross will cause us to hate our sins.
If you ever, by the eye of faith, see Jesus Christ dying for you, sin will never be sweet to you again.
What was it slew our blessed Lord? It was our sin!
“It was you, my sins, my cruel sins, His chief tormentors were;
Each of my crimes became a nail, And unbelief the spear.”
When we discover that our iniquities put our dearest and best friend to death, we vow revenge against our iniquities, and henceforth hate them with a perfect hatred.
Let me illustrate this very simply—Here is a knife, with a richly carved ivory handle, a knife of excellent workmanship. Yonder woman, we will suppose, has had a dear child murdered by a cruel enemy. This knife is hers, she is pleased with it, and prizes it much. How can I make her throw that knife away? I can do it easily,
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for that is the knife with which her child was killed. Look at it; there is blood still upon the handle. She drops it as though it were a scorpion; she cannot bear it. “Put it away,” says she, “it killed my child! Oh, hateful thing!”
Now, sin is such a thing—we play with it until we are told it was sin that killed the Lord Jesus, who died out of love to us—pure, self-sacrificing love. Then we say, “Hateful thing, get you gone! How can I endure you?”
See there the wounds of the Son of God; behold the crimson stains which mark His blessed body; mark the thorn-crown; gaze upon the pierced hands; weep over the nailed feet; see the deep gash which the lance made in His side!
Sin did this cruel work, this bloody deed! Down with our sins!
Drag them to the cross!
Slay them at Calvary!
Let not one of them escape— for they are the murderers of Christ!
R
INDWELLING SIN
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon,
“SAFETY, FULLNESS, AND SWEET REFRESHMENT IN CHRIST”
The godly man carries his indwelling sin, as his daily and greatest burden, because he loathes it, and longs to get rid of it; he would fain be at a great distance from it, and have nothing more to do with it; he is ready to cry out as Paul did, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
The unregenerate man has nothing of this spiritual nature, for sin is yet his delight, he dearly loves it. His love to sin in general is not mortified, he loves it as
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well as ever, he hides it still as a sweet morsel under his tongue.
R
OUR IDOLATROUS LOVE OF WORLDLY THINGS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE HEAVEN OF HEAVEN”
Our idolatrous love of worldly things is a chief cause of our knowing so little of spiritual things.
Because we love this and that so much, we love Christ so little.
You cannot fill your life-cup from the pools of earth, and yet have room in it for the crystal streams of heaven.
R
THE INSIPID FRIVOLITIES OF THE WORLD!
by Spurgeon
I do not blame ungodly men for rushing to their pleasures. Let them have their fill. That is all they have to enjoy.
It is the sweetness of sin that makes it the more dangerous. Satan never sells his poisons naked; he always gilds them before he vends them.
My longing is that the churches may be more holy. I grieve to see so much of worldly conformity in believers. How often wealth leads men astray. How many Christians follow the fashion of this wicked world. We have among us avowed lovers of Christ, who act too much like “lovers of pleasure.” I charge you by the living God, do not profess to be followers of Christ, for He bids you come out from among them and be separate.
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An unholy Church! it is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, and heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy Church.
There cannot be faith in the heart unless there be holiness in the life!
Beware of pleasures! Many of them are innocent and healthful, but many are destructive. It is said that where the most beautiful cacti grow, there the most venomous serpents lurk. It is so with sin. Your fairest pleasures will harbor your grossest sins.
Take care! Cleopatra’s asp was introduced in a basket of flowers. Satan offers to the drunkard the sweetness of the intoxicating cup. He gives to each of us the offer of our peculiar joy; he tickles us with pleasures, that he may lay hold of us.
Surely, believer, from open lusts and sins you are delivered. But have you also escaped from the more secret and delusive deceits of the Satanic fowler? Have you come forth from the lust of pride? Have you escaped from slothfulness? Are you seeking day by day to live above worldliness, the pride of life, and the ensnaring vice of avarice?
Vain pursuits are dangerous to renewed souls. No Christian enjoys comfort when his eyes are fixed on vanity.
The happiest state of a Christian is the holiest state.
Christians must seek their delights in a higher sphere than the insipid frivolities of the world!
Unless we follow Christ, and make our God the great object of life, we only differ in appearance from the most frivolous.
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As there is most heat nearest to the sun, so there is most happiness nearest to Christ.
Follow after holiness—it is the Christian’s crown and glory.
Remember, O Christian, that you are a son of the King of kings! Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity!
Therefore keep yourself unspotted from the world. Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings. Let not those eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in His beauty. Let not those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets. Let not those hearts be filled with pride and bitterness which are before long to be filled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy!
R
HE IS SOVEREIGN LORD OF ALL!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “THE EXCELLENCY OF JESUS CHRIST”
Christ, as He is God, is infinitely great and high above all.
He is higher than the kings of the earth, for He is King of kings, and Lord of lords.
He is higher than the heavens, and higher than the highest angels of heaven.
So great is He, that all men, all kings and princes, are as worms of the dust before Him.
All nations are as the drop of the bucket, and the light dust of the balance, yes, and angels themselves are as nothing before Him. He is so high, that He is infinitely above any need of us, so above our reach that we cannot be profitable to Him, and so above our conceptions that we cannot comprehend Him.
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Christ is the Creator and great Possessor of heaven and earth.
He is sovereign Lord of all!
He rules over the whole universe, and does whatsoever pleases Him.
His knowledge is without bound.
His wisdom is perfect, and what none can circumvent. His power is infinite, and none can resist Him.
His riches are immense and inexhaustible.
His majesty is infinitely full of awe.
Yet, His condescension is sufficient to take a gracious notice of the most unworthy, sinful creatures, those that have no good deservings, and those that have infinite ill-deservings.
R
THE DIVINE HEALER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE GOSPEL’S HEALING POWER”
“The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.”
Jesus used no other remedy in healing our sin-sickness, but that of taking our sicknesses and infirmities upon Himself!
This is the one great cure-all!
Blessed be Jesus, that the medicine, bitter as it is, is not for us to drink, but was all drained by Himself!
He took the terrible cup in Gethsemane, and drank it dry on our account! The sharp but healing cuts of the lancet are not made in our bodies, but He bore them in His own flesh!
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When the ploughers made deep furrows, those furrows were not upon the sinner’s shoulders, but upon the shoulders of the sinner’s Substitute!
Did you ever hear, O Earth, of such a Physician as this? Jesus heals us by suffering Himself!
His pains, and sorrows, and griefs, and pangs, and torments, and anguish, and death are the only medicine by which He removes the woes of men!
My friend, whatever your disease may be, this great Physician can heal you. Since He is God, there can be no limit to His infinite power; there can be no boundary to the majesty of His might.
Come then with the blind eye of your understanding, come with the limping foot of your energy, come with the maimed hand of your faith, come just as you are, for He who is God can certainly heal you! The utmost length of your soul-sickness can be reached by this great Physician.
Have confidence, O poor doubting heart! Have unstaggering confidence in the Divine Healer!
Blessed Son of God, how I will love you! With what gratitude will I look up to your cross and view you, while those blessed founts of health are streaming crimson floods, and while your heart is pouring forth a heavenly torrent, efficacious to wash the sinner from all his sicknesses!
Come hither, all you sin-sick ones, and behold the glo- rious Son of God, breathing out His life upon the cross!
Come hither, you that mourn for sin, you who are palsied and diseased with iniquity! There is power, power still present in the dying Savior to heal you, whatsoever your diseases may be.
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The costly balm of His atonement has lost none of its power!
Jesus, the great physician, works cures very suddenly— He touches, and the deed is done at once. He works cures of all kinds—all soul diseases are readily overcome by Him. He never fails—He has not in His diary, one single case that has overmatched His mighty power. He heals effectually—the disease never again reigns when He has once dethroned it.
He has no hospital for incurable souls, for there are no incurables for Him. The Friend of sinners is “able to save unto the uttermost those that come unto God by Him.” Cases of sin so putrid that men say, “Put them out of sight;” vice so detestable that the very mention of it makes the cheek of modesty to blush—such as these the master- hand of Immanuel can heal!
With Jesus nothing is difficult. He can save the chief of sinners, and the vilest of the vile.
Come, poor sinner, and behold Him who is able to heal you of your deadly wounds; come look upon Him now and live.
R
THE CHRISTIAN AND DEATH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE LAST ENEMY DESTROYED”
Death gives us infinitely more than he takes away! To stand before that throne upon the sea of glass mingled with fire, to bow within the presence chamber of the King of kings, gazing into the glory that excels, and to see the King in His beauty, the man that once was slain, wearing many crowns and arrayed in the vesture of His glory, His wounds like sparkling jewels still visible above! Oh! to cast our crowns at His feet, to lie there
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and shrink into nothing before the Eternal All, to fly into Jesus’ bosom, to behold the beauty of His love, and to taste the kisses of His mouth, to be in Paradise, swallowed up in unutterable joy because taken into the closest, fullest, nearest communion with Himself! Would not your soul burst from the body even now to obtain this rapture?
R
I SAW ONE HANGING ON A TREE!
by John Newton
In evil long I took delight, Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight, And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
He fixed His languid eyes on me, As near His cross I stood.
Sure never till my last breath,
Shall I forget that look!
It seemed to charge me with His death, Though not a word He spoke.
A second look He gave, which said, “I freely all forgive;
This blood is for your ransom paid; I die that you may live.”
Thus while His death my sin displays In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too!
R
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THE CHRISTIAN & THE CROSS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE SIN OFFERING”
Christian, the cross was the place of your spiritual birth, and it must ever be the spot for renewing your spiritual health.
The cross is the hospital for every sin sick soul.
The blood of Christ is the true balm of Gilead—it is the universal remedy which heals every spiritual disease.
Come, sin-sick soul, and breathe the air which was purified when the blood of the heart of Jesus fell from His wounds to the ground, for no spiritual disease can abide the presence of the healing blood.
Hasten, you weak ones, to Calvary, and partake in God- given strength and vigor.
It is from Calvary that you shall see the Sun of Righteousness arising with healing beneath His wings.
The beloved Physician meets His patients at the foot of the cross, and relieves them from all their ills.
Humbly resting upon Jesus is the best position for us.
R
GRACE
Arthur Pink
Grace is a divine provision for those who are so depraved they cannot change their own nature, so averse from God they will not turn to Him, so blind they can neither see their malady nor the remedy, so spiritually dead…. Grace is the sinner’s last and only hope; if he is not saved by grace, he will never be saved at all. Grace levels all distinctions, and regards the most zealous religionist on the same plane as the most
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profligate, the chaste virgin as the foul prostitute. Therefore God is perfectly free to save the chief of sinners and bestow His mercy on the vilest of the vile.
R
JESUS DESERVES OUR BEST!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT”
Some Christians live and act and talk as if there were no judgment to come; toiling for wealth as if this world were all. They are as careless of souls, as though hell were a dream.
Unmoved by eternal realities, unstirred by the terrors of the Lord, indifferent to the ruin of mankind, many professors live like worldlings, and are as unchristian as infidels. This is an indisputable fact, but one to be lamented with tears of blood.
We are the purchase of Jesus’ death upon the tree—He has bought us dearly, and He should have us altogether for Himself.
It should be the one end and object of our desire, to crown that head with gems, which once was crowned with thorns. Jesus deserves our best!
Every wound of His claims us, and every pain He bore, and every groan that escaped His lips, is a fresh reason for our holiness and complete devotion to His cause.
How must He grieve over us because we have not that tenderness of heart, that melting of love, that vehemence of zeal, that earnestness of soul which we ought to exhibit!
R
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TAKE OUR SINS TO GOD!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A TROUBLED PRAYER”
We must take our sins to God!
The Christian, when he sins, thinks that he must fight this battle for himself, wrestle with his own evil temper himself, and he himself must enter into conflict with his lusts and his besetting sins.
But when he comes into the fight, he soon meets with a defeat, and then he is ready to give it all up.
Take your sins to God, my brethren! Take them to the cross that the blood may fall upon them, to purge away their guilt, and to take away their power.
Your sins must all be slain. There is only one place where they can be slaughtered—the altar where your Savior died.
If you would flog your sins, flog them with the whip that tore your Savior’s shoulder. If you would nail your sins fast, drive the same nails through them which fastened your Lord to the cross. I mean, let your faith in the great Surety, and your love to Him who suffered so much for you, be the power with which you do conflict with evil.
It is said of the saints in heaven, “They overcame through the blood of the Lamb.”
That is how you must overcome.
Go to Jesus with your sins!
No one else can help you!
You are powerless without Him!
The most sinful are welcome to Christ. If your sin has become so outrageous that it were wrong for me to mention it; if it has become so tremendous in its power,
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that, like the chain and ball at the convict’s foot, you cannot escape from it, yet still come with all your sins to Jesus!
R
EVERY PARTICLE OF DUST
Spurgeon
I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes; that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens; that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as surely as the stars in their courses; that the creeping of an insect over a rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence; and the fall of leaves from the poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling avalanche. He who believes in God must believe this truth. There is no standing point between this and Atheism. There is no halfway between an Almighty God, who works all things according to the good pleasure of His will, and no God at all!
R
DEATH!
Spurgeon
The greatest conquerors have only been death’s slaughter- men, journeymen butchers working in his shambles. War is nothing better than death holding carnival, and devouring his prey a little more in haste than is his common practice. Death has done the work of an enemy to those of us who have as yet escaped his arrows. Those who have lately stood around a newly made grave and buried half their hearts can tell you what an enemy death is. It takes the friend from our side, and the child from our bosom—neither does it
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care for our crying. He has fallen who was the pillar of the household; she has been snatched away who was the brightness of the hearth. The little one is torn out of its mother’s bosom though its loss almost breaks her heartstrings; and the blooming youth is taken from his father’s side though the parent’s fondest hopes are thereby crushed. Death has no pity for the young and no mercy for the old; he pays no regard to the good or to the beautiful; his scythe cuts down sweet flowers and noxious weeds with equal readiness. He comes into our garden, tramples down our lilies and scatters our roses on the ground; yes, and even the most modest flowers planted in the corner—and hiding their beauty beneath the leaves that they may blush unseen, death spies out even these, and cares nothing for their fragrance, but withers them with his burning breath. He is your enemy indeed, you fatherless child, left for the pitiless storm of a cruel world to beat upon, with none to shelter you. He is your enemy, O widow, for the light of your life is gone, and the desire of your eyes has been removed with a stroke. He is your enemy, hus- band, for your house is desolate and your little children cry for their mother of whom death has robbed you.
R
SUCK THE SWEETNESS OUT OF IT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GOOD CHEER FOR THE NEW YEAR”
“The Lord knows the righteous” with a knowledge which is over and above that of omniscience.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, not merely to see them, but to view them with pleasure and delight; not barely to observe them, but to observe them with affectionate care and interest.
God’s love is always upon His people.
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Oh, Christians, think of this—that God loves us!
The big heart of Deity is set upon us poor, insignificant, undeserving, worthless beings.
God loves us, loves us ever, never thinks of us without loving thoughts, never regards us, nor speaks of us, nor acts towards us, except in love.
God has an unfathomable depth of love towards His elect ones who are the objects of distinguishing grace, redeemed by blood, and preserved by faithfulness.
Beloved, the loving eyes of God are always upon you, the poorest and most obscure of His people.
The Lord takes a personal interest in His children. Some mothers give out their children to be nursed, but God never does—all His babes hang upon His own breast, and are carried in His own arms!
God Himself is personally our keeper and our shield. “I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”
God has never once taken His eyes off you. He has observed you as narrowly, as carefully, as tenderly, as if there were not another child in His divine family, nor another one whose prayers were to be heard, or whose cares were to be relieved.
What would you think of yourself if you knew that you were the only saved soul in the world, the only elect one of God, the only one purchased on the bloody tree?
Why, you would feel, “How God must care for me! How He must watch over me! Surely He will never take His eyes off such a special favorite.” But it is the same with you, beloved—though His family is so large, as if you were the only one.
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The eyes of the Lord never grow weary. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. Both by day and night He observes each one of His people.
Not a moment shall we be without the tender care of heaven; not even for a second will the Lord remove His eyes from any one of His people. There is not a single day, or hour of the day, or minute of the hour, that we are removed from the eyes or the heart of God.
Away with carking care—God cares for us! The sparrows are fed, and shall not the children be? The lilies bloom, and shall not the saints be clothed? Let us roll all our burdens upon the Burden bearer!
Christian, you have sinned, but your sin has never made Him love you less, because He saw you and loved you in Christ in the eternal purpose, even when you were dead in trespasses and sins.
He has seen you in Christ ever since, and has never ceased to love you.
It is true you have been very faulty, but as He never loved you for your good works, He has never cast you away for your bad works.
He has beheld you as washed in the atoning blood of Jesus, until you are whiter than snow, and He has seen you clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ, and therefore looked upon you and regarded you as though you were without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing!
He has gazed upon you, beloved, but never with anger, looked upon you when your infirmities, no, your willful wickednesses had made you hate yourself. And yet, though He has seen you in this doleful state, grace has always set you before the Lord’s eyes as being in His dear Son all beauteous and lovely—a pleasing prospect for Him to look upon.
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The eyes of God are always upon His chosen people, as eyes of affection, delight, unwearied power, immutable wisdom, and unchanging love!
Take this thought, like a wafer made with honey and put it under your tongue, and suck the sweetness out of it!
Surely this is enough to make you lose yourself in wonder, love, and praise!
Surely gratitude can find us fuel enough in the forests of our memory to keep the fire of love to our God always flaming.
R
ELECTION
by Don Fortner
“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4
This blessed, glorious, doctrine of election is one of the most delightful doctrines of the gospel.
What does the Word of God teach about election?
Election is “in Christ.”
Election is “unto salvation.”
Election is an act of God’s pure, absolute, sovereignty. Election took place in eternity.
Election’s source and cause is God’s eternal love for
His people.
Election is an act of free, unconditional grace. Election is God’s personal choice of specific sinners to
eternal life in Christ.
Election is irreversible.
Election is effectual.
Election is distinguishing (Isa. 43:1-4). Election is the cause of all blessedness.
Who are the elect?
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The elect are people who hear and receive the Gospel. The elect are those who are called by the effectual,
irresistible power and grace of the Holy Spirit.
The elect are those who follow Christ. Chosen sinners, when saved by the grace of God, are made disciples,
followers of Christ, voluntary servants of King Jesus. The elect are a people who are committed to Christ and
the Gospel of His grace.
The elect experience repentance and conversion by the
power of His grace. They turn from their idols to serve the living God.
R
GOD HAS IN HIMSELF
Thomas Brooks
God has in Himself . . .
all power to defend you;
all wisdom to direct you;
all mercy to pardon you;
all grace to enrich you;
all righteousness to clothe you; all goodness to supply you; and all happiness to crown you.
R
THE BROAD WAY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“A MESSAGE FROM GOD TO HIS CHURCH AND PEOPLE”
“Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are they that go in thereat.”
In my meditations I thought I saw a precipice, whose frowning steep overhung a sea of fire. Leading up to its brink I saw a road exceedingly broad, a road which was crowded from side to side with a thronging multitude,
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who pressed and trod one upon another in their raging zeal to reach the summit of the crag.
They went gaily on, merrily laughing, singing to sprightly music; many of them dancing, some of them pushing aside their fellows that they might sooner reach the end of what they knew so little.
As I looked at that end which none of them could see, I saw a cataract of souls, falling in a ceaseless, headlong stream into depths unutterably profound.
As the crowd came on rank by rank to the edge of this precipice, they fell, they leaped over, or were dashed from the treacherous crag, and descended amid cries and shrieks surpassing all imagination into a lake of fire, wherein they were submerged with an everlasting baptism, overwhelmed with destruction from the presence of the Lord.
I thought I heard their groans and moans their shrieks and sighs as they first caught sight of the terrible abyss and would have shrunk back from it, but were quite unable to.
Even now I see before my eyes that terrific Niagara of souls descending by thousands every hour into the gulf unknown.
This is the broad way of which we had heard so often, wherein multitudes delight to walk. Sure and terrible is the doom of every one who treads therein.
Among them perhaps your own children, perhaps your wives, your husbands, your sons, your daughters, your parents, going in that motley crew, onward, swiftly onward, towards their dreadful end.
Christian men and women, hear the voice of God.
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My God will cast them away; their end will be destruction; they will be driven from the presence of the Lord. Let these thoughts, my brethren, burn in your souls until all coldness and indifference are consumed. Men die, and their souls are lost. Men die and their bodies are laid in the grave, but their souls descend into hell.
R
THE HOLY SPIRIT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “MAKE THIS VALLEY FULL OF DITCHES”
We must have the Holy Spirit’s power and presence, otherwise our religion will become a mockery before God, and a misery to ourselves.
We must have the aid of the Holy Spirit, for ours is not a mechanical religion. It is spiritual, and must be sustained by spiritual means.
So dependent is the Christian church upon the Holy Spirit, that there never was an acceptable sigh heaved by a penitent apart from Him; never did holy song mount to heaven except He gave it wings; never was there true prayer or faithful ministry except through the power and might of the Holy Spirit.
Sinners are never saved apart from the Spirit of God! No moral persuasion, no force of example, no power of logic, no might of rhetoric, can ever change the heart.
The living Spirit alone can put life into dead souls!
And after those souls are quickened, we are still as dependent as ever upon the Spirit of God.
To educate a soul for heaven is as much a divine task, as to emancipate a soul from sin. To comfort a down- cast brother, to strengthen his weak hands and confirm
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his feeble knees, to brighten the eyes of his hope and to give him nerve to hold the shield of his faith—all these are the work of the Spirit of the living God.
O Christian, with all the power you have received, you have not strength enough to live for another second, except as the Spirit of God quickens you.
All your past experience, all that you have learned and acquired, must go for nothing, except, daily and perpetually, moment by moment, the Spirit of God shall dwell in you, and work in you mightily, to keep you still a pilgrim to the gate of heaven.
Thus, each individual is dependent, and the whole church is dependent on the influence of the Spirit.
Without the Spirit of God, we are like a ship stranded on the beach when the tide has receded—there is no moving her until the flood shall once again lift her from the sands. Until the Spirit of God shall thaw the chilly coldness of our natural estate, and bid the life-floods of our heart flow forth, there we must be—cold, cheerless, lifeless, and powerless.
The Christian, like the mariner, depends upon the breath of heaven, or his barque is without motion.
There is no truth that needs to be insisted upon more thoroughly than this, “Without me, you can do nothing.”
Until we are utterly empty of self, we are not ready to be filled by God. Until we are conscious of our own weakness, we are not fit platforms for the display of divine omnipotence. Until the arm of flesh is paralyzed, and death is written upon the whole natural man, we are not ready to be endowed with divine life and energy.
R
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THE BACK DOOR TO HELL!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A SERMON FROM A RUSH”
Better not to have known the way of righteousness than, having known it, to be turned back again. The worst of men are those traitors who leave the army of truth to side with the foe.
I believe in the doctrine of the final perseverance of every true child of God; but there are in all our churches certain spurious pretenders who will not hold on their way, who will blaze and sparkle for a season, and then they will go out in darkness. They are “wandering stars, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”
Better far make no pretension of having come to Christ, and of having been born again, unless through divine grace you shall hold fast to the end.
Remember the back door to hell! Remember the back door to hell!
There is a public entrance for the open sinner; but
there is a back door for the merely professed saint. There is a back door for the hoary-headed professor, who has lived many years in apparent sincerity, but who has been a liar before God. There is a back door for the preacher who can talk fast and loudly, but who does not in his own heart know the truth he is preaching. There is a back door to hell for church members, who are amiable and excellent in many respects, but who have not really looked unto the Lord Jesus Christ and found true salvation in Him.
God grant that this may wake some, who otherwise would sleep themselves into perdition!
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“O my God! my God! Am I, after all, mistaken? Have I played the hypocrite, and must I take the mask off now? Have I covered over the cancer? Have I worn a golden cloth over my leprous forehead, and must it be torn away? and must I stand, the mock of devils and the laughter of all worlds? What! have I drunk of Your cup, have I eaten with You in the streets, and must I hear You say, I never knew you, depart from me you worker of iniquity? Oh! must it be?”
R
ETERNAL LOVE, INFINITE WISDOM,
BOUNDLESS POWER
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE RAVENS’ CRY”
Eternal love appointed a way of mercy from before the foundation of the world, and infinite wisdom is engaged with boundless power to carry out the divine design. Surely the Lord must take much pleasure in saving the sons of men. If God is pleased to supply the beast of the field, do you not think that He delights much more to supply His own child?
R
THE MONARCH OF OUR AFFECTIONS!
by Don Fortner
Nothing is so precious to Christ as His people.
There is nothing so precious to the true believer as Christ Himself.
Knowledge of Christ creates an ardent love for Christ. To truly know Him is to love Him.
It is not possible for a person to have a saving knowledge of Christ without a true heart of love for Christ.
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If you do not love Christ, truly, sincerely, and above all others, you simply to not know Christ.
Jesus is the Lord of every believer’s heart. He is the monarch of our affections!
His rich, free, eternal, redeeming love has bound me hand and foot, so that I cannot leave Him.
I am His totally and unreservedly. I belong to Him. He may do with me what He will.
R
“THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST!” EPHESIANS 3:8
by Spurgeon
My Master has riches—
beyond the count of arithmetic, beyond the measurement of reason, beyond the dream of imagination, and beyond the eloquence of words.
They are unsearchable!
You may look, and study, and weigh, but Jesus is a greater Savior than you think Him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest.
Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus.
When you put the crown on His head, you will only crown Him with silver when He deserves gold.
There is no love like His—neither earth nor heaven can match it. To know Christ and to be found in Him—oh! this is life, this is joy, this is marrow and fatness, wine on the lees well refined!
My Master does not treat His servants churlishly. He gives to them as a king gives to a king. He gives them
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two heavens—a heaven below in serving Him here, and a heaven above in delighting in Him forever.
His unsearchable riches will be best known in eternity. He will give you on the way to heaven all you need; your place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks, your bread shall be given you, and your waters shall be sure.
But it is there, THERE, where you shall hear the song of those who triumph, the shout of those that feast, and shall have a face-to-face view of the glorious and beloved One.
The unsearchable riches of Christ!
This is the tune for the minstrels of earth! This is the song for the harpers of heaven!
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O CONSIDER JESUS’ LOVELINESS AND BEAUTY!
by Samuel Rutherford
There is nothing which commend and make heaven fair, or earth, or the creature, that is not in Jesus in infinite perfection. For fair sun and fair moon are black, and think it shameful to shine before His fairness.
Base heavens, and excellent Jesus!
Weak angels, and strong and mighty Jesus!
Foolish angel-wisdom, and only wise Jesus! Short-living creature, and long-living and ever-living
Ancient of days!
Miserable, and sickly, and wretched are those things that are within time’s circle, and only, only blessed is Jesus!
If you can come into His love (and He gives you consent to love Him, and allurements also), what a second heaven’s paradise, a young heaven’s glory, is it to be hot and burned with fevers of love-sickness for Him!
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The more you drink of His love, there is the more room, and the greater delight and desire for this love.
Hunger for a feast of His love, for that is the border of heaven. Nothing has a nearer resemblance to the color, and hue, and luster of heaven, than Christ loved, and to breathe out love-words and love-sighs for Him.
Remember what He is!
When twenty thousand million of heaven’s lovers have worn their hearts threadbare of love, all is nothing, yes, less than nothing, to His matchless worth and excellency. Oh so broad and so deep is the sea of His desirable loveliness!
Glorified spirits, triumphing angels, the crowned and exalted lovers of heaven stand outside His loveliness, and cannot put a circle on it.
Oh! if sin and time were from between us and that royal King’s love, that high majesty (eternity’s Bloom and Flower of high lustered beauty) might shine upon pieces of created spirits, and might bedew and overflow us, who are portions of endless misery and lumps of redeemed sin.
Alas! what do I do? I but spill and lose words in speaking highly of Him who will be above the music and songs of heaven, and never be enough praised by us all; to whose boundless and bottomless love I recommend you….
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THE ELOQUENCE WHICH GOD DELIGHTS IN
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “EPHRAIM BEMOANING HIMSELF”
Do not suppose that you need fine words and elegant phrases in order to affect the Lord.
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Your tearful eye shall be more mighty than oratory, and your heavy sigh shall be more eloquent than the polished discourse and lofty utterance of the orator.
Only prostrate your soul before God with humble heart and downcast eye and your Father will listen to you.
What man among you can hold out against his children’s tears? If you, being evil, are overcome by your children’s tears, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven find in your bemoanings and confes- sions an argument for the display of His pardoning love through Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the eloquence which God delights in—the broken heart, and the contrite spirit.
Broken prayers are the best prayers!
The crash of thunder is to the Lord no more than the sound of the falling of a sere leaf on a still summer’s eve. But the cry of one of His children peals through heaven, and moves the infinite heart, so that swift on wings of love the God of mercy flies.
Our God is full of compassion.
He rides in a chariot of mercy and holds out a silver scepter of grace.
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MAN-CENTERED, MAN-EXALTING, MAN-PLEASING, GOD-DEBASING, GOD-HATING RELIGION
by Don Fortner
We are living in perilous times. We are living in the midst of the greatest religious apostasy ever known. It appears that the time has come when God has sent men a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, because they received not the love of the truth.
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This modern-day, man-centered, man-exalting, man- pleasing, God-debasing, God-hating religion, which seems to engulf the entire world and all religious sects, is the greatest religious deception this world has ever known.
Any religion that is man-centered; any religion that has for its foundation man’s will, man’s works, or man’s rights; any religion that promotes the honor and pride of man; any religion that pampers and cultivates self- righteousness, self-esteem, and self-worth is of antichrist.
What is man?
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WHAT IS MAN?
by Don Fortner
Don’t ask…
philosophers what they imagine,
nor educators what they read in books,
nor scientists what they see in microscopes, nor psychologists what they see in asylums, nor sociologists what they learn from tests.
What is man?
Ask God who made us. He declares in His Word that man is fallen, depraved, sinning, sinful, cursed, condemned, helpless, dying flesh.
What is man?
Men are grasshoppers before Him.
Men are the dust of the earth, nothing more. Man is…
a lump of clay.
a puff of smoke,
a mist of vapor,
the small dust of the balance, a drop in a bucket.
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What is man?
Man is insignificant!
All the nations of all men in all the world are less than nothing before the great and infinite God.
What is man?
Man is nothing. Man has nothing. Man can do nothing.
You are nothing; and I am nothing. No matter how many of us nothings you put together, nothing added to nothing is still just nothing.
What is man?
God, teach us to know our nothingness, that we may look to Christ for everything!
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O LOVER TO THE UTTERMOST
A Puritan Prayer
May I read the meltings of Your heart to me… in the manger of Your birth,
in the garden of Your agony,
in the cross of Your suffering.
Deepen in me a sense of my holy relationship to You as my spiritual Bridegroom and my best Friend.
I think of…
Your glory and my vileness,
Your majesty and my smallness, Your beauty and my deformity, Your purity and my filth,
Your righteousness and my iniquity.
You have loved me eternally and unchangeably. May I love You as I am loved by You.
You have given Yourself for me, may I give myself for You.
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You have died for me, may I live for You.
May I never dally with the world’s allurements but… walk by Your side,
listen to Your voice,
be clothed with Your graces,
and be adorned with Your righteousness.
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THE ROPE!
by Arthur Pink
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29
No stronger passage in all the Word of God can be found guaranteeing the absolute security of every child of God. Note the seven strands in THE ROPE which binds them to God.
First, they are Christ’s sheep, and it is the duty of the shepherd to care for each of His flock! To suggest that any of Christ’s sheep may be lost is to blaspheme the Shepherd Himself!
Second, it is said “They follow” Christ, and no excep- tions are made. The Lord does not say they ought to, but declares they do. If then the sheep “follow” Christ they must reach Heaven, for that is where the Shepherd is gone!
Third, to the sheep is imparted “eternal life.” To speak of eternal life ending is a contradiction in terms.
Fourth, this eternal life is “given” to them. They did nothing to merit it, consequently they can do nothing to demerit it.
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Fifth, the Lord Himself declares that His sheep “shall never perish,” consequently the man who declares that it is possible for a child of God to go to Hell makes God a liar.
Sixth, from the Shepherd’s “hand” none is able to pluck them, hence the Devil is unable to encompass the destruction of a single one of them.
Seventh, above them is the Father’s “hand,” hence it is impossible for them to jump out of the hand of Christ even if they tried to.
It is impossible for a sheep to perish even if it desired to—as though one ever did! The “hand of Christ” is beneath us, and the “hand” of the Father is above us. Thus are we secured between the clasped hands of Omnipotence!
It has been well said that if one soul who trusted in Christ should be missing in Heaven, there would be one vacant seat there, one crown unused, one harp unstrung; and this would grieve all Heaven and proclaim a disappointed God. But such a thing is utterly impossible!
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THE GREAT ATTRACTION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE GREAT ATTRACTION”
Christ dying for sinners is the great attraction of Christianity!
Since men will not come to Him, the crucified Savior becomes Himself the attraction to men. He casts out from Himself bands of love and cords of gracious con- straint, and binding these around human hearts, He draws them to Himself by an invincible constraint of grace.
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Sinners by nature will not come to Jesus, though His charms might even attract the blind, and arouse the dead. They will not melt, though surely such beauties might dissolve the adamant, and kindle affection in rock of ice.
But Jesus has a wondrous power about Him to woo and win the sons of men. Out of His heart proceed chains of gold by which He binds thousands of willing captives to Himself.
Many a heart has been so charmed with His love, that it has run to Christ, drawn by the silken bonds of love.
Jesus is the universal attraction, the attraction to which all hearts must yield when He draws effectually by His grace.
The attraction of the Crucified One has bound them to the cross forever!
The gracious Spirit has moved many tender hearts first to pity, and afterwards to love the bleeding Lamb.
What a melting power there is in Gethsemane! Can you view the bloody sweat drops, as they fall upon the frozen soil, and not feel that, in some degree, invisible but irresistible cords are drawing you to Jesus?
Can you see Him flagellated in Pilate’s hall, every thong of the scourge tearing the flesh from His shoulders? Can you see Him as they spit into His lovely face, and mar His blessed visage, and not feel as if you could fain fall down and kiss His feet, and make yourself forever His servant?
And, lastly, can you behold Him hanging upon the hill of Golgotha to die—can you mark Him as His soul is there overwhelmed with the wrath of God, with the bitterness of sin, and with a sense of utter desertion—
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can you sit down and watch Him there and not be attracted to Him?
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THE GARNISHINGS OF MORALITY
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE HEART—A DEN OF EVIL”
You may go to hell as well dressed in the ‘garnishings of morality’ as in the ‘rags of immorality.’ It is still the old nature—wash it, and cleanse it, and bind it, and curb it, and bridle it—it is still the old fallen nature, and cannot understand spiritual things.
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HAIL, SOVEREIGN GRACE, ETERNAL, FREE!
by Don Fortner

  1. Hail, sovereign grace, eternal free, So bountifully bestowed on me! Grace chose me in eternity,
    And sent my Lord to die for me!
  2. T’was grace, God’s free and sovereign grace, That stopped me as to hell I raced,
    And sweetly forced me to confess
    My sin so vile, my wretchedness!
  3. Grace gave me eyes and made me see What Christ, my Lord, has done for me. He ransomed me with His own blood And reconciled me to my God.
  4. Let heaven and earth my song now hear, Come, ransomed sinners, sing with cheer— Hail, sovereign grace, eternal, free,
    So bountifully bestowed on me!
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WHAT FLOWERS OF MERCY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“DAVID’S HOLY WONDER AT THE LORD’S GREAT GOODNESS”
What flowers of mercy have bloomed in our pathway!
Let us thank God for the mercies we do not see—the innumerable dangers from which we are preserved; the great needs which are supplied before we know them to be needs; the needs which the Lord our God is pleased to keep from us so that we never know them.
From childhood up to youth, and on to manhood, what flowers of mercy have bloomed in our pathway! Superlative love has marked out our lot.
What tender hands have led us!
What mighty arms have upheld us!
What a watchful eye has been fixed upon us!
“How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand.”
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GRACE
Arthur Pink
Grace is a divine provision for those who are so depraved they cannot change their own nature, so averse from God they will not turn to Him, so blind they can neither see their malady nor the remedy, so spiritually dead… Grace is the sinner’s last and only hope; if he is not saved by grace, he will never be saved at all. Grace levels all distinctions, and regards the most zealous religionist on the same plane as the most profligate, the chaste virgin as the foul prostitute. Therefore God is perfectly free to save the chief of sinners and bestow His mercy on the vilest of the vile.
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HEIGH! PRESTO!
from Spurgeon
I am sorry to say that there is much craftiness and trickery to be met with in the religious world.
Why, there are those who pretend to save souls by curious tricks, intricate maneuvers, and dexterous posture making. A basin of water, half-a-dozen drops, certain syllables and—Heigh! Presto!—the infant is a child of grace, and becomes a member of Christ, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven!
This aqueous regeneration surpasses my belief.
It is a trick which I do not understand—only the initiated can perform the beautiful piece of magic, which excels anything ever attempted by the wizards.
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A NEW EDITION OF THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRISTUS ET EGO”
Picture the life of Christ on earth, beloved, and that is what the life of God in us ought to be, and will be in proportion as we are subject to the power of the Holy Spirit.
A Christian ought to be a living photograph of the Lord Jesus, a striking likeness of his Lord.
When men look at him they should see not only what the Christian is, but what the Christian’s Master is, for he should be like his Master.
Have you been like a book printed in plain letters, in which men might read a new edition of the life of Jesus Christ?
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Christ must be the one thought, the one idea, the one master thought in the believer’s soul.
When he wakes in the morning the healthy believer inquires, “What can I do for Christ?” When he goes about his business he asks, “How shall I serve my Lord in all my actions?” When he makes money he questions himself, “How can I use my talents for Christ?” If he acquires education, the enquiry is, “How can I spend my knowledge for Christ?”
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THE OCEAN OF DIVINE TRUTH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PLAIN WORDS WITH THE CARELESS”
If you should study until you know all things, yet shall you find that the knowledge of Christ Jesus surpasses all knowledge, and that His cross is the most excellent of sciences!
The giant minds of Milton and of Newton found ample room in the gospel; they delighted to bathe, like leviathan, in the ocean of divine truth!
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A BEAUTIFUL FICTION, A SENTIMENTAL
BELIEF, A FORMAL THEORY
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “HEAVENLY GEOMETRY”
The love of Christ must be real in our hearts.
Alas, to a great many religious people the love of Jesus is not a solid substantial thing at all—it is merely a beautiful fiction, a sentimental belief, a formal theory.
No one knows the love of Christ at all, if he does not know it to be real, and no one has felt it in his soul at
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all unless it becomes so real as to constrain him and move him into actual activity.
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ISAIAH 41:10
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE SWEET HARP OF CONSOLATION”
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.
It is not possible for the Christian to be in any condition in which these words shall not be to him,
universal medicine for all disease, universal armor against every weapon, universal supply of every necessity.
God is with us as a mighty worker—a real active, potent, faithful, truthful worker, who, having promised to help us, will help us, and never leave us nor forsake us until He has accomplished all His eternal purpose, and brought us to Himself in heaven!
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DRONE, BEE OR WASP?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “HELPS”
I want every member of this church to be a worker. We do not want any drones!
If there are any of you who want to eat and drink, and do no Christian work, there are plenty of places elsewhere where there are empty pews in abundance; go and fill them, for we do not want you here.
Every Christian is either a bee or a wasp. The most quarrelsome people (the wasps), are the most useless.
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Those who are the most happy and peaceable (the bees), are generally those who are doing most for Christ.
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PURE AND UNMIXED
John Flavel
The excellencies of Christ are pure and unmixed. Jesus is a sea of sweetness without one drop of gall. “Yes, He is altogether lovely.” Solomon’s Song 5:16
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WHY, LOOK AT THAT SWINE YONDER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PLAIN WORDS WITH THE CARELESS”
There is a joy to be found in knowing Christ which cannot be found in all this round world, though you search it through and through. Jesus Christ is so precious, that if men did but know Him, they must love Him.
Unbeliever, you can no more judge of spiritual delights, than a horse in a field can judge of the thoughts of the mathematician or the astronomer.
Worldly man, those joys of yours which you are so afraid of losing, they are but bubbles, and they will burst sooner or later. They are mere child’s toys, and you break them and are done with them.
You yourself will soon be where no more bubbles are blown, and no more toys made to play with. Do not, therefore, make so much noise about your present joys—there is nothing in them.
Sirs, you might throw your joys to the dogs, and they would refuse them! For the joys that a man can know apart from Christ, are unworthy of an immortal being— they are unsatisfactory, delusive, and destructive.
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Why, look at that swine yonder, wallowing in the mire: a miracle transforms it into an angel. Has not that angel liberty to go and wallow in the same filth as before? Certainly he has, but does he ever use it? No, it is contrary to his seraphic nature to be found reveling in mire!
So will it be with you, if you become converted. You will not care for those things which are now your delight, but, being made free from sin, you will count it foul scorn to serve it any longer.
You who want to have true happiness, a happiness to rise up and to sleep with, a happiness to live with and to die with—not the happiness of those silly butterflies that fly from flower to flower, and are never content except they are in the theater or the ball-room, but the happiness of a man that is worth calling a man—I tell you such solid happiness is to be found only in vital godliness.
If you come to the cross, you shall find it true that Christianity never was designed to make our pleasures less. It multiplies our truest and purest pleasures a thousand-fold.
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THE GOLDEN LINK OF LOVE!
by Thomas Brooks
It was the golden link of love that fastened Christ to the cross!
Certainly the more Christ has suffered for us, the more dear Christ should be unto us. The more bitter His sufferings have been for us, the more sweet His love should be to us, and the more eminent should be our love to Him. Oh, let a suffering Christ lie nearest your hearts; let Him be your manna, your tree of life, your
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morning star. It is better to part with all than with this pearl of price.
Christ is that golden pipe through which the golden oil of salvation runs.
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INEXPRESSIBLE LOVE!
John Owen
Christ’s offering Himself was the greatest expression of His inexpressible love! To imagine that there is any cleansing from sin except by the blood of Christ, is to overthrow the gospel. We are never nearer to Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at His unspeakable love!
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THE HATCHING OF THE VIPERS’ EGGS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “WAR WITH AMAKLEK”
It is just where we feel most safe that we should be most cautious.
Many people need not be much afraid of being led into drunkenness and blasphemy, for we are not likely to give way to these grosser evils.
But we have far more reason to watch against worldliness and pride, for these are enemies which select the godly as their special object of attack.
Beware of your virtues, Christian, for these, when exaggerated, become your vices.
Beware of the good things in which you boast, for they may furnish heat for the hatching of the vipers’ eggs of pride and self-satisfaction!
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With what vigilance, what holy diligence must you and I watch against the windings and twistings of the old serpent, who will, if possible, bite our heels or worm his venom into our hearts!
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THE MOST PLEASANT LIFE
Matthew Henry
A life spent in the service of God and in communion with Him, is the most pleasant life that any one can live in the world.
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THE ESSENCE OF ALL DELIGHTS AND PLEASURES!
by John Flavel
Christ is the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them.
As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the meeting place of all the waters in the world; so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.
Jesus is altogether lovely—His excellencies are pure and unmixed. He is a sea of sweetness without one drop of gall.
Away with those empty nothings, away with this vain deceitful world, which deserves not the thousandth part of the love you give it. Let all stand aside and give way to Christ.
O if only you knew His worth and excellency, what He is in Himself, what He has done for you, and deserved from you; you would need no arguments to persuade you to love Him!
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O how many pour out streams of love and delight upon the vain and empty created thing; while no arguments can draw forth one drop of love from their stubborn and unbelieving hearts to Jesus Christ!
Let us all be humbled for the corruption of our hearts that are so eager in their affections for vanities and trifles, and so hard to be persuaded to love Christ, who is altogether lovely.
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THE GREATEST MISCHIEF IN THE WORLD
Spurgeon
The greatest mischief in the world at the present time is an abundance of religious profession which is not genuine. Nothing has injured the cause of Christ more than the inconsistencies of His avowed friends.
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OH, HOW PRECIOUS IS CHRIST!
by Spurgeon
“I found Him whom my soul loves: I held Him, and would not
let Him go.” Song of Solomon 3:4
Does Christ receive us when we come to Him, despite
all our past sinfulness?
Does He ever chide us for having tried all other refuges first?
And is there none on earth like Him?
Is He the best of all the good, the fairest of all the fair? Oh, then let us praise Him!
Daughters of Jerusalem, extol Him with timbrel and harp! Down with your idols! Up with the Lord Jesus!
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Let the standards of pomp and pride be trampled under foot, but let the cross of Jesus, which the world frowns and scoffs at, be lifted on high.
O for a throne of ivory for our King Solomon!
Let Him be set on high forever, and let my soul sit at His footstool, and kiss His feet, and wash them with my tears.
Oh, how precious is Christ!
How can it be that I have thought so little of Him?
How is it I can go abroad for joy or comfort when He is so full, so rich, so satisfying?
Fellow believer, make a covenant with your heart that you will never depart from Him, and ask your Lord to ratify it. Bid Him set you as a signet ring upon His finger, and as a bracelet upon His arm.
I would live in Christ’s heart; in the clefts of that Rock my soul would eternally abide.
The sparrow has made a house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young—even your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God; and so too would I make my nest, my home, in You, and never from You may the soul of your turtle dove go forth again, but may I nestle close to You, O Jesus, my true and only rest.
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THERE IS A DAVID IN EVERY ONE OF OUR HEARTS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE SHRILL TRUMPET OF ADMONITION”
It is one of the commonest and most dangerous of all evils that can happen to a Christian, to fall into a state
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of carnal security, in which he grows self-confident, insensible, careless, inactive, and worldly.
We have heard of two friends who were accustomed to go into the woods to pray, and each of them had trodden a little path in the grass. At length, one of them grew spiritually cold, and was soon found in open sin. His friend told him that he knew it would come to that, because the grass had grown on his path that led to the place of prayer.
Ah! we do not know to what we may descend when we begin to go down hill. Down, down, down, is easy and pleasant to the flesh, but if we knew where it would end, we would beg God that we might sooner die than live to plunge into the terrors of that descent.
Who would think that David, the man after God’s own heart, should come to be the murderer of his friend Uriah, to rob him of his wife?
O David, are you so near to heaven, and yet so near to hell? There is a David in every one of our hearts!
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MEDITATION
by Spurgeon
“I will meditate on Your precepts.” Psalm 119:15
As the Master Himself often retired for meditation and prayer to the mountain side and the garden’s shade, that alone with His Father He might seek the face of His God, so let us leave awhile the busy scenes of life and the haunts of men, to spend a still hour in quiet meditation, and in pouring out our hearts into His ever-loving breast.
There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better
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Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering spiritual strength for labor in His service, through meditation on His Word. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.
Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth, if we would get the wine of consolation therefrom.
Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth.
Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it. Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this morning, “I will meditate on Your precepts.”
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DEADLY! DESTRUCTIVE! DAMNING!
by Spurgeon
“The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I get.’” Luke 18:11-12
Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness!
Your own righteousness will destroy you as certainly as your iniquities!
If you rest upon what you have done, however good in your own eyes, or however praiseworthy in the esteem of your fellow-men, you rest on a foundation that will certainly fail you.
Christ will have you to know, however good you are, that you must come to Him just as the vilest of the vile must come.
You must come as guilty—you cannot come as righteous. You must come to Jesus to be washed; you must come to Him to be clothed. You think you do not need washing; you fancy you are clothed, and covered, and beautiful to look upon.
But oh! the garb of outward respectability, and of outward morality, often is nothing but a film to hide an abominable leprosy!
Your merits or your demerits are alike unavailing for salvation!
God grant that we may no longer boast of ourselves. Put away the Pharisee’s pride, and never utter the Pharisee’s prayer.
It is self-righteousness which damns the souls of thousands!
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God’s arm is strong enough, God’s fire fierce enough, to melt even the iron of self-righteousness.
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THE HIGHEST OF THE CHRISTIAN VIRTUES
Spurgeon
Self-denial and consecration are among the highest of the Christian virtues. Oh! when I see the Savior in all His agonies doing so much for us, I cannot but think that we as a Christian people do next to nothing for Him.
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THE PRIEST, THE PRIEST, THE PRIEST!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE GREAT MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
According to their teaching (Roman Catholicism), God has committed to bishops and priests the fullness of His grace, which we meekly and reverently may receive at their venerable hands.
We are told that, in connection with a few drops of water, sprinkled by the successors of the apostles, children become regenerate. Through the laying on of the same blessed hands, we afterwards become confirmed in the faith, and assured of our salvation.
Through priestly power we are made partakers of the very body and blood of Christ, which, according to them, becomes literally present through their operation.
When we come to die, they can anoint us with oil, consecrated by their power, and by this unction all our sins are forgiven us.
The top and the bottom of the system is the priest, the priest, the priest.
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A man like ourselves, and not a whit better, but ten thousand times worse for his infamous impudence in pretending to be what he is not, this man, dressed out in as many colors as the peacock, is the divinely appointed medium of grace.
R
THOROUGHLY DETESTABLE!
Spurgeon, from his sermon, “THE ECHO”
Egotism signifies that vice which admires and loves itself.
Self-conceit, Self-seeking, Self-confidence, and Self-exaltation are
thoroughly detestable!
R
POWER, LOVE, KINDNESS, FAITHFULNESS, WISDOM, GOODNESS
Spurgeon
We trust Him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution!
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THE CHIEF OBJECT OF ITS LOVE
Spurgeon
Every heart that has been renewed by sovereign grace takes Jesus Christ to be the chief object of its love.
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SELF!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE SHRILL TRUMPET OF ADMONITION”
Do not many of you who come to our places of worship live unto yourselves?
This is the end and object of the most of mankind—to live “respectably,” to collect a “competence,” to provide, as they say, for their families, which is the Pharisaic cant phrase for selfishness.
Do not the mass of men worship their belly, and bow down before no other shrine than self?
Is not the life of millions unashamed, grasping selfishness?
The grand object of human desire is—“What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and with what shall we be clothed?”
The religion of the multitude is—“Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain.”
Gain is the world’s highest good, the chief of all mortal good, the main chance, the prime object, the barometer of success in life, the one thing needful, the heart’s delight.
And yet, O worldlings, who succeed in getting gain, and are esteemed to be shrewd and prudent, Jesus Christ calls you fools, and He is no thrower about of hard terms where they are not deserved.
“You fool!” said He, and why? Because the man’s soul would be required of him; and then whose would those things be which he had gathered together?
Ah! you who have been prosperous all your days, and made money, and risen in the world, and gathered a competence, and lived to gather wealth, if this is the
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one thing you care about, tremble and expect your doom. O you careless ones, do you dream that you were made to live for yourselves?
Was it the object of your Maker that you should live to gather gold for yourselves and for your children? Did He send you into this world merely that you might scrape together yellow clay? Has your Maker no claim upon you?
R
PRIVATE DEVOTIONS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A SONG AT THE WELL-HEAD”
You are retired for your private devotions; you have opened the Bible, and you begin to read.
Now, do not be satisfied with merely reading through a chapter. Some people thoughtlessly read through two or three chapters—stupid people for doing such a thing!
It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word.
For you might as well read the alphabet backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scripture, unless you meditate upon it, and seek to comprehend its meaning.
Merely to read words is nothing: the letter kills.
The business of the believer with his Bible open is to pray, “Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of Your word, while it lies open before me; apply Your word with power to my soul, threatening or promise, doctrine or precept, whatever it may be; lead me into the soul and marrow of Your word.”
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Also, it is not the form of prayer, but the spirit of prayer that shall truly benefit your souls.
That prayer has not benefited you, which is not the prayer of the soul.
You have need to say, “Lord, give me the spirit of prayer; now help me to feel my need deeply, to perceive Your promises clearly, and to exercise faith upon them.”
In your private devotions, strive after vital godliness, real soul-work, the life-giving operation of the Spirit of God in your hearts.
R
CAST OFF THE FILTHY RAGS!
Don Fortner
You will either be saved by God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ, without your own works, or you will go to hell trying to do something to save yourself. May God help you to cast off the filthy rags of your self- righteousness, and trust the righteousness of Christ.
R
MARRIED TO AN ETHIOPIAN WOMAN!
by Spurgeon
“And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.” Numbers 12:1
Strange choice of Moses, but how much more strange the choice of him who is a prophet like unto Moses, and greater than he!
Our Lord, who is fair as the lily, has entered into marriage union with one who confesses herself to be black, because the sun has looked upon her.
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It is the wonder of angels that the love of Jesus should be set upon poor, lost, guilty men!
Each believer must, when filled with a sense of Jesus’ love, be also overwhelmed with astonishment that such love should be lavished on an object so utterly unworthy of it.
Knowing as we do our secret guiltiness, unfaithfulness, and black-heartedness, we are dissolved in grateful admi- ration of the matchless freeness and sovereignty of grace!
Jesus must have found the cause of His love in His own heart, He could not have found it in us, for it is not there. Even since our conversion we have been black, though grace has made us lovely.
“Most tender and faithful Husband of our souls, pursue your gracious work of conforming us to your image, until you shall present even us poor Ethiopians unto yourself, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”
Moses met with opposition because of his marriage, and both himself and his spouse were the subjects of an evil eye.
Can we wonder if this vain world opposes Jesus and His spouse, and especially when great sinners are converted? For this is ever the Pharisee’s ground of objection, “This man receives sinners.” Still is the old cause of quarrel revived, “Because he had married an Ethiopian woman!”
R
SITTING SIDE BY SIDE WITH CORPSES?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Alive or dead—which?”
The moralist says, “Oh! I have always lived a chaste, upright, moral life. I have been attentive to religious
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duties….” I tell you, unbelieving moralist, what you are—you are a corpse well washed and decently laid out, daintily robed in fair white linen, sprinkled plenteously with sweet perfumes, and wrapped in myrrh, and cassia, and aloes, with flowers wreathed about your brow, and your bosom bedecked by the hand of affection with sweetly blushing roses.
But you have no spiritual life, and therefore your destiny is the grave, corruption is your heritage, and your place of abode is fixed, “where their worm dies not, and the fire not quenched.” For, “He that believes not shall be damned.”
With all your excellencies and moralities, with all your baptisms and his sacraments, “He that believes not shall be damned.”
There is no middle place, no specially reserved and superior abodes for these noble and virtuous unbelievers.
If they have not believed, they shall be bound up in bundles with the rest, for God has appointed to all unbelievers their portion with liars, and thieves, and whoremongers, and drunkards, and idolaters.
Beware, you unbelievers, for your unbelief will be the most condemning evidence against you at the great judgment day.
Some of you are spiritually dead. Is not this terrible? Oh, if by some touch of an angel’s wand, our bodies should all become as our souls are, how many corpses would fill these aisles, and crowd these pews! Oh! what a sight this place would be! Those of us who are alive would hasten to gather up our things and say, “Let us be gone! How can we sit side by side with corpses?”
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EVERY MAN IS BORN A PHARISEE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GRACE—THE ONE WAY OF SALVATION”
“We believe that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved.” Acts 15:11
The creed of the world is, “Do your best, and it will be all right with you.” To question this is treason against the pride of human nature, which evermore clings to salvation by its own merits. Every man is born a Pharisee! “What,” says a man, “do you not believe that if a man does his best, he will fare well in the next world? Why, you know, we must all live as well as we can, every man according to his own light; and if every man follows out his own conscience, as near as may be, surely it will be well with us.”
The apostle did not believe in self-righteousness. “We believe that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved.” Acts 15:11.
Salvation is not through our good works, not through anything that we do, not by the merit of anything which we feel or perform, but by grace, that is to say, by the free favor of God.
We believe that if we are ever saved at all, we must be saved ‘gratis’—saved as the gratuitous act of a bountiful God—saved by a gift, not by wages—saved by God’s love, not by our own doings or merits.
This is the apostle’s creed—salvation is all of grace from first to last, and the channel of that grace is the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved, and lived, and died, and rose again for our salvation. He takes the crown from off the head of man in all respects, and gives all glory to the grace of God. He extols God, the gracious sovereign, who will have mercy upon whom He will
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have mercy, and who will have compassion upon whom He will have compassion.
Not by ritualism, not by good works, not by our own unaided free will are we saved, but by the grace of God alone!
Those who preach mere morality, or set up any way except that of trusting in the grace of God through Christ Jesus, preach another gospel, and they shall be accursed, even though they preach it with an angel’s eloquence!
R
GET OUT OF THE CHURCH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “OUR POSITION AND OUR PURPOSE”
I would say to you, members of this church, “Be holy!” Whatever you are, do seek to be holy.
And if you will not be holy—if you have a mind to keep your sins—do us the favor to give up your profession. If you will have your sins, and go to hell, you can do it so much better outside the church than you can inside.
I cannot see why you must need to do Christ the double ill-turn to be His enemy, and yet profess to be His friend.
Get out of the church, you that are hypocrites!
R
THE GREAT PHYSICIAN!
by Thomas Watson
Christ is the most inexpensive physician; He takes no fee. He desires us to bring nothing to Him but broken hearts. And when He has cured us, He desires us to bestow nothing on Him but our love.
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Christ heals with more ease than any other. Christ makes the devil go out with a word (Mark 9:25). Nay, He can cure with a look: Christ’s look melted Peter into repentance; it was a healing look. If Christ does but cast a look upon the soul He can heal it.
Christ is the most tenderhearted physician. He is not more full of skill than sympathy—‘He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds’ (Psalm 147:3). Every groan of the patient goes to the heart of this physician.
Christ never fails of success. Christ never undertakes to heal any but He makes a certain cure.
Other physicians can only cure those who are sick, but Christ cures those who are dead, ‘And you has He quickened who were dead’ (Eph 2:1). Christ is a physician for the dead—of every one whom Christ cures, it may be said, ‘He was dead, and is alive again’ (Luke 15:32).
Christ is the most bountiful physician. Other patients do enrich their physicians, but here the physician enriches the patient. Christ elevates all His patients: He not only cures them but crowns them! (Rev. 2:10). Christ does not only raise them from the bed, but to the throne! He gives the sick man not only health but also heaven!
R
BETTER AN OUNCE OF DIVINE GRACE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “DANIEL’S UNDAUNTED COURAGE”
Better to pine with Lazarus than feast with Dives, for the love of God more than compensates for temporary disadvantages. Better an ounce of divine grace than a ton of worldly goods.
R
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THAT VOICE OF LOVE!
by Spurgeon
“You who dwell in the gardens, the friends hearken to your
voice: cause me to hear it.” Song of Solomon 8:13
My sweet Lord Jesus remembers well the garden of Gethsemane, and although He has left that garden, He now dwells in the garden of His church. There He unbosoms Himself to those who keep His blessed company. That voice of love with which He speaks to His beloved is more musical than the harps of heaven. There is a depth of melodious love within it which leaves all human music far behind.
Ten of thousands on earth, and millions above, are indulged with its harmonious accents. Some whom I well know, and whom I greatly envy, are at this moment hearkening to the beloved voice. O that I were a partaker of their joys! It is true some of these are poor, others bedridden, and some near the gates of death, but O my Lord, I would cheerfully starve with them, pine with them, or die with them, if I might but hear Your voice.
Once I did hear it often, but I have grieved Your Spirit. Return unto me in compassion, and once again say unto me, “I am your salvation.” No other voice can content me; I know Your voice, and cannot be deceived by another, let me hear it, I beg You.
I know not what You will say, neither do I make any condition, O my Beloved, do but let me hear You speak, and if it be a rebuke I will bless You for it. Perhaps to cleanse my dull ear may need an operation very grievous to the flesh, but let it cost what it may, I turn not from the one consuming desire—cause me to hear Your voice. Bore my ear afresh; pierce my ear with Your
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harshest notes, only do not permit me to continue deaf to Your calls.
Lord, grant Your unworthy one his desire, for I am Yours, and You have bought me with Your blood. You have opened my eye to see You, and the sight has saved me. Lord, open my ear! I have read Your heart, now let me hear Your lips.
R
TROUBLES! TRIALS! AFFLICTIONS!
by Spurgeon
“Why have you brought this trouble on your servant?”
Numbers 11:11
Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test.
It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden.
A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, for He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people, which are His own handiwork.
When “tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope,” the Lord is honored by these growing virtues. We would never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy
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the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which His vessels of mercy are permitted to pass.
Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation—let us muse upon it all day long.
R
“HE CARRIES THE LAMBS IN HIS BOSOM”
ISAIAH 40:11
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JESUS AND THE LAMBS”
The bosom, why that is the tenderest place, where we should put a poor creature that had a broken bone, and could not bear to be roughly touched.
The bosom, that is the safest place. It makes one wish to be always a lamb, if one could always ride in that chariot. Delightful is the weakness, which casts us upon such gracious strength.
“He carries the lambs in His bosom.” Why, that is the most honorable place. We would not put into our bosom that which was despised. We should not think of carrying
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there anything which was not choice and dear and exceedingly precious.
So, you weak one, though you think yourself to be less than nothing, and are nothing in yourself, yet you shall have all the security which the heart of Deity can give you, all the comfort that the love of Christ can pour upon you, all the honor and dignity which nearness, and fellowship, and dearness of love can bestow upon a poor mortal. Rejoice, you lambs, that you have such a Shepherd to carry you near His heart!
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IF WE COULD SEE THE CRUCIFIED ONE
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SEEING JESUS”
Do you think we could sit still, or grow worldly, or spend all our energies upon ourselves, if we could see the Crucified One?
Faith, when it takes a stand at the foot of the cross, makes us hate sin and love the Savior just as much as though we had seen our sins placed to Christ’s account, and had seen the nails driven through His hands and feet, and seen the bloody scourges as they made the sacred drops of blood to fall.
R
BETTER THAT THE DOGS SHOULD EAT MY
WORTHLESS CARRION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LIFE BY FAITH”
I am afraid many professors live a kind of listless, dreamy, comatose life.
I mean some of you. You have been honest, you have subscribed to church funds, have done your duty
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outwardly as a Christian, but there has been very little vitality in your godliness; it has been surface work, skin-deep consistency. You have not been exhilarated by a sense of divine love and a delightful recognition of your interest in it. You have gone on dreamily.
O for a thunderbolt to wake you, for this is dangerous living!
I would quite as soon not be, as live to be a useless thing.
Better far to fatten the fields with one’s corpse, than to lie rotting above ground in spiritual idleness!
To be a soldier in Immanuel’s ranks, and never fight, never uphold a banner, nor hurl a spear—better that the dogs should eat my worthless carrion, than that such should be the case.
R
“BLESSED IS THE MAN…
Spurgeon
“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted
by the rivers of water,
that brings forth its fruit in its season,
whose leaf also shall not wither;
and whatever he does shall prosper.”—Psalm 1:1-3
And he shall be like a tree planted—not a wild tree, but “a tree planted,” chosen, considered as property, cultivated and secured from the last terrible uprooting,
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for “every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up.” Matt. 15:13.
By the rivers of water; so that even if one river should fail, he has another. The rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of the promise and the rivers of communion with Christ, are never failing sources of supply.
That brings forth his fruit in his season; not unseasonable graces, like untimely figs, which are never full flavored. But the man who delights in God’s Word, being taught by it, brings forth patience in the time of suffering, faith in the day of trial, and holy joy in the hour of prosperity. Fruitfulness is an essential quality of a gracious man, and that fruitfulness should be seasonable.
His leaf also shall not wither; his faintest word shall be everlasting; his little deeds of love shall be had in remembrance. Not simply shall his fruit be preserved, but his leaf also. He shall neither lose his beauty nor his fruitfulness. The Lord’s trees are all evergreens. No winter’s cold can destroy their verdure; and yet, unlike evergreens in our country, they are all fruit bearers.
And whatsoever he does shall prosper. Blessed is the man who has such a promise as this. But we must not always estimate the fulfilment of a promise by our own eyesight. How often, my brethren, if we judge by feeble sense, may we come to the mournful conclusion of Jacob, “All these things are against me!” For though we know our interest in the promise, yet we are so tried and troubled, that sight sees the very reverse of what that promise foretells. But to the eye of faith this word is sure, and by it we perceive that our works are prospered, even when everything seems to go against us. It is not outward prosperity which the Christian
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most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for. We often, like Jehoshaphat, make ships to go to Tarshish for gold, but they are broken at Eziongeber; but even here there is a true prospering, for it is often for the soul’s health that we would be poor, bereaved, and persecuted. Our worst things are often our best things. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the righteous man’s crosses, losses, and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.
R
THE SOVEREIGN ELECTING GRACE OF GOD
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE WIDOW OF SAREPTA”
None of us have any right to God’s mercy.
Election is an indisputable truth of Christianity, and one full of the richest comfort to the child of God—one which is intended to kindle in him perpetual flames of adoring gratitude. It is a truth which lays him low, and makes him feel that there is nothing in him, and then raises him up and bids him, like a seraph, adore before the throne!
Distinguishing grace is a fact; prize this truth and hold it firmly. Thank God that you are made a partaker of His eternal love.
The sovereign electing grace of God chooses us to repentance, to faith, and afterwards to holiness of living, to Christian service, to zeal, and to devotion.
Election should be to you savory meat such as Isaac’s soul loved; and as you feed upon it you will become like the three holy children in Babylon, both fatter and
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fairer and more lovely than those who have not received this precious truth.
R
SEEK! STRIVE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“RETURN, RETURN, O SHULAMITE; RETURN, RETURN!”
Every day seek to lose yourself more in Christ, to live more completely in Him, by Him, for Him, with Him.
Seek greater heights of holiness, deeper self-denial,
braver service,
more intense love, and more burning zeal.
Strive to be more Godlike and Christlike.
R
OBJECTS OF DIVINE LOVE!
Spurgeon
How marvelous that we, worms, mortals, sinners, should be the objects of divine love!
R
YOU OWE ALL TO CHRIST
Spurgeon
What will you render to Him? Ah! beloved, Christ will take anything that comes from your heart, whatever the gift may be. However feeble, and weak, and insignificant it may seem to others, it shall be rich and lovely to Him, if it comes from your heart. Make that a resolution, that this day something shall be done by you for Christ.
R
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HOARDED UP FOR WORMS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE PERFUMING OF THE HEART”
God, the thrice holy One, cannot love that which is unholy and defiled. He cannot take delight in that which is contrary to Himself. Yet, as He views us in Jesus, He sees neither sin nor iniquity in His people, and therefore can love us with delight.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you.” Jer. 31:3
In the exercise of His sovereign will, God loves the people of His choice.
Oh, this is astounding, this is marvelous!
Consider this, believer, and be astonished that love should come from God to such a one as yourself.
The Lord loves you!
You give Him pleasure.
He has a delight in you!
He watches for your good.
You are one of His children.
Your name is written on His heart! Can you catch the thought?
If so there is no praise that can express your gratitude. Solemn silence will perhaps be the only vehicle that shall seem fitting for your soul’s adoration.
Revolve this thought again and again in your soul! He that made the heavens and the earth loves me! He whose angels fly as lightning to obey His behests, the tramp of whose marching shakes both heaven and earth, whose smile is heaven, and whose frown is hell—He loves me!
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Infinite, almighty, omniscient, eternal, a mind inconceivable, a spirit that is not to be comprehended; but He, even He has set His love upon me!
Oh, this is astounding, this is marvelous!
God’s dearest love has been hoarded up for worms!
It is saved for the creatures of a day, reserved for us poor ephemera who are and are not—that we should be favored above all that live. It is not for tongues to tell out this wonder, but spiritual minds helped from on high may feel in solemn stillness what a mystery is here.
God loves His people with all His heart!
Consider carefully who it is that loves you, namely, the Most High God, the King of kings! If you estimate it rightly, not only all that you now need, but all that you ever can need, all that the flights of fancy or the conceptions of understanding can bring before you, are contained in that one fact, that the Lord loves you.
Let the worlds be given to whom God may please, as men give husks to swine. If we have His love it is enough, our soul is filled to the brim, and flows over with satisfaction. It is a matchless thing to be loved by Jehovah, the only living God!
God’s love to His people is unvarying—He never loves them less, He cannot love them more. God loves each one of His people as much as if there were only that one created being in all heaven or earth, and as if there were no other object for Him to set His love upon!
As the Father loves Christ, even so does He love His people with a love without a parallel!
There is no love that can any more be compared with God’s, than the faint gleam of a candle can be likened to the blaze of the sun at noonday. He loves His people
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so much that He gives them all that He has! He gave His own Son, His choicest and greatest treasure, a treasure the like of which heaven and earth could not match! This divine love has no shore!
God will never cease to love the objects of His choice!
R
THE GIFT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SAVING KNOWLEDGE”
God often gives the most of this world to wicked men—He pours the husks out to the swine! As for His children, He often wrings out to them a full cup of bitterness. This world is not our portion, as we know right well.
Jesus Christ is “God’s unspeakable gift,” for whom we should daily and hourly lift up our hearts in gratitude to God. To the whole company of God’s elect, Jesus Christ is the priceless boon which the Father’s love has bestowed upon them!
There is not a piece of bread we eat, nor a drop of water we drink, but what it may be called the gift of God.
But the gift which comprehends, excels, and sanctifies all other gifts, is the gift of Jesus Christ to the sons of men!
An unfathomable depth of divine love is there in the condescending lovingkindness which gave Jesus Christ to die for us when we were yet sinners.
Jesus is an unrivaled gift!
God has given to us such a treasure, that if heaven and earth were melted down, the price could not buy another like Him!
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Oh, what a gift! You cannot conceive of anything that can even compare with it!
It is a gift which comprehends all things within itself. Get Christ and you have the pardon of sin, justification, sanctification, adoption, regeneration.
Every covenant gift is wrapped up in Christ Jesus. All things that can possibly be needed for the Christian for time and for eternity, are given to him in the person of the Lord Jesus.
This gift sweetens all other things—Temporal mercies are blessed when we have Christ with them, but if Christ is gone, they are but empty vanities.
Temporal mercies without Christ are like ciphers without a figure. But when you have these temporal mercies, and Christ stands in front of them, oh, what an amount they make!
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” R
O STONE-BLIND EYES
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GOOD NEWS FOR LOYAL SUBJECTS”
O stone-blind eyes, if you could but see Jesus, how you would be fixed on Him in one long fascinated gaze!
You see no loveliness where there is all loveliness, and no perfection where every perfection dwells.
As well might men say that there is no light from the sun, as declare that there is no loveliness in Jesus. As well might they say that there is no salt in the sea, as that there is no sweetness in Christ, for He is altogether lovely.
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All preciousnesses, at their very highest degrees, are found blended in His gracious character.
O blind world, if you had grace enough to see but half the beauties of Christ, how you would cease your rebellion, and fall down to worship the matchless Prince!
R
THE GREATEST ABSURDITY AND CONTRADICTION!
Jonathan Edwards, “CHARITY AND ITS FRUITS”
Envy, malice, ill-will and bitterness of spirit are the very reverse of the real essence of Christianity.
Love is the sum and temper and spirit of Christianity.
An envious Christian, a malicious Christian, a cold and hard-hearted Christian, is the greatest absurdity and contradiction!
R
NATURE
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JOSHUA’S OBEDIENCE”
NATURE is a looking-glass in which I see the face of God.
I delight to gaze abroad, and “Look through nature, up to nature’s God.”
We may delight ourselves in the works of God, and find much pleasure therein, and get much advanced towards God Himself by considering His works.
R
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MONSTERS OF INIQUITY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SPOTS IN OUR FEASTS OF CHARITY”
Oh, the depths of human sin!
Sin is an incomprehensible thing!
There is no water so deep but fish will swim in it; no pond so foul but frogs will live in it;
no mire so filthy but swine will wallow in it, and no sin so damnable but man will commit it.
Men will even seek out ways and means of making themselves more and more proficient in the most filthy of vices.
If in these times there should arise monsters of iniquity, we must not be astonished, for long practice of sin makes men proficient therein.
The earth is ripening, and men’s characters are rotting to the uttermost degree of corruption.
We must expect to see more and more of the boilings over of the sink of iniquity, which lies in human nature.
Christian, what might you have been, but for God’s distinguishing grace to you?
Why, might not you have been Judas? Christian, is there any betterness in your heart beyond the heart of Judas?
Judas was an apostle, mark you, a preacher, a miracle- worker; he dipped his hand with Jesus in the dish, and yet he sold Him; and why not you?
“Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.” What another man has done you may do; and there are no depths of wickedness into which you might not have
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plunged had not the preventing grace of God stopped your course.
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THE DEADLY CANCER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “WORKING OUT WHAT IS WORKED IN”
The roots of our selfishness go very deep. The deadly cancer of self-love has thrust its horrible roots into our souls, intertwisting them with the vital fibers of our heart.
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MAN, HORSE OR COW?
Spurgeon
Most men scarcely give any thought to their souls. They live as if they were a horse or a cow.
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WHAT A MONSTER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE DEEP-SEATED CHARACTER OF SIN”
Tens of thousands of people in this so called Christian land, live in utter neglect of God.
If there were no God, it would not in any way affect the lives of most men: they live precisely as if there were none.
“God is not in all their thoughts.”
They never pause over an action, and ask, “Will God be angry with this?” They are never moved to the perfor- mance of virtue by the reflection that God will approve it.
There is no God to them, though their table is loaded with the bounties of His providence; no God even
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though the sick chamber be made to feel the terror of His rod; no God to them though they walk in all the fields of nature, and behold evidences of Deity on every side; no God though they might see His finger in every event of their lives.
They live like brutes in this respect, and alas! many of them die the same—without God, without hope, earth grubbers, buried in earth!
Ah! this is a strange thing. This shows what a monster, what a diabolical miracle sin is—that God should be around us all the day long, and yet before His very face we should dare to say and think, and do that which is contrary to His will, although a word of His could crush us as the moth is crushed, although His will could sink us into the profoundest hell. What words shall denounce the arrogance and impudence of sin?
Sin is a defiance of God to His face, a stabbing of God, so far as man can do it, to the very heart!
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SWINE-TROUGHS AND HUSKS!
by Spurgeon
“With You is the fountain of life.” Psalm 36:9
There are times in our spiritual experience when human counsel or sympathy, or religious ordinances, fail to comfort or help us.
Why does our gracious God permit this?
Perhaps it is because we have been living too much without Him, and He therefore takes away everything upon which we have been in the habit of depending, that He may drive us to Himself.
We are like the prodigal, we love the swine troughs and forget our Father’s house.
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Remember, we can make swine troughs and husks even out of the forms of religion. They are blessed things, but we may put them in God’s place, and then they are of no value.
Anything becomes an idol when it keeps us away from God!
The prodigal was never safer than when he was driven to his father’s bosom, because he could find sustenance nowhere else.
Our Lord favors us with a famine in the land that it may make us seek after Himself the more.
The best position for a Christian is living wholly and directly on God’s grace. Beloved, when we are brought to a thirsting condition, we are sure to turn to the fountain of life with eagerness.
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FALLEN MAN
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “THE EXCELLENCY OF JESUS CHRIST”
Fallen man is in a state of exceedingly great misery, and is helpless in it. He is a poor weak creature, like an infant cast out in its blood in the day that it is born— but Christ is the Lion of the tribe of Judah; He is strong, though we are weak. He has prevailed to do that for us which no other creature could do.
Fallen man is a mean despicable creature, a contemptible worm—but Christ, who has undertaken for us, is infinitely honorable and worthy.
Fallen man is polluted—but Christ is infinitely holy! Fallen man is hateful—but Christ is infinitely lovely!
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Fallen man is the object of God’s indignation—but Christ is infinitely dear to Him!
We have dreadfully provoked God—but Christ has performed that righteousness which is infinitely precious in God’s eyes.
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David Dickson, when dying was asked what was the principal subject on which his thoughts were engaged, and he answered, “I am gathering up all my good works, and all my bad works, tying them into one bundle, and throwing them all alike down at the foot of the cross, and am resting alone upon the finished work of Jesus.”
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IF WE WERE MORE LIKE CHRIST!
by Spurgeon
“It is enough for the disciple that he be like his master.” Matthew 10:25
When our Lord was on earth, what was the treatment He received? Were His claims acknowledged, His instructions followed, and His perfections worshiped, by those whom He came to bless? No; “He was despised and rejected of men.” Outside the camp was His place; cross-bearing was His occupation.
Did the world yield Him solace and rest? “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no where to lay His head.” This inhospitable world afforded Him no shelter: it cast Him out and crucified Him.
If you are a follower of Jesus, and maintain a consistent, Christ-like walk and conversation, you must expect the same treatment from the world.
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They will treat you as they treated the Savior—they will despise you. Do not dream not that worldlings will admire you, or that the more holy and the more Christ- like you are, the more peaceably people will act towards you.
They prized not the polished gem, how should they value the jewel in the rough?
“If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call those of His household?”
If we were more like Christ, we would be more hated by His enemies!
It is a sad dishonor to a child of God to be the world’s favorite. It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout, “Well done” to the Christian man. When the unrighteous give him their approbation, he should begin to look to his character, and wonder whether he has not been doing wrong.
Let us be true to our Master, and have no friendship with a blind and base world which scorns and rejects Him. Far be it from us to seek a crown of honor where our Lord found a coronet of thorns!
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HUMILITY
Jonathan Edwards, “CHARITY AND ITS FRUITS”
Humility is a most essential and distinguishing trait in all true piety.
Humility may be defined to be a habit of mind and heart corresponding to our comparative unworthiness and vileness before God, or a sense of our own comparative lowliness in His sight, with the disposition to a behavior answerable thereto.
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We are not truly humble unless we have a sense of our nothingness as compared with God.
We are little, despicable creatures, even worms of the dust, and we should feel that we are as nothing, and less than nothing, in comparison with the Majesty of heaven and earth.
The truly humble man is also sensible of his vileness and filthiness as a sinner.
He sees how exceedingly polluted he is before an infinitely holy God, in whose sight the heavens are not clean. He sees how pure God is, and how filthy and abominable he is before Him.
Humility disposes a person heartily and freely to acknowledge his lowliness and littleness before God. He sees how fit and suitable it is that he should do this, and he does it willingly, and even with delight.
He freely confesses his own nothingness and vileness, and owns himself unworthy of any mercy, and deserving of all misery.
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YOU WILL DROWN, SIR PRIEST!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NOAH’S FLOOD”
“The flood came and took them all away.” Matthew 24:39
The destruction caused by the deluge was universal. It did not merely sweep away some who were outside of the ark, but it swept them all away.
I doubt not that among those who perished in Noah’s flood, there were many who were very zealous in the cause of religion.
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But when the flood came, these men being outside of the ark, whether priests or not, did not escape; it swept them all away.
O you who wear the robes of priesthood, and profess to be sent of God to teach others, with all your boasted magical powers, if you do not believe in Jesus as poor guilty sinners, and look up to the cross alone for your salvation, when the flood comes it will sweep you all away.
You will drown, Sir Priest, despite your baptismal regeneration and your sacramental efficacy! You will sink with a lying absolution on your lips down to the nethermost hell! In that day of wrath, the fiery deluge shall sweep you also all away.
The flood shall sweep away all at last—whether religious or profane, for they have not fled to the ark, and so have rejected the one only shelter.
“The flood came and took them all away.”
It all hinges on this one matter—inside or outside the
ark. (Christ)
Those inside the ark may have a thousand imperfections, but all are saved without a single exception at last!
Those outside the ark may have a thousand excellencies, but all are drowned without a single exception at last! They all perished in the universal destruction.
Here is the solemn thought. Here is a rule without an exception—
All outside of Christ lost; all in Christ saved. All unbelievers perishing; all believers saved.
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THE MOST POISONOUS SERPENTS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SPOTS IN OUR FEASTS OF CHARITY”
Watch constantly against those things which are thought to be no temptations.
The most poisonous serpents are found where the sweetest flowers grow.
Cleopatra was poisoned by an asp that was brought to her in a basket of fair flowers.
Sharp-edged tools, long handled, wound at last.
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AND THE YOUNG DIED TOO!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NOAH’S FLOOD”
“The flood came and took them all away.” Matthew 24:39
The destruction caused by the deluge was universal. It did not merely sweep away some who were outside of the ark, but it swept them all away.
And the young died too. That one dreadful destruction took away the little child in his beauty, and the young man in his strength, and the maiden in her bloom. The flood took them all away… No, neither shall the young nor the old escape except by coming to Christ. “You must be born again,” is of universal application to you who are young, and to you who are grey headed. No youth can excuse, no experience can exempt, but alike will the flood of divine wrath overwhelm every human soul, unless we find refuge in the ark of the covenant of grace, even the work and person of Jesus, the bleeding Lamb of God.
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It all hinges on this one matter—inside or outside the ark. (Christ)
Those inside the ark may have a thousand imperfections, but all are saved without a single exception at last!
Those outside the ark may have a thousand excellencies, but all are drowned without a single exception at last! They all perished in the universal destruction.
Here is the solemn thought. Here is a rule without an exception—
All outside of Christ lost; all in Christ saved. All unbelievers perishing; all believers saved.
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CRUCIFY KING SELF!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE GREAT ATTRACTION”
Nothing will kill self like a sight of the Crucified. Lift up the Savior, and down self must go.
High thoughts of Christ are always attended by low thoughts of self and vice versa.
Think much of yourself, and you will think little of the Savior.
A very low esteem of our own merit, brings a very high esteem of the merits of Christ.
If anything can crucify King Self, it is a sight of the cross upon which the Savior bled.
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THE BAUBLES AND THE BUBBLES OF THIS WORLD
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST”
How amazingly foolish, must those be who will not have Christ when He is to be had for the asking!
They prefer THE BAUBLES AND THE BUBBLES OF THIS WORLD, and let the solid gold of eternity go by! O fools, to play with shadows and miss the substance! You dig and toil, and cover your faces with sweat, and lose your nightly rest, to get this world’s fleeting good, while you neglect Him who is the eternal good!
O fools and slow of heart, to court THIS HARLOT WORLD, with her painted face, when the beauties of my Master are infinitely more rich and rare!
Oh! if you did but know Him, if you could but see His unspeakable riches, you would fling YOUR TOYS to the wind, and follow after Him with all your heart and soul.
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THE CROWN OF UNIVERSAL MONARCHY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JESUS, THE SHEPHERD”
Jesus Christ is King in the world today!
The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice!
Jesus Christ wears the crown of universal monarchy!
Nothing happens but that which Jesus permits, ordains, and overrules!
Let empires go to wreck, it is Christ who breaks them with a rod of iron, and shivers them like potters’ vessels.
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Let conflagrations burn down cities, and let diseases devastate nations; let war succeed to war, and pestilence to famine, yet still Jesus rules all things well, and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose!
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ASPIRE TO A HIGHER, A NOBLER, A FULLER LIFE!
by Spurgeon
“Get up into the high mountain.” Isaiah 40:9
Each believer should be thirsting for God, for the living God, and longing to climb the hill of the Lord, and see Him face to face.
We ought not to rest content in the mists of the valley, when the summit of Tabor awaits us.
My soul thirsts to drink deep of the cup which is reserved for those who reach the mountain’s summit, and bathe their brows in heaven. How pure are the dews of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich the fare of the dwellers aloft, whose windows look into the New Jerusalem!
Many saints are content to live like men in coalmines, who see not the sun. They eat dust like the serpent when they might taste the ambrosial food of angels. They are content to wear the miner’s garb when they might put on king’s robes! Tears mar their faces when they might anoint them with celestial oil.
Many a believer pines in a dungeon, when he might walk on the palace roof, and view the goodly land of Lebanon.
Rouse up, O believer, from your low condition!
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Cast away your sloth, your lethargy, your coldness, or whatever interferes with your chaste and pure love to Christ, your soul’s Husband.
Make Him the source, the center, and the circumference of all your soul’s delight.
What enchants you into such folly as to remain in a pit when you may sit on a throne?
Live not in the lowlands of bondage now that mountain liberty is conferred upon you.
Rest no longer satisfied with your dwarfish attainments, but press forward to things more sublime and heavenly.
Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life! Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!
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IN HIS HANDS
Spurgeon
In proportion as the dear crucified Savior reigns in your soul, and His beauties ravish your heart; in that proportion you feel that all is safe because you are in His hands.
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GOD’S CHILDREN RUN HOME WHEN THE STORM COMES ON
Spurgeon
“O that I knew where I might find Him!” Job 23:3
In Job’s uttermost extremity he cried after the Lord. The longing desire of an afflicted child of God is once more to see His Father’s face. His first prayer is not “O that I might be healed of the disease which now festers
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in every part of my body!” nor even “O that I might see my children restored from the jaws of the grave, and my property once more brought from the hand of the spoiler.”
But the first and uppermost cry is, “O that I knew where I might find HIM, who is my God! that I might come even to His seat!”
God’s children run home when the storm comes on.
It is the heaven born instinct of a gracious soul to seek shelter from all ills beneath the wings of Jehovah. “He that has made his refuge God,” might serve as the title of a true believer.
A hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the infliction, and, like a slave, would run from the Master who has scourged him.
But not so the true heir of heaven, he kisses the hand which smote him, and seeks shelter from the rod in the bosom of the God who frowned upon him.
Job’s desire to commune with God was intensified by the failure of all other sources of consolation. The patriarch turned away from his sorry friends, and looked up to the celestial throne, just as a traveler turns from his empty skin bottle, and betakes himself with all speed to the well. He bids farewell to earthborn hopes, and cries, “O that I knew where I might find my God!”
Nothing teaches us so much the preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the emptiness of all besides.
Turning away with bitter scorn from earth’s hives, where we find no honey, but many sharp stings, we rejoice in Him whose faithful word is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb.
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In every trouble we should first seek to realize God’s presence with us. Only let us enjoy His smile, and we can bear our daily cross with a willing heart for His dear sake.
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WE ARE CHRIST’S
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST THE GLORY OF HIS PEOPLE”
We are Christ’s by eternal choice. “You only have I known (or loved) of all the nations of the earth.” The eternal Father has selected us from among the ruins of the fall, and given us into the hands of Christ that we may be His portion, His bride, His jewels, “according as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.”
We are Christ’s by redemption. He has redeemed us from among men by a special and particular redemption which is distinctive to ourselves. A price has been paid for us, an effectual price, which will not permit for a moment that the objects so purchased shall ever be lost. “You are not your own, you are bought with a price.” The saints are redeemed from among men. Thus are we Christ’s by double bonds—the gift of the Father, the purchase of His own blood. The Father gave us to Jesus, and none shall pluck us of His almighty hands.
We are Christ’s by conquest. We admit it. The Spirit of the living God has taken us, as it were, like a lamb from the jaws of the lion. We were once led captives by the devil, but Christ met the devil and overcame him in terrific duel, and we, the once willing captives of the powers of darkness, are now Christ’s portion made free and blessed. We are now the possession of our Conqueror, for He took us out of the hand of the enemy with His sword and with His bow. We belong to Christ as the spoil which He has won from death and hell.
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We are Christ’s by voluntary dedication of ourselves to Him. Come, beloved, is it not so? We will confess that there is not a drop of blood in our veins which does not belong to Jesus, nor a hair on our head which is not His.
We are Christ’s by conjugal bonds—married to Him as chaste virgins. His unbounded love espoused us before time began, and it has not diminished. He claims us as His own bride, and we call Him the Husband of our souls, and delight to have it so.
We are Christ’s by in vital union as the members belong to the head. We are in personal, vital, actual communion with the Son of God. We are thus His in the fullest and most absolute sense.
We are Christ’s absolute property. We are Christ’s people, wholly belonging to Him.
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REND YOUR HEART!
Spurgeon
“Rend your heart, and not your garments.” Joel 2:13
Garment rending and other outward signs of religious emotion, are easily manifested and are frequently hypocritical; but to feel true repentance is far more difficult, and consequently far less common. Men will attend to the most multiplied and minute ceremonial regulations; for such things are pleasing to the flesh; but true religion is too humbling, too heart-searching, too thorough for the tastes of the carnal men; they prefer something more ostentatious, flimsy, and worldly. Outward observances are temporarily comfortable; eye and ear are pleased; self-conceit is fed, and self- righteousness is puffed up: but they are ultimately delusive, for in the time of death, and at the day of judgment, the soul needs something more substantial
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than ceremonies and rituals to lean upon. Apart from vital godliness all religion is utterly vain; offered without a sincere heart, every form of worship is a solemn sham and an impudent mockery of the majesty of heaven.
HEART-RENDING is divinely wrought and solemnly felt. It is a secret grief which is personally experienced, not in mere form, but as a deep, soul moving work of the Holy Spirit upon the inmost heart of each believer. It is not a matter to be merely talked of and believed in, but keenly and sensitively felt in every living child of the living God. It is powerfully humiliating, and com- pletely sin purging; but then it is sweetly preparative for those gracious consolations which proud unhumbled spirits are unable to receive; and it is distinctly discriminating, for it belongs to the elect of God, and to them alone.
The text commands us to rend our hearts, but they are naturally hard as marble: how, then, can this be done? We must take them to Calvary: a dying Savior’s voice rent the rocks once, and it is as powerful now. O blessed Spirit, let us hear the death cries of Jesus, and our hearts shall be rent even as men rend their vestures in the day of lamentation.
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ELECTING LOVE
Spurgeon
Electing love has selected some of the worst of men to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook Grace turn into jewels for the Savior’s crown. Worthless dross He transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Savior’s passion and death. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy.
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EFFECTUAL CALLING
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“EFFECTUAL CALLING: ILLUSTRATED BY THE CALL OF ABRAM”
Effectual Calling springs from the divine purpose, and is wrought by divine energy. There must be a super- natural work, or you cannot be saved.
Many find that to be a Christian they must give up many of the things they love, and like Lot’s wife, they look back and perish. They go back to the city of destruction.
Then the Lord told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
The effectual call, wherever it comes to a man, is a separating sword, cutting him off from old associations.
It makes him feel that this world is not his country. He lives in it as a stranger lives in a foreign land. He is in the world, but he is not of it. His citizenship is in heaven. He becomes a citizen of another city, and an alien in these cities of earth.
The very essence of the Christian faith is separateness from the world!
For Christ’s sake the Christian man is henceforth obliged to be separated in many respects from those of his family and friends that remain in their sins.
They are living according to the flesh. They are seeking this world.
Their pleasure is here.
Their comfort below the skies.
The man who is called by grace lives in the same house, but lives not under the influence of the same motives, nor is he ruled by the same desires.
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He is so different from others that very soon they find him out; and, as Ishmael mocked Isaac, so the sons of the world mock at the child of God. “A man’s enemies shall be those of his own household.”
It is no child’s play to be a Christian!
To try to be a worldly Christian or a Christian worldling, is to attempt an impossible thing!
“You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Whatever it may cost you, if you are truly called by grace, come out and leave all behind. We must always unhesitatingly follow the guidance of our heavenly Father. It is through much tribulation that we inherit the kingdom.
Brethren, behold the crown which is held forth to you! It is no other than everlasting life! Behold your reward! It is the city whose gates are pearls, and whose streets are gold. Your unrivaled portion is ineffable bliss, to be with Christ, to dwell with Him in ecstatic bliss, world without end. You have everything to gain, and that which you have to lose compared with it, is less than nothing. The present light affliction incident to a godly life is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in you.
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THE BLACK DROP IS SWALLOWED UP IN A SEA OF VICTORY!
Spurgeon
If to die is but to enter into uninterrupted communion with Jesus, then death is indeed gain, and the black drop is swallowed up in a sea of victory!
“So shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thess. 4:17 R
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SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD’S RELIGION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LIGHT, NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL”
As soon as the Lord gives to any believer spiritual light, he begins to separate himself from the darkness.
The world’s religion used to satisfy him. If there was a pretty looking building, and a good looking minister who could put his words together well, and garnish the altar finely, the child of darkness did not care what he heard; whether the gospel was preached or not. But so soon as he receives spiritual light, he cries, “All this is nothing to me, I need light and truth, and I cannot go to hear anything but the gospel.”
He separates himself from the world’s religion, finds out where Christ is preached, and goes there.
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SEA OF INEFFABLE LOVE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SOWN LIGHT”
O my soul, what an eternal satisfaction to you to be forever with the Lord! One glimpse of His dear face on earth has ravished you, but what must it be forever without a veil between, to gaze into that beloved countenance, and to feel His love shed abroad in your heart, and your heart plunged into that sea of ineffable love!
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IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT HEAVEN IS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST THE GLORY OF HIS PEOPLE”
If you want to know what heaven is, you can spell it in five letters, and when you put the five letters together
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they look like this: J E S U S. That is heaven. It is all the heaven the angels round the throne desire to know. They want nothing better than this—to see His face, to behold His glory, and to dwell in it world without end.
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STUFFED CHRISTIANS?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LIFE’S EVER SPRINGING WELL”
“We are all Christians.”
“Why, we belong to a Christian nation; are we not born Christians?”
“Surely we must be all right; we have always attended our parish church, is not that enough?”
“Our parents were always godly; we were born into the church, were we not? Did they not take us up in their arms when we were little, and make us members of Christ? What more do we lack?”
This is the common talk.
There is no Christian practice, there is no Christian habit, but what has been, or will be before long, imitated by people who have no vital godliness whatever.
A man may appear much like a Christian, and yet possess no vital godliness!
Walk through the British Museum, and you will see all the orders of animals standing in their various places, and exhibiting themselves with the utmost possible propriety. The rhinoceros demurely retains the position in which he was set at first; the eagle soars not through the window; the wolf howls not at night; every creature, whether bird, beast, or fish, remains in the particular glass case allotted to it.
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But you all know well enough that these are not the living creatures, but only the outward forms of them. Yet in what do they differ? Certainly in nothing which you could readily see, for the well stuffed animal is precisely like what the living animal would have been; and that eye of glass even appears to have more of brightness in it than the natural eye of the creature itself.
Yet you know well enough that there is a secret inward something lacking, which, when it has once departed, you cannot restore.
So in the churches of Christ, many professors are not living believers, but stuffed believers, stuffed Christians!
There is all the external of religion, everything that you could desire, and they behave with a great deal of propriety, too. They all keep their places, and there is no outward difference between them and the living, except upon that vital point; they lack spiritual life. This is the essential distinction, spiritual life is absent.
It is almost painful to watch little children when some little pet of theirs has died, how they can hardly realize the difference between death and life!
Your little boy’s bird moped for awhile upon its perch, and at last dropped down in the cage; and do not you remember how the little boy tried to set it up, and gave it seed, and filled its glass with water, and was quite surprised to think that birdie would not open his little eye upon his friend as it did before, and would not take its seed, nor drink its water!
Ah, you finally had to tell the poor boy that a mysterious something had gone from his little birdie, and would not come back again.
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There is just such a spiritual difference between the mere professor, and the genuine Christian.
There is an invisible, but most real, indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the absence or the presence of which makes all the difference between the lost sinner and the saint.
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A THIN SLICE OF GODLINESS OVER A
MASS OF CARNALITY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CONSTANCY AND INCONSTANCY: A CONTRAST.”
“…what should I do with you?” asks the Lord. “For your goodness vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight.” Hosea 6:4
Oh, beware of pious veneering!
Beware of the religion which consists in putting on a thin slice of godliness over a mass of carnality!
We must have thorough going work within; the grace which reaches the core, and affects the innermost spirit is the only grace worth having.
The absence of the Holy Spirit is the great cause of religious instability.
Beware of mistaking ‘religious excitement’ for the Holy Spirit, or your own resolutions for the deep workings of the Spirit of God in the soul.
All that human nature ever paints, God will burn off with hot irons. All that human nature ever spins he will unravel and cast away with the rags.
You must be born from above, you must have a new nature wrought in you by the finger of God Himself, for
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of all His saints it is written, “You are His workmanship, created anew in Christ Jesus.”
Oh, but, everywhere I fear there is an absence of the Holy Spirit! There is much getting up of a tawdry morality, barely skin deep, much crying “Peace, peace,” where there is no true peace. There is very little deep heart-searching anxiety to be thoroughly purged from sin.
The hopes of many hypocrites are flimsily formed, and their confidences ill founded. It is this which makes deceivers so plentiful, and fair religious shows so common.
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MURDERED BY HUMAN SIN!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FIRE: THE WANT OF THE TIMES”
We find in this Book, the master truth of the love of God plainly and repeatedly stated.
We see revealed to us a love of God so vast as to be incomprehensible, so generous as to be a theme for adoring wonder throughout eternity, since the Father gives up His only Son that He may bleed and die, that we who are rebellious and undeserving may live through Him.
Divine love has been manifested in connection with a most astonishing display of justice and severity towards sin. We see God willing to forgive, but not willing to allow His law to be dishonored, and therefore giving up His only begotten Son to die a death of pain and ignominy, in order that the penalty of a broken law might be rendered to justice, and yet mercy displayed to rebels.
–321–

We behold the Savior bleeding on the tree as much to manifest the justice, as the love of God.
He dies, the Friend of Sinners dies! murdered by human sin!
Who will not henceforth loathe the murderous thing?
It is impossible to read aright in the illuminated volume of the cross, printed in crimson characters, without feeling our hearts burn within us with an unquenchable ardor.
As we behold our Lord’s passion, thoughts that burn fall into our bosom, holy detestation of sin lifts the torch of heart searching, and the flame of true love burns up our lusts.
R
THE LOVE OF GOD TO HIS PEOPLE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “DEEP CALLETH UNTO DEEP”
Quietly study the depth of the love of God to you His people.
He has loved you without a cause. The grace of God is deeper than the depths of our sin, higher than the heights of our rebellion, broader and longer than the breadths and lengths of our depravity. Oh, the exceeding riches of the grace of God!
He has loved you without beginning. Before years, and centuries, and millenniums began to be counted, your name was on His heart. Eternal thoughts of love have been in God’s bosom towards you.
He has loved you without a pause. There never was a minute in which He did not love you. Your name once engraved upon His hands has never been erased, nor has He ever blotted it out of the Book of Life.
–322–

He has loved you most patiently. You have often provoked Him; you have rebelled against Him times without number, yet He has never stopped the outflow of His heart towards you; and, blessed be His name, He never will. You are His, and you always shall be His.
He has loved you without boundary. He could not love you more, for He loves you like a God; and He never will love you less. All His heart belongs to you! For you, Jesus left the throne of honor for the cross of shame; the brightness of glory for the darkness of the tomb.
Oh, the depths of the love which is revealed in Calvary!
The incomprehensible love of God is deeper than hell, and higher than heaven. It is as long as eternity, and wide as immensity.
You will never, never be able to fathom the depth of the love of God towards you, in the gift of His dear Son to be your Redeemer.
Oh, how ought I to love my God who has so loved me! Oh, how I ought to hate the sin which made my Savior bleed!
The agonies of Christ call us to the slaughter of our sins!
R
GROANING, SWEATING, BLEEDING, AND PAINFULLY
YIELDING UP HIS LIFE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST THE GLORY OF HIS PEOPLE”
Oh! if your eyes are but once favored to gaze upon Him, and your heads but once permitted to lean upon His loving bosom, you shall never see anything so glorious as the person of the Beloved.
–323–

Brethren, the moon is a blot, and the sun a burnt out coal, compared with the glory of our Immanuel.
It is impossible to exaggerate His glory.
Christ is too lovely for us ever to say a word that shall approach half way to the fullness of His unspeakable excellence and boundless worth!
All over glorious is our precious Lord!
He is a miracle of love,
the astonishment of earth, the marvel of heaven,
the all in all of our souls!
But if there be a place where, above all others, we would kiss His feet and wash them with our tears, and love Him best of all, it is Calvary’s cross. How our hearts burn when we think of His bearing the load of guilt for us—Groaning, sweating, bleeding, and painfully yielding up His life!
R
INTOLERANT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FIRE: THE WANT OF THE TIMES”
Of all things under heaven, the most intolerant is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel demands obedience to itself.
Within its own realm its power is absolute.
Its arguments cut and kill error.
Its teachings lay low every proud hope, and expose every false way.
The gospel is merciful to the sinner, but merciless to sin.
–324–

It will not endure evil, but wars against it to overturn it, and to set up a throne for Him whose right it is to reign.
The gospel of Jesus Christ will never join hands with infidelity or Popery.
It will never enter into league with idolatry. It cannot be at peace with error.
False religions can lie down side by side with one another, for they are equally a lie, and there is a brotherhood between them.
But the true religion, will never rest until all superstitions are utterly exterminated, and until the banner of the King eternal, immortal, invisible, shall wave over every mosque and minaret, temple and shrine.
R
A MONSTER, A HIDEOUS THING!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE UNIVERSAL REMEDY”
Within each man lies concealed the deadly cancer of sin.
If you would see that evil which dwells in every one of us from our very birth developing itself upon the surface, you might soon behold it in all its horror! But perhaps it were better that you should not gaze upon a scene so polluting.
In the gambling hells, in the haunts where drunkards congregate, where thieves assemble, amid oaths and blasphemies, and lewd language, and lascivious acts—it is there that sin stalks forth as a full-grown monster.
–325–

In the moral and educated natural man, sin apparently sleeps like a viper coiled up—a thing in appearance little to be dreaded, quiet and powerless as a poor worm. But before long he feels the viper’s tooth, the poisoned fang envenoms all his blood, and you see the proof of its deadly poison in overt and abundant sin.
Men become so covered with the visible blotches of iniquity, that the spiritual eye can see in their character the leprosy fully upon them, and all manner of abominations, worse than the rottenness of the deadliest of fleshly diseases, constantly exuding from their souls!
If we could see sin as it appears to the all discerning eye of God, we should be more shocked at the sight of sin than by a vision of hell. In sin itself there is abomination, and only abomination. Sin is a something out of joint with the whole system of the universe. Sin is a plague, a pest full of dangers to everything that breathes! Sin degrades and debases us.
Sin, indeed, is hell— hell in embryo, hell in essence,
hell kindling,
hell emerging from the shell.
Hell is but Sin when it has manifested and developed to the full.
Sin is a monster, a hideous thing, a thing which God will not look upon, and which pure eyes cannot behold but with the utmost detestation. A flood of tears is the proper medium through which a Christian should look at sin.
R
–326–

MAN HATES THE GOSPEL WITH ALL HIS HEART!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FIRE: THE WANT OF THE TIMES”
Brethren, there is nothing in the gospel, apart from the Spirit of God, which can save a man, for man hates the gospel with all his heart!
Though the reasonableness of the gospel of Jesus ought to make the belief of it universal, yet its plain dealing with human sin excites deadly antagonism. Therefore, the gospel itself would make no progress were it not for the divine power.
There is an invisible arm which pushes forward the conquests of the truth. There is a fire unfed with human fuel, which burns a way for the truth of Jesus Christ into the hearts of men.
R
JUDGMENT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “UNSOUND SPIRITUAL TRADING”
“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him. But motives are weighed by the Lord.” Proverbs 16:2
There is a propensity in human nature which leads men, even when they are most wrong, to judge themselves most right.
Each man thinks each man guilty, but himself.
The judgment of man concerning himself is not final, and there comes a day when the Lord who weighs the motives will reverse the verdict of a perjured conscience, and make the man to stand no longer in the false light which his conceit has thrown around him, but in the true light, in which all his fancied merit shall vanish as a dream.
–327–

Conscience is now placed in connection with a depraved nature, which forbids its accurate judgment.
The laws of God stand sternly and inflexibly the same, and if we deviate from the right way through this false judgment of ours, we shall be none the less guilty, and we shall find our fate to be terrible.
However well you may cajole yourselves with the idea that your way is right and innocent, yet the inevitable judgment day will come to end all delusions, however pleasant.
The Lord, who weighs the motives, will make short work of these bubbles; He will unmask the impostors, smash to pieces these shams, and leave the man to cry out and weep and wail among dragons and the fiends.
“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him. But motives are weighed by the Lord.” Proverbs 16:2. R
AH, MY MUCH ABUSED, MUCH
NEGLECTED HEART!
by Octavius Winslow’s “SELF COMMUNION”
How have I allowed you to wander, to be enamored, enchained, won, and possessed by others! How has your spiritual verdure withered, how have your fresh springs dried, your beauty faded, and your strength decayed! How cold, how inconstant, how unfaithful, how unkind have you been to your best, your dearest, your heavenly Friend!
It is beneath the cross alone that sin shall be seen, hated, conquered, and forsaken. Sin, guilt, unbelief, impenitence, cannot live a moment under the sacred
–328–

shadow of the cross of Christ. Go there, my soul, and weep, mourn, and love.
Drag your foe there, and it is slain!
Your transgressions, deep as scarlet and as crimson, shall not be of too deep a dye if you but plunge into the fountain of Christ’s blood.
R
GIVE NO GLORY TO THIS RUBBISH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST THE GLORY OF HIS PEOPLE”
Alas! alas! It makes a Christian’s blood boil to see glory given to a pack of scamps who call themselves priests!
Does it not make a man feel, when you see pictures of ‘his holiness’ and the cardinals, and so on, scattering their benedictions at the Vatican, or at St. Peter’s, while admiring crowds fall down and worship them, that it were infinitely better to bow to the devil himself?
We give glory unto God, but not a particle of glory to anything in the shape of a man, or an angel either.
Have I not stood and seen the crowds by hundreds fall down and worship images and dressed up dolls? I have seen them worship bones and old teeth; I have seen them worship a skeleton, dressed out in modern costume said to be the skeleton of a saint.
I have marveled to see people so infatuated as to think that such idolatry was pleasing to the most high God.
We, brethren, the people of God, who know Christ, can give no glory to this rubbish, but turn away from it with horror!
Our glory must be given to Christ, and to Christ alone!
–329–

Christ and Christ only must be the grand object of the Christian; the promotion of His glory must be that for which he is willing to live, and for which, if needs be, he would be prepared to die.
Oh! down, down, down, with everything else, but up, up, up, with the cross of Christ!
Down with your baptism, and your masses, and your sacraments! Down with your priest-craft, and your rituals, and your liturgies! Down with your fine music, and your pomp, and your robes, and your garments, and all your ceremonials.
But up, up, up, with the doctrine of the naked cross, and the expiring Savior!
R
GRACE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE FULLNESS OF JESUS THE TREASURY OF SAINTS”
With great reluctance we give up our flattering opinions of ourselves. We find it difficult to discard of the notion of our own inherent merit. It is hard to drag man away from the rock of self-justification. He is glued so fast to the great stone of self-conceit, which lies close by the gates of hell, that a stronger than Hercules is needed to tear him from it; and even such a deliverer must rip him from it, leaving the skin behind.
From the gate of the City of Destruction up to the pearl gate of the New Jerusalem, it is all grace. The road to glory is paved with stones of grace. The chariot in which we ride to heaven is all of grace. The strength that draws it, and the axle that bears it up, is all of grace and grace alone.
–330–

In the whole covenant of grace, from the first letter of the charter down to its last word, there is nothing at all of merit or man’s goodness, but it is grace, grace, grace!
Oh, how this casts mire into the face of human self- sufficiency!
O for a gospel that reveals the sinner as saved by grace from first to last, that God may have all the praise!
R
THE WAY OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE OLD WAY OF THE WICKED”
The unsaved talk of their merits, prayers, and tears. They will, if they can, find something of their own in which to trust. They wrap their miserable rags about them, and claim that they are well clad. Being fascinated by self deceit, they imagine that they are rich and increased in goods when they are naked, and poor, and miserable. They will not lie at the feet of Jesus, and receive salvation as a gift of mercy, pure mercy!
The way of self righteousness is trodden by tens of thousands of men. Ah, your church goings and your chapel goings, your goings to the sacrament, your baptism, your confirmation, your ceremonies of all sorts and kinds, your gifts to the poor, your contributions to charities, your amiable speeches, your repetitions of your liturgies, and your prayers; these are rested on as the rock of your salvation.
Beware, I entreat you, for this is the way of the Pharisee when he thanked God that he was not as other men. It is the way of sinful human nature which always goes about to establish its own righteousness, and will not submit itself to the righteousness of Christ.
–331–

As surely as the Pharisees were condemned as a generation of vipers, and could not escape the damnation of hell, so surely every one of us, if we set up our righteousness in the place of Christ’s righteousness, will meet with condemnation, and will be overthrown by God’s sudden wrath!
R
THE VELVET PAW OF THE TIGER OF SIN!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BROKEN BONES”
“… the bones You have broken …”
Children of God cannot sin cheaply.
Lost people may sin, and in this life they may prosper, yes, and sometimes prosper by their sins.
But those whom God loves will always find the way of transgression to be hard. Their follies will cost them that peace of mind, cost them their present comfort, and may even cost them all but their souls.
O beware, you believers, who are just now tempted by the sweets of sin, and remember the wormwood and gall which will be found in the dregs thereof!
You who feel the soft blandishments of sin to be so pleasing to your flesh, and are ready to yield to its gentle fascinations, remember that the softness of its touch will all disappear, and it will be towards you as a huge hammer, or like the crushing wheels of the locomotive, crushing your spirit with anguish!
The velvet paw of the tiger of sin conceals a lacerating claw!
O Beware!
–332–

O brethren, you who are lingering on the brink of sin, and are beginning to slip with your feet, may the thought of these broken bones awaken you from your dangerous lethargy as with a thunderclap, and may you fly at once to the cross, and to the fountain filled from Jesus’ veins, and begin your spiritual career anew with more earnestness and watchfulness than you have ever shown before. “… the bones You have broken …”
R
BLACK ENVELOPES!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“ALL THESE THINGS—A SERMON WITH THREE TEXTS”
See how Jacob dwells upon his troubles—“Everything is against me.” Genesis 42:36
Our notation of our trials is very apt to present them in exaggerated number, but when we come to count our mercies, as a usual rule our tendency is to diminish them. We magnify the number of our troubles, and underestimate our many benefits.
Sitting alone, silent in our sorrow, crushed out of all hope, we claim the unhappy right to declare, “Everything is against me.” and yet, beloved, it is not so.
We frequently talk of our sorrows in language larger than the truth would warrant. We write ourselves down as solitary in the realms of misery, whereas we do but bear the common burdens of ordinary men.
We dream that no others have ever passed along our rugged path, whereas the road is hard with the footsteps of the flock.
We imagine that the furnace has been heated seven times hotter for us, whereas, compared with martyrs, and the afflicted in all ages, and especially compared
–333–

with our Master, it is probable that our griefs are of the lighter kind.
We have said, “Why has God dealt this way with me? Why are his strokes so multiplied? Why are my wounds so blue? Oh, why am I thus chastised? Why does He put cross upon cross upon my galled shoulders, and crush me into the dust with heaviness of sorrow?”
We are a thousand fools in one to be caviling at God’s ways, and saying, “Everything is against me.”
Peace, child of God, peace. Your Father loves you.
It is not possible for Him to measure out to you a crumb of sorrow more than is needed, nor a grain of bitterness more than your soul absolutely requires for its spiritual health. Probably we are never so much in spiritual prosperity, as when plunged in adversity.
Unbelief reckons our best things to be our worst. God sends His mercies to us in black envelopes, and we sit down crying over their dismal covering, and dare not open the letter and read the heavenly news written within.
The nobility of faith would say, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” “Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord? and shall we not also receive evil?”
Our trials and afflictions are medicinal. There are spiritual diseases which would corrupt our spirit if not checked, kept down, and destroyed by the daily crosses which the Lord lays upon our shoulders. Just as the fever must be held in check by the bitter draught of quinine, so must the bitter cup of affliction rebuke our rising pride and worldliness.
–334–

We would exalt ourselves above measure, and provoke the Lord to jealousy against us, were it not that trouble lays us low.
None of us shall know until we read our biography in the light of heaven, from what inbred sins, foul corruptions, damnable uncleanliness, and detestable lusts we have been delivered, by being driven again and again along the fiery road of affliction.
Adversities are the sharp knives with which God cuts from us the deadly ulcers of our sins!
They are the two-edged swords with which He slays our enemies which lurk within us.
He must prune us and trim us as the gardener his trees, otherwise we shall bring forth no fruit.
R
COVETOUSNESS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GREY HAIRS”
“If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
Of all the vices, none is more contrary to true religion than Covetousness. Grace may exist where there are many occasional sins, but never where there is abiding Covetousness.
Covetousness, which few men will confess, is yet a very common sin of professing Christians.
Beware of growing Covetous, for this is of all sins one of the most insidious.
Many a man, when he begins to accumulate wealth, begins also to ruin his soul.
–335–

Instead of doing more for God he does less. The more he saves the more he wants, and the more he wants of this world, the less he craves for the world to come.
This disease creeps upon men as slowly as certain infectious diseases, which slumber in the blood for months, until they find occasion to manifest themselves.
Watch against a grasping spirit, dear friend.
If you find the money stick to your hands, mind what you are at. It is all well enough for you to seek to make all you can rightly; you are bound to do so, and to use it properly.
But when the gold begins to cleave to you, it will eat as a canker, and will soon prove your ruin unless God prevent it.
Take a bright knife from your table and bury it into the earth in your garden, and leave it there, and see how it will rust. This is what will become of your soul: put it into the earth, and keep it there, it must corrode.
Let us not be content to tarry down below in the marshland of the poor poverty stricken religion of this present day. But let us climb the high mountains where the sun of God’s grace is shining brightest, and stand there, enjoying communion with Him, leaving the world beneath.
R
–336–

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